Who can you trust?

The spy games are on in a tense thriller that trades on post-9/11 paranoia in the US. Watch The Enemy Within on DStv.

The Enemy Within gives a nod to The Silence of the Lambs in that an FBI agent Will Keaton (Morris Chestnut) must enlist the help of a dubious mastermind. Only, in this case, the Hannibal Lecter character is former CIA operative Erica Shepherd (Jennifer Carpenter), imprisoned for betraying four of her colleagues who subsequently ended up dead. And the Buffalo Bill? That’s Russian terrorist Mikhail Vassily Tal, who Erica has had a run-in with before. Of course, the real threat may not be so obvious.

A kind of spy vs spy drama, The Enemy Within revels in the “FBI good, CIA evil” trope that’s commonplace on our screens. But how do the two organisations really relate to each other? Well, while the CIA and FBI are both members of the US Intelligence Community, there are crucial differences between the two.

FBI vs CIA

The FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) mostly operates in the US, gathering intelligence about US citizens and investigating crimes. The CIA (Central Intelligence Agency) has no law enforcement function and generally operates outside the US to gather and analyse information about foreign countries and citizens.

The main priority of the FBI, which dates back to 1908, is crime prevention within US borders. The CIA, which was formed after the Second World War, deals with international issues such as counterterrorism and worldwide drug trafficking.

Films and TV shows often cast CIA officers as morally ambiguous (think The Bourne Series) and FBI agents as truth-seeking heroes (think The X-Files). The classified nature of these intriguing organisations means we’ll never really know for sure what they’re up to. And that’s certainly the case in The Enemy Within, which you can decode for yourself every Wednesday night on M-Net.

Don’t miss The Enemy Within S1 on Wednesdays on M-Net at 21:00
Also available on Catch Up and online at DStv Now »