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The Endgame on Lifetime April movies

A new crime drama series on NBC, The Endgame is basically a psychological thriller involving two female adversaries on opposite sides of the law in a cat-and-mouse game playing out during a number of coordinated bank heists throughout New York City. On the wrong end is Elena Federova (Morena Baccarin), recently captured international arms dealer and brilliant criminal mastermind. Her antagonist is Val Turner (Ryan Michelle Bathe), the principled, relentless and outsider FBI agent determined to foil any criminal plots.

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Flashbacks abound to sketch details of both women’s backgrounds. Noticed as a child in war-torn Ukraine, Federova proves smarter and more cunning than those who wish her harm. Driven by a desire to avenge her mother’s death, Turner is coping with the fact her moral rectitude required her to turn in her fellow agent husband Owen (Kamal Bolden) for taking bribes.

Depending upon one’s viewpoint within the agency, Turner is either viewed with suspicion by her superiors wondering if she is complicit in her husband’s alleged crimes or merely ostracized by fellow agents for breaking a code of loyalty. In the first episode, Federova is brought by federal agents to a secure location at Fort Totten in Queens, New York, for an interrogation by high-level cabinet members of the U.S. government that ends up swirling around layers of obfuscation and deceit. As Turner once had an encounter with Federova on a mission in Africa, only the outcast FBI agent has any real chance of breaking through the mystery shrouding the motives of the Ukrainian crime boss.

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The smug Federova, often smirking her disdain for her captors, is tight-lipped about the series of well-orchestrated bank robberies taking place around the city but is more than eager to drop veiled threats against high-powered officials concealing their corrupt misdeeds. On the inside of the FBI, Turner’s only ally is her partner Agent Flowers (Jordan Johnson-Hinds) who cautions her to avoid needless confrontations with their boss Patrick Doak (Noah Bean), who does not appreciate Turner’s insightful approach to dealing with Federova. The Endgame might be a sexier version of the long-running The Blacklist, another NBC series with a strong resemblance to the concept of a sharp criminal mastermind focused on dealing with only one FBI agent. In brief, Morena Baccarin, dressed glamorously in her imprisonment as if headed to a gala event, is, well, a whole lot more erotic than any of the criminals in that other series.

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The question that only the viewer may answer is whether the battle of wits in the chess game between the two female adversaries holds enough suspense to hang for every chapter in this saga. The jury remains out after the first couple of episodes as to what exactly is the endgame of the cat-and-mouse diversion and if we have the patience to find out.

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