|“||We won the war. Now we're fighting the peace. It's a lot more volatile. Now we've got ten million crackpots out there with sniper scopes, sarin gas and C-4. Ten-year-olds go on the Net, downloading encryption we can barely break, not to mention instructions on how to make a low-yield nuclear device. Privacy's been dead for years because we can't risk it. The only privacy that's left is the inside of your head. Maybe that's enough. You think we're the enemy of democracy, you and I? I think we're democracy's last hope.||„|
|~ Thomas Reynolds|
Thomas Brian Reynolds is the main antagonist of the 1998 conspiracy thriller Enemy of the State.
Reynolds is a mid-level official in the National Security Agency who has been passed over several times for promotion to Director. His frustrated ambition, along with an unyielding belief that national security is more important than civil liberties, leads him to frequently abuse his power by violating people's right to privacy with heavy surveillance.
He has a much younger wife, and presumably at least one grown child, as he is portrayed in one scene as spending Christmas morning with his grandchildren.
Enemy of the State
Reynolds lobbies aggressively for a Senate bill that would allow near-total surveillance of the entire country, and goes to visit the bill's biggest critic, Sen. Phil Hammersly. When Hammersly refuses to support the bill, Reynolds orders his bodyguards to kill him hoping to silence the opposition and then his team disguises the incident by making it look like a heart attack. Unbeknownst to him, however, wildlife researcher Daniel Zavitz had been recording in the area and captured the murder on film. When Zavitz calls a reporter Lenny Bloom about the murder, Reynolds has his surveillance team follow Zavitz, and kill him in a way that makes it look like a traffic accident - but not before Zavitz gives the recording to his old friend, lawyer Robert Dean.
Though they kill Lenny to help cover their tracks, after learning the possibility of Dean having the tape and sending some of his men posing as D.C. Cops to question him, though Dean has no idea what he is in possession of, Reynolds decides to destroy his credibility to prevent him from going public with the recording. Reynolds bugs Dean's house, and plants false evidence implicating him in working for mobster Paulie Pintero and cheating on his wife with ex-girlfriend Rachel Banks. After Dean is fired from his law firm and thrown out of the house by his wife, Reynolds tries to have him killed by sending one of his assassins to meet him under the guise of surveillance expert "Brill". Dean escapes, however, and meets the real "Brill", aka Edward Lyle, who helps Dean decipher the recording and identify Reynolds as the killer. Meanwhile, Reynolds kills Banks and implicates Dean in her murder.
Dean and Lyle try to beat Reynolds at his own game by secretly recording one of the Senate bill's supporters having an affair, and depositing large sums of money into Reynolds' bank account to make it look like he is taking bribes. Lyle arranges a meeting with Reynolds, pretending to be a blackmailer who is trying to sell the recording; he is in fact wearing a wire tap, and records Reynolds incriminating himself. Reynolds holds Lyle and Dean at gunpoint and demands to know where the recording is. Thinking quickly, Dean says that Pintero has it; unbeknownst to Reynolds, Pintero has a contract out on Dean's life because he has in his possession incriminating evidence of the gangster's crimes. He leads Reynolds to Pintero, and Reynolds demands the recording. Pintero thinks Reynolds has the evidence he wants and demands a "tape" of his own, but Reynolds thinks he is trying to play hardball in the negotiations. An intense exchange follows in which both Reynolds' and Pintero's men draw their weapons on each other and open fire, killing Reynolds and most of his team, as well as Pintero and his men.