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There is no walking away from us, Fisher! We made you, we own you, and we always will!
~ Tom Reed on Sam Fisher's retirement from Third Echelon.

Thomas "Tom" Jeffery Reed was the main antagonist of Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Conviction.

He was the final Third Echelon Director and an instrumental person involved in the Third Echelon Conspiracy in 2011. He replaced Lawrence Williams, who briefly became Director after the death of Irving Lambert, 3E's very first Director and a former Army Colonel.

Reed was voiced by James A. Woods.

Biography

Early life and Military Career

While little is known about the early life of Thomas Jeffery Reed, he was born in 1971 at Sacramento, California.

Reed attended the U.S. Air Force Academy, specializing in cyber warfare. Upon graduation, he then worked for the Air Force Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Agency (AFISRA) before his immediate transfer to the Air Force Cyber Command (AFCYBER) to prevent cyber attacks against American interests from non-governmental organizations. Reed was later chosen to testify before Congress on AFCYBER activities; attracted patronage of several senior legislators as a result and his career advanced rapidly, eventually being promoted to Colonel.

Transition into Third Echelon

Reed was later transferred to the NSA's top-secret initiative, Third Echelon, under then-Director Lambert. After Lambert was killed in the field, Reed positioned himself as the sub-agency's new and final Director. He then expanded the organization's head count and mission, moving aggressively into preemptive information warfare approaches.

2011: Third Echelon Conspiracy

Prior to the conspiracy, Reed was promoted to Director after Lambert's death. When President Patricia Caldwell tried to shut Third Echelon down; due to her feelings regarding the agency was not justifying its funding anymore, Reed responded by planning a coup that involved of using stolen Russian EMP devices in Washington, D.C. to disable the power and the electronic security measures. Then, Reed would use the downtime to attack the White House and assassinate Caldwell using his security forces, Splinter Cells from Third Echelon and the mercenaries from a private military company named Black Arrow.

However, things did not go as planned: Anna Grímsdóttir brought Sam back in the game by blackmailing him with Sarah and simultaneously tricked Reed into believing Sam knew about Andriy Kobin and the stolen Russian EMPs. After meeting up with Grim at the White House, Sam let her pretend to capture him so that he could enter the Oval Office without Reed immediately killing Caldwell. While Reed was gloating, Sam attacked him and, together with Grim, shot and killed all Splinter Cells in the office. After Grim secured the President, Sam interrogated Reed about the nature of the shadowy group known as Megiddo. Although Reed revealed little, he did admit of being the mole that Lambert was looking for. He then revealed that threatening Sarah was just a way to get to Sam, leveraging him was a way to get to Third Echelon and Third Echelon was a way to get what Megiddo wanted out of the White House.

After the interrogation (during which Sam left two bullet holes in each of Reed's shoulders), Sam spares Reed, who brags to Sam about having him as a character witness for his trial. This prompts Grim to tell Reed, "there won't be a trial", and shoots him in the head. As a result of Reed's treasonous actions, Caldwell disbanded Third Echelon and stripped all of its operational capabilities, laying the ground work for the creation of Fourth Echelon under the leadership of Fisher.

Profile

Tom Reed's psychological profile indicates strong adaptive thinking with some narcissistic tendencies. He prefers hands-on operation and places a great store in personal loyalty. Reed replaced most of Lambert’s appointees in Third Echelon with his own people. However, even his own men may be punished by death if they fail him, he does not tolerate failure. Despite this, he does show some trust and respect to Grim, probably due to her previous history with Third Echelon, furthermore she was the interim director of 3E before Reed took over.

As head of Third Echelon, Reed has a very clear idea as to what the agency – and make no mistake, it is his agency – could (or should) be doing to protect his country. Equally at home in the field or testifying in front of Congress, Reed is an operator in every sense of the word. Fast, cunning and deadly, he is exactly what Third Echelon needs to lead it in a brave new world of terrorism and information warfare. Reed is a ruthless, efficient and energetic individual who has revitalized Third Echelon and extended its reach in ways his predecessor never would have imagined – or been willing to do. Then again, Lambert was the man who brought Reed into Third Echelon, a decision with consequences that still occur years later.

Gallery

Trivia

  • Reed admits that he voted for Caldwell in the presidential election; this is revealed when the player chooses to ignore two opportunities to grab Reed.
    • If the player chooses to ignore three opportunities to grab Reed, he will shoot Sam and kill him.
  • The SMI database in Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Blacklist confirmed that Sam shooting him is the canon ending.
  • Reed bears striking similarities to NSA's deputy director Nicholas Andrew Kovac.
    • Both graduated from the Air Force Academy,
    • both had a high rank inside within the NSA,
    • both had framed Sam Fisher and sent Splinter Cells to kill him,
    • both were, in fact, moles for a shadow organization,
    • both had their real status discovered by Sam Fisher and Anna Grímsdóttir,
    • and both were under suspicion of being a mole within the NSA.
  • Reed was the last director of Third Echelon, as the agency was terminated by President Caldwell in the aftermath of the EMP terrorist attack on Washington, D.C. and the failed assassination attempt.
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