Towards the finale of Enemy of the State:

Brill: You're either incredibly smart or incredibly stupid.
Robert Clayton Dean: We'll see in a minute. Watch out for the FBI.
[winks to Brill]

This results in Brill feigning sickness, going outside the van, and allowing himself to be photographed by the FBI.

This strikes me as out of character for Brill, as for the majority of Brill's life he's been avoiding surveillance. I don't think it was necessary for him to do so, in order for Brill and Dean to succeed. Also afterwards, Brill vanishes again.

It seems like Brill should have a strong (even instinctive) aversion to being observed.

Question: Why does Brill go outside the van to be observed by the FBI?

  • I don't remember the specifics, so I won't post an answer, but I do remember the scene and Brill specifically wanted to be observed in this scene. I forget which purpose it serves but it was plot-related.
    – Flater
    Nov 15, 2019 at 14:06
  • 1
    @Flater - It was, as stated in one of the answers below, because he was physically worked over, he knew the FBI would see him as a officer in danger and distress, and would call in the cavalry, so to speak. Nov 18, 2019 at 23:54

2 Answers 2


The result of him being observed by the FBI were quite positive:

  1. The FBI agents saw a bleeding police officer outside of a known criminal organization
  2. They storm in and rescue Dean
  3. Brill can walk away because he was only observed in disguise, from far away

It was a good plan and it worked. If the FBI agents were just a bit faster, they might have even prevented the shootout that put Dean in danger in the first place and Brill would still be able to disappear.

His aversion to being observed is probably surpassed by his aversion to being dead


It's been awhile since I've seen this and I don't have the rep here to comment.

I recall that Brill left the van to show the FBI that Dean wasn't alone or 'in bed' with the mafia, so they would realize they needed to raid the club and save Dean. I'll try to watch this again this weekend and update my answer if needed.

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