Shepherd is a coded name for Ellen Briggs. She’s the current leader of the terrorist organization Sandstorm and former military.
|“||America needs to be saved from itself.||”|
Childhood and early life
In her youth, Ellen lived with both of her parents and brother near Lake Aurora, Florida. Years later, it was discovered that a chemical plant up river had been leaking for years, making people sick with different types of cancer, sterility, birth defects, among others.
Ellen’s family, including her, were severely affected. Her mother and father died of an aggressive cancer, while her brother, at the age of 25, had surgery to remove a tumor from one of his lungs, however, he didn’t survive the disease. On the other hand, at 17 years old, Shepherd’s ovaries had to be excised to fight cancer.
The irregularities committed by the government and their indifference about the issue made Ellen take actions from her own hands to avenge her family and all the lives that were lost.
Life as Military
Ellen was part of the U.S. Army where she served and spent a lot of time in Africa and the Middle East. During her military career, Ellen held the rank of Major General and served as Deputy Director of the Defense Threat Reduction Agency. It was through this title that she managed to have access to some of the classified information that she would later use in her own terrorist organization.
Coming from a wealthy family, Ellen was able to fund Kurt Weller’s education in the academy and convinced Colonel Nix to keep him in the school after she showed great interest in the teenager and his abilities.
The beginning of everything
In one of her tasks, she stumbled across the Apartheid academy that trained children in order to prepare them to defend South Africa as deadly soldiers. There she freed the captive children and adopted Alice and Ian Kruger, two siblings she acknowledged were too dangerous and valuable assets to her cause.
With the kids under her care, the three of them decided to change their names to Roman and Remi in order to forget their past and start a new life. Shepherd exploited the kids’ abilities and used them for her profit on ending corruption in the United States, being this the solely purpose of her organization.
As the leader of her terrorist organization, Shepherd called all the shots, being Remi and Roman her second in command. They performed several terrorist attacks in the country for over six years that were planned to look as isolated events in order to prevent dragging too much attention to them.
Acknowledging the existence of Project Daylight and the people involved with it, the case was added to the organization’s list of enemies. When the project was shut down, Remi approached Sofia Varma and it’s implied that they got the information about Bethany Mayfair –who was also involved with Daylight- was through her, making it easy to approach to Kurt Weller.
One of the cases the organization wanted to take care of, was Project Daylight, they sought on finding the way to expose the project and end with it and the people involved. It’s implied that at this point Remi came up with a plan of ousting Mayfair from her charge as Assistant Director of the FBI and replace her with Kurt Weller, to whom she could easily manipulate after closely studying his personal life and profile. This then became Phase 1 to Shepherd’s larger mission.
It was revealed in a flashback that before Remi erased her memories, Shepherd opposed her stepdaughter’s decision of letting Oscar being her handler because his feelings for her could compromise his task.
Shepherd met the new Remi as Jane when Roman brought her to their meeting point where she revealed Jane’s real identity and her relation to Shepherd and Roman. Since that moment Shepherd suspected of Jane’s story about her escape from Cade but decided to go on with the lie in order to use Jane’s abilities for her profit, once again.
Trying to turn Jane to Sandstorm’s side, Roman and Shepherd showed her a small memorial belonging to Orion, an operation Remi was once part of from which she escaped merely alive with Nigel Thornton who would later become Dr. Robert Borden and placed in the FBI as a psychiatrist.
When Jane tried to send information from a chip to Patterson, Roman received a letter from their mole and informed Shepherd about her treason. In an attempt to make Jane pay for her lies, Shepherd ordered Roman to sedate Jane and made her watch a live video stream while the team raided Sandstorm’s compound that Shepherd purposely detonated, killing everyone.
Shepherd ordered Roman to kill Jane, knowing that he was too invested on her the way she was on him, but Roman turned against Shepherd instead and after both of them got injured, Roman ran away with Jane.
During the raid, Borden’s cover was blown after Patterson found him wearing his old wedding ring, he accidentally shot her and brought her to another Sandstorm’s hideout to treat her wound. When Shepherd found them there, he made her believe that he brought Patterson to her so she could torture her and extract information.
Connection with Kurt Weller
Kurt Weller was able identify Shepherd’s voice after hearing it from a recording given by Douglas Winter to Patterson. Jane Doe also spotted Shepherd standing on the bleachers at one of Kurt's basketball matches at his military school, to which Weller admitted that he recognized her from his past.
Knowing about the troubled relationship between Kurt Weller and his father Bill and the man’s struggle to keep the boy’s tuition in the school, Ellen sponsored Weller in order to ensure he’d get the education he so needed and deserved. Before that, Ellen showed great interest in Weller and she used to lecture him on his reckless behavior.
During Ellen’s stay in Fort Meade, she met Sean Clark a former training officer who was also stationed there; the both of them worked together for years and he was probably an accomplice in Ellen’s future plans for Weller.
With Sandstorm’s and Remi’s plan about to be put in motion, Shepherd ordered Clark to ensure Weller’s stay in New York, so he called Mayfair to inform her that Weller wasn’t ready to run a division in DC and that he should stay in NY with her.
Shepherd is devoted to Sandstorm and committed to her tasks to end corruption in the U.S.
She's intriguing, clever, shrewd, and secretive. She evidently cared deeply for Remi and Roman, but is not above lying to the former in the interest of securing Sandstorm's goals, but albeit begrudging to do so.