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September 19, 2014

'Nikita' Season 1, Episode 15 Recap

by Ryan McGee, posted Feb 18th 2011 1:15AM
['Nikita' – 'Alexandra']

Over the course of the few episode that have aired since Alex left the confines of Division, I've been waiting patiently, and then anxiously, for 'Nikita' as a show to grow up. It's teased out elements from other shows on The CW, elements that might be fine for 'Hellcats' or 'One Tree Hill,' but feel out of place here. Luckily, 'Alexandra' righted that ship with one of its most adult, least 'tweeny episodes to date. Its mythology is convoluted to the point of pure opaqueness, but has its heart in the right place. And that heart is broken, bruised and brutal.

'Nikita' works best when it realizes that its core set of characters -- Nikita, Alex, and Michael -- are horribly wounded people. They are not beyond the point of redemption, but they are not people who trust easily, love easily, or get to enjoy more than a fleeting moment of happiness at any moment. Each carries with them the weight not only of what has happened to them, but the weight of what they still have to do. And after tonight's episode, it's clear that none of them have a clear sense of what that truly is anymore.



Oh, sure, they have their nominal goals: Nikita and Alex are working to take out Division, while Michael aims to keep his former agent from succeeding. But Michael's desire to do so has always been slightly compromised: Not only does he have a complicated past with Nikita, but also an increasing disillusion with the work of Division itself. That Percy's mission for Alex is to retrieve what seems to be an iPhone-killer in order to line Division's pockets only fuels Michael's uncertainty about his place within the organization. So it makes sense that even though he's been cold on Nikita since the incident with Kasim, his initial desire for her head has cooled with prolonged exposure inside Division's nearly impenetrable walls, and allows him to work with her to rescue Alex.

The Nikita/Alex stuff is where the heart of the episode lay, however, and featured an enormous download of show mythology to help explain not only Alex's past, but Nikita's incredibly long involvement in it. I can't tell if the show's being purposefully unclear or simply didn't do a good job explaining things, but here's what I got out of tonight's episode: Nikita herself was ordered by Division to kill Alex's family, including a billionaire father that controlled a variety of natural resources and at least part of the Russian mob. The Nickolai in this hour didn't really appear to resemble the one from 'Free,' less of a man teaching his daughter how to survive in a cruel world and more a man teaching her how to unleash the evil contained in her DNA. In any case, the footsteps that Alex saw under her bed apparently belonged to Nikita, who saved her (unbeknown to Percy), only to have her contact in Russian sell her into sex slavery. Aaaaand breathe.

Well, flash forward to today, when an unfortunate reconnection with Vlad sent Alex into a spiral of shame, drug addiction and the type of primal need for survival that brought out the worst qualities in Daddy Dearest and potentially represent Nikita's worst nightmare. After all, you just KNOW that the show will alert Alex to Nikita's involvement in her father's death before season's end. I had previously theorized that these two would show down mano a mano before the end of the year, but this decision gives the showdown much-needed personal stakes. Given Lyndsy Fonseca's fantastic job tonight, I'm looking forward to seeing her play the same arc as the prequel iteration of Anakin Skywalker. You know, without all the lamenting about sand getting everywhere.

'Nikita' isn't exactly on the level of gravitas as say, 'Mad Men.' Nor should it be: That Michael isn't Don Draper isn't a flaw of the show. But that it showed this much darkness and grit (Alex's withdrawal sweat was fairly gruesome) ironically allowed the show to shine. A 'Nikita' in which dangerous missions are interlaced with meet-cutes with the guy across the hall doesn't serve either the audience looking for a kick-butt action series nor people looking for soapy CW escapism. But trying to have both, the show actually achieves neither. So kudos for the show in playing to its strengths tonight and producing an episode that gives me hope for the episodes yet to come.

What did you think of tonight's episode? Did the grittiness work for you, or turn you off? Are you happy about the direction they are taking with Alex? How long until Amanda figures out the truth? Leave your thoughts below!

'Nikita' airs Thursdays at 9PM ET on The CW.

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Ricky Hall

I was wondering if nikita did infact kill alexs parents, or did she just save alex. it said there was a team there. did she pull the trigger? also would loooovvvee a nikita vs. amanda fight :)

February 23 2011 at 11:12 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Given2Indifference

Just watched the episode and have to say that my first reaction was, "Finally!" Loved the episode. LF did an outstanding job, especially at the end when she took out Vlad. It wasn't until I saw Nikita watching the video and shaking her head that I realised that this was Alex's first kill. Very impressed with all the character arcs tonight. Just want to add that somebody needs to give Ksenia Solo her own show. I've seen her in so many shows and the girl has got talent.

February 19 2011 at 5:09 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
annimat

This show reminds me a lot of Xena in its heyday--emotionally tortured warrior, bad deeds in the past, wanting to make up for the sins of the past, takes on younger protege to become her partner in this "redemption". I liked this episode--I found it very exciting. I am anxious to see what happens when Alex finds out Nikita's true role in what happened to Alex after Nikita thinks she saved her ,and how it will effect their working together in future seasons (hopefully)

February 18 2011 at 2:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
bemassey120

An episode with Amanda AND Birkoff (God I can't spell his name) cannot be bad. It's physically impossible. I was surprised by the Michael/NIkita interaction this week, to be honest. I expected Michael to attempt to kill her repeatedly throughout the episode as opposed to reconcile with her. I thought they were setting up a pretty big showdown for the end of the season when Nikita betrayed MIchael, but them making up here works out just as well (I hope).

I just can't wait for next episode: Amanda mindhacking= awesome.

February 18 2011 at 1:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jo3

Well I liked it. I'm following this show until division falls down!

February 18 2011 at 8:06 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Cari

I really enjoyed this episode and for the first time, I feel like we finally have a sense where this series/season is going. Everything is starting to slowly tie together, I am starting to thing that it wasn't a coincidence that we saw that Russian division Gogul last week, I bet they have a connection to Alex's father's empire (Zetrov i think it was called?) and it will lead to Division as well. There is no way that Alex would have become the leader of that empire. I could be wrong because I am not completely up to date on my Russian Oligarchs, but from last I checked, none of these Oligarchs are headed by a woman. It's going to be really interesting when Division finds out that one of their recruits is the heir to a major Russian empire, one they believe they wiped out and my guess is, when Percy finds out that Alex is actually that heir, all roads are going to lead to Nikita and that Alex really is the mole. Anyways, it was a much better episode this week. I can't wait to see where the rest of this season leads us!

February 18 2011 at 8:04 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
samaitra

when does it get aired

February 18 2011 at 5:16 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
balabharatb22

Great show. Liked it. Grittiness worked on me!

February 18 2011 at 5:09 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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