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October 10, 2015

'Nikita' Season 1, Episode 16 Recap

by Ryan McGee, posted Feb 25th 2011 1:15AM
['Nikita' – 'Echoes']

Different shows have different areas of expertise. No surprise there. Nothing inflammatory or revelatory about that statement. 'Nikita' does some things well, others less so. But one thing it does EXTREMELY well? Produce in-season cliffhangers that make you ready for the next episode to drop as soon as possible. Just like December's finale 'All the Way,' tonight's episode, 'Echoes,' (the last one until March) gave the show some intriguing possibilities in addition to one heck of a final shot.

It's possible that if one looks at the way in which the mythology on this show is being hastily thrown together, the entire thing falls apart. The backstory involving Alex's father, Nikita's role in his death, and Alex's potential future as the head of the super evil corporation Zetrov might be an elaborately improvised game of narrative Jenga. But for right now, it's a heckuva lot more fun than the search for a bunch of black boxes. I'll take Lyndsy Fonseca doing her best Nina Dobrev versus a series-long scavenger hunt, thank you kindly. (I love how apparently having just one Thursday night show in which a young, talented, attractive female star playing multiple roles wasn't enough for The CW.)

In many ways, the twist ending involving Alex's long day's journey into the dark night of her soul was telegraphed last week, after she killed the man that ushered her into the drug-filled world of underage prostitution. The nature/nurture argument feeds into the two paths before Alex now: In one, she follows Nikita and avenges the loss of her father through the destruction of Division; in the other, she still potentially takes down Division through the might and muscle of Zetrov, only to essentially become Division 2.0. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss. The end goal is the same, but how she'll get there is up for grabs at the moment.

Then again, what's so interesting right now about those two paths is that, in every conceivable way, forces beyond her control took her to this point at which only two options were left. Autonomy has never really had much of a place in her life. From being raised by an authoritarian father figure to being held hostage by Vlad to being under Nikita's tutelage to working for Division, this isn't a girl that knows how to stand on her own two feet. Seeing her future self literally murder a chance for a normal life couldn't have been pleasant, but seeing herself actually make a choice for the first time had to hold some appeal nonetheless.

While Alex's story dominated tonight's episode, Nikita and Michael sat largely on the sidelines for most of the hour, each pursing paths that ultimately led to that aforementioned final shot. Learning the origin of how Nikita started working out of that abandoned loft, and just how she funded her one-woman assault on Division, was great. (I want TV Squad to start paying me in superdollars ASAP.) Learning that Nikita was ready to set Alex loose at the cost of all those superdollars was also good, even if it's something Alex herself might never learn nor believe when the time comes to hear it. And learning that Michael's lingering feelings for Nikita helped save Alex's life was also solid.

But all that paled in comparison to see Michael and his ginormous assault rifle sitting in Nikita's lair, daring to ask her how he found it. It's one of those moments that other shows would put off, but 'Nikita' doesn't mind throwing it in earlier than expected to confound audience expectations. Do any of us think he's going to pump her full of lead come April? Of course not. But the dynamic of the show has changed as much as it did when Alex turned into a full-fledged agent at the end of the show's 2010 run. Will they change in the way that Alex's subconscious thinks it will (Michael and Nikita, up in a tree), or will the change mean that Nikita lives her life on the run from now on? It's unclear, but I know I can't wait until April to find out.

Other thoughts on tonight's episode:

*** Fonseca not only busted out Present Tense Alex and Future Tense Alex, but also did a gut-bustingly funny Shane West impression. Triple threat! (Runner-up for funniest moment in the episode: Nikita's in-dream voicemail. Maggie Q plays dry wit nicely. Too bad the show doesn't know how to do patter very well.)

*** The entire way in which the episode was shot to reflect Alex's mindset was well-done, from the unique camera angles to the sudden shifts in geography to the ways in which wish fulfillment could be acted upon without lasting impact. Had this illusion been free of some in-your-face product placement, it might have been dangerously close to perfect.

*** Odds that Percy knows Alex's real identity, and is keeping her onboard in order to take over Zetrov himself? 4-1 right now.

*** I'm not the biggest Jaden fan in the world, but the sight of her playing the world's most ordinary-sized violin to her upset rival delighted all the same.

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

What did you think of this episode? Anxious for this hiatus to be over quickly, or will you not even notice that it's gone? Does the recent influx of mythology make the show more intriguing or simply more confusing? Sound off below!

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WOW!!!!!! In order to speed up her healing, Amanda (Melinda Clarke) sedates Alex (Lyndsy Fonseca) after her last mission then takes advantage of Alex's drugged condition to question her about the secrets Amanda believes Alex is keeping. Nikita (Maggie Q) realizes Alex is in danger and tries to secure her another identity to smuggle her out of the country. However..
Watch the latest and full episode of Nikita Season 1 Episode 16 - Echeos
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February 25 2011 at 10:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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