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October 4, 2015

'Nikita' Season 1, Episode 19 Recap

by Laura Prudom, posted Apr 22nd 2011 8:30AM
Lyndsy Fonseca['Nikita' - 'Girl's Best Friend']

A kiss on the hand may be quite continental, but explosives are a girl's best friend. After a few episodes on the sidelines, Alex was front and center this week, and back to doing what she does best -- kicking some serious ass (the way she wielded two guns at once practically gave me chills, it was such an impactful shot).

I'm glad to see Lyndsy Fonseca getting back to the action, since I find her talents a little wasted on the gooey romantic stuff, no matter how nice Nathan is to look at.

Nikita's best laid plans have a tendency to go awry, so it was no surprise that her scheme to break Alex out of Division hit a speed bump or two -- and let's face it, Alex on the run and safe from Percy and Amanda probably wouldn't make for great television, at least not in season one.

Instead, Alex had the unenviable task of not only being stuck with arch-nemesis Jaden on her mission, but also being caught between the rock and the hard place of Nikita and Michael, both of whom had very different ideas about how to run the assignment. Don't you just hate it when mom and dad fight?

I loved the energy of the scenes between Nikita, Michael and Alex -- there was a definite parental vibe that lent levity to the proceedings, but I could also sense the enthusiasm that the three actors felt to be working with each other face to face at last, and I'm looking forward to more scenes with our core trio as we approach the finale.

While Nikita may be her role model, it was also obvious by the end of the episode that Alex and Michael are on the same wavelength in terms of Division's usefulness; Nikita would rather see the whole operation burn, while her partners believe that even such a corrupt organization could somehow be harnessed for the power of good down the line.

Still, it's a testament to Alex's character -- and Nikita's influence on her -- that she abandoned the idea of blowing up the lab and killing three birds with one stone when Jaden was trapped with Kalume, but will that decision come back to bite her?

It's a good thing that Fonseca is a much more skilled actress than Alex is, though -- the rogue spy's "panicked" call to Division to tell them she was trapped wasn't fooling anyone, and I wonder what Birkhoff thought of her abrupt change in story, from being trapped in the lab with guards approaching, to suddenly rushing off to rescue Jaden from the actual lab; I'm sure Amanda is keeping a note of these discrepancies somewhere.

We should've known that Percy would have something else up his sleeve, tasking Jaden with retrieving the toxin unbeknownst to Alex, but it's telling that it was Jaden, whose track record is more than a little spotty, who was the one entrusted with the secret mission -- obviously the higher-ups at Division still have reason to doubt Alex's loyalty to the cause (or did Percy decide that Alex was just too noble to steal a potentially deadly bio weapon?).

Considering how much they loathe each other, it was impressive to see how well Jaden and Alex gelled as a team, since they both have entirely contrasting methodologies that compliment each other in the field. Jaden is confident and impulsive -- she didn't even hesitate in taking the shot to take Kalume out -- while Alex is far more measured. Now that Jaden's been promoted to active agent status, I can't wait to see the pair square off properly, without the strictures of Division training holding them back.

'Girl's Best Friend' more than fulfilled its girl power quota, especially considering last week's testosterone-heavy episode; not only were Jaden and Alex getting their 'Charlie's Angels' on, Nikita seemingly met her match in the form of Anya, an ass-kicking European who not only held her own against our heroine, but also somehow bested her a couple of times. It definitely adds a sense of realism whenever Nikita comes up against an opponent she can't quite beat -- as much as Maggie Q. seems like a superhero, it's reassuring to see her vulnerable side once in a while.

The Nikita/Michael dynamic was especially fascinating this week -- yesterday, I had the chance to talk to Shane West about Michael's upcoming challenges in terms of keeping his cover at Division whilst simultaneously trying to satisfy Nikita, and in short, he wryly told me that Michael was kind of screwed (look for that interview next week).

It's obvious that his objectives at Division are sometimes going to put him at odds with his girlfriend and the way she's used to running operations, and we saw the seeds of that dissent beginning to sprout this week -- Nikita accused Michael of putting the mission before Alex's safety, but most of her disapproval clearly seemed to stem from her own negative experiences with Division.

Michael is looking at the bigger picture in recognizing Division's reach and the resources at its disposal, resources that could be used for the greater good with the right person in charge. But absolute power corrupts absolutely, and, like Nikita, I worry that even if Michael had the best intentions, an organization as influential as Division could easily slip back over to the dark side regardless of whether or not a good man was in control. Still, by the end of the episode, it seemed our star-crossed lovers were back on the same page again, and that Nikita would be willing to stand by Michael in his attempt to give Division a clean slate.

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

Do you think Division could ever be a force for good, or do you agree with Nikita and believe that it should be wiped off the map entirely? What did you think of 'Girl's Best Friend'? Share your reactions below!

Follow Laura on Twitter: @LauinLA

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Great review!! Obviously agree about the Michael/Nikita dynamic in this episode! Their discussion was legit and the idea that Division could be a force for good or not should continue to be explored! Also loved the twist in the end.. definitely didn't see that one coming! What will Percy do with this new weapon?! I guess the final episodes will be mind blowing!

April 22 2011 at 9:21 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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