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October 25, 2014

'Nikita' Season 2, Episode 6 Recap

by Laura Prudom, posted Oct 29th 2011 8:25AM
Nikita and MichaelAs a show -- and as a character -- 'Nikita' exists to defy expectations; whether it concerns illegitimate children, long-lost parents or potentially damaging secrets, whenever you think the series is about to duck, it weaves instead.

Much was made of the introduction of Nikita's biological father, but nothing is ever as simple as it appears, and instead of finding some sense of identity, our heroine was merely reminded of how long Percy's reach is. Even from his plastic prison, the ex-Division head proved capable of manipulating everyone around him, from Alex and Amanda right through to the seemingly untouchable Nikita, Michael and Birkhoff.

But despite her emotional setbacks, the episode's final moments demonstrated just how far Nikita has already evolved since last season -- she clearly learned from her mistakes with Alex and decided, despite her fears and insecurities, to trust Michael with the truth about Max.

How that revelation will affect their relationship remains to be seen -- we saw Michael drop Nikita's hand following her admission, but that doesn't necessarily mean that the couple is broken. It's understandable that Michael will need some time to process, and perhaps he'll be angry that Nikita kept the secret for any length of time, but the fact that she saw the error of her ways should be enough to earn Michael's forgiveness.

The theme of this episode seemed inexorably linked to rebirth -- through the destruction of one potential past and one idealistic father figure, Nikita can rise from the ashes with a renewed sense of purpose and a greater determination towards honesty, in the same way as our rogue trio had to literally escape the ashes of their temporary safehouse at Birkhoff's and head out on the road again. Their journey this season isn't comfortable or secure, but it's fairly evident that they need to face these trials head-on instead of hiding from them, if they ever hope to find true freedom.

It certainly seemed a little too good to be true for Nikita to come from "Intelligence royalty," as Percy put it -- far more likely that Nikita's real parents are equally as troubled as she was, to further illustrate that she can overcome even the most painful circumstances -- not because of some magical spy DNA, but in spite of whatever dark background she came from.

After the emphasis on Michael's backstory last week, it was nice to see Nikita's past put under the microscope, even if it proved to be fabricated. We also caught another intriguing flashback to Nikita's early days with Division, back when she was just an angry young recruit who was still, apparently, entirely capable of kicking everyone's ass. Michael obviously saw the potential in her even then, going to bat for her with Amanda and Percy to prevent her from being cancelled. As Shane West teased in our interview, this episode was more about Michael just being Nikita's rock and supporting her through "Richard's" betrayal, and I hope her honesty won't drive too big a wedge between them.

It's also reassuring to see Alex and Nikita working together again, albeit from a distance. Their church confessional meeting was an inspired set up (although not very practical, should anyone else wander in) and Alex's method of contacting Birkhoff (and his way of communicating with her through the intercom, for that matter) was genius. Was it her mission with Sean last week that convinced Alex that she wanted to pay more attention to her moral compass, perhaps? Whatever the reason, I'm glad that the former partners are edging back towards trusting each other again.

It's also a testament to how much Birkhoff's grown as a person that he didn't immediately try to sever ties with Michael and Nikita after they got his bachelor pad blown up -- think of all the glorious tech that went up in smoke! Instead, he took it as a given that the three would reunite after he set up their next "rebel base" (I adore the constant 'Star Wars' references). Aww, nerd!

I'm intrigued to see how Percy plans to use Alex to further his escape plan -- you've got to wonder whether Amanda would be more upset about her warning Nikita about Division's raid, or more concerned with Percy's attempts to get out and take her down. I'm also starting to think that Roan is a Terminator -- the man will not die. That would definitely be a twist that no-one sees coming ...

'Nikita' airs Fridays at 8PM ET on The CW.

How do you think Michael will react to Nikita's revelation about Max? Do you think Nikita's birth parents could be agents of some kind too, or is it more likely they're from the wrong side of the tracks? Share your thoughts below!

Follow Laura on Twitter: @LauinLA

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B

You are really good at writing a recap!

I loved the episode and I think it is the best so far!! And I totally love the hardcore Nikita! I hope Michael will forgive Nikita and he probablt will but I am pretty sure that will take some time especially when Cassandra comes back in ep. 8

October 30 2011 at 1:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
LJ

You're bang on again Laura, and I love the way you're reinforcing the message the show's cast & creators have been putting out over the last couple of episodes. These are adult problems and are being handled in a thoughtful, respectful way and fans really should just let things unfold. I'm really impressed by how well done these two difficult episodes have been.

Shane and Maggie were heartbreaking in the final scene. I just ached for both characters who are caught in circumstances with no easy answers. There's no victim or wrong doer here; it's life and assigning blame is going to be less important than finding their way again.

Craig Silverstein said the theme for season 2 is home, and once again Michael & Nikita are literally homeless, as is Birkhoff. It looks like Birkhoff started off making a wonderful nerd cave & then realized he needed people to care about to make it a home. Michael is clearly yearning for a family again, so home for him looks like it's about family, however that may look - maybe Michael will be the unifying force for them all? Nikita's need to understand herself may well be where her home is, even if she thinks her home is about being with Michael. After all, if you don't know yourself how can you expect others to understand you? And Alex reaching out to Nikita for help doesn't just show she's in over her head and knows it; it shows how very alone Alex has become again. I'm feeling hopeful that she and Nikita will mend the rift between them.

Percy makes me increasingly nervous, like a good villain should. He's looking far too at ease in his plastic box while Amanda is getting colder and scarier - "retrieve the black box kill everything else" indeed.

I'm looking forward to watching the rest of the season unfold. And I'm not going to worry about it.

October 30 2011 at 1:47 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Camilla Sandman

Damn, a lot happened in this episode! I kinda guessed Nikita's father wasn't her real father, it seemed a bit too perfect, but the way Percy anticipated and orchestrated the whole thing just blew me away. I kinda almost don't want him out of the box, he manages to be more badass from within it!
Michael and Nikita both broke my heart in this episode. Nikita so clearly wanting to find her father so bad, and when it all came crashing down, I felt for her. Maggie acted that really well. Michael too, with the look on his face when he first thought she might be pregnant, being so supportive through it all and then at the end. Shane did a great job without even saying anything in the last scene.
I do think Michael and Nikita will be okay in the end, after much angst. They both act so wonderfully adult in their relationship, so I have confidence they'll deal with this in an adult manner too. Initial hurt and shock there might be, and tugging at our heartstrings no doubt, but I am not too worried about them as a couple.
Birkhoff did awesome this episode. Loved all this pop culture references, and his fighting and snark. I'm going to miss his pad. It was awesome.
Alex got manipulated again - man, she still has a lot of growing up to do, but I kinda fear how she'll do that. Very glad she reached out to Nikita though, even if it backfired horribly.
Want next episode now, please?

October 29 2011 at 1:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Sky

by the way Laura, awesome review. I loved that you mentioned that this ep showed how much Nikita had "grown" as a character by telling the truth, and even the growth we've seen in Birkhoff. That's a lovely insight and something that only a true Nikita fan could take note of. I know there's been some buzz about this controversial Michael-has-a-son storyline, but I'm trusting the talented NIkita writers and your reviews reflect just how much meat and substance they put into the storylines for this season. Thank you!!

October 29 2011 at 12:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Sky

I've liked every episode in Season 2 so far, but I have to admit this episode is the first I really loved. Every main character on the show was somehow "tested" in this episode: emotionally-charged Nikita who longs for a semblance of a family, Michael who received some unexpected news, Birkhoff who had to get physical with the enemy, and last but not the least everyone else VS. the mind games Percy continues to play to his advantage.

This ep showed Nikita and Michael handling their personal and relationship issues as adults, which I attribute to the writers' mature and non-cliched approach to an obstacle between lovers. By exploring Nikita's past we were also able to catch a glimpse at her inner psyche, what makes her tick, what makes her who she is, which is something that I think many fans have been waiting for since Season 1.

Everyone in the cast absolutely delivered in this episode, and the writers truly gave us something of substance to dwell on. This happens EVERY week, and each time I hope it continues to get better. Season 1 was awesome even up to the climax, and i have no doubt that, even though we have a different theme for this season, each episode will lead up to a nail-biting, mind-boggling, heart-wrenching, fast-paced story that I've come to expect from this show. Needless to say I really love this show, I hope more people watch it, and this episode just proves that there's much more to expect from Nikita and that we won't be disappointed!

October 29 2011 at 12:13 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
chiyuu

Percy truly is an evil mastermind. He can manipulate everyone even from prison!
I hope Amanda realizes she's being played though. I expect at least that from her.
Maggie was amazing as usual. Great that we are finally getting into her backstory.
And words cant describe how happy i am that alex and nikita's relationship is healing.
Another smart episode that lives up to a great spy show. And great recap laura! I read them every week! :)

October 29 2011 at 11:48 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
ivy

I loved this episode, but when don't I? Lol. We got to see a little bit of Nikita's backstory even if most of it was a lie. Maggie Q killed it in this episode. The look in her eyes and the pain you felt both when she found out Richard was a haux and when she told Michael the truth about Max was genious. Shane West also killed me with his face expression at the end of the episode. When Michael let go of Nikita's hand I wanted to cry, but I understand Michael. He's probably all confused; that is a lot to take in.
I hate Percy sooo much. How can he manipulate everyone from his box? Lol the man's got some skills. Sometimes I feel Percy controls Amanda more than she controls him. I love that Alex is slowly coming back to her senses. I also love that Michael has always been protecting Nikita from the very beginning, even when there was nothing between them. And well, Birkhoff never fails to be awesome, I love him more every episode.
All in all, great episode. Lots of action and emotions. Can't wait for next week. And Laura, great review as always :)

October 29 2011 at 10:03 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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