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'Nikita' Season 2, Episode 10 Recap

by Laura Prudom, posted Dec 3rd 2011 12:00AM
Nikita['Nikita' - 'Guardians']

It's definitely going to be a long month as we wait for 'Nikita' to return from winter hiatus; this week's midseason finale threw a lot of knives up in the air, and I'm very intrigued to see where they land.

I have to admit, I've been anticipating the episode's final twist for a few weeks now, but even though I wasn't surprised by the revelation, it doesn't preclude me from being interested in how the story evolves from here.

If anything, it adds more meat to Alex's story and gives her further motivation in wresting control of Zetrov from the duplicitous Semak, who is definitely long overdue for cancellation.

We've gradually been getting hints as to how deep Semak's deception ran, and this week's episode further reinforced the notion that he was Nikolai's closest friend, which makes his betrayal with Katya even more damaging for Alex. The only question is, was someone on the Division hit squad (presumably not Nikita) in on Semak's plan to keep Alex's mother alive, since someone reported "mother down" when they raided the house?

Percy certainly must've known, which was subtly foreshadowed a few episodes back when he tried to provoke Alex into talking about her mother. I can't imagine how deeply this new discovery will affect our scrappy Russian rebel, since it's yet another person in her life that has kept the truth from her. I'm hoping this leads to further character development, and as Maggie Q pointed out in our recent interview, Alex is heading down a dangerous path in wanting to follow in Nikolai's footsteps. Whether she wants to avenge her father or is somehow swayed over to Semak's side because of her mother, neither man seems to be anyone worth emulating.

Amanda and Percy certainly have Alex positioned to regain control of Zetrov, but what do they hope to achieve through her? Do they want to take the teeth from Gogol and figure that they'll be able to count the powerful company as an ally just because they helped Alex oust Semak? I'm sure such questions will be addressed in due course, since the writers are confidently unspooling these mysteries at a measured pace -- undeniably giving us as many questions as answers, but still managing to avoid the infuriating 'Lost' syndrome where many episodes feel like the show is just treading water without making any real progress.

I was just glad to see the return of the capable, self-sufficient Alex we've come to know and love, instead of the naive girl who has spent the last few episodes being manipulated by everyone around her. Nikolai obviously taught her well (and their outdoor training flashbacks reminded me of the fabulous action film 'Hanna,' which is always a plus in my book), and I loved Alex's use of fur and blood on the tripwire to throw Semak's guards off her scent. Kudos to writer/producer Albert Kim for managing to convey such great character beats, even in scenes with little dialogue.

Nikita made a little emotional progress this week, too, which was reassuring. Though some fans feel threatened by Owen and what he could mean for her relationship with Michael, for now it seems as though he's just a great sounding board. As Maggie said during our interview, he is Nikita's mirror in many ways, and can relate to the journey she's on because he's been there too -- acting as Division's blunt weapon without stopping to question orders until he'd already crossed too many lines to turn back. Right now, Owen is just about the only ally she has to rely on, having "lost" Michael, Alex and Ryan, and come close to losing Birkoff.

Her world and her support system is unraveling, and it's great to see Maggie stretching herself in these scenes, showing how raw and unsteady Nikita is becoming. She's someone who has always been self-reliant, and spent many years trusting only herself, and yet every person she's let into her heart has been taken from her or has walked away, and that's got to be shaking her self-confidence to the core. I can't blame her for being tired and wanting to give it all up, but Owen's pep-talk was both necessary and surprisingly touching, and he seemed like the perfect character to help renew her sense of purpose, since he's been to the dark side too.

At this point, Nikita appears to be too emotionally unstable to even be considering Owen as a viable romantic candidate, and if they did hook up for some reason, it feels like it would be a one-night-stand kind of deal that they'd both end up regretting, since Nikita is clearly still trying to work through her feelings for Michael. I can't deny that the sexual tension between the pair was undeniable this week though, even if Nikita seemed too raw to be looking for anything more than mindless comfort.

It was certainly a telling moment when Owen made her breakfast and asked what Michael does for her; the pair have been so focused on work and evading Division since escaping with the black box that it's clear that some of the "little things" in a relationship have fallen by the wayside. I think Michael and Nikita's break will prove to be a good thing for both parties in the long run -- absence makes the heart grow fonder, after all, and perhaps the distance will allow both of them to better appreciate their quiet moments when they inevitably reconcile.

Michael may have only appeared towards the end of the episode (speeding in on his white horse silver sports car to save the day), but what Shane West and Maggie Q. can convey with just a few loaded looks is phenomenal, and everything they didn't say spoke volumes about how much the couple has obviously been missing each other. (Shallow sidebar: How great did Shane look in that leather duster?)

Though the episode was somewhat lacking narrative momentum -- mostly because of the competing story threads that had us bouncing between Alex, Nikita, Owen, Ari, Amanda and Percy -- it elegantly set all the pieces in place for an epic return in January. We have plenty of juicy questions to ruminate on over the next month, like why the Guardians might be converging and whether Roan's hidden loyalty to Percy will be uncovered by Amanda any time soon. It will be interesting to see how Michael and Owen work together as they track down the Guardians, and I can't wait to see how Katya's story develops, and what it might mean for Alex. Damn you, winter hiatus!

'Nikita' airs Fridays at 8PM ET on The CW. New episodes will return starting Jan. 6th 2012.

What did you think of the twist ending, and how do you think Katya's reappearance will affect Alex? Do you think Nikita and Owen are destined for a hook-up, or will Michael's return rekindle things between them? Share your thoughts below, and check out our interview with Maggie Q here.

Follow Laura on Twitter: @LauinLA

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I'm so disappointed in Guardians! I always thought this show was really authentic, but I LIVE in Basel, Switzerland and even though the building they showed where the chemist was, wasn't actually here, they could AT LEAST get the language of the police correct!!! Basel is a GERMAN speaking city, especially the Polizei and they would have spoken Swiss-German at that, not some lame French. Totally let me down.

December 04 2011 at 3:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Why oh why did the show have Nikita show up on the Russian estate the same time as Ari?? He had a head start. Also Niki must realize that her Gogle following is leading her to Semak (she has to recognize the house). Winter hiatus, get over already!

December 03 2011 at 6:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

'Guardians' left me feeling very flat. I'm beyond tired of the Michael/Nikita mess and this episode only further entrenches my dislike for that storyline. No knock against Maggie Q or Shane West, who always do a great job. But when you see the two lead characters together and the whole thing leaves you feeling 'meh' something's wrong.

And I don't know what that is between Nikita and Owen but it ain't chemistry. More like home ec. With a substitute.

On the up side, Alex's storyline is finally getting some lift under its wings. I've been waiting for Alex's mother to show up since the start of S2 so that was hardly a shocking twist for me. But finding out Roan was Percy's mole? Now that's intriguing. Too bad it wasn't hinted at in lead up episodes.

I think there's little doubt that it was Roan who saved Katya during 'Pale Fire'. Percy quarterbacked the op; in a flashback last season you hear him order a check in while Nikita is waiting to give Alex to the chauffeur. The voice confirming "mother down" sounds like it could be Roan. (Yes, I checked. I have no life).

Percy has no intention of leaving Alex in charge of Zetrov once she gets her hands on it. I'm sure she's just there to keep the seat warm for him. Or he could leave her as a figurehead and control her by threatening her mother. The whole point for Percy, I'm betting, is getting his hands on Zetrov.

And what a prize Zetrov is. Remember Amanda's description at the start of the season? Zetrov controls most of the oil and natural gas leases in Russia, has ties to the Kremlin, "practically owns" Bratva, and has the bulk of media, finance, shipping in the country. Not only is there a lot of money but the power is considerable.

Control of the media means only the news Zetrov likes will get out, which makes it easier to carry out black ops. And as Sean pointed out, with their shipping firms and airlines they'll have border officials in their pockets. That'd make it hard to sneak into the country to launch an attack.

I'd be surprised if Zetrov didn't also manufacture pharmaceuticals (legit and otherwise) and weapons. That'd give them some nice toys from their R & D in those fields that Percy could do unspeakable things with.

Take control of Zetrov and Percy would have a very large, centrally positioned base to carry out operations around the world. He would have huge resources to take down- or over - Division and Oversight. His black boxes would cease to matter. Or at least, the damage they'd do to the US would affect him far less from his corporate office in Russia.

All he needs is a way out of his little petri dish of evil. And now we know who can help him with that.

December 03 2011 at 1:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I would like to thank the show runners for bringing in another 24 alum with Sarah Clarke aka Nina Myers. You know some conniving stuff is about to go down whenever she is in a role. And she does it to perfection. So it will be interesting to see what they allow her to do as a character. I hope she gives Amanda a run for her money for evilest person on the show.

The rest was great, could have done without the oops I fell and smacked my head (despite being a super assassin) bit. But it wasn't that bad. Loved the play between Nikita and Owen. It will be nice to add some more tension between the team. Good Episode.

It really amazes me that they can have this show on the network at the same time with shows like Hart of Dixie and the 90210's. I would like them to continue in the action genre and see what else they can come up with.

December 03 2011 at 12:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Might be the the only person supporting the Owen and Nikita ship!! Love LOVE their scenes together. How he allows her to say what she wants to say. and that look she sends him at the him, "Cause it's the right thing to do..."

Sexual Tension was hitting the rooffffffffff!!

And I missed Birkhoff!! My nerdy boy!! :(

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

Nikita you did so well in season 2 and your acting so appreciable.

December 03 2011 at 1:34 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

Per usual, your review hit on every point. It's awesome to read your recaps. I imagine the agent that reported "mother down" is Roan since he seems to be Percy's main man.

Also, Katya has to know that Semak planned to kill Nikolai. At first, I thought Semak's indignant response to Ari's suggestion to take care of the OTHER loose end was about Alex but it is actually about Katya (someone seems to have affectionate for). This also plays into Percy's foreshadow /godding Alex about why type of person her mother truly is.

Found the Owen/Nikita scenes to be quite refreshing. I've actually thought Ryan and Nikita was more of romantic threat to Mikita. Shrug... I'm just excited for Nikita and Alex to not only be in the same scene but finally team up! It took just half of the season to get here!

BTW, your interview w/ Maggie was great. Other interviews seemed more the same, yours brought up new tidbits. Thanks!

December 03 2011 at 1:11 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Changstein's comment

One of the few/only laughs on this episode:
Owen: I'm not working with Gogol. I'm using them.
Nikita: Oh, Where have I heard that before? (with a you got to be kidding expression)

December 03 2011 at 1:21 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Can't wait for more episodes. I love the return of Michael; I think he should screw his head on straight already.

December 03 2011 at 12:53 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Needless to say, I once again agree with all you just said, except for the "sexual chemistry" between Nikita and Owen. To me it seemed more like brother/sister chemistry. I have to admit I enjoyed Owen sort of allowing Nikita to express what she has been holding up for some time now. I completely see where she's coming from. She wants to stop running and live a normal life. She's scared of losing those she loves and being left alone again. I also liked Alex's story, though I was not surprised her mom was alive. I suspected as much since S1 when she was never shown in Alex's home video and Percy kind of confirmed it when he brought her up in a conversation with Alex. I am interested to hear her explanation as of why she is alive and Alex almost got killed. This was definetely not one of my favorite episodes, but it left many questions that I am excited to learn the answers to. I am looking forward to Owen and Michael working together, to see where Alex is heading, to see Nikita and Alex work together, to see how Percy regains his power, and to finally see Mikita have a long overdue talk about their relationship. The second half of S2 looks much more exciting than it has already been during this first half. These 4 weeks are going to be very long!

December 03 2011 at 12:28 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I have to say, i too was not surprised by Alex's mom's appearance. The show did a good job of foreshadowing it and fans have long since speculated that she was still alive and kicking.

Love Nikita and Owen scenes! They have such an awesome brother-sister dynamic so I'm not worried at all that Owen will displace Michael.

The only little gripe i have is that recently, Nikita seems to need Michael to save her a lot. After all, they are more than capable of being an equally powerful couple and the show needs to do more to show that imo. Not doing it kinda undermines the whole girl power thing she has going on and while i love seeing Michael play the knight in shining armour, I need to see her being all badass again.

Overall this episode did a really good job of opening up a world of possibilities and i'm really really excited to see the next 3 episodes that form the arc that ties everything together. Damn you winter hiatus!

December 03 2011 at 12:26 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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