In Case You Were Sitting in Your Office/School Library/Couch/Bed and Wondering What to Watch Tonight
Nikita is undoubtably an action show, but when it delves into the emotional pasts and motivations of it characters it's truly stellar, which probably explains why "Wrath" is still among my favorite episodes. Tonight's episode - "Innocence" - is another example of the emotional drama that this show does so very well.
"Innocence" features another rogue Division agent named Wade. A former trainer, this unhinged man killed one of his recruits who failed on his first kill mission. After that, Percy decided to send him out into the field. He resurfaces tonight when Ryan and Division get wind that he's stolen a bomb. A search of his house reveals a young girl named Liza that he's kept captive and trained for several years.
It's always jarring to see young children like Liza as dangerous, whether in Nikita or any other television show or film. Watching children kill is such a tragic thing because it's so removed from the idea of childhood innocence that we'd like to see them have. Guest star Annalise Basso is wonderful as a cold and conflicted Liza who is taken back to Division for debriefing. Through her, Nikita, Michael, Ryan and the others hope to find Wade. But it's really the girl they should be concerned about.
Nikita, of course, sees herself in the young assassin, but it's really Alex that is a parallel here. She too was taken from her parents at a young age and subjected to terrible things before being trained to kill. And it's Alex that heads to Liza's parents' house to try and protect them and gain intel on their daughter that might help turn Liza onto their side.
The action heats up when Liza escapes Division with Wade's help and heads out to complete her first kill mission. Then it's up to Nikita and her team to figure out a way to stop Liza without allowing her to become a target. Can Nikita save this little girl before she turns into a full-fledged killer? The climax of the episode will leave you feeling emotional.
It's nice to see that Nikita hasn't lost its touch as it heads into a revamped third season. This is a grossly underrated show with solid performances and interesting storylines and it doesn't get the recognition it deserves. Don't miss an all new episode tonight at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT on The CW.
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It was almost cruel to gift us with the perfect engagement for Mikita (“You had me at ‘Give me the damn glock!’”), and then make us wait a whole entire week to see the aftermath. Cruel, I tell you!
Well, lucky for me (but not for you! Well, maybe for you too…) I didn’t have to wait a week. I got to screen Season 3 Episode 2, “Innocence,” early, and I can promise you that it does not disappoint. The new Division is going strong, Michael (Shane West) and Nikita (Maggie Q) are even stronger, and Birkhoff is at his awesomest, nerdiest self.
In order to prepare you for tonight’s top-of-its-game Nikita, I have got some extra-juicy spoilers for you! And for all you spoiler-phobic fans, don’t worry: I’m not giving anything major away. I wouldn’t be that mean…
-At the beginning of the episode, Nikita makes her position on having children quite clear. But after certain events transpire over the course of the hour, she might waver on her previous stance…
-Just what is Michael’s last name, anyway?
-While we, as fans, were over the moon about Mikita’s engagement, Birkhoff is decidedly less so. Now, before you go all DOWN WITH BIRKHOFF, he has his reasons. Specifically, that one of the guys in the running for best man (a.k.a. Birkhoff) was left out of the loop of the engagement! The way he found out about the proposal is so classically Nikita that it made me giggle, but Birkhoff was not feeling the love.
-Taking down the Dirty 30 of the week tonight may be more than Nikita & Co. bargained for, seeing as how this guy is Michael’s predecessor, albeit a much more ruthless version. The reason Michael replaced him as the recruit trainer? This guy beat a recruit to death, with his bare hands. And let me tell you, he hasn’t been letting his recruit training skills get rusty.
-As I mentioned above, Birkhoff is at his awesomest, nerdiest self tonight. Just wait until you hear his robot voice. I can’t give justice to it here and I won’t even try. It’s that amazing.
-We always knew Michael and Nikita have had a thing for each other from their days back in Percy’s Division, but tonight you’ll see just how far back they go. There was a Mikita before we even had hope for a Mikita.
-Alex's (Lyndsy Fonseca) storyline, especially the last scene, is a tearjerker. And while it’s not impossible to get me crying, it certainly takes something big. We haven’t really delved into the aftermath of Alexandra Udinov’s public return that much. And if you think about it, her story is an amazing one (at least to the public): little girl gets kidnapped and finds her way back to her family years later. While you see so many stories on the news about children getting kidnapped, you don’t exactly hear as many stories about them getting home safely. Alex has been so desensitized to her situation in light of taking down Percy’s Division that only now is she really getting to focus on dealing with her past. And that rears its head during tonight’s mission. Will she finally get some closure?
-And of course, the swelling Florence + the Machine’s "Never Let Me Go", also heard in the greatest Damon/Elena scene to date in The Vampire Diaries,[I think I just swallowed some vomit] gives the emotional ending an extra punch or two. Like I said, it’s a tearjerker. Prepare yourselves with tissues, my friends.
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1. A renewed emphasis on characters' personal lives. Nikita has been building up the non-spy aspects of the show since the end of season one, and in season three, relationships are now a pretty big part of the picture. In the premiere, Michael (Shane West) proposed to Nikita (Maggie Q) - and tonight another character will ask Nikita about her feelings toward having kids.
Then there's the budding relationship between Alex (Lyndsy Fonseca) and Sean (Dillon Casey), plus Birkhoff's (Aaron Stanford) fling with fellow techie Sonya (Lyndie Greenwood). Season two didn't always fare well when it tried to mix the personal and the professional (remember Michael's surprise son?), so will season three find a better balance between the two?
2. The expanding cast. Recurring faces Sean, Ryan Fletcher (Noah Bean), and Owen Elliot (Devon Sawa) are all regulars this season, plus Amanda (Melinda Clarke) returns in the fourth episode. That makes for eight main cast members, although series creator Craig Silverstein says that they won't all appear in every episode of season three. Even with that in mind, how will the show service all the characters, and what will their places be long-term? Or will we lose some of them as the season goes on, as we did with the likes of Percy (Xander Berkeley), Madeline (Alberta Watson) and Carla (Erica Gimpel) in season two?
A particular character to watch is Ryan, who's gone from CIA desk jockey to becoming the boss at the new-look Division. Plus, he now provides the show's opening narration. That's one heck of a promotion - provided that it doesn't mean all he does is give orders and provide exposition.
3. It's no longer one season-long objective. In the first year, Nikita was all about taking down Division. In the second year, we got the black boxes. Season three sees Nikita and company working on a goal that lends itself to more stand-alone stories: pursuing the 'Dirty Thirty,' thirty Division agents who didn't respond to the order for them to come in from the cold. Tonight's episode involves the hunt for Wade (guest star Chance Kelly), who used to train Division's recruits before Michael.
No doubt, this new arc will allow for some more backstory about what all these rogue folks did for the organization (after lots of flashbacks in season two) - but once they're brought down, and now that Nikita has achieved the series' original premise of defeating Division, where will the series go next? Silverstein and company have shown before that they've got no qualms with taking big leaps forward in their narrative.
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This flawless show continues its third season tonight. If you're complaining that the CW is crap, you're obvious not watching 'Nikita'. Get on that.