Nikita's Amanda is dusting off her torture skills.
On Friday's episode (9/8c, The CW), when Amanda (Melinda Clarke) returns to bust Owen (Devon Sawa) out of a Russian prison, fans will learn more about their shared past. "She very specifically targets Owen. He had a life before Division, but when he came to Division, Amanda got her hands on him," Clarke tells TVGuide.com. "The torture machine that Amanda tried on Birkhoff last year - that was not the first time she's used it. So, Amanda has definitely been an integral part in who Owen is today."
In typical Nikita fashion, these revelations of a character's past will set the stage for events later during the season. "There's such a history to Division, thousands of things that either happened first or will be happening. It's the ultimate chess game this season," Clarke says.
Apparently, part of Amanda's wicked strategy is an intimidating makeover. The former Division head has traded in her seductress garb -- long hair, cocktail dresses and high heels -- for a look that includes a severe, angled bob and clothes reflecting her vicious agenda. "When we came up with the look and the angled hair, one of the producers said, 'It looks like a weapon,'" Clarke says. "Ultimately, that is what we were going for. And she's wearing leather and skin-tight pants and high-heeled boots. It's a completely different wardrobe from what Amanda's ever had."
Dressing for success seems to be working. Well, that and having one of those infamous black boxes that houses every morsel of Division's past missions and operatives. "I started equating it to the ultimate black American Express [card]," Clarke says. "She's using it in every possible way. Essentially it's her tool to help her build up again."
Using the black box to find Owen is just a warm-up for Amanda's ultimate torture victim this season: Nikita (Maggie Q). After all, Amanda has a lot of anger and resentment to lay at Nikita's doorstep. Not only is she responsible for this season's role reversal - Amanda is now rogue while Nikita's gang is running the shiny, new, President-approved Division - but in last year's season finale, Nikita also killed Amanda's twisted kindred spirit, the evil mastermind Percy (Xander Berkeley).
"Amanda created what she considers her family: Division," Clarke explains. "There was a true liking and respect and love in the relationship between Nikita and Amanda. When Nikita ultimately left, of course Amanda felt betrayed. I think Amanda's point of view is, 'No, you're not allowed to do that. I'm still your mother. If you've taken this step to betray me, you will learn what real betrayal is. I need to teach you or punish you.'
"But it's very rational and very logical to Amanda," she adds. "There's nothing weird or crazy about it at all. Ultimately, for her own good, Nikita needs to suffer."
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HBIC Amanda is back and ready to fuck things up for Nikita and the Scooby Gang. Can. Not. Wait.