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Nikita “Set-Up” Live Blog/Review (4×03)

6 Dec

Set-UpAll times central.

8:03-Maggie Q. doing pull ups=nice. She must’ve learned from Stephen Amell.

8:07-So here’s an interesting set-up (ha) for the episode: we’ve got someone who others thought they knew in Birkhoff, someone who thinks he knows who he is in Sam, and someone who’s become who people thought she was (but at the same time completely defied expectations) in Alex. Birkhoff’s placing the team in a metaphorical prison while they’re trying to rescue Alex from a literal prison. Plus, you’ve got doubles everywhere; it’s a nice theme of duality we have going here, anchored by the titular character and her struggles.

8:12-I really like Ryan’s conspiracy board; it showcases his character’s devotion to the task and integrates him into the storyline. He isn’t just an authority figure with a meandering storyline anymore.

8:14-Sorry, Nikita, I would’ve thought you learned by now: you can’t exactly trust anyone around you; in fact, can you even trust yourself?

8:17-“I keep self-sabotaging because I’ve never had happiness in my life.” The problem is that when she self-sabotages, she inevitably hurts those around her; I want happiness for her, but she can’t afford to continue on like this as long as she’s in the spy game.

8:20-So it’s a father storyline, hmm? I do like, though, that it isn’t just a simple “he’s compromised” arc or a repetition of Alex’s season 3 story; we’ll see where it goes from here.

8:21-“You changed your name from Lionel to Seymour?”

8:23-So damn excited for the Arrow midseason finale.

8:27-Oh, heavy metal music torture. “Turn up the music on your way out.”

8:30-Alex’s definitely the one who’s grown the most throughout the series. When she says she’s a survivor, it’s 100% true, and Lyndsy Fonseca does a great work conveying both the anger and the determination of her character. Alex hasn’t been consistently compelling, but we’ve come a long way from that young woman in Division.

8:37-Amanda can’t really think everything’s fine here, right? She’s too smart for that.

8:40-“Kind of like an impulse.” “Sorta like when Nikita left you.” Nope, not really. Nikita’s decision was premeditated under the guise of an impulse.

8:48-Alex with some badass moves here.

8:49-Wow, that’s stupid. So Teller just blurts out something that will give away his son; reasonable, eh?

8:55-Please don’t be teasing a romance here; two very similar people forging a grudging and mutual respect is much more interesting than those two starting a romance. Sam/Owen’s a fun presence, but right now, I’m not all that interested in his storyline and I wish they’d get going on that; it’s obvious he’ll be a factor in the remaining episodes, so I’d like to see some more sooner than later.

8:56-We’re starting to see Amanda, slowly but surely, losing a grip on her plan (I want some more clarity on this, by the way, especially since we’re running out of time); we knew it was going to happen sometime, given she’s the kind of person who, while incredibly cunning and cold, is too self-centered for her own good. Yet another Nikita-Amanda parallel.

8:58-“You never cease to amaze me, nerd.” This is a well-acted and very sweet scene.

9:00-“I’m my own boss now.” Well, one thing’s for sure: Melinda Clarke does evil like no other.

GRADE: B+

FINAL THOUGHTS: Well, we’re barreling toward the end of the series, and man, will I miss it. I wasn’t happy right off the bat with Birkhoff’s reveal last week, but I think Aaron Stanford and Judd Nelson do a fantastic job with the emotion, the tension, and the ultimate heartbreak, and I’m happy with the way it’s turned out; it’s a personal story in a final season of personal stories. As for Nikita, we’re starting to get less of her “whiny” side and more of her determination, and it’s great to see everyone else breaking out from their current states; Lyndsy Fonseca is fantastic in this episode, and her dynamic with Crawford–someone who can hold her own with Alex–is compelling. Crawford knows there’s something more to Alexandra Udinov, but she can’t even begin to imagine the depth of her character; it’s really emblematic of the Nikita world’s view of the characters we’ve come to know over these four seasons.

Three more.

Credit to The CW and Nikita for all pictures. I own nothing.

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