Tag Archives: Nikita Review Recap

Nikita “Canceled” Live Blog/Review (4×06)

27 Dec

Screen shot 2013-12-27 at 6.30.42 PMAll times central. I’m excited for this.

8:01-How fitting that the final episode of the series opens with a Nikita-Amanda origin scene.

8:03-…which is immediately followed by Alex and Nikita teaming up for a badass take down of Jones; man, am I glad we get to see this dynamic again.

8:04-To be honest, I’m not all too surprised they eliminated Jones this early; it’s the safe way out, and it’s understandable that the show would want to focus on Nikita and Amanda’s relationship. Still, I do think the Jones-Nikita dynamic would’ve been interesting to explore a bit more; Jones is emotionally distant, essentially a robot who isn’t compromised by personal connections. He’s even more callous than, say, Roan, and if this was a longer season, I know we would’ve seen more.

8:07-“Now, she could destroy…the world.” Dun dun dun.

8:10-So, here we see the resurgence of former relationships; Michael’s always been the one wary of Nikita’s power, and it’s now his job to stop her. Amanda’s always wanted to harness Nikita’s power, and now she’s being encompassed by both her former protege and her current associations.

8:14-The tennis ball-smoke grenade sequence was pretty cool.

8:16-We also got a nice Nikita-Alex scene earlier. Nikita acknowledges the impact Alex has had on her–and vice versa–but they don’t get overly sentimental or emotional; they’re, first and foremost, two women on a job.

8:22-“Amanda wants you to do her dirty work for her.” We’re back to the fundamental aspect of their relationship, coming full circle from Division times.

8:26-One last desperation call by Michael. Both people are still clinging onto some sliver of hope, reaching out for anything from the person they once knew. That’s really the mark of the entire series; there are some truly desperate people here fighting to stay alive.

8:29-“What do you care? There’s no profit in it for you!”

8:30-“It’s about your heart.” Groan.

8:31-True, Nikita’s mind is the clearest it’s ever been, but it’s simultaneously the most muddled. She has a clear purpose, but that purpose has brought her to the precipice of her emotional stability. She’s now willing to murder to get what she wants, and Fonseca does great work with her reaction to Nikita shoving the poison down the guy’s throat.

8:35-It hurts to see Nikita and Alex fighting each other. It’s also awesome.

8:40-Okay, so Amanda being all powerful like this is a bit too easy, but I’ll forgive this plot point for now.

8:47-Well, the tables have turned now, haven’t they? I feel duped, but pleasantly so. Deception>brute force, indeed.

8:52-“Welcome back to the basement, Helen.” Also, a nice callback to the early title cards and Nikita’s “The last word they’ll breathe before the end will be my name.” It’s fitting for Amanda to end up like this, powerless in a basement; it’s much more damning than death, and while I do feel a little cheated by the whole plan, it does illustrate Nikita’s growth as a person; Amanda’s always hated Nikita because of their similar situations, but what sets them apart is Nikita’s ability to change. Also, good work, show, for making me believe that she’d gone off the deep end.

8:54-Jesus, a commercial break now?

9:00-Well, it’s certainly a satisfying end; I like the shot of Ryan here, the person who both helped motivate her in the end and helped keep her tethered to reality. I’ll miss you, Nikita. Final thoughts to come in a few minutes.

GRADE: A-

SEASON GRADE: B+

SERIES GRADE: A-

FINAL THOUGHTS: Well, this is it. The last four years have been absolutely amazing, and the final episode wraps everything up very nicely. First of all, the show does great work playing with the viewers’ notions of who exactly Nikita is now; it’s entirely believable that Ryan’s death would motivate her to kill, but it’s also just as believable that the family she’s known for years–really known–would pull her back. I’ll admit to feeling a bit cheated at the end, but there’s some great poetry at play here; Nikita’s no longer the snarling, wild animal she was back in that flashback. She’s grown as a woman, a lover, and a sister, and although I do not like some of the decisions she’s made, it’s nice to see her win without losing hold of who she is; she’s not a hero, but she doesn’t have to be one. She still mentions that she wanted to kill Amanda, and you know what? I would’ve been totally fine with it; Amanda deserves it. However, kudos to the writers for sticking to who Nikita was at the beginning of the series and having her be more successful, both physically and mentally, than Amanda is.

So, although I lament the lack of Sonya (and a Percy cameo! Argh!), I do believe this is a thoroughly satisfying series finale; even Sam/Owen and Alex’s relationship doesn’t evolve into anything more than a flirty, grudging friendship, and that’s how it should remain.

Michael and Nikita, meanwhile, are off on on a beach, but Nikita realizes she can’t let go of her past. It’s a nice coda to this series’ themes, and at heart, Nikita’s both the same and different person. She’s been able to turn off the dark side of her, but she’s also down for some more ass-kicking.

Goodbye, Nikita. You were always better than your ratings suggested. A final round of applause for one of the most underrated, exciting, and endearing action series ever created. I salute Craig Silverstein, Maggie Q, and all the rest. Thank you, and thank you to all the readers; I’ll miss covering this show.

Photo credit: The CW, Nikita

Nikita “Bubble” Live Blog/Review (4×05)

20 Dec

Bubble

All times central.

8:01-Well, Maggie Q. looks as good as ever.

8:04-So, how fitting that Nikita would both feel like a military town is entrapping and that it seems representative of her future. The government has always cloaked these characters in a false sense of security; even Division, especially Division, seemed to be both liberating and corrupt with power. Of course, this is all yet again another facade, another fleeting moment of happiness.

8:06-Oh, okay, so now we’re going to rescue Sam/Owen.

8:09-I like how resourceful and deductive Ryan still is amidst his descent into conspiracy-board-craziness; he works better as a team member for me than an agency head.

8:13-Please tie this into Nikita’s storyline; we’re way too close to the end to be spending time on Sam/Owen, who is keeping Alex apart from the rest of the cast. Like I said last week, Nikita-Alex is the fundamental relationship behind the show, and we need to return to that dynamic.

8:16-“I need a hero. I need you.” Getting a little cliche there, bud.

8:20-Okay, Alex, that was pretty badass.

8:24-I do think Nikita should face some consequences, though; it’s a little much to believe that the government and the public would suddenly see Nikita for who she really is based on her telling her side of the story.

8:25-Nikita’s main fear seems to be venturing out of her comfort zone, her so-called “bubble” enveloping her in a protective barrier that allows her to hide her identity from others. At its simplest idea, Nikita’s an extremely self-conscious person who is afraid of trust. She wants to give herself over, but she’s so used to looking over her shoulder that she can’t.

8:28-Nice cutaway there: Nikita talking about Amanda to Amanda with a sharp object. Melinda Clarke can be very chilling.

8:32-Here’s a nice moment between Alex and Nikita. Some of Michael’s reassuring “you’re amazing” comments feel a bit heavy-handed and contrived, but man, do I feel the emotional connection between Alex and Nikita here.

8:34-And here we have our Alex-Sam/Owen kiss.

8:35-Ryan, when you think about it, is the moral center of the show; yet, the show here illustrates the sad fact of his reliance on respect and order. He may be a morally sound person, but that kind of attitude may not get him anywhere in the Nikita world. So, he walks right into a trap of his own making.

8:38-An approval poll? Okay, I feel an undercurrent of dread here; something’s going to happen soon.

8:40-Yeah, Sam/Owen has no right to expect the world from Alex. I’m glad she doesn’t pursue more here; she’s right in saying that she needs to really find out who he is.

8:47-Very nice action sequence there, culminating in Ryan jumping to his eventual death; it’s all the more heartbreaking knowing he’s actually trying to die.

8:49-Nikita breaking down outside the glass is very well-acted by Maggie Q; although I wouldn’t consider Ryan a main character, he definitely is one of the ones you can sympathize with. In addition, it’s a nice motivation for Nikita, too.

8:56-Birkhoff just kicked a TV.

8:57-“Ryan was after the truth.” That’s why his death is so affecting; he’s the only one here who just wants everything to be right in the world, no matter the consequences on himself.

8:58-“I can’t win like this.” Here’s a fundamental aspect behind Nikita: she may not feel like she deserves that Medal of Honor, the accolades and respect bestowed upon her; she always has one more responsibility, one more mission to carry out.

9:00-That final monologue is a bit cheesy, but jeez, I’d be lying if I said it didn’t pump me up for next week. Seeing Alex toss the gun to Nikita is absolutely exhilarating; it’s about DAMN TIME.

GRADE: A-

FINAL THOUGHTS: Well, that was great. The episode does a nice job of conveying a sense of a bubble around these characters; it may protect them for now, but it can pop at any time. Everyone here may have thought it was all finished, but they’re people who, let’s face it, will be running and fighting in the future.

Now, Ryan Fletcher didn’t have a bubble around him. For him, his downfall is brought about by curiosity and an underlying sense of righteousness, and it’s heartbreaking to see how this world rewards those who manipulate and kill more so than they do for the good, honest men like Ryan. His death is truly emotionally affecting, and it’s a perfect segue into next week’s (sure to be) explosive finale.

The actors all do magnificent work here, and although there are things I’m not as fond of–Alex and Sam/Owen is one–Fonseca and Sawa are still great together. It’s nice to see everyone back together at the end, and I am so, so looking forward to the finale. One more left. I’ll miss this show.

Photo credit: The CW, Nikita

 

Nikita “Pay-Off” Live Blog/Review (4×04)

13 Dec

MV5BMTk3MTE2Njg0MV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMDY3NDc2MDE@._V1_SX640_SY720_All times central.

8:05-Yeah Alex, reject Owen/Sam, please. I like the sassiness; you don’t need him.

8:06-The Amanda-Nikita relationship is paving the way for tensions in both teams: The Shop doesn’t want Amanda’s personal connections harming their plans, and Nikita’s team has been pulled to the brink many times before, all due to Nikita’s rash decisions.

8:08-Yeah, that’s not going to work. Nikita’s not someone who can be bought off; in fact, I’d say she craves the thrills of her current life to an extent. She may lament the detrimental effects of her actions on both her and her team, but that doesn’t stop her. A tropical island free from danger may be a temporary escape, but she’s always going to be drawn back into a life as a spy.

8:11-I’m liking all the Percy references; next up, a Xander Berkeley cameo needs to happen.

8:12-It’s Ramon! To be honest with you, I barely remember who he is.

8:14-“He’s an idealist who lost his way.” Sound like someone we know?

8:17-So we have missiles and everything. I don’t know how to feel about this; should we have more of a personal story or a big conspiracy?

8:22-Although it’s a bit out of nowhere, I do like the conversation about Alex and OwenSam’s former lovers. I’m not as invested in OS as I am for most other characters, but there’s no denying that these two crazy kids have a reasonable emotional connection to explore. Again, though, I stress: no romance!

8:25-In fact, with the reintroduction of Ramon, this episode seems to be exploring the concepts of the past, regret, and lost opportunities.

8:28-It’s always nice to see Nikita dispatching some baddies.

8:30-“You’re better at following orders.” Yup, spot on. Still, I do think Michael’s starting to move past that phase; we saw it earlier when he permanently ended his relationship with Nikita; he seems surprised here, though, with the fact that Ramon reads him this well.

8:35-Oh, okay, so OS is up to something.

8:44-This is probably the 5,674th time Sam’s emphasized his name change.

8:45-So, is Ramon’s purpose just to get Michael to reaffirm his love for Nikita? I get the sentiments, but that kind of cheapens the recent progression of his character. Ramon makes good points when he scolds Michael, but Nikita has hurt this relationship just as much as Michael has.

8:46-“Where are you not allowed to go?”

8:48-Well, Amanda’s gone off the deep end. I’m not surprised, considering she’s had to play second fiddle to Jones all this time; she may use others for personal gain, but at the end of the day, it has to be all about her.

8:50-“Did you really think either of us was going to win?” Man, am I glad to see Maggie Q and Melinda Clarke back together. Anyway, this is a fundamental truth behind this dynamic; when two similar people clash, that conflict may be in a perpetual static state. Nikita still tries to reason with her here, but this time, it won’t work.

8:53-That’s a pretty terrible looking CGI explosion.

8:58-“She so desperately wants it to.” Right on again, Jones. Well, I knew I shouldn’t have underestimated Amanda. At the end of the day, she knows Nikita best, and she know how to manipulate her. What makes Jones, on the other hand, so dangerous is the detachment from those around him, something that’s been both helpful and detrimental to Nikita. Still, I feel like Jones and Amanda are a bit too confident, and I feel like Nikita’s a bit too naive here, so much so that this feels too much like a complete reset.

9:00-Well, Mikita is back. I guess I’m not too surprised.

9:01-Preview for next week looks awesome. Thank God, Nikita and Alex are going to be in the same place.

GRADE: B+

FINAL THOUGHTS: The episode explores ideas of responsibility and the prices we pay for our actions, whether it be through our past catching up on us or the desire to escape, to be bought off. Some of the ideas here don’t quite work–Ramon returns, but doesn’t do much–but the episode ultimately ends nicely. It’s an exciting final 15 minutes that sees the return of Nikita-Amanda, and I’m so glad to see us focusing on the personal relationships now rather than a global conspiracy. As much as I like Alex, she needs to return soon–it looks like she will–because we’re at the final endgame. Only 2 left. I’m excited.

-The Birkhoff/Peller reunion is well handled, as well as the President rescue.

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

Nikita “Wanted” Live Blog/Review (4×01)

22 Nov

WantedHere we go! It’s the final season of Nikita, and I’m excited to cover these final six episodes for you guys. This is a very under the radar, surprisingly fantastic show that, while I’ll be sad to see leave us, should go out with a bang. Check back in at 9/8 Central. All times for this live blog are central.

8:03-So this is a pretty creepy opening. It’s a nice reflection of what Nikita’s deepest fears are and what keeps her away from her friends.

8:06-I must say, this is an incredibly well-paced opening five minutes. It’s great seeing all the characters again, and one of the virtues of a short season is absolutely no filler at all. The show sets the context for all their situations and even provides a pretty cool action scene; we should be in for a ride.

8:15-Hey, it’s Birkoff and Ryan! I really like Birkoff’s “She had five allies and she left” line. As much as they love Nikita, it’s understandable that they’d harbor a bit of resentment over her leaving them. Nikita’s always been a solitary presence that grows to become attached to those she needs to survive, and she’d much rather sacrifice herself than allow those she cares about to perish.

8:21-Melinda Clarke’s doing some fantastic work with this character; at first, it seemed as if she would pale in comparison to Percy, but she’s really come into her own and transcended the cliche her character could easily fall into.

8:28-Nice to see the team working together again, as well as another one of Nikita’s “nerd”s.

8:31-“I’m on a rooftop, you idiot. What do you think I want?”

8:33-“Turn off the spinning wheels of decapitation.”

8:35-This Birkoff-Nikita conversation is very telling; it really conveys how attached these people are and how dependent they are on each other. It’s an inherently beneficial, yet dangerous, situation, but ultimately, it’s necessary. Nikita trapped in front of a fan is a pretty nice metaphor for the situation; she’s alone, but only her friends can help her avoid death.

8:37-Ugh, Aimee Teegarden deserves better than that show.

8:39-I enjoyed Birkoff’s line about Nikita deciding to shoot her way out of the building.

8:41-Pretty cool action scene, yet again. Although I feel like Alex was saddled with some meandering storylines earlier, I’m glad she’s becoming more integrated with Nikita’s storyline again.

8:44-There’s some great acting from Q and West here; the strained, yet loving, looks in their faces are expertly played by both, and I’m looking forward to see where this goes next.

8:51-Now Q does some great work with her looks of regret during this car scene. In fact, those thoughts running through her mind distracts her from the guy sneaking the gun out and leads to her getting shot. She barely gets out here; she may not be so lucky next time.

8:55-It’s Owen! No, Sam!

8:58-And now an explosion. How much better can this get?

GRADE: A-

FINAL THOUGHTS: What a fantastic premiere. If the rest of the series is this good, I’ll be ecstatic. This episode does a nice job of setting the scene and throwing us into the fray, moving the pieces at the speed of light while still staying true to the characters. We get some perfect action sequences and Alex’s storyline is surprisingly good; it nicely complements the awesomeness going on in the forefront. We’re definitely in for a ride.

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

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