I’ve said it before and I will say it again: Nikita is easily the best spy show on television right now. This season has been amazing; the action, the suspense, and the danger have reached an all time high. The characters have been pushed to their limits, and this season has gotten quite dark. Sure, you might think Nikita is just a fun show about covert spies, but then it’s more serious—and more human—than other shows out there right now. If you’re not watching Nikita this season, you should be.
The episode this week, “With Fire,” showed many of the characters in a new light: Nikita as the hardened interrogator, Michael as the loving fiancé (okay maybe not too much of a stretch,) Sean as the caged in recruit, and Owen as a friend. In this episode, Division captures Ari Tasarov, who has inside information about terrorism attacks on American soil that Amanda is behind. Ari, however, asks too much of Nikita—and Division—and must resort to other methods of persuasion.
“With Fire” is rather dark, although no more than some other episodes this season, and I love how suspenseful this season has gotten. The characters have come a long way since their introductions. Sean and Owen, especially, have become more integral to the Division team. Since Michael’s injury where he lost his hand, Owen goes into the field with Nikita, and Alex, when Michael would have gone. This episode also brought up his running plot this season that he’s looking for Amanda so that she can remind him of the memories she stole when he became a recruit for Division. He has no memory of who he used to be other than a supposed name and an alleged crime.
I also love the friendship the writers are building between Owen and Alex, but that is causing some tension for Sean, who is now a member of Division after last week’s episode. Sean wasn’t around for the first half of this season because there was a lot of relationship drama going on between him and Alex due to the Division takeover, but now they are forced to eat, sleep, work and live in the same building. Especially because his decision to become a part of Division was so hasty, there are sure to be repercussions, both for Sean and his relationship with Alex. This will prove to be interesting down the line. I am particularly interested to see how Sean copes with his “death” and the loss of his life as a Navy Seal.
This episode also marked significant progress in Michael’s healing process. He and Nikita have gotten through Michael’s injury together and they’re starting to move on with their life together. Although the episode also reminded the viewer that it won’t be an easy road, but then how could we ever have expected the romance between to covert spies who don’t exist on paper to have it easy?
Next week’s episode is titled “Reunion,” which might not be the reunion we all expect it to be. Although Nikita comes face to face with Amanda as they both hunt for Ari’s son, there is another player in the game and he seems to be playing on his own side against both Amanda and Nikita. It’s about time Nikita sees Amanda again, but I wonder if their last close encounter will have any impact on this meeting. From the promo it also seems like Nikita might have to choose between teaming up with Amanda and death. I hope she can pull of doing neither. I’m also curious about this other person; he doesn’t look familiar so maybe it’s one of the Dirty Thirty, former agents that Division is currently searching for amidst their missions.
What I love about this season is the addition of a moral dilemma. Through the first two seasons, Nikita was trying to shut down Division because it was what she believed was the right thing to do. She had the clear conscious of a “good guy.” But everything that has happened this season, between taking over Division and dealing with the United States government, has blurred the line between Nikita and Amanda—who has come to represent the ultimate evil.
Plus, you don’t see Nikita “winning” all the time. She and her team have lost a lot this season. Alex relapsed and began taking drugs again; Owen came very close to finding his memories and identity from before Division, just to have them taken from him; Sean lost the life he had known to become a full member of Division; Michael lost his hand; and of course Nikita came very close to losing Michael. All of these personal tragedies have raised the stakes in this season. The viewer no longer can go on thinking these are the good guys and the good guys don’t lose. While Nikita and most (if not all) of her team will probably make it through their war with Amanda, they will not emerge from the wreckage as the same people they were and that will make for great television.
Molly Freeman – @MollyRockIt