I was afraid of episodes like this with Nikita's new standalone format. This wasn't a bad hour per se, in fact it had a lot of wonderful character beats, but it was definitely not indicative of the show's usual brilliance.
I've never been a fan of child actors; more often than not they're irritating and talentless. Thankfully, Annalise Basso did a pretty great job as tortured Liza. She managed to balance the role's physicality and vulnerability in an impressive manner. However, making a kid the star of the hour didn't prove very exciting to watch and greatly diminished the suspense factor that's usually so high on the show.
Putting aside the sad truth that this hour was practically devoid of action and thrills, I enjoyed the dynamic between the gang (as always) and the quieter moments involving Alex and Nikita as they reflected on their own past while dealing with Liza. The final sequence in particular was a masterful example of winning over your audience through the use of a touching song ("Never Let Me Go", which is my favorite of the past year) and a tender moment. Nikki telling Alex she "got the last girl" and allowing her to reunite Liza with her parents so she could mourn her own lost childhood was just gorgeous. Lyndsy Fonseca was outstanding and it really gained a lot of goodwill in an otherwise unmemorable hour.
Bits & Bullets
- Who would have ever thought we'd get to watch Nikki and Alex have a normal day getting a ring re-sized, discussing Nikki as a potential mother, and Michael's last name? This really is a new Nikita.
- The look on Michael's face when Birkhoff referred to him as a "sleeker, broodier model of trainer." Priceless.
- Birkhoff annoying Nikki during the mission over not telling him about her engagement was a fun little touch.
- Love seeing Nikki and Michael being backed by a Division strike team. It never gets old.
- Pretty badass moment as Liza escapes Division (although it was too easy).
- I wish we got more of Nikki and Alex standing up to Ryan over targeting Liza.
- Love the little revelation that Michael knew about Nikita's key-card and protected her from Percy.
Alex: What was that?
Nikita: Some poor girl's mother in law.
- All in all, this was a well-done but ultimately forgettable episode of Nikita.
2.5 out of 5 hidden key-cards.
Previously posted at Nad's Reviews.