Nikita: The Life We've Chosen

"They believe I'm responsible for a massacre... or two."

This season is on fire.

I've always felt like the real relationship at the heart of Nikita was the complicated dynamic between Nikita and Alex. Yes Michael and Nikki might be the obvious couple at the center of it all, but the aforementioned duo have a profound friendship that's endured countless trials over the past three seasons.

And that's what makes this episode's ending so impactful; Nikita and Alex standing on opposites ends of a room as Ryan walks in, commends them both and tells them they "make a great team." But do they really? Because thanks to the sinister seeds Amanda planted within Alex's head, there's a great big divide brewing between the warrior women and they obviously know it. The look between Nikita and her protege was immensely powerful, and proved to be an especially ominous note to end things on.

Amanda's always been exceptionally skilled at psychological warfare, and while I would have liked to her hold Alex captive for a longer period, it's obvious they were going for the aftermath of the kidnapping. The princess' mental state was obviously compromised after she lost Larissa (the medic) because of "Nikita's mission". Of course to make matters worse, Nikita couldn't save Ari either! I'm going to miss that creep; he actually became quite likeable over the last few weeks and his death scene was undoubtedly cool - bashing Amanda with the black box only to get shot in the back as he fells into Nikita's arms.

Bits & Bullets

- I seriously wanted to punch Amanda when she started choking poor Alex.

- The look on Amanda's face when Alex revealed Ari turned himself in (instead of being captured) was just priceless.

- Hilarious move by Team Nikki in transporting Ari in the coffin. Even Nikki's fake grief was amusing.

- Owen confronting Sean about "latching" onto unavailable women was a long time coming. Where will their dynamic go next?

- Ryan really is Percy 2.0 with the whole kill-chip in Ari's head huh?

- Loved Alex's badass attempt at escaping - up against an army.

- Ari was delightful constantly taking jabs at Owen's intelligence.

- Loved Alex referencing the dream (running Zetrov) she had in season one's "Echoes".

- Great little moment with the team fighting back and Ari saving Owen's life.

- I love Owen's loyalty to Nikita as he dutifully handed over the kill-chip trigger.

- Although Larissa's ordeal really got to me, I was sure she was a plant by Amanda. We're obviously still missing something with Alex creepily staring at that surgery (!) chair. Did Amanda do something else to her?

- Nikita keeps killing Amanda's number one henchman. Who will Mandy hire next?

- Loved Ari reiterating "It's the life we've chosen" with his final breath. Truer words have never been spoken.

Nikki Notables

Ari: I'm assuming it's not even a consideration that you'll be signing my death warrant.
Michael: You should have picked your girlfriend better.

Nikita: Screw Amanda.

Amanda: I'd offer you some tea but I don't think these people can boil water.
Alex: Still keeping high-class company I see.

Alex: So what's the plan? Torture, videotaped and sent to Nikita?
Amanda: Perhaps later. But for now let's keep it casual.

Amanda: Don't gloat Alex. It wasn't your victory, it was Nikita's as they all are. You're just a background player.

Ari: Besides if you die, Amanda wins. And to quote your eloquence: Screw Amanda.

- Brimming with tension, this was yet another outstanding hour of Nikita.

4 out of 5 screwed Amandas.

Previously posted on Nad's Reviews.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

I was quite disappointed by the episode in fact I was quite bored.

The kidnapping was over far too quick. It was just a plot device to stir shit up between Alex and Nikita - very forced like the whole bonding between Alex and the nurse. The scene between Alex and Sean in the end made me cringe.

Amanda has become quite a boring villain too. I think the writers don`t know how to use her in a great way. If they knew they would have made the captive more intense and haunting. Instead it was in the end all about the Nikita/Alex relationship and not really about the Amanda/Division fight.

I keep coming back to it but if Nikita had less episodes it would really serve the tension and the story. The show needs more focus sometimes.

ChrisB said...

Oh no, Nadim! It looks as though you have two of us dissenting now. :-)

I will be interested to watch Alex and Nikita unravel. It's been coming for a while. I think Amanda just pushed Alex where she was already starting to go.

I'm getting tired of Nikita constantly referring to the "New" Division. Ryan plants the kill chip and Michael and Birkhoff keep it from her. This is "Old" Division and I think Nikita needs to come to terms with that.

CrazyCris said...

Brilliant episode! And yes, I believe the kidnapping was mostly there to set up the growing distance between Nikki and Alex. Oh and that "New" Division is falling into dangerous "old" ways...

JK said...

Make that three dissenters. While I actually liked this episode quite a lot, I've stated several times now that I'm decidedly unimpressed by Amanda. If Percy was a snake, then Amanda's a rabidly unhinged chihuahua. Had Percy been in the back of that van, I'd like to think he'd have the good sense to aim at Nikki rather than Ari.

I'm actually beginning to hope that Ryan really does become the next big villain, albeit of the "well-intentioned extremist" variety. If the lead-up is done properly (and I'd say it has been so far), he could be a much more credible threat.

Sigh. If only Amanda had read the Evil Overlord List...

Nadim said...

It's so bizarre how so many people aren't liking Amanda as the primary Big Bad. If anything I always felt like Percy was the weak link in the first two seasons of Nikita. He never made me nervous or left me feeling unsettled whereas Amanda creeps me out every single time she's on screen! I just never know what sick, twisted thing she's going to do next and I think Melinda Clarke is an utterly spectacular talent! Too bad you guys aren't loving this year as much as I am :( I'm really finding it magnificent.

Anonymous said...

Nadim, I don`t have a problem with Amanda per se. She can be really creepy and Melinda Clarke plays her well but I think the writers stopped her development into the badass villain she could be. They made her sort of cliché, one-dimensional and sometimes nothing more than a plot device (like last episode).

The writers are dragging it out (23 episodes is much nowadays) and introduce forced drama. It´s much more obvious this season because Amanda is the only big bad we have. In the last two seasons we had at least two/three of them. Normally I would say the more the better but in Nikita´s case less episodes would help the series or they should have introduced a another big bad, e.g. the group Percy approached last season.

The season has great moments but is very inconsistent this year.

Anonymous said...

Amanda is a great villain. She is what our heroines could become and I like that. I also like characters that can psychologically manipulate and strike terror with words alone. Percy and amanda excel at this..Its a subtle type of villainy u rarely see.

For example Amanda physically torturing birkhoff compared to her emotional torture of nikita in 'all the way'

And percys complete psychological destruction of alex in 'betrayals' to simply snapping the engineers neck in 'dark matter'.

Also we well have to wait and see there next encounter but I'm finding nikita and amandas reluctance to kill the other intriguing.
This season is like season 1, good with epic moments. Season 2 was epic with good moments.

garyb said...

My daughter was peeking over the shoulder as I read this review.

She saw the La Femme Nikita over on the left side and asked about it

I said it was a previous TV series with essentially the same subject matter. That "Nikita" is essentially a remake.

Based on a Movie named Nikita.

But which had an Americanized movie version with a different name: Point of No Return.

She asked, wasn't this all the same as Alias.

I gave up.

Billie Doux said...

lol, garyb. :)

Anonymous said...

This season started out rather slow but wow, these couple episodes, including this one, are wonderful. Amanda as a villain is amazing and she frightens me. Alex now mistrusts Nikki and I fear that´s the beginning of the end. I have absolutely no idea what´s coming and I´m loving it.