Holy Moly, this was SPECTACULAR! I seriously haven't been on the edge-of-my-seat for this long in quite a while. Superb episode.
Where to start? This episode was a beautiful showcase for the layered and hauntingly poignant relationship between our heroine and her arch-nemesis. I've always felt that Amanda was the show's true villain (as opposed to Percy in the show's first two seasons), so the focus here was marvelously on-point. I love that the writers didn't forget the fact that Nikita spared Amanda's life last year (see season 2's masterpiece "Power") and Nikita now has to deal with the ramifications of that decision. The notion that Nikki wanted to somehow save Amanda, and the latter viewed this act of sympathy as the key to unlocking even more evil within herself, is simply incredible. Has there even been a more emotionally charged scene this year than Nikki and Amanda trapped side-by-side in the crumbling fire? Melinda Clarke completely blew my mind and made me feel sympathy for an utterly monstrous woman and that's no easy feat. And the line about "daddy issues"? It seems we might finally get some much-needed Amanda backstory and I do hope it's nothing cliche (pedophilic dad, victim of abuse etc...). Nevertheless, I was in awe of these two women this week, and the layers in which their dynamic was handled.
And seriously, can we please talk about that horror movie-esque ending? After a breathless hour of suspense, Amanda arrives in cop gear, shoots a police officer and drives off with a helpless Alex (but not before uttering the monumental line "let's see how well she taught you"). Could the scene been any more epic? It reminded me of the various brilliant cliffhangers the show has consistently thrown at us over the years. We haven't gotten enough Amanda-Alex this season so hopefully the next hour will focus on the duo's extremely complicated relationship echoing back to season one. I imagine Amanda is going to be hell-bent on breaking Alex and making Nikita pay for everything she's done. Will she simply torture our favorite princess? Or try to turn her against our heroine? The possibilities are endless and I truly can't wait for next week.
In other news, Owen went nuts again as he tried to piece together the remnants of his past. I was intrigued by the fact that his stubbornness in pursuing Ari proved detrimental to Nikki's mission. It's really all that Michael needed to sideline our crazy Cleaner and I'm wondering how long he'll be in that cell now that he's off active-duty. Anyone else realize his prison was in Alex's old room? I've missed that homey, creepy set.
And finally, Krieg and Ari's son Stefan proved to be a welcome addition to the hour. In fact, the former played by Andrew Divoff, did an excellent job of making Krieg believable as a ruthless bodyguard, in addition to a loving father figure for Stefan. I actually felt genuine fear for Nikki and Mandy as they were held captive which is no easy feat. I definitely wouldn't mind seeing Stefan and his surrogate dad again at some point.
Bits & Bullets
- Exciting moment with Krieg shooting at Amanda through the bullet-proof glass as she doesn't even flinch. Reminded me of Percy doing the same with Nikita in season one's "All The Way."
- I've really missed Nikki and Alex bonding. Their discussion over Amanda and her true nature was extremely fascinating.
- Awesome action bit with Nikki hurling Kreiger off the ledge onto the windshield of a car.
- Loved Amanda using her Division expertise while anticipating Birkhoff's moves to find our girls.
- Ari telling Owen he found something "not of this world"; Nikita really does great comedy in the middle of intense drama.
- The attack on the warehouse was immensely thrilling, culminating in that outstanding fight between Nikki and Amanda. I'd been waiting for a rematch and it did not disappoint. The ending was also unexpected with Krieg knocking our heroine out after her win.
- Was anyone else pissed off as Amanda tried to play her mindgames on Krieg and paint Nikki as the villain? Damn she's good.
- The look of horror on Nikita's face as Krieg went off to meet Alex; her love for the girl gets me every single time.
- Who wouldn't want Amanda digging into their flesh with her catty nails to crack an escape plot? Ha.
- I honestly laughed out loud at Nikki's "I just started a fire." The look on Melinda Clarke's face and Maggie Q's delivery were spot-on.
- I have to reiterate: what a spine-tingling fire sequence. I had goosebumps throughout, particularly at all the parallels between Amanda, Nikki and Alex and how the latter will supposedly betray Nikki.
- Does everyone else know what solipsistic means? I shamefully had to Google it.
- Sweet little moment with Ari letting go of his son.
- How great was Lyndsy Fonseca in the final kidnap scene? She was both terrified, and determined to fight off anything Amanda was willing to throw her way. Badass.
Ari: Moscow, you had a gun pointed at her and you didn't shoot. You let her live, and she found that self-righteous display of mercy to be humiliating - an insult she will never forgive you for.
Amanda: What are you doing?
Nikita: Just watch. You could learn a thing or two when you leave your lair.
Amanda: Oh okay I get it. The fire ignites the oil, the oil combusts, the explosion blows the door and we get out of here right?
Nikita: No, I just started a fire. Hopefully someone will see it and call the fire department.
Amanda: So this is how it ends... just like it began.
Nikita: You and I didn't meet in a fire.
Amanda: I'm not talking about you, you solipsistic junkie.
Kreiger: I'm very sorry about the confusion.
Nikita: I did throw you off a balcony.
Kreiger: Yeah it didn't help.
- Remarkably riveting, this was one of the most sensational hours of television I've seen all year.
5 out of 5 bodyguard dads.
Previously posted on Nad's Reviews.