Nikita: Echoes

"Hi. This is Nikita. I'm out saving the world right now, please leave a message after the beep."

As far as I'm concerned, "Echoes" is Nikita's second masterpiece after "All The Way". It's a near perfect episode that's thrilling, thought-provoking, and just visually gorgeous to look at.

Practically every show tackles a dream episode every once in a while, but so few manage to knock it out of the park so effectively. "Echoes" feels like Inception meets Nikita and it's an undeniable success. I think the key to its triumph is the fact that it doesn't just throw the odd camera angle at its audience, but actually explores Alex's layered psyche. Lyndsy is again phenomenal, and it's obvious the writers know what a talent they have on their hands. She equally balances full-on hysteria and calm composure beautifully, and it further highlights just how much of a standout she is on the show. Nikita actually doesn't get much to do in this one and while that's unfortunate, it doesn't really take away from the hour's awesomeness.

I must also mention that Lyndsy also got to play her future doppelganger at the end and it was quite the brilliant development. What makes the scene so creepy is the audience's realization that Alex could very well cross over to the dark side and become the ultimate big bad once Zetrov is in her hands. And the little moment where Future-Alex brutally shoots Nathan and Alex's daughter? Horrifying. I loved it.

Amanda is deliciously dedicated and vindictive in this one, hell-bent on breaking Alex and the secrets that lie within her. I know I've praised Melinda Clarke many times before but she really is magnificent in the role and proves to be the ultimate big bad whom you can never really hate (unlike Percy who is just irritating on every level).

"Echoes" is also impressive in its continuity. So many little nuggets from the past pop up again from Alex's makeshift fingerprint to the phone call which Michael uses to pick up on the echo (which allows him to find Nikita). This development actually does wonders for Michael, who hadn't been portrayed as the sharpest tool in the shed lately. The ending is again one of the highlights of the entire year with Alex calling Nikki and telling her she wants to get out only for that utterly perfect slow-reveal of Michael sitting in the middle of Nikki's loft with a huge machine gun. The line "ask me how I got here" bookends this stunning twist marvelously.

Finally, "Echoes" is such a visual treat. The cinematography is astounding, with some truly funky camera work and impressive use of light and shadows to set the mood. Moreover, CGI was effectively utilized to render the storm and various walls crumbling convincingly. The episode as a whole is just a real achievement.

Bits & Bullets:

- Fantastic choreography in the opening fight between Nikki and Alex segueing into the storm destroying the loft. Very ominous and awesome.

- Funny moment as Alex & Amanda comment on Nikki and Michael's baggage.

- Terrific scene with Jaden playing the violin only to attack Alex with it in an excellent fight scene. And of course Alex amazingly (and brutally) stabs her to death.

- Spectacular scene with Alex watching all the people in her life (Amanda, Percy, Nikki and her dad) discussing her.

- Requisite badass Nikita moment: Nikki outsmarting Gustav and killing his men.

- Wonderful moment with Michael stopping Alex from revealing her escape hatch to Amanda. I like to think he knew what she was going to do and purposely stopped her.

- Incredible final scene between Alex and Amanda. Alex's composure, Amanda still fishing for answers, the tension is outstanding. And do I even need to mention how exquisite Lyndsy looks here? (Please refer to the above picture).

- I love how in that epic final scene you assume Nikki's jaw just dropped because of Alex's news of wanting to get out and then we find out it's Michael with a superb slow reveal. It's just so chilling and perfect. Maggie Q sells it all.

Nikki Notables:

Michael: So you're using rehab to run an interrogation?
Amanda: I'm multitasking.

Michael: Well, this is your chance to find out, by taking a crowbar to her subconscious.
Amanda: Division agents don't get to keep secrets. Not from me.

Elevating Nikita to a whole other level, "Echoes" is a breathtaking hour of television.

5 out of 5 subconscious crowbars.

Previously posted at Nad's Reviews.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

I hate dream episodes and hallucinations etc.

What I likes in this episode was the fact that Michael found the loft. The last scene was great.

What I don´t like in the Nikita universe is the way they handle the language switch now and then. That makes no sense most of the time.

Sooze said...

Amanda is superbly creepy. I hope she stays on as a villain in the seasons to come.

Anonymous said...

Loved this episode completely. Beautifully written, done and acted, it´s a winner. That ending is just amazing and we get to see more of Alex and Amanda.

ChrisB said...

Like Anonymous above, I am not a fan of dream sequences as dreams are, by definition, only pertinent to the dreamer. These episodes always feel a tad self-indulgent to me; look at how clever we are to write these crazy things.

Having said that, the ending of this episode was the best yet. The slow reveal was brilliantly done and I can't wait to see where they take it.

Nadim said...

Hey ChrisB.
just wanted to tell you that even though I'm not replying to all of your comments (so busy at work), I'm loving reading your thoughts as I'm so glad you're loving the show as I knew you would! Keep it up!

ChrisB said...

Nadim -- I wouldn't expect you to respond to all of them; that would be above and beyond.

I am loving the show, much more than I expected. It's gone from something to kill a few hours the other night to this marathon.

Thanks once again for the recommendation.