Nikita: Wrath

"If I'd known you'd be talking me to death, I would have cut out your tongue, too."

Intense and brutal, this was a powerful episode that came very close to living up to the masterpiece that was Nikita's last episode.

The introduction of Brant (who is pure terrifying evil) was an interesting enough choice, as he allowed Nikita to further question her past and unleash her inner doubts (and strength). His torture of our heroine was particularly hard to watch as I've really grown to love Nikita over the course of the series. It made the scenes uncomfortable to sit through as Maggie just taps into such raw emotion that it's plain harrowing to watch. Of course, this made the moment in which she broke out of her restraints in a fit of rage all the more satisfying and amazing. But really, Maggie Q exhibited such phenomenal range throughout the episode and deserves the utmost praise for her performance. From hopeless and vulnerable to menacing and full of rage, she was just sensational.

This episode also did something quite impressive; it made me really like Michael for the first time in a long time. Shane West was superb and his chemistry with Maggie Q was off the charts. In fact, both actors were supremely impressive and gave us a handful of touching, poignant, and heartbreaking scenes. I especially loved Michael vowing to help Nikita love herself. It provided the perfect bookend for a haunting hour.

I will, however, say that the ending was unnecessary, with Nikki threatening Percy by phone. It didn't really add anything to the hour, and we could have easily ended with Michael and Nikki's touching embrace.

Bits & Bullets:

- Nikki and Alex racing by the beach together: awesome.

- Sean's mother getting blown to pieces; didn't expect that!

- Brant waving at Nikita through a security camera was exceptionally creepy.

- Fantastic flashback to Nikita as a vicious recruit who wants to show Brant that "a woman can hurt him, too." Chilling.

- Very creepy sequence as Brant knocks Nikki out and kidnaps her.

- I hate seeing Nikki suffer and screaming in pain. Not okay, really.

- Very satisfying to see Brant's broken body after Nikita is done with him in the flashback.

- Percy telling Nikita "there are monsters out there." Hilarious.

- The look on Nikki's face when Brant reveals he has Michael. Heartbreaking.

- Nikki snapping at Michael. Calling him a "son of a bitch" for giving himself up. Powerful scene.

- Nikki screaming "NO" as Brant punches Michael and then breaking free from the restraints and going all psycho on him gave me goosebumps.

Nikki Notables:

Birkhoff: In a quarter mile, please turn right for our waiting grab-team.

Percy: (To Nikita) You have evil in you.

Nikita: (Brant) I'm sorry I didn't take out your other eye. And if I'd known you'd be talking me to death, I would have cut out your tongue, too.

Nikita: (To Brant) What's the matter? Did they hurt the poor little psychopath?

Birkhoff: Oh God, Percy, can't you just die already?
Percy: Birkhoff, I'm not in the mood to talk to children.

Nikita: I have evil inside of me, Michael.
Michael: Maybe you do. Maybe that is a part of you. But that is all that it is, a part. It is not all of you. That is what I love... all of you.

Nikita: We're gonna die.
Michael: Then we die. Together.

Michael: (To Nikita) You don't love yourself. But that's okay, I'm willing to teach you.

- Wrath is a powerful hour of Nikita that's incredible on almost every level.

4 out of 5 car bombs.

Previously posted at Nad's Reviews.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

I can see LFN reviews at your blog (by another author), so I couldn't help to write this comment. :) I am sorry, but I was deeply touched.:(

Let me please express my point of view. I don't expect anyone agrees with me, but still... I am deeply sure there is NO right or wrong opinion towards any series - all our POVs could be.

When the new series started old LFN-fans reacted in a different ways: someone was indifferent, someone was villain, someone watched. Personally I was indifferent, no problems with remake, I wasn't villain, but I didn't watch, just wasn't interested.
But last May Alberta Watson was brought to the new series as Madeline Pierce from Oversight. It was really cool, personally, it turned me to watch the new show. I found out it is not bad at all.

From Lydnsey Fonseca's interview:

http://www.tvguide.com/News/Nikita-Finale-Lyndsy-Fonseca-1032976.aspx
What was it like working with the special guest star (oh, what a definition!), Alberta Watson who played Madeline on the Peta Wilson-starring series La Femme Nikita?
Fonseca: [...] when our show started, a lot of fans of her and Peta's show had rallied together against Nikita and were like, "We'll never like this show because you're the original." But when Alberta came to guest-star, she told her fans, "Listen, let's band together. We have to like this show. I'm going to be on it, and it's OK, we can love both." [...]

You know, authors could have chosen 1 000 000 names for Watson's charachter and they could actually have casted 1 000 000 actresses for this small role. But those guys have chosen Alberta Watson and they named her Madeline. Is there any person in the world who thinks it was by chance? No. They casted *this* actress with *this* name as a nod to La Femme Nikita. Nobody, absolutely nobody, doubts in it.

New fans are indifferent is she Madeline by Alberta Watson or AnotherName by Someone Else. It was done for old fans, I insist. But considering her death I assume showrunners "forget" this move at all. Authors killed her in a very weird way - quickly and strange as if she wasn't link to previous series, and just an expendable thing. Was it symbolic to kill her and to demonstrate her grave?! Could you ever imagine more cynicism?! For whom on Earth it was done? For LFN-haters? I can't describe how furious I was that day! *stomping heels*

So, I am no longer a viewer. The show didn't suddenly become bad, not at all, but for me it was a matter of principle. :) Actually, I had really dirty feeling Watson was used here. IMO, it was significant she didn't acted in this episode because of unknown reason, but she definitely wasn't. In fact they used body double and footage from "London Calling" for Watson's scenes. Is it the "respect" that Silverstein taked about?

Somebody told me her line is over, so it was neccesery for the plot. If her current line is over, create another one? In my mind some lines have been over since the beginning of S2, but the characters are still alive... Another told Madeline is bad and she deserved to die. C'mon, let's don't start this line about who deserves what... Madeline Pierce was a big deal, since she was a nod to La Femme Nikita. I seriously think they shouldn't kill her at all. Let it be just a link, small character who is not so important, but symbolic.

Hope showrunners will stop playing with old fans' (and actors) hearts teasing the audience about possible involvement of Dupuis or Wilson...

Sorry for such a long message...

Billie Doux said...

Anonymous, I totally get where you're coming from. I'm the one who wrote the reviews of the original La Femme Nikita, and I still haven't seen this episode (waiting for DVDs), but I'm not pleased that they gave us our Madeline and then took her away again. The new series's Amanda is so obviously taken from La Femme Nikita's Madeline, who was such a complex, devious and frightening character, and Alberta Watson was so wonderful in that part. Ah, well. Such is the nature of reboots, I guess.

(I'm also of the opinion that Percy is pale imitation of Operations.)

Anonymous said...

This episode was magnificent for Maggie Q. She really made me feel Nikki´s pain. Hard to watch. But you´re right Nadim, the chemistry with Michael was really good in this episode and their scenes were really sweet.

As a huge LFN fan, I liked seeing Alberta as Madeline and thouht it was a great nod to the original series. I´m not sure if the character´s death added something to the story but I think it´s over the top to stop watching because of it. You cannot compare LFN and Nikita although there are some parallels. Just try to watch and enjoy the series without comparing too much.

Last but not least: I agree Billie, Operations was the one ;)

Anonymous said...

i agree with you Anonymous, Yes ! REALLY ! 200% true
because all your aguments are really good
you see the situation like .. from the top, globally and since the history began
Bravo for your analysis

Anonymous said...

Thank you, dear anonymous, for your elaborated and thoughtful comment! You did great Wrath review! Why don't you expected anyone agrees with you? I do agree! As LFN fan I totally agree with everything you wrote!

Personally, I think Alberta wasn't asked to act in Wrath because of money, they didn't ask her to work, so they didn't have to pay to her. But for me it's awfully disgusting! I feel SO sorry for Alberta in this point.:(( I'd add to your review that Madeline is the main character of her entire career, so Alberta couldn't refuse to play her again. I can only imagine how she felt about this.

I wish the actress had something to say about this. Had she, do you know?

And I hope they can bring her back.

Anonymous1 said...

Thank you everyone!.:) I am nicely surprised to know that some people agree with me!

I'd like to clear my POV a little: I never compared these two shows. I have never said the remake is bad. When it started I wasn't villain as I wrote below. In my opinion this reboot is not so good but not so bad either. Yes, Amanda and Percy are taken from LFN, but it's not a problem for me... I like Noah Bean and Lyndsy Fonseca a lot! Maggie Q and Shane West are good and I never compare them to Peta Wilson and Roy Dupuis.

But I have a problem with the fact showrunners literally played with old fans' heart. Why on Earth they brought Watson? For creating some type of link, right? So, why on Earth they killed her?! They don't need this link anymore?

Why the actress didn't even act in the Wrath? If the reason for it was salary, as someone wrote below, it's trully disappointing. Didn't producers even find money to pay the "special guest-star" as they told about Alberta in May 2011?

I get Watson's character with the name Madeline as symbolic link or nod or some type of connection. Since she's gone the connection is gone too.:)

Anonymous said...

Anonymous #1! Sorry, I am late, but... Please, let me shake you hand for this analysis? In general, you're such a wordsmith and your arguments are very good! I totally agree with every single word!
addition, I have to say, I kind of feel betrayed by Alberta Watson for acting in this show. It must be really weird for her to work with this cast, to be a part of their team, even to look at Amanda (who is Madeline's fake). Well, I am sure Roy Dupuis would never agreed for this!
Needless to say, it was wrong to kill the character from previous show (nod, link or whatever you call it). It really looks like the symbolic trophy. But to my mind it was even more wrong to bring this character. Sorry for Alberta did it.

JK said...

Well. THAT's interesting. A bunch of anonymous commentators clapping each other on the back, with the same atrocious ESL grammar. Hm.

The episode itself was pretty great, I must say. Not a fan of La Femme Nikita (I've only seen the odd episode, but they didn't exactly engender a desire to track down the rest), but I was a bit sad to see Madeline go like that. I thought she was rather interesting, if for no other reason than the fact that she inhabited a sort of moral no man's land that made her difficult to predict. I was sure she would be more important down the line. Ah well.

Anonymous said...

Wow, another amazing episode! Maggie Q and Shane West gave amazing performances and it was just raw emotion, powerful.