Nikita: Sideswipe

"Makes running a little bit ouch."

Oh my. All bets are off this season and it's absolutely magnificent.

I can't say enough good things about Amanda as this season's primary antagonist. There's a wonderful symmetry between her and Nikita, two powerful and driven women who will stop at nothing to accomplish their goals. The fact that Amanda wants to "teach" Nikita so and make her suffer is an excellent momentum booster for the season and really escalates the stakes in a terrifying manner.

I don't think anyone was all that surprised with Sonya being revealed as the mole. Lyndie Greenwood delivered her first excellent performance in her scene with Birkhoff that has me actually wondering if she's playing him or not (and if there really is another mole in Division). This should be highly intriguing going forward.

I'm also ecstatic that Cyrus will be joining Team Nikki. Isaiah Mustafa was a surprising revelation as the charismatic and devious weapons dealer. Who would have thought that the Old Spice Guy would fit the role so effectively? Color me impressed.

And finally, that ending was positively haunting with Nikita announcing to her oblivious loved ones that she's "not the target, all of you are." It's a perfectly poignant and ominous ending that effectively sets the stage for the show's return in a month. Incredible.

Bits & Bullets

- Epic opening with Cyrus and the assault canon. It's a scene that capably balanced subtle danger and humor. God I love this show.

- One of the episode's wonderful continuity nuggets: Alex flashing back to her time with Amanda.

- Cyrus knowing about Nikita's loft and protecting her was an awesome little reveal.

- It's always fun to see Nikki, Alex and Michael fighting side by side. Of course Alex had to ruin it by going nuts with her rage on a random lackey.

- Loved Amanda unhinged and torturing Cyrus. We haven't seen her in her element in so long as the interrogator.

- So Nikita still wears the same perfume Amanda picked out for her? That says a lot about our heroine.

- Thrilling moment with Nikita testing Amanda's limits by standing in the blast radius.

- I kind of wanted Alex to go all berserk in the slow motion scene being surrounded by agents and killing them all. Sean saving her was sort of satisfying although I'm not a big fan of the drama between them. If this opens the door for Sean however, I might be more interested.

- Lovely touch with Cyrus mentioning that Nikita reminds him of his heroic dad.

Nikki Notables

Alex: Michael, do you really want to talk to me about boys?

Amanda: I could smell her on you. I selected that perfume for Nikita years ago.
Cyrus: I know a lot of women.
Amanda: I'm only interested in one.

Amanda: Hello, Nikita. I'm sorry I missed you in Luxembourg, but I had urgent business elsewhere.
Nikita: Oh no doubt; you had to find some rat-trap to hole up in.
Amanda: My new home is quite comfortable, thank you.

Michael: If Amanda really is here, kill the bitch.

- A brilliant hour from one of the best shows on television.

4.5 out of 5 Amanda lessons.

Previously posted at Nad's Reviews.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Cyrus - awesome character always welcome to come back. Finally they got one of the dirty 30 alive. His connection to Nikita was great.

I hate the Alex storyline this season. I think with her story it is obvious that the writers did not expect a third season. How is she able to pull this all off while being such a public figure. And the drug story has me eye rolling especially when Lyndsey plays it so awful.

And more Owen and Birkhoff please.

ChrisB said...

Cyrus is a great addition to the cast. I love his dynamic with Nikita.

To really kick this show, one of the four sitting around that table has to die. I vote for Alex off the island. Her drug story line is a re-tread and I agree with Anonymous that there is no way she could be such a public figure and still work as an agent. Oh wait -- I think I just found the story to get rid of her.

Nadim said...

WHAT?? Chris you seriously want Alex killed off? But she's such an integral part of the show! The whole premise started with her and Nikki, while their dynamic is at the core of everything! Please tell me you're joking! (this weak drug thing is probably very short-term and I agree not the strongest)

I would much rather useless Noah be killed off. As a character he doesn't add anything to the show. He merely works as a plot device (the current Division leader) . He doesn't full fleshed out like the rest of Team Nikki.

PlatinumRosebud said...

Kill off Ryan.
This will make Nikki the new Head of Division.
She can then close Division down when the Dirty 30 have been accounted for.
Probable casualties - Sonya, Owen, Sean, Ryan
If any of the four dies (Nikki, Michael, Birkoff, Alex), this will definitely be the final season. :)
Finding a new protege for Nikki would be too soon and too late.

ChrisB said...

Wow, controversy late on a Sunday night!

I agree that the Alex/Nikita dynamic was key to the first season, bleeding into the second. But, now Nikita’s strongest relationship is with Michael. I also think her relationship with Birkhoff is stronger than the one she has with Alex.

The writers don’t seem to know what to do with Alex any more. We’ve been down this drug route before and, this time, her going off the rails is just dull. When she wailed on that guy in this episode, nothing came of it. No one said anything to her or to Nikita for that matter.

Is she with Sean? Doesn’t seem to be, at least on his part. Will she end up with Owen? I think it would be fun, but a minor issue in the larger seasonal arc.

Like I said above, I firmly believe that one of the four around the table has to go. I don’t disagree with your view on Noah, but I feel it’s important that Nikita has someone to whom she has to be held accountable. If the US Government is going to be the antagonist that it is being set up to be, then there has to be a character in the Noah role. Long comment short, he now seems to be much more integral to the story than Alex.

Sorry, Nadim. I know that Alex has a special place in your heart. Maybe the writers will surprise me and she’ll begin to intrigue me again. :-)

Patrick said...

I haven't had a chance to watch this whole episode in detail yet, but I do have to make one comment. Isaiah Mustafa was brilliantly cast as Cyrus and that opening scene with him, Nikita and Michael was one of the most fun things they have EVER done on this show. I figured Michael would show up behind Cyrus, but Birkhoff hacking the remote to the machine gun had me laughing out loud. :)

Nadim said...

Agreed Patrick. That teaser was so perfect. It was so brilliantly written and acted. I'm glad to see I'm not the only one who was that impressed by it!

JK said...

Aaaand I'm finally caught up. :)

Oh dear. Amanda continues to twirl her proverbial mustache. This childish pettiness is going to be the death of her, just like it was Percy. If I could wish for one thing*, it'd be a villain, who's smart, capable, and doesn't take things so bloody personally. I think a truly goal-oriented antagonist (with, y'know, sane and logical goals) could be absolutely terrifying.

Ah well. No sense crying over spilled characters. On the positive side, Cyrus was pretty great - though for that very reason, I wish Amanda had killed him. Has she ever killed anyone we actually had a reason to care about?

I suppose that feeds into what Chris is saying - though I think if anyone at the table should die it should be Birkhoff. It'd tear the characters' hearts out, and we'd all be right there with them. BUT: it'd still leave room to heal, unlike Michael or Alex. Anyone remember when the Lone Gunmen were killed? I probably spent weeks in denial. And even though it wasn't really related to the overarching plot, that's when we knew shit was real. If this is the final season, he'd be at the top of my writer's deathlist.

(Incidentally, if Ryan DID die - which wouldn't have at all the same impact - wouldn't Michael be the logical choice to replace him? Awesome though she is, Nikki doesn't really have anything approaching administrative experience.)



*other than three more seasons - contrary to appearances, I really have come to love this show. ;)

Nadim said...

Hi Jk,

I've really enjoyed reading your comments as you made your way through the show. I'm really glad you love it and are all caught up now :)

And by the way, I think Amanda taking things personally is what makes her so effective and terrifying. Percy never did it for me so unlike you, I think she's the best villain the show could ask for! It seems to me like all villains are always goal-oriented wanting to take over the world or acquire nukes etc.... while miss Amanda just wants Nikki to suffer which is beyond creepy! But I guess that's just me! Too bad you're not enjoying her much as a villain!

Oh and I agree about Birkhoff dying. At least they could heal from that as opposed to Alex (Chris I'm glaring at you now hehe) who is much too vital (although it might not seem like it this season).

Looking forward to discussing the rest of the season with you JK!

Anonymous said...

This was a very good episode, and I am really scared of what Amanda might do next.