Friday, May 24, 2013


Episode 22: 'Til Death Do Us Part
The Season Finale
By: Carlos Uribe

Nikita is a show about a female spy who does missions for a secret, undercover government agency.

Spoilers Ahoy!

The previous episode had set up the finale by basically isolating Nikita from the team as she's tasked with assassinating the President. She can't communicate with her friends which basically means she has to subtly give them coded messages that they'll be able to decipher. Nikita remains a pretty competent protagonist as she doesn't need their help to infiltrate the White House. She's able to use a fake identity to get herself on the President's schedule and she's able to gain entrance into the White House. She does need some help from Amanda to ensure she can actually get to the President. A secret service agent that works for Amanda is able to get Nikita into the oval office. Only Nikita's friends were able to communicate with her and they lead her to believe that they have gotten an antidote for Michael. She believes that his life is no longer in danger which leads Nikita to believe that she doesn't have to kill the President. Only there's a major twist when she tries to warn the President about the attempt on her life. The President picks up Nikita's gun and shoots herself. It's a moment that had my jaw drop because I didn't see this coming. Nikita is being framed for being an assassin but there are some loose ends. The first thought that came to my mind are the security camera feeds but I guess Amanda could have used her secret service agent to wipe them. The second thought is the autopsy but the Shop could easily put in a mortician that supports their narrative. The final thought is that Nikita's story could come out so Amanda tries to have her killed. Nikita is able to get away but she's now on the run from the government. She's a wanted fugitive. Her friends try to rally around her so they can clear her name but she doesn't want them to live in the underground anymore. She wants them to be able to move on with their lives. She doesn't want them to be associated with America's new number one enemy. She runs away to be by herself. She's choosing to be alone. She basically breaks up with Michael by leaving her ring behind. The next season has been set up by having Nikita be on the run all by herself. Well that's not entirely true.

Nikita might have left them behind but her friends aren't going to give up on her. The major case in point is how they helped her even as she pushed them away. They were able to decipher what she was trying to tell them. They figured out that Amanda managed to put a communications device in her brain and that her mission is to kill the President. They're able to use this information to get into contact with her without Amanda figuring it out. When they find out that Micheal’s body has been infused with the nanobots, they decide to cure him while Nikita pretends to go ahead with her mission. Amanda would suspect there's nothing wrong and the President gets to live. Only the one doctor who could have cured them had been infected by the nanobots. The Shop is able to take him out when they seek his help which leaves them without any cure. They lie to Nikita but they do manage to figure out a way to save Michael. They have to kill him for twenty minutes so that the nanobots lose energy and get deactivated. They do this but the show adds in a complication with the Rogue 30. They only managed to track down a few of the rogue agents so it's a clever way for the show to wrap up this part of the plot. They would have been out there and it would have been an unresolved plot if they weren't hunted down. Using them as a small army to try to wipe out Division is a way to get rid of them and basically end the narrative that drove the first half of the season before disappearing into the background. The show was able to use these agents as a great twist that helped elevate the stakes. The characters not only had to defend themselves but Micheal’s recovery was jeopardized by their arrival. Nikita is able to come in and save her team in the last minute but it was a close call.

The twists in the episode were pretty unexpected: the President shooting herself, Nikita leaving her team behind, and the reappearance of the Rogue 30. The next season is primarily set up with Nikita on the run while her friends try to clear her name. There was a twist at the end that didn't work as well. Amanda might not be happy that Nikita is still alive but the Shop is satisfied with the results. The President is dead in the eyes of the public and Nikita got blamed for it. The twist is that the President isn't actually dead. She was kidnapped during the G20 summit and the dead body is actually a double that the Shop had put in. This was a really over-the-top twist, even for this show, and felt like something out of a children's cartoon than from a more live-action series for adults. It sort-of explains the twist of the President killing herself but it's a pity that the explanation had to be so convoluted. There is no doubt that rescuing the real President is going to be a goal in the next season as a way to clear Nikita's name. The other aspect that's going to help is that Alex is going to accept the job at the United Nations which will help the team investigate the worldwide Shop network. There might be no Division to back them up but they did manage to take down a black-ops group on their own. The Shop might be bigger and more elusive but there's no reason to think that they wouldn't be able to take on this new group.

The third season of Nikita has been a very good one. It started out concentrating more on the weekly missions than an overall arc as the new Division tried to track down the Rogue 30. The missions were exciting but the season slowly built up to the second-half as Amanda tried her best to undermine the organization and seek revenge on Nikita. This culminated with Amanda messing with Alex's brain so that Division would be destroyed by the inside. There was a coup and the organization is basically dead. The characters weren't done as they still had to deal with Amanda but this turned out to be more complicated than they thought. Their quest to bring her down has only made life more difficult for them. They have lost any support from the government and Nikita is now wanted for killing the President. She's split up from her group of allies. All-in-all, it's been a narrative that has been handled expertly. It's transition from weekly missions into a serialized narrative was masterfully done and the way that the narrative went from one place to another was skillfully and largely subtly executed. It might not have been as thrilling as the second season's momentum but it did manage to come close towards the end. The first two seasons had been about taking down Division. It was a major shift in killing Percy and having our protagonists rejoin Division. It makes sense since Division has always been a presence in this show. Now we're going to enter a shortened season where Division itself is gone. Will Nikita be a completely different show? Only slightly as the Shop will be taking on the role that Division held for it's first two seasons.

The season finale for Nikita was good and it sets up the next season in a spectacular fashion. I must admit it's disappointing we're only going to be getting six episodes but that might be a good thing. It guarantees that there's not going to be any filler episodes which is only good for the overall narrative momentum. The promise that it's going to be the final season is good because it means fans will get closure. It's a very small episode order but considering the ratings of Nikita, I'd say it's best to take what we can get. Nikita is currently one of the best shows on television and the final season should be a smart way to wrap everything up.

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