Superb. There was an excellent sense of confidence with this one. This is Nikita branching out and laying the foundations for an incredibly complex world. The scrumptious web of intrigue grows bigger and even more enthralling in the process.
I was most impressed by how effectively this episode showcased Nikita as an intelligent, resourceful agent. The emphasis on the brains instead of the usual brawn allows us to suspend our disbelief and not find Michael that stupid for still failing to catch our favorite heroine. The way she seamlessly blends into her environments, capably using whatever is at her disposal in the most genius of ways is just a joy to watch.
The hour also saw the fascinating introduction of a sinister new corporation – Gogol – as well as a very enigmatic and mysterious character by the name of Ari Tasarov. His rapport with Nikita was delicious from offering her Gogol’s resources to injecting her with a fatal toxin. I think it’s the first time we’ve ever seen her so vulnerable and beaten which really escalated the stakes.
The toxin element also allowed the writers to use Alex in a brilliant way seeing as how she was inside Division. I was quite amused by how she got herself into the infirmary, acquired the cure, and then kissed Tom to plant it on him.
And finally, the ending was insanely epic with Nikita walking away from Ari, hell-bent on a battle that will probably never end and yet, with the biggest kickass smile on her face. That moment actually gave me such a series finale vibe and is probably how I’d like the show to end; Nikki fighting the good fight and never giving up. A true heroine for the ages ladies and gentlemen.
Bits & Bullets
– Loved badass Nikki arriving on a motorcycle in black leather. Very Dark Angel.
– Absolutely stunning and nerve-wracking sequence with Nikki, Roan, and the speakerphone. Love how intelligent these characters are. Seriously.
– Roan and the trash can (and us knowing what’s inside it) is both genius and horrifying.
– One of the best fight scenes I’ve EVER seen on television is Nikita versus Anna’s parents who turn out to be agents themsleves. It’s a shocking, beyond-brutal clash that is superbly choreograhed and thrilling on every level. The fact that Nikki loses the fight, makes it all the more memorable.
– Nikki escaping in that red dress with the Senator hanging on by the windshield? Hilarious!
– I enjoyed Nikki reassuring Oliver that he was the only real thing in Anna’s life. It felt very much like she was closing the book on Daniel and their own tragic love story.
Ari: (To Nikita) So Percy sent you to kill me? Now there’s an ego boost.
Nikita: You work for Gogol.
Ari: Gogol? You mean like the search engine?
Ari: What is it with female operatives that draws them to weak, easily manipulated man?
Nikita: You’re very lucky that I am tied up right now.
Ari: I don’t doubt it. It’s that rage that makes you perfect for this.
Nikita: You tried to kill me.
Ari: Ancient history.
Nikita: It was last night.
Ari: If it doesn’t end with Division, when does it end?
Nikita: I’ll let you know when I get there.
Thrilling and expertly plotted, Phoenix is an outstandingly impressive episode of Nikita.