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. Lydnsey 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 Lyndsey 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 & 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 Jayden 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 Lyndsey 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.
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.