Nikita

Nikita 2×01 – Game Change

"I want a home; I just wanna be able to live with myself when I get there."

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Season premieres are almost always risky propositions and I think Nikita did a very good job with its second year opener. While there was a bit too much exposition (as expected), the hour arranged this season’s chess pieces in a nonetheless exciting and intriguing manner.

First off, it’s fun to see Nikita and Michael on the run. I’m a fan of seasons where our protagonists are never in one place for too long (the second season of Prison Break comes to mind) as it infuses the proceedings with an unpredictable and unstable element. In addition, I love seeing Amanda in power and Percy imprisoned. I mentioned this a lot last year but Amanda is a much better fit for the show as its primary antagonist as she’s infinitely more complex than Percy (not to mention creepier).

This was also a good episode for Alex as it conveyed just how determined yet undeniably lost she’s become with different forces tugging at her from all sides. Her confrontation with Nikita at the end was phenomenal, and especially heartbreaking as our heroine broke her former protege’s arm (to incapacitate her) and then proceeded to shoot her in the leg. Lyndsey Fonseca’s screams of agony literally sent chills down my spine.

And finally I’m not totally convinced by the introduction of Sean Peirce. Much like Nathan, he feels like a CW mandate for Alex as a potential love interest. Still, it’s too early to judge.

Bits & Bullets

– Fantastic opening with Nikki robbing the underground casino. And the explosion revealing Michael on his motorcycle was badass too.

– Way too much exposition in the Nikki-Michael motel room scene. I get that we’re trying to get new viewers up to speed but overkill much?

– Alex beating up the casino thugs was quite satisfying.

– I still can not get enough of any scenes featuring Amanda and Alex in the room together.

– The fighter drones that saved Nikki & Michael were much too CGI for the show.

– I enjoyed Birkhoff for the first time ever in this episode. He had some nice moments with Nikki and Michael. I especially enjoyed him taunting Amanda and the Division crew via webcam.

Nikki Notables

Michael: (To Nikita) Would you like to buy ammo or groceries this month because we can’t buy both.

Michael: (To Nikita) You’re right you never said you were perfect. I did.

Nikita: (To Birkhoff) Aw nerd you’re lonely. And you have no friends and you missed us so you saved us.

Amanda: (To Michael) By the way where’s Nikita? Shouldn’t I be speaking to the man in charge?

Conclusion
Game Change is an effective season opener that does a pretty good job of setting the show’s new status quo.

 Nad Rating
B+

3 comments

  1. The directing in the scene in the alleyway with Nikita throwing Alex down then breaking her arm just said it all. This show was determined to do with its little budget what multi-million dollar blockbusters try and fail to achieve. Just supremely well directed.

  2. Ooh here we go, the first time we really truly disagree on an episode! Hahaha how exciting, right?

    For some reason, I didn't like this. Very tonally jarring with the comedic scenes (Birkhoff particularly) and SO.MUCH.EXPOSITION. This is a season finale and yet it felt like a pilot, geez! I still don't know how I feel about Oversight being the real Big Bads. For now, they're just 6 random people in suits who show up every now and then and have zero personalities.

    But everything else, I agree on completely! I cannot get over Alex and Amanda and how epic their scenes are. I also really love that this show treats the whole “badass female character” thing as completely normal. So many shows nowadays make it into a big deal (“oh look, here's a woman kicking ass! Let's make some jokes about it or turn it into the main theme of the show”) but Nikita is truly committed to showing that its characters are fully realized and not TV tropes or cliches. So impressive.

    And Alex screaming while Nikita breaks her arm and SHOOTS HER: ouchh, I jumped! What a goosebumps-worthy moment.

    I hope I'll love this season! It's exciting that this show keeps flipping the status quo and doesn't stick to one setting for too long like you said, so I'm really excited to watch more (even if I was disappointed in this premiere hehe). And Michael is suddenly awesome! Shocking.

  3. Like I said earlier, Nikita gets better with more rewatches and this episode is no exception. Fantastic premiere and while it dealt with a lot, it didn´t feel stuffed. I love Amanda and Alex and the fight with Alex and Nikita was well done but brutal and a bit heartbreaking because they´re so far apart from each other.

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