This is how you do a standalone episode. You give your protagonists a mission of the week to deal with, but you wrap it in an ongoing arc that keeps you hooked and doesn’t bore you to tears in the process.
I like how the writers linked the seemingly standalone P9 program and Dr. Mars with the Guardians’ regiment thus paving the way for Owen’s return. The character of Owen has developed so much and he’s just become a really integral part of the Nikita world. His relationship with each of the core characters is both layered and intriguing. With Michael, the animosity and jealousy is practically gone, and has now been replaced with camaraderie and mutual respect. As for Nikita, I love their poignant dynamic that has realistically evolved despite the Daniel issue.
Of course, they had to give us one last twist at the end with Owen working for Gogol but even that was an interesting development. Owen obviously still wants to protect Nikki, and it’s a always a pleasure to see Ari. I’ve said it before but Ari much like Amanda, is infinitely more interesting than Percy so I enjoy his appearances immensely.
Speaking of the standalone plot, I’m surprised how likeable the writers managed to make Alicia, particularly with the sparks between her and Birkhoff. As for our favorite geek, he really has grown so much (a thankfully recurring theme with this show) and he’s just become a joy to watch (a complete 360 from last year). Moreover, the family vibe with Nikki, Michael and Birkhoff is just wonderful.
Bits & Bullets
– Shocking opening with sleeper assassin disguised as an ice cream guy.
– I found Alex in the field with a cane unintentionally hilarious. That is, until she pulled a gun out of it.
– Owen threatening Birkhoff as he munched on his chips was so very amusing.
– I’m enjoying the mini-moments of romance between Nikki and Michael interspersed throughout.
– Michael and Owen fighting side by side to save Nikki was pretty damn cool.
– Epic moment as Dr. Mars turns on the frequency and activates all the sleeper agents including Alicia who whacks Birkhoff.
– Nikki kicking Alicia from the skidding car is the badass action moment of the season so far.
– The way Maggie Q delivered that line at the end to Owen “if you ever need anything” really touched me. God I love these two.
– Creepy moment with Sean telling Alex to kill Nikita the next chance she gets because Oversight won’t give her that luxury.
Birkhoff: As much as I love hosting couple’s therapy, you guys need to hit Craigslist.
Percy: I’ll require proper English tea every morning at 7am.
Alex: You can smoke the tea leaves for all I care. Just start talking.
Owen: You clean up nice. First time I see you look like a girl.
Nikita: Oh Owen, we need to work on your compliment skills.
Birkhoff: (To Michael) Now get rid of her, or and your superfriends crew gots to go! Don’t give me the goatee of intimidation, I know you won’t hurt me.
Owen: No but I might. You’re kinda small, you’d dissolve quick.
Nikita: Birkhoff, if you want to be conscious for the car ride home, shut up.
Endearing and exciting, Falling Ash is another solid hour from Nikita‘s sophomore season.