A+ Episode Nikita

Nikita 2×18 – Power

"I let her live."

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That was an utterly phenomenal hour of television on every level. It’s incredible really how Nikita has effectively managed to turn a sub-par season (until the the halfway point at least) into must-see television that has actually become one of my most favorites TV seasons ever.

The writing, the acting, the multiple dimensions to every single plot point, it’s all been stunningly rendered into a gripping mix of action and intrigue. I really can’t say enough good things about the show.

Before I delve into this episode’s juiciest storyline, I have to say that I loved how practically our entire cast was concentrated in one location (Zetrov). It really focused the episode’s events and emphasized the thrilling clash of their various worlds and allegiances. It just felt very finale-like. Alex in particular, contributed quite a bit for the first time in a while as I loved her fantastic “he’s a dog” speech to the Zetrov board. It was a long time coming and especially convincing.

Moreover, Percy regaining control of Division was a welcome development. I’d gotten sick of him jumping around from place to place while constantly evading capture so I might start enjoying his character more. Although the coup was a bit too easy, we did get a great moment with Birkhoff’s revealing conversation with Sonya as the whole of Division secretly watched on.

Moving on to Nikita and Amanda, the teaser was mind-blowing. Who would have ever expected a fight scene between the two so soon, or ever for that matter? It was an unexpected yet wonderful surprise that rivetingly culminated in Nikita getting shot and Amanda deciding to spare her life. This was actually our first look into a newly weakened and affected Amanda which was also conveyed through a series of telling flashbacks to Nikita’s Division days. I really enjoyed these scenes as we discovered that the two women actually share a layered and multifaceted relationship that transcends the mortal enemies dynamic.

And finally, I must discuss the Nikita-Amanda face-off in the lab. It was such an emotionally-charged, powerful, and beautiful scene that rocked on every level. Maggie Q and Melinda Clarke were simply sublime as they twisted the show’s foundations into fascinating new avenues. I love how both women were so hurt and scarred by one another, particularly Amanda whom we’ve rarely seen so vulnerable. When Amanda told Nikita that she “broke her heart” only for the latter to reiterate the same point, I realized this show had escalated into a whole other level of subtle brilliance and awesomeness. If any show deserves several more seasons to explore all the compelling material it has to offer, it’s this one.

Bits & Bullets

Amanda strangling Diana was deliciously quick and evil.

– Nikita’s birthday with Amanda in the Division days. Delightfully dreamlike and creepy.

– Loved Alex drawing Team Nikita’s plan. Her stick figure interpretations infused a wonderful air of comedy into the proceedings.

– Did anyone else notice Nikita’s sexy sports car arrival was practically the same as her Mission Impossible 3 scene? Not that I’m complaining, Maggie Q looked gorgeous in that blue dress.

– Brilliant little tech trick by Birkhoff as he morphed Nikita’s face in real time for the security cameras.

– Speaking of security cameras, very cool scene with them catching Nikita making short work of the security guards behind closed doors (and matching sound effects).

– The actress who plays Sonia isn’t the most talented actress. She was undeniably the episode’s only weak link.

– Nikki getting trapped in the underground chamber is an excellent “how the hell is she going to get out of this one” moment.

– Superb moment with Amanda’s voice-over of Nikita “facing anything or anyone that comes her way” as our two warrior women face off in present day. Gave me chills.

– Loved Nikita slowly losing consciousnesses while planting guilt within Amanda who foolishly opens the doors as soon as the former passes out.

– Epic moment as Nikita fights and blows her way out of her cage culminating with the kick-ass Amanda pistol-whip. Reminded me of my favorite Nikki moment: the gladiator chain escape from “All The Way”.

– Adored Ari saying Nikita “didn’t just get up and walk out the front door” as we cut to our favorite heroine doing exactly that.

– Not too sure how I feel about Zetrov’s new CEO but I’m wiling to give the character a chance.

– Nice little reversal with Amanda’s phone call to Division at the end as Percy answers and promises to send her a “team”. Her and Ari on the run (with a black box no less) should be interesting.

– Could there have been a more powerful ending than Amanda and Nikita each exclaiming to their significant others the ominous line: “I let her live”. While Amanda was visibly disappointed in herself, Nikita couldn’t be prouder and that was magnificent.

Nikki Notables

Nikita: (To Birkhoff) Thanks nerd. Wind beneath my wings.

Alex: Secure our future? He can’t even secure the building.

Amanda: What are you doing here Nikita? I didn’t kill Daniel. I didn’t kill Ryan.
Nikita: Oh I’m so grateful.
Amanda: You should be on your knees. I saved your life. When you came to me, you were nothing. A foster kid tossed by the system. But I made you better, I made you amazing. And what did you do to repay me? You broke my heart.
Nikita: You think you gave me some kind of a gift? You took a messed up girl, and you made her a broken woman. You told me I was beautiful and you told me that I was special.
Amanda: YOU WERE!
Nikita: You LIED! You took me from one hellhole and you put me in another. And then you dressed me up all pretty, and served me to them. Just like my foster mother did. I broke your heart? You… broke mine.
Amanda: So what happens now?
Nikita: I guess… I die, and you lose.

Nikita: (To Amanda) You wanna know the difference between me and you? You see a moment of weakness, I see a moment of strength.

Amanda / Nikita: I let her live.

Conclusion
All in all, this was an outstanding hour of television that cemented my love for a show that has capably unlocked its full potential this season. This episode rivals All The Way as the single best hour Nikita has ever produced and will undoubtedly remain a favorite of mine for many years to come. Beyond exceptional.

Nad Rating
  A+

5 comments

  1. I loved this one, too. I really liked what you write about Niki and Amanda's relationship being more than your typical mortal enemies thing.

    SEASON FINALE SPOILER

    I'm kinda glad that Percy's out of the way, too. Kind of gives the show a better chance to tackle Amanda's dynamic with Nikita. Hopefully she'll appear in a higher number of episodes as well. That tail end absence this season bummed me out!

    I'm looking forward to discussing season 3 with you, Nadim!

  2. Hey Panda. I'm glad you loved it! It's a masterpiece of an episode!
    So true about Percy. I can't wait for Amanda and Nikki next season although I heard horrible news that she won't show up until episode 4! Unacceptable! But I'm still pumped for the year!

  3. I AM SPEECHLESS!! I happened to love this EVEN MORE than All The Way and how impressive/shocking is that?

    It's no surprise that the two most amazing scenes on this show have included Nikita and Amanda: the chain escape last season and their exchange when Nikki is trapped in the lab here. So many layers to this relationship and the parallels with the flashbacks only made this episode even more brilliant. Plus, Maggie Q in that blue dress: WOW!

    Loved Nikita taking down the security guards off-screen when the doors closed too. This whole hour was actually jam-packed with amusing moments like this.

    I don't know if the show can ever possibly top this episode (I saw a SPOILER ALERT in Panda's comment and immediately looked away phew!) because not only does it contain what is likely the best television moment ever (Nikita/Amanda, of course) but it also brilliantly brings together every single character into an epic clash. I never thought I'd enjoy Percy being back as head of Division, but boy is it going to be fun.

    But what really elevates this episode into a true masterpiece is that final sequence. I honestly got chills when Nikita repeated what Amanda had just told Ari “I let her live” – but it has a whole other meaning to Nikita. This is why I love television!

    Seriously, this may not be the smartest or most compelling TV show ever made, but I can honestly say it's without a doubt one of the most entertaining and well-produced ones I've ever seen.

    I reaally enjoyed reading this review, Nads! Can't wait to see more!

  4. Amazing and that scene between Nikki and Amanda reveals so many complicated layers between these two women. Fascinating.

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