Nikita 4×03 – Set-Up

"I know what you're feeling, I just don't know how to make it better for you."


Talk about filler.

Let’s hope this is the weakest episode we’ll get this season. With three episodes left, the show can’t afford to have episodes like this one.

I honestly did not enjoy Birkhoff’s daddy storyline this week. We’re way too close to the end to spend so much time on a superfluous character we’ve never met before. In addition, I didn’t feel like Peller’s introduction provided any compelling insight into Birkhoff’s backstory. I’m not sure if other Nikita fans were satisfied with the tidbits that were revealed, but I was left feeling completely underwhelmed. Aaron Stanford certainly tried his best, but I had zero investment in the proceedings — a real pity.

Alex was undoubtedly the highlight of Set-Up. While the interrogation itself wasn’t especially thrilling (and the agent was terribly one-note), the subplot still gave Lyndsey Fonseca some good material to work with. I adored Alex’s survivor speech (found below), as it perfectly showcased just how far the character had come in her journey. Her stuff with Sam on the other hand? It still feels like it came too much out of left field for me. Is it too late to hope for Owen’s return?

On the bright side, this episode had one hell of an ending. I absolutely adored Amanda slinking around Daddy Birkhoff, referencing Percy and ready to start her torture games again. And that moment where she ominously leaned with that final declaration (“Guess what, I’m my own boss now”) was chillingly perfect.

I do hope Nikita can still manage to tie up all its loose ends, but I’m starting to get worried. Nevertheless, I know the show’s writing team is up for the challenge, so I’m going to stay hopeful and reserve judgment until the very end. In the meantime, let’s pray this incredible little show can move past this misstep and end with the bang it rightfully deserves.

Bits & Bullets

– There’s a wonderful reference to the original TV series as one of the newscasters in the teaser mentions “La Femme Nikita.”

– Nikita doing pullups reminded me of Stephen Amell’s exercise routines on Arrow. If only we could have a crossover between the two asskickers.

– Sam sure has no qualms about murdering people in broad daylight huh?

– So I guess we’re to assume Alex was water-boarded before being forced to listen to that rock music? That’s not okay. But at least we didn’t see her suffer.

– Even the action was cheap this week; Nikki’s “fight scene” with Ronald Peller was embarrassing.

– With Alex all chained up, I really wanted her to have her Rambo moment and pull down the chains like Nikita once did in All The Way, one of the series’ most iconic moments.

– So Amanda’s double is going to be inserted into Pakistani intelligence? Hmmm.

– The magic chat between Birkhoff and Daddy was really lame.

– So Shop guy Mr. Jones is not happy with Amanda. Why doesn’t he do something about that already?

– Poignant little moment: Nikki resting her head on Birkhoff.

Nikki Notables

Ryan: I’m telling you he’s off.
Nikita: That’s just nerd being nerd.

Agent: I am going to ask you one more time. Who are you?
Alex: My father was gunned down in front of me when I was 13 years old. I was sold into slavery but I lived. I came out a drug addict but I got clean. I’ve killed dangerous men and I’ve watched people I love die in my arms. You wanna know what I am? I’m a survivor. So you do me a favor and you turn up the music on your way out.

Birkhoff: Promise you’ll take your own advice and stop running. What you run from, you run into.
Nikita: You never cease to amaze me Nerd.

A sadly disappointing and poorly-executed hour of Nikita.

Nad Rating


  1. What? No.
    No, no, nope.
    I practically always voice the exact opinion that you do but this season we're off.

    I found the first two episodes rather boring and this one enthralling.

    Frankly, I loved this episode.

    I'm not saying there was enough action to satisfy me or that the chat was interesting but everything else had my interest 100%.

    The one thing I can agree with you about, however, is the Sowen / Alex ship is too much. I shipped them until I saw them together. Seriously, they're missing the chemistry they clearly had in season 3 and with only a handful of episodes left, it all seems way too rushed and ridiculous.

    For me; I see this episode as a part 1 or 2. It's built up everything we need for next weeks episode– a path to take down the shop and really hit the nail on everything. But, I suppose we'll see.

    I don't know if you've seen ALIAS. I myself happen to be a huge fan and this episode just reminded me of how they used to do 2 separate episode that we connected with one another.

    It's interesting that you've like episodes one and two while I didn't. I'll try figure that one out by next week.

    To be honest, I think one of the reasons that you didn't like this episode was because you've put a time stamp on how long we have to finish everything up and expect everything to be solved asap while I'm kind of waiting until the last minute for everything to wrap itself up.

    Although I generally love Lyndsy, I didn't like the survivor speech. It seamed too cheap and corny. I preferred her comment about Nikita's fashion sense.

    The Ronald arc is the ace-in-the-hole team Nikita's need. You see a waste of time, I see opportunity. The man's an NSA worker who can probably clear the group's name once they bust him and everyone else out of there. (As seen in next week's promotional trailer).

    This episode just really reminds me of the first few episodes; high paced and going. I was expecting a Run Lola Run aspect to it which was sadly missing but I think can be attained in episodes 4, 5 and 6.

    Until next week,


  2. Hey Alex,
    Loved reading your thoughts. You made some excellent points and definitely made me appreciate the hour more. I guess I'm just too depressed over the fact that we only have three episodes left and I was too hard on the show. Here's hoping we agree on the final three and they're satisfying on every level 🙂 Keep the comments coming!

    And by the way, Alias is my favorite show of all time 🙂 I'm constantly comparing both shows in my head. On one hand, Nikita thankfully never delved too much into sci-fi like Alias did (and that show sometimes suffered as a result), but I still feel like Alias was more nuanced. I don't know, it's very hard to compare two shows I love very much although I think Alias will be the more impressive production (even though Nikita has been more consistent). I think we should compare both shows in detail when this season is over!

  3. Oof, a very disappointing episode 🙁 and that's not okay since we're SO close to the end!

    There really wasn't anything intriguing about Birkhoff's backstory sadly and that's the only thing I didn't enjoy about this hour. But Nikki resting her head on his shoulder at the end…awww! Loved that. Almost makes up for everything else that happened.

    How AMAZING was Lyndsy though? Wowww. I half-expected her to have her All The Way chains-breaking moment here too! But I wasn't disappointed because her survivor speech was absolutely chilling. I love that there was no music whatsoever during that speech and just reading it here in the quotes again gave me goosebumps. Incredible.

    – Nikita doing pullups reminded me of Stephen Amell's exercise routines on Arrow. If only we could have a crossover between the two asskickers.
    HAHAH that would've been kind of epic! Would've LOVED to see Nikki kicking Ollie's ass! So sad it never happened.

    Amanda's last line though “Guess what, I'm my own boss now” is a cheerworthy moment. I smiled at my screen till the credits started rolling like an idiot. I NEED MELINDA CLARKE ON A TV SHOW NOWWWW (and no I ain't watchin' her on Gotham).

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