A+ Episode Nikita

Nikita 4×05 – Bubble

"It's going to be a shame to destroy such a beautiful mind."

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That was everything a penultimate episode should be. No complaints whatsoever; this is how you set up a killer series finale.

It’s fascinating to step back and really take a look at Nikita’s journey throughout the course of the show. Bubble did a spectacular job of showcasing the impact everything our heroine has been through, culminating in her assuming the role of a “hero” at the government’s request. That development felt like a very satisfying thematic bookend for the show, as was Nikita’s reluctance to accept that she’s ever been anything more than a “junkie cop killer”. Barring any sudden missteps, I have a feeling that Nikita‘s series finale is going to be a very gratifying outing that does justice to the show’s compelling world and its complex array of characters.

A proper series finale is only ever as good as the tragic loss that precedes it, and Ryan’s death was immensely powerful and affecting. The analyst’s gruesome demise really sold the season’s stakes, and effectively provided Nikki with one last vendetta against her arch-nemesis. Ryan’s final scenes were some of the best the show’s ever produced; I absolutely loved watching him brutally bash Amanda’s head in (and giving her one heck of a terrifying scar in the process), before trying to escape to no avail. In addition, his final proclamation (“no more secrets“) coupled with the jump out the window onto the hood of the car was tremendously haunting. The entire sequence felt very true to the character of the idealistic reporter and his lifelong pursuit of the truth, and it was perfectly punctuated by Nikita coming to his bedside. At this point, what else is left to say about Maggie Q’s performance? She broke my heart like she’s done time and time before. The fact that she’ll never be recognized by any award show for her turn on Nikita is an egregious sin that I’d rather wipe from memory.

Bubble also delivered an incredible ending: Nikita called upon Alex as the two warrior women finally reunited for one last battle. Honestly is there any other way this show could have ended? Nikita was founded on the formidable bond between the Russian princess and her mentor, and it was only fitting that we ultimately returned to show’s core. We spent this season’s entirety with the two apart, so I’m expecting a lot of collateral damage. Here’s hoping.

Finally, while I didn’t like seeing Amanda being bossed around by The Shop’s latest head honcho, I was ecstatic to discover that our favorite psychopath was being underestimated yet again. Her plot to enslave all of the corporation’s doubles to serve only her was brilliant, and I can’t wait to see what hell she intends to raise in the finale. Obviously this story can only end with the big bad’s death, but I’m still intrigued to see what the writers have in store for Nikki and Mandy’s final faceoff.

Bits & Bullets

– The sight of Maggie Q waking up in her underwear? Yowza.

– The gang waking up in suburbia (the military base) felt very Desperate Housewives-esque.

– Epic scene with Alex kicking ass and saving Sam. And the thug biting her? Hilarious.

– Seeing Nikita in a suit (during the senate hearing) was so very odd.

– The line “There’s always a group behind the group” was previously used in Pale Fire. Coincidence or oversight?

– Brilliantly-edited sequence with Team Nikita debriefing the government and discussing Division, Oversight, kill chips – the whole shebang. I love great continuity, and it’s one of the things I’ll miss most about Nikita.

– So Michael has a last name: Bishop. I don’t know what to say…

– I really didn’t see Ryan getting injected coming (during his visit with Jones).

“Did you think this was how was it was going to end?” Nikki and Alex’s late night phone-call was most enlightening.

– Although Sam and Alex’s bond has been rushed, I enjoyed the plane sex and the fact that the aftermath wasn’t so lovey-dovey; she wants him to find himself first.

– The musical score during Ryan’s escape was especially haunting.

– The fact that Nikki won a poll by the people made me all giddy inside.

– I’m sure Mikita fans loved this hour. The two lovers lounged around in bed and got a ton of makeout scenes throughout the hour.

“He’s my family”. Seriously Maggie Q’s performance during Ryan’s death scene was gut-wrenching, and it really elevated the material.

– Loved Alex’s phone falling in slow motion after she heard about Ryan and began sobbing in Sam’s arms. For those of you who don’t know, Lyndsey Fonseca (Alex) and Noah Bean (Ryan) have been dating for a while.

– Birkhoff breaking the TV in anger was a wonderfully realized character moment.

– Nikita putting the Presidential Medal of Freedom on Ryan’s fallen body – yep, that broke my heart.

– Seriously Nikita’s “It’s time to finish this” with Alex throwing the shotgun at her? Badass. I got chills.

Nikki Notables

Alex: Sam are you okay?
Sam: I owe some guys some money so they’re punching me.

Alex: You see I’ve got this little app on my phone called “Find my deadbeat boyfriend”.

Alex: (to Sam) I just started to figure out who I am. You can’t expect me to help you figure out who you are too.

Amanda: Since you won’t remember being here the next few minutes, I have a secret I’m dying to share. I’m taking over. Soon all 54 of the group’s doubles will be under my control.
Ryan: Why?
Amanda: (confused) I want to.
Ryan: You’re insane.
Amanda: No no I disagree, I think I’ve made some real growth. I’m finally moving on with my life.

Conclusion
A textbook example on how to execute a thrilling and poignant penultimate hour. Outstanding.

Nad Rating
A+

12 comments

  1. This show has turned out to be a fitting re-imagination of the Nikita story. Too bad it is on CW. We only get in low-def where I live, so am looking forward to buying the full set on Blueray.

    Thanks for your excellent reviews!

    Steve

  2. Ryan wasn't a reporter, he was a CIA analyst. I really don't like the Sam/Alex hook-up. Way to rushed and somehow I can't really buy into it – but it's the CW so they probably have to give everybody a HEA in the love department. Nikita and the poll as well with the medal seemed rather cheesy to me, but the show always had this moments – I just hope we don't have so many of that in the finale. Speaking of which I really hope Amanda finally goes done – it's overdue! She's just a caricature vilain by now (she would be perfect for The Walking Dead's Governor) and I wished the final big bad would have been The Shop but once again everybody is just Amanda's puppet or should I say muppet. It's ridiculous how she can manipulate everybody with her prestidigitation. The final season of Nikita defnitely lost its spark for me and was rather boring but I hope they find their way back to being great in the finale.

  3. I am really disappointed that there was not more public backlash/reaction to the President switch. Somehow I have the feeling that six episodes really were too short to tell this season's story in a satisfying way – something's missing in this season. I am surprised you give the episodes so stellar grades, Nadim. I expected more critisism.

  4. Thanks for the analyst correction!

    It's funny, I know you're not the only one who detests Amanda but I think she's the perfect villain for the show since she has such a personal connection with Nikita. I've never once had a problem with her and I've enjoyed all of her appearances. Had The Shop been the show's big bad, don't you think we'd have had zero investment in them as villains? At least Amanda has been with the show since the pilot. I would have hated for the writers to have build up a whole new antagonist with just 6 episodes (especially since as you said, everything is so rushed).

    Anyways, let's hope the final is great (and I'm sure you'll get your wish and Amanda will die a horrible death).

    Thanks for commenting!

  5. You're right. We haven't heard a thing about the President's current situation. I do hope that's mentioned in the finale and not just forgotten about! Thanks for pointing that out!

    Sorry I disappointed you with my ratings, but I'm loving what we've been given. It's not even debatable, six episodes is TOO little for such a sprawling world and cast, and the material we've seen over the last few episodes is enough to fill up 2 seasons worth of materials. It's a pity really, but here's hoping the finale will satisfy us all 🙂

  6. I loved this episode and it really had a sense of finality to it. Ryan´s death saddened me but didn´t shock me, what shocked me were the reactions, especially Birkoff breaking the tv when learning also of Amanda. And what about Amanda´s scar? Ryan was badass in that scene.

    One last thing: I thought it was very weird but also very cool to see Michael sitting down reading the newspaper.

  7. What an epic, epic episode. THIS is how you do a penultimate episode indeed! Wow, wow.

    I have to say, I love and hate Ryan's death. It really broke my heart – the musical score when he escapes Amanda and bashes her head gives you so much hope, and then “no more secrets” topped with his goosebumps-worthy jump… It's all absolutely chilling and I teared up when Nikita put the medal of honor over his body. But it makes perfect sense to get rid of someone in the penultimate episode. Really elevates the stakes. And I don't think any other show or movie has ever treated the analyst/reporter/conspiracy theorist character as well as Nikita has. It's truly outstanding how this character never floundered under the wonderful material he was given. I'm devastated the show will be over 🙁

    And that final sequence…OH MY GOD. I love that they kept Nikita and Alex apart this season because it only made this final scene all the more incredible. I was cheering (literally) as Alex threw a rifle over to her mentor, and I can't FREAKING WAIT FOR THE FINALE to see these two kicking ass together.

    What. A. Show.

  8. Ryan´s death saddened me even more on a second rewatch, not sure why, but it hit me harder this time.
    This episode is just amazing and Nikita and Alex together? Happy times.

    This show just keeps getting better on a rewatch.

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