Gamechanger. NIKITA returns tonight after several weeks’ hiatus to an explosive (literally) and truly outstanding episode titled “Covenants” that can easily be labeled a ‘gamechanger’ among many other positive adjectives. Even if you have not been following this new Nikita very closely, you can easily treat yourself as a viewer to a most entertaining, emotional, and exciting hour. All elements come together adeptly and beautifully: the writing, directing, production, action, and filming. And the twists, turns, and revelations move the story forward in a frenetic yet satisfying manner.
Those of us attending WonderCon this past weekend had the pleasure of seeing the full episode a full week before tonight’s official return. One thing that gave me particular joy was seeing the auditorium nearly full. Sadly, that was not due to everyone’s interest in Nikita, but to their desire to secure a seat for the “Doctor Who” panel to follow. But this gave me joy because all those people now had to see Nikita. And if they were not regular viewers before, then this episode would no doubt have made them into viewers now. Yes, it was that good! It would truly be a crime if the new incoming CW President does not renew this series for a Season Two. Excellent writing, compelling characters, talented and charismatic actors, outstanding action sequences… what more could you ask for other than a few more ratings point perhaps.
Comments and spoilers after the jump. And dare I say it for all the die-hard fans? … “Mi-kita” alert!!
Ever since the series premiered, the story presented that Nikita [Maggie Q] had broken away from the clandestine government agency, Division, that originally trained her to be as assassin and then betrayed her. Thus began an intricate cat-and-mouse game of one-upmanship between Nikita and Division’s head honcho, Percy [Xander Berkley], along with his extensive network inside and outside of Division. This included a smoldering hate-you-love-you chemistry between Nikita and Michael [Shane West], Percy’s right hand man, whose good intentions have led to several instances of helping Nikita escape throughout the season. Early on she rescued another young lady, Alex(andra) [Lyndsey Fonseca] who then worked as a mole inside Division while undergoing her own training there. The series made a smart move mid-season by having Alex graduate to field work and leave the confines and prying eyes of the Division compound.
At the conclusion of the last episode, fans were left breathless at the final image of Michael confronting Nikita at gunpoint in her lair after discovering Alex as the mole inside Division. “Covenants” picks up exactly where we left off with Michael blackmailing Nikita into getting something done for him, something that the all-powerful Division cannot do – apparently for good reason. He wants her to infiltrate Gogol in order to get to recognized Al-Qaeda member Kasim [guest star Haaz Sleiman] who was responsible for killing Michael’s family. She has 24 hours to get the job done in order to protect Alex’s mole role from becoming news to Percy. Nikita is running around the globe at Michael’s command, so things don’t start happy with them and then things get even worse before they get better.
In the meantime, Alex has made friends with her tall and handsome neighbor, Nathan [Thad Luckinbill]. The attraction is mutual and the relationship has been progressing from simple friendship to something deeper. But Alex knows that it is dangerous for Nathan to be associated with her, even though Nathan is unaware of her Division connection. Her own mission to take down Division from the inside could destroy not only herself but her boyfriend Nathan. She decides to break it off with Nathan so that he does not become something that Division can use against her.
As Nikita follows the complex trail, having several harrowing and dangerous confrontations along the way, Kasim is located. There are no doubts here that Nikita was indeed trained as an assassin. The explosions, the fights, and the confrontations are intense. And finally both Nikita and Michael now have Kasim at their mercy. But things are not as they seem. Reveal’s about Michael’s past and a jaw-dropping reveal involving Kasim make the scene emotionally powerful. And no, I will not tell you what that Kasim-reveal is. If you haven’t already read about it from the hundreds that saw the episode at WonderCon, do yourselves a favor and leave some surprises to be revealed while watching “Covenants.” I will say that what Michael learns about Kasim affects him greatly and has a profound effect on the way he will now approach his future work at Division. A new level of understanding and respect is forged between Michael and Nikita.
As for the burning question in the minds of the die-hard fans (Is there any Michael/Nikita love action?) allow me to say one word: YES! We all knew it was heading there someday and that day has finally arrived as Nikita and Michael finally, well, you know.
The whole episode, from beginning to end, is simply outstanding in all its aspects. It will be extremely satisfying for the diehard fans, and tremendously entertaining for the casual viewer as well.
(Photo Credits: Ben Mark Holzberg/The CW 2011The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved)