Nikita: Guardians

I’m very, very late to the party but here are my thoughts on “Guardians”, the fall finale of Nikita. Frankly, it fell flat for me. There were a few standout character moments, but I felt like there was something missing. Maybe it was Birkhoff’s quick wit? His upgraded status in Season 2 has been such a blast that his absence from this episode resulted in a wonky tone. Too much gravitas – not enough tension cutting quips.

After trading her black box to save Birkhoff’s other hand, Nikita tracks down Owen, hoping he’s on the trail of a replacement. But she nearly drop kicks him when she discovers he’s been working with Ari and the Gogol-bots. He swears his allegiance to her and she agrees to let him live. 😉 Even though the regimen has finally been flushed out of his system, Owen still has a major hate-on for Percy and he assures Nikita that working with Gogol is a means to an end. They want Percy dead as much as he does. Since Owen is already tracking down a Guardian, Nikita uses that to her advantage. The plan is to dupe Gogol, using their resources to locate the Guardian. Owen tracks down a chemist who is supplying the Guardian with the regimen.

They discover a location in Amsterdam and Owen expects to intercept but Ari unexpectedly sidelines him, claiming he has a closer team in Germany. Owen storms off and calls Nikita who, as per usual, runs off to crash the meet-up alone. Owen makes a mysterious phone-call, letting the person on the other end know that Nikita is flying solo. Then he’s ambushed and captured by Gogol who got wise to his treachery.

Nikita barges in on Guardian Patrick Miller as he’s receiving his regimen from his friendly neighbourhood chemist and demands the Black Box. A massive gun fight ensues, the chemist is killed, and the police arrive to haul both Nikita and Patrick into custody and confiscate the Box. Handcuffed in the back of truck, Patrick tries to initiate a friendly chat … you know, from one professional to another. Nikita does not do ‘small talk’, but she is an excellent scoffer and asks Patrick, “Do you even know what you’re guarding, what’s in the box?” But Patrick is no dummy and he believes the box is serious leverage in a brutal power struggle between huge international organizations. “My bet’s on Percy and the box is my Golden Ticket.” He laughs at Nikita’s naiveté when she writes Percy off as a helpless captive.

Gogol, with a handcuffed Owen in tow, ambush the cop truck and make a play for the Black Box. Patrick manages to free himself and escape with it. The truck catches on fire while Nikita struggles with her bonds, and Owen fights to stay alive as Ari orders the Gogol-bots to kill him. Things are looking pretty grim until Michael speeds up in his white horse … errr car … to free them both and shoot up Gogol. Owen couldn’t resist playing matchmaker and called Michael to come rescue his fair damsel.

But it’s a subdued and short-lived reunion. Nikita embraces Michael, but quickly retreats behind her emotional barriers. Owen manages to get his hands on a laptop the police confiscated from Patrick Miller and is horrified to discover that the Guardians are on secondary protocol. All Guardians will be pulling up stakes and meeting up at a designated location. Percy is the only person who can initiate protocol … which means he’s not done calling the shots! Owen is itching to go after the Guardians, while Nikita wants to track down Ari and the Black Box. Michael is wounded when Nikita assigns him to Owen’s team. How does it feel to be the one tossed aside, huh?

Back at Division, Amanda throws a hissy fit after discovering that Alex snuck off to Russia and is planning a solo mission to assassinate Sergei. The situation has Percy’s trickster fingerprints all over it, so Amanda retaliates by revoking his privileges. She hauls the comfy furniture of out his plastic bubble and takes back his snazzy suit. Disobedient subordinates do not get to lounge in style! Percy takes in all in stride: “I was so hoping to get the credenza to complete the set.” But even without a proper place to sit, Percy is far from incapacitated. The acid face cleaner (as I’ve taken to calling him) is his man on the outside – on the inside of Division! Acid face is sending messages to the Guardians who Percy tricked Alex into activating.

And Alex? She’s a total downer this episode, and not in a good way. She spends the entire time stumbling through the woods outside her childhood manor, nursing head wounds, indulging in boring flashbacks and letting magical images of her Papa guide her. After what seems like an eternity she finally ends up in the cellar and shimmies up the laundry chute … where she comes face to face with her ‘dead’ mother! And the former Mrs. Udinov doesn’t seem to be under any duress. She’s lounging comfortably in a large sitting room.

Although shows never state it outright anymore – this episode is obviously ‘To Be cCntinued’!

What I Loved:

Every scene with Nikita and Owen
They were cute – Owen cooking tofu scramble for her; they were emotional – Nikita allowing Owen to see how shaken and beaten up she feels (“Every time I feel like I get a handle on one part of my life, another part slips away”); and they were powerful – Owen reminding Nikita that she can’t stop fighting no matter how much she wants to (“Division gave you a gift when they gave you the ability to kill. They also gave you the ability to protect”). Honestly I think their heart-to-heart was the best scene of the entire season. It just popped! I know that Owen wasn’t supposed to be a romantic stumbling block for Nikita and Michael, but I wouldn’t mind a bit if he moved in for the kiss. Michael has been such a doucheboat (thank you Birkhoff!) that I’m not opposed to Nikita exploring other options.

I just can’t get enough of him this season. He’s a one-man quote factory!

What I Didn’t Like:

Michael’s return
It felt forced – like a way to keep him on screen. If they want to separate Nikita and Michael, the writers need to commit and find other ways to involve Michael in the story.

The Big Twist
To be fair, I was genuinely surprised that Alex’s mom was still alive, but haven’t we seen this before? A highly skilled assassin with unresolved mommy issues comes face-to-face with the woman they believed was dead or long gone. Alias dragged Sydney through that horrific ordeal nearly a decade ago and Chuck tackled the same subject matter just last season. It’s hard to be truly shocked when I’m predisposed to expect parental units to pop up in strange places on spy dramas.

Photo Courtesy of The CW

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