Nikita: Knightfall

Freedom isn’t given. It is taken. When are you going to take yours?”

In “Falling Ash”, Nikita confronts a man whose convictions changed the course of her future … only to discover that he’s compromised everything he once stood for!

Six years ago, when Nikita was still deep inside Division, she was sent to Paris to put down an anarchist assassin named Ramon. And by ‘put down’ they meant put a bullet through his head, not just make him feel bad. Ramon’s favourite pastime was shooting corrupt politicians and shining a light on evil regimes, which didn’t exactly sit well with Division since corrupt politicians and evil regimes are like their two best friends.

But gun to his head, Nikita couldn’t take him out. He wormed his way inside her soft gooey centre with an inspirational speech about freedom. Ramon was in Paris to kill an American oil executive who hired guards to rape and murder villagers. He told Nikita she should be helping him, not stopping him. Nikita knocked him out and told Percy she took him alive in case he had vital information, but when she handed him off to a grab-team, he somehow managed to slip away. Or so she thought …

… because it’s six years later and Ramon’s latest assassination of a corrupt Quebec official has been flagged by Birkhoff’s handy new shadowbot, linking him to a file on the black box. After his capture in Paris, Ramon entered into a cozy little arrangement with Division. They pick the targets and he snuffs them out, taking credit with videos condemning corruption.

Nikita is PISSED and makes it her mission to track down Ramon before he can cross any more Division dirty work off his list of things to do. But she better move fast, because Amanda has Division’s next hit all planned out – and Alex is going to pull the trigger! The target is Anton Crazy Russian Last Name, a Zetroff bigwig who got his start as a lowly thug for Alex’s father. Anton is attending a ribbon cutting ceremony on the St. Lawrence River and Oversight would ‘prefer’ that the Russians limit their shady business dealings to their own hemisphere.

Michael tricks a reporter/Division handler into revealing Ramon’s hide-out in Colombia, but when he and Nikita break into his safe house, they discover that not only is he confined to a wheelchair, but his sniper rifle days are long over. Six years ago, Percy crippled Ramon and made him “an offer he couldn’t refuse”: his life in exchange for his continued service as a scapegoat. Division agents are now carrying out assassinations using Ramon’s name, while he sends in web cam confessions from thousands of miles away. Ramon has already recorded his latest entry – for the hit on Anton that hasn’t taken place yet.

Before Nikita can capture Ramon, all hell breaks loose. Nikita gets into a shoot-out with the guards, Ramon manages to roll away (he he) and drive off in a van, Michael ends up locked in a safe room with a gaggle of gun-toting guards on the other side of the door, and Division cuts off Birkhoff’s satellite feed. Nikita jumps on a motorbike and chases Ramon down, but Amanda contacts her with an opportunity/threat. If Nikita disposes of Ramon and puts an end to this messy situation, Amanda will let Michael live. If not, Michael will find himself on the other end of a nasty predator drone missile, programmed to vaporize the safe house.

Ramon has a direct phone line into the safe room, but he refuses to help Nikita and tries to bait her into shooting him. He’s a bitter, self-pitying man, denied the legacy he once dreamed of. Nikita stalls Amanda and zooms back to the safe house, hoping to somehow rescue Michael before the big explosion.

Ramon has a change of heart and calls Michael to lead him out of the safe room through an underground tunnel. JUST. IN. TIME.

Nikita sends Birkhoff the video of Ramon prematurely confessing to Anton’s ‘murder’ and he releases it to the world. Amanda is forced to call off the hit on Anton, but Alex already has him in her gun sights and she’s got an itchy trigger finger. She receives the stand-down order, but takes a shot anyway. Did she actually kill Anton? I can’t wait to find out what consequences are in store for her if she did!

What I loved:

Heartbroken Nikita
She made it back to the safe house just in time for the explosion to knock her off her feet as it tore the house to shreds. Believing Michael to be inside, she could only stare in disbelief as she started to break down. But you could see her fighting the emotion as well, trying to suck it back and breathe deeply. She knew if she let herself go she would lose it completely. And then of course Michael emerged from an underground tunnel, completely unscathed, and she jumped into his arms. I love watching characters suffer – when I know it’s all about to turn around!

There were so many layers to his character, which is always a nice treat. He had such a strong moral code during his earlier years … and yet he was ending people’s lives. He continued to justify his actions even after being forced to work for Division. If most of the people he took credit for killing were still evil, did that not make it alright? And why was he even in the assassin game? Was he truly trying to rid the world of oppression and corruption or did it just puff up his ego to be called a hero? Ramon’s greatest fear was not being remembered. Percy used that when he threatened to kill him if he didn’t play ball, warning him the world would never know what became of him. Ramon hates Nikita because when she spared his life in Paris, she robbed him of an honourable death. “Six years ago I deserved a warrior death, instead you gave me pity.” Now he’s become compromised and corrupted and he hates himself. Even if he dies and the world still sees him as a heroic rebel, it won’t be true. It was interesting how he tried to goad Nikita into killing him by playing on her own insecurities about her Division past. “You belong to them. They made you Nikita. They’re the only family you ever had.” I couldn’t decide if I hated him or felt sorry for him.

Alex’s guilt
Alex flashed back to a particularly disturbing scene in her childhood when she was eating dinner and Anton pressed her for the code to the wine cellar (the same as the house) by basically being a creepy perv. ICK. She gave it to him just to get him to stop being gross! Anton is actually the man who opened the back door for the Division strike team that took out her family. So is she the one who facilitated her father’s death?

Favourite Quotes:

Birkhoff: “He’s in a wheelchair? Please don’t tell me he’s petting a cat.”

Sean (to Alex): “You don’t want to get into a knife fight with a Russian.”
Alex: “I AM Russian”

Photo Courtesy of The CW

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