Nikita: Looking Glass

In “Looking Glass”, it was Michael’s turn to face his demons.

Six years ago, Operation Looking Glass required him to pull “standard raven protocol” (high class way of sayin’ booty call!) on sultry Belarusian siren Cassandra, who just happened to be the first lady of the country. Michael seduced her, wormed his way into her heart and then revealed his true identity as an agent. She agreed to help him overthrow her violent dictator husband, Valeri Ovechkin, and replace him with a look-a-like Division puppet.

But a lot of time has passed, and Ovechkin 2.0 has become as egomaniacal as his predecessor, killing anyone he feels threatened by. Michael, Birkhoff and Nikita (who is suffering from a slight case of the green eyed monster) head to Belarus to extract poor Cassandra from a dangerous situation.

Division is also preoccupied with the situation in Belarus. They couldn’t care less about damsels in distress, but they hate loose canons. Ovechkin 2.0 has gone rogue, refusing to take orders from anyone who is not Percy. Amanda tries to recruit Alex to pull her ‘lost little Russian girl’ routine on the faux president, but she puts her foot down and refuses to go. She’s too preoccupied with Zetrov. So Amanda sends less competent agent Lisa, who promptly gets herself captured. Sean Pierce wants to stage a rescue mission, but Amanda isn’t having it: “Deny all assets. That is who we are.” But Oversight trumps Division and Sean storms off to undertake the mission himself, demanding resources. Alex is either impressed by his moral code or the size of cojones and decides to join him.

In Belarus, Michael and Nikita corner Cassandra at an auction by outbidding her on a valued painting. But their plan to extract her from the country becomes more complicated when she produces her 4-year-old son, Max. She has been hiding him from the public to keep him safe.

Daddy Ovechkin is very protective and freeing both mother and son becomes quite an ordeal for Mikita. Their first attempt goes awry when little Max is scared to sneak out the window and rappel down the wall with Nikita. Can’t say I blame the little tyke! On top of the logistical difficulties, Michael is weighed down by his own guilt at having betrayed Cassandra all those years ago. He’s also letting memories of his young wife and child colour his view of Cassandra and Max’s predicament.

Meanwhile, Sean and Alex have tracked their captured colleague to an abandoned factory where Ovechkin 2.0 is torturing her for information. But they’re too late. He shoots her through the head before they can save her. They are unaware that he got some ‘helpful’ prompting from a phone-call with Amanda … who doesn’t like loose ends.

Sidebar: Why are there always abandoned factories kicking around for terrorist/gangsters/assassins/vampires to do their dirty deeds in? Are we really supposed to believe that the land value is so awful that developers would just shrug their soldiers and walk away, leaving them vacant for years?

Mikita enacts another extraction plan at a party at the Ovechkin mansion. Cassandra excuses herself to say goodnight to Max, while Nikita subdues the Nanny, fetches Max and meets Cassandra and Michael at the car.

Unfortunately, Sean and Alex have moved onto plan B, which involves planting a bomb in the family car while Alex delivers a message from Percy (who has been coerced into cooperating in exchange for a snazzy suit) to convince Ovechkin to go on the run … in the booby-trapped car.

Cassandra and Max make it inside the car where Max fiddles with a suspicious briefcase. Michael realizes what’s going on and runs to the car just in time to see it explode – flashing back to his family’s tragic accident. As he stands there in horror, Cassandra and Max emerge from the behind the flames. Nikita pulled them to safety just in time.

After the explosion, Ovechkin 2.0 goes wild with paranoia, pulling a gun on Alex. Sean puts him into some crazy military chokehold that kills him. Then he shoots both Ovechkin 2.0 and his bodyguard to make it look like a murder suicide.

With Ovechkin the 2nd finally out of the way, Cassandra decides to stay in Belarus to inspire and unite the country. But as Mikita say their goodbyes, Nikita takes Cassandra aside and reveals that she’s uncovered a huge deception. For some reason, Max is convinced that he’s nearly 6 years old, not 4. He couldn’t be Michael’s son could he? Uh-oh. Cassandra advises Nikita to remain silent, warning her that Michael’s enemies would come after Max if they knew the truth. “In our world families are a liability. Our loved ones are our weaknesses.”

What I Loved:

Michael reliving his past
The past few episodes have been about Nikita’s tortured soul, so it was nice to see the focus switch to Michael. There was a great moment with Nikita where she warned him not to let his emotional connection to the case get out of control. He says, “I’m starting to forget what it’s like … having a family,” and she responds, “You have a family, right here.” Awww!

What’s Your Number?
After Nikita learns of Michael’s adventures with Cassandra, they have the secret agent version of the awkward ‘talk’. So, um how many ‘missions’ have their been? Ordinary people just have to contend with exes. These two have to worry about every mark they ever cozied up to while wearing a fake identity.

Amanda is a Cold Fish
I knew girlfriend was an Ice Queen but DAMN. She purposely sent poor Lisa on an operation she couldn’t handle and then suggested that Ovechkin 2.0 go ahead and kill her … all to manipulate Alex into doing the very thing she refused to do – kill Ovechkin. And she didn’t even flinch. “Sometimes you have to sacrifice a pawn to motivate your knights.”

Delicious Miscellaneous

-Birkhoff referring to Cassandra and Max as Kanga and Roo – shout-out to Winnie-the-Pooh!
-The image of Percy standing in his white plastic cage dressed in his power suit – which cut to a hilarious close-up of his wry expression, “It’s a start.”

What I Didn’t Love:

A look-a-like president … really? What is this, Dave? (Love you Kevin Kline!) Apparently Division gave him some magical surgery. That might work for public appearances a president is too lazy to attend, but for six years, an entire country wouldn’t notice any differences? Nice try.

Sean Pierce – what is his deal?
I just don’t get him and maybe I’m supposed to be intrigued by that, but I just find it irritating. One minute he’s a haughty Oversight lackey and the next he’s a boyscout who will leave no man behind. Also, does he actually do anything at Division? You know, besides following Alex around and dropping pearls of wisdom.


Michael as the Baby Daddy
On one hand I like the complication and I think the emotional impact on Michael will be interesting. On the other hand, it feels too predictable. Also, it puts Nikita back in a very familiar, very uncomfortable spot. Does she lie to Michael to keep Max safe and avoid complications? Or does she tell him the truth and re-affirm his faith in her? My gut says she chooses to zip her lips for now, which means Michael is going to be PISSED when he learns the truth, driving a serious wedge between the lovebirds. I don’t expect a happily ever after yet, but it feels like a contrived method to create some distance between them.

Photo Courtesy of The CW

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