Nikita: Partners

I’m really enjoying the structure of the show this year. The focus on black box missions forces Nikita to emotionally wrestle with her past. It also keeps Division on their toes. Instead of spearheading operations, we’re watching them chase their own mistakes all over the globe. It’s a nice switch-up that is keeping things fresh in a new season.

In “Partners”, Nikita has to face a former Division agent she inadvertently screwed over when she made her escape from the organization. Kelly, her partner on Operation Broken Eagle, ended up in a Turkish prison after the operation went south. Nikita had already taken off and gone underground.

The rumour was that Kelly had been killed on the mission, but when she knocks off a guard and busts out of prison, Nikita realizes she’s very much alive! She heads to Turkey to help Kelly flee the country. Alex is also on her way to Turkey, but Division has a different agenda. Alex is traveling with a ‘cleaner’ who is tasked with making Kelly disappear. This time Amanda twists Alex’s arm by offering up the location of Sergei’s vacation home. It also doesn’t hurt that Alex is in hot water for ignoring direct orders and putting a bullet through Anton’s head. “If you didn’t want me to kill him, you shouldn’t have put the gun in my hand.”

Nikita makes contact with Kelly who is less than thrilled to hear from her. Prison gives you a lot of time to sit and stew. She hears about Nikita’s new love affair and quips, “Who’d you have to screw over to get Michael out of Division?” Still … she reluctantly agrees to accept Nikita’s offer of help. Dressed up like flouncy French harlots on vacation they board a train to Istanbul. Why do these disguises always have to be so slutty? In every single espionage show female spies are all primped out in club gear when they’re playing a ‘character’. Just once I’d like to see someone with no makeup, slink by in a t-shirt and jeans. Talk about flying under the radar!

But Alex is hot on their trail, easily spotting Nikita’s diversion tactics. I like that Nikita has to contend with someone who can get inside her head. I guess when you teach someone all your tricks, you just have to hope they won’t turn around and use them against you. There is a knockout slug fest on the train before Nikita and Kelly jump off as it speeds through the Turkish countryside. Nikita insists that Kelly not harm Alex!

Unfortunately Kelly isn’t being upfront with Nikita. Her prison escape was actually a ruse orchestrated by Gogol, who agreed to break her out in exchange for Nikita’s black box. At a roadside stop, Kelly steals a cell-phone to contact Ari (head of Gogol) and mentions that Nikita is protecting some girl named Alex. Her description is identical to the young woman who recently assassinated Anton. Gogol has been hired to track the shooter. Ari wants to get his hands on Alex and concocts a new plan using Kelly as bait.

Nikita steals a car, but Kelly covertly lets the air out of one of the tires. They end up stranded on the side of the road, giving Alex time to track them to the road-stop, find the woman whose cell phone was stolen, and trace it.

It all comes to a head by the side of the woods where Nikita’s stolen car breaks down. Nikita discovers the puncture wound in the tire and finds the stolen cell phone, re-dialing Ari’s number. She pulls a gun on Kelly, who informs her that she’s just the bait to lure Alex. By the time Alex and the cleaner arrive at the scene, there is a Gogol strike team waiting for them. As Alex runs for her life, Nikita hides in the woods, taking out machine-gun wielding Gogol agents one by one. Kelly gets her hands on Alex and holds a gun to her head to lure Nikita out of hiding. Michael (who has used Birkhoff to track Nikita) arrives in time to save Nikita from a Gogol shooter. Nikita shoots Kelly through the head.

Only Nikita, Alex and Michael are left standing in the end. Nikita begs Alex to come with them, but she chooses to return to Division and remain under their protection. But she watches as they run off together and radios in that there was no sign of Nikita. Hey, it’s progress right?

What I Loved:

Gogol learns the Truth
I’ve been waiting for this one for a while! After creating a sketch of the assassin and learning that her name is Alex, the pieces finally fall into place. Ari presents the photo to Sergei at Zetrov who is horrified and shocked to discover that Alexandra Udinov is still alive. He knows she’ll come after her birthright and issues an order to shoot her on sight. I love it! I don’t want to see Alex die, but with the Russian super mob after her, the stakes are deliciously high. It’s bound to lead to an explosive season ender.

Nikita Revealed
I feel like we actually didn’t learn that much about Nikita last season. We knew her back story and we understood that she had lost her lover, but who was she really and what made her tick? I often felt like Alex was the heart of the show and Nikita was a kick-ass robot in leather pants. It was hard to identify with her. But this year, they keep unraveling the layers and letting us inside Nikita’s head. Her vulnerability and fear come through and it makes her much more interesting.

I loved the scene where she confided in Kelly about the fact that she and Alex used to be partners. She admitted that she withheld information and betrayed Alex’s trust. Kelly wasn’t even the slightest bit surprised. “Guess no one warned Alex about Saint Nikita. It’s how you operate, you’re the only one who can handle the truth. You’re the only one who knows what to do …  Amanda had a theory about that. She said you need people but you don’t trust them. You withhold information to keep them dependant on you. You make their choices for them, so they can’t disappoint you.” Gah! There’s just so much juicy character goodness in there! Nikita likes to be in control. That much is evident. But how much of that is because she’s strong-willed and how much of it is because she’s really screwed up?

Nikita and Alex – Together Again!
Sort of. They’re protecting each other again and that’s a start. When Kelly grabbed Alex and held her at gunpoint, I thought it was great how Nikita responded to Kelly, but was really tipping Alex off to the stakes “You won’t shoot her. Ari’s orders are to take her back to Gogol.” Immediately Alex understood that this wasn’t random and there was real danger here.

Alex was genuinely scared at the thought of Zetrov targeting her. She’s been playing ‘tough as nails’ because she was holding all the cards. But the thought of a real confrontation really frazzled her. And Nikita just wanted Alex to come with her so she could protect her again. Maybe Kelly did some good after all because Nikita properly apologized for lying to Alex and admitted that she made a mistake: “We were partners and I should have treated you like one.” Sometimes that’s all it takes to start the healing process. Alex declined the invitation to join the rogue gang, but you could tell that she was struggling with the decision. When she watched Michael and Nikita dash off into the woods, she looked wistful and conflicted, like she wanted to follow them. Whatever happens now, a tenuous peace has been reached and I’m just happy they were in the same scene without throwing any punches!

Percy and Amanda’s Tea Party

I really hated Percy last year. He was such a despicable person. But now I find that I’m clamouring for more scenes with him! This new demotion suits him well. He’s quietly watching from the sidelines but you feel like he has more information than any of the actual players.

He has Amanda’s number and he knows that she’s pulling Alex’s strings masterfully. If she does manage to reclaim Zetroff, Amanda wants her to remember who her ‘friends’ are. Percy volunteers a piece of useful intel – members of Alex’s father’s inner circle are still at large and would LOVE to see Alexandra Udinov back in her rightful place. He knows that no amount of information will free him or restore him to head of Division so what IS Percy’s end game? For someone in such a precarious situation, he seems remarkably calm. Best quote of the episode had to be his response to Amanda asking him what he wants – “I wouldn’t mind having my clothes back. Not into the one-sie.”

Photo Courtesy of The CW

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