Nikita: Sanctuary

Wow. “Sanctuary” was a jammed packed episode … not so much with actual action, but a lot of plot development and deep conversation. So many things happened it’s hard to know where to begin. I sense a looong recap coming …

Nikita and Alex are hunkering down at the beachfront headquarters with Birkhoff, who is pounding energy drinks and sucking back junk food while he recovers from his hand injury. Alex is a complete mess after her crushing experience in Russia; sitting on the couch red-eyed and whimpering. Birkhoff catches her trying to swipe his pain meds. Nikita gives her a stern talking to, offering equal parts reproach and empathy. They’re super connected again, holding hands and swearing to be there for each other forever.

Oversight has finally reached the breaking point with Division. Tired of the screw-ups and power plays, they need to find a solution pronto. It’s too late for new leadership and they’re contemplating Operation Clean Sweep. Hmmm … I don’t know what that is, but it certainly doesn’t sound like a pleasant afternoon tea party! The only detractor is Senator Madeline Pierce who seems to have grown a conscience. She begs Sean (who we haven’t seen in a few episodes) to take over command of Division, dismantle it and re-assign the personnel. It’s the only alternative to the mass murder that Oversight is planning. Okay, so Operation Clean Sweep definitely = bad. Also, it turns out that the dick from the Watcher’s Council who messed with Buffy is one of the Oversight baddies. Obviously he must die!

Sean reluctantly agrees, but he’s preoccupied with a plan to eliminate Nikita. He’s been tracking Alex since he planted a chip in her father’s watch and he’s ready to make his move. He tells his mother he has a lead on Nikita, but flat-out lies when she asks if Alex is involved. So … even though he blatantly used her, does he have real feelings for her?

Back at Division, Amanda is too distracted by other threats to sense the danger from Oversight. Ryan Fletcher informed her that Percy is planning to escape. She marches down to his plastic bubble to a) tell him that it’s impossible and b) demand to know how he’s planning to accomplish it because clearly she’s worried it IS possible. When Percy boldly proclaims that he WILL be free before the day is done, “And my favourite part? There’s nothing you can do to stop it,” Amanda locks down Division and puts everyone on high alert.

Michael returns to base camp to drop the news of Percy’s impending escape. The gang is perplexed and absorbed by the riddle of how he’ll do it. If Amanda and Alex are the only ones he’s been allowed to speak to, how did he get a message to the outside? Alex knows she had nothing to do with it … until she remembers the electronic bank transfer. She starts beating herself up for her stupidity.

Nikita and Michael take a little time out from fretting about Percy to have an awkward conversation about their relationship … or at least half of a conversation. They’re interrupted by Sean Pierce who scubas up to the beach and takes aim at Nikita with a sniper rifle. Alex tackles him to the ground and gives him a good pounding (of the non-sexual variety). The team ties him to a chair and quickly realizes that he’s on a solo mission without back-up. How the hell did he track them down? Sean gives Alex this look that’s full of pain and shame and then glances down at her watch. She loses her shit. He bugged her dead father’s watch!

Nikita and Alex have been separated for a long time and they’ve been working off different playbooks. Now that Sean is in the room and they’re talking about the last few months, a lot of stuff starts coming together. Nikita is all “Wha? Sean has been helping you?” and Alex is all “Wha? Sean’s mother is in OVERSIGHT?!?” Alex practically spits venom at Sean, telling him she wishes there was back-up so she could use him as a body shield. She demands to know why he was stupid enough not to bring a team. He looks up and says “I didn’t want you to get hurt.” At this point my poor sappy heart skipped a beat and I realized, “Dammit I’m shipping Alex and Sean now, when the hell did that happen???” But it did, because suddenly they are like the most adorable thing ever and I can’t get enough. It was a weird moment, but actually kind of sweet … you know, before she clocked him in the face.

So now Nikita is left with the pesky decision of what to do with the Navy Seal who just tried to kill her. Naturally, Birkhoff wants to pop him. He’s all about the violence as long as he’s not on the receiving end. Michael wants to abandon the beach house and leave Sean tied up. But Alex has calmed down enough to offer a third option: maybe Sean isn’t beyond redemption. He’s just a son who would do anything to protect his mother. Sean has always had doubts about Division … maybe he would respond to their side of the story?

Amanda tries one last ditch effort to convince Percy to abandon his escape plan; people will die and he won’t succeed in the end. She’ll move him somewhere more comfortable if he backs down. But he’s cockier than ever and throws it in her face. And. Then. It. Gets. Real. They start airing all the grievances of what turns out to be an incredibly complicated relationship. Percy is nasty and snarling because they used to be great team. Why wasn’t she satisfied with him as the alpha dog? She’s clearly not cut out to be a leader. Amanda is petulant and hurt because Percy never treated her like an equal and constantly schemed behind her back. Is this multi-billion dollar stand-off REALLY all about hurt feelings? Oh yeah … and they were romantically involved? (Please someone tell me if I already knew that and just forgot.) Or there was inkling of a relationship at least. And Percy’s MEAN about it. “You deluded yourself into thinking you had feelings for me. All you ever loved was my power … it couldn’t happen because you’re incapable of love.” Amanda looks close to tears. It’s the first time I’ve ever seen her truly shaken and vulnerable. It was such a deliciously fantastic exchange. I love this stuff. Give me more! Amanda tears herself from the plastic bubble and forces herself to walk away, completely broken up.

Throughout the whole episode, Percy’s Guardians are putting his escape plan in motion, traveling closer to their destination. They steal a small plane, parachute into a field and trek silently through the woods. From inside Division, Roan is providing them with tactical information.

Oversight is getting closer to signing off on Operation Clean Sweep despite Madeline Pierce’s reservations and Sean agreeing to oversee the dismantling. Watcher Dick points out that scattering an army of hostile trained killers would certainly come back to bite them in the ass – , or more likely assassinate them. By shielding the silo and Percy’s plastic bubble, they can avoid the pesky little problem of his dead man’s switch.

And what exactly IS Clean Sweep? Sean warms up to Team Nikita – as they try to convince him they’re actually the good guys – and tells them that Percy built a deadly fail safe in Division. There’s a tanker of gas tapped into the ventilation system and if it’s released the entire place will become a grave site within 20 minutes. DAMN! Percy is cold! As much as the team hates Division, they’re not cool with the callous cancelling of dozens of agents who could just as well have been them. But how to stop it? Nikita proposes they pull a major bluff – call Oversight and tell them they’ll release the contents of a black box they don’t actually have if Clean Sweep is activated. Sean offers to make the call himself, tell his mother he’s been captured, and verify that Team Nikita has a black box. Good boy!

Sidenote: There was some extra cuteness between Sean and Alex in a few scenes. She fed him water while he was tied up and she confided in him about her failed mission in Russia. He was all sympathetic and understanding, telling her, “You can’t judge family the same way you do other people, especially when they’re in trouble.” Adorable bonding over their really messed up, potentially evil, family members!

Back in Amanda’s Division lair, she’s still reeling from her encounter with Percy and has finally reached her breaking point. She calls Oversight to ask permission to put Percy into a medically induced coma, keeping his heart beating, but totally incapacitating him. But THEN she then picks up a secret hidden phone, makes a call, and informs a mystery person that she’s “taking certain steps” and wants to make sure they’re aware because it changes the plan. WTF? Just when I thought we’d reached the maximum level for layers of deception on this show …

Sean places the call to his Mommy just as Oversight is starting the ‘asset liquidation’ process, unlocking an activation brief case with their fingerprints. He warns her about the black box, but their conversation is cut short when the Guardians burst into the building and start shooting. They were never headed for Division – their target was Oversight all along!!! I’m impressed … they totally had me fooled. I’m fairly gullible so that’s not saying much but I still give them props for a well plotted twist.

Madeline Pierce leaves her phone on in her pocket so Team Nikita and her son can overhear everything. The Guardians surround oversight and place a call to Amanda. She’s inside Percy’s plastic bubble, holding a needle millimetres from Percy’s jugular when she’s rudely interrupted. The Guardians demand that she release Percy at once or they’ll activate Operation Clean Sweep and take out Division. Amanda is floored at the cruelty … even from Percy! “You wouldn’t!” “I told you, Division is mine or no one’s.” Don’t mess with a master manipulator son!

Yeah, so clearly this episode is to be continued …

I adored this episode! From start to finish it shook up the Nikita world completely. I was invested in every plotline and genuinely surprised by the twists and turns. So many things will be different after this and I can’t wait to see how it all shakes down.

Will Sean join Team Nikita and if so when will I get to see some sweet, sweet lovin’ between him and Alex?

Will Percy take over Division again and where will that leave Amanda?

What will happen to Oversight?

And who is Amanda’s mystery collaborator, dammit???

The only thing I don’t give a crap about – Nikita and Michael. I’m so over it. Bring Owen on full-time and let’s explore that dynamic. He’s wilder and more unpredictable than Michael.

Favourite Quotes:

Alex: (about Percy and Amanda) “They’re like divorced parents and I’m the kid stuck in the middle.”

Birkhoff: (asking Alex to grab him an energy drink) “Hey Occupy Beach House, can you grab me a fresh one of these?”

Birkhoff: (re: Sean Pierce only trying to protect his mother) “Great so he’s Norman Bates. Let’s add him to the team.”

Photo Courtesy of The CW

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