After going through hell and high water to obtain the third black box, Nikita now must save the only man left alive who can crack it before Percy initiates Operation: Sparrow.

But while she’s out trying to save the intelligence community, Michael goes in to Division to try and figure out why Alex hasn’t checked in yet.

And that’s when the biggest game of cat and mouse is revealed, and someone is going to be forced to accept some harsh truths. But that’s only the start of what is about to become the worst day of everyone’s lives.

Review: I am writing this review immediately following my viewing of this episode, so please excuse what is about to be the biggest hard on I have had for this show ever.

This is one of those episodes that changes your entire perspective on everything you thought you knew. Similar to the Sons of Anarchy finale back in the fall, this episode took the basketball that is my brain, spun, dribbled, and bounced it off the backboard before making the game winning shot.

Last week I questioned why Percy was so stupid to continue using the black box system. Well it turns out that those were the exact questions that the writers wanted us to ask. Percy wasn’t stupid, he was just playing us all.

Percy is an extremely well written bad guy. He is a cold, calculating fiend. I’ve been stating for a while that I’d like to see him eat a bullet at the end of the season and have Amanda take over. Well, that philosophy has been greatly altered after this episode. Not only should Percy stay alive and kicking now, but he should gain even more power so he can become an even greater threat.

You will notice at the top of the review there is an image from Percy’s interrogation of Alex. Even before the episode aired, this was the scene to watch for, but even with the anticipation, the level of acting surpassed expectations. Xander Berkeley went from a truly bad dude to creating a tense, “Oh god, please don’t shoot her!” moment. It’s as if Percy went from being a demon of Hell to taking over as Lucifer himself. It was a surprising level of quality.

And Michael, poor Michael. It’s one thing for him to blow his cover, but to have Percy know full well that he was going to? Again, it’s so mind blowing that the man thought that far ahead. There’s no better way to say it, in this episode, Percy became one of the most bad ass villains of all time.

And thank God that we can finally put out into the open what we all already knew: Nikita killed Alex’s parents. That could have been the only reason she felt this guilty over Alex’s life before she “rescued” her. By having it out in the open, Alex has now become unpredictable. I have no doubt that she will never side with Percy (and as we saw, Percy doesn’t want her anyway), but now it’s questionable whether she’ll side with Nikita ever again. It wouldn’t be surprising to see Alex go the route of Owen and take matters into her own hand.

And as for that cliff hanger? It could go anywhere. It could be a ruse that Alex and Nikita set up in code, Nikita could be honestly shot, it could be another play from Division. The fact is, the writers have pulled off the gloves in this episode, and it’s clear they have no intention of putting them back on.

Final thoughts: This is audience manipulation at its best.

Episode: “Betrayals” (Season 1, Episode 21)

Airs: The CW, Thursdays, 9pm

What’s next: In the explosive season finale Percy makes a move to take over the CIA, Alex goes rogue, and Michael gets trapped inside Division making him unable to help Nikita, who may have to pay with her life for helping Alex.

To listen to the latest episode of Merrill’s TV Podcast, The Idiot Boxers with Kevin Carr, head over to Fat Guys at the Movies.


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