Michael and Nikita are just hanging out… Or rather laying in bed together… In their underwear… Very, very tight underwear…

Anyway, at that moment Owen drops in for a surprise visit. And that’s when he informs Nikita that he’s finally found the second of Percy’s Black Boxes. Nikita and Owen are now on a mission to retrieve, and hopefully destroy another one of Percy’s insurance policies. But things take a turn for the worse when she discovers a dark truth about Owen and his lifestyle.

Things also heat up for Alex at Division when Amanda becomes suspicious of some claims Jaden’s made against her.

Review: I’ll be the first to admit, this episode was really boring during the first half, but I’ll be damned if it didn’t crank the nob to eleven in the second half.

First there was the showdown in the city streets. This is one of the first times in the series where hand-to-hand combat really shined better than impressive gun play. Maybe it’s because it’s a little hard to believe that tiny Maggie Q can kick as much butt as she does (not that I’m complaining), but there were some actual stakes in the Owen/Guardian fisticuffs battle.

Then there was the showdown in the church. Again, more amazing hand-to-hand combat from Owen. For some reason, Devon Sawa just plays a really good “man having a psychotic break.” I’m not sure if that’s a good thing… or a great thing. Either way, it was a lot of fun to watch. It’s too bad he’ll only pop back in a couple times next season (if at all).

I still wish that Michael and Nikita weren’t in a romantic relationship. But if it means getting some banter between them during missions, I’ll take it. One of the best moments came when Nikita thanks Michael for not killing Owen and he responds “I still don’t like the guy.” The moment felt real, and I really hope it’s a sign of things to come in the future. The stronger the friendship between Nikita and Michael gets, the more believable it will be.

The Alex storyline felt more forced than it should. Last week she was completely useless in every way, and I still stand by my assertion that the production should have just saved a few bucks and left her out of the episode period. But, this week, while her story was serving a purpose (to get us to next week’s extraction conflict), it still felt poorly written.

Considering the quality of the Alex story line throughout the season, there should have been more from our resident double agent ass kicker. Fonseca has knocked it out of the park all season. Everyone knows she’s capable of a more complex and rich performance, but that’ll only happen if the writing is on par with her acting. In the last two weeks, that just hasn’t been the case, but there’s always hope for next week.

And finally, there is the Amanda/Michael sub-plot that is brewing. I have a feeling this won’t make many waves until the season finale, but I think the seeds have been laid for something exciting. Fingers crossed.

Final thoughts: Overall, another fine episode of Nikita.

Episode: “Into The Dark” (Season 1, Episode 18)

Airs: The CW, Thursdays, 9pm

What’s next: Nikita believes it’s getting too dangerous for Alex undercover at Division with Michael’s knowledge of it, and she tells her that it’s time she leaves.

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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