When Alex is sent on her first mission as a Division agent to help in the assassination of a foreign prince, she and Nikita devise a plan to make it implode. But things go awry when the mission does a complete one eighty thanks to some not so useful intelligence. Now it’s up to Nikita to save the prince while avoiding detection from all the Division goons on the premises. All while trying to maintain Alex’s cover. And before all is said and done, at least one person will develop suspicion of a certain Division agent.
Review: Now this is a Nikita episode. Gun fights, snappy dialogue, a self-contained episodic story, thrills, frankly there was nothing wrong with this one. In fact, there was so much right about this episode, I think I’m going to use it from here on out as my “example episode.” Meaning that this is the episode I will show to people who have never seen the show before in order to get them on board.
The biggest reason for this? Like I stated before, the self-contained episode. And actually looking back on it, this is the first of its kind in the series. Every episode up till now was in some way being affected by some sort of story arc in the series. Whether it was Alex’s attraction to the now deceased Thom, Nikita’s constant flirting with Michael, or Nikita’s on-going mission of retrieving the black boxes, we have yet to have an episode that only focuses on the episode itself and maybe the ongoing tug of war between Division and Nikita. That all changed in this one.
But moving from that, this episode has some awesome action set pieces. My personal favorite of which was Nikita’s take down of the two agents in the statue room. It was Nikita at her rawest, driven to desperation and forced to deviate from her original plan of stealth evasion. Not to mention that Maggie Q just screams bad ass with a Samurai sword.
Another thing that really helped this episode was the lack of actual Division HQ involvement. As I stated last week, getting out of Division HQ is the key to series expansion. Having Percy appear for only two scenes and a complete lack of Birkhoff allowed us to focus solely on Nikita, Alex, and a little bit of Michael, which is where the heart of the series lies. This series is about a triage of character that are all working towards the same goal, in very, very different ways. And when you pollute that triage with needless characters whose sole purpose is exposition you take away the show’s heart and soul.
And as a final note, I really like that we’re finally seeing Michael question Alex’s loyalty to Division, I was really wondering how much longer she could go unnoticed. Especially from him. My personal hope is that Michael joins the good fight at the end of the season as he seems so much more suited for an openly good guy character.
Final thoughts: An excellent episode, through and through.
Episode: “Coup de Grace” (Season 1, Episode 13)
Airs: The CW, Thursdays, 9pm
What’s next: Ryan asks Nikita to help stop the delivery of an advanced weapon into the United States.
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.