Review: Nikita — Pilot

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Nikita is the newest adaptation of the now infamous 1990 French action film (La Femme Nikita) directed by Luc Besson. From producer McG and star Maggie Q as the title character Nikita, the show follows a woman who has begun a vendetta against her former government employer, Division. And she’ll stop at nothing to take them down for good. And Division will also stop at nothing to see Nikita dead and buried six feet under. At the same time, Division has brought on a brand new recruit. But there’s much more to the newbie than any of them initially realized.

And so begins the brand new series, Nikita

What worked: This is a damn good show, and has the makings of another home run for the junior network. Similar to the success we have seen from Smallville and Supernatural. Perhaps what’s most shocking to me about the series, is the rather complex story telling method being utilized.

Normally, a show like this would use flashbacks to tell the back story of the main character. Instead, we will be learning Nikita’s back story through Division’s newest recruit. This leaves plenty of episode run time for Nikita to exist in present time. I think it’s a bold move, and something refreshing in the world of television.

Speaking of that new recruit, in some ways she’s more compelling than Nikita herself. Besides being ultra hot, she’s a damn good fighter, and manipulator. I’m really looking forward to see where the character of Alex leads. Beyond the very form fitting white shirts that is.

But the show is called Nikita, and on the front of Maggie Q, she kicks a lot of ass in this pilot. Two scenes in particular, all she does is take dudes out. Q is channeling a lot of Jennifer Garner in ALIAS, and I actually wouldn’t be surprised to see this show become the ALIAS of this decade. Minus the sci-fi elements that is.

As for the show’s look, tone and action… it succeeds very well. As per usual with all McG produced TV shows such as Fastlane and Chuck, Nikita is very slick and stylish. I honesty wouldn’t have it any other way. I’ll be looking forward to tuning in every week just for the look of the series alone.

On a story telling front, because I was so sucked into Nikita as a character and Alex as a character individually, it never crossed my mind that they could be working together. So props to the writers on that little curve ball at the end. I’m guessing every episode is going to be focused on a Division mission that Nikita is trying to sabotage, and if that’s the case, I’m more that ready. and willing to watch.

What didn’t: At least as far as the pilot goes, everything worked for me. This is spy TV at its best and I can’t wait to see what’s coming next.

Final thoughts: A very stylish pilot has a lot of heart and passion behind it. A must watch for this year’s TV season.

Episode: “Pilot” (Season 1, Episode 1)

Airs: CW, Thursdays, 9pm

What’s next: Nikita tries to stop Percy and Michael and an important moment in her life is revealed.

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.