Nikita: Shall We Try It Without Guns?!

This is my house!

You think you can steal my origin story?

When I first heard the premise of this week’s Nikita, I was less than thrilled at the idea. Only 20 episodes into its first season, the show had seemingly already recycled the same plot twice. The basis of the entire show is that Nikita had her love stolen from her by Division and is on the warpath for revenge. Getting too close to an outsider is about as taboo as it gets when it comes to the secret assassins, and the use of that plot device to drive an episode that wasn’t actually about Nikita seemed kind of lazy.

At its core, “Glass Houses” focusses on Nikita’s quest for another one of Percy’s black boxes. After Micheal is ordered to surveil a female guardian, Nikita goes in ahead of time only to discover that the target isn’t where she’s supposed to be. After a humorously clever fake bank robbery (yet again a device that has been used in the show before), Nikita finds the super killer and learns that not only is she not where she is meant to be, but she isn’t alone. Having discarded her duties as a guardian, she has become domesticated, with a boyfriend and his son. Knowing the consequences for her and her family were Percy to find out, Nikita insists on saving the guardian before its too late.

Outside of the hunt for the box, Alex’s life takes more dramatic turns than I can count. When her lover-of-sorts Nathan comes by and she tells him everything, he blows her off assuming that she is lying to avoid breaking up with him. As if that wasn’t bad enough for her, her nemesis Jaden drops by at the worst possible moment and learns of Alex’s confession. Minute-long fight scene later, Jaden is dead.

Ultimately an episode of Nikita wouldn’t really feel right if there wasn’t some serious shooting, so the mandatory deaths swing in towards the end when the guardian takes matters into her own hands and fights back against Division. It is worth noting that Nikita manages to go the entire episode without shooting at someone, leaving it to the guardian, a great feat as far as she is concerned. After the dramatic climax of the episode; namely the guardian leaving, Nikita and Michael get a continuation of the many emotional heart-to-hearts that they’ve been having since Michael joined the fight against Division. Contemplating life beyond all of the chaos of their current existence, their back-and-forth balances well against the tone of the episode.

Just when it seems like all is done, “Glass Houses” has one more surprise up its sleeve however, when Alex reports back to Division after Jaden’s death. Amanda informs her that Jaden had been fitted with a listening device and that she knows what really happened in the head-to-head between them. With her cover now blown, Alex’s life is in extreme peril and the end of the first season of Nikita is set up to be either amazing or really, really cop-out bad. If the writers pull off something special, Nikita will go down as one of the best new shows of the year; if they blow it on an easy way out ending, it will be forgettable.

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About Ali McIntyre

I write about television.

Posted on April 29, 2011, in Reviews, Television and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Actually, they’ve done this plot multiple times. Nikita/Daniel, Owen/Emily, threatened Alex/Blonde Neighbor, and now Dana/Copper. It’s ground the show likes to tread, apparently.

    I’m also worried to see how the writers are going to get Alex out of this situation. I heard that they were prepping for either a cancellation or Season 2, so the ending should give the audience both closure and an incentive to watch if the show gets picked up.

  2. I only discounted Owen from the list because he was, for however brief a time, still sort of doing his job. However, yes, it is pretty hard to deny that they don’t half enjoy writing the same story over and over.

    As for the ending I guess we’ll have to wait and see, but I’m not expecting anything too fantastical!

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