NIKITA “2.0” Review

Nikita (CW) - 2.0

With NIKITA, The CW departs from its general fare of teenage high jinks and debauchery. (And before the hate mail starts, no, I don’t consider Supernatural part of the debauched group.) The darker, action-packed pilot episode of Nikita was largely a vehicle for introducing the characters, their background and relationships. So inevitably, the second episode “2.0” would have to modify its presentation and vamp up its plot, in order to maintain viewer interest and make us care every time Nikita and Michael miss their chance at killing each other. For the most part, the episode does do this.

Michael and Percy place Dadich, a former Slavic leader and war criminal, under Division’s protective custody. Division offers to return Dadich to the seat of power if he gives them the whereabouts of his stash of enriched uranium. Alex gets activated for Operation Dadich, acting as an escort. Nikita attempts to interfere with Division’s plans, but is thwarted by a group of mercenaries who are also seeking nuclear materials. They kidnap Dadich to get the GPS which stores the uranium’s location. But a gun fight breaks out, ending with Nikita destroying the GPS. In between these scenes, we learn that one year ago Nikita handpicked Alex as her accomplice; saved her from a drug addict’s life; and gave Alex a reason to live.

To start, I have some random thoughts. Alex pretends to be a dunce in hacker training but plays the expert in weapons assembly. Go figure. I like that she acts like a rebellious teenager when Nikita tells her not to rush things. Birkhoff is rather cocky when he’s not tied up. The fact that Division is not immune to budget cuts is laughable and decreases the formidableness of the organization. Michael’s expression immediately before Alex enters the hotel room is quite telling and emotive. For someone who is so gung ho about being activated for an operation, it doesn’t seem likely that Jaden would have started a fight with Alex. Old habits, I guess.

Maggie Q and Shane West are suited to their roles, though I think it may be happenstance that their portrayals of Nikita and Michael are in sync with the characters’ personas. After the blank-faced looks and menacing stares from the first episode, I was ready to be critical; but I only cringed a few times during tonight’s Nikita. Maggie Q and West capture the essence of their characters pretty successfully. However, I do still find West a bit iffy as Michael. Certainly his limited dialogue has not helped the matter, but I’m having a hard time reconciling his boyish charm in past endearing roles (Once and Again, A Walk to Remember, ER) with his often imitative rendition of Michael. In any case, I (perhaps counterintuitive) think both of them are appealing and watchable. And I look forward to episode three.

What did you think about episode 2 “2.0” of Nikita?