Nikita Season 4 Review “Canceled”

Canceled

Brutality versus deception – that’s the question Nikita finally decided to dwell on in its final hour, and is that was able to explore the true nature of its protagonist before fading to black forever. This show has always been great with action, with strong relationships between female characters and an identity that it never really wavered from over four seasons, but one of the prime strengths of Nikita was its titular character. Maggie Q has always done a great job and, in that, the writers have had the freedom to create a flawed and complicated heroine that, come the series finale, we could believe had gone rogue.

With Amanda nipping away at her heels for a couple of seasons now, as well as the false sense of freedom that was ripped away from her and Ryan’s death, the idea that Nikita would completely lose the plot and brutally wipe out The Group was entirely plausible. I thought for a moment that this would be how the show would end – not with Nikita locked up, as such, but at least bringing out the assassin in her just as we began back in the Nikita vs. Division days. That’s how we were introduced to her, after all, and a show like this was never going to go down the predictable route.

But this was all a bluff, as Nikita and Alex were simply staging an elaborate production to lure Amanda into thinking she had won. Did I like this ending for Amanda, and thus her rivalry with Nikita? Sure. But did I love the episode? Not really. Historical fact – I’ve never been very good with finales. They always seem so rushed to me and, with Nikita only getting six hours to finish off an alarmingly complicated series and so many characters to deal with, that sense was only heightened. Overall, I’d rate this final season an A+ but, though this opinion may be an unpopular one, I felt as if ‘Cancelled’ was the weakest episode if the six.

The last two weeks have felt very big and important – with the explosion that nearly wiped out our cast, Birkoff’s reunion with his father and Ryan’s epic final moments – and ‘Cancelled’ felt small in comparison. Aside from a couple of montages that showed Alex and Nikita seemingly taking out members of The Group one by one, we were confined to one room and several telephone conversations that didn’t really matter once the con was revealed. I get that the writers wanted to discuss how far Nikita had or hadn’t come since the early days, but heartfelt conversations that make little sense in retrospect get on my nerves.

And where was Alex’s resolution? Though Nikita might be the central protagonist, we began with two strong characters that both deserved their moment in the sun – a comment on Alex’s growth over four seasons wouldn’t have gone amiss. On the plus side, I enjoyed the few morsels of Owen we were offered through Sam’s conversation with Nikita, and the finale scene between Nikita and Michael (though Ryan’s reappearance was unbearably cheesy) was perfect. Watching the two of them relaxing with cocktails on a beach just wouldn’t have felt right, and I’m glad we can imagine the gang still fighting the good fight despite their win.

Nikita was one of those shows that never got the recognition it deserved but, for those who did stick by it, it was probably always one of their favorite hours of the week. I might have been tempted to rail against The CW for not getting behind one of their strongest series but, with them offering us a pre-warned conclusion like this, that seems uncharitable. There’s literally nothing like Nikita on the air anymore, and that’s a crying shame. It shall be remembered fondly by those few who managed to catch it, and let’s just hope it gets a new life through Netflix.

What did you think of the episode, the season and the show? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.