For listing Nikita as number six of my top 10 series of last year, I have yet to write one word about it… which I find weirdly sad. I discovered Nikita during winter break of 2012 (which is to say January, 2012), where I binge-watched all of season one and then the first half of season two, catching up to it in real time. At first, I thought of it as a tiring game of catch and mouse between Nikita and Michael, but I was obviously judging it way too soon. In the blink of an eye, Nikita transformed again and again, burning through story lines quicker than The CW’s show about vampires (which is, if you don’t know, really fast). It was unafraid of moving along. It knew when it had change course, when it was growing too stagnant. Even though it could have milked Alex as a mole inside Division for the entirety of its freshman season, it never cared to play things that safely. And that’s just the writing aspect. It also became a vehicle for top notch performances; Maggie Q in season two, episode 19 “Wrath” was captivating, a display that was buried with the taint of The CW’s image.
At the end of season two, Nikita killed off its major antagonist. An entire series worth of story had been explored. There was nowhere to go but square one. This time, our protagonists would discover how it was to walk inside the evildoer’s shoes.
In fact, I would venture to say that this season, its third, of Nikita is the first time any of it has ever felt a bit at a standstill. Amanda, who is admittedly more charismatic (at least personally), is in hiding from Division, while still playing mind games with Nikita. At points, it’s been fun, and at others, it’s been sort of a lull. But I don’t know if I would actually think that if this weren’t Nikita. Regardless, the show has seemingly found a more introspective approach with this season. Season three is all about how Division can change those in charge of it (in this case, Nikita and Co.). Nikita has been constantly reminding herself and those around her that they’re going to shut down Division safely and surely, but slowly the place and the missions that come along with it have been transitioning Division into the same old institution that it always was, morphing our heroes into something different as well. With the development of a season-long arc, comes the responsibilities of actually stretching those stories out into 22 episodes, so I can’t exactly fault writers for filling in with what they can. Though, I will say that this season’s structure is unusual for the series.
Even then, the series has put great effort into displaying some of the characters’ own conflict with themselves this season. Of course, front and center we have Nikita, who has been denying that she is running Division closely into the way it always has been run. Michael may have lost something physical — his hand — but it has made him question his usefulness in the machine that is Division and in the relationship he shares with Nikita. Recently, Owen faced his past and is burgeoning with the outcomes of realizing who he is. Amanda manipulated Alex’s mind to exploit her very being into staging a coup back at Division.
Most importantly, even with this introspective season, the show has continued to surprise and shock and move forward. Its latest developments, having Alex indirectly begin a mutiny, is the reason I felt the need to finally make a post about this season. The best part of it all is that every twist and turn is always rooted in something already established about everyone’s character, and there is no exception when it comes to Alex’s latest story line.
I guess what I’m saying is that season three of Nikita may have changed the game a bit, so much so that at points I was feeling fatigued. But it still has several tricks left up its sleeve. And three seasons in, countless stories explored, it can still manage to create interesting dramatic tension and character development. And the season isn’t even over; I can’t wait to see what they come up with next.