'Nikita' Recap: 'Doublecross' (2.16)
After a month of reruns, we finally get three new episodes of Nikita. This one's packed full of action, if not necessarily big surprises, although there is one unpleasant one in the final minutes.
Division has seen four agents killed in three days, which has made Amanda very unhappy, and the lower-level agents disgruntled. Michael and Birkhoff bring this information to Nikita, with Michael insistent that the targeted agents were members of a task force Percy had him assemble to deal with Gogol. "Not again with the rescuing and the saving of the enemy!" Birkhoff protests, but Nikita doesn't want to hear it.
When she and Michael try to make content with the next potential target, all they end up doing is getting Nikita hurt and the girl abducted. The agent ends up in the bottom of an empty swimming pool, because that's where typical torture victims end up, but surprisingly it's not Gogol that has her - it's Percy pretending to be Russian, and Patrick Miller (William deVry) doing the dirty work. Yes, this is a frame job, designed to incite rebellion.
Amanda turns to Nikita and Michael to find Percy, convincing them to trade him for Ryan (Noah Bean), who's taken up residence in Percy's plastic box. There's a brief struggle before Nikita finds Percy, and she, Michael and Birkhoff have a not-so-friendly chat with him that starts with Birkhoff trying to punch him (and failing). "If everything goes sideways, I'll make sure you die first," Michael tells him, which makes me so happy for some reason. Unsurprisingly, Carla (Erica Gimpel) has her own agenda, one that's quickly sussed out by Birkhoff.
While he holds her at gunpoint, accidentally shoots her, and then she shoots up the place, a ton of other stuff happens: the exchange goes down, but a melee ensues when Roan gets the drop on Amanda's rocket launcher-wielding agent. Everyone shoots at everyone else. Nikita gives Miller a pipe to the stomach. Percy and Roan escape. And because it's the most dramatic option, Nikita gets back just in time for Carla to confess everything with her dying breath.
Meanwhile, Alex is in Moscow still attempting to get her mother back, and Carla is insistent that Amanda will betray Alex in the end. Never mind that she's in turn betraying Nikita with Percy. While Division's underlings demand that Amanda stop helping Alex, Sean (Dillon Casey) shows up to act as her new bodyguard. "I can't say I have my own hashtag, like somebody I know," he quips. She is not amused, but at least he understands her mommy issues. With him by her side, she finds that her mother's disappeared, and blames Ari (Peter Outerbridge), who tells her about Semak's impending "fatal accident." Sean and Alex discover that Ari has a deep-cover MI6 operative out to kill Semak: Michael's baby mama, Cassandra.
There's quite a bit going on in "Doublecross," some of it great and some not so much. On the plus side, I can finally see Sean as a plausible love interest for Alex, now that he's not dealing with Division. If that's still the plan (which I'm not sure it is anymore, as we're so far into the season already), I wouldn't be opposed to it. It was also neat to see some other Division operatives, even as just minor characters, since we don't see many of them as is. And honestly, after a month's hiatus, I'm just happy to see Maggie Q and Shane West on my TV again.
On the other hand, Carla has officially worn out her welcome, and even though she exited this week, she still grated on me until that point. Her relentlessly pro-Division righteousness was getting old the last time we saw her, and I never really warmed to her character, who has never seemed to me as capable as the show wants me to believe she is. I'm glad that she finally took a bullet this week, because unlike Nikita, I couldn't sympathize with her. And I'm not sure how fond I am of having one of the episode's major plot twists as the title of the episode; it kind of blows any suspense, although I'd argue in this case that we should have seen it coming by the very nature of the show.
My biggest issue, though, is the one that develops at the end: the idea that we have to see Cassandra again. I didn't like her when she was first introduced as a civilian, I didn't believe a word of her 'surprise' MI6 past when we saw her the second time, and I certainly didn't need to see her again with yet another spontaneous reveal. The only good thing that comes of her is that Shane West gets to play with all sorts of emotions, but other than that, she's another character who needs to exit as soon as possible.
We'll see how this all plays out next week, but as we're getting toward the end of the season, it's time to start dealing with the plot twists and sorting out a messy second season. This is one step in that direction. What do you think the next will be?
(c)2012 Brittany Frederick/Digital Airwaves. All rights reserved. No reproduction permitted.