'Nikita' Recap: Alex Opposes Nikita in 'Inevitability'
After two seasons of fighting outside forces, the biggest foe in Nikita's third season is starting to be Team Nikita themselves - although the White House isn't far behind after this episode.
The President of Chad (guest star Jonathan Adams, from Bones and who kind of already played this type of character as Kamba in Burn Notice) meets with his CIA handler in a dark alley and kills him. In case you didn't know he was a bad guy, Ryan explains that to Team Nikita, saying that President Pierre is heading to a party to make a sweetheart deal with the Russians. "You're talking about another assassination," Alex says unhappily, and doesn't want to play along, leading Nikita to head to Paris on her own, which makes a spying Amanda curious. Also raising an eyebrow is Sean, who tells Michael he thinks that Alex has been different since returning from her abduction. If that's not enough to get you concerned, Amanda tells her latest henchwoman, Zoe (played by Merle Dandridge, Sons of Anarchy) that she wants her to help Nikita. Wait, what?
Sonya confronts Birkhoff and Alex, demanding to know what's going on around the office, pointing out she and the other Division agents stayed because they were told there wouldn't be any more lies. Birkhoff doesn't want to chat, though, and Sonya leaves unhappily. "I'm tired of all of it," Birkhoff admits to Alex after she's gone. He goes on to say he's going to try and find something on government honcho Danforth (guest star Richard T. Jones) that they can use for leverage, and Alex takes the idea and runs with it, declaring that they ought to search his apartment.
Meanwhile, Nikita, Owen and Sean are on the ground in Paris, with Nikita playing the part of a journalist schmoozing with President Pierre. Of course, the wine is drugged, but while they're impatiently wait for it to take effect (much to Michael's amusement), an unexpected guest crashes the party: Zoe. She whips out a gun, shoots President Pierre, and panic ensues, followed by a brawl between her and Nikita in the hotel kitchen that's broken up by the cops. Zoe shoots the cops and escapes before anyone else can get to her. Now Michael is not amused.
Neither is the President (guest star Michelle Nolden), who informs Danforth, whose response is to recommend the termination of Division. "It's time to put our affairs in order," the President says as ominous music swells. Elsewhere, Zoe is not happy to know that Amanda's idea of payment is a copy of President Pierre's list of the identities of numerous CIA agents, while Alex and Birkhoff both agree that they're not happy with the current state of affairs. Just minutes later, they sneak into a compound where Danforth is prepping a small army to take care of Division. Time to panic!
They run back to the office and spill the beans to the rest of the ensemble. A shocked Ryan tries to call Danforth and play nice, but Danforth pretty much dismisses him, leading Ryan to believe the President doesn't have any idea what's really going on. Alex proposes assassinating Danforth, but Nikita, Ryan and Michael aren't biting, preferring to hope that they can save face by capturing Zoe. "Maybe it's time you let someone else do the thinking," Alex snaps at Ryan. She promptly walks out onto the Operations floor and declares that "It's time you all learned the truth about Division and the men the government is sending to kill us." This infuriates Nikita, who has to be calmed down by Michael. Sonya just wants to know what else Birkhoff has been hiding.
Nikita tries to make a counter-argument in front of everyone, but it turns into an argument between her and Alex, who's busy implementing her plan to kill Danforth. "Once we get Zoe, we will deal with Commander Danforth," she promises, which seems to placate everyone. Cut to the club where Zoe is meeting with her Russian contact, only for Nikita and Alex to walk in and start a fight. This is the only series where women can fight in club-appropriate outfits and still look ready for a night out afterward. Nikita shoots Zoe and Alex recovers the flash drive containing the CIA operative list.
We're then treated to a news report with a perfect cover story, which prompts Amanda to call Danforth herself...at the same time that Nikita comes up behind him with a gun. Danforth hangs up on Amanda to deal with Nikita, who wants him to play nice. Everyone in Division can hear them, and Danforth is not pleased when he finds out there's now a very incriminating file on him. Nikita hands him back the list and tells him that if he crosses them again, she'll expose any number of dirty little secrets, including his. He tells the President what Division wants her to hear, and convinces her to keep the lights on at Division, even though it's obvious he's not happy to do so.
But all is not well. Alex and Nikita still have a tension in their relationship, and they have a brief conversation before Alex leaves Nikita to think on what's just happened.
This is a pretty strong episode, most of the drama coming from Alex actively opposing Nikita again (let's not forget when she was working with an Amanda-led Division before). It's always interesting when all the characters aren't on the same page, although a little of snippy Alex does go a long way. The end of the episode seems to indicate that the differences between the two aren't going to be easily resolved. If the show stays out of repeating the dynamic it used the last time they were on opposite sides, that could be an entertaining arc, especially since now there are plenty of other main characters who will undoubtedly have their own opinions and possibly end up picking sides.
If there's an issue with "Inevitability," it comes when looking further down the line. Nikita has never been afraid to leap forward with huge game-changers, but after a season where you've made enemies out of people in the White House, how much bigger can you get? And as previously mentioned, Amanda's spent two seasons as the show's resident villain, so she may be reaching the end of her usefulness as well. Nikita is at its best when it has a major villain for the audience to truly hate, and it seems like the show's already gone through many of the possible options. Who's going to be the next threat? That's going to be the million-dollar question.