Contributor: Henry T.
Written by Jim Barnes
Directed by Eagle Egilsson
So after spending a couple of episodes focusing on expanding Alex’s backstory and Nikita staying in the background for the most part, then a month-long hiatus, Nikita dominates the story. It feels as if the writing staff has recognized that she bears the name of the show so she has to come back to the center. Alex’s ordeal with Amanda, as traumatic as it seemingly was, got brushed under a rug to develop the romance between neighbors. Michael finds Nikita and instead of going straight to Percy with the information, they both engage in a game of one-upsmanship to try and get what they want. I think it’s an odd way for the series to go as they head for the end of the season now.
The revelation that Michael had finally caught Nikita was the lone highlight of “Echoes.” So that was immediately undercut by the fact that Michael demanded from Nikita the location of Kasim, the man who blew up Michael’s family. So, once again (and this is getting to be a labored point this season), Michael has Nikita in his clutches only to let her go on her way. Sure, she has to go see the head of Gogol and the whole situation is fraught with danger, but Nikita has proven to have escaped difficult situations before. She gets Kasim alone with leverage on Michael.
This constant back-and-forth yields the information that Kasim is actually a Division deep cover agent who was ordered to kill Michael’s family. It’s hard to really care about that because everything up to that point was a shell game of sorts and the writers added complexity to the story where it arguably wasn’t necessary. The aftermath of the revelation was well-handled, though. Nikita inadvertently gains an ally in the coming war against Percy. It’s someone highly-placed so time will tell if it proves effective in bringing Division down.
As for Alex, the “romance” between her and Nathan is drawing less and less of my interest by the day. Nikita orders her to break things off with the sexy neighbor for fear that Amanda might latch onto it as a reason to kill her. Alex tries to do it, but ultimately succumbs to her softer side. It’s a marked contrast to her stone cold killer personality that had been ramped up in the previous episodes.
There are some who guess that Nathan is some kind of sleeper agent sent to watch Alex. It’s not completely out of the question (especially now that we know Kasim wasn’t who he seemed). While that would really increase the thrills quotient of the show, it seems like an easy way out, one that has been done in spy shows for a long time. Alex may not survive to the end of the season with Percy’s kill order so escape with Nathan seems like a viable alternative. I have to wonder if the writers will actually go there, though.
If it were up to me, I would ditch the efforts to make the show filled with more romance. Stick with making the story more thrilling and action-oriented. It is being bogged down by a mythology that isn’t all that interesting. Although that mythology has not become so unwieldy as to become confusing. I don’t quite understand why the writers felt the need to rehash the importance of Percy’s black boxes, but that felt like something the network demanded in light of the long layoff between episodes.
The game hasn’t really changed. The position of some of the key players has, though Nikita still has access to Division via a higher inside man. Amanda’s recommendation to Percy that Alex be terminated has to be addressed by the time the season ends. That might coincide with some kind of move Nikita and Michael make to finally take down Division.