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Review #2466: Nikita 1.18: “Into the Dark”

Posted on the 19 April 2011 by Entil2001 @criticalmyth

Contributor: Henry T.

Written by Albert Kim
Directed by Jeffrey Hunt

I’m running out of patience with this series. It’s late in the season and they should be getting down to business in the home stretch and yet, why does it feel like it’s more of the same? This was a really talky episode, feeling sometimes ponderous, like the writers were given directives to keep explaining the plot to the audience so we don’t get lost. Owen returns to the scene, which means Nikita has to hunt for Percy’s black boxes again, this time with Michael in tow. Alex seemingly gets lost in the shuffle as she deals with Amanda’s questioning at Division, as if the hallucinogenic interrogation in “Echoes” wasn’t enough. Repetitive and lazy plotting for the most part, nothing to indicate there is any plot advancement.

Review #2466: Nikita 1.18: “Into the Dark”

Seeing Owen return to the fold means more work for Michael and Nikita on getting the black boxes. An argument on what to do about the boxes ensues once the one in London has been located. Nikita wants to destroy them, which is the course of action I agree with, and Owen wants to use them as leverage to blackmail Percy. That could open up a bigger can of worms than Owen might see. Even getting the second box proves to be problematic, as Owen suffers from withdrawal headaches due to a drug regimen that the Guardians are affixed with.

The headaches pop up at a convenient time during the episode, in the middle of a fight with the Guardian, and a lot of characters who are supposed to be secret do things completely out in public view! It is also quite convenient that Nikita may have knowledge of most of Division’s operations, but is in the dark (pun unintended) about what the Guardians do as a whole. One thinks that it’s late in the season so there remains a few other black boxes to be taken out and that might be saved for future episodes if the series makes it to next year. Percy might do well to take Michael’s suggestion at changing the Guardian protocol to heart since it feels inevitable that Nikita will get to them all.

Alex’s subplot seemed to rehash what we as an audience already know about her. We know what really happened with Thom and her elevation to agent status. We already know that Jaden hates her and that Amanda is suspicious of her. So I don’t quite understand why Amanda has to interrogate her again. We did this with the episode-long interrogation in “Echoes” so it already feels like filler. Jaden’s antagonism towards Alex is then wasted in a debriefing scene that adds nothing of value. Amanda then makes veiled threats towards Alex when she initially lies to her then tells the truth, sort of.

I thought they might expand on Amanda’s threat towards Michael but he evades her questioning as well. Is anyone else doubting the effectiveness of Amanda’s supposedly master interrogation techniques? By the end of the episode, they have moved nowhere. Alex is still confident in her mole techniques inside Division and Amanda still has the cancellation order on Alex. It would be useful for the subplot to add something to the proceedings, otherwise it just feels pointless.

The series is in dire need of some movement, some momentum to get to the season finale. It feels like all the characters want to do is talk and talk. That may have worked to build a base at the beginning of the season, but the season is now almost over. The larger impression advanced by this episode was that it left me cold. Nikita and company move around to various places in the world and kill people or get into various forms of danger.

“Alias” did very much the same thing, but “Nikita” lacks the overarching mythology that made that series compelling to watch week after week. Many times, I don’t care about these characters and what happens to them. Nothing that has been presented so far has really changed that thought. It’s not that the series is bad overall, but there seems to be something missing and I don’t know what that is. I doubt the series will find it by the end of the season.

Grade: 6/10


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