Contributor: Henry T.
Written by Carlos Coto
Directed by Robert Lieberman
I think this episode tried to overreach with its purpose. It piled on plot element and plot element into the mission and made it so complicated that it was admittedly difficult for me to keep up. There was the possibility that Alex could reveal her job to Nathan, the possibility that she could leave Division, her having to deal with Jaden’s training to become an agent, and a crown prince who wants to assassinate his father. It feels too overstuffed. Especially when you factor in that Nikita and Michael treat it as if it’s Alex’s first mission and Nikita is the den mother who has to keep tabs on her child. It’s denser than what has been presented so far in the season, but I still wonder where the show is going to end up come finale time.
If both Nikita and Michael believe that Alex is in danger at Division, which is legitimate since the cancellation order on her is still out, then they should have some way to get her out. Only the plan seemed more complicated than it should be. Entangling the exit within one of Division’s missions is risky. Mucking things up is a debate on the good versus evil direction of Division. I have to say that I just don’t see Michael’s argument over this making much sense. Division puts up a good front and yes, they are deeper than the CIA or any other government agency would be, but they are supposed to be the Bad Guy. Everything about the series up to this point has shown them to be the bad guy so they have to be taken down. It’s that cut-and-dry. It looks odd for Michael and Nikita to suddenly become a couple and bicker about this one key thing. The episode framed them as the worried parents overseeing their surrogate child, Alex, on the first day of school.
Alex does prove to be much more skilled than someone on their first mission, though. Through all the complicated moves done on the mission, she kept her cool and thoroughly worked the problem. Jaden put aside her animosity towards Alex and helped her as things went along. I have to question why they would even have the animosity between characters in the first place if this was the end result, but I get the feeling it was just to generate some artificial conflict. There is a larger plan at work with Alex as the mole inside Division and that gives me more rooting stake in what she does than what Jaden does as an agent blindly following orders for Division. There was little doubt in my mind that either agent was in much danger from the traitorous crown prince, however, though that might have been my fault because I was trying to keep up with the plot as presented. There’s an infiltration, then there’s the assassination attempt with another foreign agent, the stuff with the head of security, and Nikita trying to fashion Alex’s escape while fighting said foreign agent and defusing a bomb. It’s a busy episode and a lot of things might have gotten lost in the shuffle.
In the end, where has this gotten us? Alex still stands firm in taking down Division from the inside and Nikita seems worried about that. It seems like the rest of the season will be spent with Nikita and Michael arguing which way to get Alex out of danger. I have mixed feelings about this. The show does need a dash of romance sprinkled into it. There just doesn’t seem to be much chemistry between Nikita and Michael, unless they count bickering as part of it. The constant friction between them could place Alex in a precarious position unless someone picks up their game. The less mentioned about Nathan and Alex’s relationship, the better. Unfortunately, I still do not see anything in this episode that would elevate the series to something above ordinary.