Entertainment Magazine

Review #2488: Nikita 1.20: “Glass Houses”

Posted on the 02 May 2011 by Entil2001 @criticalmyth

Contributor: Henry T.

Written by Kalinda Vazquez
Directed by Ralph Hemecker

If Nikita and Michael and Alex were planning to get Alex out of Division right now, they need to accelerate those plans. What happened at the end of this episode was eventually going to happen. It was the result of an incredibly convenient contrivance, but it has happened. She is left on her own for much of the episode and while she may prove to be a capable agent, her personal life outside of Division has interfered with her work. Nikita isn’t much help to her here, as she and Michael have to deal with a rogue Guardian agent that has to be reeled in by Percy. That plot felt more procedural than I think the show’s producers and writers wanted it to be. The show has never really dealt with procedural elements so far. The resolution was also unclear. I presume that Nikita still has the black box, which will not make Percy happy and might put Michael in danger.

Review #2488: Nikita 1.20: “Glass Houses”

The Guardian plot paralleled Nikita and Michael’s story a bit too much for me. It was as if the writers wanted to tell the audience that Winters’ life of going away from Division life was going to happen to Nikita. Winters let go of guarding the black box and was trying to start a family. Why she didn’t do it far away from where she was keeping the black box guarded is beyond me, but the plot needed that to work in a way.

It was telling Nikita that no matter how far she runs after she takes down Percy, she’ll never really escape Division’s clutches. Winters put civilians in danger, something that Nikita seems unwilling to do unless it benefits her goals in some way. Those complications about wanting a normal civilian life away from constant danger may partly drive Nikita to take down Division, but I can’t see it having an adequate payoff. Also, from what Owen said about the Guardians in general just last week, Winters doesn’t fit that bill. Where is her regimen of drugs? If she isn’t taking them, why isn’t she suffering from regimen withdrawal? Just because she has a “normal” life does not mean she is exempt from the rules the show has previously established. Plus, the woman shot four guys in cold blood right in front of her previously unknowing stepson. That is going to mess him up more than the episode acknowledges. So while Nikita and Michael may have that happy ending they so desperately want, it doesn’t feel like it will be an easy life getting away from Division.

If seeing Winters’ personal life away from Division doesn’t scare Nikita, seeing what happens to Alex might do it. She willingly tells Nathan that she’s a secret assassin. Knowing the tropes of the spy show genre, this is not going to end up well for anyone. Usually that means the civilian party is dead, but this show goes on another path. Jaden ends up getting caught in the middle and, being the dutiful Division agent that she is, wants to report all of it. Alex can’t have that happen so they duke it out, right there in her apartment.

Jaden dies, further proving how really useless and one-note the character has been throughout the season. She was an agent all of one episode and really was just the primary antagonism and annoyance for Alex all season. Her death served no purpose except to give Amanda the information needed to get the drop on Alex. The cochlear microphone in Jaden’s earring is really convenient and really makes her death a cheat. She was just one of Percy and Amanda’s tools and while it creates a suspenseful ending, it doesn’t feel earned in any way. The exit strategy for Alex may have to be hastened, however. Given how lovey-dovey Nikita and Michael are right now, they might need to organize their priorities a little more.

The end of this season seems to be defined by Percy’s black boxes and Nikita’s acquisition of them. It seems easy enough, especially with Michael on the inside providing any information that might be of use to her. Even Alex acknowledged in this episode how Michael could be a better double agent than she could ever be! The question now becomes whether or not Nikita is willing to sacrifice Alex to destroy the black boxes, thus destroying Percy and Division. If she wants to save Alex from her current predicament (as I assume she will), things will have to be sped up. Amanda has all that she needs now for Percy to come down with the cancellation order on Alex. I just hope it all gets more integrated somehow. There is still this odd separation between characters and plot elements that she still hasn’t resolved. It may never do that and with the series still on the bubble for renewal, there may not be a resolution that will prove satisfying.

Grade: 7/10

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