Welcome back, recruits! Thursday, Jan. 27’s “Nikita’s” episode, “Free,” saw the introduction of a new love interest for Alex, a kiss, some interesting flashbacks and –what else?– Michael kicking down a door!
“Nikita” became one of our must-watch shows after their fantastic mid-season finale which proved to be a total game-changer. Alex killed fellow recruit/nice guy Thom, earning her heartbreak, her first kill and the promotion to agent. Let’s dive in, shall we?
We open on our two girls Nikita (Maggie Q) and Alex (Lyndsy Fonseca) storming a castle (OK, not really, but it looks like one) to retrieve a black box (or as we like to refer to them — a horcrux). While searching for the black box, Alex randomly goes under the bed and finds a hidden iPod, which she begins to smile at before a dead Thom (Ashton Holmes), complete with pale face and a gunshot wound, appears beside her and says,” “Is this really the life you wanted, Alex?” Well, we think he said that because a dead Thom is a lot harder to hear then a living and breathing Thom. Obviously we realize this is a dream sequence.
Alex soon wakes up to everyone’s favorite ray of sunshine, Birkhoff. While a nurse covers Alex’s neck wound, Percy and Michael (Shane West) talk about the chip that was just planted into her neck, which we’re lead to believe is more than a tracker, especially when VoldePercy says the word “retroactive.” Yikes. Agent-with-a-heart-of-gold Michael thinks it’s a little extreme, while VoldePercy says it’s absolutely necessary and tells Michael to keep Alex in the dark. He says something about free will and we still hate him.
After taking Birkhoff’s advanced Chip 101 class, Alex and Michael talk about her activation. “Don’t be… you get to rejoin the rest of the world,” Michael tells her after Alex says she’s a little nervous. As Ales walks through the
Dollhouse training room one last time, Jaden runs up to give Alex a hug and the other half of a jagged BFF necklace. Just kidding! “Congrats on making agent… even though you had to kill Thom to do it. I hope you get everything you deserve.” You can tell Alex is really going to miss her.
Alex and Michael pull up in her new KIA to her new apartment. As the two open the door, cute neighbor across the hall is leaving (Welcome, Thad Luckinbill! Good to see you!) and exchanges a quick look with Alex. Michael looks amused.
When the two finally enter her new digs, Alex is like a kid in a candy store scoping out her new place. You can clearly tell she likes it, but offers Michael a curt “It’ll do.” We love her. Michael goes over Alex’s cover with her, which is Alex Wilson, youth trend consultant for a guerrilla marketing company. Trendy choice, Division.
As Michael is leaving, Alex is uncertain of what to do, clearly being on her own for the first time in years. We’ve seen her being nurtured by Nikita and then taken in by Division so it’s refreshing to see a new, almost vulnerable, side to Alex now that she’s realizing she really is on her own. Michael tells her “What you do when you’re off duty is your business.” Just as we were about to say “Except they’ll be keeping dibs on everywhere you go and will kill anyone if you love them,” Michael adds, “As long as it doesn’t blow your cover.” Division should just hand out a pamphlet to newly-activated agents that tells the sad tale of Nikita’s blown cover that says “DON’T DO THIS!” in big red letters on the cover.
Alex goes to a really fancy-like Bed, Bath & Beyond where Nikita is waiting for her. The two share a touching moment and we realize it’s the first time they’ve seen each other since Alex killed Thom. It’s bittersweet to see them hug affectionately and then to hear them talk about Thom almost as if he was a fortunate accident.
Nikita tells Alex she has to remove her tracker and is shocked when she finds out they put in her neck, saying they’re usually placed in the hip. Nikita tries to act calm and collected, but we can see something is bothering her. A chip connected to a cortex can do that to a bad*ss without a lot of neurology skills.
FLASHBACK! Four years ago, VoldePercy is hosting a viewing party for some of Division, including Nikita and Michael. He’s gathered everyone to watch the death of a North Korean leader on live television. What a party animal. We learn that Nikita implanted the first kill chip in the leader’s body and she is clearly shaken by his death. Percy makes the suggestion then to start planting the kill chip within new agents along with their tracking devices. He’s a bad, bad man with no redeeming qualities. Or we’ll just use Nikita’ s line, “Percy, you son of a b*tch.” Amen, sister-friend.
Nikita interrupts CIA analyst Ryan Fletcher (Noah Bean) while he’s on a date. (“She wants you dude, congrats!”) Nikita obviously needs something from Fletcher and it’s no easy feat: She wants him to arrest Birkhoff. As Ryan is going through the file that Nikita gave him, he looks up and like a candle in the wind, Nikita is gone. Later, Fletcher and Nikita meet up in an alley where Nikita tells him she needs Birkhoff’s laptop to stop what’s going on (Alex’s kill chip). One problem: His laptop is rigged to fry his hard-drive if it’s taken more than 25 feet away from him so Nikita will have to break into the CIA. So. Cool.
Alex is having trouble opening her door (while wearing a really cute sweater) as her arms are full of groceries and she’s mid-flashback (Alex and her father six years ago in the Russian wilderness where he’s teaching her to start a fire and to lose her Russian accent). Nathan takes one of the bags from her and helps her into her apartment as he comments on seeing her and her “boyfriend” move in earlier. (Cue Michael/Nikita fans yelling “he’s not her boyfriend!”) Alex corrects the boyfriend statement and tells Nathan that he’s just a “co-worker.”
We already like Nathan because he thinks of things like a “Zombie Apocalypse” as the reason for buying six jars of Fluff and knows he should have brought welcome wine. He invites her to a party he’s throwing at his place and Alex politely declines, but we all know she’s going to go anyway. He’s cute. Meanwhile, Birkhoff is leaving a comic book store (Nerd!) when a van pulls up and takes him away.
Alex and Nikita have another conversation at their new rendezvous point (between the warm-colored linens and the cool-colored linens) where Nikita reminds Alex that she’s not just a normal girl and she’ll soon receive The Call reminding her of that. Alex can tell Nikita is hiding something and the two have a truth-off. Winner: Nikita.
“From what you told me, the guy thinks he is God,” Fletcher says after Nikita tells him it’s time to put the fear of God in Birkhoff. This line caused us to have an epiphany: Birkhoff is like the cranky cousin of “Dollhouse’s” Topher. (If you haven’t watched “Dollhouse,” please do so immediately.) Birkhoff is a tough egg to crack and Fletcher barely makes a dent with his “Shadow walker” threats. At Division, VoldePercy misses
Peter Pettigrew Birkhoff and they all realize if he’s missing, Nikita’s behind it. Division is kind of her b*tch.
Cue Alex staring wistfully at Nathan’s door, which holds the promise of loud party music and drunk creepy guys behind i
t. Obviously tempted to experience a normal party, Alex caves and walks into Nathan’s. Alex and Nathan talk for a bit (we find out she doesn’t know what the LSATs are. No comment.) before the building manager’s creepy son comes over and gets his creep all over Alex who kicks the creep out of him and then runs out embarrassed while we all cheer.
Nikita realizes they don’t have much time left with Birkhoff so she sends in the big guns to get his password: Herself. His sarcastic crankiness disappears when he hears her say “Hey nerd.” “I always knew you were really crazy, but I never pegged you for stupid,” Birkhoff tells Nikita. Smart thing to say to the woman who implanted a transmitter in your canine. Nikita threatens to implant multiple transmitters he if doesn’t give her the password.
When Nikita goes back to the room with Fletcher, he’s all broody over her doing whatever it takes to complete her mission. What. A. Chick. Nikita reveals the reason she needs the password so badly and tells Ryan a little bit about Alex, who is currently having a hallway chat with Neighbor Nathan. He invites her out again. Alex is wary of his niceness and he tells her “You look like you can use a friend and believe it or not, I know exactly how that feels.” Our secret radar just went off with that last line. Our theory? He’s a secret Division agent who is keeping tabs on Alex. Then again, he could just be normal.
FLASHBACK! Alex and her father are back in the woods resuming her wilderness training and her father tells her music and radio are distractions from who she was meant to become. What did her father know and what was he preparing her for? Did he know Division was after him?
Birkhoff finally cracks and uses the Blu-ray player to contact Division to save his techy butt, giving Nikita his password in the process. Michael gets the message and storms off to yet another face-off with Nikita. Naturally, we’re excited. Michael arrives by himself and because Nikita is still not done preventing Alex’s future murder via the click of a mouse, Fletcher stalls Michael who eventually kicks down the door to get to Birkhoff. The man has a flair for the dramatic.
“Dude, you have no idea how messy things are about to get,” Birkhoff knowingly tells Fletcher when Michael and Nikita are both stuck in the hallway after being stopped by CIA agents and security guards. The two take out their respective annoyances (Nikita with her messenger bag) and she gets away yet again. Alex returns to Division to install Malware for Nikita when Stepford den-mother Amanda approaches to ask how life on the outside is going and make creepy sexual implications about Nathan before reminding her she belongs to Division. Alex looks like she wants to “connect” her fist to Amanda’s face.
Fletcher and the CIA are holding Michael and Birkhoff before they are forced to be released and Fletcher knows he’s in trouble for not getting approval to bring in Birkhoff. More bad news bears for Fletcher? Division knows he’s an ally of Nikita now.
Later at Division, the powers that be are trying to find out why Nikita wanted Birkhoff’s password. Soon, a recorded message from Nikita pops up on every screen in the joint saying even though they killed her mole, she’s still coming after them. “If any of you recruits or agents are having any doubts, and you should, I’m always looking for another good soldier.” Can she get any more bad*ss? Rhetorical question, don’t answer that.
Nikita meets up with Fletcher who broods again, but this time about his demotion which basically gives janitors more security access than him. To stop his complaining (and ’cause he’s kind of cute), Nikita kisses him. “You used me,” Fletcher accuses. Nikita doesn’t hold back. “I know, but I’m going to make it up to you.” How? She says she’s going to make him a hero.
Nikita and Alex have another shopping post-game recap, where Nikita tells Alex her tracker is deactivated and tells her If you wanna go, you’re free.” Alex is shocked that Nikita is suggesting she run. “I was never meant to live a normal life,” Alex says, basically repeating what her father told her in the flashbacks. Alex doesn’t want to run, she wants revenge.
FLASHBACK! Alex and her father are heading home, which turns out to be the castle-mansion from Alex’s dream earlier, where she crawls under the bed and takes out the hidden iPod. Cut to Alex finding Nathan in line at the bar he invited her to. The episodes ends on a young Alex laying under her bed listening to music with a smile on her face. It’s bittersweet to see Alex before her parents’ death, before the sex trafficking and before her life became a revenge mission.
Enough from us. What did you think of Nikita’s “Free”?