Roughly once per season I like to check in on The CW’s “Nikita.”
It’s a show I continue to watch largely because it’s on on Fridays where I don’t have any DVR conflicts, which isn’t really a very good excuse for watching things unless you’re a TV critic and a completist. And it’s one of many CW shows that Sepinwall doesn’t watch, so I like to keep vaguely in the loop, just in case it’s urgent that somebody at HitFix know what’s happening on “Nikita.” It hasn’t happened yet, but I keep waiting.
The third “Nikita” season wrapped up on Friday (May 17) with an episode I’ve already seen fans calling “shocking,” but which left me really cold. I’d be contemplating dropping the show from my viewing roster, except that The CW has announced that “Nikita” has only a six-episode final season coming up at a TBD point next fall. I can stick it out for six more episodes, even if nothing about where the show is going seems especially interesting to me.
Click through for my thoughts on the finale and the season and then, assuming y’all have thoughts, you can chime in. If not? I’ll know why I only write about “Nikita” once a year.
The disappointing part about the past three or four episodes of the “Nikita” season is that, for me, I was finding Season 3 to be a big improvement in many ways. In the first season, “Nikita” struggled to integrate mythology episodes at all and over-relied, as so many procedurals of this type do, on bland case-of-the-week episodes. In the second season, the concentration on the Michael-Nikita relationship opened the door for character development, even if I wasn’t always gripped by the developing narrative.
The premise for Season 3 turned things on their heads nicely.
Michael, Nikita, Birkhoff and Alex had cleared Amanda out of Division and suddenly they were in charge of Division themselves. Tasked with bringing in a certain number of off-the-grid Division agents, they had clear week-to-week tasks, in addition to a developing arc that was simultaneous inevitable, but also interesting: What happens when the outsiders become the establishment? And what if becoming “the establishment,” in this case, means a stealth government offshoot tasked with political assassinations and other dirty deeds? In short, what if, in attempting to conquer your enemy, you become the thing you hate?
I wasn’t fully on board. Noah Bean’s Ryan Fletcher and Dillon Casey’s Sean Pierce were always blandly interchangeable and I stopped pretending or caring if they were supposed to be different people. One died this season. One kinda died but was resurrected. “Nikita” is, unfortunately, one of those shows that near-kills its characters with such frequency life-and-death stakes lose all meaning. The show introduced Richard T. Jones as a potential adversary and then killed him off without any payoff at all. And I’d also be really skeptical of anybody who tries saying that Aaron Stanford’s Birkhoff and Lyndie Greenwood’s Sonya have any chemistry at all.