Nikita: The Show You Should Be Watching...
Maggie Q - Nikita
Shane West - Michael
Lyndsy Fonseca - Alex
Aaron Stanford - Seymour Birkhoff
Melinda Clarke - Amanda
Xander Berkeley - Percy
Tiffany Hines - Jaden
Ashton Holmes - Thom
Rob Stewart - Roan
In retrospect, the CW may not be the network that boasts the most diverse shows, they all tend to be about spoiled rich kids “struggling” with life. However, this past tv season, the channel took what I think is a big gamble in picking up Nikita.
The show doesn’t fit the mold as in it doesn’t target the same audience that most of the shows on the CW do. And for that reason, the show thrives and makes the network more than what it has become. Nikita doesn’t even fit into the old WB days, but for the same reason that its excellent for being different, its also fitting to be on the CW.
The show is based on the movie and original series La Femme Nikita, and the premise is simple. There is a secret organization within the government called Division, Nikita escaped and is now hell bent on stopping Division.
Each episode deals with a central issue but also folds into the overlying goal, which is to destroy this organization. Nikita and new recruit/mole Alex have differing stories but with similar results. They both live to fight another day.
The storytelling is smart and every episode ties together almost perfectly. Nearly every question you find yourself asking is answered almost immediately. And while the show began as a mission of the week type situation, it quickly grew into a well thought out action series.
The turning point has to be the episode “Resistance,” which dealt with Nikita learning more about the entire operation of Division and Alex in a test of will that was both intense and disturbing. The flashbacks within this episode also revealed very important pieces to an already unraveling puzzle.
The acting on the show is top notch which is also something of a rarity in a CW show, I’m looking at you One Tree Hill. Maggie Q as Nikita and Lyndsy Fonseca as Alex are so well cast and so perfect for their roles, you’ll find yourself worrying for their characters from the Pilot. The supporting cast is also excellent, Melinda Clarke as Amanda makes anything Emma Frost ever did in the X-men comics look tame. She’s probably more of a terrifying villain than Xander Berkeley’s Percy, who is a calculating and smart villain, as only the best kinds are. Percy is a calm villain, he doesn’t scream and he rarely becomes unhinged, the same can be said for Amanda, except to a larger degree. She is always calm and she gets all the information she needs from you, whether you live through it or not.
There are multiple villains that were introduced throughout the season, such as alternate organizations to Division and a back story for Alex that leads into bigger things for her future. There are wins and there are losses and the heroes don’t always destroy the villains. Sometimes they settle for a grey area and sometimes that’s all that’s the only solution.
As stated earlier the fact that the show is such a break from the general format of the CW, barring Supernatural of course, is what makes it special. And for that very reason, being on the CW, makes me like it more. There is a certain style to it that makes Nikita, to put it bluntly, awesome.
The creators and the writing staff know what they want to do, they know where they want to take the story, and executives at the CW network should let them. It doesn’t need sappy romance, though there is some of that, and even the romance is handled smartly. Everything has a purpose, and each episode can take the viewer on a whirlwind of emotions. The endings on mid season episodes alone are shocking enough to bring you back for more. The stories are smart and the characters are smart, and overall I would rate the season an 8 out of 10. If only for the fact that CW execs, tried to input some of their usual format into the show, but it dissolved quickly and thank God it did.
Trust me on this, when season one comes out on dvd, buy it, don’t hesitate just get it. Watch this show, its well worth the time, and bring on season 2.
Written By: Ariel Schmiedhauser