Original Air Date: Jan 18, 2013
Andrew – TwoCents Reviewer
The CW’s ratings-bleeding spy drama returned tonight with a concentrated, plot heavy episode. Birkhoff spills the details of Sonya’s predicament to Nikita, Alex’s drug consumption quickly converged to the main storyline, Team Division forms a plan, and agents are being tailed everywhere!
With Sonya susceptible to death at any moment via wireless kill chip, Birkhoff is having nightmares. They revolve around missions themselves. Poor Birkhoff; I guess secret spies can’t even escape from their dangerous world in dreams. Amanda activates the chip in it, and Sonya dies. Birkhoff wakes up. Sonya’s alive.
It’s cloudy outside, and Alex is also feeling such as she wanders about. Michael, tailing her, confronts her about the “experimental pain medication” pills she’s been taking. Alex says it’s for her shoulder. He’s concerned that she’ll jeopardize the team if she relapses again. His mentor personality takes over, and urges her to tell Nikita.
The normally calm and sarcastic Birkhoff has a streak of mean urgency throughout this episode. This spurs Team Division to try and identify the mole that is monitoring Sonya, in an effort to flush him or her out. The plan: tell the bullpen they’ve located Amanda, track facial heat signatures to identify the concerned agents, buy enough time to deactivate the kill chip inside Sonia, and lure Amanda out so they can kill her.
Looming over this is the possibility of Amanda’s remote control kill. Sonya agrees with the plan, understanding that if they slip up anywhere, Amanda would recognize her betrayal and fry her brain. Nikita is fine with it too, but would she be if it were Michael, Alex, Ryan, or Birkhoff in Sonya’s position? She does take chances, but she also holds her friends close, and wouldn’t put them in death’s path.
They stage a fake argument between Nikita and Michael, have Sonya feed it to Amanda, who stunningly believes it. Apparently she employs a “Watchman”, who constantly changes his clothing to disguise his tailing and takes close-up pictures that provide expert surveillance. He’d be a great paparazzi, and that’s exactly what he does, capturing Michael and Alex “holding hands”. Aided by some luck, Team Division has Amanda mistakenly believing that they’re falling apart.
Using this, they launch an operation to lure the Watchman to lead them to Amanda. They hit a nightclub, where Michael and Alex are pretending to have a clandestine rendezvous. They kiss for the Watchman’s camera, and Nikita easily spots him. She tails him back to his house, where he sends the pictures. Birkhoff, tapped into his computer, tracks the signal to Quebec City. Amanda has taken residence in French Canada.
That’s where Nikita and Michael fly off to, while Birkhoff occupies his final four mole candidates with tedious hardware repair. He then brings Sonya down to Sub Level 12, where he’ll deactivate her kill chip. There’s some careful needle injecting while Nikita and Michael find Amanda’s residence in Quebec City, waiting until Sonya’s deactivation procedure is complete to strike. Alex is monitoring Birkhoff’s four stooges, and when one of them perks up, she stops him before he’s able to warn Amanda. Smooth sailing so far.
Amanda receives a phone call regarding a man named Marcel. She and her knife-wielding agent Anne take off, telling us that Marcel’s business in Serbia is probably important to her than Team Division’s romantic affairs. Nikita and Michael tail them, at a safe distance.
Back in Sub Level 12, Birkhoff is almost finished with the deactivation. While we’re supposed to feel nervous for Sonya here, Nikita’s earlier indifference loosened the tension that should have engulfed this scene. Sonya has never been a well-developed character, only playing opposite Amanda and Birkhoff – with questionable chemistry. At this point, she’s mostly been a plot device as a mole and Birkhoff’s love interest.
The kill chip gets disabled, and with Sonya free of remote death, Nikita announces their pursuit to Amanda in a highway chase. Michael feebly fires on their van, but Anne drops a grenade, propelling Nikita’s car in the air. She escapes, but Michael’s arm is trapped. After killing a leering Anne with her own knife, Nikita returns to help Michael, but it’s no use; he’s trapped, and their flaming car is about to explode. She grabs Anne’s knife, and brings it down on his arm without hesitation. It’s not the first time on TV a character has had to cut off their hand to avoid a worse fate. It looks like Nikita will be without her combat partner in the coming weeks.
- Nikita, returning to her own protective mentor state, gives Alex a mouthful of angry lecture when her drugs are revealed. Later, Alex is dressed much younger when Nikita chastises her more. She’s not off the hook yet.
- Michael isn’t very good at pretend-flirting with Alex, instead trying to walk her through a twelve-step program. When Nikita asks Michael to kiss Alex, Michael asks if she’s joking. “Michael, jokes are supposed to be funny. We’re on a mission.” When Nikita’s on a mission, she’s all about the goal.
- “Our fire prevention system suddenly became self-aware and decided to attack us with whipped cream.”
- Birkhoff asks who Sonya plans to dress for Halloween while he operates on her. She says Princess Zelda, not Leia. For an episode that featured her plenty, we didn’t learn much more about her.
- Naturally, Ryan names the mole-flushing operation “Whack-a-mole”.