Nikita “Pandora” S1 E22 Review + Recap

A lot of shockers in this season finale, but what I found most interesting was the character development for Alex (Lyndsy Fonseca), and the changing nature of her relationship to Nikita (Maggie Q).

Now that the explosive finale has been shown,  it’s clear that Alex’s story arc over the season was a coming of age story. Alex has always been the stand-in for CW’s teenage audience to vicariously live through. Like most teens, she went to school, made friends and enemies there, underwent drastic changes, and finally, left the safety of her parental figures.

If I had to compare the finale to any other piece of media, it wouldn’t be a prior iteration of Nikita. The character of Alex is entirely new to the franchise. No, I see Alex’s development over the past few episodes, and especially in this episode, as similar to the eponymous character in Hanna.

As a coming of age story, the close of the episode was tragic, but left room for redemption and future maturity.

As many viewers surmised after last week’s episode, Alex didn’t actually kill Nikita. Rather, she aimed her shots at Nikita’s Kevlar vest and then stabbed her with a tranquilizing agent.

I’m impressed with the intricate plotting of the big reveal. The flashbacks to various pieces of useful information reminded me of Alex’s clever bypassing of Amanda’s lie detection fMRI. We flash back to Alex witnessing the “cleaning” of Jaden, complete with information regarding toxins leaving the system during the cleaning process. This gives Alex the idea of injecting Nikita with a paralyzing agent, assuming that the toxin would be flushed out during cleaning.

Meanwhile, Percy (Xander Berkeley) meets with the bigwigs at Oversight–an admiral, a senator, and a “Joint Cheif.” (Nikita writers, there is no such thing as a singular “Joint Chief.”) Anyway, Percy plans to take over the CIA by having Ryan decrypt the black box and trigger the dissemination of the nerve toxin, killing the current CIA boss.

So, Nikita lives. Somehow, she immediately pieces together Percy’s plan by looking at a variety of objects conveniently laid out on a table next to her. An open “black box,” half a block of nerve toxin*, and so on. She runs to Langley to warn Ryan (Noah Bean) at the CIA HQ. Percy works to stop her.

A lot happens in this episode. So, we have Percy trying to effect a CIA takeover. Nikita tries to prevent Ryan from triggering the toxin. Alex wigs out, mostly in front of Amanda. Finally, we have some great scenes between Michael (Shane West) and Birkhoff (Aaron Stanford).

Birkhoff visits Michael, who is locked up in what looks like an uncomfortable position for shooting multiple scenes. Michael and Birkhoff argue over who trusted whom, and Michael calls Birkhoff a coward for still following Percy. Eventually, at a key point, Birkhoff remotely releases Michael from his bonds. Michael immediately runs to Percy’s office and disables the man, after stealing one of his black boxes. Birkhoff decrypts it for him, announcing that he isn’t a coward. Rah rah.

Nikita stops Ryan and co. in time and gets out with help from Michael and Birkhoff. All seems to be going well, but then we get to the meat of the story. Alex is upset. Alex is upest that Nikita lied to her, and she feels conflicted now about bringing down Division. Amanda (Melinda Clarke) convinces her to think for herself and act independently. Incidentally, by the end of the episode, it appears that Amanda has taken over Division.

Alex tells Nikita that she’s going to go and find her own revenge against the man who ordered the hit on her family and then took over her father’s business. Nikita warns her that that’s a dark path. However, Alex both metaphorically and literally cuts ties between them.

All I could think of was that powerful line from Hanna: “Kids grow up.”

*Remember that nerve toxin from “Girl’s Best Friend?” That’s what I mean by smart plotting on the part of Nikita writers. They did a good job tying together various bits from earlier in the season. I half expected Jaden or Thom to suddenly leap out of the darkness, resurrected since apparently no one can really die on this show.

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