Nikita

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Nikita is a 5-season action TV series that was aired between 2010 and 2013. The premise is that Nikita, a rogue assassin who was trained by Division, a secret government organization, returns in the open after three years of running and hiding, to bring down the organization. Although Division is marketed to its assassins as a government organization – it’s financed by top brass in the government who wants to facilitate operations (both inside the country and abroad) the government would have no knowledge of – Sound familiar? – How possible is it for Nikita to succeed? She is outrageously mad; Division murdered her fiancé, the only person she had to live for. Although Nikita was the best of the best at Division, she is alone now. Can she take on such a powerful organization? She has the motivation, the drive, the skills but Nikita is also soft hearted; she tries to help everyone, even after being betrayed. Division will certainly try to take advantage of that, but Nikita has a secret weapon. If you’re looking to have an action packed weekend with or without friends, you should definitely invite Nikita in; you won’t be disappointed.

The main characters are Maggie Q as Nikita, Shane West as Michael, Lyndsy Fonseca as Alex, Aaron Stanford as Birkhoff, Melinda Clarke as Amanda and Xander Berkeley as Percy.

At the beginning of every episode, Nikita provides the viewers a brief synopsis of what this is all about. Nikita was the first to escape Division but she won’t be the last. After killing a police officer who shot her friend during an altercation and tried to cover it up, Nikita, drunk and high on drug, managed to retrieve a pistol and shot the officer. She was sentenced to death. Division, the rogue organization that’s accountable to no one, seeks those very types of individuals, train them and turn them into “legitimate” criminals. Only this time, they get to kill for their country, so they thought. In reality, all assassinations they carried out were to advance Percy’s agenda. They staged her execution, gave her new identity and trained her to become an assassin. Division exclusively recruits the worst of society; so it’s safe to assume that everyone at Division has a dark past.

Alex was the only one who survived a murder assassination of her family, courtesy of Nikita. Incidentally, Nikita was tasked to erase the whole family. She went off script and saved Alex. That didn’t do her much good. Alex was sold as slave prostitute to an underworld market. Alex was always high. She’d do anything to get a joint. When Nikita came out in the open, her first mission was to find Alex. She did. Nikita felt responsible for her, for what happened to her family. After a rough start, they became friends. Alex proposed to join Division to help Nikita stay a step ahead of its activities. So, Alex joined Division. Fortunately, Division had a blindspot, Percy had no idea that Alex is Alexandra Udinov, the daughter of Nikolai Udinov, the family he ordered Nikita to erase from the face of the earth. After Alex joins Division, she would find out that the organization was responsible for his parents’ murder. It would be a while before she becomes aware that Nikita was the one who pulled the trigger.

Percy is the head of Division, a secret organization that carries out the government dirty job (in highest secrecy of course), mainly getting rid of (usually killing) foreign officials and heads of corporations that are perceived unfriendly, to Percy that is. Percy is also Division’s founder. Division is a fortress, as well protected as the White House; the building can withstand sustained bombings and even nuclear strikes. Percy only recruits individuals whose lives are over, those on death row, those about to be executed and those who’d spend their lives behind bars in high security prisons. Percy would fake their deaths, give them new identities and train them to serve their country; translation: to kill when asked to do so. Percy requires complete obedience and submission. He may be the smartest man (created) you’ll ever see on TV. He thinks of every possible scenario where he could be killed either by his people or other government operatives who may want him out of the picture. In one scene where he was placed in isolation within division, he managed to contact the people loyal to him through an inconceivable maneuver: he generously offers financial assistance to Alex who needed to go back to Russia to avenge her parents; Alex was given access to Percy’s account to withdraw the cash she needed. Imagine that! Brilliant, isn’t it? Percy cannot be killed because everyone’s secret – including the people in the government – would be revealed to the world, thanks to highly sophisticated “black boxes” that would broadcast everyone’s information if Percy’s heart stops. So, it’s in everyone’s interest to keep Percy alive.

Amanda is one of the second two in command, Michael being the other one. She is ruthless when need be. With the girls, Amanda is an advisor, a counselor, a friend. Don’t be fooled. There is no friend at Division. It’s a group of criminals, ruthless people that would do everything to get rid of others. There are alliances, short ones, temporary ones. Amanda makes the girl feel special, beautiful. After all, you need to be beautiful to kill. She knows how to manipulate people. After all, she is the product of brain experiments conducted on her by her father for a major portion of her life. Maybe, it’s time to let you know that Amanda is not really Amanda; she is someone with no identity. Her father made sure of that. He didn’t submit any document of her existence to authority, allowing him to conduct experiment without any consequence should things turn bad. Well, things did turn bad. She murdered both her father and her sister and assumed the sister’s identity including the name Amanda. While she seems patient and tolerant with the ladies, Amanda shows no mercy with the men. In one scene where a captured enemy was beaten to a pulp to give up information but did not, Amanda was called in to help with the situation. Within three minutes in the room with the detainee, the information was obtained. Amanda had a flaw, she wanted to be accepted as equal, a partner with Percy. Well, in Percy’s kingdom, there could only be one king.

Michael, well, is the only one at Division who did not have criminal record, before he joins Division that is. Michael was working as an undercover secret agent for the Armed Forces. Married, he had a daughter and portrayed a typical family. For some unknown reasons, Percy eyed Michael as an important addition to his organization. As a matter of principle, Division’s Agents (it’s Percy’s rule) cannot be tied with family; so, Percy arranged for Michael’s wife and daughter to be blown into pieces in broad day light, right under his eyes. While recovering in the hospital, Michael received a visit from Percy who promised to help him find those who kill his wife and daughter. With nothing left to live for, Michael took that offer as an opportunity to continue to serve his country while waiting patiently to avenge his family. Michael became Percy’s other second in command side by side with Amanda. Michael was loyal until he learned the truth. Fortunately for Michael, Nikita is on his side and on a crusade to destroy Division.

Birkhoff is the geek, the nerd, the computer guy, the eyes and ears of Division. His prior crime was that he accessed and defaced government web sites (CIA, FBI, etc.); he was best known in the criminal underworld as Shadow Walker, an expression you’ll hear him use every chance he gets. While Percy is the mastermind of the operations at Division, Birkhoff is the master brain that facilitates those operations; Birkhoff provides easy access to anything and everything that’s connected, government and corporate alike. He trained new recruits to become familiar with some aspects of his job. While the prospect of living a normal life after Division – some are killed during a mission, others are cancelled (terminated) by Percy – is mere fiction, Birkhoff was siphoning money into a secret account in the hope that if he ever escapes Division, he would have enough money to retire anywhere he wants. His wishes were about to come true when Birkhoff joined Nikita’s crusade, at least the thought that someday his wishes may come true was closer than when he was at Division. But Birkhoff will soon find out that there is no normal life after Division, no matter how much money he has accumulated.

Nikita gets a B+; it’s a well thought out series that’s very entertaining. It has lots of violence scenes. Cursing is kept at a minimum, so is nudity. Nikita, the character, would get under your skin if you’re not a forgiving type. There are a handful of episodes I would either delete or modify. Other than that, it’s a series that will not disappoint even the most demanding secret agent.

 

Follow Mike Ducheine on Twitter: @mducheiney

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