Nikita / Screen / Throwback Thursday

Throwback Thursday: Nikita “All The Way”

It’s an objective truth that every Nikita episode that features Nikita and Alex in the same place, working together, is almost profound in how great it is. That’s just the way this show works, and to its benefit, it knew that itself and became very picky about putting Nikita and Alex in the same space. They’re kept apart for obvious reasons in season one, hiding their partnership from Division. Their interactions are minimal, and the two have shared few scenes together that aren’t via flashback so “All the Way” is a standout episode in bringing the two together, in an hour that furthers are the main plot points and propels the show into a new chapter.

Lyndsy Fonseca as Alex reminds me a bit of Anna Torv in Fringe. Watching the pilot will give you nothing favorable to say about Fonseca in portraying a street kid who gets dragged into Division with a bad attitude and a penchant for trouble. When Alex has to lean on this persona, it’s practically painful, only alleviated by her switches to her real double agent status. Then she’s grounded and relatable, looking for vengeance for her family which makes her all the more eager to accept her first kill mission and the graduation to field agent that goes along with it.

“All the Way” flashes back to Nikita and Alex’s first “mission” together and throwing back to the piggy and bunny masks they wore. It’s a fitting return, since we watch Alex falter on pulling the trigger on their target so Nikita has to carry it out, which repeats itself when Alex faces down her new target. The morality of Division and its agents has been a running undercurrent, Nikita haunted by what she had to do as an agent and looking to take Division down. She ries to spare Alex from doing the same things, which is a powerful piece of their relationship, Nikita wanting to mentor Alex but also wanting to protect her. It’s an element that informs their relationship from the start, in both good ways and bad.

And besides this, Birkfhoff realizes there’s a mole with the discovery of Nkita’s shell program, and with so much already happening things don’t look promising for them. They’ve been in some tough spots before but as far as midseason finales go, and this was one of them, it wouldn’t be out of the question for them to be discovered. And Nikita helping Alex carry out her mission seems like the perfect time for Percy to realize what’s been going on right underneath his nose. Or at least for Nikita to end up taken captive by Division to maintain Alex’s cover and her life.

Division’s a bit too quick to believe that Alex could take out Nikita, when even more experienced agents haven’t been able to catch her, but considering how silly Division has proven itself to be, even cartoonish depending on what episode we’re on it fits just fine. It gets Nikita some face time with Percy and Amanda, and some unfortunate blasts from the past. Amanda treats her to videos from one of her interviews at Division, playing off her relationship with Daniel as meaningless before Amanda pulls out footage from Daniel’s apartment of Nikita asking him to run away with her . Even in the show’s later days, Nikita and Amanda have some of the best exchanges. They’re emotional on both ends, Amanda genuinely heartbroken by Nikita leaving them, actually having convinced herself that she does something great for the recruits, and Nikita rightfully resistant.

It also gives birth to one of the best prison breaks ever. Chained to the ceiling and being interrogated by Amanda, Nikita breaks free with the help some strategically placed explosives. It elicits a really cool sequence of Nikita pulling the chains from the ceiling and swinging them around to take out the guards sent to contain her. Not to mention her assault on Division, appearing on the training floor and damaging a lot of recruits’ budding egos before disappearing. One of Nikita‘s best habits was really playing up Nikita’s character, her unbelievable strength and fighting prowess, making her a menacing and hopeful figure.

And Alex isn’t so bad herself. She runs wild all over Division to free Nikita, which sells the urgency of their whole situation, only to be suddenly caught off guard by Thom. He’s been a huge bore since he first showed up, designated as Alex’s love interest, but they have a very tepid amount of chemistry, and Ashton Holmes’ acting has always been both too stilted and too dramatic for my liking. So his feelings of betrayal are more annoying than moving, but the work for a dramatic end to the episode, marking Alex’s first kill. As  uninterested in Thom as I was, it was just so good. Alex spends the episode gearing up to kill someone and not being able to do so, and ends up killing the one person on the inside she’s felt closest to.

“All the Way” could have been a really great season finale, should Nikita have wanted to extend this storyline into a full season. But it has exceptional pacing in this first season, and the episode marks a turn in a variety of ways. Alex is officially a field agent, meaning she’s going to be on the outside very soon and able to communicate with Nikita more often, and the whole dynamic has changed within Division.

Stray Observations

  • Nikita: “I know what angles Michael likes. He’ll like those.” This was so dirty, and Alex totally wanted to comment on it.
  • Nikita: “Division’s got more leaks than BP.” I don’t know why this tickled me so much, but it really did.
  • This episode continues to suggest that Michael’s just slightly inappropriate with lots of recruits as he seems to be somewhat flirtatious with Alex more than once. It’s really weird when you consider that later seasons have Michael and Nikita as like, a very stable couple who are super great, and the thought of Michael flirting with anyone who isn’t Nikita becomes absolutely absurd.
  • I assume it was nerves, but I don’t know why Alex came at Zoman from behind with the syringe after she and Michael had just gone through the whole thing of stabbing him in the throat from the front.
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3 thoughts on “Throwback Thursday: Nikita “All The Way”

  1. The shift in Michael’s behavior apparently comes courtesy of Shane West, who disliked the idea of Michael being intimate with trainees other than Nikita and shut down further attempts to suggest it. If this is indeed the case, he was totally right.

    One of my favorite parts about this episode is one I hadn’t paid attention to until somebody mentioned it: when Nikita grabs a machine gun and shoots at Percy inside his command center, Percy doesn’t even flinch as the bullets are stopped by the bulletproof glass. It’s a throwaway detail, but one that does so much to establish Percy’s badassness, even after he’s spent half a season consistently losing to Nikita.

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    • I totally agree with Shane West then! Michael having multiple relationships with trainees would have been pretty icky. It would just look like Michael used his authority over the recruits to have sex with them which is like….no thank you. And it definitely would have made Nikita and Michael as true loves really hard to buy

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  2. Pingback: Throwback Thursday: Nikita “Homecoming” | Channel Chelsea

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