Nikita, Ep 3.08: “Aftermath” examines how the characters cope with the effects of extreme actions

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Maggie Q and Shane West

Nikita, Season 3, Episode 8: “Aftermath”
Written by Juan Carlos Coto
Directed by Brad Turner
Airs Fridays at 8pm (ET) on the CW

Watching how the prominent characters of Nikita handle themselves, it can be easy to forget sometimes that they are only human, and prone to some painfully human reactions to the circumstances surrounding them. Last week brought down some heavy anvils on quite a few characters, as the damage caused by the new circumstances at Division, as well as by Amanda’s actions, brought with them a dose of permanence that promised ripple effects that would reverberate for a while. How all the associated parties would cope with the change in dynamics, as well as how they’d manage to stay on track, had the potential to be an emotionally resonant storyline if handled correctly, and the episode does not disappoint in delivering, proving that the consequences of last week’s actions won’t be brushed under the rug quite so easily.

It was fascinating to watch Michael’s attempts to cope with the sudden loss of his hand. The show could have gone with the easy route of having Division doctors graft a real, or real-looking hand, but forcing him to deal with mechanical prosthetics, albeit high-tech ones, further drives home the impact of Nikita’s actions. Except for isolated situations, Michael has always been very composed and seemingly in control of his situation, so it will be fascinating to see how he continues to cope with the loss of his limb, and the resulting feelings, as this is the most damage he has sustained since the beginning of the show’s run. It will also be interesting to see who brings him back from the edge, as he drives Nikita away at the end of this episode, who would normally have done the job. However, Owen and Ryan both attempt to help, and Birkhoff and Alex are also both viable options to get Michael out of his spiralling freefall with regards to his self-worth. Whether or not he can unearth Percy’s technological sources, as well as whether he attempts to get back into the field before he’s ready are also potentially compelling avenues the show could explore with regards to his character.

Shane West in NIKITA

It was also interesting to see Alex’s attempt to wean herself off the pain medication get a greater focus this week. Birkhoff addressing the core issue of why Alex began using again, particularly as her conversation with him earlier in the season clearly demonstrated her awareness of what would happen if she did so, is a great step in the right direction, and opens up the possibility of a real exploration into what drives Alex now.  However, this development is bittersweet, as it also opens up the possibility that Alex may feel the need to break away from Nikita and Division, leading to the character’s arc on the show getting wrapped up altogether. Alex has been an integral part of the team from the beginning, and Lyndsy Fonseca has done an admirable job as the heiress turned druggie turned Division agent and mole, and it will be sad to see both go, if the show chooses to go down that route.

Overall, this was a solid episode, and works perfectly as a transition from the events of last week’s episode, making “Aftermath” the perfect title. It was great to see Owen back in the fold, and hopefully he takes Ryan’s offer and decides to stay for a while. It will also be interesting to see how Alex and Michael both cope with being sidelined, and it’s a testament to the world that the show has built that, of the two characters experiencing the biggest changes right now, neither one is the titular character. Credit must be given to the writers for having the courage to put the focus on others, something a lesser show might not be able to do. Watching how the two continue to cope, as well as whether Ryan decides to promote another agent to fight alongside Nikita and Owen, and how Amanda deals with the severe blows dealt to her plans, are all worth tuning in for next week.

– Deepayan Sengupta

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