Nikita, Season 3, Episode 10: “Brave New World”
Written by Kristen Reidel
Directed by Marc David Alpert
Airs Fridays at 8pm (ET) on the CW
The past two seasons of Nikita have illuminated many facets of the titular character, chief among them her unwavering loyalty to her friends and close ones. With Alex seemingly now managing to get her addiction under control, the biggest personal issue in Nikita’s life now is Michael’s hand, and his lingering psychological issues with it. With Birkhoff’s revelation last week that he’d managed to track down the person who helped Percy with much of his technology, it was only a matter of time before Nikita took action towards that end, and this episode sees her try that very thing, in a clandestine mission that sees her work practically alone for the first time in a long while, with thrilling results.
Ryan’s descent into morally gray paths to seemingly save Division is a disturbing development, in all the right ways. As unbalanced and power-hungry as Percy was, there is no denying that he built Division from the ground up very effectively, with his only major mistake being not seeing Nikita’s defection coming (although that is the one that ended up costing him in the end). The fact that Ryan asks “What would Percy do” in this episode does not bode well for Division or Fletcher himself, and the fact that the government liked his decisions and told him to continue them is also ominous. The decisions Ryan makes in the next few episodes will be crucial to determining what direction Division goes in, as he is not an inherently evil person the way Percy was, and he also has Nikita, Michael, Alex, and Birkhoff to steer him clear. If he still chooses to follow the course of action that once again makes Division the way it once was, however, the conclusion will have to be that the position itself is a corrupting force, which will not bode well for anyone who takes the chair.
It will also be interesting to see what part the government also plays in Division’s future from here on out, as it’s feasible the US administration wouldn’t want to let go of an investment like Division so willingly anymore, now that it’s yielding results. How Ryan reacts if they choose to exert pressure on him to redirect Division into becoming a government assassination machine once again will be very telling, but even more telling will be whether Nikita and co. back his actions or not. There’s the potential for Ryan to go down a dark path, but if he goes down that path with or without the endorsement from the rest of Division’s key players will make all the difference in ho w it plays out.
Michael’s journey also continues to be a fascinating one. His earlier decision to retire from field work and take care of operations seemed to fit in with his skill set, but it was obvious he missed fieldwork, and felt inadequate with the loss of his hand, a feeling that was no doubt exacerbated with his poor aim in “Aftermath”. The discovery of Heidecker and his backing company, however, opens up a new door for Michael, but it’s one that clearly comes at an expense, as Heidecker’s lack of hesitation at experimenting on children as well as Nikita’s obvious discomfort with making a deal with the company both indicate. How far down the rabbit hole Michael chooses to travel, and how it affects his relationship with those around him, especially Nikita, promises to make for a compelling arc.
Overall, this was another gripping episode. Nikita’s fragile emotional state in the absence of Michael was a key point of season 2, and it was good to see the show revisit that idea. John Billingsley was a welcome addition to the show as Heidecker, and made for a very effective guest character. Nikita and Michael’s actions with regards to him was also very promising in how they manage to display their unwavering adherence to their morals, and whether that changes as time progresses is worth looking out for. It was good to see Michael gaining more control over his mechanical hand, and having the writers acknowledge that Percy’s Division acquired seemingly futuristic technology and address where it was acquired from was a nice touch. How the rest of Division reacts to the new orders from the President, as well as how their new missions impact their attempts to track down and bring in the Dirty Thirty and Amanda, both promise to be interesting storylines, and it’s worth tuning in next week to see how these and other plot threads play out.
– Deepayan Sengupta