Nikita, Season 3, Episode 18: “Broken Home”
Written by Terry Matalas and Travis Fickett
Directed by John Badham
Airs Fridays at 8pm (ET) on the CW
The boiling tensions in Division came to a head last week, pushed forward in no small part by Amanda. With Ryan out of commission, Nikita captured, and Alex mentally compromised, the leadership of the covert organisation was at the weakest level it has been since Percy’s death, making the results of this coup truly uncertain, particularly on a show that has never been hesitant in shaking up the status quo, starting all the way back with the death of major characters Thom and Jaden in season one. This week’s episode explores the fallout from the Division coup and Nikita’s capture, delivering another shocking episode that gives the audience a glimpse into what makes Amanda tick, and leaves Division irrevocably changed.
It was fascinating to finally get a look at Amanda’s backstory, and get an idea of what made her who she is today. While Percy was the primary antagonist for the first two seasons, his motivations were clear; he was in it for the power, and somewhat for the money. This made Percy easy to understand, unlike Amanda, whose actions have hinted towards a much more sinister intent, and have continued despite putting her at a disadvantage. Her obsession with teaching Nikita a message becomes much clearer with the knowledge of her own history, but also makes her more formidable. Amanda is a villain in a very true sense of the word, and will not be satisfied with anything less than what she has set out to do, no matter the cost to herself, and Nikita is smart enough to come to this realisation herself at this point, something which will only be emphasized by the events of the last two episodes. How she deals with this is something worth looking out for, as it’s obvious now that only killing Amanda will stop her, something Nikita has been unable to do in the past.
Division’s failed coup also opens up some intriguing ideas. The coup and ensuing fight will be very difficult, if not impossible, to hide at this point from the US government at this point, with neither the buffer of Danforth or Ryan to help alleviate any immediate concerns the President might have over Division’s violent infighting or the agents who decided to leave after Rachel’s death. Nikita and Michael have their work cut out for them in dealing with the government going forward, and will have to tread very carefully in ensuring they don’t make a detrimental deal with the President to save what’s left of Division. There’s also the question of how they will treat the agents who left; the only guarantee at this point is that the US administration will see them as threats and do their level best to eliminate the escaped agents, with the only question being what role Division itself will play in the hunt. Will the agents get added to the list of the Dirty Thirty, or will the government choose to eliminate the agents themselves, and if they take the latter course of action, what will Division’s role be?
Of course, the biggest cost of Amanda’s destabilisation of Alex, and the ensuing coup that was triggered, was the life of Sean Pierce. Sean’s death was an unexpected blow, particularly in light of the arc the character had this season, as well as the fact that he didn’t seem to be in any extra danger, unlike Birkhoff, Alex, or even Sam. With his growing role in Division, particularly following his faked death after he was accused of killing the CIA Director, Sean was just steps away from being part of the inner circle, and the Michael to Alex’s Nikita. How his death affects those around him, especially Alex but also Nikita and Michael, the latter of whom fought side by side with Sean right until he managed to escape the lockdown, is something worth observing going forward, particularly whom the team will choose to blame for Sean’s demise.
Overall, this was another superbly engaging episode, continuing the show’s strong run this season. Sam and Amanda’s escape once again puts the black box into play, and now with information of Division’s last mission, it becomes more powerful than before. Sam himself now becomes an interesting wild card in the equation, as Amanda may not let him off the hook so easily, and he has the capability and potential to become the new Roan. Alex’s mental state is also something to keep an eye on, as the damage Amanda did is not something that can be reversed easily even after Alex’s realisation, and the death of the man she loved is only going to compound her survivor’s guilt. It was also good to see Birkhoff take charge once again, and his ability to effectively read a situation and handle a gun shows that he’s become much more perceptive as the show has progressed, and while he still isn’t able to keep up with agents such as Alex in the field, this episode shows that he is clearly capable of handling himself. How Alex copes with Sean’s death, how the government reacts to the Division coup, and what Amanda’s next steps are, are all storylines worth tuning in for next week.
– Deepayan Sengupta