Nikita, Season 4, Episode 01: “Wanted”
Written by Kristen Reidel
Directed by Eagle Egilsson
Airs Fridays at 9pm (ET) on the CW
With a cult classic movie and a well-regarded series preceding it, Nikita had a quite some shoes to fill when it made its debut three seasons ago. However, the show quickly proved its worthiness, as it put forward compelling storylines and fascinating characters. The third season saw Amanda move into primary adversary territory as Nikita and Ryan struggled through the season to keep the President from wiping Division clean and killing everyone associated with it, culminating in an alliance of Amanda with Division’s old tech provider The Shop, and Nikita on the run after being framed for killing The President. The season premiere picks up with everyone in similar circumstances, in a great episode that bodes well for the show’s final season.
The influence of The Shop is well-explored in this premiere. While their ability to control Division members was explored last season in the form of the killchips, the finale indicated that their reach extends much farther than previously thought, a notion reinforced by Birkhoff’s digging. The idea of control by drugs is certainly an intriguing one, and also gives the remaining Division members a way to turn the Shop’s agents against them. While the deactivation of the killchips was an option, that was also when the team had all the resources of Division, thus it will be interesting to see how the team tackles the drug issue now. Not only is the group severely reduced in size and scope, they are also split up now and don’t have a designated meeting area, which will make it more difficult to pool the resources they do have. Given these restrictions, how the team manages to tackle The Shop promises to be compelling.
It’s also intriguing to see the new roles of the old Division team. Alex’s new role as an advocate against human trafficking dovetails nicely both with her past and with the life outside Division that was hinted at near the end of last season, giving her an opportunity to do good work and utilize her Udinov name in a positive manner while still hunting The Shop. Similarly, it’s good to see Ryan’s ability to connect the dots and see patterns that everyone else has missed is once again being put to good use. With Ryan mostly struggling with running Division while not falling into Percy’s traps through the past season, it’s good to see his innate ability once again come to the forefront, as it may have been easy to forget that it’s his pattern-cracking ability that put him on Nikita and Division’s radar in the first place. With Sonia helping Alex, and Birkhoff still as capable with a computer as ever, it will be fascinating to see how the team’s new roles mold and change as The Shop gets aware of them and strikes back, as well as with unforeseen circumstances and shifting alliances.
Overall, this is a fantastic start to the season. Having the team temporarily together with the promise of forward momentum, only to get dismantled all over again, is a tricky maneuver for any show to pull off, and the ability of Nikita to do so is a testament to the writers. Amanda and The Shop continue to be compelling villains, particularly the old Division leader, and what she has planned for the trafficked victims is bound to be intriguing. Nikita’s nightmare to start off the episode is particularly haunting, and with her working alone once again, how she manages to keep her spirits up in the fight against The Shop is something to look out for, as is how the team reacts to Dale’s death and the inevitable discovery of The Shop’s mole within the FBI, as well as the full extent of their reach.
– Deepayan Sengupta