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Nikita: Seasons 1-4 Review

Explosive!
4

Summary

A solidly developed version of the previous two versions that becomes involving and addicting in its own right thanks to effective thrills and a well-thought out gang of anti-heroes

Plot: In this update of either version of La Femme Nikita, Nikita Mears (Maggie Q, Die Hard 4.0), a woman who escaped from a secret U.S. government-funded organization known as Division, and after spending three years in hiding, is back to bring Division down. Division, created and supervised by an organization called Oversight, is responsible for black operations including espionage, sabotage and assassinations. Under the leadership of its first director and founding member, Percival “Percy” Rose (Xander Berkeley, Heat), Division has gone rogue and performs under-the-table murder-for-hire while crafting a series of ‘black boxes’, hard drives containing every job Division has ever done, as leverage to prevent Oversight from removing Percy and ending Division.

Review: In Season 1, Division’s ultra-secret operatives recruit young people with severed ties to family, friends and society. Trained to be invisible assassins, no one ever leaves Division- except the charming and deadly Nikita, who has made it her mission to undermine the now-corrupt organization. A force to be reckoned with, she taunts Michael (Shane West, LXG), the main agent tasked with tracking her, and stays on their radar, but always one step ahead. Enter Alex (Lyndsy Fonseca, Kick-Ass), a beautiful young woman who seems destined to replace Nikita as their next top operative but who is actually serving as Nikita’s own personal mole.

In Season 2, Nikita and Alex’s relationship has been shattered, and Nikita and Michael’s relationship has been restored. Now, Nikita and Michael are on the run with a hard drive containing the government’s darkest secrets and conspiracies.

In Season 3, Nikita helps Alex achieve this vendetta that was the latter’s main agenda all along, the trio is united, and a new, powerful team of heroes is formed, including: punk rock hacker Seymour Birkhoff (Aaron Stanford, X2), brilliant CIA analyst Ryan Fletcher (Noah Bean) and ex–Navy SEAL Sean Pierce (Dillon Casey). Together they attempt to bring down Division’s remnants.

Season 4 follows Nikita on the run after being framed for assassinating the president. Soon, she follows up a lead that could clear her name and is unexpectedly reunited with her old team. Meanwhile, the wicked Division survivor, Amanda (Melinda Clarke, CSI), conjures up duplicate imposters of various VIPs and Nikita discovers that one of the doubles is the FBI director. Tension escalates between the U.S. and Pakistan when Amanda plants evidence that Pakistan hired Nikita to kill the president.

Headed by Craig Silverstein (Bones) and executive produced by Danny Cannon (CSI), McG (Chuck) and Juan Carlos Coto (The Pretender), this series is electrifying the minute you first press “Play.” While it used to be on Netflix, it can now be accessed on other well-known streaming services. And you still might want a physical copy to get the special features or just always have instant access to this stunning shot show. When I first heard they were doing a different version of Nikita, I was indifferent- it’s not like they were remaking an Action classic like Die Hard or The Terminator, they were just creating a new world while keeping some of the same gov’t escaped contract killer for today’s Rambo/Bourne Identity/Taken type audience. It ended up being a good gamble, possibly arguably far better than even Luc Besson’s original film if not as awesome as the ‘90s show.

Story-wise, it does get a little repetitive near the end of Season 1 despite always having some extra double-guessing plot twists to keep it from going completely stale but if anything that was only a minor issue due to it happening near the second half of that Season. And by then, you’ll still want to finish the season since the first half has set up so much marvelous chaos. These Canadians on productions like this sure know how to shoot and edit rapidly, that’s for sure!

The remaining seasons feel like one whole expansion as opposed to feeling dragged out for the sake of a cheap season renewal. These filmmakers make use of another full 22 season order before having the remaining two seasons each be shortened to less than half of that. And it’s all the better for it as it allows the show to keep remaining focused and make it extra rewatchable as well.

The cast themselves were a mix of everyone from every other teen/spy/scifi show to other CSI regulars who producer Cannon had assembled previously. But altogether, everyone dug deep into their roles and made a surprising impact and through their contributions, they left positive impressions. Alberta Watson’s role as the scheming senator named Madeleine was a nice wink to the ‘90s Nikita show where she also played a supervisor named Madeleine.

So with a cinematic film look, surprise-filled scripting and a surprisingly effective cast, the last thing to observe on a site like this is of course the action. Not too much overdone tracking, shaky or fast-edits, it should appeal to action fans of all generations. Seeing a clip from it also won’t even do it any favors as these are plot-driven fight scenes so if you missed it and only saw a clip then you missed it all. And I’m fine with there being a point to all the car chases and shoot-outs for a change. If there were any true flaws, I will say that I didn’t always buy the quick disguises and redressing of prisoners who were being retrieved but the premise was already enough to buy into and that’s a cliche that often comes with the spy/assassin genre and these were fortunately brief moments to overlook. I will also admit that if there was any big detractor, it would be all the ads and other promo/home media posters that show all the female characters dressed in bikinis/skimpy dresses with tattoos. Why do the paid advertising crew think that that’s effective if it’s not even in the actual show? Misinformation can be costly and it anything it turned people off because they thought this was another crappy CW teen drama-mystery when it was actually a Warner Bros. show aimed at both a young and older adult audience.

So with this being pleasant surprise and there being too much already to watch or catch up on in the streaming TV world, I would def recommend thus far more than most of the Action shows out there due to its plot being lightning fast, having barely any filler episodes and since the seasons get all the more shorter, the average joe should be able to finish it in a month. But best advised: don’t finish it too fast because then you’ll want more!