The show starts with Nikita pulling in these people who Division has destroyed in her magnetic way and bonding with them — her mentor-protege relationship with Alex, her developing romance with Michael, her platonic love of Ryan, and her brother-sister bond with Birkhoff, etc. — but the team branches out and intermingles in interesting ways, such as Michael’s mentoring of Alex and Birkhoff and Ryan’s growing respect for one another. Though many ensemble casts call themselves families, Team Nikita truly feels like one.
The women of Nikita are at the heart of the series, a refreshing change from many spy dramas. They’re allowed to be flawed — to be cruel, violent, angry, manipulative, damaged — while also being characters worth rooting for — to be kind, merciful, loving, warm. They are allowed to fall and get back up. They are allowed to be heroes and villains. They are allowed to be human.
The women are also not there simply to serve the stories of the men; they may have lovers but they also have distinct arcs outside of their partners. Nikita and Michael’s slow-burning sexual tension runs as an undercurrent through most of the first season, but when the chips are down Nikita makes the choices she has to despite Michael working opposite her.
And, perhaps best of all, the women seem to rescue the men far more than the reverse is true. Yet the men don’t need to be weakened to highlight the strength of the women either. Michael and Nikita are the best of the best, making them equals in the field. They balance each other out and rescue and protect each other as needed.
There are no distressed damsels in this world.
The action sequences
Beyond its wonderful characters, Nikita is also an action series. The spy drama provides some pretty incredible action sequences — and star Maggie Q does the majority of her own stunts. Men and women alike kick ass, shoot guns, drive fast cars, play with fancy gadgets, and do just about anything else you’d expect of a good spy story.
It’s no secret that Nikita garnered rather abysmal ratings despite its quality. The second season finale was written to be a potential series finale since the show remained on the renewal bubble until the last minute. Many shows in Nikita’s position never get the opportunity to wrap up in a satisfying way, instead being canceled and leaving fans with questions.
But this is not the case with Nikita, which got a shortened final season. The six-episode fourth season moves at a breakneck pace and doesn’t quite manage to tie everything up, but all the important storylines get an incredibly satisfying conclusion so there’s no worry of the series leaving you hanging. The arc is complete.
The first three seasons of Nikita are currently available on Netflix with the fourth streaming on The CW’s website.
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