NIKITA 1.16 ‘Echoes’
Episode Title: "Echoes"
Writer: Kristen Reidel
Director: Nick Copus
Previously on "Nikita":
While on a mission for Division, Alex (Lyndsy Fonseca) ran into her old friend Irina (Ksenia Solo) and tried to save her from a life of sexual slavery. However, Irina betrayed Alex to her boss, Vlad (Mark Ivanir), who was happy to get his hands on Alex again. Vlad was convinced that Alex was Alexandra Udinov, the heir to the Zetrov empire and he drugged her with heroin to make her confess.
Meanwhile, Nikita (Maggie Q) and Michael (Shane West) both attempted to mount a rescue mission for Alex, before teaming up to break into the facility. Nikita pretended to only care about retrieving the prototype phone that Alex was sent to retrieve, but she came across a video of Alex confirming her true identity before killing Vlad. Michael found Nikita and Alex together and warned Nikita to leave before Division agents arrived to back him up. Later, Percy (Xander Berkeley) was pleased at Alex’s seemingly successful mission and let Michael bring her to Amanda (Melinda Clarke) for treatment.
But Amanda took advantage of Alex’s weakened to state to begin interrogating her about the secrets she’s been hiding.
In Nikita’s loft, she and Alex engage in a sparring session until she sees the Zetrov logo and freaks out. Alex begins asking Nikita questions about Michael, Daniel and a man named Whitfield despite Nikita’s warnings. We soon see that Alex is unconscious and under the influence of powerful hallucinogenic drugs that will allow Amanda to pick her mind clean of any secrets. She leads Alex’s visions by telling her to imagine all of her secrets embodied. Alex sees her younger self (Eliana Jones) trapped in Division and tries to lead her to safety. Along the way, they elude Division troops and freak out when they see the Zetrov logo.
Back in reality, Nikita begins making plans to spirit Alex out of the country, and not just because she’s worried about her cover. She also fears that Alex is becoming a cold blooded killer like her father. Following up on hearing Alex murmur Whitefield’s name, Michael looks him up in the Division archives and discovers that he was supposedly killed by Nikita. Continuing his own suspicions of Alex, he monitors a recording of a phone call he had with her that seems to have been taped somewhere other than her apartment.
At Alex’s apartment, Nikita is attacked by Nathan (Thad Luckinbill), who believed that she was a burglar. She disarms him and lets him know she’s looking for Alex, which only confuses him. And in Alex’s vision, she loses track of her younger self and finds herself happily married to Nathan, with their child sleeping nearby. Amanda keeps pounding on Alex’s subconscious until she ends up back at Division fighting Jaden (Tiffany Hines) to the death. As Jaden dies, her blood forms the Zetrov logo. At the same time, Michael matches the sound profile from Alex’s call to a call made by Nikita… from Whitfield’s loft.
In Alex’s mind, she sees Percy, Amanda, Nikita and even her dead father making plans for her life without her input. Alex screams at them and she actually wakes up and breaks free from Amanda. But in her drugged out state, she still sees her younger self and goes to her escape path. Michael comes across her and stops her from revealing her access point. In her dream, Alex and her younger self escape, only to find themselves prisoners of Alex’s older self, now in charge of Zetrov. To prove her ruthlessness, older Alex kills Nathan and their baby. In reality, Amanda realizes that Alex is afraid of herself more than anything else.
Afterwards, Amanda tells Percy that she believes Alex is another Nikita and that she should be "canceled." Alex also reaches out to Nikita and seems to have rethought the idea of running away. But Nikita is uncharacteristically nervous and eager to get off the phone. Once she does, we see that Michael is holding her at gun point in her own loft before telling her to ask how he got there.
Once again, the writers behind "Nikita" seem to realize that Lyndsy Fonseca is the defacto star of this show and it only really works when the story focuses directly on her. That said, the cliffhanger for this episode was excellent and I’m looking forward to seeing Nikita try to talk her way out of this one. At this point, Michael has to know that Alex is working with Nikita. There’s way too much evidence linking them together. I didn’t quite buy the idea that the sound profile from two cell phone recordings could be matched up so completely, but I’m willing to suspend disbelief a bit here.
There was also a great moment in Alex’s mind in which Nikita and Michael start making out in front of her as Alex and Amanda basically go "I knew it!" As a showcase for Fonseca, this episode was really effective in giving her the chance to not only play different versions of Alex, but also imitate the other cast members as they showed up in her head. Although as the older Alex, Fonseca looked really ridiculous in that wig. There’s not much more room to explore the premise of this series as it currently stands, so I’m expecting a shake up by the end of the season. And Alex as the head of an evil company could be an interesting way to go.
It’s also becoming more and more obvious that Nikita killed Alex’s father and that will be the thing that ultimately drives them apart. Nikita does seem to really care about Alex and she goes out of her way to secure her passage to safety. But when Alex finally learns the truth, it’s likely that anything Nikita did for her won’t be viewed as altruistic by Alex. It seems like there’s been a slow build up for a true Alex versus Nikita fight and if that happens, I’m definitely pulling for Alex. So many of this show’s problems would be solved if Alex was the main character.
I even liked Tiffany Hines’ Jaden this week. Most of the time, Jaden seems like she escaped the pilot episode of "Hellcats" and found herself stuck on the wrong series. I’m honestly not fond of her overly bitchy character, but for once Jaden actually seemed like a viable rival for Alex. Of course, this was only a dream, so it remains to be seen if the real Jaden can be written in an interesting manner.
Amanda and Percy are intriguing villains, but they’ve been largely underserved to this point. Fortunately, Amanda gets most of the spotlight here and Melinda Clarke seems to enjoy chewing the scenery. Amanda’s assessment of Alex was also pretty accurate, but I’ll bet the only thing staying Percy’s hand is that he already knows that Alex is the heir to Zetrov and he still wants to use her for his advantage.
On the whole, this is probably the second best episode of "Nikita" to date. But what’s with this month off from new episodes, CW? Way to loose momentum immediately…
Crave Online Rating: 8 out of 10.