Ok, confession time, I only watched Nikita last night for Shane West. For shame, I know, but it’s the truth. However, I was pleasantly surprised by the pace and presentation of the show.
Nikita is the typical action storyline of a woman scorned. It’s Desperado with cell phones at its core. Similar in feel and in setup to Dollhouse, Nikita was pulled from a prison sentence by a secret government agency aptly named The Division to be a spy/hit man. When she up and falls for a civilian (to make Sarah happy, I’ll point out that Pyro from X-Men plays said civilian), they kill her lover and leave her a woman scorned…a very well trained, armed and dangerous woman scorned.
While the show centers around Nikita, the actual focus of the show isn’t so much on her person as her effect on the other characters on the show. Putting in an impressive primetime showing, ex-daytime TV star Lyndsy Fonseca plays Alex, a former Ukranian indentured servant who gets pulled out of prison and placed into a training camp with others like her…all attractive twenty somethings of course. Also, for those of you who might be fans of CSI’s Lady Heather, Melinda Clarke puts in a subtle but brilliant performance as the Etiquette teacher for The Division, showing all of the girls how to use every inch of their feminine wiles to complete their missions.
My beloved Shane West turns out to be more complicated and considerably more interesting than we are at first led to believe toward the end of the episode. His character, Michael, is essentially a mission coordinator and recruiter for Division. Though he comes off as cold and calculating in the beginning, we soon find he has a surprising connection to Nikita that should make for interesting story telling in the weeks to come.
The show does dip into the predictable in a few rather obnoxious ways, like the clichéd and gratuitous shots of Nikita roaming around her secret hideout in her underwear and the need for all the spies to dress like Neo. The fact that Nikita is the least interesting character thus far could also be problematic considering the show is supposed to be about her. Hopefully, we will see a greater expression of her personality in the coming weeks.
Overall verdict: A promising start that will require further review. It’s hard to tell where their headed, but they’re off to a great start wherever they may be going from here. If nothing else, it’s nice to see a female dominated action show back on network TV.
- “Nikita Review: “Pilot”” and related posts (tvfanatic.com)
- Five Fall Shows You Must See: The CW’s Kick-Ass Nikita Ranks in at No. 4 (eonline.com)
- Nikita Episode Recap: Pilot (omg.yahoo.com)