“La Femme Nikita” is back with a new face (Maggie Q) and is on a new network (The CW). Thursday night, the pilot episode of “Nikita” premiered and got rid of any doubts we had about Q filling the shoes of the cult character. The last actress to play the illusive assassin was Peta Wilson in the 1990s series, and over decade later it’s time to see if Nikita still has her bite.
Check out our review…
- Director: Danny Cannon
- Writers: David Levinson and Craig Silverstein
- Cast: Maggie Q, Shane West, Lyndsy Fonseca Aaron Stanford, Tiffany Hines, Melinda Clarke, Xander Berkeley, Aaron Stanford, Sebastien Roberts
Episode Title: “Pilot”
The first episode sets up the story of Nikita, a former prisoner who was taken out of jail and forced to become an assassin by a covert government unit called “The Division.” Unlike other “recruits” she broke out of the program and has been on the run ever since. She’s making it her business to destroy the Division from the inside out with a little help from a friend.
- The Set-Up: As expected, “Nikita” has the same premise as its predecessors but the show works a different angle. It’s no secret that the former assassin wants to bring down the Division. They know that and they expect it, but they have no idea that their newest recruit Alex (Fonseca) is helping her do it.
- The Dialogue: There were several lines in this episode that sum up the “Nikita” legacy. Amanda explained to Alex that vulnerability can be your greatest weapon. Michael told her that the Division will teach her how to walk right, talk right, serve her country, not just herself. And you can’t forget Nikita’s stern threats, “It ends now” followed by ” I’m going to take you apart piece by piece, mission by mission.”
- The Relationships: The most intriguing thing about this show are the relationships between Nikita and the rest of the characters. Apparently, she was engaged to a man she was sent to spy on, Michael was her handler who got a little too “attached,” and Alex is her partner who’s helping her take down the Division from the inside. How close did Nikita and Michael get? How does she know Alex exactly? What happened between her and Percy?
- The Action: The fight choreography wasn’t the best in this episode but this was the pilot so things could improve as the season progresses. Q has done action before and is a believable fighter, I just wasn’t blown away by the technique that was used.
- Shane West: The cast as a whole is pretty decent, with the exception of Shane West. He seems out of place with this character. A slightly older actor would be more believable in the role of Michael. His no-nonsense, brooding act comes across as phony. Perhaps, I’m still having flashbacks of him on “Once and Again” and “ER“?
- Too Much Explanation: This show is about fake identities, secrecy, and murder so a little mystery is to be expected. The opening scene with Nikita typing on the computer explaining her situation was enough to get us going. But there were several unnecessary scenes added to pad her backstory. The entire sequence with her and her foster dad was more drawn out than it had to be. She was a foster kid who got into trouble, ran away from home, was set up for murder, “executed,” then drafted into the Division. They could have left some of that for next week’s episode.
“Nikita” is still finding its footing but it’s worth investing in. It has a decent start and if they build and improve on the pilot this could become a cult series along the lines of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” or “Alias”.
“Nikita” airs Thursdays at 9PM on The CW
That was our two cents, what did you think?! Agree? Disagree? Let us know in the comments.