NIKITA 1.3: Kill Jill

NIKITA struck a blow for bloggers in the latest episode. Well, not really, but it was nice to see the-powers-that-be keeping up with the times for their reimagining. Newspapers and TV are so last decade.

Percy (Xander Berkeley) ordered muck-raking blogger Jill Morelli (Julie Gonzalo) silenced before her latest discovery — clandestine video of Division agents retrieving smuggled cocaine from an AirMerica crash site — can be published, ruining and its CEO Sampson (Christopher Cousins), a crony of Percy’s. Agent Donnegan killed newspaper editor Jeremy and framed Jill, but Nikita (Maggie Q) was able to stop Jill from being kidnapped.

Percy talked to Michael (Shane West) about possibility of mole within Division, and Birkhoff (Aaron Stanford) insisted so vehemently that there could be no data leak that he made himself a target. After all, Birkhoff did spend a lot of unsupervised quality time alone with Nikita recently. Birkhoff was turned over to Amanda (Melinda Clarke), whom Birkhoff blamed for failing to properly mold Nikita. Insulted, Amanda ordered medical probes, and eventually uncovered a wireless transmitter Nikita had implanted in his molar.

Percy enlisted recruits to sift through evidence to find Nikita and Jill. Thom (Ashton Holmes) selected Jaden (Tiffany Hines) and Alex for his team, because he was concerned that they were not showing the “visible improvement” required to avoid cancellation — and the girls have just one week to go. Jaden and Alex found clues pointing to a woman in Virginia. Way to show visible improvement, ladies! Michael took Alex inside Operations, where she got to see the setup. Alex was distraught to learn that she had actually helped track down Nikita. Michael let her stay in Operations. Alex played up to Birkhoff, who boasted of his technical prowess: “It’s called ‘ownage,’ girl,” he crowed. “All of these systems are already hacked. I own them.” She arranged for a little “Pepsi Syndrome” — well, Red Bull Syndrome — to distract him at a key moment.

In the field, Nikita summoned the local police to take Jill into protective custody, then faced down Michael and a hit team. After a lot of shooting, it came down to hand-to-hand combat with Michael. He got the upper hand and told her she was only hurting herself. “You have no idea how much pain I can take,” she snarled, before dislocating her own shoulder to break his grip and escape. Eventually, Jeremy’s paper was able to upload the video, exposing AirMerica and ruining Sampson.

This story put an updated spin on the ol’ “crusading reporter” routine by making her a conspiracy blogger, but Jill was far from a paranoid nutcase. In fact, she was lucid enough to raise an excellent point about Nikita’s mission to bring down Division: Why doesn’t Nikita tell her story to the press? Okay, maybe not to a slightly disreputable blogger like her, but to a legitimate news organization? Nikita claimed she was protecting Jill, because Division kills reporters. But could they actually kill some as high profile as, say, Brian Williams? Nikita later went on to warn Jill to stop pursuing Division, because the secretive organization will never allow itself to be exposed. “You’re only breathing because you don’t know their names,” Nikita noted. She is also shielded (for now) by her recent fame: killing the journalist who broke the AirMerica story would be too high-profile.

In one of my favorite bits of characterization of the series so far, Agent Donnegan was shown to be stone-cold. After shooting Jill’s source, Ben, dead, Ben’s corpse was grabbed by the shirt and hauled off like a slab of meat. That really drove home the callousness of the character.

And now Alex is danger of falling prey to that callousness. Since Birkhoff’s decoy transmitter has been discovered Nikita needs to come up with another way to divert suspicion from Alex.

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