NIKITA 1.21: Betrayals

Percy (Xander Berkeley) had Nikita’s (Maggie Q) mole, Alex (Lyndsy Fonseca) in his power. Amanda (Melinda Clarke) wanted to interrogate her, but Percy wanted her canceled – until he learned that “Alex” is actually Alexandra Udinov, the daughter of a powerful Russian crime lord killed by Division. Then he decided to turn her against Nikita. Amanda tried to get information about Operation: Sparrow, but Percy stonewalled her. She and Michael (Shane West) tried to bluff each other that they were privy to more information than the other had. Percy really did have info that Michael didn’t: He knew Michael was cooperating with Nikita and Alex. Meanwhile, Nikita kidnapped an expert to figure out how to open Percy’s black box, believing it held the key to Operation: Sparrow. Percy sent Alex back in to “pull the trigger” on Nikita. The episode ended with a bang as Alex literally pulled the trigger and shot Nikita.

“Everything is about to change. Just be glad you’re on the right side of things.”
–Percy to Amanda

What we had here was the makings of a classic “interrogation” episode – you know the kind, where the master interrogator enters a room, determined to crack the uncrackable suspect: Amanda vs. Alex. But then Percy entered and knocked everything off-kilter. He dispatched Amanda and took over himself. Now, even though Percy is top dog at Division, I always wondered how he got there, since he never seemed very smart. I assumed he was a skilled political operative who exploited others to advance, rather than earning promotion on his own. In other words, I never saw Percy as much of a threat. I couldn’t believe he was giving Nikita so much trouble.

This episode went a long way toward redeeming Percy. I don’t mean “redeeming” in the sense of turning him good, but rather establishing him as a formidable foe. For much of the season, Percy has seemed to be a pompous fool. He consistently made plans that failed, that fell apart. Or did they? “My losses made you overconfident,” he told Michael. “You didn’t notice when I started losing on purpose. Those were my victories,” he smirked. Suddenly, Percy’s incompetence became brilliance; he finally began to show intelligence and ruthlessness. He was talking stone-cold smack, but his voice was warm with confidence. And he coolly reactivated Alex’s kill-chip like he was ordering lunch.

Fonseca (ex-Colleen, THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS) was absolutely terrific in this story, doing a lot of fine acting with her eyes. The grief they reflected as she watched the Christmas video was remarkable. Viewers watched her transform from cocky secret agent to frightened 13-year-old girl again. Alex tried to project steely determination, but the hurt was there in her watery eyes. He broke her by revealing that Nikita killed Alex’s family – which Alex probably should have guessed, anyway. Once Percy sent her after Nikita, Fonseca played Alex as robotic and subdued; something was clearly wrong. But Nikita was so hell-bent on derailing Operation: Sparrow that she didn’t notice how strangely her young co-conspirator was acting. But at least Nikita was still professional; she sniffed out the fake Sparrow staging area. Too bad she didn’t suspect Alex was just waiting to get the drop on her.

In a way, Percy got the drop in me in this episode, by suddenly becoming a credible threat.

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Oh, yeah? Sez you!

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