Nikita – 1.05: The Guardian

“You can either help me, or I can tell Percy what you’ve been doing after hours in the video conference room….with the girls of Amsterdam?” –Michael

Though I’ve enjoyed watching this series (it’s a good piece of fluff action), ever since the second episode, I was having doubts as to how long the mission-of-the-week format would be able to sustain itself.  Thus, I was pretty pleasantly surprised to find that the latest episode finally delivered on the hints at an overarching storyline that the show has been sprinkling throughout the series.  In the premiere episode, we learned that the head of the black ops government division (appropriately named “Division”) that Nikita has been trying to take down had set up a failsafe to protect himself from ever being replaced or otherwise removed from his position: a series of Black Boxes hidden in safe places around the world containing data on every corrupt mission that Division had carried out over the years.  If anything ever happened to him, he would expose the secrets, thus destroying the credibility of the government and the nation.  A bit of Mutually Assured Destruction, if you will.  In order to take out Division without putting the nation’s global presence at risk, Nikita would have to locate and get rid of these Black Boxes first.  After only being briefly mentioned a few times since the premiere episode, the first of the boxes finally made an appearance in this episode, as well as introducing a new character: Owen Elliot, an operative designated as guardian of one of the boxes.  Over the course of the episode, Nikita manages to track down the box and even successfully convinces Owen to turn against Division (not too difficult, agents of Division end up killing Owen’s girlfriend in order to retrieve the Black Box from him).  With a new character in the mix and the hunt for the boxes officially on, I am left excited and looking forward to the ramifications these latest events will have on the series.  Obviously, they can’t all be storyline-related episodes, and I’m sure we’ll get back to a few individual episodes soon enough, but just a small taste this early on in the series leaves me very satisfied and at least shows that the writers are thinking ahead to more complex threads.

On the other hand, it still kinda bothers me every time they cut to Alex alone in the computer lab chatting with Nikita and providing her with intel.  Is that thing just open to the trainees like all the time?  And why doesn’t their firewall or monitoring software catch her conversations?  I realize a show like this isn’t exactly striving for completely convincing reality, but those scenes really paint Division as a not that tightly run ship to me.  I suppose a show that had the trainees on lockdown and constant surveillance wouldn’t be the most fun show, but still, at least make it look like there’s some decent amount of security in that underground bunker, or wherever they are.

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