When she was a deeply troubled teenager, Nikita (Maggie Q, “Live Free or Die Hard,” “Mission Impossible 3”) was rescued from death row by a secret U.S. agency known only as Division, who faked her execution and told her she was being given a second chance to start a new life and serve her country. What they didn’t tell her was that she was being trained as a spy and assassin. Throughout her grueling training at Division, Nikita never lost her humanity, even falling in love with a civilian. When her fiancé was murdered, Nikita realized she had been betrayed and her dreams shattered by the only people she thought she could trust, so she did what no one else before her had been able to do: she escaped. Now, after three years in hiding, Nikita is seeking retribution and making it clear to her former bosses that she will stop at nothing to expose and destroy their covert operation.
For the time being, however, Division continues to recruit and train other young people, erasing all evidence of their former lives and turning them into cold and efficient killers. One of these new recruits, Alex (Lyndsy Fonseca, “Kick-Ass,” “Desperate Housewives”), is a beautiful girl with a violent past and a story not so different from Nikita’s. After her parents were murdered, Alex’s life completely derailed. Haunted by her horrific past, she ended up drug-addicted and homeless until Division “rescued” her and brought her into the fold.
Division’s top authority, Percy (Xander Berkeley, “Kick-Ass,” “24”) spent years being a good government soldier, taking his role as an insider and using it to turn the secret organization into a lucrative spy-for-hire shop. With Nikita gone rogue, Percy will do whatever it takes to destroy her and protect the empire he’s built, and he often turns to his top lieutenant, Michael (Shane West, “ER,” Once and Again”), for help. Michael trained Nikita when she was a recruit and is now faced with the responsibility of tracking down his renegade student. At the same time, Michael is in charge of training Alex, Nikita’s young replacement, along with other recruits, including Thom (Ashton Holmes, “Boston Legal”), who has been at Division for a year and is anxious to prove himself, and Jaden (Tiffany Hines, “Bones”), a beautiful and tough young woman who challenges Alex at every turn.
The recruits all spend part of their training with Amanda (Melinda Clarke, “The O.C.,” “The Vampire Diaries”), a master manipulator who can turn any ugly duckling into a swan and any bleeding heart into a killer. Her use of psychological warfare and strategy is key to Percy’s entire operation. Amanda has only had one failure during her tenure at Division: Nikita, the recruit she was never able to break.
Nikita also left her mark on Birkhoff (Aaron Stanford, “Traveler,” “X-Men: The Last Stand”), the nonconformist computer genius who was caught hacking into the Pentagon’s system from his college dorm room and was recruited into Division at the same time as Nikita. Birkhoff never admits to anyone that he misses his former colleague, and he has managed to hold onto his own rebel spirit, his geek-speak and his slacker dress code.
This is the world of Division that Alex now finds herself facing everyday, and she is just beginning to understand why the legendary Nikita has dedicated herself to taking them down. – The CW
5 out of 10
This is the second attempt by American television to bring the French film La Femme Nikita (which was turned into the 1993 American film, Point of No Return starring Bridget Fonda) to the small screen and it is the most ambitious and best written and performed yet. That doesn’t mean that it’s great or that I love it.
This is a pretty short review because there’s not much to say about it. The premise is exactly what the show description says it is and Maggie Q brings sexy to a whole new level here and the violence and action is on par with the best of any action show of the last decade.
The plot is pretty compelling, if not that original but the supporting cast is doing nothing for this show except for Nikita’s protegé Alex who is a plant in Division to bring it down. The only problem with Alex is the ridiculously convoluted way that she was able to infiltrate Division to begin with.
It’s very well shot and is pretty visually stunning and I’m actually pretty impressed with the music arrangement.
At the end of the day, it’s a decent show but I’m not sure how much patience audiences will have for it but I expect to personally give it until at least mid-season.
Watch full episodes of Nikita, here.