After some serious things went down in last week’s Nikita – namely, Michael lost a hand, continuing Shane West’s tradition of not being able to get through a TV show with all of his character’s body parts – there’s a lot to deal with.
It’s been three weeks since the last episode, and a still understandably cranky Michael gets a new robo-hand, courtesy of Birkhoff, who makes a Six Million Dollar Man joke that no one gets. Nikita tries to convince Michael to “work through” things, adding that she wants him to come home. Michael brushes this off, and he’s entitled to be a little distant, considering that he lost a hand.
Meanwhile, in Mexico, lots of cops are shooting at a pair of drug henchmen, except for their boss Garza, who’s out playing golf. The perks of being the boss. Garza tells his underlings that he’s going to send help – which draws the attention of Sonya, and by extension, Ryan. Why does Division care what a drug dealer is up to? Garza’s “help” is a rogue Division cleaner named Liam (guest star Pedro Pascal).
Ryan is in the middle of sending Nikita and Owen after Liam when Michael finally makes his triumphant return to Division proper. Nikita wants Michael to come along as support, since Alex is “benched” – which is to say she’s in the midst of rehab. Birkhoff wants to know what pushed Alex into using drugs again, saying that “just because you cure the symptom, doesn’t mean the disease goes away,” but she’s not forthcoming.
During prep, Nikita confides in Owen, saying that she’s worried about Michael, since he internalizes everything. She’s afraid he’s a ticking time bomb. Cut to Michael ominously handling a firearm.
Liam arrives in Mexico and convinces the police officer in charge to let him deliver a requested pizza. Once he approaches the door, he pretends to be taken hostage in order to gain entry into the building where the henchmen are holed up. He then promptly makes mincemeat of the henchmen. Garza’s going to need some new employees.
As Owen is dismembering the bodies and otherwise taking care of business, Nikita, Owen and Michael roll up on the scene in their giant black van, pretending to be DEA agents. Michael has to stay in the van while Nikita and Owen advance on the house, where Liam has been alerted to their presence and is able to tap into their communications. He and Nikita exchange blows, before the house literally explodes, giving Liam an opportunity to steal a police vehicle. This doesn’t do anything for Michael’s self esteem, either, as he’s unable to land a shot before the truck speeds away.
Everyone plus Ryan gathers at Division to discuss what went wrong. Michael thinks there might have been “tactical missteps,” which makes Owen defensive, but Ryan says that it doesn’t matter. Nikita tells Ryan about the laptop that Liam tried to remove from the scene, which temporarily defuses the argument. They’re still better off than Liam, who finds out the laptop is in the hands of the DEA as he’s patching himself up. He sets out for Houston to break into the Federal Building there.
Ryan and his perfectly coiffed hair want to talk to Alex about Michael and Nikita. Ryan’s worried about how “their dynamic’s affecting the team” and thinks Alex can shed some light on the situation. She tells him that Michael “is about rules” and would understand if Ryan benched him. But it certainly doesn’t seem that way, as Michael is throwing a fit in Birkhoff’s direction about how he’s not happy with his new accessory. He wants bigger and better, and he also wants to shoot some holes in a few targets.
That’s what he’s doing when Nikita comes down to talk to him. She says she checked his gun when they came back from Mexico, and that half the clip was empty. “You can’t run from this,” she tells him. “You’re pretending like it never happened.” He retorts that he doesn’t want her help, or her pity, and doesn’t want to talk about it anymore. “It’s my problem to solve – why can’t you understand that?” he asks as Owen looks on from the shadows. Then he goes back to shooting things.
Owen decides to call out Michael about his treatment of Nikita, telling him that “you should be on your knees,” but Michael does not appreciate the unwanted therapy. “She’s with me, Owen. Stay out,” he adds, threateningly. Owen doesn’t heed the warning, but Michael’s attempt at hitting him falls short.
Liam meets with Garza, wanting his word that he won’t be sold out once he recovers the laptop. At least, that’s what he says, but he promptly stabs Garza and his two henchmen. As the bodies drop, Michael tells Nikita, Ryan and Owen that the laptop is Garza’s “electronic ledger. DEA estimates he’s worth fifty million.” Ryan sends Nikita and Owen out after Liam again, but this time Michael stays behind, while making his grumpy face.
With Ryan directing them from Operations, Owen and Nikita arrive at the Federal Building, with Liam showing up a short time later hiding in the back of a trash truck. Questionable sanitation aside, he’s easily able to cut off the security cameras, sending everyone other than Michael into a panic. Michael is old-school and easily takes over command.
The cameras come back up just as Liam is in an armed standoff with Nikita, who decides to tell him about cutting off Michael’s hand, as a way of giving Owen time to catch up with her. Owen shoots through the wooden door and into Liam, killing him instantly. Michael earns a round of applause from everyone in Division for saving the day, while Ryan creates a nice cover story that satisfies the outside world. Nikita and Michael, however, have another argument, one that ends with her walking out on him and Michael talking to himself, before causing some impressive property damage.
“Aftermath” does a good job of mixing the fallout from “Intersection” with a case of the week, but it does leave some lingering concerns about the rest of the season (if not the series), the most important being Michael’s status with the team. While it’s totally plausible for Michael to not be one hundred percent after what happened to him, one hopes that his character won’t be permanently relegated to Operations. There’s already a character who fills that role in Ryan Fletcher, and it would be a waste of Shane West as an actor to keep him on the sidelines. Only time will tell on that count.
It’s also worth considering the format of Nikita going forward. While it was a nice change of pace at the beginning of Season 3 to depart from the extended story arcs of the past two cycles, the show is starting to tip the other way, where each episode is for the most part wrapped up within the hour. It’d be nice to see stories that stick with the audience beyond each Friday – and not just the subplots. Nikita right now is a fun hour of entertainment, but it’s missing the big questions that kept the audience talking after the credits roll. It’s all a matter of balance. But even with that, Nikita is still an entertaining way to spend a Friday night, and a much stronger series than it’s given credit for.
(c)2013 Brittany Frederick. Appears at Fanbolt with permission. All rights reserved. No reproduction permitted.