Why don’t I have all the time in the world to just sit and binge shows? WHY?
Let’s talk about some things.
- My dad used to watch La Femme Nikita back when it was on (I think?) the USA Network. (Which I still remember as being channel 8!) I vaguely recall what the show was like. There was a lot of action! It had to do with espionage! Nikita ruled and you didn’t! I wasn’t allowed to watch it! Apparently, my mother thought it would corrupt me? Again, will never understand how the entire world was Satan, but The X-Files and The Twilight Zone were TOTALLY okay for me to watch.
- Anyway, sometimes, if my mom wasn’t home and they were airing reruns of La Femme Nikita, I’d watch it with my father. It was a neat show, though I do remember the experience a bit more than the content of the show itself.
- So, right off the back, this version of the character/show is WAY DARKER THAN I THOUGHT IT WOULD BE. From indirectly killing off her father to many of the more brutal sequences, as well as the HEART-CRUSHING flashbacks to how Nikita was betrayed, this pilot is grim.
- Tonally, I should say. It’s also a treat to watch because Maggie Q is FUCKING SPECTACULAR. She’s able to convey Nikita’s grace, her emotions, her physical skill, and her brilliant mind in a pilot that also introduces us to the basic concept of the show.
- Also, Shane West is in this, and it’s weird. I haven’t totally gotten into his character yet, though I admit I am biased against him because of What We Do Is Secret. Movies about hardcore just… never really go over well with me? And West wasn’t bad at all in that film. He’s actually a bizarrely good Darby Crash, resembling him at times in a way that creeped me out. So every time I see Shane West’s face, all I can see is Darby Crash’s superimposed on top of it.
- I’m weird. I know that. Just accept this.
- The allure of Nikita comes from the fact that this is positioned as a complex revenge fantasy, one where Nikita seeks out agency by using the very training Division gave her to take the organization down. There are only hints of how far-reaching Division is, and we certainly get a good look at how powerful they are. But we also see how one woman, destined to tear the place apart, can keep them second-guessing. It is exciting.
- At the same time, we get a parallel story about Alex entering Division’s program for the first time. It’s a fascinating way to show the viewer just what Nikita once went through, from waking up in a strange place, to gradually finding out your freedom has been stripped away, to then discovering that you’re being used as a tool for assassination. WHICH IS FUN, RIGHT? Except oh my god it’s not.
- I admit I don’t care too much about the fact that Michael is ~tortured~ and ~confused~ by his role at Division. You know why?
- BECAUSE ALEX IS ACTUALLY NIKITA’S MOLE. There you go. That is how you draw me in IMMEDIATELY with a pilot episode of a show. NOW I NEED TO SEE MORE! Oh my god, Alex was acting the whole time. THIS WHOLE EPISODE HAS A BRAND NEW CONTEXT TO IT. Bless. BLESS.
Why don’t I have more time to watch this? OPPRESSION.