In the last episode ever – till they remake this show yet again – Nikita, with Alex in tow, has gone rogue. Happily murdering her way through the Group behind MDK to get to Amanda, she’s no longer the conscience-stricken Nikita we know and love; it looks like she’s gone so far off-piste, in fact, that Michael, Birkhoff and Sam/Owen are on a mission to stop her before her crazed bloodlust brings about the end of the world.
Or something. I mean, the stakes are MAD high. Except – SPOILER – they aren’t quite as apocalyptic as we’re meant to think they are, and Nikki isn’t at all as psychotic as we’re meant to think she is and thank goodness for that because otherwise, if the storyline had genuinely been “lunatic female who cannot cope with feelings needs to be physically restrained by level-headed boyfriend,” I’d have to take back all those things I said last week about the refreshingly, unapologetically feminist ethos of this show.
While the twist in the tale is fortunate for the feminism, however, it’s not great for the structure of the series finale, since it means we spend the majority of the ep watching our heroine apparently behave in a way that is so drastically, unpleasantly out of character that the ep feels almost as demented as Nikki’s pretending to be. When we find out that it’s all been a – SPOILER – fake-out, it redeems our girl but it doesn’t really redeem the episode. And that’s without thinking about the plotholes everywhere. How did Birkhoff, Alex and Nikki free themselves from the shackles of Super-Max prison, for a start?
Still, despite the messiness of it all, I enjoyed it. Calling it “Cancelled” was a stroke of genius for a start. Then, of course, there was a load of ass-kicking, the long-overdue Amanda take-down was satisfying, everybody (except Ryan, obv) got a lovely happy ending and there was plenty to squee about with the elopement(!), honeymoon(!) and the continuing beach-bound adventures(!) of Michael and Nikita. Aw. Interesting choice to leave the Sam/Owen question unanswered too; it really doesn’t matter which one he actually was, more who he’s going to be – Alex’s bodyguard/boyfriend. Aw again.
I was less impressed with the choice to give us Ghost Ryan instead of Live Sonya, mind you; presumably they couldn’t afford both actors so they settled for Birkhoff saying “Sonya’s doing this”, “Sonya’s saying that” every few minutes which really wasn’t fooling anybody but never mind.
Of course, a flawed finale doesn’t negate the show’s achievement in getting to a fourth season at all, especially given the lacklustre ratings, so well done to all for making it this far and doing so in a mostly entertaining, often startling and always squee-some fashion. This is the third English-language version of Nikita that I’ve seen – not counting Nikita-adjacent stuff like Alias, Covert Affairs or Dollhouse – and despite my affection for Peta Wilson’s La Femme Nikita, this one’s become my runaway favourite.
As far as the supporting characters go, well, I didn’t love all of them – *sticks tongue out at Alex and Ryan* – but Birkhoff obviously ruled. I can’t wait to see Aaron Stanford on screen again, be it in 12 Monkeys or anything else. Special mention also to Xander Berkeley, of course, who is and always will be one of the best villains in the business: Red John and Percy together make quite the CV.
But, for me, anyway, it’s the Mikita romance which has been the main draw. Maggie Q has been a compelling, ass-kicking lead, and a great trailblazer for colour-blind casting; Shane West has proven himself as much of an action hero as a romantic one; and together, their chemistry has scorched up the screen. I’ve been fretting about what to say about the Nikita finale and series as a whole for days now but I think that about covers it. Over the past 4 seasons, I’ve watched, I’ve shipped and, for the most part, I’ve had a whale of a time doing both. As OTP’s go, Mikita has become one of my favourites so, altogether, now, one last time: SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!