I was a regular watcher of “Nikita” during its first season up until Alex started falling for Nathan. Overall, the story had begun to ebb and mimicking Nikita’s own past in Alex’s story line felt a little too heavy-handed for my taste. In particular, the episode where Alex began to dream of having a future as the head of Zetrov married to Nathan with a child. It seemed out of left field, though in retrospect I’m sure the writers just wanted Alex to be able to explore this part of herself before figuring out that she’s passed the point of no return. This is her life now.
Regardless, these few episodes were enough for me to lose interest and when “Nikita” came back for its second season, I still had no inclination to catch up on episodes and I certainly wasn’t going to start watching the new season without having caught up first.
So finally I sat down last week and decided to give the show another try. By the end of the first season, I was hooked. In fact, I was hooked early on in my viewing, particularly in the moment when Alex kills Jaden. It’s a huge moment for all, and definitely a surprising one. It’s around this time that the plot really starts to sneak up on you. It becomes nearly impossible to predict what is going to happen, which is one thing I love in a show.
In addition to the plot, the secondary characters have developed really nicely, including Amanda and Birkhoff. Amanda is given some humanity while at the same time she shows just how evil she can be. It’s a great coup to pull of that kind of duplicity in a character. Meanwhile, Birkhoff is still the geek we know and love, but now we can just plain love him instead of loving to hate him.
But here’s why it’s still not great: I don’t really care about Nikita. I’m sure others do, but it feels more like viewers are just supposed to care about Nikita because she has a sad past and the show is named after her. But for the most part, I don’t feel any real connection to the character, not like I did for the similar character of Sidney Bristow (“Alias”). I’ve decided it’s a combination of the writing and Maggie Q’s acting skills. She’s great at playing a spy, but once she tries to get you to feel for her, it doesn’t quite click.
Lindsy Fonseca does a much better job of this, in my opinion. I find I can’t keep my eyes of her whether she’s kicking ass or angsting about her family. There’s a vulnerableness there that is tempered by both the actress’s and character’s strength.
As a result of this, I’m not too invested in the Nikita/Michael relationship, but instead find myself rooting for Alex and Sean. In fact, I’ve lost some of my interest in Michael as a character because I honestly can’t figure out why he loves Nikita so much. Keep in mind, I don’t hate Nikita, I just don’t connect with her. And in a world where characters have become so integral to creating a great show, this is the main reason I hesitate to call Nikita a great show.
What do you think? Is there more to Nikita than I’m giving her credit for, or do you have the same problem connecting with her? Who’s your favorite character or what’s your favorite thing about the show? Feel free to comment below.
Season 3 of “Nikita” premieres on October 19th on The CW.