Nikita: Season 2
DVD | Box Set
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Nikita: The Complete Second Season
In season one of this sexy and suspenseful series featuring international action star Maggie Q in the title role, the charming and deadly Nikita waged a war against Division, the agency that created her. Michael – the man who trained her, a man she trusted – was hunting her. But Nikita had an ace up her sleeve: Alex, a girl she trained to infiltrate this secret unit of the government. At the end of season one, Nikita and Alex's relationship has been shattered, and Nikita and Michael's relationship has been restored. Now, Nikita and Michael are on the run with a hard drive containing the government's darkest secrets and conspiracies. Together, they are going to right the wrongs that Division has committed over the years, one mission at a time. But leading the hunt for them this time is Alex ... and she knows all of Nikita's tricks!]]>
The pedigree and history of Nikita's birth and development are easily researched elsewhere--see the season-one review for backstory and exposition. And for lucky fans of the show, season two continues the exceptional storytelling and movie-like feel of new installments about the rogue government spy organization known as Division. Maggie Q stars in the title role, a former Division agent now bent on destroying its evil reign by flipping her legs and firing her weapons at her avowed enemy, with a couple of devastating hair tosses and mega-toned body blows thrown in for good measure. There's the equally beguiling Lyndsy Fonseca as Nikita's mole Alex, Shane West as her former Division rival Michael, and Aaron Stanford as Birkhoff, Division's geeky yet sinister tech whiz. Xander Berkeley is still spiraling down into evil and power-madness as the deposed Division chief, and Melinda Clarke's Amanda is taking a more proactive run at practicing treachery as Division's wicked sorceress.
Season two picks up and complicates multiple story threads that were gradually revealed in season one. First among the intersecting stories is the continued quest to hack into and reveal the secrets of so-called black boxes that will expose the diabolical activities of Division, especially the self-serving puppet-master manipulations of Percy. Michael is now working with Nikita to bring down Division from the inside, and Alex appears to have turned from a mole to a loyal Division operative diligently working to destroy Nikita. But as with any good spy saga, things are not always as they seem. As episodes unfold, allegiances falter back and forth with shifting goals as Division continues to run its nefarious games, and both Nikita and Alex also keep focus on discovering the secrets of their own pasts. The black boxes progressively dole out information while other plot threads weave through the arc of the season. There's a constant ratcheting up of some pretty nasty doings orchestrated by the villainous Percy and his increasingly unhinged attempts toward personal domination, including an obsession with gaining control of a nuclear device. In addition to the top-line cast there are several recurring characters who make nifty allies and thugs. Owen Elliot (Devon Sawa), Division contractor and keeper of black-box secrets, pops up frequently as both consort and conspirator. Roan (Rob Stewart), Percy's personal button man, makes mission life difficult for both Nikita and Alex, and Ryan Fletcher (Noah Bean) proves to be both a pawn and wily collaborator for Nikita. All this cloak-and-dagger and martial arts combat stuff unfolds against an international backdrop that the show fakes with creditable flair. Nikita kicks out the jams in locations that include Istanbul, Minsk, London, Basel, and the jungles of Colombia, not to mention the sinister high-tech underground lair that is Division headquarters. It's highly produced and excellently designed material that gives each episode a distinctively cinematic sense of panache. The cast and crew are pros in the reality of making glossy entertainment about pros of a fantastical but equally fast-paced vocation. There are only a few extras in the five-disc set, but they include nicely executed pieces of documentary film in themselves. One is titled "What If? Writing the Fate of Division," which delves into the brainy process creator Craig Silverstein and his writing staff go through to give Nikita its strong verisimilitude. The other, "Living the Life: Maggie Q," is a glamorous, unpuffy featurette about the on-set life of the star. There are also the usual deleted scenes and a commentary track from Silverstein for the season finale. Best of all is the promise of seeing season three of a show that's edgy, sexy, exciting, and dangerous, words that also describe the pretty faces and outlandishly irresistible situations that highlight every episode. --Ted Fry
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Anyway, season 2 has some really good arcs and I loved Percy's return from caged animal to something else by the end. He was my favorite character in the entire show because he was just so dedicated and not exactly evil, but ruthless in getting what he wanted. The bits where they made him physically impressive were a bit much for me, sort of like the old Stargate SG1 where Carter was not only a scientist, but a perfect shot, a decent cook, and always attractively made up. People tend to have a flaw or two, which is why the scientist guy from Stargate Atlantis was better IMHO, because he was brilliant, but a neurotic wreck who wasn't that great in combat. One of the signture bits of Percy's whole presence in the series is the last episode where he gets out of a situation and I don't want to give away any spoilers, so the part in that episode where he does something highly objectionable because he was in a rush. I won't give away whether he sneaks away, ends up dumped in a deep dank hole to rot, or meets an untimely end, but this was the last season he appeared in and so this was the season I feel the show peaked.
In short, get the first season and get this one and you'll not be disappointed. The third and final season (a paltry 6 episode wrap up) change the dynamic of the series for better or worse, worse in my opinion but tastes vary, though still I'd consider them worth picking up to complete the set. Just be ready to binge watch because if you miss episodes you'll quickly become lost.
Season 2 begins with the fallout from Percy's attempted but failed power grab from "oversight". As we saw at the end of season 1, Amanda is in charge of Division, Percy is locked up in the basement and Nikita is still trying to bring the entire thing down. As was the case in season 1, by the end of season 2 the show is in an entirely different place than it was at the beginning of the season. Also as was the case in season 1 there are multiple story lines and arcs that play out throughout the season and they keep recurring. So, it is nearly impossible to jump right into the show. You do really have to see if from the get go to understand everything that is going on.
The story around the black boxes that began in season 1 continues to play out this season. The other major story arc involves Alex and her quest to avenge her family. That, along with what she learned about Nikita's role in the attack on her family at the end of season 1 puts Alex and Nikita at odds in season 2. Greater roles are given to Birkhoff and Amanda throughout the season and Ryan Fletcher toward the end of the season. By the end of season 2 some of the story lines from season one and 2 have been tied up, and others are still lingering. It again almost reboots itself by the end of the season going into season 3.
Again the good writing and great acting carry the series. Like any series with major plot twists, so of them can be somewhat silly and unbelievable. The show definitely takes some suspension of disbelief, so if you are one who cannot watch a show if everything is not realistic and logical, this one is not for you. But, if you can get past that, and like smart, well acted shows that blend action, drama and comedy, then this one is worth checking out.
As far as extras go on the blu ray set, it is mainly commentary on selected episodes and some deleted scenes on most episodes. Definitely not as much as the season 1 extras. And, a minor point, unlike the season 1 blu rays,you cannot stop in the middle of an episode and have it pick back up where you left off. It does continuously play episodes, but if you stop your player then you have to find where you left off. That is the only drawback as far as the discs go.
I'm glad that the CW gave the show a shot, as other networks passed on it...so that those networks, I imagine, could air more reality shows and informercials.