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For the first time in a long time Nikita had an episode this week that centered around a Division mission for good rather than evil. The episode opened with an insight into Alex’s state of mind, as we see her confess her sins to her lover Nathan, only to find out that he is working with her nemesis Jaden. After a short fight scene, the much loved cliché of “and then she woke up” is thrust upon us as we discover that it was all just a dream. Alex is promptly called into the office as Division has been gaining intelligence that suggests that a young Liberian prince is not only distributing conventional weapons with his considerable means, but also a deadly toxin. After being presented as fashion models to the prince and handpicked by him to attend a party at his house, Alex and Jaden are sent by Percy to destroy the lab where the weapon is being created before it can get into the open market.
The mission is poorly scheduled for Alex, who, with the help of Nikita and Michael, had been planning to fake her own death in a car accident to escape the clutches of Division and ease her troubled mind. Seeing a silver lining to the mission, Alex posits that she could just as easily fake her own death in the laboratory explosion. Agreeing, Nikita heads along on the mission without Jaden or Division’s knowledge, however things don’t go quite according to plan.
After gaining access to the secret lab by a sunglasses scan (stupidest thing ever?), Alex proceeds to place explosives whilst Jaden distracts the prince. Whilst placing the explosives in the lab Alex is interrupted when a client comes to see the toxin in action and after witnessing the murder of a bodyguard that the prince did not care for, Alex overhears that the client plans to use the toxin that same evening to kill the prince’s father, alongside countless others, in a terrorist attack. To make matters worse Jaden’s cover is soon blown and things begin to get messy. After convincing Michael not to inform the rest of Division about the attack, Nikita heads off to stop it whilst Alex decides to go back in and help Jaden kill the prince and several of his men in a firefight. The two then proceed to escape “the hard way” as they so eloquently put it before finally destroying the lab. After arriving at the scene of the impending attack, Nikita herself has the first confrontation of this series in which she hasn’t flat-out destroyed her opponent with hand-to-hand combat when she comes face-to-face with a sought after Division target. After some serious pain infliction on both sides, Nikita comes out on top and manages to destroy the toxin before it can be used to harm anyone.
Back at Division HQ, Jaden is promoted to full agent status after the successful completion of the mission, which may see the beginning of a possible friendship between her and Alex now that both of them are back out in the real world and not simply cooped up in a building with no windows. However, it is entirely possible and perhaps even more likely that now that Jaden is free to do as she pleases, she may hound Alex even more about her previous relationship with Thom and how she is connected to Nikita. The potential for this comes out of Alex deciding at the end of the episode to remain in Division rather than leave, after seeing the good that they can do for the world. Whilst this small bit of good is done, Alex is blissfully unaware that Jaden, under secret instruction, had actually removed the toxin from the lab before its destruction so that she could hand it over to Percy when she returned.
When all is said and done “Girl’s Best Friend” was a fairly strong episode for Nikita. The balance of the long-term plot with the episodic arc was well done and the action was as strong as ever. Unlike some other episodes, however, there was a genuine sense of character development with Alex’s decision to remain in Division and both Michael and Nikita realizing that perhaps new management would be better for Division rather than simply destroying it. Similarly, the reveal that Percy had ordered that the toxin be kept for his personal use adds to his growing demeanor of evil. As the season begins to draw to a close there are several routes that the show has the potential to follow; however, with still no official word on whether or not the show will live to see a second season, it is unlikely that we will get to see any major cliffhanger ending. Whichever decision the writers have made I am excited to see, with Nikita being one of the more promising freshman shows of the 2010-11 season.