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Before I get into the episode itself, I thought I’d spend a moment chastising the production team of Nikita for their laughable attempt at creating their own little piece of London. Whilst Nikita is a child of The CW and thus, relative to many other shows falls short in the budget department, it has up until now managed to maintain some level of reality in terms of portraying various locations worldwide. Pretty much any and every detail of London, more specifically Camden, seems to have alluded them in “Into the Dark” as they go from an ambiguous sidewalk that could really be anywhere to what is obviously a small Canadian town. Maybe being English I have a certain sense of bias towards wanting a portrayal of London being done correctly, but I really would think that anyone could see past a solitary underground sign on the side of a street.
Ignoring the production flaws the episode itself wasn’t actually half bad. “Into the Dark” sees the return of Owen, former guardian of one of Percy’s black boxes and contributor to some of the better hand-to-hand combat scenes that I’ve ever seen on television. He brings news to Nikita that he has discovered a rough location of yet another black box. When arriving in Nikita’s loft to bring her the news, Owen walks in on her and Division agent turned Nikita collaborator Michael in bed. Whilst I am all for seeing Maggie Q in a thong, the minute long scene of her standing in her underwear between the two warriors was some of the most shameless viewer grabbing TV of recent times. Ultimately, after Nikita puts some clothes on, the scene is set and she and Owen head to London to finish the hunt for the black box, while Michael heads to the office to see what he can discover on his end.
As we head to the Division headquarters we see insider Alex begin to lay the groundwork for her imminent departure. As her cover as a genuine agent of Division wears thin, she erases her love interest Nathan from her file and after narrowly avoiding being caught in the act, she is drawn into interrogating Jaden after a mission of hers goes wrong. Given the animosity between the two characters I was looking forward to seeing where this would lead. However, the back and forth is cut short when Jaden brings up her suspicions about Alex’s deceit, and Amanda intervenes to begin her own interrogation of Division’s newest agent. After a few too many prying questions Alex is forced into lying about lying to get herself out of the deadly position that she’s in, but still ultimately doesn’t gain the full faith of her interrogator with her answers.
Back in “London” after some help from Michael, the duo pinpoint a storage container belonging to the guardian of the black box that they are after and head off to look around. Not even thinking to check for surveillance equipment of any kind their intrusion is quickly discovered and they are soon in a race to find the guardian before he can disappear. After working out where he has hidden the box, they come face to face with their target and a hail of gunfire befalls the quiet streets of “London”. After a pretty spectacular fight Owen finds himself in possession of the box and he betrays Nikita by pushing her in front of a car when they have differing ideas on what to do with it; Nikita wanting to destroy it and Owen wanting to distribute its contents to the world. After finding that he is unable to access what is contained within the box without a blood sample from its guardian, Owen draws in every major player in the story to try and achieve his goal. Giving up his location so that the guardian, Nikita and Michael come after him. Yet another fight occurs and Owen emerges victorious once more, but this time Michael destroys the black box before he can upload it to the internet and all is well that ends well.
Throughout its freshman year Nikita has created a fairly compelling story for itself, but given the trajectory of the show at this juncture, I worry for its future. Whilst out and out action will undoubtedly draw some viewers in, if there is no story driving it then it really isn’t going to be worth anybody's time. The way that the first season is setting itself up to end seems to be in very little scope for the larger story to develop. Alex is undoubtedly going to be truly found out as a mole and Michael will no doubt begin to go through the same things that Alex has done all season long now that he is on board, but once those story lines are played out, the show is over. Entertainment in the short run is ultimately going to lead to a short life for this show.