Okay, I caved. 13 episodes of Nikita and counting.
I originally boycotted this show because it stole SPN's timeslot. Now, however, they've cleverly outmanuevered fannish vendettas by lining up the one and only Julie McNiven as a guest star, which is a total game changer. Anna I will love you forever, I sat through friggin' Battlestar Galactica for you.
This show is a complete Alias wannabe, but with a lot of redeemable things, especially its high count of powerful female characters and racially diverse cast. They use flashbacks much, much more than I would like -- at first I liked the ones about how Alex and Nikita met but now there's one with every random plotline. Even pointless ones. But Nikita also has a nice grasp on the subtle and they're not afraid to try out different narrative techniques with the episodes. Well, by now they'll have found their rhythm, but it was pretty good in the beginning.
1. Nikita -- The titular femme fatale is ostensibly the best and most rounded character. Cool as a cucumber and fabulously nuanced, she's a little like Dean except more petite and better at supressing her emotional baggage. Nikita is tactical and fearless; she knows when to cut her losses but she's a also a fierce believer in doing what's right. She has a grace and wisdom akin to that of Teddy Altman. I currently ship her hardest with Owen, the rogue guardian she briefly partnered with in Chile, even though it's clear her series arc love interest is Michael.
2. Michael -- Played by the one and only Shane West of furby baby-tee infamy, Michael is Nikita's former mentor and second in command to the ruthless Percy. As such he cleans up a lot of Division's messes while Percy goes and straightens his tie clip in a mirror somewhere. Michael had a wife and daughter once before they died and he got recruited. With his character I actually ship him the most with Alex -- in her he sees all the potential Nikita had without any of his own mistakes. And yes, there *has* been a scene where Michael aimed a gun while wearing nothing but his black boxer briefs.
3. Alex -- Nikita's protege and mole inside division. She is resourceful and skilled, but also emotionally and socially stalled for most of the first season. The coolest thing about her is that she is Russian, but she hardly ever speaks it. If this were not the CW we would have more scenes about her experience as a sex slave (possibly with the surprisingly fabulous young actress who plays the younger Alex) and her life pre-Nikita (which is honestly more interesting, really) but instead of edgy scenes of her preteen self shooting up, we get flashbacks of her wealthy family at Christmas. Maybe HBO can do the prequel... I ship Alex with Jaden, her rival recruit inside Division; omg so perfect y/y?
4. Jaden -- The best character besides Nikita herself who the show was REALLY, REALLY STUPID TO KILL. Girlfriend was ten kinds of awesome and fierce, she could have been a massive asset to the series' overall plot but instead some writer or producer seriously fucked up and now Jaden is dead. They had *just* revealed some of her wicked awesome backstory too. Adding insult to injury, her killer was the utterly worthless and flat Nathan. Jaden/Alex would have been infinitely better! She thought she hated Alex because Tom was into her, but actually Jaden was into Alex herself and just couldn't figure it out. GUYS THEY WERE GOING PLACES WITH HER CHARACTER, JADEN WAS READY TO BE
FRIENDS LOVERS, AND THEN ALEX COULD HAVE BROUGHT HER OVER TO THE GOOD SIDE. FUCK THIS. IF THIS WERE SPN THEY COULD HAVE BROUGHT HER BACK.
5. Amanda -- aka The Inquirer. Scary as hell, Amanda is another fantastically charged female role. She is extremely high level; poised, polished, aloof, and a master of torture and mental/emotional maniuplation. Her motives are unknown, as are her origins, but I suspect they will never fully develop her character because one of those cheesy flashbacks revealing Amanda's innocent days would kill the mystique that makes her so awesome. I ship Amanda with everyone, but especially Percy. They're into BDSM in Division's after hours.
6. Owen -- The rogue guardian Nikita totally should have hooked up with, but didn't. His girlfriend Emily was killed by Division, but she was actually Maya from PLL and he only has to look in Rosewood to find her dating... Emily. Anyway, Owen is tragically addicted to Division steroids and keeps getting tattoos. In other words, Owen is the bad boy Michael wishes he was, but will never be no matter how much black leather he wears.
7. Nathan -- The Dan Gordon. Pretty blond love interest for Alex who will quickly be written off and scooped up by the CW to be recycled into one of their single-season 90210 knockoffs.
8. Birkhoff -- Division's IT guy/completely undimensional stock character/comic relief. Also for some reason he is the only character to have a first and last name.
9. Percy -- Stock powerful white guy in charge of operations. He wears tie clips and manipulates everybody to his own selfish ends. Who the hell was this guy's predecessor?
Okay by the time I finished writing this, I'm all caught up into the current season. I'm enjoying it, but it's still at the bottom of my TV must-sees. Some pretty cool shit going on though. The standout scene was Nikita storming the training room filled with recruits all trying to prove themselves by going after her, and taking them all while dramatic music plays and Percy watches through the window. BUT I WILL NEVER FORGIVE THEM FOR KILLING OFF JADEN, IT ALMOST MAKES ME WANT TO NOT WATCH.