The legend of the fictional character known as Nikita has actually been around since February of 1990 when French actress Anne Parillaud starred in the title role in the original film Nikita (aka La Femme Nikita). The film Nikita centered on a young female criminal who is recruited to work as an assassin for the French government.
In 1993, an American version of the film, known as Point of No Return, was released with American actress Bridget Fonda in the title role. The storyline for this film held true to the original canon except that this Nikita worked for a secret division of the United States government.
Four year later, Fireworks Entertainment and Warner Bros. decided to develop the story of Nikita for the small screen, debuting La Femme Nikita on January 13, 1997 on the USA Network (and on CTV in Canada) with then unknown Australian actress Peta Wilson in the title role. La Femme Nikita ran for five seasons on the cable network, airing 96 episodes during its run.
Much like its predecessors, Nikita focused on a drug addict who was convicted of murder and sent to prison where her death was faked. She awoke in a white room in a place she came to know as Division where she was trained to be an assassin.
But this version of Nikita veered off the typical path of its former incarnations in the fact that Nikita escaped from Division and after three years in hiding she comes back to bring down the very organization that made her who she is.
The debut season of the series centered around Nikita working from the outside to bring down Division while her mole Alex (series regular Lydnsy Fonseca) infiltrated the walls inside Division to not only assist Nikita in her mission but also to exact revenge on the organization that massacred her family in Russia.
Also introduced during the show’s freshman series were:
• An operative named Michael (series regular Shane West), a former military man brought into Division under false pretenses by Percy (former series regular Xander Berkeley), who becomes Nikita’s trainer and eventual lover;
• Computer genius-hacker extraordinaire Seymour Birkhoff (series regular Aaron Stanford), who becomes close with Nikita, who “lovingly” refers to him as ‘Nerd’; and,
• Percy’s right-hand woman at Division, Amanda (series regular Melinda Clarke), who was the enemy of Nikita (and eventually Alex and Michael as well as other members of Nikita’s team as the season progressed). Amanda was a psychologist, but also a master manipulator and interrogator (i.e., she is one sick, sadistic bitch).
By the end of season one, Michael has left Division and is fighting side-by-side with Nikita who is now in possession of a “Black Box” that contains Division’s darkest secrets and conspiracies while Alex is recruited by Amanda into Oversight, the leadership and funding stream for Division.
Other recurring characters introduced during season one included CIA agent Ryan Fletcher (actor Noah Bean), a top analyst and ally of Nikita’s; Division assassin Thom (actor Ashton Holmes), who was killed by Alex and framed as Nikita’s mole; Division assassin Jaden (actress Tiffany Hines), who was also killed by Division assassin Nathan in order to save Alex’s life; and Division cleaner and guardian Owen Elliot (actor Devon Sawa).
The second season of Nikita kicked off on September 23, 2011 with Nikita and Alex at odds with each other, Nikita and Michael on the run together and Amanda taking control of Division with Percy being locked away in the bowels of Division.
The sophomore year of the series saw the introduction of former Navy SEAL Sean Pierce (series regular Dillon Casey), who was hired by Oversight – it helped that his mother Senator Madeline Pierce (recurring guest Alberta Watson, who previously portrayed Amanda in the TV series La Femme Nikita) was one of that nefarious group’s members – to keep an eye on Division and Amanda. He eventually became another important member of Nikita’s team and Alex’s lover. And, head technician Sonya (recurring guest star Lyndie Greenwood), who took over when Birkhoff left Division. She eventually becomes Birkhoff’s girlfriend and a valuable member of Team Nikita.
By the end of the second season, Nikita’s team has breached Division, taken them down completely with Nikita killing Percy in a major battle and Ryan, albeit reluctantly, taking over the reins.
Season three of Nikita came back strong on October 19, 2012 with Division officially under government control and under the leadership of Ryan with all of the key players back inside the walls of that bunker, but this time being tasked with bringing down the remaining rogue agents nicknamed the “Dirty Thirty” who refused the recall order that was instigated at the end of the previous season. Amanda is now rogue, having run when Division was taken down and Percy was killed, being hunted as aggressively as Nikita had been. But a growing number of the remaining operatives become uncertain of Nikita and their new leaders, instigating an internal battle inside Division that eventually costs many of them – as well as Sean – their lives. In the season finale, Division is completely destroyed. But, the final episode of that season found Nikita, once again, going out on her own to save all those she loved after she is falsely accused of killing the President of the United States.
It was after the May 2013 finale of Nikita that it was announced by The CW that the series would not be renewed for another season, but would receive a six-episode final season order. Those final six episodes have run consecutively on Friday nights from November 22 straight through to the series finale that will air this Friday, December 27. The crux of these final episodes have been clearing Nikita’s name, building back their relationships and bringing Amanda down once and for all.
After all the loss each member of Team Nikita has experienced, all the battles they have fought, all the missions they have gone on and all the trials and tribulations they have suffered, it will come down to one final showdown between Nikita and Amanda. But who will be the victor and will the remaining members of Team Nikita get to have a happy ending?
Make sure to tune into The CW on Friday, December 27 at 9/8c to find out how this four-season saga of Nikita ends and let’s hope the TV gods are kind, for once, giving Nikita, Alex, Michael, Sam/Owen, Birkhoff and Sonya at least a semblance of a happily ever after. I think they deserve it. Don’t you?