Nikita, Ep 3.03: “True Believer” forces questions about how new the new Division really is

Nikita, Season 3, Episode 3: “True Believer”
Written by Carlos Coto
Directed by Danny Cannon
Airs Fridays at 9pm (ET) on the CW

The driving focus of Nikita in the first two seasons of the show was to demolish Division, not just for vengeance, but because of what it had become, first under Percy, then under Amanda. With Percy dead, however, and Amanda discredited and in the wind, the question of what happens to the other agents naturally arose, as they were undoubtedly not complicit in the larger scheme of things, leading to Division’s biggest villain turning into its only advocate. With Nikita back along with every other member of her group, the mantra of “It’s a new Division” rings true for those who have closely observed the efforts of those now in charge. For others, however, the idea that the changes were only superficial, and that Division still remains what it was before is an easy perspective to understand, which leaves the crew with the tricky situation of trying to bring in a highly trained agent who’s naturally suspicious of them. It is this issue that gets explored this episode, throwing a moral wrench into this season in the process.

It was very interesting to watch Nikita this episode. Her life has radically changed, once again, with Division’s overhaul, and it would make sense that she would have trouble adjusting. Questioning what she’s doing, and her place in the larger scheme of the US government and Division, makes perfect sense, and it’s good to see the writers addressing that. As time goes on, Nikita’s beliefs are bound to be tested by more agents, and how she deals with that will be fascinating to watch. It will also be interesting to see how the knowledge that her past actions may have been an inspiration to others who are against her now weighs on her, and how it affects her, as well as those around her, going forward. While Ryan is in charge officially, there’s no doubt that as Nikita goes, so goes the group, and whether her self-doubt becomes enough of a problem to cause others to break ranks with her remains to be seen.

The stories of both Mia and Joshua were also quite compelling. It was nice to see that the cloud of Percy’s reign still hangs so heavily over everyone, considering how long he was a force in their lives. Watching the tale of Joshua unravel, and his true intentions get exposed, was a good reminder of the need for agents of change like Division, and there’s a chance that Nikita’s “no more active missions” stance might change if more organisations like Third Wave keep popping up. It is also worth watching how long Ryan can keep this promise to Nikita, considering the fact that he is at the mercy of the government, who may end up twisting his arm to comply with them despite what Nikita wants.

Overall, this was another strong episode for the series. The moral quandaries Mia raised this episode are ones the writers hopefully pursue further as the season goes on. It was sad to see the first agent death under the new Division, and hopefully the current administration comes up with a way to honour the fallen among their ranks. David Meunier, whom many may recognise as Johnny Crowder on Justified, was an excellent villain, appropriately menacing and cold, as was Scottie Thompson as Mia, and it’s unfortunate that neither can be expected to make a return appearance n the future. Birkhoff’s new position as gadget provider was an interesting turn for the character, and a more high-tech Division will be an interesting direction to take. Despite all episodes this season having a broad outline of pursuing rogue ex-Division agents, each episode has felt unique in a distinct way, and it’s worth tuning in next week to see how the writers manage to differentiate the next episode from the past three.

Deepayan Sengupta

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By Deepayan Sengupta

There was once a time when I thought Scarface was the best movie ever made, and Home Improvement was appointment television for me. While I still have a soft spot for both, those days of naivete are long behind me, as I’ve subsequently managed to broaden my horizons. Ambition is the most important part of a movie for me; if it tries to do something unique, tell a well-worn story in a different way, or take on large themes in a honest manner, I can forgive many flaws. If there’s one movie fact I’ve learnt after all these years, it’s that Employee of The Month is to Office Space what fast food is to fresh fruit.

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