Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Nikita, Season 3 (2012)

The first two seasons of Nikita dealt with her (and her allies) battle to bring down Division, the ultra-secret covert ops organisation that took care of the missions too sensitive (and often too immoral) for public agencies like the CIA to handle.

Now in the third season Nikita's group find themselves leading Division, at least on a temporary basis.  Their remit: to close out the ongoing operations, bring the agents home, and close the organisation for good.  Of course, not all of those aforementioned agents are going to accept the change of regime.

It took me a long time to complete this season: I watched the first ten episodes and then it took me about two months to bother getting around to the rest.  That "eh I'll get to it later" reception sure isn't a good sign, and it's thus no surprise that I've slapped a "not recommended" tag on this review.  But what are the reasons I cared so little?

Well, there are several related problems at work.  But mainly it's an issue of competence.  The continued decay of Alexandra continues, with her only glimmers of capability being when she's executing a plan that was brainwashed into her by the villain.  "Only good at screwing up" is not really a by-line you want for a character who is supposed to be an elitely-trained secret agent.

The villain is also a competence problem.  Having been treated as basically outclassed in season two (where she was manipulated and ousted from leading Division by another villain), and then forced on the run when Nikita's group took over, she is now somehow outwitting them at almost every turn.  Having setbacks for your heroes is fine.  Having setbacks when they seem to hold all the cards - such as an elite cadre of agents with a well funded and equipped base - just kinda makes them look like chumps.  The show does eventually reveal that the villain has the backing of an even more secret, even more powerful group, but it's too little too late, particularly when said group's agenda is so "what a twist!"-tastic that I'm kind of mordibly curious to see what contortions the show will go through in season four to justify it.  Eventually.

Also: I really dislike the pose they've forced Lyndsy Fonseca into for the DVD cover.  Symptomatic of the whole treatment of her character, really.

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