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The CW (ended 2013)

Nikita S04E06: "Canceled" 


Welp, here we are. The end of Nikita, a series that's always been better than the treatment it's received from its network, and one that's generally known exactly what it is since the very beginning. I don't know if I would ever label Nikita one of the best shows of any of the four years in which it aired, but it's always been one of the most consistent and consistently entertaining, and on that front, "Canceled" followed through all the way to the very end. Although the finale had a couple of tricks up its sleeve, it delivered pretty much exactly what I expected, and that's a good thing. 

Despite its generally linear narrative in the final pod of episodes (Nikita vs. Amanda, for the world), Nikita has done a fine job of throwing in a few swerves to make an already solid story a little more intriguing. The first came at the end of "Pay-Off" with the temporary conclusion and the reveal of the death of Amanda's double. The second dominated this episode, as "Canceled" went to great lengths to make us (and Amanda) think that Nikita had gone off the deep end, letting her rage and thirst for bloody revenge in the get best of her—no matter what the other members of the team thought. 


It's a testament to the show making Ryan's death matter to Nikita that I didn't totally see the twist coming. I mean, I knew that the series wasn't going to end with Amanda trapping Nikita in the corner of a secret facility, but I was legitimately surprised when Nikita revealed that the entire episode's worth of plotting, killing, and infighting was all an act to lull Amanda into a false sense of security. And it's not as if Nikita didn't have a reason to finally snap and go after everyone in The Group order to get to Amanda. In one way or another, these people were responsible for a lot of death, heartache, exit wounds, and whatever else, and with Ryan's death recent in her mind, it made sense that Nikita would methodically take everyone down. 

However, what really worked about the episode's structure is that it permitted the show to have its cake and eat it too. The initial set-up—with Nikita and Alex working together to take out the white dudes in The Group and Michael, Birkhoff, and company verbalizing how deadly they could be to Senator Chappell—gave the show one last opportunity to dig into some fertile thematic ground. The series has pretty regularly raised questions about Nikita's true nature. Can she really suppress the killer inside her and do good? And what happens when she's around Amanda, the one person who brings out that nastier side out of her? That's basically the show's entire narrative in two questions, and "Canceled" successfully worked them into its story, even though the exploration was all part of the play against Amanda. There were a few useful conversations between Nikita and the important people in her life who know both sides of her—Alex, Michael, and Sam. They understand what Nikita's been through and what Amanda brings out in her, which is why they were all "worried" about what would happen once she started "dealing with" members of The Group. And at one point, it seemed like they were proven right: Nikita's bloodlust got the best of her, leading to her capture by Amanda. 


But since that was all just part of the plan, and it didn't really matter, the episode sort of illustrated that Nikita had, in fact, learned how to do this job without relying solely on brute force. And on top of that, her use of deception showed that she'd not only learned from Amanda, but figured out how to beat her at her own game. It was kind of a cheat, making us think we were seeing these last big moments of tension between characters who'd seemingly grown unbelievably close over the course of the series, only to reveal that it was all part of a plan, but it worked because the plan itself was proof of crucial character development—and because it made Amanda look stupid at the best possible moment. 

I'll be curious to hear what people think about the show's ultimate fate for Amanda. Keeping her alive means there's always a chance for her to escape, eventually wrecking Nikita and company's lives when they least expect it, and maybe that's not quite as satisfying as it watching her pay for all the horrible things she's done to our heroes. Yet, I can't help but think that trapping her in another basement facility, powerless and alone, was an even more fitting conclusion. She's back where she started, totally alone with her thoughts, and that reinforces the fact that Nikita didn't have to kill to get revenge, even if Amanda was the one person she's probably wanted to take out for a decade. And obviously, Amanda being stuck in that uncomfortable position made for a nice final visual.


The brief coda was just about what the show needed. I liked that the episode didn't totally commit to an Alex-Sam pairing but instead acknowledged that they both needed to work on themselves as individuals before diving headfirst into romance, despite the noticeable sexual tension. Nikita and Michael's quickie off-screen wedding was appropriate, as it would have been a little weird for the series to end with some overly mushy ceremony. Those final moments, with Ryan helping Nikita recognize a young kid in need and Nikita realizing that there's no way to turn off all her years of training, were basically perfect—even though I immediately pictured a continuation series with Ryan serving as Nikita's ghost helper. The only lame part, really, was how Sonya was marginalized, which I guess was in keeping with the rest of the season. I guess she was ultimately more of a supporting character and not a core member of the team, but that still irked me a bit. But hey, good for Birkhoff for going public. 

Six episodes weren't nearly enough, but it's nice that Nikita got to go out with a planned ending as opposed to some last-minute rush job. This final run delivered a number of really good moments, and the final two episodes were especially strong. I think Nikita will be one of those shows that people keep discovering on Netflix in the next couple of years, and those people will be really satisfied with this brief fourth season and the series as a whole. The show will be missed. 



NOTES FROM THE BLACKBOX

– The sequence where Nikita revealed her long-con plan to Amanda was great, and definitely helped stick the landing. 

– I said this last week, but I'll say it again: It was really smart of the show to keep Senator Chappell above board as a (relatively) good guy. I kept waiting for the bottom to fall out there, but ultimately, he was very appreciative of the team's work, including Ryan. That was a nice moment. 

– Big ups to the show for sneaking in one final micro-fight between Nikita and Alex. They didn't have as many interactions in the final six episodes as they probably should have—it was almost like they became co-leads in their own separate stories there for a while—but it was really fun to see them together one final time. The same can be said for the final Michael-Sam mini-mission, though there wasn't nearly enough uber-masculine banter there.

– It's the nature of the show and the network that the cast would never win any major awards, but everyone's performances ranked as good to very good throughout all four years. Maggie Q is a force of nature, Shane West eventually found his way after some early bumps, and Lyndsy Fonseca did a nice job playing a character who wasn't always particularly well-written.

– Thanks for your comments over the last six weeks. I enjoyed covering the show, and I hope you enjoyed reading the reviews. 


What'd you guys think of the series finale? Is there anything (or anyone) you wish the episode would have included?


Previously Aired Episode

AIRED ON 12/27/2013

Season 4 : Episode 6

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I know I am late the the Nakita party but I am on Netflix and love this show! Wish it was like all the other CW shows and contracts continued.
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Love love love the show wish they were more episodes.. The end was amazing... But there are so much more the writer could of written pls pls pls tell me that there will be more episodes coming soon. After all I would like to see where did the actors go from there..
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2014 was a tough year with out nikita we really miss the series
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Hi I might be commenting very late but wow I really wish it didn't have to end thank all of you for providing such an intertaining series me and my partner loved it.
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Well we can always go back to the original series La Femme Nikita. Many of you probably do not know that series even existed. It is where this Nikita story originated, at least all the characters are the same. Yet I enjoyed the remake and once again feel cheated after investing my time in an enjoyable series. Sadly this happens way too often as money makes the world go around, rather than just a good story.
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please please please please please make another series or something:((( this is my favourite program in the world!!!!! whoever made this is amazing!!! and the actors are just fantastic!!!!!!!! don't end Nikita i watch this everyweek with my mum and were in love!!!!! pleasee:(
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Nikita was better than most people think , sure it was sometimes over the top and not always that well written , but the characters grew on me over these four years , and i really will miss those guys!
It's a shame that it's cancelled it deserved at least another two full seasons but we don't always get what we want, Goodbye Nikita ; it was a fun ride!
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LIke TQB below I only just managed to watch the final season of Nikita and indeed the GREAT finale (made in my mind by the final two eps). I have always been a fan of Nikita, a very underrated show, but I thought the finale was brilliant... A fitting end for the show like Burn Notice got too and unlike say the end of Dexter... I totally loved
  • The long con to trick Amanda was not something I saw coming at all but it made sense
  • I liked that Birkhoff stayed the anti-system nerd we all love
  • Although painful, Ryan's death on the penultimate ep was sort of necessary as every war has heroes who end up sacrifices... I also loved the scene with Ryan being less desk-guy and going total action hero, what a way to go!
  • I found myself totally shipping Sam & Alex and in my overactive imagination I see them having a torrid affair for sure, perhaps more...
  • Nikita & Michael not being able to enjoy the beach cause yeah there was some militia they had to go and tickle... I giggled cause that was so much like them... Though Niki will need different apparel...
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I am late to the party because I really enjoyed where Nikita went with these final 6 episodes and put off watching the final 2. I didn't want it to end, which is a dramatic turn from last season when it seemed to be running on fumes.

So, hats of to the CW for giving Nikita these 6 episodes - in the end, I did feel like there could have been more but the writers responded to the challenge of a short season wrap up admirably. I compare everything to Gossip Girl's painful final season of filler, and it was nice to see Nikita go out with 6 packed, strong episodes. This was one of the best series finales I've seen. Good closure without ridiculous audience pandering. (Side note, I also missed Sonya but wonder if her role on Sleepy Hollow got in the way? Her absence was glaring.) Ryan's death was awesome and as you said last week, profoundly moving. Alex and Nikita reuniting and then fighting reminded me where everything began, and no one's "happy" ending was too happy.

As for Amanda's survival, the show kind of blew their "bad guy dies through no fault of the heroes" card on Percy. Plus we already had an Amanda death scene with the double. While I too gave the side-eye to the infinite-incarceration business, I struggle to think of how they could have killed her off in such a way as to still reach that same sense of Nikita's victory over not just Amanda, but everything Amanda said she was.

I started watching this show just because my husband worked late on Friday nights there was nothing else on and it really sucked me in. I'm sorry it's gone, but really pleased at how they ended it. Nice work.
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I love the series. Maggie Q is awesome.
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I wish they'd remember Sean, since the world thought he died as a terrorist.
I wish Alex would remember she has a MOM somewhere...
And it's also weird that Michael just forgot about his son.

But anyway... I like this show so much!
Bye
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That's Sam and Alex that go it on the jet.

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And, now that Sam and Ales got it on in the Jet, I wonder if she's gonna be knocked up?
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Ok, how about this for an Idea, to "possibly" reatart the series? Not all of the Division operatives were killed, neither Nikita, Michael, Burkoff, ALex Or Percy, are actually dead. Amanda breaks out of the basement, only to find, all but Percy, who is in his office, still alive, Who Amanda kiss is more clones of them.

However, Percy wasn't really in the cell, it was a clone made of him, without his knowledge, that did all of the dirty work. Now what Amanda didn't realizew, was that there was a clone made of her, but, to work in a different way, To restrain the original Amanda, permanately back in the chair, where Nikita left her to begin with amd the Clone Amanda, would semi-run, the new Division.
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I cannot say that Nikita is one of my favorite television shows, but it deserves more praise and applause than most people will ever know. Perhaps I am stereotyping, but I am surprised at the quality of a show that calls The CW its home.

The last six episodes of this show - that is, the entire fourth and final season - were amazing. Every episode quickly became one of the best I have watched on television in recent memory.

I wholeheartedly agree with the author Cory Barker that Nikita has "been one of the most consistent and consistently entertaining" television shows in the last half a decade. Even I find it strange that I can say that when there have been and there are so many excellent television shows in the last several years, but Nikita seldom ever disappoint, The writing is solid, the acting is top-notch, and the action sequences are spectacular (whether or not the show's budget is considered). Whereas favorites like The Walking Dead have lows, I cannot remember any stretch of time that I was bored with Nikita. Yes, I know it seems crazy for me to compare a show that is targeted to teenagers and young adults to the most popular cable television show of all time, but Nikita is actually that darn great.

Author Cory Barker, thank you for writing an excellent article. I have read a couple other ones about Nikita, and the other authors seem to care more about the ratings - which are very low, I know - than anything else. Most other authors do not seem to even follow this show, so I really appreciate what you have written. You summed everything up perfectly and looked at what happened in this last episode with clear memory of the previous three seasons.

I wish I could personally thank the cast, producers, writers, and all those significantly involved in Nikita. They not only worked with what they had, but seemed to have given it their all.
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Well said. The CW, the critics - no one ever really gave this show its due, but the writers and the cast never seemed to care. They delivered solid, entertaining TV. While I think much of last season's plot was contrived and confusing, the actual execution was, as noted, consistently entertaining. I may have thought what they were doing was bananas and made no sense, but heck, they did it with commitment and they did it with style. This final season was terrific - the plot, the pacing, the time spent following each character (except Sonya!!!) to their resolution - just really well conceived, tightly executed, great TV. A fitting end for those of us who "got" it, right?
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I've just caught up on all six episodes of season 4....it was amazing! The finale actually had me laughing out loud and saying 'wow' because I was totally fooled! Such a good reveal and really in line with the way the show and the characters have been written over the last four years. It's such a shame it has ended, but it couldn't have been done any better! I am really going to miss this show!
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" It's the nature of the show and the network that the cast would never win any major awards, but everyone's performances ranked as good to very good throughout all four years. Maggie Q is a force of nature, Shane West eventually found his way after some early bumps, and Lyndsy Fonseca did a nice job playing a character who wasn't always particularly well-written." --Thank you! this is sadly too often true. Another great example - Gilmore Girls! (on the former WB and then on CW). Birkhoff was also really great - considering his character started out as a stereotypical, convenient all-powerful tech guy and grew so much. It was nice that he got so many big moments in just the last 6 episodes. And I guess just to be fair - you have to respect Melinda Clarke for the effort and commitment she gave to being the evil Amanda throughout the entire series.
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First things first...a tip of the cap to Luc Besson for writing a story so good that it transcends time. Similar to how great superhero origin stories always work (Superman, Badman, Spiderman, etc) the way in which these characters came to be, accepted who they are and who they developed into are stories with themes that work in any decade on any generation of viewer. While I'm no superhero know it all, Nikita IMO should be in the running for best female action hero...maybe ever. Sarah Connor, Ripley, The Bride...Nikita would kick all their asses. I'm intentionally leaving Buffy off the list since Weadon fanboys are CRAzy

I don't think any more could be expected of any show to wrap up a story in 6 episodes. A few flaws, suspension of disbelief and arcs that don't get the proper attention have to be expected. And because of the shortened season, the "we were only pretending" switch-a-roo worked perfectly. One episode or two of this story telling tactic is all that's needed. Anything more than that is cheating, presumes the viewers are idiots and only takes away from what the purpose was in the first place..."Are you listening, Homeland?"

Regardless of whether it's Besson's original film, Bridget Fonda's adaptation or Peta Wilson's series, the story and character Nikita is all about reclamation. Reclamation of one's life and soul and what's to be done with it once you've got it.

Division takes wasted people and gives them purpose, and there were no two more broken people than Nikita and Amanda. I was worried that the early flashbacks were going to reveal an "oh by the way" factoid that would change everything, but they just served to remind everybody of where the circle started before they closed it. Well done.

As for Amanda, there is no worse punishment. Abandoned, irrelevant and locked in the basement. She outlined just how impossible it would be for anybody to break Nikita out, so the same is true for her. And unlike Nikita, she has no family, no friends, no allies, no duplicates...nobody's coming for her.

Bravo 'Nikita' and vaya con dios
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That episode was for me one of the BEST series finale I've seen!! It was just perfect! I was actually clapping all alone in front of my tv, how thrilled I was!lol I'm so glad they got that 6 episodes to make a real and honorable ending to this show! I loved Nikita, I loved that show even if it has never truly been appreciated as it's own value... But fans were true supporters all along! And I must say... I'm really gonna miss it!!
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So I watched all six at once and I am satisfied. I had it spoiled that Ryan died before I started but I appreciated the totally in character way he took his exit. I got a little tear when he appeared in the coda. I must say while I was disappointed in the lack of Sonya I kind of figured the actress was already being Jenny on Sleepy Hollow.
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It was extremely well done, especially given the fact that they had only 6 episodes to wrap everything up. I thought Nikita had actually killed the 1st 4 & was setting up a fake on the last 4, until she shot them. I loved the Leverage twist & the fact that Amanda is alive & alone forever is a fitting end for her.
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I honestly thought it was a fitting ending and true to the Nikita form. I've watched this show religiously for the past four years and to have it come to this conclusion; I'm not even mad it ended because they did such an amazing job at the ending that it makes me want to watch it again from the beginning. Nikita has grown and evolved but still stayed true to her nature, something that can't be turned off. She and Alex are back together on a mission, reminiscent of the first season of them working together. This show will be missed but that was an amazing sendoff.
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I too was upset when Sonya was put on the 'back shelf'. She's doing alright as Abbie's KICKASS sister on SLEEPY HOLLOW. I actually thought she WAS british.
NIKITA will be missed.
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I loved this episode, but wow it was rushed...
In one episode Nikita took out all 8 top-bosses of top super-secret international company with supernatural technology! It makes no sense. I remember from previous season she hardly met people from this company at all, and just interacted with their robot-hands and cars-without-drivers...
But I understand they had to finish the show in 6 episodes, and they did their best, and it was indeed one of the best finales I've seen on TV.
Nikita will be missed!
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It was a fitting end to a fantastic series. So many great moments, and I loved the tribute to Ryan at the end. I had a feeling one of the core team members would pay the ultimate sacrifice near the end, and the way they dealt with it being Ryan was well done. I can't help thinking that it could have gotten at least a couple more years on another network, but I'm grateful that The CW did let it give its fans some closure. Knowing that Amanda will be locked in a basement, powerless and alone is so much more satisfying than seeing her die. I loved this show immensely, and it will be missed.
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can't believe Nikita is finally over!! gonna miss this great show
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I loved the series and was glad that they gave a it an ending. Well done!
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Well satisfactory serie. Hopefully a spring off is on its way
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Loved the show from beginning to end! Will miss characters and the entier show, very much!
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With 15 minutes left and Nikita still in chains, it was when I discovered the final twist. I would not have known if this was not the finale. Because I know Amanda had to lose, that is when I figure it all out.

It was quite a good twist. I probably would not have guessed if it was not the finale.

I been a fan since episode 1, never missed a single one. It was always consistent, fast pace and fun. I cannot remember another good spy action series since Alias (the later seasons became very unrealistic). Nikita is better in terms of consistency.

Now I wonder what series can replace Nikita.

The cast did good jobs so much so that Maggie Q got a major movie she is already involved. Shane West is the lead in a TV series coming soon. Lyndsy Fonseca is doing kick ass 2 . I sure hope someone would give Birkhoff his own show.
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All credit to the network for the final season too.
A very underrated show that will be missed.
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I, too, think that this series was one of the best Action series!
It was really a pity that the main plot ended after the death of Percy, but I enjoyed the ride and will miss Nikita
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Could some one get rid of these fucking trolls?!!!? NIkita, you out there????????
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No Nikita is too busy making a S100 a hour on her computer to except your request. :)
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I loved the finale and will miss Nikita alot
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Nikita was one of those types of shows that you could just sit back and relax with. The characters were very engaging weather good or evil you felt for them. It was a master stroke to allow the story to be finished rather than what most networks do nowadays and just shut a show down without any regard to the fans that were watching. The one thing I really thought was going to happen was that when the whole idea of doubles being out in the world and their true selves being held captive, at some point it would come to light that in-fact Percy was a double all along and the real one was a captive. That would have been a super twist to the super twist ending lol
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That would have been brilliant and I often wondered myself, ya know how Nikita once told him"You have a way out of this, I just havn't figured it out yet. " I wouldn't have been surprised I guess if he would have been a double. Alternate story endings can be fun to play with tho. :)
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well all i can say is brilliant....absolutely outstanding series finale...kinda reminds me of 24 series finale
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The chick version of 24. On the edge of your seat entertainment . I can't believe more people didn't watch this show. Their loss I guess. I'm glad I watched it for 4 years and would easily watch it for more, if given the chance.
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Other shows should learn a lot from this show, i'll miss it!
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Seems like another worthwhile show that's been flying under my radar.

Some good "non-spoilery" opinions here! I'm sure that the "spoilery" ones are good as well, but I won't risk reading them just yet.
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I will really miss this show; it was one of the few shows that had an hour of entertaining action with twist and turns...like 24. I was also disappointed how Sonya was missing, but then I remembered Sleepy Hollow and thought maybe there was a scheduling conflict. This whole plan for me would not have worked if not for the silent supporter, Michael. I was actually believing that Nikita could be capable of Amanda like behavior just because Michael pretended to think she was...got me on that one. In the end both Amanda and Nikita proved, they just can't kill each other.

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That got me too. :)
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going to miss Nikita great series finale though!!
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Strong review. None of the trying to be clever putdowns of some other writers.
I am thankful that the series was given 6 episodes to close out rather than a cliffhanger or an obviously compressed finale.
Agree that as people discover Nikita in reruns that the show will develop a following. The show had great villians. Evil Percy was fascinating while Amanda took evil up a notch. Her back-story was important in understanding where her evil was coming from.
Well worth the time spent following the four seasons.

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Awww, I'm gonna miss Nikita. I'd been watching it from the very beginning and have always touted it as a very underrated show, and I'm just so glad that it kept getting renewed and was able to tell an actual conclusion. I agree with Cory's statement that while this wasn't ever arguably the best show on TV, it was always consistent and consistently entertaining.

The finale was fun. While I didn't anticipate the actual specifics of the twist coming, it was still predictable because there was almost no way the show would end with Nikita locked in the basement. But as I've said with other shows, predictability isn't a problem with series finales. They just need to conclude the show without ruining the characters, and Nikita did that extremely well.

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Hear hear, awesome 6 episode mini-final season....Great job by everyone involved!!!
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A quiet little gem. That's what this was. Truly fantastic television that kept me engaged from the get go. Thinking back on it all, they really told A LOT of story. Even in just the first two seasons alone. (which were outstanding)
This finale was perfect for me and finally a happy ending! Don't get me wrong, Breaking Bad's finale was awesome, but there's nothing like a happy ending. Will surely binge-watch all of it again in the future! Can't wait!
And I agree with all the notes from the Black Box. Spot on!

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Another Great show gone before it's time!!!
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Excellent TV.

We´ve been blessed with great "quality" (or whatever you wanna call it) TV-shows over the last few years, but there weren´t too many shows like Nikita: action-heavy, solid to good acting and writing, a sense of humour.

I will really miss this show.

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It was really cool of the CW to give this show a nice sendoff. I really enjoyed this show, and the Friday doubleheader with Fringe. Maggie Q was awesome and I hope we see more of her (and the others). All the characters were really strong, including Noah Bean as Ryan. I think the show ended at the right time. And I agree with others, it would have been awesome to see Peta Wilson in some role at some point. Thanks to TV.com for reviewing this show in the end.
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The first 2 seasons are still the best, but every episode of this forth season was great and more compelling than almost all of season 3's episodes, IMHO.
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I agree - I thought last season was weak, but very impressed at how this final mini-season came together.
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What a great ending. Even though the show had its ups and downs, I will never forgot this great story.
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I always feel sad when one of my favourite shows ends but if it has a nice ending like Nikita then I can live with it.
Of course I will never stop hoping the network will change it's mind and continue with a new season.

Maggie Q and crew, thanks for the great series.
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