This episode made me think about a lot of things which surprise me about the whole show. Where did they get the writers? What's up with the frantic pace? Is this really on CW? But all of the these things only surprise me in a good way.
The episode again showed how solid the writing in this show is. There has been hardly any filler episodes during this season. In every episode something important happens which moves the story forward. I sure hope they don't run out of ideas with action packed episodes like this one. This time Nikita got an ultimatum from Michael to perform a mission in a certain amount of time. Nikita turned on Michael and demanded something back. Finally Michael got a part of his revenge, but it wasn't as sweet as he thought it would be. This episode played an important part in the overall story arch. The pace of the story was strong from the beginning to the end, as it has been for the whole season. This is unusual for most shows of this kind. Many other producers of a show would have left the major plot twist of this episode for another season.
Usually it is easy for an action show like Nikita to downplay the emotional aspect and just focus on mindless action. This is something you would expect especially from a show on the CW. Otherwise a perfectly good channel, but mostly known for the entertainment value on the expense of realism. While Nikita has its obvious question marks like many other action shows - like how an black-ops organization can go do its business undetected and with seemingly unlimited resources - it still manages to be quite realistic when it comes to events, time lines and emotional connections between people. This episode showed how these moments are given some time too, despite the time constraints of a 40 minute time slot.
The dialogue is also unusually strong for a show like this one. The characters don't blurt out the obvious one-liners, but there actually seems to have been some kind of thought process behind the writing to make the dialogue both realistic but also fittingly dramatic. The show as a whole might have it's many flaws. But it manages to overcome the low expectations set on its quality so well that it deserves credit for it.
Every now and then there are episodes of Nikita which might deserve only a 9. But this episode, as so many others, deserves a full 10.