Season 2 Episode 9

Fair Trade

Aired Friday 8:00 PM Nov 18, 2011 on The CW
out of 10
User Rating
112 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Oversight hosts an emergency meeting after realizing that Nikita is stealing their funding. Birkoff helps Nikita spy on the meeting, allowing her to identify the other members of Oversight, but things don't go as planned when Sean captures Birkoff. Amanda demands that Birkoff reveal where Nikita is hiding, but Birkoff refuses to give up her location, and Amanda tortures him. Meanwhile, Alex begins to execute her plan to reclaim her father's empire. With a price on her head, Alex decides that the the easiest way to get into Russia undetected is the same way she was smuggled out – through the illegal sex ring.


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  • Story arc is peaking, best written show this season.

    Percy to Amanda, "People wanna believe god has a plan for them. They don't wanna know that anyone else does."

    Alex decides it's time to go back to Russia and settle her past in the B story. Lyndsy's last few scenes are some of, if not her best yet (great writing).

    Birkoff is being interrogated by the sinister and sadistic Amanda. Again, Melinda shines as her character shows just how medievil she will get on your ass if you fall into her web.

    Nikita adds another layer of depth as she shows us that she really cares for and loves someone not named Michael or Alex. And is willing to sacrifice (a lot) not to see them suffer. This may seem not all too important in the grand scheme of the show's entirety. But for me it says the writers are really invested into making her a complete person and not just a character.moreless
  • Home is where the Nerd is.

    As episodes of Nikita go, this one ranks among the cream of the crop of season 2, maybe even the entire series so far. It's the kind of episode you would show to someone to hook them on one of the best TV shows hardly anyone is watching (but, thankfully, enough to keep the CW happy). It may a be a little slight on action, but there's enough mystery, titillation, snappy one-liners and harsh torture to keep you occupied.

    It's surprising how solid the hour is, given that it doesn't exactly give its main trio - Alex, Nikita and Michael - a lot to do. Instead, we gain more insight into the secondary characters, such as Sean, Amanda and Birkhoff. We learn that Amanda is a new kind of soulless beeotch. The kind where she comments on Brikhoff's impressive 120-words-a-minute typing skills, only to take a hammer and smash his fingers to pieces, quipping ''now only 60''. It's a tough scene because she really gives him the once over with the hammer. It's a shockin, out of nowhere scene. Naturally, I loved it.

    Poor Birkhoff, though. If you would have told me last season that I would be typing 'poor Birkhoff' regarding season 2, I would have taken a hammer and, let's say I wouldn't have believed you. But this season has seen a complete overhaul of the character, an ''evolution'', as Amanda would put it, so Nikita's urgency to find him felt genuine considering how many times the nerd has freed her from those pesky life-threatening situations.

    On the flipside of finding Birkhoff, Sean is trying to lure Nikita out of hiding so he can take her down for attempting to sabotage/kill his mother. What did we learn about Sean from this episode? The man can run. In fact, that whole chase sequence between Sean and Nikita had me out of breath. It was probably one of the most realistic, I have to seriously get out of here or I'll die, wow this adrenaline feels great, oh god I'm gonna die, chase sequences I've seen. Very Bourne. But, in all honesty, it's good to finally have Sean with clear motivations. He's not simply Mr. Oversight or Boyscout. He's someone I could potentially root for or despise, which is a hell of a lot better than simply considering him set-dressing.

    Alex, meanwhile, is wearing next to nothing in a sub-plot that sees her attempt to smuggle herself back into Russia. Look, if it sounds far-fetched, that's what the gratuitous pole-dancing scenes were for. Just roll with it. It all felt very out of character for Alex. She killed three random guys just so she could come across as some hooker version of Robin Hood. And she didn't check to see if her father's watch had been bugged? How long has it been in Division? Boobs, bras, poles, I get it. No more questions.

    Overall, though, this was a cracker of an episode. It also didn't really end either. Nikita told Birkhoff to take his anti-inflammatory meds, and off she went to search for Eoin(!). Yay! Speaking of the former Guardian, Percy somehow activated a second protocol for yet another Guardian in waiting. The next episode is called ''Guardians''! Colour me excited, it's gonna be a good 'un!moreless
  • Yey Birkoff!

    Anoher excellent episode. I am glad Birkoff was loyal to Nikita and she managed to ge him back. here canot be a Nikita series without him in it. I find him extreamly funny.

    The Setaror is really a b```` and I hope Sean will finally realize it and become a good player. I like his relationshio with Alex and I hink he really is a good guy trying to protect his famiy. He is a good love inerest for Alex... hey make and interesting and sexy couple.

    Percy is a bastard but one canno deny his inelligence and his ease to manpulate people. And he is charming in doing it

    Amanda is as awsome as usual ... Melissa Clarke des an excellent job. I can not wait to see wha comes next ... made a love scene between Alex and Sean. I would love it.moreless
  • This episode is the best of season 2 so far. Episode 7 was also pretty amazing but this one topped it off. There are a lot of reasons why. Niki breaks down for the first time. Birkoff get captured by division, and Alex is in the hands of oversight.moreless

    The story of this episode is so well written, developed and the action just keeps the suspense going. This season is turning out to be even better than what I hoped for, and this is now my favourite TV show, period.

    What really stands out is the fact the we see Nikita breaking for the first time ever. This is very important. We always see Niki being super strong, smart and always under control. But once Birkoff gets captured and tortured by Amanda, Nikita just loses it. The power of four (Nikita-Michael-Alex-Birkoff) is splitting further apart. Since Michael found out about his son in London he spends more time with him, living Nikita slightly more vulnerable and out of focus.

    Alex is still pursuing to take revenge, so she goes in to Russia as a sex worker. What she doesn't know is that Shaun gave her back her father's watch so he can track her.

    One of the best moments of the whole season is the torture of Birkoff by Amanda. This was so well done, it was creepy, disturbing and utterly brilliant. We finally see how dark Amanda's dark side can get, and we have a direct contact and trade with Nikita. The dialog in this show is so cleverly done, and all the smart little jokes make it even more intriguing.

    All I can say is 10 out of 10 for this amazing episode, and looking forward to the rest of season 2.moreless
Malik Yoba

Malik Yoba


Guest Star

Angela Sarafyan

Angela Sarafyan


Guest Star

Dan Lett

Dan Lett

Phillip Ramsey

Guest Star

Alberta Watson

Alberta Watson

Senator Madeline Pierce

Recurring Role

Lyndie Greenwood

Lyndie Greenwood


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (5)

    • Nikita: Simple, you give me Birkhoff, I give you the box.
      Amanda: You won't do it. It means too much to you, to your crusade.
      Nikita: This may surprise you, Amanda, but Birkhoff means more. He is a friend. A friend is someone who knows you and still likes you, in case that's something you can't fathom.

    • Birkhoff: Thanks for coming back for me.
      Nikita: You are so worth it. You rule, nerd.

    • Nikita: You're a decorated soldier, why are you doing this?
      Sean: You're trying to kill my mother.
      Nikita: Your mother is a bitch. I am not the threat, Sean. Open your eyes.

    • Alex: (in Russian, to involuntarily repatriated Russian woman who wonders how she can start over again) Butterflies are God's proof that we can have a second life.

    • Percy : (to Amanda, referring to the scenes from an Occupy Wall Street protest that appears on a TV screen in the background) Have you been following the news? They're so angry. Raging against The Machine. What do you think would happen if they got even the slightest glimpse inside that box? They found out that The Machine is actually a steel trap that was set for them--the 99%? Think they'd have a candle-lit vigil and sing Kumbaya? I doubt it. They'd riot and burn the place down. People want to believe God has a plan for them. They don't want to know that anyone else does...

  • NOTES (2)

    • Featured Music:
      "Another Second Chance" by Samantha Farrell
      "Escapology" by Darren Emerson & Dot Allison
      "For All We Know" by Designer Drugs
      "Vspominay Menya" by Apshell

    • Original International Air Dates:
      Canada: Friday, November 18, 2011 on CTV 2
      United Kingdom: Friday, August 31, 2012 on Sky LIVING/Sky LIVING HD