Yes, yes, YES! This is exactly where the series should be heading! There's hardly any action here, and Nikita is pretty much on the back-burner, as this is all about Division, showcasing just how callous and manipulative the organisation really is. Loyal fans of the original series have complained about a lack of menace behind Division, how every character comes off bland and nowhere near as dangerous as their 90s counterparts (after just one episode, I might add...). Well, watch this episode!
Not only does it offer up more great Nikita/Alex flashbacks, it reveals just how far Division will go to create the perfect recruit, and with so many subtle layers to the episode ( Will Alex spill that she's a double agent; Percy and Amanda testing Michael -- the sly glances, gauging his reactions to Alex's torture sessions; or Amanda's insistence that Alex is hiding something from her still), we're given plenty of great, little character moments to keep us glued to our TVs.
Nikita has her hands full with Owen whose still a badass. Though extremely obvious, especially to anyone who has watched Alias in the past, the reveal that Owen killed Nikita's hubby-to-be is still a solid scene. While nowhere near as nuanced or emotional as Garner's discovery that the man she saved murdered her fiance, Maggie Q gamely rises to the challenge and gives a great performance.
She still obviously has feelings for Michael and I still can't buy into it. We haven't been given any indication of a serious relationship in the past, it's taken for granted that we know the history of Nikita and Michael (from the previous show - this is a sequel), and of the romantic entanglement between the two of them, so any scene involving Nikita's conflicting emotions regarding his status never fully hit the right beats.
But that's not what this episode is about. It's mostly about exploring the inner machinations of Division. We learn that there's a sub-class of Cleaners called Reapers; they're assigned to kill in-house agents and anyone they love. We get to see hands-on just how detached Percy and the rest of the team are from their brutal actions, or tests as they call them. And there's a possible romantic angle between Michael and Alex budding, something I'd be much more inclined to buy into considering how much she reminds him of Nikita. Sure, there's a massive age difference, but the potential for some serious love triangle drama down the line could be great. Just a silly idea.
Anyways, another cracking episode!