'Nikita' Recap: 'Origins'

By Lillian Chen,

The title says it all: origins. We’re going to get a pretty good look at the origins of Division, Nikita, and Alex in this episode. This is the last episode before Nikita (and most other CW shows) goes on break until the second week of March, so of course, I knew before it started that there would be a major cliffhanger at the end.

‘Origins’ starts with a flashback—fitting, given the title—of Carla and Percy, in the early days of Division. Carla and Nikita talk about Division, and why Carla didn’t tell Nikita about it, but it doesn’t feel like enough. Plus, Carla seems really fixated on bringing Amanda down, like Amanda is the reason Division is so corrupt. It was way corrupt before Amanda took over, Percy’s the real problem. Remember Daniel? Remember Michael’s family? Who ordered those kills again?

Meanwhile, Amanda and Ari are finally in the same room together, after all those phone calls and working together behind the scenes. Sounds like Carla knows about their partnership, and Ari seems to think once Nikita finds out, Semak will find out and kill him. He says there’s a way to save his life—to sacrifice Alex’s.

She’s busy back in Division, putting together an outfit with Sonia for her introduction back into the world. Zetrov is making a big international purchase, so Semak himself will be at the press conference speaking, and that’s when Alex will make her appearance.

Ari’s plan is to kill Alex and frame Semak for it. While Zetrov is in chaos, he’ll be able to take money from the accounts without anyone noticing, and then he and Amanda can leave and be free together. So what I don’t understand is if all they want is freedom, I’m pretty sure they can just have it. They both seem power-hungry, which is why they’re in charge of this massive covert organization. They don’t really seem like the type of couple that just wants $300 million to buy an island and live there in peace forever.

Amanda wants to know why they can’t just kill Semak, and Ari says it’s because then they’ll have nothing left. Again, wish there was some more context here. I’m not quite getting what they mean. But Ari says it’s either Alex or him, and Amanda makes her choice pretty clear when she starts kissing him. The idea of Amanda with anyone, coupled with the eerie music, makes this scene really creepy. Also, I guess Amanda’s not in love with Percy, after all.

When Carla realizes that Nikita has someone on the inside, she wants to use Alex to get to Amanda, take Amanda down. She’s kind of obsessive about this. But Nikita says Carla is going to tell them the whole story, from the beginning, which means more flashbacks!

We start with the scene of Carla and Percy first meeting. Turns out Carla was a prison counselor and she saved lives by transferring around prisoners and making it look like they were dead so they could start new lives. She calls it “saving lives,” Percy calls it creating “deniable assets,” and offers her a chance to do it legally, through the government, and let the prisoners serve their country.

After a while, Percy wanted to expand, make it a bigger organization. Carla says she didn’t know that what they were doing, and Oversight’s funding, was illegal. And in order to expand, they needed more people to work—and that’s where Amanda came in.

Carla and Amanda disagreed from the very beginning on how to run Division, train recruits, and overall how things were supposed to work. But it didn’t seem like a good reason for Amanda to send someone to kill Carla. She doctored evidence making it look like Carla was going to expose Division, and then sent an agent to kill Carla. Her only mistake was to send someone who was one of Carla’s “firsts,” someone who had been saved by her.

The agent let Carla run, and went back to Division to report her death. So of course, when Carla’s fingerprints showed up on the gun (see last week's recap), Amanda was beyond shocked. She was freaked out, and when Nikita came into Division, Amanda wanted her to confirm Carla was still alive.

And when she did, she went to Interrogation, as Michael deduces. I think it’s so interesting that the four of them—Nikita, Michael, Birkhoff, and Carla—have such different but intersecting memories of Division, and these memories are what help put the whole picture together. Amanda tortured the agent that set Carla free, whipping him with chains for lying and eventually shooting him. Talk about really messed up.

The trip down memory lane is interrupted by Alex’s mission. She finds a journalist at the press conference who helps her make her entrance by asking Semak a lot of questions after his presentation. He says he wishes the Udinov’s were here to see what he’s done with the company. Then Alex enters, says she can see, and introduces herself to the world.

This particular scene is fantastic. It really shows how strong Alex has grown. Even Amanda feels proud, and I’m wondering if Amanda really cares for Alex, if there might be something redeemable about her. Semak looks so uncomfortable now, and thinking about it, he should, because he has absolutely no idea what Alex is planning to do. She gives him a hug when she steps up to the podium, which caught me by surprise.

After the press conference, however, she makes her terms clear: an offshore account funded by ten percent of the Udinov family trust, in exchange for her to disappear and not press claims on the company. Oh, and her mother. Her fierceness here is great; again, she seems so empowered. And she has a great line: “You will give me my mother, you son of a b****.”

Meanwhile, as Birkhoff checks the surveillance cameras at the press conference to make sure nothing unexpected happens, he passes over one looking at Ari Taserov, whom he refers to as “Lord Voldemort,” another great line. So many of those this episode. Birkhoff, you’re wonderful. More importantly, Carla says she knows Ari—but not as a Russian, as an American.

Apparently, Carla met Ari, who was with Amanda, at a hotel over ten years ago. He was undercover, and Amanda introduced him as a government official. The secret’s out! Except I’m disappointed that all the storytelling and reflections on the past didn’t really help at all, it was just a picture of Ari at the right moment.

In the hotel that Alex is staying at for the night (the press conference is two days), Ari has sent a man to kill her, but make it look like she had a relapse and overdosed. He tapes Semak telling him to just kill her and make it look like an accident, which Ari and Amanda plan on leaking once Alex is dead.

It felt like Nikita’s discovery of Ari and Amanda’s partnership came too late, since the man was already in Alex’s hotel room when Nikita was calling. But Alex was prepared, hiding in a closet and surprising the man. She takes his gun and his key card. I’m so impressed by Alex this episode, really. And when Ari is talking to Amanda, he says he has “a few options” about how he plans on leaking it.

“Not as many as you think,” Alex says from behind, pointing a gun at him. Alex rocks this episode. Alex and Nikita both. Since Amanda was on the phone with Ari, she tries to tell Alex to trust him. Ari tells Alex how he hates Semak, too, and has been working with Amanda to take him down.

Looks like Alex is on the phone with Nikita, too, who doesn’t buy it. But time is running out for Alex, since, as Ari shows, there are agents stationed all over the hotel with the orders to kill her. It seems like she has no choice but to trust Ari, but Nikita tells Ari over the phone that if Alex dies, he does too. Turns out she recorded him saying how much he hates Semak. Alex and Nikita rock together! And, as Nikita points out, if Ari goes down, Amanda does too, because they need Gogol’s funding.

As Alex starts to run, Nikita and Birkhoff do as much as they can from far away, while Michael tries to get there and physically help. Until they realize Carla took the tablet that has the recording of Ari to upload to the hotel servers. I knew she couldn’t be trusted! Just the way it was filmed—with the music and Carla looking at the tablet—made it pretty clear that Carla is not in the right state of mind.

“Put my hardware down, b****!” Birkhoff rocks. And Carla sucks. She is obsessed with taking down Amanda, it is creepy. She says now is the only time to take Amanda down (by uploading the recording of Ari) because you never know when you’re going to get another chance. She sounds just as vindictive as Amanda. And in my opinion, for a reason not as good.

Then she drops the real bomb. She wants to save the program, and taking down Amanda now is the only way she can do that. Save the program? First of all, this is Nikita we’re talking about. Second of all, she wants to kill Amanda to do it—anyone so far gone that they can just kill people probably can’t save a program like Division.

Meanwhile, Alex is running for her life in the hotel, trying to find a way out. A Division agent, dressed as a hotel employee, shows up to help, “compliments of Amanda.” Alex escapes, barely, as Michael shoots the last two Gogol guys who are after her. And he shows up in a sweet car. But at the same time, a Division car shows up, and Alex gets in. I don’t find the “We’re Division. Get in!” very believable. If that’s all you need to say to get Alex in your car…

The next day at the press conference, Semak tells the press that Alex is nowhere to be found. However, she shows back up and declares that she will be taking over the company, much to everyone’s surprise. As Nikita put it, “She’s declaring war.”

At the end, Nikita is talking to Carla about taking down Amanda, and how she promises they will do it together. However, I don’t think their views on the future of Division can ever be reconciled again. Carla says Division didn’t become what she wanted it to, but she knows it can be—I’m not buying it. And what it is is more important than what she wants it to be. She says she has a lot to learn from Nikita, but she’s clearly lying—the closing scene is of her calling Percy, asking him to help her take back Division and make it what she wants it to be.

The problem is, she doesn’t seem to realize Percy doesn’t want the same things she does. Still love Percy’s mafia hat. But Carla is legitimately crazy, saying Division must be saved, and going against Nikita, and all that. Nikita should be more careful, she trusts some people too easily.

I can’t wait to see where the story is going to go from here! Leave a comment and let me know what you think of Carla and Percy’s partnership. Do you think Carla would sacrifice Nikita to save Division?

Nikita airs Fridays at 8 p.m. EST on The CW.

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