When last we left Nikita, Ari Tasarov’s son Stefan was a big talking point – so it should surprise no one that this week, Stefan (now grown and played by Dylan Minnette from NBC’s underappreciated Awake) is in some serious trouble.
Ari (who looks a lot better than we left him) is still answering Nikita’s questions about his ex-girlfriend Amanda. Apparently Amanda felt insulted when Nikita had a gun pointed at her and decided to let her live. Ari asks Nikita if she regrets not pulling the trigger, and she doesn’t answer him.
Elsewhere, Stefan is leaving school, cracking jokes about his parentage to his unamused German bodyguard Krieg (guest star Andrew Divoff), just before Amanda’s minions close in on them both. Krieg manages to disable the attackers and even pops one of the tires on Amanda’s vehicle before driving off with a shocked Stefan in the backseat of his car. The two of them end up in the middle of the woods, while Ari tells Michael and Nikita that Krieg won’t know they’re working with him. “He’s going to kill anyone that comes his way,” he says ominously.
Nikita and Alex head to Geneva, discussing who the “real Amanda” might be, while back at Division, Owen gets annoyed with Michael for not sending him on the mission. When Michael refuses to reconsider, Owen pulls the “you’re not my boss” card, only to find out that Ryan’s not there, either. The head of ops eventually tries to placate Owen by saying that when things are over he’ll try to schedule some time for him to speak with Ari. But Owen doesn’t look happy with that. Instead, he walks into Ari’s holding chamber, throws a chair, and starts demanding answers about who he used to be. “If I don’t get answers, I’m going to make what Nikita did to you a love tap,” he threatens. Ari is not impressed by the sound and fury, but reiterates that Owen was once a soldier.
The ladies arrive at the hotel where they believe Krieg and Stefan are holed up, but get an understandably cold welcome from the bodyguard, who’s already wondering where his money is. It doesn’t help that rather than talk things out, Nikita takes the first chance she gets to disarm Krieg and leave him on the hood of someone’s car while she and Alex escape with Stefan. One would think there was a better way to resolve that. Now he definitely isn’t going to play nice.
While Amanda and her next associate, Anatoly, poke around the subsequent crime scene, they take Stefan back to their temporary base of operations, and prepare to start their exfiltration. It takes Amanda no time at all to pull out her “call the cops” routine again, which makes it ridiculously easy for her to pinpoint where Nikita and Alex are holed up. She and her minions descend on the warehouse and start shooting everything in sight. The one poor guy left outside gets knocked unconscious by Krieg, who assumes everyone is the enemy. After Amanda’s minions kidnap Stefan, Krieg calmly walks in and subdues Nikita, who just seconds earlier knocked Amanda unconscious. How convenient.
Owen is in the process of manhandling Ari, who tells him anything he wants to hear in order to buy time for Michael to show up and separate the two. Owen gets a few good punches in before Michael lands one of his own and drops Owen to the floor.
Niita and Amanda wake up in another random building, each of them blaming the other for the present situation, and Krieg only interested in recovering Stefan. Nikita finally convinces Krieg to just get Ari on the phone already, and Michael rushes to wake up the former Gogol spy, but can’t do it before Krieg terminates the call. Needless to say, he blames this on Owen’s earlier attack.
Just as Krieg starts bringing out the implements of potential torture, he gets a phone call from Alex, who pretends that she has Stefan. He agrees to meet her for a potential trade, leaving Amanda and Nikita to their own devices. Nikita enlists Amanda’s help to start a fire, hoping to draw some outside attention. Figuring them for dead, Amanda admits to daddy issues just before firefighters rescue both women from the burning building. While Amanda slips away, Nikita steals an ambulance.
Michael speaks with a displeased Ari to get Anatoly’s phone number, sending Alex on a chase to find him, presumably find Stefan, and make the trade with Krieg in time. While Krieg and Alex aim their guns at each other, Krieg gets a phone call from Ari telling him to work with Alex to find Stefan. “Enough nonsense,” the German says. “Let’s get the boy back, yes?” And they do, with the cops breaking up a shootout that ends with Alex arrested and Krieg wounded. As Nikita is patching him up, he declares that Stefan should decide where he goes next, while Ari – listening into their conversation – decides not to say goodbye to his son.
Things don’t go so well for other people. Owen – who’s found himself in a holding cell of his own – is further upset when Michael informs him that he’s no longer an active duty agent. And Alex is stunned when the person who comes to break her out of police custody is not Nikita, but Amanda. “Let’s see how well she taught you,” is the quip.
“Reunion” has an interesting premise, picking up perfectly from the end of “With Fire,” but it wastes the idea on a script that contains numerous eyebrow-raising moments if not outright plot holes. As Krieg actually points out in the third act, Nikita attacked him when he was trying to protect his charge; even if we believe her when she says he went after her first, surely she could have disabled him rather than knocked him unconscious. Krieg comes off as a perfectly reasonable character, so there’s nothing that says Nikita and Alex couldn’t have explained the situation and ended up working with him to defeat Amanda. Of course, if they did, there would only be half an episode, so perhaps it’s a case of dramatic license overruling logic.
Even so, there are other things that don’t quite ring true. Amanda and Nikita conveniently running out of ammunition at the exact same time? Amanda calling the authorities as her go-to move for the second time? Nikita taking her time – one could even say gloating – as she strides over to a fallen Amanda, giving Amanda plenty of time to take her legs out from under her with a nearby chair? Nikita is usually pretty good about having all its ducks in a row, but this is not one of those episodes.
Yet it’s not a total loss, either. The scenes between Owen and Ari are full of delicious tension, and even though one can argue that they’re not entirely plausible either, Devon Sawa is electric as all of Owen’s frustration and desperation pours out. His energy is well balanced out by Peter Outerbridge, whose Ari remains as calm and unimpressed by everyone else’s issues as ever. It’s two strong actors in one small space, and that’s a delight to watch. Given that there’s still much to learn about Owen’s past, let’s hope that there are more scenes between them in the future.
With Alex now missing, it’s a safe bet that Sean will be a major player next week – but what else will happen? Nikita hasn’t seemed to have gotten to its endgame for season three yet, and there are plenty of ways the storyline could go from here. Let’s see if the show gets back to its old ways next week.
FYI: I’ll be taking a break from Nikita next Friday for some much needed time off – but regular recap/review service will resume in two weeks.