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'Nikita' Recap: 'Sanctuary' (2.12)

Brittany Frederick Brittany Frederick
January 14th, 2012 12:08am EST

NikitaThis week's Nikita sees the band back together again, and they play well enough, but the greatest hits are yet to come.

Team Nikita is reunited, but it's not smooth sailing. Birkhoff tells Nikita that Alex (whom he refers to as "Occupy Beach House") tried to swipe his pain meds. Alex and Nikita again talk about what we learned last week - that Alex's mother was having an affair with Sergei Semak. Nikita tells Alex about Carla (whom we now know will be played by Erica Gimpel), who helped her before she ended up in prison.

At Oversight's meeting, while Sean sits awkwardly in the hallway, Senator Madeline Pierce blames Amanda for their currently fouled-up situation, and one of the members suggests a "clean sweep," after which we promptly cut to Division HQ in New Jersey (which amuses me more than it should).  After another icy chat with Percy, Amanda puts Division on "high alert," telling the staff that she expects an attack on the facility.

Madeline wants Sean to take a post at Division, and tells him that "a lot of people are going to die." The news makes him decide to go look for Nikita, who's having a chat with Alex and realizing just how much their paths crossed earlier this season and how problematic that was - and still could be. There's an uncomfortable moment as Roan preps Division's fodder...I mean, troops for battle and takes a phone call from Guardian Patrick Miller (William deVry), who's about to do a little skydiving. Oh, and Percy glares, because he's really good at that.

"You know Oversight's out to get you," Percy tells Amanda. "They played you. I had them handled. Why do you think they were so eager to get rid of me?" Amanda's ego is just as big as Percy's, though, and there's another argument about which of them has screwed up more. One has to give Xander Berkeley credit for spending the majority of the season acting inside of a box.

The gang's all accounted for once Michael arrives, but everyone else quickly scatters to give our power couple their moment. She admits she made a decision for him; he tells her it was okay because he really did need some time for himself. He admits that he couldn't stop looking over his shoulder, which is not the way he wants to live, but also not a bad thing because there's a sniper on the beach that would have blown Nikita's head off if not for Alex.

That sniper is none other than Sean, who gets knocked unconscious by Michael and promptly strapped to a chair. I know some girls are swooning right now, but I'm just going, "Yay! Interrogation scene!" I have odd priorities.

Meanwhile, Amanda and Percy continue their impromptu couples counseling, as he talks about keeping her out of the adjoining box and she says they made a good team. "You saw this as a relationship, and you encouraged the recruits to view us as mommy and dad, and you deluded yourself into thinking you had feelings for me," he tells her. "It couldn't happen, because you're incapable of love." Well, I guess we know that's one part of La Femme Nikita canon that this show won't be using. And there's the most vulnerable look I've ever seen on Amanda's face.

"You really think you can turn a Navy SEAL?" Michael skeptically asks Nikita, who thinks the two have common ground. The two of them start interrogating Sean, who's obviously had training for a situation like this and has a nice, blank look on his face. While Sean and Alex have a conversation about his motivations and their mothers, Birkhoff uncovers a bug inside Sean's phone, and shocked, Sean tells Team Nikita about Oversight's plans to wipe out Division, pointing out that their success has made Division expendable. Hello, mother of all unintended side effects.

Sean's mother gets a phone call from Amanda, asking for permission to put Percy into a medically induced coma. The woman knows how to wreak her vengeance. She later phones someone else and talks about changing the plan.

Nikita calls up Senator Pierce and lets her talk to her son, who tells her that if the "clean sweep" happens, they'll upload the contents of another black box (that they don't really have). She doesn't have any time to say anything back, though, because Miller and a bunch of minions are shooting up Oversight HQ and quickly take them all hostage. Yep, just as Amanda is getting ready to send Percy to a nice, long nap, he gets the last laugh. If he doesn't get released, Miller has no problem killing literally everyone. And that's where we leave everything.

"Sanctuary" is a difficult episode to categorize. There's not a lot of action happening, so I couldn't blame anyone for being disappointed in that respect. On the other hand, especially if you've been watching the show all season, you understand that the episode clearly is setting up for bigger things. It's getting the team back together, it's pushing Amanda and Percy's relationship to the breaking point, it's pushing Division and Oversight's relationship to the breaking point. This is one of those episodes we might call "filler," and there's nothing wrong with that; sometimes, you need to make sure the pieces are in the right places before you can play the game to the best of your ability.

There's no denying that the twist is interesting: putting our heroes in the position of having to save the organization they've always been working to bring down? It raises all sorts of thorny questions about their goals and ethics, but it also helps to prolong the show's life. Obviously, the fall of Division would be a huge turning point that would again shake up the show as we know it, and since Nikita went through quite a few big changes in the back half of season one (with Michael's defection and Michael and Nikita becoming a couple), the show's better off not upending itself yet again.

What happens next? Well, that's the question they want us to ask so we tune in, of course! But feel free to start speculating in the comments below.

(c)2012 Brittany Frederick/Digital Airwaves. All rights reserved. No reproduction permitted.

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Photo Credits: The CW