It's not going to be that easy, however. Markov tells Nikita that Amanda helped him "craft a message for you," and the whole team sees a recording of him revealing his true identity and work history with which Markov claims will get released to every major media outlet unless he's freed. As Ryan knows one more public incident means the end of Division, he pulls the plug on the operation, and orders that Markov be transported back to the hotel.
When Nikita confronts him again, he tells her about the warning he received in his meeting with the President. "We will get Markov another day," he says, "but today, we have to let him go."
Meanwhile, Alex and Owen are in the middle of interviewing possible moles when she realizes that Owen was likely the target. She cross-references his mission files with the duty roster and he recognizes some of the resulting names. Owen confronts Carl, an agent whose lover Percy ordered him to exterminate. He tells an enraged Carl that he remembers the woman and begins to rattle off details about her and how he killed her, reducing the other man to tears.
Still bristling from Ryan's actions, an angry Nikita suggests to Ryan that they tell everyone at Division that the government might come for them, and snaps at Michael when he suggests an alternative, saying that "If we go public, they send us right back to where we were, and for me, that's death row." She storms out, leaving Michael and Ryan to discuss amongst themselves, with Michael pointing out that the last head of Division lied to him too, and is dead now.
While they're doing that, Birkhoff finds another video of Markov bragging about the death of the President, and realize he plans to kill her when he arrives at the White House in three hours. "Division is going to save the President's life without her even knowing her life is in danger," declares a returning Nikita, who decides that they're all going to head to the White House.
Ryan brings the cryptograph that Division recovered earlier this season to the White House as a way of buying time, for his agents, while Michael and Nikita are also in the underground tunnels, with Michael preparing to stand in for Markov. He emerges above ground, although his arrival is spotted on security cameras by an eagle-eyed Secret Service agent. The real Markov is hauled in front of the Secret Service, and when he's confronted about the security breach Michael caused, he attacks the agents and heads right for the Oval Office.
Nikita manages to knock out Markov, but that puts Michael in some hot water. He claims that he was attacked and Danforth believes that Markov has some sort of post-traumatic stress. As Ryan excuses himself from the President's sight, Nikita and Michael rush to drag the real Markov back through the underground tunnels and away from the White House.
Birkhoff feeds a worm into Markov's servers, obliterating his incriminating videos, while Michael and Ryan watch a video report of a scandal that's clouding Markov's death, indicating that the situation has been handled. Ryan then tries to make nice with everyone else, offering to step down as leader of Division if they no longer support him in command. Nikita reiterates that it's not about support, but trust, but she also agrees to keep the President's ultimatum quiet for now.
'The Sword's Edge' builds on the momentum built up in 'Consequences,' but it does show some signs of treading familiar territory. Another ex-Division agent giving a speech about how the 'new Division' isn't all it's cracked up to be? Another attack in the same place that there was one in the previous episode? Nikita and Ryan at odds with each other? Parts of it feel too familiar.
However, that's countered by a strong performance by Devon Sawa and pacing that keeps the action moving fairly quickly. It's an entertaining hour of television - but hopefully next week's mid-season finale means that the story will be pushed into some new territory that this season has set up so well.
Nikita returns next Friday, November 7, before taking a break for the holidays.
For more from Brittany Frederick, visit Digital Airwaves and follow me on Twitter (@tvbrittanyf).
(c)2012 Brittany Frederick/Digital Airwaves. Appears at Starpulse with permission. All rights reserved. No reproduction permitted.