One of the best aspects of the second season of Nikita was the increased presence of veteran actor Peter Outerbridge as villain Ari Tasarov. An episode with Ari as one of the major players is both welcome and impressive.
It opens like a bad joke: a former Russian spy walks into a bar. Then the bartender goes into the back and tells his mysterious friends that the down-and-out Russian spy is there. Cut to Michael breaking the news to the whole of Division. Nikita wants to know why Amanda isn't with her better half. This cues another cut to the Wicked Witch herself, who's listening to her new business partner (guest star Peter Marek) bemoan Ari's "escape" and if it will hinder the success of their plan. "Ari is a coward. He's only as brave as his bank accounts," Amanda sneers. "Without his men or his money, he will crawl into the shadows and stay there."
That is, if the shadows are a dive bar in Brooklyn, outside of which an FBI sedan, Michael and Nikita have all just arrived. This sends Ari into the back of Michael and Nikita's SUV. "What took you so long?" he asks her. If you want to see that awesome moment again, here it is.
Ari gets a trip straight to an interrogation room, where he tells Nikita that he and Amanda have broken up and she doesn't know that he's turned sides. He explains that he returned from his latest errand to find out that he was a very wanted wanted man. Seems Naomi - the "black badge" agent from the previous episode - was one of his former Gogol assets and when she got splattered all over the front page, Amanda punished him by exposing him and freezing all of his assets. Talk about a nasty breakup!
Now Ari wants to stop Amanda and her new partner, if Nikita will strike a deal with him. "You have no idea what's coming," he warns her. Cut to Pittsburgh, where a seemingly random dude throws a grenade into a closing elevator. Ari informs Nikita that she'll need his help - which will cost her 50 million dollars deposited into a Swiss bank account - to stop what will follow. She's ready to brush him off until Ryan alerts her to what happened in Pittsburgh. Amanda's new ally claims responsibility on the news in the name of the "Crimson Resistance" - proving that Ari's intel is legit.