Just as the title states, it was a tale of “Origins” on Nikita last night with the reveal of how Carla Bennett (guest star Erica Gimpel) came to work with Percy, creating what eventually became known as Division; how Amanda was brought into the fold and what one event took place that set Amanda on her mission to end Carla’s life; how Alex revealed herself to the world as Alexandra Udinov, upsetting the “ruler” of Zetrov himself – Sergei Semak – and even getting a glimpse of Nikita as a new recruit, meeting Amanda for the first time.
What started out as a way to give a second chance to prison inmates in 1996, Carla, who was working as a prison counselor at the time, would fake their deaths in order to get certain prisoners transferred to better facilities. Somehow Percy learned about what she was doing, approaching her about joining him instead of breaking the law. She could make her program a legitimate enterprise with federal funding. What started as an altruistic effort by Carla was quickly morphed into something much larger as shown by the immense facility for which Percy takes Carla in 1998; a location that would eventually become the base of operations for Division and for which was to be backed by a much bigger sponsor: Oversight. This is also the first time Carla and Amanda would meet, starting off a very rocky and contentious partnership. Carla did not want the program to be a prison, but it was obvious that Amanda, a rising star in psy-ops, had a different view as did Percy.
As Nikita, Michael and Birkhoff work with Carla to determine what was the exact turning point that caused Amanda to place Carla on the top of her hit-list, the mission to reveal Alex as Alexandra Udinov to the world and bring down Semak, putting control of Zetrov into the hands of Alex – and in essence, knowingly or not, in the hands of Ari and Amanda – was set in motion.
After seeing Ari on the wide-screen TV during the huge press conference held by Zetrov, featuring Semak announcing the purchase of a major city hockey team, Carla recalls a 1999 encounter she had with Amanda and Ari, who was introduced to her as Bill Clay, an American working for the Department of Defense. This was the turning point for Amanda, as she couldn’t have Carla identify Ari or the fact that she (Amanda) was working with Ari, who was actually Russian and not American. This set in motion Amanda’s attempt to have Carla killed; but where Amanda failed was in having one of Carla’s “firsts” – Brian, one of the prisoners that Carla helped – to kill her. Carla was able to convince Brian to not follow through on his mission, letting her escape and lying to Amanda about him killing Carla.
This set Carla on the run for the next five years and eventually led Carla to meeting Nikita at the halfway house, which, as was revealed in last week’s episode, was the catalyst for Carla getting back on Amanda’s radar [the fingerprints on the gun that Nikita used, while in a drugged stupor, to shot and kill the New Jersey cop] and putting Nikita smack dab in the middle of it all.
Meanwhile, at the Zetrov press conference, Alex makes her triumphant reveal to the world thanks to a zealous reporter who Alex approached moments before the press conference began. This leads to Alex taking the stage next to Semak, faking a happy reunion between herself and her “Uncle Sergei” and her revealing the backstory created by Division (she was taken from her home on the night of the murder of her family and was forced into the sex trade where she became a drug addict, escaping and getting clean only a mere six months earlier).
In a bid to look like the impassioned “uncle” (that clearly was not the case since he had been working behind the scenes to end Alex’s life since the moment he learned she survived the massacre he planned with the help of Division), Semak announced that Alex would be placed in the finest suite at the hotel – where the press conference was being held. Once the cameras of the world were no longer aimed directly at Semak, he had Ari and all of Gogol surround the hotel and sent one agent into her hotel suite to take Alex out for good. That obviously did not go as planned, as Nikita was able to warn Alex, allowing Alex to take out the agent before he could do her any harm and also allowing Alex to catch Ari on the phone with Amanda.
Birkhoff makes a recording of everything Ari says to Alex during their standoff – specifically his and Amanda’s desire to end Semak for good, which is what he and Amanda both claim is the reason for their working together; that and the fact they want to help Alex take back control of Zetrov (which is of course a lie, but who can really trust either of them, right?). That recording will be used by Nikita if Ari doesn’t help Alex escape.
The secondary plan put in place by Ari and Amanda – who have obviously been a secret couple for many years if the kiss at the beginning of the episode was any indication – to kill Alex and wrest control of Zetrov for themselves also had to be halted in order to cover their collective asses now that Alex, Nikita and the whole team knows about their involvement with each other. It was imperative to everyone involved, for very different reasons, of course, to help Alex get out of that hotel alive. Ari returned to Semak’s side pretending to have his team corral Alex as she attempted to flee the hotel while Amanda sent in an agent to assist in her escape as well as Michael on the outside to provide even more assistance.
In the end, Carla – who was going to distribute Ari’s confession into the hotel’s public address system – was stopped by Birkhoff holding a gun against Carla and Nikita reasoning with Carla that they would bring Amanda down (just not today) AND Alex getting out of the hotel only to reappear the next day to stand up to Semak in front of the press, stating that Alexandra Udinov was ready to take over the company her father created.
But, in a twist to the story, Carla calls Percy, advising him that she wants him to help her take Amanda down so they can restart Division, as she had envisioned it, and Carla tells Percy about Amanda’s involvement with Ari. While Carla still has her altruistic purposes in mind, Percy is obviously pissed about the reveal of Amanda working with Ari and he will continue with his path of destroying Amanda (and now Ari as well) in any way he can, wresting control of Division back into his hands and that can only spell doom for anyone, including Carla, who will get in his way.
“Origins” is the 15th episode of the second season of Nikita. Nikita will be taking a short break with the next new episode airing on Friday, March 9 at 8 PM on The CW.
How did you feel about this episode? Were you surprised at how Division was actually started by Carla and Percy? Could you understand what Carla wanted to create and could see how it was destroyed by Percy? Were you glad to finally see movement by Alex to get control of Zetrov back or could this move lead to that horrible vision that Alex had of herself in the future? Were you happy to see Birkhoff shows some nerve in holding that gun against Carla? Were you disappointed to see so little physical action by Michael and Nikita this time around? Or, did you like to see Alex do all the heavy lifting this time around? What do you think will be Percy’s next move now that he knows about Amanda and Ari? And, what kind of sad ending will transpire for Carla when she learns that Division will not be saved in the way that she hopes it will be? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.