Wednesday, May 21, 2014

TV on DVD Review: Nikita - Season 4


Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Great action, twists, and characters conclude
Cons: While not as bad as they could be, the use of doubles bothered me
The Bottom Line:
Double come to play
Rest of final episodes
Top notch for the fans




"You Know What Would Help Me Right Now?  Turn Off the Spinning Blades of Decapitation!"

The TV landscaped has changed dramatically in the last 10-15 years.  Gone are the days when many shows were episodic, so canceling them without notice wouldn't be that big a deal.  Instead, we get story arcs that last entire seasons if not years.  Fortunately, many times networks recognize what that means to a shows fans, so we get a "last season" renewal to wrap things up.

That is how we got season 4 of Nikita.  Honestly, I was a bit surprised the show had lasted this long with how low the ratings always were.  While I wasn't a fan of season 3, after the cliffhanger ending, I was glad to hear it was coming back for a final six episodes.

And yes, I will be spoiling some things from season 3 as I discuss season 4.  There's no way around it.

Especially since this season picks up with the aftermath of the cliffhanger.  Yes, it's been a few months, but during that time, Nikita (Maggie Q) has been on the run, trying to find a way to clear herself of killing the President.  While she is on her own, she is not alone in her quest since Michael (Shane West), Birkoff (Aaron Stanford), and Ryan (Noah Bean) are using a plane as their base, not only trying to track down Nikita but also hoping to find some evidence that clears her.  The plane is financed by Alex (Lyndsy Fonseca) who is using her fame, money, and charitable work as a cover.  The biggest wild card is Sam (Devon Sawa), the operative formerly known as Owen. 

With everyone working toward the same goal, it is inevitable that the group would reunite.  Are their emotional wounds too deep to keep them from working together to clear Nikita?  Especially when they realize they are up against The Shop and The Shop's newest mastermind - Amanda (Melinda Clarke).

With only six episodes to work with, you'd better believe they wasted no time in telling their story.  These episodes are packed with all the action and twists you'd expect.  I was certainly on the edge of my seat several times.  Still, it's a coherent story that makes sense.

My biggest complaint with the season is the introduction of doubles.  Yes, it was introduced as part of last season's cliffhanger, but it's a plot device I am wary of.  Fortunately, the few times I was beginning to roll my eyes at that particular plot point, they pulled back.  It would have been stronger without that element at all, but they did a good job of balancing things.

They also manage to conclude things at the end of the six episodes.  While not everyone gets a happily ever after, most of the characters get a resolution that is just perfect for them.

That is important to me since we know and love these characters.  The writers do a great job of helping them grow in the midst of all the action, which I loved.

And the acting is still great, too.  The actors keep the characters grounded through the plot twists so we are able to but in to what is happening.  The stunts and effects are still top notch as well, which is important for this series.

Since there are only six episodes, this is a one disc set, and the price is appropriate.  We don't get any extras, just the episodes in their native wide screen and full surround sound.  While something in the way of extras would have been nice, I wasn't expecting anything else.

The final season of Nikita pulled the show back up from the depths of season 3.  I'm glad I came back for the last wild ride since it was a lot of fun.  Fans of the show will definitely be happy.

Season 4 Episodes:
1. Wanted
2. Dead or Alive
3. Set-Up
4. Pay-Off
5. Bubble
6. Canceled

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