The penultimate episode of the series was a different kind of episode in the best way possible. With “Bubble,” we were given a very character-driven episode (written by Oliver Grigsby) that felt like it could’ve been the premiere of season 5, had we been given that luxury and the previous episodes were further developed into a full season. It truly is a testament to Grigsby (along with all the other writers) to be able to write such an emotional character episode that packed just as much punch as an episode that featured a lot more action scenes.
Following last week’s events, our Team Nikita were led to believe that they had defeated Amanda, MDK, The Shop/The Group. But as Mr. Jones said, they want Nikita and everybody else to think that, live in this bubble and illusion that they truly did defeat the bad guys and tell their story to the world, so The Group can remain a secret and continue doing whatever they are doing. So as we start off this episode, our team has been situated on a Marine Corps base in Virginia. It all felt very dreamlike – to them, to us – almost like it wasn’t real. Then came one of the “fun” sequences in the episode: the Team being debriefed by the feds. I say “fun” because it was basically them telling their story from the beginning – how they got into Division, what happened at Division, stuff with the Black Boxes, Gogol, etc. It was a great callback to the previous three seasons (sometimes I can’t believe that they did SO MUCH in three seasons) and loved Birkhoff telling everything so dramatically. After their debriefs, they earn an ally in Senator Chappel (for the record, NOT a double) who asks Nikita to testify before congress, and in turn, the team receives full pardons. Bonus for Nikita? After the testimony, it turns out, the public loves Nikita! Considers her a hero and is being awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom! Bonus for us viewers throughout all this? Lovey-dovey Michael and Nikita! All kissing and whatnot, talking about their future. It was glorious and all kinds of wonderful.
Meanwhile, Amanda meets with Mr. Adrian, another member of The Group, and presumably her new “boss.” At this point, you’d think these men would think twice before teaming up with Amanda and underestimating her capabilities; after all, look at what’s happened to all her former “bosses” (Percy? Dead. Ari? Dead. Jones? Prison.) Though it was hilarious when Adrian goes, “Why are you still alive again?” Anyways, Adrian is adamant on keeping Nikita in this bubble, so as not to expose them, and warns Amanda to not let her personal vendetta get in the way. HA! Dude, seriously has no idea who he’s dealing with. Amanda will get her vengeance when it comes to Nikita, and she will do it her way.
I don’t mean to always make it seem as though their storyline is an afterthought, but Alex and Sam’s arc/dynamic, though fun as it can be, can also feel at times a little forced and shoehorned into this short season. Anyways, Alex is shocked to find out that Sam did actually end up in Paris, as she instructed him to. When she calls to confront him about the truth, Sam gets kidnapped and beat up by the guys he owes money to. Alex tracks down Sam and they double-team to take out the other guys. When they head back to the “l’air” Sam confesses that Alex makes him want to be better (so be a little bit more Owen-like) and soon enough they’re making out. Sexual tension out of the way, it was nice to hear from Alex that they shouldn’t get into anything, because neither are really in the right state to consider a relationship just yet, especially Sam who is not entirely sure who he is.
All the nice and happy moments for our team was not-so-surprisingly short-lived. Nikita finds out that Ryan has been looking into MDK and has turned his board of crazy to a big wall of crazy. Ryan’s always been the analyst and because he was never ingrained in Division like the others, he’s been the only one able to detach himself from all that stuff relating to Division, and really focus on finding the truth, uncovering secrets, and doing what’s right. It also proved to be his undoing. Ryan is given the chance to sit down with Jones and try to get more answers out of him, but part way through his questioning of Jones, he’s stabbed with a needle and finds himself sitting in Amanda’s awful chair. Amanda lets Ryan in on her secret, that she’s planning on taking over (in the most general sense of the term) by taking control of all 54 of The Group’s doubles. Ryan asks the obvious “Why?” with Amanda answering in the most fitting way, “I want to.” There’s no rhyme or reason to Amanda’s motives, she just wants power. Which brings us to Noah Bean’s greatest (and most tragic) scene. Ryan breaks his wrist to get out of the chair, smashes Amanda’s face, and then gets into a gunfight with her men. When Amanda comes through, she orders her men to not kill him, and when he runs out of bullets, he keeps fighting to stop from returning to Amanda’s clutches. Then in a moment of pure heroics, Ryan shouts “NO MORE SECRETS!” before jumping out a window and landing on top of a car. He stays alive just long enough to get transported back to the military hospital and lets Nikita know that Amanda is still alive. And just like that, we lose one of our team. Miss you already Fletcher.
We have to take a moment and talk about Nikita as a character. Talking about this episode and how character-driven it is, we saw the many facets of Nikita. We see Nikita as the leader, telling everyone what to do. Nikita with the public persona, not that of an assassin, but that of a hero. Fun and in love Nikita. Then there’s the vulnerable Nikita that still sees herself as a junkie who killed a cop. When she’s on the phone with Alex and asking her “Is this how you pictured it ending?” you saw the worry in her face. And when she rushed to see Ryan, telling the doctor “He’s my family,” followed later on with placing the medal on his chest, we saw a heartbroken Nikita that had had enough, and was ready to put an end to it, once and for all, for her family.
- After 4 seasons, we finally learned Michael’s last name: BISHOP! My Fringe-loving heart can’t deal with the fact that Michael’s last name is Bishop, just like my Walter and Peter. It’s like the writers just knew how to further kill me.
- Club Besson, where Alex finds Sam in Paris. A nice little nod to Luc Besson, the original writer/director of La Femme Nikita.
- Nikita and Alex finally reuniting at the end of the episode, to put an end to Amanda.
“Bubble” was, without a doubt, one of the best episodes of the entire series. It was incredibly heartbreaking to see that Ryan, a minor character back in season one who became such an integral part of the Team, was the one who ended up dying in this episode, albeit in a very heroic fashion. Considering all the emotions I felt watching this episode, it is with great certainty that I will be a TOTAL WRECK watching next week’s finale. I just don’t want it to end!