She's not just any assassin — she's a rogue assassin. And she's the good guy.
"My name is Nikita. Six years ago I was taken out of prison and forced by a covert unit of the government to be an assassin. Three years ago I escaped, and have been hunted ever since. I was the first recruit to get out... I'm going to make certain I'm not the last."
A secretive United States government agency known as "Division" has for years been recruiting young adult convicts by faking their deaths and forcing them to train as spies and assassins. The recruits are brainwashed and threatened with a violent death should they fail in their assigned duties. Answering to no higher authority in the U.S. Government, Division has in recent years begun to go rogue, hiring out their particular services to the highest bidder.Nikita was one of the best of Division's operatives, who became the first to ever successfully escape the program three years ago after the agency had her fiance killed. After spending the last three years planning her revenge, Nikita declares war against the agency by thwarting a crucial assassination. Unwilling to remain hidden in the shadows any longer, Nikita delivers a message directly to Division's director... she is going to bring the agency down, one mission at a time if she has to, and she vows to ensure that no one else will have their lives stolen in the way that Division took hers.Nikita is an action-drama TV Series based on the 1990 French film of the same name. Premiering in 2010 on The CW Network, the series stars Maggie Q, and is produced by Warner Bros.. Three seasons have aired in the past with the fourth (and final) season in 2013, which comprises of six episodes.Not in continuity with the previous series, La Femme Nikita, on which it is also based.
This series contains examples of:
Action Girl: Nikita, who was trained by Division to take out her targets by using guns, knives, or even her bare hands, is now using those skills against her former boss.
The current female recruits of Division also qualify.
Alex, after a lackluster first season, goes totally badass in Season 2 and, in the season finale, kills Roan.
Air-Vent Passageway: Used in "Innocence" to place a bomb beneath its target. Realistically, it's incredibly hard to get in, and claustrophobicly small once you are, and that's for a brainwashed 12-year old ex-gymnast Child Soldier. Nikita doesn't even consider following.
All Just a Dream: In Episode 1. And Episode 16. And Episode 19. And Episode 8 of Season 2.
All Women Love Shoes: During a brief pause during a fight, Nikita complements her opponent on her footwear. It seems like a throwaway line to distract her opponent...until Nikita kills her and steals the shoes!
And I Must Scream: Nikita after being injected with a muscle relaxant by Roan in the first season finale.
A Storm Is Coming: Not said, but invoked in imagery à la Sarah Connor at the end of Terminator — the last scene of the first season is of Nikita and Michael discussing the potential future as they drive away, towards a gathering storm.
She actually says it in "Crossbow" when realizing that Percy is on the verge of completing his plans.
The Atoner: A big theme of the show. Nikita herself embodies the concept, Michael slowly becomes one over the course of the season, and Owen somewhat deconstructs it in his second appearance, due to the influence of a Fantastic Drug.
Vasquez: Fletcher, I read your file. You're just a low-level analyst.
Ryan: Low-level analyst. Right. A low-level analyst who was killed, resurrected in a hole filled with criminals and murderers. A low-level analyst who's gone up against the MSS, FBI, CIA, ordered heads of state executed, even kidnapped the President of Uzbekistan from inside the White House... All while living under the threat that someone like you would come in here and put a bullet in my head. So believe me when I tell you, Vazquez: That file you read is in desperate need of a revision.
Badass Longcoat: Less than in the original series, but after all, this is Nikita we're talking about.
Roan often wears one, being quite Bad Ass in his own right (to the point where the main characters prefer to run away from him than fight, and if they do fight it's usually a running battle... with them on the retreat).
Becoming the Mask: An occupational hazard for deep cover agents, as Nikita and Owen found out. Also Kasim, who used to work for Division but switched teams for terrorists.
Berserk Button: Don't insult Nikita around Michael. Also don't tell Nikita her parents didn't want her, don't threaten innocents, and for the love of God don't harm Michael or Alex. She will destroy you.
Do not steal Nikita's engagement ring from Michael. He will fight every single cop in Hong Kong if he has to, in order to get it back.
Ari responded in English when Gregor talked to him in Russian in "Partners".
Michael speaking Cantonese in "3.0".
Blatant Lies: In season 2 premiere, Birkhoff interrupts Michael's message to Division, giving an egomaniacal speech about how he was better than the technicians that replaced him.
Michael: By the way, Birkhoff is not working with us.
Bodyguard Betrayal: At the end of "2.0", Davitch is shot by Michael as part of a clean-up operation.
Book Ends: Percy starts Season 2 in a cell at the bottom of Division's missile silo. In the finale, he ends up back there, as Nikita drops him down the silo and he crashes directly into the cell.
Boxed Crook: In season 2, Percy has become this. Until he gets out.
Birkhoff was this to Division until he got out; he used to be a renowned hacker who stole millions of dollars, until Division caught up to him, and erased his past and crimes, with the condition he work for them.
Bullethole Door: Niktia creates one in "Consequences" while trying to save Owen. Realistically, she borrows a dead Mook's RPD belt-fed machinegun and uses the entire belt, allowing her to kick part of the wall down.
Bullet Proof Vest: Nikita shoots Sean in "Fair Trade" after she asks him if he's wearing one. Earlier, Alex took a bullet for Sean because she had a vest and he didn't.
Butfor Me It Was Tuesday: In Season 3's episode High-Value target, Nikita is confronted by the brother of a drug cartel that she killed in her days in Division. She dispatches him quickly.
Michael Who was that guy? And who was his brother?
Nikita: No idea. But I'm sure his brother deserved it.
Call Back: In "Dead Drop", Division finds Nikita's safehouse and sends a strike team, who fast rope in and get blown up by the explosives planted there, a callback to Season One. Alex was deliberately invoking this, which is lampshaded by Nikita.
In "Shadow Walker", disguised as an FBI agent, Nikita warns the local police not to let Birkhoff near anything electronic, and recalls a time when he managed to hack a blu-ray player to call for help - which happened in Season One.
In "Homecoming", Nikita storms Percy's office as he's preparing to bail. Remembering what happened the last time this happened (Michael kicked his ass and stole a black box), he grabs a pistol and starts shooting. It still doesn't do him much good.
Cassandra Truth: Alex telling her captors in "Resistance" that she's infiltrating Division to get revenge for the murder of her family.
Chaste Hero: Alex is a rare female example. May have something to do with being a former sex slave.
Until she meets Nathan, that is.
Never mind she and Sean, fact is she is quite the aversion of Chaste Hero .
Chekhov's Gun: In a flashback to Nikita's "first kill", her target mentions to her (posing as a prospective nanny for his newborn) that he worries his daughter will inherit his peanut allergy. This comes into play later when it turns out her victim faked his death and is now the head of a gang specializing in human slavery. When Nikita is captured, he proves his dominance by forcing a kiss on her, unaware that she was wearing lipstick laced with peanut oil.
The print pad Alex made to access Percy's office is later found by Jaden and finally, after falling into Thom's hands, is used as evidence that he was Nikita's spy in the Division.
In the same episode, we finally see Alex's earlier shown escape tunnel get used by Nikita, who uses it to escape from Division following her breakout, after which Percy discovers it and has it sealed.
Every few episodes after "All The Way" some small event causes Micheal to get suspicious about Alex's behavior. These include a phone call with strange background noise and surveillance camera footage of a failed mission. In "Echoes" he revisits all of these incidents which leads to the big Cliffhanger where he figures out Alex is the Mole and where Nikita is living.
We find out that Percy deduced Nikita and Michael's partnership when Kasim was killed .
In "Pandora", we find out that the nerve agent Jaden stole for Percy in "Girl's Best Friend" was implanted in the fake Black Box he let Nikita steal, set to activate and kill the head of the CIA so that Percy can replace him.
Near the end of "Betrayals", Alex grabs an unseen object that in "Pandora" is revealed to be a paralytic to help fake Nikita's death.
Nikolai Udinov's watch, which Alex gave to Irina to pawn. Amanda recovers it, and Sean later gives it to her as a Pet the Dog moment. It's implanted with a GPS tracker, which allows him to find Nikita.
In "Glass Houses", Roan explains to Alex how he disposes of bodies. In "Pandora", Alex uses that information to help fake Nikita's death and help her escape from Roan.
Chekhov's Gunman: Nikita's old mentor Carla is mentioned several episodes before she shows up and is revealed to be the founder of Division.
The Chessmaster: Percy, as of the penultimate first season finale turns out to be this. He reveals to Alex that he's known about Alex's true identity and her Michael, and Nikita's alliance against him since Kasim was killed, and shows her that Nikita was the one to kill her father, turns back on her kill chip and forces her to kill Nikita, letting her know she's been monitored the entire time
Season 2 reveals that it's pretty much part of the job description.
Amanda: Sometimes you have to sacrifice a pawn to motivate your knights.
Percy: Amazing how easily the chess metaphors come to mind when you're running Division, isn't it?
Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Division, Oversight and their various agents and allies regularly look for ways to backstab each other. Nikita, as the heroine will generally avoid backstabbing people but will do so if she sees no other way.
Cleanup Crew: Division has "Cleaners" who kill and dispose of bodies. In episode 6, we find out that Owen, the guardian of one of Percy's seven black boxes, used to not only be a Cleaner, but a "Reaper", someone who killed/cleaned-up Division personnel. He's the one who killed Nikita's fiance.
Cliffhanger: The episode "Echoes" (1x16) ends with a doozy of a cliffhanger - while Percy and Amanda are discussing whether or not to "cancel" Alex, and Alex is thinking that it may be time to escape Division, the last scene shows Michael awaiting Nikita in her loft. With a shotgun.
As does "Glass Houses" (1x20). Nathan kills Jaden, Alex sells the lie to Division and thinks she's gotten away with it . . . until Amanda reveals that Jaden's cochlear implant had recorded Alex calling Nikita for help afterward and knocks Alex out cold.
Which is topped by the end of "Betrayals" (1x21). See Wham Episode below.
"Pandora" (1x22) ends the season with Nikita and Michael on the run with a decrypted Black Box, and Alex being recruited by Oversight to act against both Nikita and Percy.
"Sanctuary" (2x12) While Nikita's team and a captive Sean are negotiating with Oversight via phone, the Guardians take Oversight hostage and threaten to gas Division if Amanda doesn't release Percy.
"Crossbow" (2x22): Percy's attempt to blackmail the President ends with Nikita and Micheal stuck in Division, Alex and Sean outside, and the Marines may be on their way.
Come with Me If You Want to Live: Nikita uses this a fair bit when foiling assassinations. Her mole in Division is not able to find out about these operations until the last minute so Nikita gets there just barely ahead of the assassins (sometimes she is late).
Concealment Equals Cover: The cover used on all sides can be of questionable effectiveness at that goal, including canvas laundry baskets.
Continuity Nod: Quite a few in "All the Way", for example, Birkhoff naming the Engineer as the one who helped him to find a leak in Division's network and Thom mentioning the Russian spy he had to kill to be promoted to field agent.
And in "Alexandra", Michael and Nikita have a discussion about the last time they teamed up in "One Way".
In both "Dark Matter" and "The Next Seduction", Nikita uses the knife Michael gave her in "One Way". She appears to carry it with her all the time which is both sweet and sad at the same time.
In "Pandora", Nikita brings up how Alex once tried to kill herself when Nikita brought her off of the street.
In "Fair Trade", Birkhoff warns his replacement at Division that "when they're done with you, they'll snap your neck and melt you in acid", a reference to the Engineer's fate (though we only saw the former on screen).
At the close of "Dead Drop", Nikita and Michael discuss how they are now compared to how they were: in a safehouse, hiding from division, with no money, tech or weapons, and how their safehouses keep getting lost.
Also one of the members of Oversight, who manipulates the stock market in order to gather funding for Division.
Sergei Semak, the head of Zetrov (the power behind Division's rival Gogol).
Covert Group: A secretive United States government agency known as "Division" has for years been recruiting young adult convicts by faking their deaths and forcing them to train as spies and assassins is a main plot point.
Creepy Monotone: Roan, one of the Cleaners, and Percy's replacement Dragon.
Dangerously Genre Savvy: When Nikita brazenly crashes a political fund-raising party to confront Percy, the head of Division, she discovers that he has anticipated the possibility and replaced the wait staff with Division operatives with orders to take her dead or alive.
He also has a large number of "black boxes" all around the world filled with the United States dirty secrets for the past 20 years. Everyone knows he's gone from Well-Intentioned Extremist to rogue, they just can't do anything about it since if he dies, the boxes will broadcast their information. He's also Genre Savvy enough to "Never trust [his] right hand man."
Death Faked for You: Division's standard recruitment policy — take death row inmates and create "official" documentation of their deaths, thus giving them no choice but to stay at Division and be trained.
Amanda does this for Ryan in Season 2, convincing even Nikita that he's dead, so she can kidnap him and force him to work for her.
Alex is exposed as a mole to Amanda, who then does the requisite cancellation (read: execution) by lethal injection. After her vital signs cease she steps away, checks her nails, then injects Alex with adrenaline to restart her heart, kill chip disabled.
Later happens to Sean. Framed for murder and in FBI custody, the only way to save him is to poison and kill him, then snatch the body in the morgue and inject him with an antidote.
Dysfunction Junction: Nikita was a drug addict and delinquent, abused by her foster father, then got into Division which made her a killer and murdered her fiance. Alex's parents were killed by Division, she was sold into sex slavery and kept there for several years. Michael's family was killed by an Arab terrorist. And that's the only backstories we know.
And Jaden was apparently raped at one point, followed by her killing the rapist in his sleep. She stuck a knife in his neck; Division thought she showed "initiative". This show runs on this trope.
This is justified in that Division recruits convicts and criminals to work for them. If there's not something seriously wrong with you, you don't belong there.
Eagleland: Nikita and Michael bluffed their way past an MI6 team by pretending to be arrogant, high-handed CIA agents. It worked perfectly.
The Cleaners, described by Owen as being stronger and faster than regular Division agents, are the ones who "clean up" murders that Division commits.
The Reapers - like Owen himself - are Cleaners who kill/clean Division personnel.
The best of all are chosen to act as Guardians, the ones who protect Percy's black boxes.
Enemy Mine: Gogol keeps trying to carry out this trope with Nikita, but she's Genre Savvy enough to know that that would be a bad idea:
Tasarov: The enemy of my enemy...
Nikita: Is just another man in my way.
Nikita and Michael have pulled this off a few times, but it usually falls apart before the episode's even over.
Though now that Michael knows that Percy was the one responsible for his family's death, he seems willing to go all the way with this trope.
And in "Girl's Best Friend", Alex and Jaden truly put aside their differences for the first time, with intriguing results.
The end of "Falling Ash" reveals that Owen has apparently taken up Tasarov's offer.
Owen Elliot tried to do this with Gogol, but Ari wised up and doublecrossed him first.
In "Guardians", Nikita and a Guardian briefly work together to keep Gogol from stealing one of the Black Boxes.
It's a weekly event in Season 2, with all the different factions.
Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: Sean, although rather decent for an Oversight member, is determined to go to any lengths to protect his mother, one of the head members of Oversight, even if that includes killing Nikita.
There's the power struggles between Amanda, Percy, and Oversight.
Extreme Graphical Representation: Greatly subverted, lampshaded and even justified. When the recruits are told to hack a system, all you see is some 3D-magic on the screens. Alex fails and after saying that the hacker stuff is complicated, Birkhoff loses it and shouts, "Actually, it’s not, it’s simple. Because, you see, I do all the hacker stuff. I write the exploit. I even make it look like a video game so your tween minds can understand it!", earning this a Crowning Moment of Funny.
And the plot of "Coup de Grace" revolves around one of these: the attempt to assassinate the prince of Georgia and frame the Georgian president for it, in order to facilitate a coup by the prince's wife.
And in the season finale "Pandora", Percy reveals that he was planning on blaming his assassination of the CIA director on Nikita herself, painting her as an anti-government terrorist.
Percy is Ego. Amanda and Carla don't get along the moment they meet.
Amanda has a sadistic streak and a hunger for power beneath her calm exterior (ID).
Carla is idealistic but hopelessly deluded. Not as morally pliable as the other two (Superego).
From a Certain Point of View: After being caught lying when interrogated by Amanda and monitored by an FMRI, Alex tells the truth, in a manner of speaking, omitting what would reveal her as the mole but not denying her actions.
Future Me Scares Me: A drugged Alex is horrified to see a vision of what she could become if she reclaims her birthright by the means she's currently using.
Gambit Pileup: In 2x16, aptly named "Doublecross", Team Nikita, Percy, Amanda/Division, and Carla all try to out-gambit each other, with several allegiances briefly forming. The resulting mess costs Percy his sole remaining Guardian (though Roan might have Guardian augmentation), Division several agents, Carla her life, and Team Nikita manages comes out on top, rescuing Ryan from Division.
Season 2 is this trope in a nutshell. Percy, Amanda, Oversight, Nikita's group, everyone has their own agenda.
Genre Blindness: In "Into the Dark", Owen tells Nikita to keep her head down to prevent her face being caught by traffic cameras. However, he doesn't bother to wear a cap or hood to keep his face concealed.
And in "Glass House", when Dana Winters reveals herself as a trained assassin to her boyfriend, no one bothers to make sure the boyfriend's son isn't listening.
Carla, Nikita's mentor and founder of Division, somehow gets the idea that Percy should have Division back and is a good guy. And then tried to pull a gun on Birkhoff, who proved that he was not as harmless as she assumed.
Gilded Cage: Percy's prison in Season 2 is rapidly becoming one.
Girls with Guns: Nikita herself, Alex, Jaden, and at least half of the female recruits at Division.
The Good, the Bad, and the Evil: What Season 2 is shaping up to, with Nikita and company as the Good, Division/Oversight as the Bad, and Gogol/Zetrov as the Evil (though the latter two are pretty interchangeable), especially now that Percy has recaptured Division from Amanda.
As of the latter end of Season 2, Zetrov is no longer antagonistic, with Amanda and Ari on the run, making them the Bad, and Percy the Evil, due to him being the bigger threat now.
Oversight at first seems just to be a group of extremists inside the CIA, then Percy meets with three members from other parts of the government - an Admiral, a Senator, and a Joint Chief of Staff - and by the end of the first season has become a full blown Omniscient Council of Vagueness.
As revealed in "Shadow Walker" and then "Crossbow", apparently there is bigger, more powerful version of Oversight out there and Percy wants to join it
Guile Hero: While most certainly an Action Girl in nearly every respect, Nikita also employs her wits, mind-games, and counter-espionage to track Division's movements in an attempt to thwart them at every turn.
When Nikita is captured, Amanda gives her one, prompting a Shut Up, Hannibal! from Nikita prior to her escape.
Robbie gets a couple sentences into one in his reappearance episode before being cut short by a pistol butt to the back of the neck.
Heel Face Door Slam: In "Glass Houses", Jaden comes over to Alex's place after honestly changing her (mutually) antagonistic attitude towards her after the mutual life risking they did for each other the previous episode, only to inadvertently learn of her double agent status and die in the ensuing fight.
And Alex is forced to wear one in "Betrayals" by Percy to spy on Nikita.
Hollywood Hacking: Justified. Division's resident genius hacker wrote some kind of super program that looks like a video game for the benefit of everyone else. Judging by how frustrated he gets when they can't use it, he is well aware of how impressive this all is.
Honey Trap: A flashback in "Covenants" shows that Nikita was supposed to be this to a male Division target, until she realized he was paying more attention to Michael. Michael claims that he does make an "excellent honey trap."
It Gets Easier: Invoked in Season 1 when Nikita is concerned that Alex's test for promotion to field agent - which requires Alex to kill a target in cold blood - will result in her heading down the same bloody path Nikita followed. Although the test is avoided because Alex accidentally kills a fellow Division cadet who she frames as a mole, by season 2 Nikita's efforts are for naught as Alex starts killing fairly frequently during her missions with Nikita, and in Season 2, completes an assigned assassination despite Division ordering her to stand down, albeit the target was someone Alex has a personal vendetta against.
Jumping on a Grenade: Discussed in the Season 2 finale; Michael holds Operations hostage with a primed grenade, and warns the guards that if they kill him, it will go off. One guard replies that Michael trained them to invoke this, and they will do it. Fortunately, it doesn't come to this.
Kill Sat: At the end of season 2, Percy gains control of an old Strategic Defense Initiative laser satellite, and uses the threat of it to make the President his puppet.
Turns out, the SDI satellite was a dud, and was just a cover for Percy's real method of destroying targets.
Know When to Fold 'Em: Ari and Amanda originally planned to use Alex as a puppet to control Zetrov. When this plan seemed no longer viable, Ari proposed to frame Semak for killing Alex, and stealing Gogol's operating budget in the ensuing chaos; while 300 million US dollars isn't a Mega Corp., it's still an incredible amount of money for two people.
Latin Land: Nikita's version of Santiago, Chile's capital.
Locking MacGyver in the Store Cupboard: In the Season 2 episode "Knightfall", Nikita and Michael raid a Division safehouse. The defenders manage to separate the duo and corner Michael...in the safe room.
Loose Lips: Thom in the first episode, Michael in the fifth.
Lzherusskie: A lot of them in episode 1x09, set mostly in Uzbekistan (technically, at least some of them were supposed to be Uzbeks (judging by last names) but everyone, even the police, speaks only Russian).
The Man Behind the Man: Oversight, the organization that oversees Division. Although, Percy's made it quite clear that he doesn't like taking orders from anyone, and has already had at least one member of Oversight killed to cover Division's tracks. And the season finale shows that they don't even like him - he's long since broken free of their control, and is blackmailing them with the information on the Black Boxes.
Speaking of the finale, Percy reveals that his huge plan is to essentially become this for the CIA after replacing the director with a puppet.
In late Season 2, it's revealed that Gogol is the intelligence wing of Zetrov, making Semak the man behind Tasarov.
Late Season 2 reveals a mysterious somebody who heads some group of bad guys that Percy wants to join.
As a bonus, Alex's mental defenses manifest as Dream!Nikita. At one point, Amanda's questioning manifests as Dream!Michael. Dream!Nikita fights off Dream!Michael for a few minutes... before they end up making out passionately. Both Alex and Amanda lampshade the UST.
The Mole: Inverted where the character of Alex is set up to be the mole from the very start, and we see it all from her point of view. She remains the mole for the entirety of season 1. There is even a Was It All a Lie?? moment coming from the more minor character, Thom, directed at the main character of Alex mid-way through the season.
Mook-Face Turn: When Sara, an underperforming Division candidate, is sent on a suicide mission, Nikita intervenes and kidnaps her. When she finally gets Sara to accept that Division planned to have her killed, she is able to convince Sara to go into hiding after delivering one final blow to her former employers.
Birkhoff may or may not have pulled one in "Pandora" due to his friendship with Michael. It wasn't very clear if it was permanent or a one time thing.
16 episodes into Season Two, his turn is permanant.
Mugged for Disguise: Happens occasionally, lampshaded in "Alexandra" when Nikita steals the uniform of a towel girl to get into a sauna full of baddies. The guard states that the man inside the sauna whom Michael is waiting to talk to won't be long as he's with a towel girl with "dark hair, long legs, very hot." Michael immediately knows who he means and breaks down the door to the sauna.
Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: In "Girl's Best Friend", Alex saves Jaden's life instead of blowing up a nerve toxin lab with Jaden inside. However, Jaden's survival allowed Percy to get his hands on said nerve toxin.
In "Power", Birkhoff confirms to Sonya that Amanda is working with Ari, which allows Percy to seize Division's loyalties from her.
In the Season 2 premiere, semi-innocent Non Action Guy Birkhoff unleashes a pair of machine-gun armed attack drones on a Division strike team to save Michael and Nikita. The strike team is dead in one pass. And then when Carla attempts to betray Nikita and Michael, it's Birkhoff who shoots her.
This also applies to several minor enemies Nikita faces, such as a nanny and a "sweet" Texan cat lady.
Oh Crap: An amazingly collective Oh Crap face by all the recruits as Nikita comes out of the elevator in Division. She then proceeds to wipe the floor with all of them.
Also the look on Percy's face when a pissed off Michael bursts into his office and proceeds to kick his ass.
And Nikita herself has a small one in the pilot when she runs into Roan in the hotel hallway.
Also in the pilot Michael, when he sees Nikita for the first time.
Birkhoff gets a pretty epic one in "343 Walnut Lane" as Alex tells him that Ellison's not only not Nikita's father, but that he's working for Division.
Birkhoff has a verbal one over the phone when Alex accidentally runs into Roan in S02E13, when Alex is in the middle of trying to get to the bottom of Division to shut down the gas dispersal system that would kill everybody inside. Alex, upon seeing him, has one herself. Then Birkhoff gets another one when Alex tells him that she escaped (calling Roan "the Terminator") but Roan is chasing her. Roan just seems to pick these up any time he runs into one of the main characters.
Opening Narration: Changes depending on how far in the TV series you are, but tends to end with a particularly wham-y one liner, such as "the last word they breathe before the end, will be my name." *cue opening theme music*
Tasarov, the head of Division's Russian counterpart Gogol, seems to fit this trope better.
And the first season finale implies that Percy really is only in it for the money. One of the Oversight members suggests that the whole motivation for his plan to kill and replace the head of the CIA is for access to the CIA's enormous black budget.
"Origins" reveals that Ari and Amanda are working together to seize Zetrov from Semak, using Alex as their pawn.
And when that plan was in danger of failing, Ari suggested killing Alex, framing Semak, and stealing Gogol's operating budget - 300 million US Dollars isn't the same as a Mega Corp., but it's a tremendous amount of money for two people.
Operation Blank: All of Division's missions are named this way, but the most important is "Operation Sparrow", which is involved in the last several episodes of the first season, and is revealed in the finale to be a ruse as part of a Batman-Gambit to assassinate and replace the director of the CIA.
Tariq: “Fight in God’s cause against those who fight against you.” Michael: “But do not commit aggression.” You forgot that part of the Qur'an. If you’re going to twist its meaning at least quote the whole passage.
Revealing Coverup: To Division's credit, they generally try to avoid these to the general public, either finding a scapegoat or cleaning up after themselves thoroughly. Unfortunately, Nikita's mission is to cause havoc with these.
Spy School: Division. Owen hides in an abandoned school in "The Guardian" to which Nikita quips "Good place to hide, a school bound to hell. Remind you of Division any?"
The Starscream: Interestingly, despite being the Big Bad, Percy is The Starscream to the Bigger Bad that is Oversight - he stopped taking their orders a long time ago, does what he wants, and is pretty much blackmailing them with the information on the Black Boxes to stay in power.
And as the first season finale shows, Percy has his own Starscream in Amanda, who is working for Oversight and seems to be plotting against Division.
This is taken even further in the second season when Amanda employs Ryan to help take down Oversight and orders one of its core members to be killed.
Ari Tasarov is The Starscream to Sergei Semak, as he plans to seize Zetrov from Semak.
Start of Darkness: Robbie in "The Recruit", when he goes crazy after becoming one of Division's babysitters instead of an operative, and then is made a Cleaner by Amanda.
Percy claims Operation Pale Fire note The mission where Division killed Alex's father was this for Division, though Ryan Fletcher doesn't buy it.
Sword of Damocles: In Season 3, the President constantly threatens Ryan with wiping out Division and Team Nikita if they cause her any political problems.
The Syndicate: Gogol. Second Season reveals that they are the Intelligence arm of Zetrov.
Teen Superspy: Alex is supposed to be about eighteen at the start of the show. Nikita to a lesser extent in her early days at Division.
Theme Naming: Birkoff seems to like the word "Shadow"; his hacker name is "Shadow Walker", his computer network is called "Shadow Net'', and his new search program in Season 2 is called "Shadow Bot".
True Companions: Team Nikita. Despite everyone on the team having tried to kill each other at one point or another, once you're on the team, your family. Nikita walked away from $70 million dollars to rescue Birkoff, and she and Alex are especially close.
There Are No Therapists: Averted. There is a therapist... and she's also the head torturer. Now that's the kind of job overlap you really don't want.
Michael: You're using rehab to conduct an interrogation?
Jaden, in "Girl's Best Friend". For most of the first season, she gets beat down by Alex, Nikita, and is shown to be pretty inept. But in that episode, on her first high-profile mission, she takes out four mooks, the episode's Big Bad, and saves Alex's bacon.
Birkhoff seems to have taken some in the interim between S1 and S2. By "343 Walnut Lane", he's become a good enough fighter to stand toe-to-toe with a Division agent and last a decent amount of time. He also programs a drone to bomb his own house, in a suicide move that actually succeeds in killing the Division strike team and not himself, Michael, and Nikita. Of course, he had incentive, after being kidnapped on separate occasions by Nikita and the CIA. After Division kidnaps him and Amanda tortures him, he now keeps a gun in close reach at all times, and regularly spars with Michael.
Alex takes serveral levels in Season 2, starting in "Knightfall" by ignoring a direct order from Amanda and killing her target (her first real kill), later infiltrating Russia to get revenge.
Sonya, after a season and a half as a quiet computer geek, opens fire with an MP5K during the mutiny in "Broken Home" to save Birkoff.
Tough Love: Nikita to Alex in the second season premier when she breaks her arm and then shoots her in the leg during a fight.
Trojan Horse: Percy lets Nikita capture a Black Box and hand it over to the CIA, because it's been booby trapped with a deadly nerve gas and set to go off in the presence of the CIA director.
TV Telephone Etiquette: A large part of the drama sometimes replies on technology such as communication between two characters on a "safe" or "unsafe" line, such as Alex and Nikita. No one ever has a conversation as a normal person would (no one ever answers the phone with a "hello", leading to plans being uttered to enemies, of course), but that's pretty much justified.
Undercover as Lovers: Michael and Nikita in "Glass Houses", two episodes after they actually got together.
Villainous Breakdown: Percy has a mild one in the season finale - after his big plan to take over the CIA is ruined, he orders an attack on Nikita's loft. Rather than watching the screens with his usual calm detachment, he spends the whole time glaring in cold fury and screaming orders at the strike team:
"Kill them both!"
Percy nearly goes through this in "Shadow Walker", as he watches all 70 million dollars of his money burn. It is with visible effort that he controls himself.
Vomit Indiscretion Shot: When a cleaner shows up at Alex's apartment in 1x20 to deal with a problematic corpse, he injects it with a muscle relaxant to make it easier to move. Alex's reaction is only mostly hidden from the camera.
Waif-Fu: Generally averted. Nikita often takes on larger opponents and is shown picking up objects or using the environment to her advantage. At one point, when she's fighting a gym full of people, she smacks a few of them with barbells, thus inventing Weight Fu.
Was It Alla Lie: Inverted because the main character of Alex is set up to be the mole from the very start, and we see it all from her point of view. Rather than the hero being the one betrayed by the mole and yell-asking "was it all a lie?!" toward the mole, the hero is the mole. There is a very dramatic "Was everything just a lie?!" moment coming from the more minor character, Thom, directed at the main character of Alex mid-way through the first season - it is a very intense scene that does involve a gun and is perfect fodder for a mid-season finale with a lot of drama.
Wham Episode: 1x11, "All the Way": Nikita's backdoor leak in the Division's security system is liquidated, Thom is Killed Off for Real by Alex, who is promoted to field agent after half a season as a recruit.
Episode 1x17, by the look of the 2nd promo. Except some of the Wham-ness has been blown by said promo.
Though something it didn't spoil was The Reveal that Kasim, the man who killed Michael's family, did so on orders from Percy. It also didn't give away that this revelation would lead to Michael's apparent Heel-Face Turn.
Episode 1x20 - Jaden is killed by Nathan while fighting with Alex, and a hidden recording device on her finally reveals to Amanda that she is working for Nikita
Followed immediately by 1x21 - Percy turns Alex into a Double Agent by revealing that Nikita was the one who killed her father; Michael's cover is blown and he's imprisoned in Division; the captured black box is revealed to the audience to be a Trojan Horse and part of Percy's move against the government; and the episode ends with Alex shooting Nikita.
The following episode - the season finale - involves Ryan being arrested by the CIA, Nikita's loft being blown up, her and Michael going on the run with a fully decrypted Black Box, and Alex splitting from both Nikita and Division, and being recruited by Oversight to go after Nikita (and possibly Percy as well).
Season 2 has had a few shocks and surprises, but the first real Wham episode was 2x10, where in the last few minutes it's revealed that Alex's mother is still alive.
2x13: Percy escapes Division with Roan and the last Guardian, Amanda takes over Division after most of Oversight is killed, and Team Nikita apparantly now includes Madeline and Sean. Alex is, as usual, stuck between Team Nikita and Amanda.
2x18: Percy regains conrol of Division, thanks to a mole and some (unwitting) help from Birkoff, Ari looses control of Zetrov, and Amanda and Ari end the episode on the run, hunted by Division, Gogol, and Team Nikita.
2x23 ends the season with Percy and Roan dead, Team Nikita running a collectively Heel Face Turned Division on the government's behalf, a still free Amanda revealed to have decrypted the last Black Box, and Sean asking Alex out on a date.
3x18, "Broken Home". Owen/ Sam is on the run with the last Black Box, Division suffers a violent mutiny that ends with multiple dead and almost everyone leaving, Sean dies, and Alex goes rouge (again)
What Happened to the Mouse??: In his first appearance, Nikita mentioned that Ari had an eight-year-old son in 2006. In all of his other appearances, no mention is made of a family at all, and when he runs off with Amanda he certainly doesn't act like he's leaving children or a wife behind.
This is later revisited in Season 3; Ari's son has been kept away from his father's life
Where Does He Get All Those Wonderful Toys?: A common question throughout Season One. It's eventually revealed that Nikita possesses a printing press used to print counterfeit "superdollars", meaning her only problems are getting ink and the right paper, though it's eventually lost when Division storms her loft.
In Season Two, Birkhoff is revealed to have stolen over twenty million dollars prior to being "recruited" by Division, and uses this to bankroll Team Nikita. Until it's eventually lost.
Alex, having cashed in her Zetrov stock, seems to have taken over the money side now.
In Season Three, Ryan tells Nikita and Michael that Division's been cut off from Oversight's black budgets, and the President won't authorise funding. They have some money (53 million), but not enough to be as extravagant as Division used to be.
World of Badass: Let's face it, the least dangerous people on the team are a CIA analyst and a Navy SEAL. That's after a pair of One Man Armies, the Bad Ass who trained one of them, and an Action Girl. And the hacker has a drone airforce.
You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: The standard procedure for Division is to 'cancel' agents who have failed or no longer have a use. This applies even to Percy and members of Oversight.
A Guardian in "Guardian" takes out a Swiss scientist after he secures his supply of Regimen drugs.
You Killed My Father: Alex's entire motivation is to avenge her parents' murder. Unfortunately, in "Betrayal", she finds out that the Division agent who killed her father was Nikita. That complicates things.
Actually, it just means that she refuses to work with Nikita anymore, and now plans to go after the man who hired Division to kill her father in the first place.