Title: With Fire
Air Date: March 1, 2013
Synopsis: Nikita and Owen go after Ari Tasarov before the FBI gets to him; Ryan considers a bribe to Ari to prevent random acts of terrorism.
Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, NY. Ari Tasarov, from Gogol, walks in and sits down at a bar. Ari is apparently down on his luck and makes a remark about being broke. The bartender recognizes him and greets him, then steps behind the bar and calls his FBI handler.
Division. Michael explains that Ari is wanted in connection with the murder of the CIA Director. Naomi’s body, left in the morgue by Nikita, led to questions that led to Ari Tasarov. Birkhoff advises that his Shadow-bot picked up the CI calling the FBI about Ari. Nikita is suspicious about why Ari is alone, why Amanda is not hiding him, but Division plans to intercept him before the FBI.
Elsewhere, Amanda is speaking to a terrorist. Ari escaped from them and Amanda drained his bank accounts. Amanda is guiding the terrorist to further her own agenda. She expects her long time former lover to stay in the shadows afraid to come out without his men or money.
Brighton Beach, Brooklyn. Ari spots the FBI agents approaching and leaves the bar after bouncing the bartender’s head off the bar. Owen and Nikita watch the FBI entering the bar and head down an alley to get Tasarov. However, they run into the FBI and have to back off. Ari is slipping away down the alley in front of the FBI. Owen and Nikita return to their SUV asking Birkhoff for street cam surveillance. But Ari is sitting in their backseat, “What took you so long?”
Ari appearing in their backseat makes little sense from the position Ari was at when they turned around and returned to the SUV. He simply could not have rounded the bar, avoided the FBI, and made it into their vehicle that quickly. And the FBI not covering the exits when approaching Ari was just silly as well. Perhaps the second FBI agent covering the back door and Ari slipping out a roof hatch would have worked.
Division. Sean, with his arm still in a sling, finds Alex training. He asks her again about the tattoo of a butterfly on her back but she’s not ready to talk about it yet. Owen approaches, taking off his shirt to reveal a number of tattoos, and remarks that the tattoos are a personal thing. After Alex walks out Owen cautions Sean to ease off on the tattoo, “She’ll tell ya when she’s ready.”
Ari is handcuffed to an interrogation table when Nikita walks in to find out why he came to Division for safety. He explains to the skeptical Nikita on how he and Amanda fell apart. Amanda had used weapons that were traceable to Ari in her hit against the CIA Director and now he was wanted by the intelligence community. Amanda and her new men tried to kill him and drained his bank accounts. He informs Nikita that Amanda has gone too far this time, she is arming and aiding a small terrorist cell. Ari hints at what is to come, a seemingly random act against innocents. “You’ll know it when you hear about it. But you won’t be able to stop it. Not without my help.”
Pittsburgh, PA. A man walks into an office and tosses a grenade into an elevator just as the doors are closing killing everyone inside of it.
Ari won’t give Nikita any more information until he has 50 million dollars transferred into an account. Nikita laughs at him. Fletcher calls her to look at something.
The team watches a news report about the incident in Pittsburgh. The news reports of a group called Crimson Resistance taking responsibility. Birkhoff is unable to trace the video stream but it has a Division signature. Nikita is angry at Ari but the team can’t figure out his next move. Owen offers to torture him. Nikita wants more time to negotiate. Fletcher sends Alex and Owen to Pittsburgh to look for more information.
Amanda is taking to her terrorist leader, Saalim, who lost a daughter to a stray bullet. She manipulates him. Building his resolve to continue and make the Americans feel what he feels.
Division. Nikita, in an angrier mood, continues to question Ari. He elaborates how Amanda is painting a picture of Division arming the Crimson Resistance to create a panic. Nikita walks out after he sticks to his 50 million dollar offer.
Pittsburgh. Owen and Alex visit the scene. They recognize the Division influence from Amanda’s teaching. They talk briefly about Amanda using drugs on Owen to block out his past, though Amanda told him he was a solider and his name was Sam. Alex has an idea and asks Birkhoff to look for signs of the Division encryption signatures on the cell towers, even though they can’t listen to them, he sees them on the local towers. When Alex asks if he can use that to track the terrorists Birkhoff replies sarcastically, “Sure if we jack into every cell network nationwide.” Alex replies, “Are you telling me that Shadow-bot is not up to the task?” “Bite your tongue Princess.”
Division. Nikita continues her interrogation of Ari. She tells Ari a story of how she spared his life in 2006 when he brought his son to a basketball game. Ari replies it was Amanda’s idea that he bring his son as she expected Nikita to not go through with the hit. Ari continues to insist on the 50 million. Nikita leaves to talk to Michael and Ryan.
They consider paying Ari his 50 million however Ryan reveals that Division is no longer funded by the federal government. Michael and Nikita are both surprised. Ryan explains that the President doesn’t want any taxpayer money flowing in. Ryan received some seed money and increased it with Birkhoff’s assistance, legally, to about 53.6 million as Division’s entire cash reserve. “Paying up means shutting down.”
Romeo, Michigan. A van drives by a farmer’s market and opens fire. Division watches the news report on Crimson Resistance and view another message from the terrorists. Ryan remarks, “They’re all random targets. How many more of these are coming?” Nikita storms out, “This is the last one.”
Nikita takes Ari to the lower levels of Division, Amanda’s old torture chambers without any cameras. Nikita plants Ari in a chair and starts beating on him. Nikita repeatedly pounds on Ari’s bloody face demanding the name of the terrorists. She pauses to take off her bloody engagement ring and set it on a tray of instruments.
Tactical. Birkhoff gets a ping off a cell tower in Columbus, OH. Michael is distracted about what Nikita is doing but thinks it is too early for another attack. Sean offers to cover for Michael so he can check on Nikita and make sure she doesn’t kill Ari before they get a lead.
Sub-level 12. Ari makes a comment about Nikita’s ring and their relationship, “There’s no forever in this business.” Nikita starts fingering the instruments and picks up a scalpel then sets it down and grabs a plastic bag. “Let’s get started.” She pulls it over Ari’s head. Michael arrives and has to force Nikita to take the bag off the suffocating Ari. “Thank you Michael. For lending me a hand.” states Ari in a jab against Michael losing his right hand. Nikita picks up a bone saw, “You’ve heard of an eye for an eye. How about a hand for a hand.” She starts to saw on Ari’s wrist but Michael restrains her and she walks away. Michael tells Ari, “You better give me that name now. Because I’m not going to be able to hold her off much longer.” “The couple that tortures together stays together. Is that it Michael?” Ari makes a remark about doing good cop bad cop too many times. Michael lays his robotic hand around Ari’s knee and begins to clamp down, “So how do you know which one I am?” Ari questions Michael about setting a date for his wedding.
Columbus, OH. Owen and Alex are taking instructions from Sean running operations. “First Nikita, now you.” Alex questions, “What’s that?” Sean is listening in. Owen replies in a bit of a Texan drawl, “I ride off with the cowgirl while the cowboy stays back at the ranch.” “Owen Elliot. Designation: Third Wheel.” replies Alex with a smile. Owen thanks Alex for her earlier comment that he could change. “That’s why I got my butterfly. Emily used to say it was proof that…” “…people can have a second life.” Alex completes his sentence and replies that someone she used to know said the same thing. “Is that why you got your ink?” “She was a girl in the brothel. That’s where they put me when I first came here.” Alex tells the story of her room mate having a dream she could fly away and one night got high and dove off the roof to her death. “She’s just like those people on the elevator. Innocent!” After a pause. Owen replies, “I’m sorry.” Sean remains silent through their conversation in the field.
Birkhoff gets another ping, close by, on the cell network. Alex spots a silver van and manages to shoot the driver before she can carry out her orders. Amanda and Saalim hear Amanda trying to question her on the still connected cell phone.
Sub-level 12. Nikita and Michael are outside the torture room trying to figure out how to break Ari. Nikita decides he must be holding out for something. She asks Michael, “What would you hold out for?” Michael replies simply, “You.” “Seriously.” “I am serious. The only reason to hold out for is for someone you love.” Nikita realizes it must be Ari’s son Stefan.
Nikita goes back in the torture room to confront Ari with her new idea and she can see she is right. Ari replies that he’s trying to give his son a real life and the money is for a trust to provide for Stefan and his caretaker, an elite Gogol operative to protect him. Nikita insists Ari should have told her so she could protect Stefan but he couldn’t risk his son being used for leverage. “You’re my sworn enemy Nikita. Forgive me if I didn’t give you the benefit of the doubt.” Nikita finally sees the resolve in Ari, he had no plan to get out of Division but to provide for his son. Nikita reveals to Ari that Division is no longer funded by the government and they simply don’t have 50 million. “So if your caretaker isn’t paid. The only thing standing between your son and Amanda’s retribution, is me.” Ari hangs his head and despair and sighs. Then looks up and gives Nikita Saalim Nassar’s name and what he knows of the terrorists including Saalim’s phone number.
Saalim is upset with Amanda but she keeps him under control and sets up another broadcast before the next attack.
Tactical. Birkhoff has Nassar’s location on the map in Manhattan. Michael tells Nikita that he already diverted Owen and Alex’s chopper. The broadcast starts. Birkhoff taps into the signal now that he has their location. Nikita wants Birkhoff to hack their software. Seymour pulls back the curtain revealing the true face and voice of Saalim. Moments later Saalim is shot by Amanda who stays out of the camera angle and shuts down the feed. Nikita realizes this is part of the frame-up Ari was talking about. The tech all traces to Division and Owen and Alex are about to be on site. In the apartment Amanda calls in a tip to the Counter Terrorism Unit.
Owen and Alex arrive with a team and clear the scene. Birkhoff advises the FBI is on the way. Owen starts a program on the broadcast laptop to wipe Division’s presence. Owen states, “I’ll clean the rest.”
Division. Nikita is sitting by herself, holding her bandaged and bruised hand from battering Ari when Birkhoff runs in with an encrypted call from Amanda. From a snowy roof top Amanda tells Nikita that she knows Ari is there helping her. Nikita states she made a mistake not killing Amanda when she had the chance. “I guess I have a target on my back now. Just like Stefan.” “You leave that boy out of this.” “Ari betrayed me. The boy is fair game.” replies Amanda with any icy look in her eyes.
Medical. Ari is getting bandages up when Nikita walks in. Nikita wants Ari to give up all he knows about Amanda’s operation. “If this protector of yours is as good as you say he is, then Stefan will be fine until the current deposit runs out.” Ari tells Nikita his priorities changed after Amanda betrayed him, he did what he had to do to protect his son. “I don’t expect you to understand.” Nikita replies, “But I do.” Voice-over as Nikita walks through Tactical to meet Michael, slipping her engagement ring back on. “I’m here to protect the innocent. The difference is I’m not going to lose myself in the process. Because if I do, Amanda wins. And I’m not going to let that happen.”
Michael reports that the FBI thinks Saalim was killed by one of his comrades so Division is safely back in the shadows. “They were together for 20 years and it was all a charade.” Michael replies, “But it was Amanda. How could it not be?” Then Michael suggests the pick a wedding date and stick to it as he pulls up some satellite images of a beach location for their ceremony. Nikita says, “Done and done.” They walk away together as the camera pans down to see a drop of blood from Nikita’s hand on the satellite image they were looking at. (Probably not a good omen.”
Nice to see Ari and Amanda back in the plot, just adds more power and mystery. With Owen and Sean too this might be the biggest collection of main characters in an episode for quite awhile. Introducing the financial side of Division is a nice touch. Something that is missing from Nikita that made a little more appearance in La Femme Nikita is any mention of the team’s life outside of Division. Do they live in Division? Do they ever eat? It also seems the bathrooms are missing the same as they were in Star Trek.