Title: The Life We’ve Chosen
Air Date: March 15, 2013
Synopsis: Amanda offers to release Alex in exchange for Ari. Alex befriends another prisoner and promises to help her escape.
We see a nearly unconscious Alex dragged through an old hospital.
Division. With Alex captured by Amanda the team is scrambling to find her. Birkhoff is barking out orders for the computer techs to get him admin access to the Swiss police. Sean is challenging Nikita on why she let Alex get captured. Birkhoff receives a prerecorded call from Amanda that he can’t trace. Amanda offers to exchange Alex for Ari.
Nikita questions Ari about the trade. Ari insists that without him to keep her in check, if Amanda gains access to the contents of Percy’s black box again she will topple governments. Ari points out that Amanda will kill him if he’s turned over, which Nikita already realizes. Michael suggests Ari give Division his password to the black box and they can try to negotiate with Amanda. However, Ari reveals that he and Amanda used a set of subliminal passwords – they play a short game where their subconscious choices are analyzed and the password released. Nikita tells Ari that they are trading him but they will get him back. “As much as you deserve it, we’re not going to let Amanda get her claws into you.” Michael asks, “Why not?” “Because. Screw Amanda.” Ari smiles. Ryan, who was watching the interrogation, doesn’t look pleased.
Birkhoff briefs the team on Amanda’s location in a war-riddled South Ossetia. “It’s like the wild west. If the wild west had AK’s and vodka.” Michael prepares to send Nikita and Sean to the exchange but Ryan insists on sending Owen as well. Michael and Sean don’t like the idea of sending Owen as he is to volatile but Nikita agrees. Alex is the priority and then they will retrieve Ari before he can unlock the black box.
South Ossetia. Alex groggily awakes to find a medic attending to her. The woman cautions her not to move to quickly as she has been heavily sedated. Amanda steps into the room to let Alex know she’s in charge. Alex asks what her plan is. Amanda questions her about the status of Division. “It must be stressful. Knowing the government could come in at any moment and wipe you out.” “Ginkgo biloba helps. So does ginseng.” Upset with her sarcastic answers Amanda starts choking her with a leather strap then lets off the pressure. Amanda asks how Division captured Ari, Alex reveals that Ari came to them to get away from her. Amanda warns Alex not to gloat as it was Nikita’s victory anyhow, “You’re just a background player.”
Division. Birkhoff informs Michael the team has touched down. Ari arrived in a casket, drugged to appear dead. After getting past the customs officials Nikita revives Ari in the back of the truck. While tracking Owen, Sean, and Nikita he notices some interference and questions Sonya about it but she doesn’t have an explanation either.
Sean is driving the old military truck with Owen in the passenger seat. He begins to question Owen about why he latches on to women he can’t have, referring to the conversation he had with Alex about the butterfly tattoo. Owen suggests Sean’s problem might be with Alex and not him. Then tells Sean to stop the vehicle so he can help Nikita in the back of the truck.
South Ossetia. Alex finds out her medic is a prisoner of the Ossetians and begins to bond with her and plan an escape. The woman recognizes Alex as Alexandria Udinov, the Russian princess that came back from the dead. She tells Alex how her daughter was fascinated with the story. Alex doesn’t say much except that she chose a different path. Meanwhile she removes a ventilation grate on the wall.
Ari lets the team know he is not well liked by the Ossettians.
Division. Birkhoff is still getting interference as he tracks the team. Sonya identifies another signal coming from the truck, Birkhoff recognizes it instantly as a kill chip. Birkhoff hits a call button, “Mikey, we gotta talk.”
They both confront Ryan Fletcher. “You put a kill chip in Ari Tasarov’s head?” Ryan admits he did and reveals that’s why he sent Owen along as the trigger man. Birkhoff wants to tell Nikita. Michael is not happy about Ryan going behind his back but understands why he did it. To prevent Nikita risking her life for Ari and to keep the black box from getting decrypted. Birkhoff knows Ryan had to keep Nikita in the dark because she would have insisted on saving him, “She’s Nikki.”
South Ossetia. The medic alerts the guards that Alex has escaped somehow. As one of the guards step into the room and sees the missing vent cover he steps closer to it and Alex overpowers him taking his gun. Alex talks her new friend into coming with her. Alex evades a number of guards, killing a number of them before her friend is wounded and several guards recapture them.
Night. Sean and Owen go to find a weapons cache at a Division dead drop. Nikita and Ari remain at the truck. Ari turns the screws on Owen again getting him mad and tells Nikita, “There’s just something about him that draws it out of me.” As they are talking Ari states, “Amanda was right. Your compassion will be your downfall.” “Only Amanda could use love as a weapon.” Ari points out that Nikita didn’t hesitate to use the safety of his son Stefan as leverage. She starts to object and Ari continues, “I’m not looking for an explanation or an apology. I know the rules of the game. This is the life we’ve chosen. It’s also why I know there will be no rescue for me.” Nikita insists she will rescue him but Ari states it doesn’t make tactical sense and Fletcher wouldn’t have authorized it. “However you parse this, it ends with my death.” Nikita looks troubled.
Back in the old hospital Alex awakes, this time she’s strapped down to the bed. Amanda compliments her on her resourcefulness. Then Amanda starts to get in Alex’s head about how Nikita never really gave Alex a choice. How it is all about Nikita and Alex has more potential. “Why do you care Amanda?” Amanda states, “One day. What you want and what Nikita wants will come into conflict. And I cannot wait to see the look on Nikita’s face when it does.”
Nikita and Ari are riding in the back of the truck with Owen. Ari complains about a bad headache. Nikita has a thoughtful expression and goes over to Ari. She sees the incision where Division implanted the kill chip. “Birkhoff, there’s a kill chip in Ari’s head!?” Birkhoff hesitates and then hands the headset to Michael to explain. Nikita demands to talk to Ryan, Michael tries to calm her down, then she realizes Owen is the trigger man. Nikita looks over at him and he gives a simple nod of his head. Owen is arguing with Nikita over why Ari should live after all the times he tried to kill them. Nikita insists he should be punished but not like this. Sean sees a wrecked car and realizes the ambush as the trucks windshield explodes in gunfire. The Ossetians have them outnumbered and lined up execution style when Ari tells them about a reward for his capture providing enough distraction for the others to attack their captors. Nikita and Sean take out a couple men and when Owen is about to get shot, Ari kills the other man saving Owen’s life. Owen looks surprised.
“Ari, why’d you save us?” Ari tells Nikita that she’s still his best hope at surviving. “Besides if you die, Amanda wins. And to quote your eloquence ‘Screw Amanda'”. As they’re getting back into the truck to continue to their prisoner exchange Owen hands Nikita the trigger for Ari’s kill chip.
At the hospital. Alex promises her friend she’ll come back for her before Amanda drugs her again to take her to the exchange.
The exchange, the next day. Nikita approaches with Ari. Amanda brings Alex and a guard with her. Nikita tells Ari she’s not leaving without him. The two women swap Ari for Alex. Owen is tracking Ari’s kill chip.
Sean embraces Alex. Nikita tells Alex they’re going to recover Ari now. However, Alex insists she go back for her wounded friend that doesn’t have long. Nikita needs Alex to go or it is too risky to rescue Ari. Sean suggests they use the trigger on Ari’s kill chip but Nikita won’t go for it. “Ari’s the priority.” Alex snaps back, “Why? Because you say it is.” Alex walks away and Sean follows her. Owen agrees to go with Nikita to get Ari.
Alex calls Birkhoff to help locate the hospital where she was being held. Ryan and Michael are concerned that the team split up. Ryan asks Owen, “Why haven’t you activated the contingency plan?” “Because Nikita has the trigger.” Ryan tries to convince Nikita but she refuses, “Have you forgotten? We’re not that kind of Division.” Nikita drops her headset out the window, getting a smile from Owen. Birkhoff looks up from his computer screen. “It’s like I said, she’s Nikki.”
Birkhoff gets back to Alex with the location of the hospital and she heads there with Sean.
That night. (It’s night again. Not sure why Amanda would have waited that long to try opening the black box.) Amanda enters her password for the black box and then Ari starts to enter his reluctantly. Alex and Sean enter the hospital but as they get near the room where her friend is held prisoner, one of the guards fires a grenade exploding the room. Sean has to pull Alex away.
Elsewhere, Nikita and Owen approach Amanda’s van but there are too many guards for the two of them to handle. Owen decides he will lead the majority if the guards away so Nikita can get Ari. After hearing the gunfire Amanda sends her loan guard from inside the van to check outside. Nikita shoots him as the rest chase after Owen. Ari sees an opening and smacks Amanda over the head with the laptop and gets out of the van with the black box. Ari runs toward Nikita as Amanda gets out of the van and fires two shots into Ari’s back. He collapses in Nikita’s arms as Amanda looks on and then takes off in the van as Nikita fires at the van. Nikita tries to help Ari, he looks up and laughs a little as he says “It’s the life we’ve chosen.” Ari Tasarov is dead. Nikita picks up the black box.
Division. Birkhoff finishes scanning Alex for any devices Amanda might have hidden and pronounces her clean. Sean stops in to visit her. Alex tells him, “You had my back.” Kisses him. Then states, “Nikita didn’t.” “She had a mission…” “She always has a mission. Her mission.” Alex’s expression gets pretty cold and Sean tries to comfort her.
Motor pool. Nikita is asking Michael why he didn’t tell her about Ryan’s plan. Michael explains that it was a risky mission. “I told him I would save him. And he knew he was lost. Alex left and we lost.” Alex walks in. Michael leaves for ops. Alex is at a lost for words, “So.” “So…” Ryan walks in and congratulates them on the mission. “You guys really do make a great team.” Ryan leaves and the two women are left glaring at eachother.
I thought the Ari Tasarov character was good. He was effective even in short scenes so too bad they couldn’t have kept him alive. With Percy killed, and now Ari Tasarov, there is no strong male antagonist now.
Will Alex and Nikita work things out or did Amanda drive a permanent wedge between them? Can’t see Alex going rogue but perhaps they’ll just stay on separate missions.
Michael’s hand is still on the back burner, what will come of that?