And just like that, the first season of The CW’s Nikita went out with a bang — or rather, an explosion of epic proportions with some plot-changing twists thrown in, just for good measure. Now, let’s get this post mortem started, courtesy of a scoop-filled Q&A with the brains behind this rogue operation, showrunner Craig Silverstein.
TVLINE | This was quite a jampacked finale. Was there anything you weren’t able to fit into the hour? Or was everything you’d planned to do early on able to find it’s way in?
The one thing that was left out of the episode was the fate of Percy (Xander Berkeley). Ultimately, the idea is that Amanda is now going to take over Division, and there was a scene that demonstrated that. It was pitched early on, but the network thought that it was too much change. Though, I feel that we did it without having to show it — and the beginning of Season 2 will show it.
TVLINE | It’s funny you bring that up, because I actually thought Percy would be the one offed in the finale. He seemed doomed through the entire episode. Is there still a relevant spot for him next season?
Oh, there’s a spot. There’s a whole journey for Percy to go on, but the plan was never for him to get killed. It was actually to put a finer point on what really happened to him. You would have seen that Amanda pulled the rug out from under him, and we weren’t actually able to show that. But we will. [Laughs] I want to put Percy through his paces; strip him down and work him back up again.
TVLINE | What does the future hold for Division? Will it undergo a facelift with Amanda in charge? Or will it disappear all together, making way for more prominent Oversight involvement?
It will undergo a bit of a change. It might look a little more palatable at first, but that might be an illusion.
TVLINE | Are we to believe that Alex (Lyndsy Fonseca) will now continue working for Division, under the guise of doing good — albeit selfishly?
It’ll be more of a quid pro quo; she won’t work for a Division that’s doing outright evil things. Like she said in the finale, she’s got a new target. She wants to take back the empire that her father had left for her, and that empire is tied into Gogol, as we’ll find out, so she’s going to need Division’s resources to help her.
TVLINE | Does all of that mean that Alex will be a full-fledged foe for Michael and Nikita next season? Will we see them on completely opposite sides from here on out?
Yeah. It’s not like Alex hates Nikita (Maggie Q) and wants to kill her, but her [arrangement] with Amanda will be: You help us catch Nikita and stop this crusade that she’s on, and we’ll help you get back your birthright.
TVLINE | Can Amanda really be trusted to deliver on that promise?
That’s the game Alex is willing to play.
TVLINE | Talk a bit about Amanda — and Melinda Clarke for that matter. Had you always envisioned that she’d become such a integral part of the series?
It’s something that began to emerge. The writers were reacting to Melinda Clarke’s performance — she was so scary! Sometimes scarier than Percy — but Amanda is the character that we know the least about, and so she presents a great threat.
TVLINE | Now that we’ve seen who “dies” in the finale, I’m curious to hear your thoughts about the sneaky death tease Melinda gave us last week.
I was saying the same thing to people. [Laughs] She wasn’t lying — Alex did die for 26 seconds.
TVLINE | You didn’t play the traditional “Will They/ Won’t They?” game with Michael and Nikita. Will we see them stay together? Or are you of the mindset that it may become boring?
I’m of the mindset that it gets boring if they get together and no new tension arises. Something is going to happen to get in their way next season. It won’t happen right away, but yeah, it’ll happen. There are a lot of new paradigms in Season 2. I don’t think you can just have them happy and in love, kicking ass together forever.
TVLINE | Speaking of Mikita tension, are there any plans to introduce new characters as physical obstacles to the two of them?
There are a couple new characters that we will introduce.
TVLINE | Men…? Women…?
Let’s see: One is a man, and one’s a woman. How’s that?
TVLINE | How about Ryan (Noah Bean)? Will Season 2 follow up on where he landed after helping Nikita escape in the finale? Or is he secondary to the story?
Oh no, I loved the idea that he made this big sacrifice for Nikita. What he did is going to look like treason, so he’s going to be put in a maximum security prison. Nikita made a promise to break him out and the CIA knows that she made it, so they’re waiting for that. It’s going to be tough, but she always follows through on her promises.
TVLINE | Same question, but about Owen. Have any decisions been made about what capacity Devon Sawa will return next year?
I definitely want him to come back. Part of the thing that makes the character of Owen so cool is that we only saw him four episodes and because of that, there was no fat on the bone, so to speak. He got to maximize his time and really leave an impression. He’s a character who doesn’t make a lot of wasted moves and I wouldn’t want to lose that. Let’s say you had him in every other episode, you wouldn’t want to take a false step and have fans get annoyed with Owen for a second.
TVLINE | What’s next for Birkhoff (Aaron Stanford)? Will there be any repercussions for him helping Michael escape? Or will he also be part the new Division? Personally, I’d love to see him go rogue with the gang.
Your wish may come true, but I don’t want to spoil what happens with Birkhoff. He’ll definitely be back next season.
TVLINE | Now that we’ve sat here talking about all of your big Season 2 plans…. How are you feeling about a Nikita renewal? Still confident?
I feel good about it. I won’t know it’s a sure thing until I know it’s a sure thing [Laughs], but I feel the same thing I felt a few months ago, which is that I’d be super-shocked if it didn’t happen. So, we’re just planning for it.
TVLINE | How quickly will you guys get back to work on the second season, should the show get picked up?
We’re actually still going a little bit. I can’t bring in the whole staff, but we’ve been keeping the fire on, and meeting and talking about Season 2. And when we get the pickup — I’ll just put it that way — we’ll start back up in the writers room in a week or two.
TVLINE | Let’s wrap this thing up: Is there an overall theme or description of what you’re hoping to portray in Season 2 of Nikita?
It’s Michael and Nikita righting wrongs, as Alex heads from right towards wrong.