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Nikita Preview, Part 2! Birkhoff's Big Moment, Percy's Escape, 'Mikita's Obstacle, and More

TVLine recently went on a rogue operation of its own. The mission: To track down Nikita showrunner Craig Silverstein and extract as much Season 2 intel as possible. As reward for our efforts, we came away with not one but two stashes of secrets for the sophomore cycle (premiering Friday, Sept. 23, at 8/7c).

Here, we present Part 2 of our interview with the man behind The CW’s action-drama, in which we learn what’s in store for the beloved Birkhoff, colleagues-turned-foes Amanda and Percy, Michael’s ex (!), and more.

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TVLINE | Fans are eager to learn Amanda’s (Melinda Clarke) backstory. Any plans to introduce that?
Yeah, we’re talking about how to pull that back. This storyline has actually come up a little earlier than I thought, but right now we’re actually talking about an episode that will examine the history of Division itself, which Amanda would fold into, obviously.

TVLINE | Amanda/Nikita faceoffs are always pretty epic. Are there any planned for this first batch of episodes?
I don’t think Amanda and Nikita come face-to-face in the first run — Amanda and Michael do, in a strange way, in the first episode. Actually, I take that back: Amanda and Nikita do have a conversation with each other, though they’re not face-to-face, in the third episode…. I’ll just put it that way.

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TVLINE | Might we see a bit of backstory for Percy (Xander Berkeley), as well?
That actually is a story that is fun and we’ve wanted to tell for a while, it’s just about finding how we can tell all of these backstories and not put a forward-moving story on hold to do so. It’s about finding how they can be essential to what’s happening in the present day. I could tell that story at any time, but the hard part is making it flow.

TVLINE | Speaking of Percy, what is his deal this season? How long are we going to see him imprisoned in that Hannibal Lecter-esque box?
You’re definitely going to see him plotting his escape; the question is how. But he is putting his ducks in a row, for sure.

TVLINE | But if Percy gets out, it seems safe to assume that he would need to start living a life eerily similar to that of his foe, Nikita.
And wouldn’t that be cool to see…? [Laughs]

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TVLINE | And then there is Birkhoff (Aaron Stanford): Fans are dying to see him out in the field, working more closely with Michael and Nikita.
There are a lot of different colors to Birkhoff this season. You’re definitely going to see him out on the field. I won’t reveal what actually happens, but for me, Birkhoff almost steals the show in the premiere.

TVLINE | Is he as kickass on missions as he is sitting at a computer?
We have shown a little bit that he has some fighting skills. He’s trained like everyone else in Division, so we’ll see a little more of that. It’s funny, there are two characters who we really don’t see outside of the Division interior a lot — Birkhoff and Amanda. I actually don’t know that we’ve actually gotten Amanda outside outside — I don’t think Melinda Clarke’s ever shot an exterior scene! This season she’s stepping outside of Division a bit, too, but I don’t think she’s actually seen sunlight yet. [Laughs]

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TVLINE | You say you’re going to let Michael and Nikita experience some happiness together for awhile, but then you’ve got Helena Mattsson coming in as Michael’s ex, Cassandra. What impact does she has on ‘Mikita’?
She has a pretty big impact. Cassandra is someone from Michael’s past — a past mission. We’ve previously seen that Nikita has had to go on what we call “Josephine missions,” where her goal was not to destroy but to seduce, and we’ll find out that sometimes male agents go on those, too. Michael participated in one and engaged a relationship under a cover with Cassandra, who was an asset that he was trying to turn — the trophy wife-first lady of a Belarusian dictator. Division’s plan was to take him down and replace him with a double so that America could control the policy of Belarus — like an evil version of Dave [Laughs]  — so Michael had to seduce her. In the present day story, she is put into jeopardy because the double gets out of control and Michael feels so guilty, he has to go out and save her.

TVLINE | Will she be a problem for Michael and Nikita for very long?
She does have an arc….

TVLINE | Now, about those black boxes… They have been such a catalyst for two seasons, but is there a plan in place to conclude that storyline before the series ends — whenever that might be? And might a new obstacle eventually be introduced?
Yes, what you said. [Laughs]