A new day has dawned on Nikita, one in which our titular spy is reluctantly running the organization she has long tried to destroy. Also, the series’ Big Bad is (finally) no more.
Read on for showrunner Craig Silverstein‘s insights on why Percy had to die, why Nikita had to assume control of the once-dastardly Division, and why the CW thriller had to do a complete 180 going into its just-ordered Season 3.
TVLINE | Obviously, the most important question is how in the world did your big scene-stealing finale cameo come about?
You think that’s going to be the question on everyone’s mind?! [Laughs] Basically, I didn’t know if we were going to get picked up [for another season], and if we weren’t, I just wanted to get my face on there. We had put [producers] Albert [Kim] and David Levinson in the episode the week before… so [the idea for my cameo] just popped into my head about halfway through shooting the finale… I spent the scene trying to make Noah [Bean] crack up. I was taking his lunch order and remarking that I thought Sonya was “quite a whore.” [Laughs] I think you can see him smiling in that shot.
TVLINE | So, why was it finally time for Percy to die?
It was really for the sake of Percy. In stripping his character down at the beginning of the season in that great cell, it gave this really terrific, natural arc for him to bubble back up and then go rogue — which I wish we could have done even longer. But then we needed him to take back over Division, and once that happens what you don’t want to do is just return to status quo…. I always wanted Nikita to take over Division at the end of the season, but where are you going to go? Throw Percy back in the cell? Or does he go on the run again? Whatever it is, it’s an “again.” There’s also the idea that the more he fails to take down Nikita, the less of a threat he becomes. And the more she fails to really take him down, the less effective of a hero she is. Also, as people know, we’re the show where stuff happens. [Laughs] So, all of that fed into the death of Percy.
TVLINE | And there was just no place in this world for Roan without Percy?
We debated a lot about that. There’s actually still a debate about whether he’s really dead or not — just because he’s died so many times it seems like. [Laughs] But yeah, essentially, Roan is Percy’s Rottweiler; he’s the ultimate embodiment of Percy’s program, of someone who is just absolutely loyal and doesn’t seem to have any morality. So, in scenarios of Roan beyond Percy… none of them were seeming great. It’s not like you want these long dialogue scenes with Roan or something… It would just make him less cool. [Laughs]
TVLINE | Talk a little about how you guys chose to execute Percy’s poetic death.
We always wanted a fight between Percy and Nikita up on top of Division under all those lights… The idea was that Percy was going to get out. He already made a deal, and all he needed to do was survive Nikita… And when he finally gets her up there, he realizes that the only other x-factor in his life is Nikita; she’s been able to take him out as much as he has felt superior to her. In that moment, he feels that he can just get rid of her now… We also talked a lot about his line, “I brought you into this world; I can take you out,” because Percy’s always been a metaphorical abusive father to her.
TVLINE | The handful of flashbacks shown during the moment Nikita decides to run Division seemed to indicate that this move has been planed since Day 1. Has it all really been that premeditated?
It was. We had a ton more of those flashbacks, but we cut it down to those three main ones… If you go back and watch the series, you’ll be able to pick up on where we hit that theme and banked those flashbackable moments.
TVLINE | Why is Ryan the right person to run Division? And is it possible that you were foreshadowing his ultimate corruption when he told Nikita that she can trust him with this job?
Nikita is taking over Division, but she can’t really run it because it would be boring. We need her to go out on missions and be in the field. She can’t be the Percy of Division; she can’t strategize and sit behind a desk. We wanted someone telling her what to do, and then doing her own thing anyway — and that [someone is] Ryan. Ryan is the ideal person to head it up, and whether or not he becomes corrupted is a really interesting question… and we’ll see. I don’t know. It’s a really interesting thing, though I certainly wouldn’t want to suggest that he’s been secretly bad the whole time.
TVLINE | Of course not. But it’s not a huge jump to make given that it’s been proven throughout the series that someone can start something with good intentions and then easily lose their way.
Right, it’s not. It’s more interesting that way and those are questions that we’re interested in.
TVLINE | Is it safe to say that Amanda will be back in a big way next year? Perhaps as one of the “monsters” Ryan spoke of?
Yeah, she is a vengeful person and she feels hurt by being thrown out of Division. I would say that if you thought Nikita was dangerous going rogue, Amanda is even more so.
TVLINE | Why the decision to have Alex not give Sean an answer to his request for a dinner date?
It’s something that we went back and forth on during the week of shooting. Right after they defeated Roan, we originally had him say, “So, you want to go out?” and she said, “Sure,” and then passed out. But it just felt too glib. We’ll save that for next season. After their kiss, to me, meant that it’s just a matter of time before they really get together.
TVLINE | Any thoughts on where and when Season 3 will pick up?
No, I don’t know that yet. I’m looking forward to figuring that out because there are so many fun way to go.
TVLINE | I bet! It’s basically a new show now.
It is a new show! It’s very different and I think that’s exciting. For me, as a writer, it’s so exciting because now I get to figure this out, as opposed to just taking a big stamp that has “Nikita” on the bottom of it and stamping ‘em out. [Laughs] It a saga that just continues to grow.