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Nikita's Devon Sawa on Embracing His 'Bad-ish' New Alter Ego Sam - Plus: What's Next for Owen?

Nikita Season 3 Spoilers The following story contains mild spoilers from Friday’s Nikita. Read on at your own risk.

Owen Elliot has left the building.

As the promos for this week’s Nikita revealed, Devon Sawa‘s alter ego has finally been let in on the secret of a lifetime: his true identity.

Unfortunately, said persona — a no-nonsense, drug-smuggling Army vet named Sam Matthews — isn’t nearly as compassionate or appealing as Owen. What’s more, he has some serious trouble playing nice with others; when you’re part of the Division Super Friends, that might become an issue.

Alas, Sam is here to stay — for the foreseeable future, at least — and Owen is… Well, Owen is still in there somewhere. Nikita fans will just have to keep tuning in to see when and where we’ll get glimpses of the erstwhile Guardian.

RELATED | Nikita Season 3 Spoilers — Lyndsy Fonseca on Amanda Brainwashing Alex

Here, Sawa describes to TVLine his initial reaction to playing Sam instead of Owen, teases what’s ahead for his man on a non-Division mission and reveals why his “new” character will grow on viewers.

TVLINE | Sam is so different than Owen. How did you feel when you learned about this drastic change?
To be honest with you, when they first told me about it, I kind of pouted for a couple days. [Laughs] I didn’t know if I wanted to become a bad guy — not that Sam is a bad guy. He’s bad-ish, because you don’t know where it’s going to go. But after a couple days I just went with it, and now I couldn’t love him more. I love playing Sam.

TVLINE | Did you approach it as if he were a completely new character? Or are there still shades of Owen in there somewhere?
There are definitely shades of Owen in there. Owen was a little bit of Sam. I wanted him to be a little different than Percy and Amanda; I wanted to be a different flavor than those two. My whole goal was to make him a likeable bad guy. In Sam’s head, he’s the good guy. He thinks he’s good and so that’s how I’ve been doing it.

TVLINE | I’d say that the relationship between Owen/Sam and Nikita underwent the most significant dynamic change because of this revelation.
In tonight’s episode, Nikita’s mind is blown. This is just another crappy thing happening to her in her crazy world. Maggie [Q] and I did get together a little bit to discuss both of our thoughts on the relationship between Sam and Nikita, and also when she’ll sense a little bit of Owen in him.

PHOTOS | Nikita Season 3 — Alex’s Is Betrayed by Her Division Mutineers

TVLINE | And after years of tiptoeing around it, Michael and Owen/Sam finally got into a full-fledged brawl!
For two days after that fight, Shane [West] and I were limping! My arm was sore and his foot was sore — we went at it! [Laughs] The stunt coordinator showed us some stuff and then we just gave it our all because it was the last big fight for both of us this season, together. Shane handled it and I did my best. We didn’t use any stunt people either. It was a lot of fun.

TVLINE | Given that Owen is definitely still a part of Sam, do you think there’s a place for him in the group? Can he truly replace Owen in viewers’ hearts?
I think Sam can be likeable. Owen was a toned-down version of Sam — he was Sam with a bit more heart — and we could see Sam get that back. But in these episodes coming up, Sam is all about himself. We do drop little hints of him caring. There’s a moment where Nikita is tied up and you can see in his eyes that he remembers having feelings for her… But I think the audience is going to learn to love Sam… I hope! [Laughs] He’s a different kind of bad guy.

TVLINE | That definitely came through in his showdown with Amanda. He scared her — and we rarely, if ever, see her rattled. I think fans can rally behind that guy.
My thoughts on how Sam feels about Amanda is that he just doesn’t buy her sh-t. You know what I mean? He’s too smart and too cunning to buy into her sh-t. He’s like, ‘Nah, I’m not about that.’

TVLINE | Last we saw, Owen was trapped in Division with an uprising going on around him. How, if at all, will he partake in these events?
One of the writers told me that [showrunner] Craig [Silverstein]‘s plan going into the next episode is that Sam is just so annoyed with everybody; all he wants to do is get out, get his money and be on his way. When the whole place goes on lockdown, he couldn’t be more annoyed. [Laughs] He’s just done with these people and he wants out. So, that’s where he is now, and then he’ll hit some speed bumps that he’s got to manage.

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22 Comments
  1. Josh says:

    Just holy…you know what…I said that like ten times. Soo many things happened. Team Nikita sure is broken..everyone of them. The Division recruits sort of have a point…I mean after what Michael said to Rachel…after all that Division has done to them…of course they’re going overboard with the whole “be with us or die”..but they were pushed into that.

    Division has corrupted everyone from Nikita on down…I think only Birkhoff has retained his soul, and Sonya I guess too…

    I love that I can ask where does the show go from here because I have no clue..AGAIN…And it isn’t even the season(HOPEFULLY) finale. And next week, while looking like a break from this plot, looks AMAZING. Does show has done so much in season 3 with it’s character and it’s plot. It just isn’t afraid. I love it!

  2. Wrenn says:

    I have three characters I LOVE on this show and they are Nikita, Alex, and Owen. It was really hard to watch this episode. Devon played Sam/Owen wonderfully, but I just love Nikita/Owen friendship so much and to know it won’t be the same makes me a little sad. I really don’t know how I feel about watching the last few episodes. The show is really good and entertaining but I’m so upset.

  3. mike says:

    tonight episode was awesome

    • JC says:

      Yes that is stating the obvious but this season has not been in my opinion on par with season 2 episodes but then again this episode is a huge step in the right direction. Awesome scenes and I can’t wait for Nikita to kick ass again as I am sure she will :)

  4. Pati D says:

    So, is Sean really with Alex and her “mutiny” or is he just pretending to be until he gets an advantage? Anyways, crazy good episode.

    • M3rc Nate says:

      Pretending so he doesnt get shot and also a little on their side in the sense like he said, he doesnt have any ties to Division besides Alex, and he loves her so hes not out-right “betraying her” by saying he disagrees and shes wrong and needs to be detained. At least yet..who knows maybe later on hes the one that takes her down and gets her to medical so she can be unbrainwashed.

  5. James says:

    great episode. great season. i know some folks turn their nose to this show cuz its sort of the same thing each season someone always rebelling or scheming etc. but I really love what they’ve done this season Amanda is a great baddy cuz she really gets under you skin (can’t wait to see Nikita wipe the floor with her) this show deserves another Full season IMO.

    like the change in Owen he needed something to do and now he does. Alex is a little bit dense but i still care about her character Sean and her might have a wee problem i think he’s going to try to retake division.

    • Alan says:

      i dont know how you could say that every season is the same, to me every new episode is an adventure into the unknown because this show does its absolute best to not repeat itself.

  6. angrybird says:

    I really liked the episode, it was crazy, Division is a mess, and I dislike Rachel, cant wait for Nikita to beat the crap out of her.

  7. M3rc Nate says:

    I loved this episode…but is it just me that every time Nikita is being betrayed and shocked and everything..im saying to my tv “you moron” etc? I just cant help from day 1 her characters insane compassion and lack of the ability to pull the trigger and her blinding herself to fundamental truths about certain people…her forgiveness…that its going to get her killed. Im not cheering on the rebellion or Amanda, but i sure as heck am not on Nikita’s side with her decisions & division.

    Man i love “Sam” lol. See a character like him is why i dont get why Amanda is still alive. SO many times Nikita or Shawn or Michael could do what he did with Amanda. Shock her and be badass and just slay her guards and put her down. That scene was proof it can be done and its not even that hard. I love how hes buying none of this BS from everyone. Granted all he cares about is himself and $ but still…i mean whats the point of trying to protect all these division agents with your deal with the President if 80% of them are going to rebel and kill you and anyone who doesnt go along with their agenda.

    Overall i loved this episode but im enjoying Nikita’s failures and being betrayed and basically everything about her that we all know is a flaw not a good character is coming back and biting her in the ass (aka like Sam said with his story about the guy he shot in the head, it will come back even 10 years later and your mistake or mercy will bite you in the ass). Though i loved the old days when Nikita was the good guy doing the right thing, so i hope the next season is the return of smart Nikita and her fighting her mercy BS urges and doing what NEEDS to be done.

  8. Renee says:

    But I LOVE Owen. I want Owen back!

  9. Alan says:

    devon sawa really is great at what he does, isnt he? that transformation was amazing.
    he is right in saying there is still something of owen in there but its like looking at him through a funhouse mirror, it was owen but it wasnt at the same time. it was incredibly scary to see amanda be afraid of him. truly fantastic performance.
    i love to see that this show isnt afraid to just pull the trigger on moments like we saw in this episode. owen suddenly becoming a much more ruthless, slightly villainous character is season ending cliffhanger worthy, as is the revolution taking over. i dont think ive ever seen any other show that is so gung ho about giving us the story rather than stringing us along until the season finale, i wish more shows were like this but then i suppose that would make nikita less special so i dont know what i really want.

  10. LizMG says:

    Masks was a good episode! And made me relized after reading a bunch of posts that we “the fans” are just as CONFUSED as the main characters … We don’t know what to think, what to feel, we love Alex but hate her ways, love Nikita but can’t believe she’s been so blind, love Owen but also liked Sam, adore Birkoff & Sonia (1 consistency), Like Ryan but hate his lies, love Michael but hated his drama with his cyber hand (still don’t like the quick fix/new hand thing), hate Amanda but admire her mind/ evil games and that she’s always 2 steps ahead.

    Wow … Will Mikita be as strong as before, Alex And Nikita friendship be the same? Owen/Sam and Nikita be partners again? Probably not Michael has a new hand so he’ll be back on the field. Will Ryan wake up more Percey like?

    Still think Sean will be the tragedy that shakes Alex? Remember 2 main characters will die (sad). Love the show, amazing writers!!!

    • Alan says:

      looks like his hand isnt working out that well so far, seemed to be a bit of a weakness during the fight with sam so to me its actually made him weaker than before when he had the robo-hand.

  11. Once again, this show demonstrates its incredible guts, not being afraid to take a widely-loved “good guy” like Owen and make him bad. But at the same time, it’s not for cheap shock value. It makes complete sense for his character because he may be adorably dopey at times, but this is a guy who used to dissolve corpses in acid for a living. He may have been committed to redemption after meeting Nikita but there’s definitely something twisted at his core. And there’s plenty of scientific evidence that memories are truly who we are, so Owen reverting back to his dark self after remembering his past is a logical development.
    Devon did a terrific job playing Sam, he was truly sinister and captivating. Making him a villain in Season 4 would be a good idea, considering his character has gotten quite stale this season. I always thought it was a mistake to bump him up to regular cast member, it drained the excitement from his character and turned him into set dressing in most of his episodes. It would also shake things up to once again have one of Nikita’s former allies working against her. This season, it got a little unbalanced with the entire cast vs. Amanda.

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  13. scratch map says:

    What’s Next for Owen? Lots hes a great actor!

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