Here, the spy saga’s leading lady details for TVLine the swan-song run, which includes one final showdown between Nikita and her archnemesis Amanda, a sweet development with Birkhoff, some more ‘Mikita’ woes, a gut-wrenching death and much, much more.
TVLINE | So, about that haunting opening sequence in the premiere…
[Laughs] How crazy was that?! Totally traumatizing.
TVLINE | What brings Nikita back into the fold? Why is she unable to stay away as planned?
You used the perfect word: She’s ‘unable’ to stay away. She’s once again gotten herself into a situation where she finds herself not realizing that the team is upset that she left. They’ve been tracking her and supporting her and waiting for this moment to reconnect with her. In that moment she really doesn’t have any other choice; she’s gotten herself in a bind yet again.
TVLINE | Is there any animosity between Nikita and the gang once they’re all reunited?
The animosity definitely exists with Michael. He’s not healed. He’s still in a place where he can’t understand her decision. And she doesn’t rekindle with the whole team [at first], just Michael, Birkhoff and Ryan. Her relationship with Birkhoff is like brother and sister, so at the end of the day there’s so much love there. They’re just relieved to see her. Birkhoff makes some comments about her leaving, offhandedly, but when he sees her, he’s thrilled.
TVLINE | Will getting Michael and Nikita back on track be part of this final season arc?
It’s supposed to be part of the journey… There’s a character who I’ve wanted to bring back forever, [Ramon], who I loved, so he returns and becomes the catalyst for Michael’s understanding of Nikita. It’s interesting how you can love someone but not really see it for what it is until a third party comes in and says that this is what it is. He does that and gives Michael a lot more perspective. It becomes less internal for him and less about how hurt he is; it becomes more about what she sacrificed, which wasn’t easy.
TVLINE | Are there any other characters you’ll share some standout moments with this season?
Yes! I’ve always loved Birkhoff and Nikita, and I believe Episode 4 is really theirs. When Aaron [Stanford] and I were shooting that episode, it was funny how little things just came out, little nuanced things. There’s a moment at the end of an episode this season where Birkhoff’s been through a lot and Nikita comes to try to comfort him. They’re just alone and there’s this subtle, physical way that they are together where you see this really great friendship that started so long ago. It really touched me — and when the director got the cut back, he said that he wanted to do a Nikita/Birkhoff spin-off, which was so sweet. [Laughs] Everybody’s always so focused on romantic love that sometimes we underestimate how moving friendship love can be on-screen.
TVLINE | How much of this final run is Nikita being hunted? And at what point will it turn to the ultimate battle between Nikita and Amanda?
You would think that the whole season is her being hunted until the end, and then they find out she didn’t [assassinate the president], right? But this is [showrunner] Craig [Silverstein] so it’s never going to be that. [Laughs] Originally, we were trying to figure out the logic of it all, and that [seemed like] a clean plan — where it’s revealed that she didn’t do it and we wrap it up and Nikita walks into the light and we all feel yummy and good inside. And then we realized who we were. [Laughs] It ended up not working out that way because, first of all, it wasn’t that interesting, and second of all we needed that dominant relationship in both [Amanda and Nikita’s] lives to play out — not in a big-battle, physical way. It’s really all about if Nikita and Amanda don’t have closure with one another, neither of them is ever going to be okay. Nikita needs that relationship to come to something — either come to fruition or come to an end. So, we actually find out that Nikita didn’t [kill the president] earlier on than you think, and then it starts to unfold into something different halfway through the season.
TVLINE | How ruthless would you say Amanda is in her pursuit of Nikita this season?
[Laughs] Amanda’s web is so large that she actually starts to take on these [high-level] people who you haven’t even seen or experienced yet. These are the people who fund The Group, [who make her] capable of doing all the things she’s been doing. She wants to go so deep so that her control [over Nikita and everyone] is real and permanent.
TVLINE | Will we lose some loved ones along the way — namely any of the core cast?
Yes. And I watched that episode and it killed me. [Laughs] Meg, I’m so proud of that episode. We lose someone pretty big, but the sacrifice in it is so touching. When the script came to me, the director and I wanted to find a way to make this work — whenever somebody dies it’s sad and touching, but this is more about the sacrifice and how big that really is when someone makes the decision to take one for the team, so to speak, and what that means for Nikita’s heart. So, we flipped scenes around and took dialogue from one scene and threw it into another, we did montages — we did stuff that wasn’t even on the page because we knew that it was going to matter emotionally to the audience and we knew that we owed them that. It was really organic and I think you’re going to love it. It’s not your average ‘this person died’ thing, not at all.
TVLINE | Is a happy ending — or some semblance of that — even possible for someone like Nikita?
What we wanted to do at the end of the season was give people a glimpse of what could be for these characters, so that fans can also use their own imaginations to go, ‘Well, I think that even though Birkhoff ended up here, he may ultimately end up here.’ So we don’t completely wrap it up — Nikita’s not holding her first-born in the last shot of the show. [Laughs] What I liked about how we ended it is that Nikita does not change. It’s not like you see her as a different person who wants to settle down and be happy… You’ll see. It slows down for her, but she’s Nikita! So, the end is a little bit playful as well, which is cool.
TVLINE | So, you think fans will definitely enjoy it?
I do. I really do. And if they don’t… Well, that would really suck. [Laughs]