This week's Nikita opens with a reminder that Michael is missing a hand. Apparently, Nikita is still thinking about that, because she's still sleeping alone. And Birkhoff's still thinking about it, because he's searching for Heidecker (guest star John Billingsley, Star Trek: Enterprise, Suits). The nerd recruits how the man saw Division's agents as "lab rats" and he's found the next one: an evil diplomat named Kosta, who lost his leg when the CIA tried to kill him and somehow has it back thanks to Division's mad scientist.
Nikita wants to bring Heidecker back to Division in order to give Michael a new hand, but Ryan (back from his meeting with the President) and Michael would rather discuss the latter's new permanent role as head of Operations. It's the same thing he did in season one, except without his boss wanting him dead. So Nikita decides rather than tell either of them, she's going to take some time off and go to Bosnia by herself. Apparently Owen's still recuperating from the week before and Alex and Sean are off on some "meet the family thing." Birkhoff wonders aloud if she's suffered some kind of brain damage.
Cut to Kosovo, where Nikita pays a visit to Kosta's current mistress, and points a gun at her. She explains that she needs something from Kosta and doesn't want to kill him, but his mistress retorts, "He is a pig. You have a gun, why not shoot him?" Nikita offers to help her if the mistress helps out her quest. And so, we watch the mistress drug Kosta with a sedative and go off to start her life anew, while Nikita pokes the prone form of the bad guy to see what his new leg is made of. Turns out, it's live tissue and carbon-fiber bone. Nikita gives Kosta another drug so that he'll be in enough pain to call for Heidecker.
Back at Division, Michael asks Birkhoff where his fiance is, and Alex returns to point out that her sister cancelled her family get-together. This puts the nerd in hot water, as both can see everything he's been working on for Nikita. Michael is shocked, although the wheels are already turning in his head.
While Nikita watches, Kosta meets with Heidecker, and pulls a gun on him when the scientist is less than cooperative. This attack of crazy sends Nikita rushing in, even as she's surprised to hear Michael's voice in her ear telling her not to. Nikita rescues Heidecker from Kosta, but both are apprehended by the foreign authorities.
This makes Michael and Ryan very unhappy, with Ryan calling it an "international crisis." Birkhoff patches everyone in to Nikita's comm so they can hear the next argument between Kosta and Heidecker, while our heroine is tied up nearby. Heidecker saves Nikita by saying that if Kosta harms her, he won't help him. That's enough for Michael to decide he's going to Kosovo, with a simple plan, according to Birkhoff: "Step one, fly to Kosovo. Step two, kick ass."
Ryan sends Alex and backup along with him. Then he tries to figure out how to keep this latest hot-button issue from exposing Division. "How would Percy deal with this kind of thing?" he wonders aloud, which is never a good question to ask oneself. He then calls Evan Danforth (guest star Richard T. Jones, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles) claiming he's curious about some rumors he's heard regarding Kosovo. Well played, Fletcher, well played.
As Heidecker and Nikita are locked up in the former residence of Kosta's pet tiger, they start to talk. He says that he knows the stats of every agent in Division, and she retorts that they were "just useful tools to you." The mad scientist is willing to grant her a favor if she saves his bacon, and she tells him about wanting a new hand for Michael. He says that he can do what she asks - if they get out. As if that's not kind of obvious.
When Kosta returns, Nikita reveals that she gave him a slow-acting poison, and Heidecker says he can fix the situation, only if the diplomat agrees to let them both go. Kosta accepts the deal, so Heidecker hands him a list of supplies needed to manufacture the antidote.
Ryan is still trying to spin the story to Danforth, who calls him back and metaphorically pats him on the shoulder for catching the story early. Danforth tells him the course of action is unclear, and implies that Division should have Kosta killed. "I believe we might have a way in," Ryan tells him, and looks a little bit pleased with himself, not knowing he's about to throw a huge wrench in Nikita's deal.
As the two of them labor to create the antidote, Nikita tells Heidecker the story of how she severed Michael's hand, and even he can tell that it still bothers her. "I don't think I'll ever get the sound of his scream out of my head," she admits, but he replies, "When you see him whole again, you will."
Michael, Alex and the backup team arrive at Kosta's compound just as Ryan gives Michael the kill order, calling it "the last one." He's not particularly convincing when he says it. As they get into a firefight outside, Nikita and Heidecker begin their escape from the inside. Michael arrives just as they're exiting the cage. Alex kills Kosta so easily that if you blinked, you missed it. It's almost anticlimactic.
While she and the Division team head one way, Michael, Nikita and Heidecker take off to meet his plane. But when they get there, Michael and Nikita are shocked to find kids on the plane, which Heidecker refers to as "the cargo" and "able-bodied test subjects." He's easily killed by Nikita, which is bad news for Michael. At least, that's what Nikita thinks, but Michael decides they'll just pursue the people Heidecker worked for, "whatever it takes."
Oh, and Danforth tells Ryan the President wants to have a serious conversation about Division's future. That involves a to-do list directly from the White House. Ryan thinks things will end when they complete the list, but Nikita corrects him that things don't work that way.
There are certain things which are iffy about "Brave New World." For one, why does the "scientist" character have to be such a stereotype? This isn't a slam against John Billingsley, who's a great actor, but his role is not unique at all, whether it's his appearance or the dialogue he's given. Neither is the villain of the week. It would've been neat to see a scientist who looked like, say, Richard T. Jones. Or who had some internal conflict. But, that doesn't happen here.
And on another count, it seems like the show may be turning Ryan toward the dark side his predecessor lived in, or at least it's dropping hints in that direction. While the character certainly needs to be used, turning him toward the dark side doesn't seem like the way to do it. The show doesn't need another Percy; it already had one, and it didn't end well. Then again, considering that Ryan was just an analyst - not even any sort of supervisor - before he joined Team Nikita, he could just crack, period.
The episode's last-minute reveal isn't shocking at all since while the characters may want to walk away from Division, Nikita the show certainly needs a reason to go on. Are we looking at the direction of season four? We'll see about that. But let's avoid mad scientists and cookie-cutter European bad guys, shall we?
(c)2013 Brittany Frederick. Appears at Examiner with permission. All rights reserved. No reproduction permitted.