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Heather’s 2011 TV Goodness All-Stars: Nikita’s Maggie Q 

Photo Credit: The CW

It came out this week that Nikita is the most GetClued TV show on the air, and with a rerun episode! Big ups! I came to Nikita late last year, after they put Nikita and Michael together, because I’m a sucker for Shane West like that (how is A Walk to Remember 10 years old?). I’ve stayed because West and Maggie Q are a whole lot of awesome.

This season hasn’t disappointed—Nikita and Michael were solidly together and then (hopefully temporarily) torn apart but are still very much in love with and loyal to each other. At the heart of selling the hell out of that arc is the exquisite Ms. Q. Girlfriend can sass you, seduce you, kick your ass, and then hug you afterward and make it all better.

I love her personally because she’s not a newbie in the business, so she appreciates the hell out of the gig, and because she’s a fellow veg gal and animal lover. I love her as Nikita because she filled the considerable stilettos worn by the original, Anne Parillaud and Peta Wilson, who was so iconic in the role that she’s not been able to seize that same momentum again (yet–I would LOVE to see her on the CW going toe to toe with Melinda Clarke).

Last season, Nikita was bent on revenge and anxious to keep Alex safe and then get her out. This season, she’s been ever-so-slightly domesticated with Michael, and surprisingly, Birkhoff, while they right a wrong from Percy’s black box every week. Things were swimming along until two things happened.

First, Nikita was duped into believing David Keith was her dad. Way too good to be true, the supposed Vietnam vet and ex-CIA was actually a seven-year-old Percy plant, newly reactivated. That rocked her world and she killed him because, second, she’d confided in him that Michael had a son from a previous mission five years earlier, something she stewed over before finally telling Michael and having her fear that he would leave her to make a go at being a dad come to pass when she made the decision for him.

Breathing life into all of these new changes for Nikita, Maggie (I’m not going to shorthand her “Q”) gets to play every emotion—she’s funny, she’s dangerous, she’s concerned, she’s sassy. I love that beyond her wicked physicality, she’s been allowed to shine as a deft dramatic actress and sometimes, comedienne. I said in my Relationship Recap a little while back that she and Shane West seem to be having a ball this season.

Photo Credit: Ben Mark Holzberg/The CW

At the time, I called out the scene where Nikita thought Michael had died and everything her life could be without him crossed her face. Maggie topped herself with “Fair Trade,” the episode where Amanda had Birkhoff. When Nikita realized he’d been caught by Division and knew what that meant for him, she had a complete, raging meltdown and then, in a moment of rational thought, she called Michael, and mid-freakout about Birkhoff and what his fate would be, worked in a desperate “Why aren’t you here??” until Michael talked her down and she thought out a plan to go get him. When she got him back, she was all business, but later, when she was on her way out again and he was shaky and uneven but safe at home, she took a moment to sit down beside him and quietly tell him, in her own way, that she loved him.

Photo Credit: Ben Mark Holzberg/The CW

We’ve also had Owen back in the picture, and I like that as much as it’d be obvious that she and Owen would rebound together after the “break” with Michael, instead he has her back, and there’s a really awesome almost-sibling vibe there (to me, anyway). I love the way she played the scene in “Guardians” when he made her breakfast and they talked about the food and business and life without any you’re-eating-in-my-kitchen-and-neither-of-us-is-completely-dressed weirdness.

I love how easily Maggie plays all of Nikita’s shades. Nikita spent so many years as a chameleon, becoming who the job required and then shedding the identity when the next assignment came. Last season, Nikita was still running and hiding and mostly alone. Now she has a family, and she’s a ferocious mama who will protect her clan and keep them together, even if it doesn’t personally benefit her. Maggie’s made Nikita a whole person. I love that we got a second season, and I hope we get a few more, because I’m guessing we’re just getting started with what Maggie can do in the role.

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