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Tippi Blevins: B+ | Grade It Now!
First Kill
In a hurry? Read the recaplet for a nutshell description!

We're back to the usual voice-over this week, but the music at the end is a little different. There are horns of sadness instead of the little percussive dongs of defiance. Anyway, Alex is trying on an assortment of cocktail dresses for Amanda, most of which displease both Amanda and me. I'm pretty sure I wore one of them to a junior high dance. Finally, she tries on a red number that I sort of like, but Michael, watching from the doorway, says he prefers a sapphire dress we didn't get to see. "It's better for concealing a weapon," he says. Alex looks shocked to hear a weapon is needed, so her mentors explain that her new mission will be her graduation test. "Do you know what that means?" Amanda asks. If she didn't, she'd be a pretty sucky graduate. "It's a kill job," Alex says. "I have to waste someone or I get wasted myself."

She keeps her cool until she can get to the computer lab and freak out to Nikita. Nikita is shocked at how early this is happening (so am I, lady) but assures Alex that she won't have to kill anyone. She proposes they handle this like their other missions: "You set 'em up, I knock 'em down." As long as Nikita is the reason for Alex failing to kill her target, she won't get in trouble. Or so she thinks, anyway. She flashes back to six months before Alex's recruitment. The two of them are in the Loft of Fabulousness, frustrated that Nikita was too late to save an ambassador being targeted by Division. Alex suggests they hack into Division's networks, but Nikita doesn't think they can get past Birkhoff. We find out about the chat program they've been using in the present day, and how Nikita installed it when she was a recruit. It's just a simple chat shell, not sophisticated enough to hack the system. Alex volunteers to be recruited by Division so that she can feed Nikita info from the inside. Nikita thinks it's too dangerous. "No risk, no reward," Alex reminds her. Nikita smiles in the past, but frowns in the present.

Alex and Robin Givens drive up to the gate outside a big honkin' mansion for the recon part of Alex's mission. A guard via intercom asks, "Can I help you?" He's very polite for the employee of a crime syndicate. Givens introduces herself as Mary the wedding planner. While the guard scans the vehicle (electronically, it seems; no one actually shows up), Mary starts getting nervous. Alex tells her to relax: "I'm just here to take to take pictures; you just do what you normally do." "I don't normally do this undercover stuff," Mary says. Gee, I hope those guards aren't still listening through the intercom. Mary's a wedding planner who's apparently under Division's thumb because of some IRS mess. There's more blah-blah-blahing, but none of it's really important.

Once they're inside the Zoman mansion, Mary goes over flower options with the snooty bride-to-be and her weary mother. Zoman, the crime boss, is hanging around the perimeter of the room, talking on his cell, always surrounded by guards. Miss Snooty is having trouble envisioning the decorations, so Mary offers to send Alex around to take pictures. They can use software to show her what the finished d├ęcor would look like. It's a lot of boring setup, is what it is. When Alex is allowed onto the grounds to snap photos, Nikita is waiting for her. They duck behind a retaining wall in the garden for a confab. Nikita's already scouted out the guards and taken her own pictures. She gives Alex an SD card of images: "I know what angles Michael likes." Dirty. Then Nikita fills her in about Zoman, who's the head of an Armenian crime syndicate. She thinks it's an opportunity. She's going to kill him for Alex and let Alex take the credit so she can graduate. Alex isn't happy with that. "I don't need you to fight for me," she says, "and I don't need you to do my homework for me." She gives back the SD card. Nikita says Alex can't kill, but Alex knows becoming an agent will help her bring down Division. "I can do this," she says. She leaves Nikita to join a guard who's looking for her.

Charm School. Jaden is sparring with other recruits on the training floor when she sees Thom walking by. She takes him to her room, which he mistakes for a booty call, but she gives the "makeshift print pad" that Alex used to break into Percy's office. Jaden says she trusts Thom. Thom turns right around and goes to talk to Alex. He warns her that Jaden is out to get her. "She's always had it in for me," Alex says. "She thinks you are are are, you know, together." "She's mistaken," Thom says, looking shy. He turns to go, but Alex calls him back. She asks what it's like to kill someone. He says it's been a month since he killed that spy: "And I still see her face every day." He also tells her that she's strong -- stronger than him. Sad music plays. Sense of dread... rising!

We flash back to the week before Nikita and Alex's "robbery." They've targeted a drug smuggler who's been on Division's radar. Nikita holds up the cartoon masks we saw in the premiere. "So who do you want to be, the bunny or the piggy?" Alex realizes this means Nikita plans on coming with her. "After all this time, after all this training, you're still worried about me," Alex says. Nikita doesn't want Alex to have to kill someone, even if that someone is awful and doomed anyway. "It takes away a piece of you that you can never get back." A steely Alex decides to wear the bunny mask. Get ready for Night of the Lepus, bitches!

In the present, Alex talks to Michael on the training floor. "Seems like the target has a lot of security," she says. It's probably a normal amount of security for a crime boss. Michael tells her not to worry about that; he'll be there to provide support. While he outlines their plan, we cut to Nikita outside of Zoman's mansion, setting up her own equipment. Michael leads Alex over to a practice dummy and hands her a small syringe of potassium chloride like the one she'll use on Zoman. She jabs the dummy in the side of the neck. Michael advises her to go for the larynx instead: "Paralyze the vocal chords with one blow -- now he's dead and he's quiet." Yeah, I hate noisy dead people, too. He guides her hand to its target a few times, repeating "hush" in a whisper. I can't tell if their physical closeness is supposed to signify sexiness, because the scene is kind of cracking me up. Birkhoff calls Michael away to show him something, leaving Alex to practice her ill-advised larynx jabs.

Ops. Birkhoff shoos everyone else away so that he can show Percy and Michael the breach he's found. He was running a system diagnostic with some new things he learned from the late engineer when he came across a "shell program." He explains that it's a two-way chat and none of the chats are logged. "Nikita," Percy grouses. But Nikita and who? Birkhoff calls up the shell and Percy types in "Nikita are u there?" (He's hip to how young people don't spell things out.) A moment later, he gets a response: "At Zoman estate. Contact later." Michael suggests calling off the Zoman op, but Percy sees an opportunity to get Nikita. Michael is worried about putting their "people" at risk, by which he means Alex. He looks through the observation window, to where she's still jabbing that larynx. He's especially whiskery in this episode. He must be growing in his coat for the cold winter waters.

Zoman wedding. Guests arrive. No one notices Nikita just perched up on the roof like a fashionable bird. Having tapped into the security system, she can watch the party from her little netbook. Alex, in her odd little sapphire dress, has the wedding planner get the bride out of the way. Michael and the other Division backup wait down the road in a conspicuously inconspicuous van. He tells her to go get the weapon. She goes to Thom, who's posing as a bartender. She asks him for a glass of water, which comes with a little cocktail napkin and a syringe. She touches his hand when she takes the syringe. "I'll be right here," he reminds her. As Alex moves to get Zoman upstairs, M

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