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Tippi Blevins: A | Grade It Now!
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This week, Nikita's voice-over at the beginning of the episode is updated to include a reference to Owen and the black box. After that, we start things off one year ago, with Nikita leading Alex through a cemetery. She shows her a grave marker. Alex reads the inscription and asks, "Who's 'Nikita'?" "Me," Nikita answers. Wait, they went through that whole detox-in-a-box thing and Nikita never mentioned her name? Huh. Her last name isn't shown, for whatever reason. Nikita says according to records, she was executed by lethal injection. Alex is understandably weirded out, more so when Nikita goes on to explain how the same black ops program that faked her death also killed Alex's parents. Nikita knows because she was there that night and rescued Alex. Overwhelmed, Alex runs. Nikita watches her go and then whispers, "Told you you weren't ready." Then why'd you tell her?

Alex runs and runs all the way into the present day. She's lying in bed, in her Charm School quarters. She sits up and looks thoughtful for a while. Next thing we see is an increasingly grungy-looking Birkhoff and the recruits in the computer lab. He says they have three minutes to finish whatever they're working on before they report to Amanda. Alex uses the time to message Nikita about an upcoming evaluation. She seems unconcerned that the recruit behind her might see what she's doing. Alex will be interrogating a new prisoner. Nikita tells her to find what info she can.

Meanwhile, Michael is just dropping by Percy's office to welcome him back from Montreal. Also: "I thought you'd like to discuss me breaking into your office." Percy doesn't look surprised or concerned. Michael starts explaining (sort of) but Percy cuts him off. The only time he's doubted Michael's loyalty was during his relationship with Nikita. Michael tries not to have a visible reaction. He just asks, "What relationship?" Percy gives him a funny look then says they don't have to worry about Nikita anymore. He's sure she's dead after shooting blindly into the water in her general direction. He says the divers will find her body, and the body of the agent who was with her. Michael tries to casually find out who that agent was, but Percy only ominously identifies him as "another soldier who couldn't follow orders."

Make that a hot soldier who couldn't follow orders. He's currently in Nikita's loft, handcuffed to the bed in which he's just awakened. His bare torso is bruised to hell. There are bandages on his shoulder and abdomen. He tugs at his cuffs. Nikita greets him mildly from her computer desk. "Where am I?" he asks. "My safe house," she says. "You've been in and out of consciousness for 48 hours." I hope at least one of those "in" times was used to visit the little boy's room. She tells him she removed Percy's bullet and tracking implant. She walks by his bedside to show him the bullet. Lightning quick, he kicks her, flips her, then pins her to the bed under his leg. Nikita pulls off her metal belt buckle and stabs him in the thigh with it. She escapes and runs across the room for a gun. He yanks the buckle out of his leg and throws it at her, shuriken-style. It thunks into the lid of her gun safe. She levels a pistol at him. "Do it!" he shouts. Instead, she throws him a towel and some antiseptic for his new wound. She wants him to trust her, but he blames her for Emily's death. Before Nikita showed up, Emily was safe. Nikita tells him Percy would have killed him and Emily. He looks like he knows it but doesn't want to believe it. He accuses Nikita of wanting the same thing Percy does, namely the black box Owen has hidden somewhere. Nikita agrees. "But we'll deal with that later," she says, then shoots him with a tranquilizer dart. "Right after I patch you up -- again." Heh.

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