The "Nikita" Season 3 premiere is still two months away (the spy drama returns to The CW on Fri., Oct. 19 at 9 p.m. ET), but executive producer and showrunner Craig Silverstein and the writers are already hard at work on the show's new episodes.
I had the pleasure of moderating the "Nikita" panel at San Diego Comic-Con last month (you can find it embedded in its entirety below), but even though Silverstein and the cast teased plenty of upcoming developments during that Q&A, I was eager to catch up with the showrunner and find out how much difference a month might have made in expanding the storylines.
Silverstein revealed some spoilery tidbits on how Owen (Devon Sawa) will be reintroduced and what's ahead for Amanda (Melinda Clarke) and newly-promoted head of Division, Ryan Fletcher (Noah Bean). Plus, he shared some interesting behind-the-scenes intel on how scripts and storylines evolve, including one pivotal episode that came close to never happening. Proceed with caution, agents -- there are mild spoilers ahead.
I feel like we covered a lot of ground at Comic-Con, but where are you now, in terms of character arcs and how far you've written?
I got seven stories approved right off the bat. So now -- it’s funny -- I’m watching which ones are not working out. We’re doing a thing where the episode we’re shooting third, I’m going to air second, which I’ve never done before. It was more of a logistical thing, and because we’re airing on October 19, I have so much time in post [production]. We’re working on a story now, Albert Kim’s first episode [back] and it’s not working right now. So I’m going to try to break it tomorrow. Right now, it’s like one of those great concepts that maybe this doesn’t actually work, but we’ll see.
We've been there before; we have a few famous, legendary titles on our show that we literally tried to break for so long -- things that we were sure were going to work. An episode for the first season, which was nicknamed "The Boss’s Wife," was about this mob boss’s wife, and it sounded like a great episode, and then it just never worked out. Although one episode we were going to drop was “One Way,” [which introduced Michael's nemesis] Kasim, which was one of the best -- because up until the last moment, we could not figure this episode out. There was a guy in the middle, a cousin of Kasim’s, and Michael would do anything necessary, torturing this guy, whatever, to find Kasim. Nikita, because this guy was innocent, wanted to protect him, although she also wanted to help Michael, so they were at odds, but either [Michael] was an asshole, or she was for not [taking Michael's side] and it never quite worked. It didn’t occur to us -- it’s funny how it seems so inevitable now -- to remove that character and have Michael be the one who’s willing to die, and Nikita protects him so you can’t fault either of them. But it all just fell into place.
At Comic-Con, we learned that Owen will be back in episode 4, but can you tell us anything else about his return?
That episode is written by Kristen Reidel, and [once he's back], he's going to stay in. I want him to stay in because he comes back into the fold after being away and not realizing all of the things that have happened. It’s pretty shocking for him. It’s a little bit like the moment where Sarah Connor in the second "Terminator" movie sees the Terminator step off the elevator, before John Connor goes, "It's okay!" So it’s a little bit like that for him.
A number of fans have become very invested in the idea of Alex and Owen as a couple, even though they haven't actually met yet and Alex is now with Sean. Have you planned a particularly interesting meeting for them as a nod to that?
I can tell you that when Owen is brought back into Division, almost everybody there has had a relationship with him, but he needs to be debriefed. He needs to be interrogated, frankly, because they don’t know what he’s been up to and where he’s been. Ryan isn’t going to send Nikita in, isn’t going to send Michael in -- he has to send in a person who doesn’t know him, so he sends in Alex. So that’s their first meeting, is this sort of interrogation, so it will be good.
We know that Amanda won't be back straight away. Can you reveal when we'll next see her?
It's four -- it's super packed. Four is a very big episode -- it's the return of both ... And Ari, because where Amanda goes, he goes.
The fans were thrilled to hear that a certain Michael and Nikita shower scene is actually going to become a reality, but are there any other big moments between the two of them that you can talk about?
Michael and Nikita ... Episode 1, major happenings. It’s going to be fun. It’s some of the most romantic stuff I’ve written for them, I think.
Now that Noah Bean has been promoted to series regular status, how much Ryan are we going to see? We know that there will be some friction between his management style and Nikita's, but can you elaborate on that a little more?
It’s going to be pretty clear in the first episode. The dynamic is basically set in the first episode. In fact, when Noah read the script, he found me and he was, like, "Wow, you’re not messing around. You’re not waiting for anything." I’m, like, "You know, it’s 'Nikita' -- we don’t wait."
"Nikita" returns to The CW on Friday, October 19 at 9 p.m. ET. Check out The CW's entire fall schedule here and watch the full "Nikita" panel from Comic-Con below.