When Season 2 of "Nikita" began, Percy's (Xander Berkeley) sadistic right-hand woman, Amanda (Melinda Clarke), had ousted her boss and taken control of Division -- but by the end of the year, Nikita (Maggie Q) had dethroned the queen bee and forced her to go on the run. Luckily for Amanda, she's still in possession of Percy's remaining black box, which holds enough incriminating information to decimate several governments.
Amanda makes her first appearance of Season 3 in the Friday, Nov. 9 episode, "Consequences," (9 p.m. ET on The CW) and it's no coincidence that the episode also marks the return of fan-favorite Guardian Owen (Devon Sawa), since their stories are inextricably linked. Earlier this week, HuffPost TV caught up with Melinda Clarke to preview Amanda's long-awaited return, her evil scheme to get even with Nikita, and what exactly she's planning to do with Owen if she manages to sink her claws into him. Light spoilers ahead.
Amanda has been AWOL for the past three episodes, what can you reveal about what she's been up to?
I like to say she’s been underground like Voldemort. [Laughs.] She’s essentially building up her army, so to speak. I think on Friday’s episode, we’ll see that she’s been hard at work collaborating with Ari [Peter Outerbridge], building her army of Amanda’s sycophants, and very, very busy. But of course, she and Ari end up coming to quite a conflict because they might not be on the same page and Amanda has her own agenda -- one of those agendas being that she’s targeting Owen, although Ari thinks it serves something else. But ultimately, Amanda’s after Owen. Nikita may or may not let her be successful in that mission. But yes, she’s a very, very hyper-intelligent, manipulative, complex, psychotic villain.
But that's why we love her!
I know! It’s exciting. Nothing’s ever simple with Amanda. Just when you think you know what’s going to happen, something else is going to happen. I think Amanda is having the time of her life, to be honest.
That's good, because the last time we saw her, she was kind of down on her luck like a dethroned queen. She'd obviously had to stay in rundown motels.
Right. I think what was a really great, poignant thing in the last season, the last time you saw her in that motel room, you see that she’s gone to a darker place and then you cut to Nikita being in a more elevated, lighter place. So they went even farther apart. I’m definitely approaching this season that she’s in a darker place, and her singular motivation, singular obsession is Nikita and making Nikita suffer. Not necessarily killing her, but making her suffer.
Right. I talked to Lindsay Fonseca recently and we discussed the fact that the best way to get to Nikita has always been to target those she loves ...
Right. It’s not just emotional, mental, physical. You know, torture is Amanda’s weapon. There are all kinds of ways, it’s not necessarily killing everyone -- that would be too simple. But whether it’s making Nikita out to be the bad guy in front of all of these people that admire her or turning Alex against Nikita, whatever it could be ... I’m just speculating because I don’t know what is ultimately going to happen, but there will be all kinds of ways that Amanda will get to Nikita.
After my latest conversation with [executive producer] Craig Silverstein, ultimately … it’s not so much that Amanda wants to get revenge against Nikita’s betrayal, but the betrayal is part of what motivates her. It’s also that Nikita doesn’t understand that she’s not done with her training. I am not done with her. I still have a lot to teach her. Amanda’s in this place where she can’t help but teach and feel the necessity to teach Nikita some more lessons and that this is part of her journey. I think it’s very logical and rational for Amanda -- as crazy as this sounds -- because crazy people don’t think they’re crazy, especially hyper-intelligent, messed up, psychopaths like Amanda.
We know she now has access to the remaining black box. How is she using that to further her agenda?
The black box is very helpful. It’s clearly one of the tools that she uses with Ari to simply gain money to further their power and their stature. At this point, it’s been very helpful, but it hasn’t been a huge part of what I’ve been playing on the show. It might become a bigger part of the story. But as of now, it’s like having the ultimate iPhone. “Oh, hey, I need to go steal something worth money and sell it on the black market. Where do I go?” But it is definitely an integral part of the show. Let’s just say that her success and her stature at this point is ultimately because of the black box and because she has that information. It definitely has been helpful. It’s like the ultimate American Express card.
Is she going to be involved with any other members of the Dirty 30, perhaps feeding them intel?
Let me think. I've only done three ... In the episodes I’ve done, I don’t think Amanda’s really been dealing with the Dirty 30. I think ... off camera, yes, she definitely has some communication with some of them. I’m sure in the future there will be some kind of interaction, I would assume. But I don’t think that I’ve shot scenes with anyone from the Dirty 30 yet.
You touched on this a little already, but can you elaborate on how Amanda's storyline ties into Owen's and what we might see in this week's episode?
What you’re going to find out is that Owen had a life before he was Owen, a life before Division. Ultimately, not all will be revealed in this episode, but the audience will get a taste that Owen was somebody else before he came to Division and Amanda got her little paws on him. Remember the torture machine that we used on Birkhoff [Aaron Stanford] last year? Owen was the first time she used it. So, let’s assume that Owen may have been one of her great creations ...
Poor Owen! Can you reveal anything about further down the line and what you're shooting next?
Yes, I can tell you some of what my conversation with Craig was. I don’t have a script ... I haven’t been shooting for a few episodes ... But I do know that the audience will get to see into Amanda’s past this season and where she came from and how she ticks and why she does what she does. It’s not pretty. [Laughs.] Wouldn’t it be weird if she just came from this amazing, beautiful upbringing? But it doesn’t work that way. I’m assuming she was a genius and there’ll be something very dark in her past that led her to be the adult that she is now. I can't wait to do it.
"Nikita" airs Fridays at 9 p.m. ET on The CW. The series will be returning to its previous 8 p.m. Friday timeslot starting November 30, followed by repeats of "Arrow" at 9 p.m. ET.
What do you think Amanda intends to do with Owen? How do you think she'll target Nikita first? Weigh in below!