The next two episodes of "Nikita" (Fridays, 8 p.m. EST on The CW) contain some major developments that set the stage for the end of Season 3, with Amanda (Melinda Clarke) putting a plan into motion that could destroy everything Nikita (Maggie Q) has tried to build over the past three years.
To preview the next two episodes, which are directed by "La Femme Nikita" veterans Jon Cassar ("Reunion," March 8) and Brad Turner ("The Life We've Chosen," March 15), HuffPost TV caught up with showrunner Craig Silverstein to discuss what's ahead for Team Nikita, how Amanda's grand plan will affect them all and how he's feeling about the show earning a Season 4 renewal.
What can you preview about tonight's "Reunion"?
It's an incredibly packed episode. Someone was asking me today, “Did you forget about Ari’s (Peter Outerbridge) son?” I was like, “No, we didn’t.” He is fantastic. I think that [the episode] gives us the first real peeling of the onion as to Amanda’s backstory, which we are going to more fully explore in later episodes.
As we've seen in the promos for the episode, Amanda and Nikita find themselves trapped in a sticky situation this week, and Amanda is more vulnerable than we've seen her for a while. Where is she mentally at this point in the season?
Amanda is almost singularly focused on Nikita. The reasons for that become more clear, as Ari says to her in that episode, that "she never forgave you for sparing her life." The reason she never forgave Nikita for sparing her life has to do with Amanda’s origins and how they, in a way, mirror Nikita’s. She sees a lot of Nikita in herself and wants to prove that Nikita is exactly like her ... if she can prove that, then she doesn't have to face all the things that she's done. If Nikita can prove that you can change, that's not good for Amanda.
Michael (Shane West) and Owen (Devon Sawa) are still sniping at each other this week. Will those crazy kids ever work things out?
Probably not. [Laughs.] In fact, I can tell you, things probably get a little worse.
At the end of last week's episode, Michael and Nikita actually started planning their wedding, which is progress ... But then you had to leave it with that ominous shot of blood on the screen ...
We can’t quite ever have a full on [happy moment] … Carlos [Coto] had written that scene and I said, “This is just too happy. We need to have something here at the end.” Our psychic fist-pump, as we refer to it.
Will they be back on solid ground for a while, or are we just seeing foreshadowing of dark things to come?
I think that they are doing better. He is still, on his off hours, searching for signs of Heidecker in the organization, which ... I don’t think we’ve said our nickname for it out loud yet so I won’t. That comes in Episode 16. That obsession is on a back burner that’s a bit off-screen now, but will flare up sooner rather than later. He's been given a goal now -- going forward that's both a good and a bad thing for him.
When I recently talked to Maggie, she mentioned the issue of the presidential threat beginning to rear its head again. Can you say anything about how the government is going to play into upcoming episodes?
That is fully expressed in a chilling way in Episode 15.
In terms of Michael's hand, I thought it was a great and organic choice for character development and conflict between him and Nikita, but obviously there's now this quest for Heidecker ... I hope we're not just going to see a miracle cure for him to tie everything up in a neat bow?
I will say that there are no miracles. If you see something that looks like a miracle, you shouldn’t trust it.
What have you got planned for the end of the season? Are you considering a cliffhanger or closure?
We might head towards the cliffhanger waters actually ... There is nothing official, but I feel confident. We’re kind of up against it so I’m not sure. Nothing been pitched or approved, but there may be the possibility of doing the good old fashioned cliffhanger.
You've got Jon Cassar and Brad Turner directing the next two episodes. How did they become involved in the show?
Well, we got Brad first. I had worked with Brad before. Brad had worked years before with David Levinson. We all wanted him and we wanted Jon Cassar too, but Jon Cassar is somebody who is always ... these guys are always working, and usually are tied to one show.
But the great thing is, one of the shows they started on was the original "La Femme Nikita." There was a burst in the '90s of a bunch of Toronto and Vancouver directors who became big deals and became in high demand in the States when production first started really expanding into Canada in a significant way. These two guys became two of the big stars. Both of them are from Toronto.
I always like when elements of former "Nikita" projects return ... a lot of our crew worked on the original one. John Badham who directed "Point of No Return" is directing another episode for us. That kind of stuff is great. These guys really are at the top of their game. Brad has done a couple more shows for us, Jon we were finally able to get to do one, which as you’ve seen, is a pretty huge show. The fact that they were both up there at the same time ... it really meant a lot to me. I hope to the TV industry in Toronto just made them smile.
Do you have any other nods to the original series that you're trying to work in for the fans?
Our nods are pretty obvious, the biggest one being the character Birkhoff (Aaron Stanford), and using Alberta Watson in a slightly different way. There was an episode of "La Femme Nikita" that used something called the Phasing Shell ... that series got really sci-fi, really fast. It’s something that we enjoy, but realize with our tone we couldn’t really do, though we wouldn’t mind pulling or straining or crawling towards it.
I feel like introducing the tech for Michael's hand is a believable step in that direction.
Yeah, we’ve had some tech and now we’re centering around an organization where that tech comes from. Michael’s hand, it exists. It exists out there. In fact, the ones that exist out there are frankly, way better looking than the thing we can build. Those are professional things that we couldn’t afford for our production. We had to do our best, and it's a pretty good job, but yeah, we’re pushing out towards that stuff. Some fun stuff lies that way.
"Nikita" airs Fridays at 8 p.m. EST on The CW.
Come back next week for more from our discussion with Craig Silverstein, when we'll discuss Amanda's game plan, the evolution of Alex and more. Are you hopeful for Season 4? What do you think Amanda's endgame is? Weigh in below!