From the cult-TV corner: It's rare to see a ballsy action heroine like Nikita (Maggie Q) in a state of panic, but in this week's typically tense episode of The CW's Nikita (8/7c), the first of the season I've been able to screen in advance, she places an anguished call to Michael in London to utter three unlikely words: "I lost Berkoff." The tech wiz (Aaron Stanford) is a casualty in Nikita's latest attempt to corner the baddies of Oversight, most particularly Sen. Madeline Pierce (played by Alberta Watson, who spy loyalists will remember was also named Madeline in USA Network's late-'90s version of La Femme Nikita, serving in the Amanda role). When Berkoff finds himself in the sadistic clutches of his former boss, Amanda (Melinda Clarke), things get very tense very fast. While Nikita formulates a rescue plan suggested by the episode title "Fair Trade," her former protégé Alex (Lyndsy Fonseca) is busy trying to smuggle herself back into Russia the way she left — as part of a gang of sex slaves.

Elsewhere in cult land, on The CW's Supernatural (9/8c), the demon hunters are on the prowl in a New Jersey state park for a creature the locals say may be the actual Jersey Devil. (Enter Snooki joke here.) ... On NBC's Grimm (9/8c), reformed wolfie Monroe (Silas Weir Mitchell, the show's not-so-secret weapon) goes undercover to sniff out a suspect in a series of female deaths and disappearances. ... And on the fall finale of Fox's Fringe (9/8c) — already? — an invisible force turns a dead man ghostly white, while Olivia (Anna Torv) suffers from migraines. Has she been trying to figure this whole Peter thing out? I know it would give me headaches. Hurry back, show.

Want more fall TV news? Subscribe to TV Guide Magazine now!

Subscribe to TV Guide Magazine now!