Maggie Q and Shane West

Nikita's Percy may be dead, but his legacy lives on in The Dirty Thirty.

On the Season 3 premiere (Friday at 9/8c, The CW), Nikita & Co. discover that taking over Division means having to clean house after the death of its leader Percy (Xander Berkeley) last season. "When the recall order was sent out, 'Percy is dead. Come back in from wherever you are in the world,' some agents complied. Thirty of those people didn't," Nikita creator Craig Silverstein told reporters at Comic-Con. "They cut their trackers out and disabled them. They're out for themselves, money, for whatever crazy ideology and personal goals they have."

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Ignoring that recall means having the skills as well as the chutzpah to go rogue, much like Nikita (Maggie Q) did back in the day. "These guys are crazy-lethal," Q said.

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The Avengers family: "This season's theme is 'family,'" Silverstein said. "They've got their home now, and ... it's about seeing that family grow strong and start to fracture. It's very Avengers-like that way." And just like the superhero team, that division arises from command conflicts. After all, CIA agent Ryan Fletcher (Noah Bean) is the new head of Division, and Nikita now has to take orders. "She's never been good at that," Silverstein added. "So, she and Ryan go head-to-head in the first episode because things get screwed up in Hong Kong and she ends up going her own way. The problem is, she's the kind of girl who could drive a Mack truck through a wall to get what she needed to do done. Now, there are consequences and all kinds of people in the organization that could suffer as a result of that."

A Division makeover: "The government dropped some dough for some [renovations]," Q said. "The bones of it are the same, but they've made it a little more people-friendly. You won't see recruits training anymore." Silverstein added, "There will be changes and upgrades and new toys ... Birkhoff has a new setup ... He's got a man cave."

Natural Nikita: In the premiere, the former rogue spy is no longer on the run and unwinds with a bit of yoga. "She's allowed more privilege than she's ever had," Q said. "She's not looking over her shoulder anymore. She's able to have a dinner, go for a walk, be in a coffee shop and that's never happened for her." She better not get too complacent though. Percy's old pal Amanda (Melinda Clarke) is still at large. "This is pure hatred, vengeance. Amanda doesn't have any other cause," Q said. "Amanda wants to hurt Nikita, and hurting Nikita as everybody knows, means hurting people around her. That's not good for Nikita, and I don't think she realizes what's coming."

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Michael's awesome adventure: Shane West hinted at big drama coming for his character Michael, whom he deems as "more of a husband" last season. "When I had a conversation with Craig, one of the things I wanted to see was Michael go through some more pain this year," West said. "What Craig explained to me in these 23 episodes is pretty great. It's very positive for a while, and then there's going to be a certain negativity that comes in, another thing that no one could possibly guess. It's insane and awesome. That's all I'm going to say."

"Mikita" forecast: Showers possible: Michael and Nikita will be going strong romantically when the show returns, but "something's going to happen in the first episode you're never going to expect to happen," Q said, adding, "No one's pregnant; it's fine. Slowly into this season ... there are going to be some obstacles that neither of them have created." Fans have been clamoring for a "Mikita" shower scene, and Silverstein is doing his best to make it happen in Season 3. "Shower scenes are really hard because to build a shower on our set ... we have to have all this water," he said. "I thought that would be easy, but it's not. But then to go out and shoot it on location, you can't move those walls. So it's kind of like finding the perfect shower is more the problem than finding the perfect shower scene."

Alex, she's just like us! Nikita's protégé came into her own last season and went public as the heir to a billion-dollar company. "She is kind of known worldwide now. She's Alexandra Udinov, so she can't go undercover anymore," Silverstein said. "People know what she looks like. She's been in Us Weekly. So that's a problem, except they decide to use the high profile as something useful for them because nobody knows that this kind of spoiled heiress is a super-spy." Added Alex's portrayer Lyndsy Fonseca: "She's going to use her celebrity to kind of be a decoy to what they're really doing. I don't know how long that's going to be able to last, though. Alex is going to be persuaded by other people, maybe in the wrong direction. She's going to be really, really confused for a little bit as far as her loyalty to Nikita, and coming into her own and what Amanda has to say about it all."

Lovesick "Salex": Like her mentor Nikita, Alex has also found love in the same line of work. Agent Sean Pierce (Dillon Casey) is as goofy as he is dedicated, but their romance is still relatively new. "It's going to be like Alex has never loved before," Fonseca said. "Sean really represents stability and a normalcy, as normal as these guys can be. They both share a love for their family. There's something so beautiful about them and their love. I just don't know if it's really realistic for Alex. He's going to want to get her away from this whole lifestyle of Division." Silverstein added: "Nikita's fight is something that [Alex] believes in. I think she needs to believe that because she's got a lot of repressed stuff from her backstory that she hasn't dealt with."

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Birkhoff butting heads: Who could blame tech guy Birkhoff (Aaron Stanford) for celebrating the infiltration of Division last year by kissing a pretty lady? Even if that lady was the deposed Division tech leader Sonya (Lyndie Greenwood). "There is something happening with Birkhoff and Sonya where they left it with the kiss," Stanford said. There's been a little bit of a time jump and things have gotten complicated between them. ... There's going to be a bit of a power struggle between him and Sonya because Sonya headed up all the tech when he wasn't there. Now that he's back again, who's in control? He's going to have some fun with that."

Amanda's obsession: Last season we saw the first hand-to-hand fight between Nikita and Amanda, and both regretted letting the other survive. This year, Amanda will do her best to rectify that lapse in judgment. "We should assume that she is now in exile, as the rogues now have control of the asylum," Clarke said. "Amanda is going to a deeper, darker place. Like [the Harry Potter villain] Voldemort, she's out there building up her powers and sneaking around. She's a little snake out there. And definitely, I think she's off her meds this season."

The problem with Owen: Owen (Devon Sawa) is back as a regular character this year, given that his skills as a former Division cleaner are well-suited to tracking down the Dirty Thirty. "We're going to answer the question of what happened to him," Silverstein promised. "Because honestly, why wasn't he in the last part of [Season 2]? Why wasn't he in that final raid? Shouldn't they have called him and said, 'Don't worry, dude. The Guardians are here. They're dead. Percy has taken over. Come back and help us beat him,'? Where was he? We're going to answer that. And then he finds out that they've taken over Division and he doesn't think that's a good idea at all. There's some conflict with Nikita about that."

An appointment with death(s): "Yeah, people are going to die," Silverstein said. "As big as Percy? Yeah, I think some stuff will feel pretty good. Some people are going to be changed in a way that feels pretty good."

What do you want to see on Nikita this season? Check out this preview of the premiere, airing Friday at 9/8c on The CW: