Never let it be said that Nikita wouldn't hurt a fly. The cast and crew are shooting the action drama's final fight scene — between Nikita (Maggie Q) and best frenemy Alex (Lyndsy Fonseca) — in a country estate outside Toronto. During a particularly intense take, a housefly alights atop a loaf of bread on the kitchen set. Prop guns are drawn, blanks are fired and blammo — a special-effects squib detonates inside the insect's meal, blowing dinner and diner to pieces. "Did you see that?" asks coexecutive producer Albert Kim, smacking his forehead while watching a replay over Maggie Q's shoulder. "Our effects crew always wants to blow up bread."
Flies and fresh bread — both have notoriously short shelf lives anyway. As do continually little-seen cult shows like Nikita, which ended Season 3 in May as The CW's lowest-rated returning series. Nobody's heart stopped when the network renewed it for only a partial run. The shock was how brief Nikita's send-off season would be: Six episodes didn't seem like much time to end the series-long tug-of-war between black ops-trained white hat Nikita and her sadistic archenemy, Amanda (Melinda Clarke). Or to decide the fates of Nikita's kick-butt confreres, fiancé Michael (Shane West), protégée Alex, straight-arrow Ryan (Noah Bean), recovering baddie Sam (Devon Sawa) and cyberwarrior Birkhoff (Aaron Stanford).
"I expected a full season or 13 episodes, but six?" Fonseca says while she waits for costumers to replace a jacket ripped by too many roundhouses. "I was like, 'Wait, does that actually happen? How will we do it?'"
Fast and furiously. In five episodes, the good guys and gals foiled a plan by Amanda and her evil overlords, the Group (a cabal of dirty billionaires), to start the equivalent of World War III by replacing key leaders with brainwashed, surgically altered doubles they could control. Amanda faked her own death. Alex and Sam got it on. Then a member of Team Nikita committed suicide to escape Amanda's clutches — but not before revealing that there are still 54 doubles on the loose and giving the villain one hell of a face wound. "The character died a hero's death," West says. "I can't wait to hear fans' reactions."
Now Nikita and Alex are on a rogue revenge operation to eliminate the Group, expose the doubles and whack Amanda. In the finale, the military forces Sam, Michael and Birkhoff to hunt down Nikita and Alex. Not everyone will be cooperative. "Nikita has to clean house and finally put everything to bed," says Stanford. "Birkhoff decides he's on board." Sam and Michael, who get separated from the computer genius, have their own covert op. "They go off on a little mission," Sawa reveals, "but they still have that bickering relationship." There's also a double lurking among them. The only person you can be sure it's not is Michael.
Of course, Alex and Nikita's alliance turns to fisticuffs. "The audience is going to be pretty upset about where Nikita goes in this scene," says Maggie Q as she prepares to tangle once more with Fonseca. "It's so dark. I love it!"
If that's how Nikita treats a friend, you can guess what she'll do to Amanda in their inevitable episode-ending showdown. "With any story, you want to make sure you feel like your villain got the proper comeuppance," says Kim. "But that might not mean killing them. There are other things to do to Amanda."
"Her end is very satisfying," Fonseca says. "But it's not going to be like, 'Oh, Amanda's dead.' It's much more interesting than that." (Maggie Q also hints that what happens is a callback to the pilot episode.)
Finally, Nikita and Michael get to walk off together into the sunset. Well, there's sun. There's a set. And there's also a machine gun. "It was the last scene we filmed," West remembers. "The weather in Toronto held up just enough for us to finish it before dark. It's the perfect way to end this series."
The Nikita series finale airs Friday, Dec. 27 at 9/8c on The CW.