It's the beginning of the end for Nikita.
The CW spy show returns Friday at 9/8c to kick off its final, six-episode season. And although fans are grateful that Nikita will have a proper (if shortened) send-off, there's a very legitimate fear that things won't end well.
"I will be honest; I don't know if there's a happy ending for this show," Lyndsy Fonseca, who plays Alex on the series, told reporters at Comic-Con this summer. "I'm sure someone's going to die... but I really have no idea. Nikita — it's a show and a franchise that is all about struggle and survival." Executive producer Craig Silverstein wasn't any more reassuring and only added that "some" of the characters would escape tragedy.
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When Nikita returns, the rogue agent (Maggie Q) will still be on the run three months after she was framed for the murder of President Spencer (Michelle Nolden). Her former team, equipped with their very own airplane this time, will race against the FBI to see who can find her first. Meanwhile, former Division torture mistress Amanda (Melinda Clarke) is still lurking out there with her single-minded goal to teach Nikita the ultimate lesson. Who will win? Will Nikita finally succeed in killing Amanda? Or will the fashionable but deadly nemesis take out one of our heroes? Read on to see our thoughts on who will or won't die this season:
Why she'll die: She's a great leader but also tends to play the martyr card, taking on too much in order to protect others. After all, that's why she's alone when this season begins. "She's never put herself above anyone," Q said. "We saw her go into a situation where she would have given her life for Michael (Shane West)... When it comes to him or anyone she loves, the story tells itself. If Nikita stayed and said, 'OK guys, you're going to help me. Yeah and the whole world's hunting me, and the six of you are in the line of fire,' it wouldn't have really been Nikita. There's no choice in the matter."
Why she won't die: Besides being the hero, Nikita is the ultimate survivor, somehow able to take on impossible situations and emerging relatively unscathed. If we learned anything from this show, it's not to underestimate Nikita.
Why he'll die: Let's face it: Michael's death would suck, but it would be the most extreme test of Nikita's strength. This show has never made it easy for her, and in a way, seeing her get angry and handle ridiculously difficult challenges is part of its appeal. Even Q understands the entertainment value of a heartbreaking death. "I'm also that person who's like, 'Oh, I love tragedy!'" she said.
Why he won't die: Michael and Nikita have weathered near-death experiences, a hitherto unknown lovechild, losing a hand and regenerating that hand. Haven't these two star-crossed lovebirds been through enough? West said, "I hope it [ends well] for them because it's a great example of hope for two characters who have been through a lot."
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Why she'll die: Like Michael, Alex is close to Nikita, and therefore her demise would be a huge blow. More specifically, Alex is Nikita's protege and therefore a prime target for Amanda, who is determined to prove that Nikita cannot save everybody.
Why she won't die: Alex deserves to live outside of Nikita's shadow, especially this season when she's come into her own. "Everybody else is technically dead to the world because they're technically hiding," Fonseca said. "But Alex is the one who can be out in public and has a large responsibility that goes along with her name... She works for the U.N. and her goal as Alexandra Udinov — she is embracing it, she's accepting it and using it to her advantage, which is [to] take down human trafficking. That's kind of her public persona during the day, and then at night, [she] fights crime in spywear and kicks some ass."
Amanda Collins, nee Helen
Why she'll die: This villainess is long overdue after torturing everyone physically and psychologically. Her former partner in Division crime Percy (Xander Berkeley) got his comeuppance at the end of Season 2, so it's about time we had good conquer evil again.
Why she won't die: We're not going to lie: Amanda's particular brand of depravity is fun to watch, and we would hate to have that creativity snuffed. Besides, even Silverstein has felt loath to let her go. "She is too evil to destroy," he said at this year's Comic-Con. "Our plan was to kill Amanda at the end of last seaon, but something happened and we could not kill her."
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Ryan Fletcher (Noah Bean)
Why he'll die: The former CIA analyst-turned-rogue ally doesn't have the experience with the deep deception that came from being recruited by Division, and therefore he's the least prepared to deal with Amanda. Besides, he already has a history of being a victim of various schemes. "Ryan's always kind of been a fish out of water," Bean said. "Even when he was a CIA analyst and got wind of something and got brought in and next thing he knew, he was in Chile getting abducted by banditos and framed for the assassination of the Chilean president. He was constantly in over his head."
Why he won't die: Because of his outside ties, Ryan has the least amount of personal vendetta and distractions when it comes to fighting Amanda. He's clear-headed and has experience dealing with government agencies now that this fight has gone global. "Ryan is a smart guy, and his gift is to put pieces of the puzzle together and look at the bigger picture," Bean added.
Sam/Owen (Devon Sawa)
Why he'll die: Now that Owen has been revealed to be a guy named Sam whose memory and identity was mind-hijacked by Amanda, he no longer has the same connection to the gang and therefore is more expendable. Besides, he doesn't show remorse for anything he's done and seems to hate his time being Owen.
Why he won't die: We love Owen (he'll never be Sam to us) and still hold out the hope that the good that he did as Owen came from innate goodness, not just Amanda's programming. Besides, he can't die because we demand that "Owlex" happen.
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Seymour Birkhoff (Aaron Stanford)
Why he'll die: The IT guy may as well be nicknamed Ensign Red Shirt instead of "Nerd" because he's still a relative newbie when it comes to work in the field. Sure, there's a minimum amount of fight training that was required from his Division days, but nowadays his exercise regimen mainly consists of breaking through firewalls and popping cheese puffs.
Why he won't die: Even though his hacking skills may not keep him in fighting form, at least it usually keeps him out of the line of fire, which is probably why we identify with him the most. We enjoy Birkhoff's sassy attitude, geeky references and puppy dog eagerness too much for Nerd to die. Plus: This season, he's adding pilot to his job description. "Right now, it's like Birkhoff can fly, Michael can fly," Silverstein said. "They set it on auto pilot when they get up to cruising altitude. And then someone's going to go land. But we don't have some dude in the cabin going, 'Where to? What are you guys doing?'"
Sonya (Lyndie Greenwood)
Why she'll die: Sonya is possibly even less equipped to deal with physical threats than Birkhoff is, and we fear that with such a brief season, the girlfriend of the sidekick falls to the bottom of the survival list.
Why she won't die: Not only is Sonya smart, but she brought out the humanity in Nerd, which makes us love her all the more. She flies under the radar, so we're hoping that will keep her safe. We simply can't imagine a future in which these two crazy kids don't get married and have geeky hacker babies together.
Are you psyched for the final season? Who do you think may meet their maker? Vote in the poll below.
Nikita premieres Friday at 9/8c on The CW.
(Full disclosure: TVGuide.com is owned by CBS, one of The CW's parent companies.)
It's the beginning of the end for Nikita.
(Disclosure: TV Guide is owned by CBS Interactive, a division of ViacomCBS.)