- The pilot, directed one-time CSI regular Danny Cannon, is very slick. To my eye, as slick as anything the major networks put together with their comparably major budgets.
- The dialogue — credited to Craig Silverstein and David Levinson — is a bit clunky in undertaking the effort to establish the complexities of the world via exposition, voiceover, and flashback.
- The major takeaway from episode one: Maggie Q is a star. Of all the fall season’s new hopefuls, she ties with Lone Star’s James Wolk for “Most Poised for a Breakout.” She’s endlessly charismatic, a credible action star, and capably shoulders the sometimes overwrought drama thrust upon her.
- Fonseca is a competent second lead in a role that requires a lot of deception: she’s come a long way from countless reaction shots as Ted’s future daughter in How I Met Your Mother. It’s hard to come away from four seasons of The O.C. without some sort of fondness for Clarke, and she’s well-cast here in the role of credentialed seductress.
- I wouldn’t say West shined as Michael, but he didn’t specifically botch any of scenes. A notable feat in a role that could be problematic to the series without some deft acting.
Review: The CW’s NIKITA
by Brendan Bettinger