The "Nikita" Season 3 premiere was an excellent introduction to the series for newcomers and a confident refresh of the mythology overall, but Episode 2 of Season 3, "Innocence," is an even stronger installment. Having established the characters in the "new" Division and set up the structure for the season, Episode 302 throws us headfirst into the relationships that fans already know and love, using the story of a young girl who has been kidnapped from her family and trained like a Division recruit by an unhinged ex-operative to tell larger stories about family, parenthood and lost childhoods.
The episode is especially powerful for Alex (Lyndsy Fonseca), who also lost her parents and had her innocence snatched away at a young age, and since she's doing more emotional heavy-lifting than physical ass-kicking this week, it's an impressive showcase for Fonseca's considerable skills.
HuffPost TV spoke to Fonseca about Alex's character progression in Season 3, the potential resurgence of Alex's drug addiction, and her evolving relationships with Nikita (Maggie Q), Sean (Dillon Casey) and Owen (Devon Sawa). Caution: Spoilers ahead.
This week's episode has some great character moments for Alex. Can you tease your arc for the fans without giving too much away?
Sure; there’s a little girl that comes into play in the episode and has a big impact on Nikita and Alex in different ways that they weren’t really ready for. Also, it's very weird to have a kid in Division -- I think all the recruits come in as young people but at this age, it's definitely a bit more shocking. We’re dealing with a child, so that it’s a big impact and then she’s so much like Alex as far as what she’s been through and what’s going on and that look in her eyes. Alex deals with the parents and mostly the mom, and what the mom’s going through and she can’t even tell the mom that she knows that her daughter’s alive, so it’s going to be a very emotional themed-mission to accomplish. This isn’t like just taking down the bad guys. We’re dealing with a family, a child’s life.
As you said, Alex can obviously relate a lot to this girl, Liza [Annalise Basso]. Does this stir up a lot of unresolved issues and does it allow her to actually find some closure?
Absolutely. There’s so much closure in dealing with the mom. Alex's mother didn’t know she was alive and this mother doesn’t know. And then in the end, Nikita gives her this beautiful gift of letting her take Liza back to her family. And that’s so meaningful in such a deep way. And Nikita knows how much that means to Alex.
Alex and Sean don't have too many moments together in the first three episodes where they have opportunities to talk, but we get a little more insight into how they're feeling in the third episode. Where do they currently stand in terms of what you're filming now?
Well, today in particular, I am making out with him in a storage closet. [Laughs.] So the fans can look forward to that. But it’s going to be a very bumpy road to get to that closet. And I don’t even know how much is resolved, but Sean is there for Alex and that's really the only reason. And Alex is very much there. This isn’t a regular young woman who knows how to have a normal relationship. With all the trauma that’s been in her life, it’s like ... well, what else is she going to do? She has to stay in this Division world because that’s her whole life, so he’s going to give her some ultimatums and it’s going to be like, “Me or this place? What do you want? “ And they’re going to have to come to some sort of understanding.
Sean asks her in Episode 3 why she's sticking around when it's not technically her fight. Is it truly just because of Nikita, and is that a position that will change as the season goes on?
I think that Nikita is a huge part. Their bond is so intense that, can you imagine Alex just going off with another life without these people? This is who she is, and she doesn’t have anyone else. But also, it’s not just Nikita -- it’s the purpose. We as people are happiest when we have purpose, when we feel like we have a job to do and we feel like we’re a part of something. And so to just have all of her money and just go off and go on a honeymoon, that’s really not going to be great. Where most people would be like, “Yeah. Awesome,” that’s just not what she wants. That’s what Sean wants, so that’s the problem. [Laughs.]
Last year was fairly tumultuous in terms of Nikita and Alex's relationship, but it was great to see them back on solid ground at the end of last season. Does their friendship stay solid throughout what you're filming right now, or will we see them at odds again?
So far it’s been really great. I think that there’s a lot more maturity in their friendship this year. I think Alex is in a place where, even though there’re some addiction problems coming up, in general there’s just this really great understanding of they have. They’re working together and they’re really on the same page. I feel like they really have dealt with all of the secrets that they’ve been hiding from one another and they can just move forward and be present in the moment.
I heard from executive producer Craig Silverstein that Alex and Owen get their first real scene together in Episode 4. Can you preview that?
Well, Owen comes back into the story this year in a way where we don’t really understand where he’s been. We don’t know what he’s been going through. So we need to question him and figure out what he’s been doing and what happened to him and where he stands, physically, mentally, emotionally, and so Ryan has me interrogate him basically because I’m the one that’s not close to him. Nikita, everyone else knows him too well, so I’m the one that’s sent out to kind of figure it out, and that’s how we end up meeting.
And I understand that you have another storyline together in Episode 5. Is there anything you can tease about that arc?
Yeah, it’s kind of strange -- as Alex, I’ve known so much about him through Nikita and I know everything, but yet I don’t know him, so it’s kind of like this new person that’s got this connection to the people that I love, but who are you? And they have this strange spark between them that I don’t really understand yet. There’s something there ... I don’t know if we’re necessarily going to get into it or maybe eventually we will, but I think the fans will like it. I hope they do.
Amanda [Melinda Clarke] also resurfaces in Episode 4. How does her return relate to Alex and what she's currently dealing with?
Amanda wants to kill Nikita, obviously, but I think that she realizes this year that the best way to get her is to get all the people she cares about. What we’ve shot so far, that’s kind of just the beginning of it, and what’s going to happen is still up to the writers. It’s hard since we haven’t gotten there yet, but there is going to be connection between Alex and Amanda and there’s definitely going to be a power and a hold that Amanda has over Alex -- we just haven’t gotten there yet.
Craig has been teasing a darker turn for Alex as the season progresses. Can you elaborate on that?
So far we have not seen that. Her addiction happened and that’s something you deal with, but Craig knows that what I really care a lot about is that if Alex is going to go “to the dark side,” so to speak, it’s not going to be because she’s just going to be like, “Oh my God, I hate Nikita -- I’m going to go evil.” There’s going to be some sort of reason that she has, some sort of mind control ... there’s going to be something that’s going to be so intense that she has no other option. This isn’t just going to be Alex deciding to be a bad person the next day, you know? So I’m actually really looking forward to seeing what they come up with.
In the premiere, Alex expresses sadness that her role as Alexandra Udinov has blown her cover for missions, but in Episode 2 we see her attempting to go undercover anyway. How much is she going to be relying on her party girl image and how often is she going to try and go covert?
You know, she doesn’t really get out there as her celebrity self after the first episode. Things just become really more important in Division and that’s where the storyline for Alex focuses, with the missions and undercover. I think what’s important and the reason for that celebrity side of Alex is because we have to see what she’s been doing since the last season and where she’s coming from so that it has a place to go.
Sarah Chalke just wrapped up a guest arc on "Covert Affairs," so do you know if there are any plans for her to return as Alex's mom this season, especially considering all of the residual family drama she deals with in Episode 2?
I sure hope so. That’d be wonderful, but I haven’t heard anything about it.
You've portrayed a lot of distinct versions of Alex at this point; the drug addict, the famous heiress and the kick-ass spy -- which version is the most fun and which is the most challenging to play?
[The drug addiction] is definitely something that I don’t take lightly and I try and make it truthful as possible, given the fact that we have only so much time to tell the story and that this is a big ensemble show, so we can only do so much. But yeah, it’s the most fun to get into that deeper, darker world of her struggles. It’s challenging and it’s the most fun, so far I’ve been really enjoying this season.
"Nikita" airs Fridays at 9 p.m. ET on The CW.
Are you excited for Alex to meet Owen? Are you hoping she and Sean will last? What do you think of the resurgence of her addiction? Weigh in below!