Nikita started this season with some changes to the fundamental set up of the show. In "Falling Ash," we get a much better picture of people's loyalties - and they aren't as altered as they first appeared. My favorite part of this restructuring is the Nikita-Michael-Birkhoff trio living and working together.
Who could have imagined a year ago?
Birkhoff was always a favorite character. Without the constraints of Division and with Nikita and Michael needing him, it creates a fun dynamic. I find myself smiling at their banter.
I wasn't sure whether the Nikita and Michael romance would ruin their chemistry or whether they would be able to effectively work together. Fortunately, their first fight over priorities was surprisingly civil and realistic. Nikita wants to bring down Division and Oversight no matter what, but she was able to see the importance of looking into P9. In the end, it turned out to be a relevant detour in their overall goal regarding Division.
Elsewhere... Owen's back! He was the perfect partner for this mission. The connection between Dr. Mars, P9 and Regimen didn't come across as a convenient coincidence, rather it was fitting to the way Division works. When Owen gets off Regimen, he will be free from one of his Division curses. Will he still feel the need to bring them down? I think he will, because he wants them to pay for ruining his life. That mission is one that will lead him back to Nikita and Michael again.
Last season, there was some sexual tension between Owen and Nikita. I was glad to see that was downplayed and almost non-existent in his return. One thing I don't want to see on Nikita at this point is a love triangle. There is enough good action and drama without throwing that into the mix.
This episode showed where people's loyalties are and are not. I have no doubt that Birkhoff, despite his complaining, is committed to bringing down Division and working with Michael and Nikita. Owen, while he seemed to be dedicated to the same mission, is not loyal to them. I don't think he will do anything to harm them, but by working with Gogol, his loyalty is questionable.
The big surprise of the night was the reveal at the end when Sean and Alex talked. While Sean originally appeared to question Alex's loyalty, he was on her side in that moment, looking out for her. He can see that while she is working with Amanda, she hasn't turned her back on Nikita and didn't want her to make the same mistake he made with his partner. However, he could also have been manipulating the situation to have Alex think more favorably of killing Nikita. I'm not sure which it is, but I'm looking forward to seeing how this relationship progresses between Sean and Alex.
Overall, I enjoyed this episode and the detour from looking for the black boxes. The story still tied into Division allowing Michael and Nikita to fix a wrong from a Division program. I hope that going forward we see more of these related cases, rather than the show focusing entirely on the black boxes.