Performance of the Week / TV

Performance of the Week #5 Part 1: Maggie Q

Performance of the Week #5: Maggie Q

‘’Til Death Us Do Part’

Nikita

nikita-image-02Nikita had all the plans for the future, of what lay ahead for her and those she cared about after their missions were completed and the threats neutralised; she would retreat to a quiet, cosy life with Michael, and probably have many mini-kitas running around. A peaceful, pleasant life. But then Amanda happened, the mission to kill the President happened, and all that joy, to take inspiration from a certain Tyrion Lannister, turned to ashes in her mouth–and Maggie Q put in one of the strongest performances she’s ever done on Nikita.

Nikita has never truly been destined for a normal life. She’s become too ingratiated into the ‘secret assassin’ role and it’s enveloped her. Sure, she could attempt to make a new life for herself, away from Amanda and the killing, and she may even succeed, but ultimately she’d most likely be dragged back in, either voluntarily or forcefully. It’s this that makes Nikita’s eventual fate, which seems destined to be her going it alone in order to protect those she cares about the most, even more devastating. Her dreams collapsed around her, but they were always just that—dreams.

It wasn’t just in those scenes that Maggie Q excelled, either. Notably, the scenes where Nikita was hovering over Michael’s lifeless body, vehemently willing him to wake up, were played to near-perfection. I’m not going to deny that Maggie Q has had a few iffy performances in this show, most clustered around the beginnings of the first season where everything was new and understandably took a while to settle down, but that period was short and ever since then her performances have always been above average, whether they’re as part of a fight sequence or a more emotionally charged scene. Michael is Nikita’s true love, so seeing her break to pieces above his body, with the very strong possibility that he might never wake up, was every bit as heartfelt as it should’ve been because of her performance, as was the final scene with Nikita riding off into the distance, alone and destroyed.

Nikita is a show that has been woefully neglected by the viewing masses ever since it first started, which is why it’s winding down to a finish next season after over a year of poor ratings, but it would never have been the same if it weren’t for Maggie Q’s performances as Nikita over the years. She is an exceptional actress and one I will miss seeing on a weekly basis once Nikita comes to an end. She has, since 2010, made the role her own, and this season finale was clear evidence of that, in many emotional, heartbreaking ways.

Honourable Mentions:

Kerry Washington – Scandal

White Hat’s Back On’

Kerry Washington putting in an excellent performance on Scandal is hardly anything surprising; she’s been doing it all season. But in this week’s season finale, she was on fire. The scene when Olivia is told of how Fitz murdered Verna particularly stood out because of how Olivia’s world noticeably collapses when she hears the truth, and how Washington’s facial expressions more than lent weight to the anguish. I don’t know if the much-deserved Emmy nomination will be heading her way this year, but I sincerely hope it does.

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