Reunited with Michael (Shane West), Birkhoff (Aaron Stanford), and Ryan (Noah Bean), Nikita‘s (Maggie Q) game with Amanda (Melinda Clarke) and The Shop continues to play out as Ryan shares his hypothesis that Assistant Director the FBI Matthew Graham (Alex Carter) has been swapped out with a double under Amanda’s control just as The Shop did with President Spencer (Michelle Nolden). When Nikita attempts to share this information with the FBI, Amanda makes a counter move framing Nikita for the murder of the man’s wife (Nahanni Johnstone) and the attempted murder of Graham himself.
Out of moves, Nikita decides to play out the hand Amanda has dealt her and become the assassin she’s been painted as in the press. With Michael’s help, Nikita publicly murders the Graham duplicate in hopes that DNA testing will prove he’s an impostor and throw a monkey wrench into The Shop’s carefully laid plans of frame Nikita as a terrorist funded by Alexandra Udinov (Lyndsy Fonseca).
Alex has her own troubles in India with a forced partnership with Owen (Devon Sawa) who she can’t bring herself to fully trust. When Alex is taken by an armed group Owen and Sonya (Lyndie Greenwood) are able to escape, but the future of Nikita’s friend may well lie in how much of Owen is left in Sam. The episode also ends with the reveal of one more double, one far closer to Nikita than she or any other member of the team suspects.
“Dead or Alive” continues to keep the tension high as The Shop’s greater plan slowly comes closer into focus and every move Nikita and her team makes leaves more bodies in their wake. Alex’s abduction leaves her future uncertain, and Nikita’s relationship with Michael may be damaged beyond repair, but the episode’s final reveal that Birkhoff is a Shop double means even bigger trouble for the team.