'Nikita' recap: 'Bubble' sacrifices a major character to reveal the truth about Amanda

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Nikita was so blissfully happy thinking Amanda was dead and the war was over after last week's "Nikita" that it took the death of one of her loved ones to shake her out of her "Bubble" on Friday (Dec. 20). So who died for the greater good?

MAJOR SPOILERS BELOW ...

RIP Ryan Fletcher (Noah Bean). You've come a long way since you were introduced in Season 1, from a CIA analyst obsessed with discovering the truth about Division, to the leader of the new and improved Division, to the brains behind Nikita's team in Season 4. Your dedication to seeking out the truth and getting justice for all Amanda had done was admirable, and you even gave your own life to make sure Nikita knew Amanda was still alive. But let's back up ... how did Ryan even know the bubble Amanda had created for Nikita and her team to live in was a lie?

Everyone was safe and sound on a Marine Corps base in Virginia after delivering the real President home. "No matter what happens, no matter how this ends, Amanda's dead. We won," Michael [Bishop -- oh my gosh we finally learned his last name after four seasons!] tells Nikita as they wait for the government to tell them what they're going to do. When they finally get the chance to debrief, the whole group -- Nikita, Michael, Birkhoff, Ryan, and Sonya -- tells the government the truth ... the entire truth, all the way back to Season 1's Nikita exacting revenge on Percy's Division. They leave no stone unturned, no secret untold, and the government not only believes it, but they want to make Nikita a hero to the public to sell the less-truthful story (they don't want all the gruesome and shocking details out there in the world to cause chaos, much like the black boxes would have created). She agrees to testify in a congressional hearing in exchange for pardons and immunity for the whole team, and the country loves her. She truly is a hero.

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But Ryan won't let the bubble be. He senses too many secrets surrounding MDK and Jones' easy capture and is intent on figuring out the truth. He even created a new wall of crazy in his home on the base, despite Nikita begging him to leave it alone: she's happy thinking it's over and doesn't think Ryan's right -- even though he is. It's not over.

But what Ryan doesn't know is that The Group is no longer in control: Amanda is. She convinced the leader of The Group to let her use her mind control needle on all their doubles to program ultimate loyalty to them ... but she actually programmed ultimate loyalty to her.

Ryan gets his meeting with the captive Jones who drops some major knowledge on him: The Group was a name Percy used to describe the eight individuals -- including Jones -- who ran everything. Before Ryan can react, someone injects him with something ... and he wakes up in Amanda's chair.

Since she's about to alter his memory, she confesses her ultimate plan to him: She's taking over simply because she wants to. Ryan knows that if he dies while supposedly "in a meeting with Jones on the base," that will expose Amanda and the fact that the trouble isn't over, so he sacrifices himself while escaping. Watching him desperately jump out of a window and fall to the ground was like a punch to the gut ...

Especially when it's juxtaposed with the next scene where Nikita and Michael are happily in bed together fantasizing about what they'll do with the rest of their lives now that their war is over. They have no idea that it's only just beginning and that Ryan has given his life to warn them of that. He barely survived the fall, and Nikita rushes to his side in the hospital. She calls him her family, making the whole thing that much more heartbreaking. He whispers in her ear that it's not over, and apologizes for not being wrong about the conspiracy. And then he succumbs to his injuries. Thank you for all you've done, Ryan -- you will be missed and mourned.

Making his death all the more depressing, Nikita isn't allowed to reveal to the public what Ryan died, because the government has her trapped in this lie she already sold to the public. So she ditches her team again, escapes from the base, and joins up with Alex to form the original team that started it all since the pilot to finally take down Amanda.

During all this, Alex saves Sam from the guys that kidnapped him for the money he owes them in Paris, and then he and Alex bang! But when they learn of Ryan's death, she sends Sam to join up with the team at the base while she meets Nikita, ready to finish it once and for all.

We've got one more episode to go before "Nikita" ends for good, and seven other Group leaders for Alex and Nikita to take down before they can get to Amanda. Will they be able to finish it all without any more casualties like Ryan? We'll have to wait until Friday, Dec. 27 at 9 p.m. ET to find out.

Photo/Video credit: The CW