Yeah, Nikita giving exposition to her foster father was very stilted. And the opening narration was just too much all at once. I guess I can understand why they did it that way; this was sort of a loose continuation of the premise of an earlier series, almost a sequel though not really, and they were assuming that most viewers would be familiar with the earlier series, the Luc Besson movie, or the remake Point of No Return
, and thus wouldn't need much exposition of the backstory. The problem there is that it makes the series less accessible to totally new viewers. As someone only indirectly familiar with earlier incarnations, evaluating this as a standalone work, I felt it needed more showing and less telling of Nikita's backstory.
Alternatively, the way to make it work better as a standalone piece would've been to start with Alex and follow her primarily, then have her begin to learn about a legendary predecessor named Nikita. It's always a good idea to give the audience a viewpoint figure, someone who's learning the ropes while the audience watches through their eyes, so that it doesn't just feel like an info dump. Of course, that would've made Nikita a less central figure, and I wouldn't want that, because I want to spend a lot of time looking at Maggie Q and her legs which somehow manage to be longer than her whole height. But it would've been better structurally. It would've made it feel more like the beginning of a story than a pseudo-sequel. (Like the original Star Wars
film. It didn't open with Obi-Wan Kenobi giving a voiceover about his days as a Jedi with Vader as his apprentice who betrayed him. First we met Luke, got to know him, then through him we learned about this mysterious figure and the complex backstory he was part of.)