Rene: "I was mistaken when I said you were still alive."
The best part of this episode wasn't the pathetic L'heure Sanguine; it was the bits and pieces we finally learned about Michael's past. He was a student activist who was so filled with the anger of youth that he went too far, which absolutely fits his personality as we've come to know it. We also learned that he was arrested during the student protests in Paris in 1984, and it's now 1998, so that was fourteen years ago. Which would have made him twenty, perhaps, when he went to prison?
Rene talked about what Michael was like back then: "With Michael aboard, you will understand the meaning of the word 'commitment.' There's no one like him. There never was." The thing is, Michael was still the same. His level of commitment to Section was extraordinary. Discovering that Michael was once essentially a terrorist himself made his commitment to Section easier to understand. He was making amends for the mistakes of his youth. His work in Section gave Michael a purpose in life. No, more than a purpose. A calling.
Nikita stalked Michael again, and it seemed to be okay with him. I was surprised that he wasn't angry at her for giving up Rene and that he finally relented and confided in her, but on second thought, it made sense. Michael had to know that it would end the way it did. Maybe he was relieved that Nikita took the decision out of his hands. Michael so rarely shows emotion that when he does, it's almost shocking; he was so sad when Rene died, but not angry. And again, that made sense.
In other news, Operations gave Madeline jewelry, and it wasn't even her birthday. And finally, we know: they were once lovers. ("Let's not open things up again.") Sexual harassment in Section? How very intriguing.
-- It was implied that Michael and Rene were speaking French, not English. It was also implied that Michael's real name is Michel.
-- Operations and Madeline had a working breakfast. That was new. Makes them a little more human.
-- Madeline again showed consideration for Michael by offering to take care of Rene herself.
-- Michael's parents are dead. He was raising his younger sister when he was arrested. She is now married to a chef and has a young son. In that final scene, Michael put up the car window between himself and his sister: again, the symbolism of look, but don't touch.
-- Nikita was shown alone in her apartment literally playing with fire (putting her hand over a candle flame). A little metaphor fire, there?
-- European license plates again, and they were driving when they left Section. I think this means Section is in Europe.
-- Birkoff had new glasses, rectangular instead of round.
Nikita was almost petulant again. "You should try talking to me next time, Michael. Maybe you'll get better results."
Rene: "You once said a person defines themselves by what they are willing to die for. I will die for a belief. You will die because you have none."
Operations: "It might seem farfetched, Nikita, but you have a future with Section One."
Does she really? What does Operations have in mind?
Two and a half stars,
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