Nikita: "Something's not right. Operations is cold and ruthless, but he's not irrational."
Section is scary. Section with a madman at the helm is a lot scarier.
Michael is brilliant at this type of work. He carried off a complex, dangerous undercover operation, an operation on which his boss's life depended, and he did it alone without so much as breaking a sweat. Of course, Operations did break a sweat. Gold acting stars to Eugene Robert Glazer; he was fabulous channeling Captain Queeg.
My favorite scene, or favorite Michael moment as it were, was when everyone backed up Michael as Operations was screaming, "Cancel them all!" Finally seeing solidarity among the "prisoners" of Section was outright satisfying. They all know Michael is sane and fair. He's a powerful man, and Operations' heir apparent as well.
Can you imagine Michael truly running Section, with Nikita as his second? (Michael certainly knows Nikita much better than Petrosian did, and how best to utilize her talents.) If it ever happened, would Section change in a fundamental way? Or is Michael, deep down, as brutal and ruthless as Operations? This is one of the frustrating things about Michael as a character. I like to think Michael is the better man that he sometimes appears to be, that his feelings for Nikita, for Adam and Elena, are proof that there's a real human being in there. But we don't really know.
And to continue with the same theme... as good as this episode was, what it lacked was insight into what Michael was thinking. (Like that's new.) Come on. Wasn't Michael just a little bit tempted to let Operations die? Wouldn't it have been cool if he'd seriously considered it, perhaps talked with Nikita about it in some oblique way?
Whenever I see episodes like this one, I ponder exactly when and how the unseen conversations took place. Certainly, it was obvious that Operations, Madeline, and Michael met secretly before the action started to set up the sting on Philo. But when did Michael tell Nikita? Were they acting in the car, right before he "shot" her? If they were under surveillance by Philo, how did Michael let her know? Sign language? Did he whisper in her ear?
Bits and pieces:
-- Madeline's distress as Operations deteriorated was subtle but visible, especially in that scene where Michael took command.
-- The footage of the attack on Pogue's safe house was the same as the attack on David Fanning's compound in "Obsessed." Maybe, with the helicopter and the natives and all, the episode was getting too expensive and/or taking too long.
-- Even Philo's front man knew that Michael and Nikita were an item.
-- Everyone in Section wore black, or dark colors. Nikita came in wearing a white coat.
-- In this week's hair report, Walter's hair was loose instead of in a ponytail. That was a first.
The irrepressible Mick Schtoppel was back, and hitting up Nikita for condoms at the crack of dawn. "Come on, doll. I'm sure you and Michael practice safe sex." Well, yeah. In the sense of not having sex at all.
Walter: "It doesn't make any sense. One day he's normal. The next day he's Dante, leading us down the nine circles of Hell."
Nikita: "He might die."
Michael: "That's the point."
Now, see? Couldn't they have talked obliquely about Operations dying, right there?
Operations: "He might just have what it takes to do this job."
Madeline: "Your successor? I don't think he has the ambition."
Operations: "Oh, he's got it. He just doesn't know it yet."
Classic twisty episode. Three out of four stars,
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