Madeline: "You'll have your own emotions back when this is over."
This episode had its good points. But it also took the Michael/Nikita relationship by the scruff of the neck and dragged it right back to season one.
Michael has sex on command. So how come Nikita hasn't had to before? Yes, she came close to it in "Love and Country," but let's face it, Markali was a lot more human than Karl Peruze. Did Michael see Nikita sleeping with a terrorist as just another task, comparable to what he's had to do himself? Of course, Michael has had to seduce much less frightening partners than Karl. (Oops, I forgot Andrea.)
Anyway, moving right along to my next complaint. How come they went to the trouble to drug and brainwash Nikita? Why didn't they just order her to do it? I think she could have pulled it off. She's a veteran now, after all.
The whole brainwash thing was ultra creepy, though, I'll give them that. How much did Michael have to do with it? Were the embedded subliminals in Nikita's apartment a one-time thing, or has she been manipulated all along to love Michael in order to keep her in line? Yes, Michael handed her the drugged disks, but did he have a choice? He may be higher up on the food chain, but he still has to follow orders or die, like everyone else in Section. Ah, well. We'll probably never know.
I really liked the actor who played Karl. He was totally evil in the initial scene. He showed extraordinary courage in the white room, both resisting to the end and smart-mouthing Madeline. ("No thanks. I prefer younger." and "What's this? Lunch?") And he was very attractive after his memory had been erased. In a sense, Nikita was lucky. What if they'd captured Simon instead? He was twice as revolting as his brother. I wonder if Simon would have been as willing to die for Karl's sake.
In this week's B plot, the wages of sin caught up with Operations' son, Stephen. Operations was so upset about Stephen's death that he actually threw the command of a mission to Michael. It was touching of Madeline to set up a cover for a murder she knew Operations would commit. And I can't believe I said the words "touching" and "murder" in the same sentence.
Bits and pieces:
-- This episode ended with Nikita tearing up her artwork, a pan back to Nikita on four Section computer screens, and a male voice saying, "Alpha test complete." What was the Casper thing? Was it what they did to Karl, or what they did to Nikita? If it was Nikita, that final scene would make sense. Except it sort of doesn't.
-- Did Michael have to listen to Nikita making love with Karl? It would serve him right if he did, after what happened in "Cat and Mouse."
-- Having Karl's face morph into Michael's was truly freaky.
-- The possibility that female Section operatives have been conditioned to fall in love with Michael was also mentioned in the second season episode, "First Mission."
-- This time, when Madeline called for Housekeeping, I started to wonder: what do they call the people who clean the offices? You know, brooms and mops, not body disposal?
-- In this week's Most Obvious Symbolism, Nikita was wearing what looked like a dog or cat collar in the opening scenes.
-- What's with Roy's hair? It seemed to be doing this uncontrolled flippy kind of thing.
-- Nikita: "Don't you ever get tired of being their errand boy, Michael?" (slaps him) "That's courtesy of my own free will." Michael just took that slap without saying a word. Maybe he felt guilty.
-- Cancelled scenes: There were three deleted scenes on the DVD: (1) An alternate version of the George scene with a too sci-fi communication device; (2) At the end of the first interrogation scene, the Devos come in. Karl laughs out loud and says, sarcastically, "Uh-oh." Very funny. And (3) Nikita and Karl return to their apartment after the deal and make love. This one really should have been in the episode.
Sort of shuddery. Sort of good, despite what I didn't like about it. Three out of four stars,
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