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La Femme Nikita: Adrian's Garden

Walter: "Adrian founded this place. She's the mother of Section One."

The mystery of the twins has finally been solved. They, and Nikita's neighbor Carla, were working for Adrian, the founder of Section one. That's one I never would have guessed.

There were a couple of very interesting developments here. The first was that we finally got some backstory on the origin of Section. The second was the possibility that Operations is as evil as Adrian said he was. I certainly believe that Section is corrupt, that it lost touch with its original ideals and values, but is Operations really trying to take over the world? Truly? As horrendous as he is, I have a hard time believing he's that bad. (Did I just say that?)

On the sexual harassment front, Madeline wanted Operations to move on. I don't think he wanted to move on. And it was odd that Operations set Leeds up to take a fall for Madeline's sake. He wasn't vindictive about her refusal to sleep with him again, and that sort of surprised me. Although, come to think of it, could Operations run Section without Madeline? He's an overbearing man determined to get his way, so maybe he still thought that he would get Madeline to give in at some point. Never say die. Hey, maybe he is trying to take over the world.

Adrian said that Michael would cover for Nikita because he loves her. Adrian also used a threat to Michael's life to get Nikita to cooperate. Why does everyone see them as a couple when they really aren't together? Is it a vibe thing?

Much like the end of last season, I spent a lot of this episode fretting that Nikita was about to do something stupid because she wanted out so badly. We all know that Section isn't going down any time soon.

Bits and pieces:

— Nikita is capable of lying well. She lied throughout most of this episode. She didn't lie well to Michael, though.

— This episode's Most Obvious Symbolism was the tree peony that Adrian has just planted when she met Nikita. She said that she was planting something that probably wouldn't survive.

— The viewing monitor at Nikita's apartment door was new. Makes sense from a dramatic standpoint, because she always had to stop and look through the peephole. Not any more.

— Loved those clandestine Michael/Nikita meetings in a remote corner of Section, no matter how hard it was to believe that they were getting away with it.

— As usual, Walter was the fount of all wisdom, and knew the scoop on Adrian.

— According to Adrian, the other Sections aren't important. Section One is where the power resides.

— Nikita had a "clock," a homing device of sorts, embedded in her flesh. Not any more.

— Roy Dupuis actually picked "Sauvage" up off the ground and carried him over his shoulders. That takes some serious upper body strength.

— When she went to level two to do clandestine stuff for Adrian, Nikita was wearing a backless dress that looked like it belonged on a fashion runway. I've never seen anyone wear something like that to the office. It felt just a tad inappropriate.

— Cancelled scene: There's a brief scene in the DVD of Carla and Nikita in Adrian's garden.


Birkoff: "I've got two panda teams in Valencia."
Panda teams? Did I hear it wrong? I even checked the close-captioning, and sure enough, he said "panda teams." What on earth could a panda team be? I'm picturing guys in white with blacked-out eyes or something.

Adrian: "What are your hobbies, Nikita? We've been watching you for some time. I haven't been able to detect much of an inner life."
Let's see. Exercising to loud music. Decorating with sunglasses. Fantasizing about Michael. Yeah, that's about it.

Nikita: "What is this all about?"
Adrian: "What it's always been about. The small matter of saving the world."

Ray Leeds: "Look, I don't want to get in the middle of any politics here."
Madeline: "All we do is politics."
I thought it was all about saving the world, Madeline.

Walter: "Adrian is the only person Madeline has ever been afraid of."
That was interesting, because Adrian didn't feel scary at all.

Madeline: "The foreplay was becoming a distraction for both of us."
I think this was my favorite line in this episode. My second favorite was probably Operations' reply, "That's especially cold, Madeline. Even from you."

Three out of four stars,

Billie Doux loves good television and spends way too much time writing about it.


  1. This is the first installment of the two-part season finale, and as such, there is a lot of exposition and set-up in this episode. The introduction of Adrian is done quite skilfully, and there is a great deal of tension created by pitting Michael and Nikita against each other. Despite the deeper levels of Section One looking rather too “Star Trek”, this episode succeeds in its purpose: to make the audience want to see what is going to happen next.

    Spoilers follow...

    When Nikita is kidnapped by Adrian, she is warned that “Anything you might want to say to Michael... would endanger his life.” Unsure of how far Adrian’s people have infiltrated, Nikita lies to Michael about her absence, though she has to wear sunglasses to get through it. However, the worst is yet to come. When gold-jacketed bullets come within centimetres of killing Michael on the Sauvage mission, the threat to Michael’s life is made very clear to Nikita. She is forced to act as a double-agent, and is sent down to Level 2 (which looks a little too much like a corridor on the starship Enterprise) to give Adrian access to the computers.

    Meanwhile, Michael, already suspicious because of Nikita’s lame excuse for her abduction, follows her to Level 2 and surprises her in the elevator. I found the scenes of Nikita deceiving Michael hugely suspenseful and even painful to watch, as Wilson does an excellent job of communicating to the audience that Nikita does not want to lie to Michael, but is forcing herself to do so in order to save his life. Dupuis gives an equally fantastic performance, making it clear that Michael is trying to protect Nikita from herself as well as from Section (just as Adrian predicted).

    Though obviously extremely intelligent, Adrian does not appear to be as cruel or as ruthless as Operations and Madeline. In fact, by the end of the episode, she stops threatening Michael as a way to force Nikita to comply, and instead allows Nikita to decide for herself whether or not to cooperate. After Operations fulfills Adrian’s predictions about arranging for Marin to be assassinated, Nikita is convinced that Adrian is the better option, and agrees to help her destroy Section One.

    Favourite scene:
    The lovely bit of visual storytelling as we cut between Michael searching Nikita’s abandoned apartment, and Nikita waking up in hobbles, having been kidnapped by Carla. Great soundtrack, too.

    Continuity Issues:
    So much for my hope that Madeline would exact revenge from Operations for the death of her husband. The truth is out, and all Madeline does is spurn Operations’ advances. How disappointing. At least Operations protects her from his own scheming by sacrificing Leeds.

    Since Adrian has been out of Section for so long (several years at least), I find it difficult to believe that she would be able to circumvent the security systems and know how to access the files. Technology advances so rapidly that Adrian’s knowledge would have been rendered obsolete, as Section would naturally continue to upgrade their systems.

  2. I have too say that you both gave excellent reviews on this episode. It's one of my favorites of Season 2, including the next since it's a 2-part season finale.

    Serena, it does make one want to see what happens next. And we have the same favorite scene: where Michael's searching Nikita's apartment is juxtaposed with Nikita waking up at Adrian's place.

    Billie, we can indeed include Adrian with the group of people who think Michael and Nikita are a couple. Also have to add that I love the "Bits and Pieces" and "Quotes" parts of your review. I enjoy reading them a lot.

  3. I'm watching re-runs, never saw the first time. I liked Wilson in League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Are the sunglasses to hide her expressive big blues? She wears glasses so often, I guess she normally wears prescription, contacts to show off her gorgeous eyes. That backless id cut too low for current offices, was that maxi-mini era so different?

    "Panda team" was what brought me here. Nothing elsewhere on internet to explain. Maybe even the episode writers would not remember. With Twitter or Facebook now, could someone find them and ask?

    The many scenes with Michael's shirt off show his build is a big reason he was hired. He's not model perfect, yet he's Nikita's ideal, so ours. His delivery is soft, slow, deliberate, threatens male power.

    Bureaucracy tends to maintain old junk past need, so Adrian's old machines could still be around. Anyone can upgrade their tech skills as long as someone on the inside feeds specs. If Nikita is Adrian's first mole, that does put Adrian's up-to-date invasive tech skills in question. In the elevator she fed Nikita most answers, so I didn't feel the emotional conflict you saw.

    Adrian says "I can't force you", but she just has. I don't think the show has to make sense, just keep us engaged, on the seat edge, and coming back. It does.

  4. I'm so glad you pointed out the black dress. It was really bothering me that Nikita would wear that to the office. Also, level two of Section reminded me of the tunnel that runs between Terminal 4 and the Heathrow Express at Heathrow Airport.

    On a brighter note, Ted Atherton! I am a huge fan of his and was hoping he would last longer than one episode. Oh well, it was fun while it lasted.

  5. Loving the reviews Billy! Working through the series again and it's fun reading your take after each episode.

    Regarding Adrian's level of access...I'm guessing that even before she was ousted by Operations she would have had back doors into the Section systems. I'm thinking she probably kept up with their protocols, etc over the years, waiting for the right opportunity to recruit her mole.

  6. Thanks, Lisa! I'm looking forward to reading your comments.

  7. This episode started me thinking about Nikita's female friends. Does she have any off camera? So far the two women she's welcomed into her life have betrayed her (Julie in 'Friend'-although she was a terrorist and not the real Julie- and Carla - who wasn't a terrorist). In Section, Andrea in 'Off Profile' and the defiant operative on her team 'First Mission' were jealous of Nikita because they knew Michael loved her. Despite being gorgeous and really good at her job, Nikita wasn't in competition with other women, but came across as a really loyal friend. I would expect more men than women in Section, but wondered why real women friends weren't written into the script. Madeline doesn't count as she is no one's friend.

    In response to something Billie said, I think people (from Section, terrorists, other folks) assume Michael and Nikita are a couple because of the characters' chemistry. I read an interview with Roy Dupuis where he said the chemistry between him and Peta Wilson was immediate and that sort of connection between actors could not be faked or created over time.


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