Home Featured TV Shows All TV Shows Movie Reviews Book Reviews Articles Frequently Asked Questions About Us

La Femme Nikita: All Good Things

Nikita: "I don't want special treatment."
Michael: "Would you prefer to be dead?"

Meet the new boss. Not quite the same as the old boss. Even though Michael in charge was pretty satisfying, he was even colder and less emotional than Operations... with a couple of interesting exceptions.

The first was his blatant favoritism of Nikita, promoting her over Wallace, and not incidentally, saving her life. And second, there was the whole strange and ambiguous Bergomi mission. What really happened? It was so hard to tell. Was Michael drunk on power? Did he deliberately risk lives and a disastrous failure in order to court George's favor and make Operations look bad? Or did Michael simply see that the mission was possible after all? Maybe it was all three.

Why did Operations and Madeline not want Michael to do it? I got the impression that Operations returned from Center so quickly because he was worried George would promote Michael permanently. Operations may now perceive Michael as a serious threat to his job. What's scary is that Operations and Madeline see Nikita as Michael's weakness, and they are ready to exploit it in any way that they can. This can't be good for our heroes.

Nikita was impressive here. Madeline ordered her to sabotage Michael; Nikita refused. Nikita kept giving Michael her honest opinion, even when it didn't please him and wasn't what he wanted to hear. She supported him in every instance... except, of course, when it came to ordering operatives to their deaths. Nikita was still Nikita, after all. And she worried about him, constantly. She gave him exactly what he needed, in spite of himself, every step of the way.

Nikita: "Feels strange. We're really together now."
Michael: "If we want to be."

Such a noncommittal, typical Michael answer. He finally gave her what she wanted – sex, a relationship – but he was still so closed off from her. My favorite Michael moment was when he turned command dark so that he could steal a kiss from her. It was uncharacteristically romantic, and yet it was still very Michael, manipulating Nikita's emotions, making certain his promotion had changed nothing between them. I truly believe at this point that he loves her, but manipulating people is second nature to him.

As I mentioned in an earlier review, when I first fell in love with this series and was marathoning my way through season two, I kept longing for three specific things to happen. All of them happen in season three. The first was Michael's emotional meltdown in "Gates of Hell." The second was here, with Michael running Section. Stay tuned for number three.

Bits and pieces:

— Michael was left in charge because Operations was reassigned to Center. As usual for this series, we didn't learn much about what Center was, except it appeared to be a step up for Operations.

— When the episode opened, Madeline already knew Michael and Nikita were sleeping together. The bed was probably still warm. That was fast.

— The title of this episode was "All Good Things." What usually follows is, "must come to an end." But wasn't this episode more of a beginning? Nikita is not going to break up with Michael because he went a little power mad. Not after all they've been through.

— What was the pendant/dog tag thing that Operations transferred to Michael?

— They do twelve hour shifts in Data Retrieval & Verification? That's not logical. People don't stay alert at a computer screen that long.

— George, unlike Operations, actually appears to care about the suffering of innocent people. "Appears" being the operative word.

— Adrian was mentioned again. She is still blackmail fodder, obviously.

— At the Oversight "special session," there were eight bickering people, including George. Are there seven sections? Where did the meeting take place? An electronic meeting would have been more logical, but not as dramatically interesting.

— In Section, everyone wore black or dark colors. Nikita wore a blue-grey suit and a blue shirt. Okay, okay, Birkoff wore a grey jacket, but my point is still valid.

— In this week's hair report, Madeline's was a little bit longer and softer. Looked good on her.


Nikita: "I suppose I should do as I'm told, keep my opinions to myself."
Michael: "In Section, yes."
(In bed, no?)

Michael: "Don't fail me, Nikita. You're the only person in the world I trust."
That's no small thing for a man like Michael. In fact, it's quite touching.

George: "Operations and Madeline are like Siamese twins. They bicker, they squabble, but they never separate."
Even when he's sexually harassing her?

Michael: "This is Section. Missions are carried out. People die. And sometimes the reasons are not always clear."

Madeline: "I never thought he could be so reckless."
Operations: "There's another possibility. He's just better than we are."
Absolutely. I'm down with that.

Four out of four stars,

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


  1. A flawless and fantastically gripping episode full of conflict and suspense. Though light on action, this story is nonetheless astonishingly intense as Michael is tested by absolutely everyone and everything. He goes head-to-head with all the heavyweights (the other Section Heads, George, Madeline, Operations, and even Nikita) all the while taking enormous risks to achieve the seemingly impossible. As the danger from all sides increases (underscored by Sean Callery’s marvellous music) the audience is at the edge of their seats: will Michael succeed when it seems that everyone, including Nikita, is against him? This dramatic episode is nothing short of brilliant, and every member of the cast and crew rises to the occasion by making stellar contributions. One of the top three episodes of Season Three.

    Spoilers follow...

    Michael has already lost Simone, Elena, and Adam. Operations has already sentenced Nikita to cancellation twice. I think it’s safe to say that Michael will do anything in his power to keep Nikita alive, and the teaser sets up Michael’s motivation for the entire episode:

    Nikita: Section won’t like [that we’re together]. What do you think they’ll do?
    Michael: We’ll have to see.

    If there’s one thing we have learned about Michael, it’s that he’s always thinking strategically. So when Operations hands him temporary command of Section, Michael naturally remains alert for any opportunity to be proactive. This opportunity presents itself in the Bergomi mission: if Michael can sufficiently impress George, it’s possible that Michael could be given control of Section, which would guarantee that Operations could no longer endanger Nikita’s life. The stakes are extremely high, however: if Michael fails, he will likely be cancelled, and just by making the attempt he makes enemies of Operations and Madeline.

    In addition to running Section, orchestrating the “layered matrix” and the Bergomi mission, and countering internal sabotage from Madeline, Michael also has to be careful when dealing with Nikita. She may be “the only person in the world [he trusts]”, but he knows he can’t tell her everything, as Nikita always objects to his protection (“Mercy”), and disapproves of his ruthlessness (“First Mission”) even when it’s on her behalf (“Double Date”):

    Nikita: I don’t want special treatment.
    Michael: Would you prefer to be dead?
    Nikita: So it’s true. You promoted me to keep me off the mission.

    Actually, Michael decided to promote Nikita before he saw the profile, but it is true that Michael values Nikita’s life above all else, including considerations of fairness, morality, and Section protocol (“Escape”, “Mandatory Refusal”, “Gates of Hell”, “Threshold of Pain”, to name just a few). Since Nikita would never agree to Michael’s coldly pragmatic approach to ensuring her future safety, Michael keeps his true motives for pushing the Bergomi mission to himself. This decision is justified almost immediately, as Nikita insists on returning to the field out of fairness (echoing her conversation with Walter in “Hand to Hand”), and later penetrates the Bergomi compound herself rather than send two other operatives to their probable deaths.

    Audience admiration for Michael soars as he surmounts each challenge using superior strategic intelligence and steely determination. Assisted by Nikita’s superb field tactics, Michael overcomes impossible odds to achieve victory in every one of the battles he faces, only to ultimately lose the war: Operations returns before Michael can consolidate his position, and Nikita is repelled by the actions he took on her behalf (“I don’t know who you are”). Compounding this defeat is the fact that their jeopardy is now greater than ever before, as Operations and Madeline realize that Michael has the potential to be a real threat to their power, and Nikita is the catalyst that spurred him to take such risks. The episode ends with Madeline’s threat: “Fortunately, even the best have weaknesses.”

  2. One of my favorites - can you tell why? It's just the formally acknowledged beginning (honestly, we know Michael and Nikita's relationship began the minute they laid eyes on each other, ha) of the relationship I've longed to happen.

    Have to give props to both your reviews. Especially sharp analysis there, Serena. Love both your insights, separately and together - they make me appreciate the characters more, better understand their motivations and easily follow the storyline.

  3. So Michael and Nikita finally close encountered. Opening scene was as thrilling as the most difficult special op in Section One. What else can make you sit at the top of your chair, fingers crossed,stops you from breathing and praying to all known and unknown saints. 'please Michael, say yes, don't let Nikita down on this one. For once."
    And he did. He wanted to be together as well. I've started breathing again, my heart stopped there for a second. With Michael you never know.I've had my doubts he's saying yes, and Nikita wasn't quit sure of him of them neither so it seemed in the opening act. Nevertheless, and maybe I am greedy, I can't stop thinking and wanting to see how they actually made their moves. End of previous episode was clear, Nikita saying that maybe to much time was passed.Meaning, I'm not gonna fall that easy for you anymore. She isn't that naieve anymore.
    We know Michael enigmatic and closed character by now. I can't imagine he glamoured her just by saying:"you and me, babe, how about it?" Or did Nikita the opening move? Gosh, what an challenge for the scriptwriters to work that out,don't you think?
    But of course it's the strenght of the show, keeping the viewers happy with that sort of question. With all sort of questions. And not going to fast when it comes to romance between our heroes.
    And again through out the whole episode it shows wat an outstanding actor Dupuis is. Michael finally making his choice and choosing for Nikita, manages to keep his pokerface all the time, but when Nikita shows up, there's this extra sparkle in his eyes. Which wasn't there before....I liked this vulnerability, despite his hardplay leading Section.
    And is Section monitoring Nikita's flat again? How else could Madeline know so quickly their relation went up to another level? On the other hand Michael and Nikita have experience on making love when camera's our watching. Maybe they just don't botter anymore?
    Just loved the whole episode.

  4. Loved the scene at the end with Michael on the catwalk and Nikita looking at him scornfully (might be a bit off on the exact wording):

    N: "I dont know who you are anymore"

    M: "I am who I have always been."

    He delivers that line almost sadly.

  5. I love this episode. In part because of Michael's taking over but also for Madeline telling Michael "If power is what you want all you have to do is wait, it will come to you." Which is true in everything.
    But as a character, Michael has endured for a decade and suffered the love and double loss off Simone (finding her and losing her again) and the loss of a child and the loss of countless lovers he had to betray for section.
    Who could wait one more second?
    Season Three just kept making LFN better and better. Sadly, 2000 and 2001 did not improve Nikita, but in 1999 all that was the future and as a fan this show just pulled me deeper and deeper into the world of Section One.
    Also, I thing the dogtag thing Operations gave Michael was a key to files and the ability to self destruct the section if needed.

  6. I must say that I was surprised to check in here and see all of the gushing reviews for this episode. The premise was interesting, and there were some nice moments, but this was the second episode in a row that I simply found boring. I mostly kept myself occupied by wondering if this would have another plot twist like the other recent episodes where Michael was seemingly going against Section, but instead nothing happened.

    It's left ambiguous as to why Michael sided with George over Operations, and whether his success was more skill or luck. This mysteriousness is a central component of Michael's character, but it's nice to develop that part of him in ways which don't compromise the ability to tell the main story of the episode. The ambiguity in this case is entirely a result of the writers leaving the audience in the dark about virtually all aspects of the missions taking place.

    Given the lack of attention to plot details, we're left with a character-driven episode which struggles to avoid coming off as a contrived ploy to set up future story arcs. Section may not have ever been portrayed as a particularly friendly place, but it was at least a highly professional environment where skill and competence were valued and people mostly played by the rules and knew what to expect. After beating around the bush a few times in previous episodes, this one finally threw that concept out the window. It's a troubling precedent for a show which has been hinting more and more at a desire to move away from creative storytelling and into the realm of mindless popcorn entertainment. Michael was being groomed to be Operations' successor but suddenly it's a big problem that he shows himself to be qualified for the position? The premise isn't believable and it illustrates how the show was not originally designed to accommodate these types of plots revolving around the politics of Section One and its related entities. Yet the show keeps adding more of it.

  7. I remember trying to imagine how the Section would be with Michael in charge and Nikita as second-in-command. The alliance of mind and heart, ensuring balance in leadership. Well, on second thought... Operations at least smiles sometimes.
    This whole situation was such a classical example of the real-life project management stories: those middle managers, who put pressure on their team instead of protecting it, so that they can report a great success. Oh, and this manager also behaves quite arrogantly and prefers his girlfriend when it comes to promotions.
    As a viewer I feel sympathy for the difficult situation he is in. Of course chief position means more for Michael than just power - it means ability to protect those he cares about. Success of the mission also means saved lives (feels like no one really cared though).
    But it put both him and Nikita in great danger. Trusting his own judgement over his superior's is one thing, playing behind the boss's back is another. And if I remember correctly, Michael and Nikita are only witnesses of Adrian situation who are still alive, so reminding them of that didn't seem wise. George is far away, Operations controls their day-to-day life.
    Nikita seems like a good leader in a sense that she cared about the team, not just numbers, but in my eyes her actions on the mission also showed she was not ready for the role. She should have trusted two selected teammates; breaking the orders and taking the coordination point out in the middle of a hustle might have caused even more losses.
    I'm glad she didn't go with Madeline's suggestion about sabotage, I doubt Michael would have ever been able to get over that. We all hope he won't allow his manipulative and ambitious side to get the best of him. But it's not like he really tried to hide it from Nikita in the past, and I kinda liked the fact that he didn't try to gloss it over ("I’m who I’ve always been").


We love comments! We moderate because of spam and trolls, but don't let that stop you! It’s never too late to comment on an old show, but please don’t spoil future episodes for newbies.