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La Femme Nikita: Beyond the Pale

Nikita: "How long do you think we'll stay here?"
Michael: "Not long enough."

Yes, it was a trick, much like what they did to smoke out Philo. But I sure wanted it to be real. I wanted Michael to decide it was time to go, and take Nikita with him. (But then the show would be over, so I sort of take that back.) At least they got to play house again, like in "Psychic Pilgrim." But this time, it was almost for real.

There were clues throughout that it was a set-up:

1. Considering what we know about Michael, it was unlikely he would leave Section in a fit of pique because he didn't get the promotion he wanted.

2. Why would Michael hole up in one place and wait to get caught? Made no sense... unless he wanted to get caught. If Michael really wanted to escape Section, I'm certain he could figure out a way to do it right.

3. Nikita stayed at the farmhouse instead of trying to find Michael. She would only do that if Michael told her to do it. Right?

Zalman was evil fun; he was certainly a three-dimensional character. He said he was briefed about Michael and Nikita's relationship. By whom, I wonder? He told Michael, "Love? You? I find that very hard to believe." He also called Nikita a second rate blonde whore. Those Red Cell guys. Not too perceptive.

Anyway, forget the plot. The big question is, did Michael and Nikita make love at the farmhouse? Of course they did. When Nikita woke up, she did the patented Scarlett O'Hara yawn, stretch, and smile. And in the end, when they had dinner together, she told him, "You know, it can't be casual between you and me. Can't do that." Can't just have sex on the occasional mission, Michael. Nikita wants more.

This episode worked for me because I loved the idea of Michael and Nikita loyal only to each other, and opposed to Section. In the truck, Michael told Nikita, "I don't need you. I want you." This was my favorite Michael moment, because ploy or no ploy, he clearly meant it. Michael is so taciturn that an "I want you" is like a violent declaration of love. At the very least, it was an emotional move in Nikita's direction. About freaking time.

Bits and pieces, and I have a lot of them:

— For those of you not up on Gone with the Wind, the morning after Rhett carried Scarlett up the stairs, Scarlett woke up alone. She yawned and stretched and wow, did she smile. She even giggled.

— Zalman tortured Walter. Shithead.

— When did Michael have time to buy a farmhouse? Will we ever see it again?

— Nikita must have thought their escape was real at first, because of the way she left Walter and the conversation in the truck. So when did the important off-camera conversation take place? Did Michael tell her in the car? When they were in bed, perhaps?

— The farmhouse appeared to have no electricity. Except for the record player.

— Operations again showed respect toward Walter, which always feels odd to me. And he gave Walter a crystal to "relieve the pain of life," along with a month off.

— The field router looked too much like a large, cheap television remote.

— The Devos were back. According to the deleted scene, Michael's torture was faked. (No cuts under his eyes, either.) Why not Walter's? Couldn't Operations have told Walter on the QT to fake it?

— What happens to the chief strategist job now? Is it still open? Will Michael get it?

— Roy Dupuis owns an old farmhouse, and cooking is one of his hobbies. They gave Michael a little of Roy here. The music was in French, too.

— We saw Nikita in bed twice. Interesting sleepwear.

— Cancelled scene: Birkoff and Walter are watching Michael and the Devos on screen. Instead of torturing him, they're giving him water and spritzing fake sweat on his face.


Walter: "What you lookin' at, sugar?"
Nikita: "Just the best part of my day."

Nikita: "I didn't realize you had such talent in the kitchen, Michael."
Michael: "There's still a lot of things you don't know about me. Maybe it's time you learned."
Gee, what else is he keeping secret? Does he have another wife stashed somewhere?

Zalman: "You can assure Operations I will find Michael and Nikita."
Madeline: "That's not a good sign, using a third party to mediate communications. It's an indication of instability."

Zalman: "Don't tell me about the labor pains, okay? Just show me the baby."

Madeline: "It took me nine hours to figure out. I could have used that time elsewhere."
Operations: "I actually factored in ten hours. As usual, you exceeded my expectations."
He should have told her. What if she had had Michael killed, or tortured for real?

Loved this one. Four out of four stars,

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


  1. And the Continuity Nightmare continues... If you get a feeling of deja vu while watching this, it is because writer Hertzog returns with a script that steals gratuitously from several previous episodes. The result is a story that is much less than the sum of its parts due to enormous plot holes and continuity issues. While it is always fun to watch Michael and Nikita “playing house”, the fact that the entire premise of this episode is copied from the memorable and far superior “Slipping Into Darkness” (which was only four episodes ago, by the way!) reduces the final plot twist from “surprising and clever” to “repetitive and eye-rolling”. This unfairly diminishes “Slipping Into Darkness”, and renders moot another (also far better) episode, “Cat and Mouse”. It is bad enough that no one seems to be monitoring continuity in Season Three; it adds insult to injury that a derivative and logic-defying writer such as Hertzog is offered continuing employment.

    Spoilers follow...

    Recycled Ideas:
    – Michael and Nikita “playing house” mimics the premise in “Psychic Pilgrim”.
    – The audience is deliberately kept out of the loop as in “Slipping Into Darkness”, where there were also hidden cameras in Section necessitating the charade.
    – Also as in “Slipping Into Darkness”, this ruse is instigated in order to flush out a Red Cell operative.
    – The fact that the villain is a mole in Section is not enough of a variation, since this already occurred in “Hard Landing”.
    – We just saw Walter interrogated for helping Nikita in the previous episode, “Threshold of Pain”.

    Hertzog then rearranges these stolen ideas into a “mole” story, undoubtedly because this cliched plot requires less imagination to write than inventing a new terrorist threat. Unfortunately, Hertzog can’t even manage to make this “mole” story plausible .

    Logic Flaws and Continuity Issues:
    – The audience has seen the way that Section operatives are trained and continuously tested: as depicted, it is almost impossible to infiltrate Section. This is why Red Cell has gone to such clever and extraordinary lengths to fight Section in previous episodes (“War”, “Inside Out”, “Open Heart”, “Cat And Mouse”, “Slipping Into Darkness”). Now all of a sudden, it’s so easy to fool Section that a wimp like Zalman can do it? Not likely.
    – It defies all logic that Red Cell would really be so stupid as to fall for the exact same tactic used so recently in “Slipping Into Darkness”.
    – It makes no sense that Michael would not be allowed in the storage area of Walter’s workstation, since lower-level operatives like Birkoff and Nikita are allowed in that area all the time.
    – The value of the “field router” device also makes no sense. It is described as being “programmed with Section’s codes and frequencies” – so wouldn’t Section just change the codes and frequencies when they discovered it was missing, thus rendering it useless after it has been activated just once?
    – Why would Michael and Nikita bother to continue the ruse in the truck? (“Michael, are you running away because you lost a post to Zalman?”)
    – Michael tells Nikita that he chose this farmhouse because it is “over 50 km from a population zone”. He later tells Zalman that the farmhouse is “5 km SW of town”. Apparently, Hertzog can’t even remember his own dialogue.
    – Most damaging to series continuity is this: if Red Cell had such a highly-placed mole, why the heck would they have bothered to spend two years on an elaborate plan to replace a mere level-2 operative (Nikita’s double in “Cat and Mouse”)? And why would they have needed Michael so badly that one of their top men would risk meeting with him (“Slipping into Darkness”)?

    I recommend pretending that this sorry episode is the product of Nikita daydreaming about spending more time with Michael, so the illogical events depicted never happened. She doesn’t seem to have any other hobbies...

  2. "I recommend pretending that this sorry episode is the product of Nikita daydreaming about spending more time with Michael, so the illogical events depicted never happened. She doesn’t seem to have any other hobbies..."

    Okay Serena, recommendation taken.

    'Yes, it was a trick, much like what they did to smoke out Philo. But I sure wanted it to be real. I wanted Michael to decide it was time to go, and take Nikita with him. (But then the show would be over, so I sort of take that back.) At least they got to play house again, like in "Psychic Pilgrim." But this time, it was almost for real.'

    But like Billie, I sure wanted it to be real.

    So I enjoyed it for what it was.

  3. HAHAHA!!! Serena, you review made me laugh, right after the beautiful review by Billie. I, too, was going WTF, it's rehash, but I couldn't have found all the "whys" like you did. Particularly, my pet peeve with these type of episodes is "why the continuing the ruse when they're both alone?" Kinda like when two foreigners in their own country speak English to each other. Cheaper than subtitles, I guess.

    My thing right away was "is Michael baiting Nikita all over again? And she's falling for it all over again?" But then what about the Operatives that Nikita "killed" outside the house: those 2 never did get up. Also did she have rubber bullets or were they wearing bullet proof vests? And if so, how come they don't wear those when they go on missions and get shot by bad guys?

    Equally bothering me right off the bat, that neither of you has mentioned: if Michael OWNS the cabin, then there's paper trail. End of episode! Having said this, like Billie I like it very much. I loved the cinematography, the beautiful oatmeal & military gray-green colors of the sweaters and other clothes.

    When the bad guy was about to rape Nikita, I knew then and there that Michael was right behind. I never did get he was a Red Cell mole though. And yes, it bothered me that they tortured poor Walter. Why not fake it? And he gets 1 whole month off? Wasn't it a few episodes ago he and Birkoff got all time off cancelled for the next 6 months? I can't keep track of section time, I just hope he's in next episode (this one I never saw back when it aired, it's the 3rd episode I'd missed, and I never knew it!)

    I also didn't know the Hergtzov guy is a bad writer. I have seen his name before. I have to look him up, doesn't he do Hawaii 5-O currently or something?

    Anyway all in all, a quite enjoyable episode. Would have been more enjoyable if I'd seen it in real time, as 1 work week going by in between would have made me forget previous episodes. Thanks for your awesome reviews. Too bad you don't watch & review other shows I like. Some day I will suggest...

  4. Loved the GWTW reference. Great minds, my friend. I thought exactly the same thing when Nikita woke up.

    This was fun. Clearly, something was going on, but it was fun while it lasted. I love all the subtext that goes on between Michael and Nikita.

    Serena -- I think you may be being a bit harsh on Hertzog. For one thing, he would not have written this episode in a vacuum. He would have been part of a writing team. More importantly, however, at the time you posted this comment, no one would have been able to offer Mr. Hertzog continuing employment as he had died two years earlier after a long and distinguished career.

  5. you do not know how to read
    they did not sleep in the hut
    Nikita and Zalman have a gun with blanks
    Nikita understands the deceit when the zalman says it's a cell
    Operation torturing operatives as a test and must be realistic, and he tested himself before in the episodes
    This is a performance in the show
    The operation is monitored, the operation monitors the section
    The episode has flaws, but it's fun, but it carries a message
    But if you're serious, read the history books

  6. ``The field router looked too much like a large, cheap television remote.`` Im sure that it was a television remote
    Its like the ``secret panel that Michael use in his office`` It looks like a scientific calculator. Sometimes these details are cute :)
    Low budget series; great creativity.
    Awesome! 2021 and there are new comments :)

  7. Anonymous, yes, there are a lot of new comments, and that makes me happy. I think it's because there simply aren't a lot of LFN sites still up and running.

  8. "Why would Michael hole up in one place and wait to get caught?" - moreover, in the place he said he bought himself.
    I found the attempt to deceive the audience a bit silly. Nikita is not stupid, she would also question the plan. And it doesn't make sense to keep her in the dark. There's no "plausibility" needed and it could cause unnecessary casualties among other operatives sent to hunt her down. Then why show the conversation in the truck?
    It could be a "loyalty test" carried out in parallel, or simply Michael's curiosity on how far he can pull. Both options would lead Nikita to the bitter realization, that she was cheated again. Fortunately, it seemed not to be the case. So in my mind, that conversation never happened.
    Thanks for pointing out that she didn't try to find Michael - which means she probably knew. I was also wondering if the Section indeed hasn't had any better way to lure the mole out, rather than let him torture agents. So it's good to know that at least Michael's torture was a fake. Poor Walter...
    Overall I still enjoyed the episode, and could close my eyes to minor discrepancies.

    By the way, looking at the "Recent Comments" panel on the right side, I'm starting to spam the whole feed. Sorry. Got a bit excited while progressing through the series, and wanted to let the world know there are still people in 2022 who watch this show :D

  9. Nastya, your comments are welcome and don't worry about "spamming the feed." It changes constantly. :)


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