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La Femme Nikita: Cat and Mouse

Nikita: "How long do you expect me to do this?"
Torture Guy: "Until Michael's life has no further value to you."

Ah, the evil double. A cult show dramatic staple, and for good reason.

Nikita was terrific. She stayed calm and thought the situation through. She figured out exactly who to tell, and how to do it clandestinely. What I found delightful was that the plot revolved entirely around her almost nonexistent sexual relationship with Michael. She even handled watching Michael make love to her double with considerable aplomb. Of course, watching Michael seduce someone else wasn't a new situation for her.

I've often wondered how Michael manages to make love to women he cares nothing about, and theorized that he probably deals with it by fantasizing about Nikita. It would certainly be easy to do in this case. What was he thinking? Was he wildly worried about Nikita, or did he just turn off his emotions? Did he think she was dead while he was making very convincing love to Abby?

Although Michael didn't tumble to the fake until that scene on level four, he picked up three clues that something wasn't right about Nikita: (1) she didn't know what he was talking about at first when he asked about her cold; (2) he asked her why she was wearing glasses; (3) the fact that she wasn't targeted on the mission, even though the bad guys had a clear shot at her. When Abby finally said the total wrong thing in that level four scene, we can actually see Michael realizing the truth; he did that eye shift that, for Michael, signifies strong emotion.

Nearly every villain on this show has a name. We've seen Torture Guy twice now, and he still doesn't have one. He treated Nikita almost like an old friend, like they were just a couple of companionable voyeurs, which was interesting since Nikita was the one that put him in that wheelchair in "War." By the way, I particularly liked that circular set, with Nikita chained to the monitor in the middle, essentially "tethered," like a tame animal, to her double.

Poor Birkoff. Did he really, truly believe that Nikita was hot for him? Really, Birkoff? (I'm sort of surprised that Abby didn't go for Operations. Maybe she had that planned for next week.) I loved what Nikita did for Birkoff in the end. "From what I could tell, you were pretty delicious." That was so sweet of her.

Finally, they left us with an unanswered question. (Gee, that's never happened before.) (That was my sarcastic voice.) Did Nikita pull the trigger, or did she let Madeline do it? I think she let Madeline do it. Then again, Abby did just have sex with Michael, so maybe Nikita decided it was time to take the plunge. And by the way, it was totally unfair that some strange Nikita double got to have sex with Michael, and Nikita can't.

Bits and pieces:

— Michael got a "Jacques" call. This was the first time, wasn't it? Was it Operations on the other end, or someone else? If so, whom?

— I liked the new "ready room" sex-with-Birkoff set with the futuristic beds.

— Walter was dating again. Someone named Cheryl.

— That thing about the "flash mission" was sort of indefinite. Was it real, or something they made up to fool Abby? It was hard to tell from Walter's face.

— Operations and Madeline were in a forgiving mood? Come on. When are they ever in a forgiving mood?

— We got pseudo-North American license plates again.

— In Section, Abby wore black like everybody else. Just saying.


Birkoff: "I think I love Nikita."
Walter: "Yeah. Everyone loves Nikita."

Torture Guy: "He seems edgy."
Nikita: "That's just the way he is."
Torture Guy: "I'm surprised you put up with it. Perhaps he has hidden charms."

Birkoff: "I caused a security breach."
Walter: (smirking) "Yeah, but under the circumstances, who could blame you?"

Nikita: "She was convincing?"
Michael: "Very."
Gee. What did he mean by that? Was Abby like Nikita in bed, too?

Gotta love an evil double episode with lots of gratuitous sex. Four out of four stars,

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


  1. A bit of a guilty pleasure, this episode is a highly enjoyable version of the “evil doppelganger” story. Though the villain is resurrected (by some unbelievable fluke) from Season One’s “War”, at least there is a plausible explanation for the duplicate, as the villain has spent two years training and surgically altering his protege to look and act exactly like Nikita (no magic latex this time, thank goodness). The pacing of this episode is excellent, and all of the action sequences are suspenseful and well-choreographed (especially when Nikita overcomes the villain). But the real fun is when the fake Nikita interacts with all of our Section regulars. This results in one of the most hilarious scenes ever, and one of the most poignant.

    The only thing lacking from this episode is any indication of Abby’s character. Because she is only ever shown to the viewer while pretending to be Nikita, it is very difficult to get the sense that a different person is on the screen. I think it would have been helpful to the audience, not to mention amusing, to hear Abby’s private comments to Nikita and the villain. What would Abby have thought about Nikita’s apartment decor, her lack of hobbies, or her choice of lovers? Too bad we’ll never know.

    Spoilers follow...

    Favourite Scenes:
    Birkoff confiding in Walter: this is the only time that I have actually laughed out loud during an episode of LFN! Ferguson is just so sweet as Birkoff tells Walter his encounter with Nikita “got pretty intense” and goes on to speculate if he should ask her to move in with him. I was thrilled that Nikita gave Birkoff some dignity and self-esteem at the end of the episode.

    Michael and Abby making love: the soundtrack is so hauntingly beautiful that I had to immediately buy lamb’s “Best Kept Secrets” CD (it is fantastic, by the way). The poignancy results from Nikita being forced to watch, and Michael knowing that the “Nikita” he is with is not the real one. What I found most fascinating, is that when Michael and Abby return from Nikita’s apartment, they enter Section together, dressed similarly, and walking in step, as if completely in synch. The audience knows Michael and Nikita make the perfect team – it’s so cruel to see what could be while the real Nikita is still kept at a distance. Abby’s impersonation was so convincing, however, that it seems Michael did feel a connection after all, and had to look away when she was cancelled.

  2. This episode is a guilty pleasure.

    I have to wonder along with Serena what Abby thought of everything and everyone in Section with regards to Nikita? On the other hand, I don't want any time wasted on other characters not essential to the plot. The story worked without Abby's thoughts, so it's just as well.

    And I think the reason Michael reacted when Abby was shot was because it was difficult for him to see Nikita's "face" on her. I believe the connection is an extension of what he has with Nikita.

    Like Billie, Michael's answer to Nikita's question, "She was convincing?" had me scratching my head, too. Was she like Nikita in bed? Was it difficult for him to separate Nikita's face from Abby's actions? Was he wishing it was Nikita instead?

  3. Dear Billie,

    Thank you very much for your excellent reviews and webpage. Shortly I've been watching La Femme Nikita again on tv. I must say it was more than 10 years ago since I've seen it.Strange how people change. 10 years ago I thought it was good, but wasn't bitten by it,now I think it is outstanding. Like good wine, it improves by the years. It proves to me one thing; it was a show way ahead it's time. I'm so addicted to it now that I've bought the serie, without having a dvdplayer (I will), and living in area 2, while the dvd's are programmed for region 1, I'll have to call Birkoff b to hack the dvdplayer.
    About this episode.
    It was outstanding, humouristic, catchy, and very well acted by Peta.The way she brings Abby shows that she really isn't just a pretty face.This is very good acting. Well done, Peta. More of this please.
    I agree with Serena: Michael answer to the question if "She was convincing ?" keeps going through my head. And I think I have an answer to it. (wishes may come through). Isn't is possible that making love with Abby/Nikita openend a door in his defence.Maybe he realised that, although it was just a surrogate he was having sex with, what he was missing by rejecting the originial Nikita.Not letting her into his space? Maybe it is a beginning of letting his defence go.
    I haven't seen the other episodes yet and it is so tempting reading the other reviews to know more. But I've decided not to so I can look with an open mind.
    The scene with Birkoff and Walter is superb. The look on both faces when Birkoff is telling he made out with Nikita was so funny and well acted by the both of them. I was grinning and laughing the whole time.
    English is'n my motherlanguage,so forgive the non correct spelling.

    1. Maybe he and nikita had never fully had sex since being back in section so he knew it was out of ordinary.

  4. Nikita must be an exceptional woman, to have to watch her man constantly sleep around with everyone but her, mission or no mission and still be head over heals (in a controlled way) in love with him.

    I loved this episode, though i felt her pain!

  5. Excellent episode..one of the best!

  6. The optimistic in me hopes that the "was she convincing" - "very" conversation relates to the things Abby has done before Michael found out it wasn't really Nikita. I would not hope that the sex with her was so similar... I mean I have seperate thoughts about that too, but there is no way of writing this in here.

  7. I think I can answer why it was so easy for Michael to have sex with women he had no emotional connection with. Remember he is a man and men are not like women. Sure, some women can sleep around like men but men do not need to have an emotional connection to sleep around. I know this because my brothers and uncles and grand uncles told me so. And that was why they were always wary of men who hang around me and my sister because they know how men behave. We would like to think that Michael must be having a hard time having sex with other women since he was supposed to love Nikita or even Simone while having sex with Elena and making the latter pregnant with his own son. But when it comes to sex, men don't overthink it, especially when the women are easy on the eyes. Michael was just being a man when he did his sex missions with other women. Some women can do it, too, but almost any man can do what Michael did in the series.

  8. It looked a bit unrealistic to me, how Michael was able to silently understand Nikita's hint and locate the real Nikita. The idea of a doppelganger would be my last hypothesis (also because such technology is probably very rare even in the LFN world).
    But overall the plot still held together. Might as well turn my perfectionism off for a moment and just enjoy :)
    What Judith wrote above makes sense, and also I imagine any excessive "overthinking" in sex area is probably suppressed for both genders in Section.


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