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La Femme Nikita: Catch a Falling Star

Nikita: "So Dingman's Hollow is..."
Michael: "Section Six."

The initial crash felt like the precursor of an alien invasion, and at first, I was worried that we were getting another sci-fi plot. I was relieved that it was a downed satellite and a terrorist sleeper base instead of the Section version of Invasion of the Body Snatchers.

This assignment was yet another friendly attempt by Operations to bump Michael and Nikita off, something that has happened a lot this season. Operations was planning to sacrifice them to make the operation look good, but unfortunately for him, they were too competent. With bosses like him, who needs enemies?

What I enjoyed most about this episode was seeing dazzling urbanites Michael and Nikita sticking out like sore thumbs in Nowhere, USA. Not that Dingman's Hollow was the typical South, though. Momma's Bed and Breakfast felt like the Bates Motel, and the townies were so obviously Not Quite Right. That whole fried chicken thing in the opening scene went too far into stereotype. Were they just teasing the outsiders? Maybe they were overacting, since they were only pretending to be southerners. It was almost an anticlimax, having them turn out to be Russian terrorists.

Birkoff was replaced on the job, but only briefly. Corman figured out that Operations was sacrificing Michael and Nikita on purpose. Poor guy. Corman, we hardly knew ye. And Matthew Ferguson sure wasn't gone for long, as Section used Birkoff's body to conceal that they'd kidnapped Jason. Man, that was cold. (Pun intended.) The final scene where Jason walked out into Section and shocked everyone was fun.


My favorite Michael moment was the love scene at the bed and breakfast. Yes, we could have guessed that Michael had a lot going on inside, but I enjoyed the revelation that he goes to a safe place inside himself, that he has a fantasy life. And that it includes Nikita.

Bits and pieces:

— Black Storm, huh? Why are terrorist groups always either red or black, or some sort of weather pattern?

— Jason has something of an accent. He called his girlfriend Naomi "Sugar buns." Too bad that Naomi was in league with Section. Not so sweet after all.


— When Corman was introduced to Michael and Nikita, Nikita smiled and said, "I'm sure you'll do just fine." Michael said curtly, "We'll need our panels in twenty minutes." Very in character.

— Michael said that he and Nikita were from the "Universal Geological Survey." I could swear I heard United States Geological Survey the first time.

— Mamma's Bed and Breakfast didn't appear to serve breakfast. There were beds, though.

— Davenport was back to foil Michael once again, but didn't succeed. "There's just one problem." "What's that?" "I didn't fail."

— So I'm guessing that Operations didn't get George's job, after all.

— Michael and Nikita got to wear jeans. It's always fun to see them in something other than black.

— Nikita: "It's beautiful here." Michael: "You're beautiful."

— Townie: "He's got big ones. I'll give him that."

Another season four departure, and I enjoyed it. Three out of four stars,

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

9 comments:

  1. Another lame episode, penned by Herztog of course. Apparently, he steals ideas from other shows with completely different sensibilities, then inserts these absurd storylines into LFN like pounding a square peg into a round hole.

    I am assuming that the clich├ęd, done-to-death, over-the-top “creepy small town conspiracy” premise is not to be taken seriously. If this is the case, then this episode is intended to be amusing, at which it fails miserably.

    The only humour that fits with LFN’s menacing and surreal near-future setting is the occasional flash of dark humour. Slapstick and parody are entirely incongruous, and completely ruin the tense and edgy mood of the show. The addition of Mick’s schtick was jarring enough, but at least he was limited to the occasional scene. Now Hertzog gives us an entire episode that plays like an annoying SNL skit called “Section operatives visit a hick town”’.

    According to the book “Inside Section One”, the cast and crew of LFN referred to this script as the “fried chicken” episode. I can only imagine how betrayed they must have felt after having worked so hard to develop such a unique and distinctive style for the series, only to have the new showrunners undermine their efforts by forcing them to enact such ridiculous and humiliating scenarios. It is painfully clear that Hertzog hasn’t the faintest idea what LFN is about, and has no understanding of the characters or the world of Section.

    Back in the Season Two premiere “Hard Landing”, director Jon Cassar completely reshot an expensive sequence because the setting just didn’t mesh visually or stylistically with the atmosphere of LFN. He said on the DVD commentary: “We realized... that’s not our show – we’re the ‘urban’ show. It’s about technology, it’s about hard lines and concrete.” Two seasons later, it is obvious that the new writers are clueless as to what made LFN successful in the first place, and they are clearly not accepting any input from the Toronto cast and crew.

    As the new showrunners continue to trash LFN’s signature style, and the plots frankly scrape the bottom of the barrel, this season is proving to be agonizing to watch.

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  2. During this episode i half expected and dreaded to see aliens and if this was to be the case, i hoped and prayed for cool aliens like in Roswell!

    However by the end of it, i came to the sad conclusion that casting E.T. would have been better than the end product, E.T. would have added the spice that this episode soo badly lacked!

    I love this show but this episode doesn't belong in it. My favourite scene is the same as billie's i.e. the love scene between Michael and Nikita.

    Congratulations to both billie and Serena for your marvelous and accurate reviews.

    by Jerrie

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  3. Definitely an off-the-wall episode. Thanks so much for your comment, Jerrie.

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  4. Did you notice that this episode was directed by "Alan Smithee"? :D
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alan_Smithee

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  5. “My favorite Michael moment was the love scene at the bed and breakfast. Yes, we could have guessed that Michael had a lot going on inside, but I enjoyed the revelation that he goes to a safe place inside himself, that he has a fantasy life. And that it includes Nikita.”

    I agree. I didn´t like the episode but this is my favorite moment.
    I think that Michael started to withdraw after covering Nikita with the blanket because he wanted to respect that she seems a little distanced in the last episodes. Luckily she didn't let him go!

    This is one of the most poignant lines of the series and explains how Michael survives in Section 1 and what lies behind his silence and blank stare:

    Nikita: "It's beautiful here."
    Michael: "You're beautiful." (4x16)
    Nikita: "I used to dream that there were places like this. Somewhere safe, warm. Do you ever think about anything like that?"
    Michael: "Yes"
    Nikita: "You never talk about it"
    Michael: "Inside. Nobody can change it. It will always be what I need it to be."
    Nikita: "Is it anything like this?"
    Michael: "A little, maybe. You´re there"


    Please excuse my mistakes but I am not a native English speaker.

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  6. Marime, your English is excellent. :) I'm enjoying your comments.

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  7. Weirdly I enjoyed this episode. Maybe I needed a slice of Americana

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  8. I liked this episode. It was a little out of character and felt a lot like an X-Files episode, with everything being so spooky. But hey, I like the X-Files, so I can't complain. I do really miss seasons 1 and 2, with all the tactical hits.

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