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La Femme Nikita: Down a Crooked Path

"In spite of all our preventative measures, it seems that George has finally found a way to get rid of us."

At the start, I thought, oh no. Haven't we already done a plague episode? Instead, it was worse than repetition: it was our very first clip show. I don't mind an occasional clip show if it has a cohesive theme and introduces even a little new information. But this one didn't even make sense.

In the first place, it was out of character for any of our characters, especially Operations, to just follow orders, no matter what, especially when they weren't sure if the process was reversible. Yes, let me just lie right down while you completely wipe my memory. That'll happen. And I'm just going to skip right by the complete impossibility of downloading someone's memory and uploading it again.

In the second place, as much as I love our main characters, it was just too weird that the neural scrapes were carried out on just the six of them. Section One is fairly big. We could justify it by George's "Black Directive" targeting only those six, but if that was the case, why was George targeting Birkoff and Walter?

In the third place, and here was where the episode just completely broke down for me, there was no logical structure to the memories that we were seeing. We got:

— Operations remembering Vietnam, Corinne and Stephen.

— Nikita reliving her upsetting early days in Section, and Michael manipulating her in "Escape."

— Madeline remembering her mother, and Operations when he was at the point of death.

— Michael remembering Simone and Adam, and the cage scene in "War" where he (almost) told Nikita he loved her.

Those were somewhat consistent. They were all upsetting emotional moments, and mostly about people that they loved. But Walter's were mostly romantic memories about Beverly. Shouldn't they have been about Belinda, and about his inadvertent betrayal of Birkoff? And Birkoff's memories were about his crush on Nikita, his affair with her double, and his successful mission in "Into the Looking Glass." And since George was going for tactical information, shouldn't they have been forced to remember moments in which they showed operational expertise?

Finally, I don't really understand what happened with George in the end. Does this mean he's been brainwashed and is now under Operations' control?

There are good clip shows out there. This was not one of them. One out of four stars,

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


  1. Abysmal. I understand the need to save money, but there is no need for a cobbled-together, nonsensical plot that uses an over-the-top science fiction premise (stealing and storing someone’s consciousness) as an excuse to insert seemingly random clips from previous episodes. A more realistic premise (such as Nikita being evaluated for a promotion to level 3) could have provided an opportunity to showcase the many terrific action sequences that LFN has produced, but alas, such obvious logic seems to elude the writers. Painful to watch, simpler just to avoid altogether.

  2. I should start reading the reviews before I watch the eps, lol.

    Some more issues with this episode for me:

    - hence spoilers below -

    Wasn't it only a few eps ago they suspected Michael of collaborating with George to overthrow Operations power? So, it makes sense now that they would trust Michael to fix it all, while they are being wiped? I think not...
    One could argue that he'd want to save Nikita. Sure... he could have just woken up Nikita and leave Madeline and Operations. Which brings me to.. why didn't he? Isn't he supposed to want the power and take over? Why didn't Nikita kick his ass for not grabbing the opportunity and be free of Section?

    It is that I watch a lot of sci-fi shows, so I can live with the whole memory swiping stuff... but please then do it well.
    Technically speaking, how would Birkhof and Michael even have the expertise to use the neural blocker in a way it will work? Wouldn't they need at least some medical knowledge to change it to their purpose? And why weren't any of the subjects even remotely confused or dazed when just waking up from sedatives, and a swipe and put back of memory?

    Hmm, ok, will quit when I am ahead. Boring ep, at least had picked some good memories! :P

  3. Such valid points, Billie.

    Abysmal is the word, thanks Serena.

    Oh, another one - senseless.

    So I do agree - it's skippable.

  4. Operation does not listen to anyone, just wants to look realistic,
    already doubts about George.
    The table in the computer has 9 items, not just the main characters.
    It is possible to control the mind, this was discussed in 1970, if not earlier, see the MK ULTRA program, and Keti O Brajen and reprogramming.
    The memories that were attempted to be taken are much more important than the tactics and weapons that George somehow know.
    These are the relationships between our characters, what their wishes, fears, love and hatred, loyalty, family ... the weaknesses with which it can be manipulated.
    And for our computer genius it is enough to steal the program and to study it with a psychologist.
    And what is the mind ...
    Many today view it as stretchy, as if it was actually a program ...
    And finally, the George is a little modified, not permanent.

  5. some of these memories confirm actual feelings of characters, for instance:

    Madeline and Operations in spite of the whole plot to get George with their relationship and subsequent denial, have in fact cared about each other romantically and its possible they had a proper relationship years prior to the start of the series, just like they have referred to occasionally. So the lie was the deterioration of it. And it does make sense Paul later would deny it ever truly happened, that it was all of it part of the ruse to George, as its a weakness.

    Obviously we only see some surface thoughts in a montage its not ALL the characters saw...they had a full scan of their minds done after all. Its what made the cut. Though I do agree Walter was missing Belinda and Birkoff moments. Even Michael ones too...


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