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La Femme Nikita: Escape

"Does he even have a heart?"

Poor Eric had "dead man" written all over him from the start. He was probably right to tell Nikita not to stay in Section for Michael's sake. Michael can't feel as strongly for Nikita as she does for him. But he feels something, or why would he do what he did?

It was obvious from the beginning that Michael was up to something; he was much nicer to Nikita and a lot more attentive, complimenting her sunglasses, invading her personal space while briefing her, asking her out for coffee. Yes, he had the best of intentions and probably saved her life, but there was something so heartless about him seducing her just to give her a reason to stay in Section. He was so sure of his power over her that it was actually humiliating; no wonder she cried. Yes, he could have whispered the truth to her, but he probably didn't trust her not to warn Eric, and he was right – she almost certainly would have.

Nearly as much fun as Michael putting subtle moves on Nikita in Section and the extended (and unfortunately, interrupted) seduction scene, was seeing Nikita and Madeline chatting about Michael, almost like a couple of girls talking about a hot guy. Madeline certainly wasn't doing it for fun, or to bond with Nikita. She was psyching Nikita out, of course. It's hard to tell if Madeline wants Nikita to love Michael, or not love Michael.

My favorite Michael moment was him telling her not to bother with coffee, and that they didn't have to leave the apartment. And the way he was touching her while they were dancing. I have a couple of favorite Nikita moments here, too: (1) Nikita sprawled out in a kitchen chair with a skeptical look on her face ("Are you trying to seduce me?") (and wasn't it typical that Michael didn't answer her?), and (2) when she threw the surveillance equipment on the table in front of Operations.

Bits and pieces:

— Alone, Nikita wandered around her apartment and played with objects. She didn't read or watch television or knit sweaters. But she did exercise. And she apparently fantasizes about Michael in her spare time. Well, that's okay. I do, too.

— Eric's phone number was a classic American fake movie phone number starting with 555.

— Neighbor Carla was dating a musician.

— It sounded funny hearing Michael say, "Nooks and crannies." Too colloquial.

— Nikita was indeed under sporadic surveillance. What about when she hid "Julie" in "Friend"? How did Section miss that?

— Loved the mission gear. It must have been very, very cold while they were filming for them to cover the actors' faces.

— Nearly everyone in Section wore black, or dark colors. Nikita's white coat was jarring. It was symbolic, of course, of the fact that she's a good person in a bad place, and not really one of them.

— During the love scene, there was a lot of hand stroking. Roy Dupuis's hands still looked seriously battered, and I was right about him not being a manicure type of guy.

— Again, Nikita kissed Michael before he kissed her, as she did in the episode "Love." Was this their first "real" kiss? Did it count if he was just manipulating her?


Nikita: "Is this some kind of game Section's playing with me?"
No, it wasn't. But it was certainly a good guess.

Walter: "I'm afraid I'm gonna have to search you."
Nikita: "Go ahead."
Walter: "Brat."

Three out of four stars,

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


  1. This is one of my favourite episodes: well-structured plot, slick action sequences, a believable dilemma for our heroine, and a mesmerizing seduction scene that rates an eleven out of ten on the “sensual scale” ;-) Elevating the cast’s electrifying performances to the sublime are Sean Callery’s evocative score and Blaine Johnson’s exquisite song selection.

    Minor spoilers follow...

    It is not her own suffering, but the suffering of innocents (“collateral” on the mission to abduct Jericho) that motivates Nikita to risk fleeing Section. In spite of Section’s attempts at “dehumanizing” her, she is still a hero to the core: she even misses her first opportunity to escape in order to search for the remaining hostage. Competing with her desperate desire to leave is the possibility of a relationship with Michael, who has been her mentor and lifeline since her abduction into Section. She is intelligent enough to be suspicious of his sudden shift in behaviour, but his explanations have the ring of truth because of what she witnessed in “Simone”, and the poor girl is completely taken in. As a viewer watching this episode for the first time, so was I! When his manipulation is revealed at the end, it is a shocking yet completely satisfying twist. However, the fact that Michael was actually protecting Nikita raises the possibility that not everything he said was a lie...

    Favourite scenes:

    I loved how Michael’s seduction of Nikita was filmed: it proves how talented the people working on LFN really were, to be able to portray sensuality and eroticism without resorting to nudity or crudeness. This scene was hit out of the park.

    Madelaine acting as a friendly confidante to Nikita, reinforcing her role as “mother” in the dysfunctional Section “family”. It would make sense to encourage recruits to “imprint” on their trainers, keeping them attached to Section by personal loyalty was well as by threats.

    The final action sequence to rescue the hostage shows Michael shooting two enemies dead without even a glance in their direction. From now on, Michael will never miss anything he shoots at, and the directors and stunt co-ordinators will have a ball inventing creative, efficient, and lethally funny ways for Michael to dispatch the bad guys. These stylish action sequences are even more amazing given the fact that this show had a very limited budget.

    Some continuity issues: since Nikita has clearly been under surveillance for some time, I have to assume that the infatuated Eric must have been covering for her, such as in the episode “Friend”, or else Section would have been aware of her unsanctioned activities.

    For me, this episode ranks in the top three of Season One.

  2. I'm very much enjoying your comments and I'm looking forward to your comments on some of my favorite episodes. (I assume this is still Serena?)

  3. Yes, it's still Serena -- for some reason, the Google account is using part of my e-mail instead of my Display Name. I don't know what I'm doing wrong (sigh). I guess my computer illiteracy is showing -- where's Birkoff when you need him??

  4. Oh, this is the episode where the seduction scene alone rates it as one of my favorites. Geez, even now after having watched it numerous times, Michael and Nikita leave me breathless. Their chemistry was just off the charts!

    1. It's 2024 and I am going to be 60. I remember watching this when it originally aired and thinking it was ahead of its time. It was. Everyone talks about the seduction scene and typical Michael manipulating Nikita, but when his phone wrang? He closed his eyes. He didn't want that moment to stop. He was in his feels. It wasn't all an act.

  5. "-- Loved the mission gear. It must have been very, very cold while they were filming for them to cover the actors' faces."

    This made me chuckle...

    Of course I might be wrong but I think that was just a styling decision. Being Finnish and having some experience with really cold weather I don't think it gets often that cold in Toronto and then they would have some other problems (with fingers especially). I mean we had a temperature limit for outside sports in school at around -17C/0F. But those clothes didn't look too warm, so maybe it was around -10C/14F, a nice winter weather. :-)

    Maria (who has ridden a bike to school when it was -40C/F.) :-P

  6. Yep, definitely one of my favorites, and yep, it's because of the hand dance! Apparently this scene was all Roy Dupuis idea - nice call on his part to keep the women of the world swooning for Michael (or Roy!) Manipulation or not, you know when that phone rings and Michael finally closes his eyes - that he did not want to be interrupted!

  7. While, again, that scene was hot beyond the telling of it, I was suspicious of Michael throughout. We knew they were under surveillance. Why would he make his move in such a "public" forum?


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