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La Femme Nikita: Face in the Mirror

"In Section, I suppose passion is out of the question."

Was this for real? Please tell me it wasn't. Please.

This was an interesting and confusing episode, and wow, did it bother me. During the second half, I kept hoping the whole thing was some sort of covert mission that only Nikita knew about, but even that wouldn't explain what she was doing. Nikita's love for Michael has been the one constant in the entire series. The Nikita we know would never ally with Red Cell, much less drug Michael and turn him over to them.

Season four has been all about the role reversal, and it was a huge theme here in particular. This time it was Nikita manipulating and hurting Michael, while Michael, loving her, was confused, vulnerable, and betrayed. He let Nikita in, and she hurt him. Dammit. There were so many reversals and call-backs to previous seasons that I made a list. (I like to make lists.)

1. Michael was undercover wearing white, while Nikita, in black, was supposed to carry out the assassination. In the past, it would have been the other way around. I don't have to mention the symbolism of white and black, do I?

2. A sexy-looking Michael made a romantic dinner for Nikita, complete with music, wine, and candles. Nikita did that for Michael twice in season three.

3. Nikita turned Michael over to the enemy and allowed him to be tortured for reasons that only she knew. He did that to her in "War."

4. The Lethal Weapon method they used to torture Michael was exactly what they did to Nikita way back in the second episode of the series, "Friend."

5. Wiping out her files before leaving forever was a plot point in "Escape."

6. Faking Michael's corneal access was like what Michael and Nikita did to Ferreira in "Looking for Michael."

7. The Grenet thing was a lot like what happened with Adrian in season two, except Grenet was a lot worse than Adrian. And hey, that whole Adrian thing was a ruse, too, wasn't it?

Nikita has changed her face. (And, may I say, no no no!) What does she look like now? Michael believes Nikita will contact him and kill him, while Operations and Madeline believe that Nikita will contact Michael and take him out of Section with her. I'm voting for option two.

Meanwhile, to continue with our "Face in the Mirror" theme, Jason completed his sea change and now looks exactly like Birkoff. They brought Naomi in to keep him in line, and Jason didn't seem to want to hear what Walter was trying to tell him, that she wasn't on his side. Having them change Jason's eyes to make him need glasses freaked me out just as much as the idea of Nikita having plastic surgery.

Bits and pieces:

— I had two favorite Michael moments here: the dinner he made for Nikita, and the way he escaped from Red Cell. This has been such a strong season for Michael.

— Mick's latest reason to bother Nikita was ballroom dancing lessons. I think. Before he saw Michael, a serious-looking Mick said, "We've got something critical to discuss."

— There has been a ton of wedding imagery this season. We even got an actual wedding this time.

— Jason has already attained level one status. Guess he's not Birkoff's brother for nothing. Although he is still making the mistake of thinking Madeline is his friend.

— I'm not sure how accurate Madeline's projection was. I don't ever remember seeing Nikita sitting in Michael's lap before.

— If every Cardinal were that easy to catch, why did it take twenty years to catch the previous one?

— "Condition eight" must mean that an agent has gone rogue.

— Quinn has now survived four episodes. She may just make it to the end.

— Cancelled scene: Jason is post-op. Walter barges in and asks what they did to him.


Mick: "I don't want to be the cold shower that comes between you two."
It was so odd that Michael stayed flat on the bed during that entire scene.

Walter: "I just look old."

Nikita: "You know how we are. We defy the odds."
Michael: "Are you in trouble, Nikita?"
Nikita: "The only trouble I seem to be having at the moment is you're too far away from me."

Madeline: "Using Michael's corneal access is grounds for cancellation."
Nikita: "Madeline, your threats are of no interest to me any more. Not that they ever have been."
Nikita was so unemotional here.

Nikita's sim: "A life without you is worth trading for no life with you."

It's hard to rate this one. So I won't. I'll just hope for clarification in the next episode,

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


  1. The audience has been deprived of Nikita’s true character all season, and now it becomes apparent that the new showrunners are never going to give the real Nikita back to the fans. This episode takes character assassination to a whole new level – calling it a “plot twist” does not justify such flagrant perversion of our heroine’s true nature. We can thank Hertzog once again for this infuriating script, and Wilson for a completely cold and robotic performance. The only redeeming value in this episode is the consistent excellence from Dupuis, Glazer, and Watson.

    Spoilers follow...

    Just because the writers are too stupid to come up with a clever plot is no reason to make Nikita look like an idiot. Quite a few previous episodes have clearly shown that she can plan a proper strategy (“Treason”, “First Mission”, “All Good Things”, etc.), and yet this episode portrays her as unable to manage even the simplest task without requiring Michael to cover for her.

    As well, the callousness with which Nikita endangers Michael’s life is completely inconsistent with her established character. Nikita’s own life has never meant that much to her before (“Mercy”, “End Game”), and now we are expected to believe that obtaining her freedom is enough to motivate Nikita to betray Michael to the enemy? Not plausible in the least.

    Even when Nikita was acting as a triple-agent in the finale of Season 2, her motivation was completely selfless, and she was still able to convey how difficult it was for her to deceive Michael. I can't recognize the character of Nikita in this episode at all, except that it is played by the same actress.

    Character Assassination:
    Nikita’s sabotage of the Grenet mission is so clumsy and obvious that Michael sees through it immediately, and has to cover for her: first by taking responsibility for the mission’s failure with Operations, and then by threatening a Section medic to hide the true nature of her gunshot wound. The real Nikita should be capable of pulling off a much better deception by now – unless the writers are implying that the extent of her entire “plan” was to force Michael to protect her instead of coming up with a decent plan herself. The first scenario portrays Nikita as stupid, the second as manipulative: Nikita has never been either.

    Why deliver Michael to Grenet? Grenet already agreed to trade the codes to sink Nikita’s files for specific Section information – Nikita’s position is strong enough that she doesn’t need to give Red Cell more than what was negotiated for. As for stealing Michael’s iris pattern, Nikita doesn’t need Grenet for that since Birkoff already taught her how to do it (“Looking for Michael”). Handing Michael over to Grenet makes Nikita look weak and unable to successfully bargain with terrorists, which has never been the case (“Gray”, “Missing”, etc.) – unless the writers are implying that Nikita actually wants Michael to suffer, which again contradicts every previous portrayal of Nikita.

    Continuity Issues:
    Operations to Madeline: “If you’re wrong, or she’s hostile, then we’re putting Michael at risk to reclaim Nikita. I can’t justify that.” I’m glad that Operations has forgotten all about “Off Profile”, where he put Michael at risk just to determine if Andrea was emotionally unstable ;-) That's OK, because I prefer to ignore that ridiculous premise as well...

    Logic Flaws:
    Sinking an operative’s files – Red Cell can accomplish from the outside what neither Michael nor Birkoff could accomplish from the inside? Completely unbelievable.

    Why wouldn’t Grenet just kill Nikita after she handed him the intel? There is nothing in the script to suggest that she still has some sort of leverage to make him honour their agreement.

  2. "This episode takes character assassination to a whole new level"

    I agree. During season 4 several characters are killed by the writers. And continues in season 5... Unforgivable! A bad plot in a great series is awful, but the destruction of a character is unforgivable.

  3. This episode..ugh

    But then Nikita has been a ..b... for a while now. Cant even tell if they are just straight out assassinating the character as people have pointed out above or if its some half baked season arc plan..(still)

    There is no need at this point for her to hurt Michael that way, especially since he has opened up so much to her and after all they ve been through.

    Unless its some kind of ''woman scorned'' payback from earlier seasons. But even then it justs makes so that I dont care that much for her character anymore...


  4. It makes no frigging sense. Only reason Michael came back was her, an it was clear earlier in S3 and S4 she didnt want out anymore,at least for the time being, she was lost...

    Now she wants out, has suddenly matured on it out of screentime, and hasn't even discussed it with him?


  5. My take from the episode was that she wanted to leave because of the events in the previous episode in the psyche ward. The final scene on the ward with operations looking down at her. It did seem left of field but i figure there may be a missing scene that would provide better context.


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