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La Femme Nikita: Four Light Years Farther

Nikita: "You can live without me a lot better than I can live without you."
Michael: "No."

This episode made me want to run screaming out of the room. This was how they were going to end the series? Are you kidding me?

It actually started out very well. I was totally taken in by Operations and Madeline deciding that the only solution to the Michael/Nikita problem was to kill one of them. In fact, it was so well done – Michael and Nikita making their choice of which of them would die, Michael in The Chair, Nikita in The Chair – that I was getting terribly upset about it, even though I was fairly certain they were both going to live anyway.

And I sort of liked the basic concept that Nikita was working for Mick, that the Red Cell thing was a ruse. I had some serious issues with Nikita allying with Red Cell, anyway. Although, frankly, this secretly-working-for-a-higher-up twist has been used way too many times.

But come on!

The core of this series has always been the intense, forbidden love affair between Michael and Nikita, and this episode made the whole thing meaningless. Meaningless! I knew before I watched it that the fans were infuriated by this episode, but I had no clue it would be this bad. I was absolutely livid. I actually cried and threw things.

Despite the fact that this episode was an utter fucking catastrophe, I did like a few things about it. Like Walter getting a teaching assignment. Like Jason showing Naomi the door. I liked Operations getting a lecture on his serious flaws as an administrator as well as a human being.

And of course, there was Michael.

Roy Dupuis was just wonderful. Michael broke my heart over and over again. In The Chair, ready to die for Nikita. Realizing that instead, she would die and he would live. His utter stillness when Nikita ordered his cancellation. The way he cut a tear of blood under his eye was one of the most amazing, romantic gestures I've ever seen. The cold, controlled, expressionless Michael was weeping blood because the pain was too extreme for tears. In a sense, Michael expressed what I was feeling as a fan of this show. Not that I'm ready to cut myself or anything.

But while the writers were faithful to Michael as a character, I felt totally betrayed by what they did to Nikita. Nikita has been a mole for three years? The Nikita I once cared about hasn't even existed? She was working for Mick while Operations and Madeline had her brainwashed by the Gelman process? She was working for Mick while she was secretly trysting with Michael? This conflicted holistically with the entire series. It was like the writers and producers said, just kidding, the past three years of the series didn't really mean anything. I never watched Dallas, but it was like Bobby waking up and discovering that the entire series had been a dream. I feel so intensely cheated that I almost can't express how angry I am.

Two things might have made this episode a lot easier to take, and truer to the spirit of the show: (1) if Mick had recruited Nikita months ago, instead of years, and (2) if that last shot of Nikita had shown that she did indeed love Michael, and was being cruel in order to let him go. At least, in the end, Nikita got Michael out of Section and gave him his freedom. I absolutely cannot believe that she never loved him.

Season five had better fix this travesty. So there.

Bits and pieces:

— Madeline's suicide was like a pointless afterthought. It wasn't as bad as what they did to Birkoff, but I wish they had devoted some serious time to the death of a major character. Couldn't it have been part of "Sleeping with the Enemy," perhaps? And it bothered me that it didn't seem to throw Operations at all.

— On the boat, Michael toasted Nikita with "A la vie." That was a nice little acknowledgement by Roy Dupuis to his fans. (He always signs autographs with "A la vie.")

— What did the title mean? Four light years farther than what? Than what we thought this series actually was?

— Walter has tattoos. Of course he does.

— Walter: "How can you do this? You have no right!" Yeah, that's me to the producers.

This show has always been so good with the twists. This was one twist too many. I usually watch an episode twice before releasing a review, but I don't think I can watch this one again.

I'm not giving it a rating. I'm giving it the finger.

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


  1. "I'm not giving it a rating. I'm giving it the finger."

    Hee. This might be your best rating comment ever.

    And so much word.

    1. Agreed - Best Rating Ever!!

    2. Yes! Billie you on point and just too hilarious with this one! After this episode we LFN fans needed a good laugh!

  2. This episode is the epitome of inept writing. I warn any LFN fan with delicate health to avoid watching it, as it will raise your blood pressure to dangerous levels.

    Spoilers follow...

    There are some very good scenes in the first half of the episode: Section scrambling to fill the leadership void, Michael and Nikita briefly enjoying freedom (until Nikita gives their position away), and then having to choose which of them is to die after their capture. Dupuis’ gut-wrenching performance is exceptionally moving accompanied by Sean Callery’s haunting score, and Wilson actually does some decent acting in these scenes. But once Nikita is revealed as a mole, Wilson drops the ball – unfortunately, she is not as skilled as Dupuis at portraying controlled emotion, and manages only to appear wooden for the remainder of the episode.

    The plot twist of making Nikita a double-agent (a premise recycled from the Season Two finale) is completely illogical in this context, and as such, catastrophically derails the latter half of the script. I feel sorry for the cast who were forced to perform such inane drivel. According to the book “Inside Section One”, the actors actually had to fight to retain some dignity and continuity for their characters: Watson had to beg for Madeline to be allowed to take her own life rather than have Mr. Jones cancel her using poison gas (!?!); Glazer had to insist that his character be allowed to kiss Madeline good-bye rather than remain stone-faced when presented with her corpse; and Dupuis came up with the “blood tear” in the final scene to show Michael’s pain at Nikita’s incomprehensibly cruel betrayal. The actors certainly knew their characters better than the showrunners – if only the cast had been allowed to write the script...

    In the end, there is no avoiding the fact that the “twist” perpetrated by the showrunners betrays the audience as well, as their emotional investment in the character of Nikita for the past four seasons turns out to have been a lie. Needless to say, the fans were not pleased with being treated in such a contemptuous manner.

    Plot Holes and Character Assassinations:
    If Nikita was a mole for Centre, why bother pretending to escape over the last three episodes? Nikita gave Red Cell classified intel, risked Michael’s life, and then convinced him to “escape” with her just so she could have them recaptured: what was her purpose for doing this? What exactly did all this accomplish for Centre? There is absolutely nothing in the script explaining the reasons for these actions.

    If Nikita was a mole for Centre for the past three seasons, is the viewer honestly supposed to believe that everything that happened, including Nikita being subjected to the Gelman process, was all part of some conveniently-unrevealed-but-supposedly-clever plan? Preposterous! The writers are either horrendously lazy or severely brain damaged.

    Which brings me to the “best of the best” comment – how exactly is Nikita “the best”? It’s not as if Nikita defeated Section by demonstrating superior tactics or strategy – in fact, she didn’t even do anything particularly intelligent, as it was Mr. Jones who intervened to prevent her cancellation and take over Section. LFN co-creator Joel Surnow insisted that making Nikita a mole for Centre would mean she had become “empowered” – how exactly is Nikita “empowered” when all she has accomplished is tattling to Centre and betraying the people who cared about her? Not what I would classify as a model of female empowerment.

    After Nikita saves Michael from the abeyance mission, she tells him she never loved him – if Wilson were a better actress, she would have been able to convey Nikita’s anguish with just her eyes. Unfortunately, what appears on film is Nikita staring woodenly in the opposite direction as Michael walks away with a broken heart. The director should have insisted that Wilson show some emotional turmoil once Michael was out of sight.

    1. Because when george freed her that moment it been 3 years . Advanced show 3 year on finally.

    2. I just watched it yesterday and I am physically sick I am so angry she was a mole and she told Michael she never loved him and they didn't run off together and live happily ever after after all those years of buildup. Nikita was so heartless in the end and selfish ruined the character I love. Like she ended up really being a narcissist and took her mask off. I wish I had never did this to myself and watched the series. I am going to try to erase their ending and make my own ending.

  3. As a frustrated fan, I have imagined two short scenes in order to cope with the worst travesty of this episode: the betrayal of the Michael-Nikita relationship.

    Inserted Scene

    This scene would be inserted into the episode before the “evaluations” begin. I am going to assume that Nikita and Michael really did escape and could have been free (to hell with Section and Centre both), but Mr. Jones contacted Nikita once she was on the outside with some leverage she could not ignore...

    Nikita (furious):
    You promised that if I brought us back to Section you would give Michael his son back.

    Mr. Jones:
    Not possible, I’m afraid. Bad for morale if that were to get out, you know.

    Then at least let him go!

    Mr. Jones:
    Sorry, love. Come on, deep down, you knew all along that there’s only one way out for any of us, and it’s in a body bag. Now pull it together, we’ve got work to do.

    This is the only way that I can make sense of why Nikita revealed their position, and the reason for Nikita sentencing Michael to cancellation...

    Extended Ending

    In the final scene, after Michael walks away while Nikita feigns lack of emotion, we see:

    Nikita shutting her eyes in anguish, then leaning her head back against a tree (similar to what she did in “End Game” when Michael left after she was forced to lie to him). Tears track down her face while the soundtrack plays the song “Stronger” by lamb, which has the following lyrics:

    I’m so afraid; Something is broken now
    Too much been said; To wipe it clean somehow

    Without this love where will I be?

    Darkness abounds; Heaviness weighs my heart
    Round and round and round; We’re gonna have to be apart

    Without this love where will I be?
    Gonna have to be stronger than I’ve ever been
    Don’t know how to be without you

    As we hear the lyrics “Gonna have to be stronger than I’ve ever been”, Nikita forcibly pulls herself together, replaces the anguish on her face with an emotionless mask, and checks her frequency scrambler before heading off to return to Centre.

    At least this way, I can imagine that Nikita truly loves Michael and has made this enormous sacrifice in order to set him free to find his son...

  4. Love the inserted scenes Serena :)

    The best of this episode was Billie saying "I'm not giving it a rating. I'm giving it the finger. "

    That made me laugh, at least. :D

  5. Yep. Nothing about the ending of season 4 made any sense - you've said it all, I won't reiterate. I remember watching the original when it actually aired, and being absolutely stunned with how poorly they planned to end the series. And was extremely pleased that the fans made enough of a stink to get them to rethink the ending in a 5th season.

    Referring back to some of the other comments made - I actually didn't mind the way they killed Madeline off. She was always a strong-willed woman, and in an earlier episode when she was being held as a hostage, she almost killed herself then. I thought it was fitting that she chose to end things herself. What I found hard to swallow was Nikita's absolute stone face when it happened. No shock, no compassion, no regret. All uncharacteristic of the Nikita we thought we knew (which, apparently, we didn't know at all).

    And I agree - the very end of the episode could have been so much easier on the fans if Nikita had just closed her eyes in sorrow over giving Michael up.

    This end of this season brought no sense of completion or satisfaction at all. It was brutal!

  6. Geez, I must be the only person on the planet who thought they were right to end the series this way...this is SECTION, it is not supposed to end happily. Think of Michael Loceff and Jon Cassar's next antihero, Jack Bauer. Nothing ever ended well for him, either.

    There are also too many plotholes in other episodes in this series for it really to be a true, continuous serial drama, so I've just accepted that things do not ever come to a tightly-drawn conclusion. With that in mind, I thought the reveal of Nikita as a mole, taken by itself, was fantastic. And her apparent emotional betrayal of Michael gave us (as you mentioned) some of Roy's finest mininmalist acting moments in the entire series. I do agree that Peta appears more wooden than subtle, although I would put that more to Roy's genius in portraying Michael more than her defects as an actress.

    Season 5 was atrocious, and makes the offing of Madeline in this episode seem worthless. There was a very much finality to this episode, which was cheapened by the "oh, by the way, Nikita's back, and her work is unfinished" aspect to the quick-hit season 5.

    Kudos for the writers by not writing this original ending in the usual cliched "and Michael/Nikita ride off into the sunset" closing. And now, let the angry backlash begin! LOL...

    1. Ooh, I agree. That ending was stark, cutting, brutal and dissatisfying. Just like Section. Layers upon layers and no one gets to be happy.

  7. I'd like to know what opinions Peta, Roy and all other actors had about that episode. I really hope that they were sad and angry as much as I was. Thanks to God for season 5. This way I'll always dream about Michael and Nikita's reunion even if it would happen in another life or afterlife (LOST fan here). I can take only a few kinds of endings in my favourite tv shows or movies: a happy one, a sad one but also satisfying one at the same time and an ending where you can imagine that one day your favourite characters will have their "happily ever after". Not an ending where you're all like: no, no, no, this show and these characters were not made for this kind of ending.

    I didn't cry at the end of the episode. I cried in the series finale in s5. I cried because it was one of the endings I can live with and still like the show.

  8. And that's why I started to hate Charmed after they got rid of Cole or after Lana's actress left Smallville. I totally admit I watch many shows because of my favourite couples and then I hate the shows because they destroyed their story and their love.

  9. God, this review blog totally made me feel less'mad'when I discovered La femme Nikita this year-

    I had seen the odd episode from S2 and and was trying to find out about one episode on line-came across the fanvids on Youtube-The Rest is history-TOTALLY ADDICTED-

    The LFN reviews on billie doux were and are, soooo wonderful-they made me laugh out loud and also picked up on all the ideas I had about the episodes. S4 was sooo hard to watch-the first 4 episodes I liked but it went downhill from there-I knew that Nikita betrayed them all at the end but wasn't prepared for how the last episode of 4 would make me feel!!

    I ranted on Michael's Retreat and anywhere else I could-even my poor friend's who had never heard of LFN heard my ranting!! I was enraged and also very very moved by Roy's performance-how someone can show utter devastation with just their eyes!!! I was surprised by Peta's performance-she had been good at displaying a lot of emotion with her face and eyes-WHAT THE HELL WENT WRONG?!!!! I blame it on the writers- I thought I would be able to tell that Nikita was lying when she said she didn't and never had-loved Michael-but I couldn't!!! I was utterly blown away by that-I think the writers didn't really know or care whether she had ever loved him or not-they just thought it was a clever ending!!! mine would have been similar to those others on here- Nikita puts her sunglasses back on and stands very still as Michael walks off and then just moves her head slightly upwards and as she does we see a single tear trickle from under her sunglasses......

    I think the whole of S4-apart from 1-4-was mostly a waste of time-continuity was absolutely dreadful, the 'plots' so to speak were dreary and all in all- BAD!-

    I was mystified by the whole Season-The character continuity was poor-after Nikita's marriage to Helmut-3 months it was?-when she and Michael were together in SFTD-and she said she was 'lost'-WHAT WAS THAT ABOUT?!!!she appeared to relate it to her time with Helmut-ok-let me think about this-3 months with helmut versus 6 years of loving Michael...hmmmmnnn-NO CONTEST -BAD WRITING!!! I could have understood her being 'lost' with all she'd been through-Gelaman stuff and marriage and so on...but just due to 3 months with Helmut!! COME ON!!!

    I started thinking of all the times Mick and Nikita had been in her apartment and no trace of an 'undercover' thing going on-oh-that would be because the writers didn't think about that little plot line until just before it happened!! What was the point of Nikita undergoing that whole-red cell /plastic surgery charade and going off with Michael-I still don't know what that was about!!?she could have outed herself without that going on-MYSTIFIED!!!! It was as if the writers wanted us to be even more upset at the end-'Oh -I know, let's have Nikita and Michael go off together-the loyal fans will love that but THEN- Nikita can betray Michael and everyone else and OH-I know -let's have her NOT EVER HAVING LOVED MICHAEL!!!'did they think it was clever writing?-WHO KNOWS!!

    As for S5-words fail me.....

    I came to this site and loved all your comments and was relieved to find others who were passionate about the show

    Thank you BILIIE DOUX

  10. You're very welcome, Carolee. That was quite a comment. :)

  11. Oh I forgot-just one more point...would Michael have been able to find Adam outside section? -according to the S5 plotline-apparently not! so-if we are to hope that Nikita did love him and was 'setting him free'-to what was she setting him free?-no Adam, no her,just precisely what for!!?

  12. Two moments marked this episode for me, one when Nikita tells Michael his virtues and he says he betrayed the Section for her well-being and another in the final scene.

    In the first scene I mentioned Dupuis was fantastic, we could feel the sensation in his eyes and his face, he was deeply hurt, yet when he said thank you when she suggested to the suspended task.

    When Walter wants give the accessory he also showed emotion to thanks, you actually believe he wanted to die because he was too hurt and wounded by Nikita.

    When Nikita save him, he showed still be sad and not believe for a moment that she did not love him.

    By reviewing, Nikita never involved sexually with any man (except Gray), to remember the episode "Under the Influence" she had to relate with Karl, she was very angry that they made her fall in love for him, using it, she also spoke to Madeline "I slept with him!"

    Even in the first season, when she was not a spy, everyone knew that she loved Michael, even Operations said they loved each other since the first time they seen each other.

    I believe she said she n ever loved him to "release him", so he could go in peace. But deep down he knew she loved him.

    Anyway, the end of this episode was bad, but how I love the series drew the best possible conclusions.

    By the way, Billie, great that your space, congratulations!

  13. Hello,

    I was very very disappointed by this ending!

    I was like yelling 'aaaaah' out of frustration for destroying the love between Michael and Nikita right at the ending. After I heard her say the words: 'I don't love you, I never did', I still thought 'and now we gonna see Michael wake up in his bed covered in sweat realising it's one of his bad dreams, but no, soon after she said it, Michael left heartbroken into the woods and the credits rolled!! I was in shock!

    I have been 'sick' for a whole week because of this ending, thanks to those stupid writers who came up with this 'Nikita being a mole' plot. I wish I had read Serena's review first, warning the viewers with a delicate health not to watch this episode, :).

    The writers start already to decline their love (M+N), in my opinion, with the episode 'Face into the mirror', with Nikita handing over Michael to Red Cell. She would have never done that, duh! So I'll never watch those episodes again.

    By the way the writers only came up with that idea of making Mick 'the' Mr Jones towards the ending of season 4. So we fans of LFN are just too nice to try to find clues of the Nikita being a mole in the seasons 1 to 3 and try to explain the interaction between Nikita and Mick in the early seasons. I would say don't bother anymore, cause the writers did not give a damn about correctness.

    And I also read that the writers did not understand why some fans thought Nikita's words (I don't love you, I never did) were true.
    At some level yes, I saw she was lying and I knew she said those words to make him leave to be free and don't return to section for her. But still, one could doubt the writers real intentions for the following reasons:

    1) She handed Michael over to Red
    Cell, how could she know for
    sure he would escape?
    2) After her surgery to look like
    Quinn, and by this infiltrate
    Section one, it's only after
    Michael discovers himself she is
    actually Nikita, she offers to
    escape with him.
    3) The whole escape thing is a lie,
    Nikita gives up their location.
    It would have been so much
    easier for me if she really had
    tried to escape with him.
    4) She orders the cancellation of
    Michael. Why? He was the best
    operative section ever had, and
    he was a career man.
    5) If she set him free to be with
    his son Adam, why did she not
    give him his location. I mean
    where did she expect the man to
    go to?

    Sigh, sorry for my rattling, but the ending of LFN is hard to digest for me. (The season 5 ending as well, by the way)

    So, I had to create another ending in my head. And it's a happy one of course: they are together, free from section, married with lots of kids :).

    Thank you for your lovely and funny reviews on this wonderful show, Billie!

    A big kiss and hug to all LFN fans!

  14. The last scene between Michael and Nikita was so shocking that I swear you could hear women screaming across the planet! I was so angry I sat down that night and rewrote the ending as I wanted it to happen. And so many fans called and wrote that the producers of the show relented and gave us a better ending. Oddly enough, the final ending actually borrowed something from my version of the end. I know they used to read fan fiction to get a feel of how the fans were affected by the show, and though I can't prove they borrowed my idea, I was thrilled at the coincidence.

    This show should have continued for at least 10 years and no one really knows why it was shut down when it was. Maybe the actors were tired; maybe they had other things in the works. All I know is, I haven't loved a TV show this much since.

  15. Totally agree with the review! And very good article
    I have the feeling that the writers were run out of ideas. May be they wanted to show that Nikita es better than Michael. But again, with what purpose?. What was the test about? Testing that Michael gives priority to Nikita leaving behind Section task? Well, we saw that at the beginning of season 4. Testing Michael that he would betray Section if Nikita ask for it? I doubt it.
    An again, Section loss the best operative ever. Is the worst decision even taken.
    What about little Adam? Michael was unable to protect him being out Section. Unless you're a millionaire and high-tech resources.
    About the estetic. I dont understand this image: a little oval showing Michael walking away!?. Really...? a little oval...Oh come on! This is not a a manga. Im sure they could made a better picture. At the end, both character are equally important in this story. With out Michael´s character the story loss some balance.
    Then again: I fell some improvisation at the time to find some final season. With this final, there was coherence of the behaviour of the fan community in asking another season. At least a better ending.

    How we said in Argentina: ufa!

    PD: About Dallas and Bobby waking up: hahaha! that was very funny!

  16. The characters destruction continues! Almost all the characters lost coherence. Nikita has been replaced by a clone?

    What they did to Mick Schtoppel is unforgivable. He is one of the best supporting characters of the series.

    And sadly Mick´s destruction continues in season 5!

  17. *standing ovation*

    Brilliant review for an awful episode. This review almost numbed the outrage of this episode. Favorite part was you giving it the finger! I certainly second you on that. :)

  18. Agreed with all the things you ve said so I wont repeat.

    One thing I will mention is that I believe there is a slight hint of emotion from Nikita in that scene.

    Once when she says she never loved him there is a reaction afterwards like the one you make after saying a profound lie; when you are gauging the other person and their reactions.

    And even in that final cut she has -even less noticeable this time- some hesitation in her eyes. I believe it was there but Wilson is just not the master of subtlety as Depuis is. I think they tried to give her a ''never loved you''Michael moment. But it just doesnt quite work for her character like it did for his.

    It would have been preferable if she had ''lassied'' him her own way.

    PS: But she has been kinda this cruel in the past. Remember that nice architect from S1? You know the first person she dated in the series? She told him she didnt love him in order to save him...

  19. Grr this season. I had no problem with Nikita ending up in charge of section but the way it was done was idiotic. The idea that Nikita was a mole from s2 was daft and the whole 'my real daddy wanted me to run section' was equally daft. I end my watching of this series 4 episodes before the end of s4.

    It's Roswell s3 all over again.


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