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La Femme Nikita: Fuzzy Logic

Nikita: "Don't worry, Birkoff. You're still my favorite overachiever."

Poor Birkoff was out-Birkoff'd by someone more brilliant, less honorable, and a whole lot more obnoxious.

Greg Hillinger must be a well-realized character because he just made me want to smack him. It was new and interesting to have such a loose cannon in Section, calling everyone names and treating the whole thing like a game. How could someone so smart be so stupid? Yes, he was very young, but that was no excuse.

Nikita tried her best to save Hillinger. I wonder how many people would have gone that far and risked themselves for someone so unworthy of the effort. Was it because he was still essentially a child, and technically innocent? Nikita also put herself out for her new, obnoxious neighbor and probably saved his life, although she certainly didn't do it for him; she did it to take criminals that victimized children off the streets. My favorite Nikita moment was when she took down the drug dealers and phoned in to Section to get rid of them. No guilt, no prevarication, and they absolutely deserved it. ("Three five seven black. I've been exposed. Send Housekeeping.") Go, Nikita.

Nikita had an interesting confrontation with Madeline. Madeline said, "These aren't easy decisions. I don't enjoy making them." Nikita responded, "I think you do. I think you go home to bed every night hoping someone will screw up so that you can make your hard decisions." And I think Nikita was right. We know that Madeline loves her job; we've seen it more than once. Maybe Madeline doesn't realize how much she loves her job.

Bits and pieces:

— According to his file, Birkoff is 21 years old, 135 lbs., and has 20/80 vision.

— The code Birkoff was breaking looked suspiciously Matrix-like. Was this around the time the movie was released?

— Hillinger called Birkoff a Nazi, Nikita "Barbie," and Operations "old folks."

— Hillinger lived in a house surrounded by power lines. That just struck me as odd.

— Nearly everyone in Section, including Hillinger, wore black or neutral colors. Nikita wore a red jacket, a blue shirt, and braids.


Madeline: "Remember, this is not about who's smarter than whom."

Hillinger: "Birkoff. Sounds like a Nazi. No, you know what? You're all Nazis."

Nikita (yelling): "Hey, guys, we're in here. We got your heroin."

Operations: "I am the man in charge."
Hillinger: "You couldn't be in charge of my crotch."

Operations: "Just another group of insane misfits empowered by technology. Another day at the office."

Good episode, even though there was a complete lack of Michael/Nikita goodness. Two and a half stars,

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


  1. Ken from Glee/Eric's vampire lackey in the first season of True Blood is in this episode for like 10 seconds! :D

  2. The producers of LFN must have saved a ton of money on this episode, since there is barely any mission action, and the only a single CGI explosion. In an episode about virtual battles waged in cyberspace with computer code, Ferguson is given the unenviable task of convincing the audience of the terrible threat posed by an unseen and anonymous enemy. Thankfully, Ferguson is so appealing as Birkoff that audience engagement is guaranteed solely because the viewer cares so much about what happens to our “favourite overachiever” when his expertise, and consequently his value to Section, is jeopardized. And at least we get some good scenes with Madeline and Operations to balance out the pointless and annoying “B” story about Nikita’s neighbour.

    Spoilers follow...

    We get to learn a few more tidbits about Birkoff, specifically that he is 21 years old (and he’s been running Comm for at least three years already? Pretty impressive!). His silence when Hillinger asks “What’d they do, kidnap you too?” is very suggestive, especially since we learned in “Noise” that Birkoff is no murderer.

    As for Hillinger, he is so smug and self-serving that the viewer feels sympathy only for Birkoff having to deal with the jerk, and not for Hillinger, who (almost) deserves his eventual fate. I did, however, find it odd that Hillinger would trust Section to keep their end of the bargain after what Nikita showed him. I guess he was so thrilled to believe he had beaten the “old folks” (Operations and Madeline) that he didn’t think to guarantee his freedom with a little computer virus blackmail.

    Of interest to those who noticed a similarity with the Matrix: this episode of LFN originally aired in July of 1998. The Matrix came out in 1999. Not only did the movie “borrow” the visual effect of the green scrolling code, it also clearly imitated LFN’s high-concept fashion style (head-to-toe black, sleek and edgy silhouettes, sunglasses, long coats). I still think Dupuis pulls it off way better than Keanu Reeves, though.

    The return of the magical latex mask that can make anyone look exactly like any other person, as first seen in “Gambit”. I absolutely despise this device – it is a lazy and underhanded trick on the audience.

  3. Hillinger was a twerp of the first order. I despised his character for what he did and will do as a foil to Birkoff. His brilliance is countered by the fact that he has no thoughts on the consequences of his actions.

    And may I say that no one can beat Michael as THE man in black. No one does black like Michael can. Roy Dupuis owns it and then some.


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