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La Femme Nikita: Hard Landing

Michael: "I thought I'd lost you."
Nikita: "You never had me."

In "Mercy," Michael got Nikita out of Section. Here, he brought her right back in again. At this point, the last thing I expected was that Michael and Nikita would consummate their relationship. So of course, that was what happened.

I loved nearly every scene in this episode. Michael being "out of sync" in the opener. The longing looks over the burning car in Lyon. The passionate, almost violent love scene on the boat, with him knocking the gun out of her hand and pushing her down. (As they said in the DVD commentary, how French.) Michael and Nikita, both nude, talking about her feelings of despair. The scene that followed, in daylight, on the deck of the boat. The office chair gun battle. Michael's pissing contest with Ackerman. And the oddly gentle scene where Michael battered Nikita, in order to provide her with cover.

Yes, hiding from Section and slinging hash wasn't "living," but let's face it: Nikita came back to Section to be with Michael, period. She wasn't functioning well in the Real World without him. Michael wasn't functioning well in Section without her. He couldn't leave, so she had to return. The big question is, why did he blow her off in the final scene? Why won't he see her after hours? Would it seem too suspicious if they were suddenly a couple? Is he trying to protect her?

I noticed that Michael and Nikita were separated by glass twice in this episode. Right before the love scene on the boat, Michael looked at Nikita through a porthole. In the final scene in the white room, Nikita watched Michael walk away from her through a glass door. This is pretty basic symbolism: The two of them can look at each other, but not touch.

Bits and pieces:

— The credits were different, but not different enough. I've never liked the credits.

— In the teaser, Michael was "distracted" and accidentally broke another operative's leg. He said tersely, "I'm sorry," and walked off. Classic Michael.

— Michael speaks Thai? Of course he does. He's an international man of intrigue, after all.

— Nikita waiting tables, huh? Let's see. Former homeless street kid turned secret agent: yes, she would indeed have limited real world skills. Couldn't she teach martial arts, or self-defense for women, though?

— Michael's poker face was put to the test when he returned from his secret tryst with Nikita, and Operations said, Guess what? Nikita is alive. Probably the last thing Michael expected Operations to say.

— In the white room, Nikita touched the bruises Michael gave her as if they were kisses.

— In this season's hair report, Nikita's was just as long but not as light. It was almost white before.

— Cancelled scene: Alternate version of a mission scene with the actors in camo. They decided it looked silly, and changed it. Good call.


Operations: "He got over Simone. He can get over Nikita."
Well, that might be true if he had really gotten over Simone, but that's debatable. He's been emotionally shut down for three years, hasn't he?

Michael: "I never realized that I needed you so much." Again, not an "I love you," but close.

Madeline: "You will cooperate with us because you know how things are done here. When we're done with you, you'll be cancelled. Any questions?" Classic Madeline scene.

Nikita: "Do you know, for three years, all I did was dream about getting out of Section. When I did, it wasn't what I'd expected. This isn't freedom. This isn't freedom." One of Nikita's strongest scenes.

One of my favorite episodes. Four out of four stars,

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


  1. I absolutely love this ep.

    One thing though, he wasn't speaking Thai. It was Cantonese and the nightlights scene wasn't Thailand either. It was Japan, hahaha.

  2. A spellbinding episode, the best of Season Two! I was glued to the screen from start to finish, as Michael Loceff’s cracking script is supported by stunning visuals, wildly original action sequences, tight plotting, dangerous deceptions, and the most twisted romance ever devised. Both Wilson and Dupuis are superb, bolstered by Jon Cassar’s wonderful direction and production designer Rocco Matteo’s beautifully atmospheric sets and locations. Cassar is my favourite LFN director: he is completely in tune with the characters and the edgy, skewed world of Section, plus his action scenes never fail to be both innovative and exciting.

    Spoilers follow...

    In the opening scene, Michael says exactly two (rather darkly humourous) words, but his feelings are clearly communicated to the audience: how much he misses Nikita, and his despair over his inability to contact her. Unfortunately, Michael’s decline in performance has not gone unnoticed by Operations. Ackerman is consequently promoted to team leader on Section’s latest mission to strike back at the Freedom League, thus setting up this episode’s pivotal plot twist.

    The exotic Thailand location is a visual treat, lit by gorgeous colours that show off the depth and detail of the set. Here, we get to see Michael at his operative best: cleverly tagging Sherrin’s gofer, dispatching a bodyguard in a moment of dark humour, and capturing Sherrin by gunpoint while remaining calmly polite. Pure fun!

    Meanwhile, Nikita’s low profile existence comes to an end when the Freedom League finally catches up with her. Overhearing their plan to ambush Section operatives before she escapes, our heroine cannot merely save herself: she sets off to intercept the Freedom League, hoping to save the lives of her fellow operatives.

    The ambush in Lyons is absolutely stunning, especially considering how limited LFN’s special effects budget was. Then there is the beautiful visual of Michael seeing Nikita through the flames, after she saves his life. When they finally do reunite, there is more than a little anger on both sides: Michael is furious that Nikita allowed him to think she was dead, and Nikita resents that she can never be sure whether or not he can be trusted. The result is a fascinating battle of wills that extends even to their lovemaking. Afterwards, Sean Callery’s beautiful score emphasizes the all-too-brief moments of truth and tenderness between them, before they are required to go their separate ways under the threat of Section.

    Once Section learns that Nikita is alive, Michael’s strategic abilities (and his poker face) are put to the ultimate test. He earns the viewer’s admiration by managing to simultaneously accomplish three different goals: achieving the mission objectives, exposing the mole, and returning Nikita to Section in a plausible fashion. The episode’s final action sequence pulls out all the stops, even putting an office chair to unconventional use before surprising the audience with the daring and painful plan to apparently rescue Nikita from the Freedom League before the base explodes.

    The episode ends with Michael able to divert suspicion about Nikita’s return, for now. But will the ruse hold up under the constant surveillance within Section? If they are to survive, it will have to be Michael’s self-discipline that saves them, for Nikita now seems to be willing to take more risks for the sake of passion.

    Continuity Issues:
    While a captive of the Freedom League, exactly how did Nikita etch out a knife-shaped piece of glass from the mirror in her room? Though this scenario did provide an interesting reflection shot, breaking off a corner of the mirror would have been more believable given that she had no tools available.

  3. Billie - I love your review. I also love the scenes in this episode.

    Serena - I love yours as well. I also agree that Peta Wilson and Roy Dupuis were superb.

    I can never listen to Depeche Mode's song, "The Love Thieves" without remembering this LFN episode. The opening strain alone takes me back.

    My top favorite episode in Season 2.

  4. One of the best episodes of season 2, Serena and Billie, i loved your reviews, they make me love section even more. All the scenes were perfect, i just wish the love scene was a little bit longer, hell, i wish all their love scenes were much much longer!

    Anyone else notice that Michael changed back into his suit just after his pissing contest with Ackerman and then changed back into mission gear (minor quibble though!)

  5. I did not see the consummation so devoutly to be wished happening so soon. It worked, not just because of the sex, but because of the passion displayed by the two involved. Not all of that passion was lust. There was a great deal of love, anger, and betrayal on display as well.

    I thought it was interesting to see how much Michael came back (as he said to Nikita) after he found her. With his mind free from worrying about her, he could identify Ackerman and kill a bunch of guys from an office chair.

    I am slightly annoyed with the writers that Nikita and Michael are apart again because he says so. I hope an explanation is forthcoming.

  6. To say that I love this episode doesn't even begin to express how I feel. Just a few thoughts because the other posters said it all.

    Michael is so suave. The scene where he's going to get Sherrin but first has chai, I mean is he really making out when the team assault starts and still is able to disarm someone? The ladies flocked to him and I say they have excellent taste.

    I totally got why he said something about thinking he lost Nikita. He knows she loves him and he has been able to manipulate her - she's his. He was jealous of the villain in Charity and super jealous of Grey. He did what he could to save her in Mercy and I'm sure expected Nikita to contact him after surviving the abeyance mission. The comment on deck about not realizing how much he needed her is an interesting admission. The love scene where he was out of control showed how much he wanted her. Wanting and needing are different things. A character in the next few episodes expands on this. Michael lies, outright and by omission, but he does tell the truth, too. And I don't think he lies to be hurtful, but to achieve a necessary result.

    However Nikita's comment ("You never had me") strikes me as odd every time I hear it. I finally figured out why she said it. Michael has seemed out of reach for her in terms of a romantic relationship. So often the audience sees things or hears conversations that Nikita doesn't (but I think sometimes she doesn't put two and two together in terms of how he protects her and what it must mean). Could it be that she doesn't know that he has figured out how she feels about him (was she jealous in Obsession or what?) and that in his mind, she's his?

  7. My favorite episode of season 2! Wonderful action and love scenes.
    No doubts anymore about Michael's feelings for her. He just can't express them for reasons that we are about to know later.

  8. This whole episode was awesome for me. I waited for what seemed like 18 months imagining how would Nikita return. But honestly it's Michael that intrigues us all, right? The ambush scene was worthy of a big movie with Michael dispatching the henchmen in style and the moment where they stare at each other for the first time in months. Superb episode


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