La Femme Nikita: Hell Hath No Fury

"For us, it's the thrill of the game that makes our hearts pound."

We appear to be in the middle-of-the-season Michael/Nikita relationship hiatus, so what did we get? Proof that Michael and Nikita aren't the only ones who can screw for Section.

This was a particularly intense episode, a Madeline emotional tour-de-force. And Alberta Watson was just terrific. For that matter, so was Colm Feore as Leon, Red Cell's chief strategist and Madeline's opposite number. I thought all of their scenes together were excellent. They played off each other like the pros they are. Bravo.

This kind of twisty, plotty, what's-really-going-on thing is what LFN does best. I kept wondering throughout what Madeline was truly feeling, and how far she would go. When Madeline actually shot Operations, I thought, aha! it was a ploy. (I'm clever that way.) But it turned out that she was out of control and really did shoot Operations. But then it turned out that she was in control all along and shot Operations for real, on purpose, for cover. Layers within layers. Covert times ten.

In other news, there was a twin confrontation cliffhanger. (I knew we'd be meeting Jason at some point.) We didn't get much, but Jason appears to have slightly more hair, an interesting accent, an important job, and a pretty girlfriend. Stay tuned.

Bits and pieces:

— When Madeline was sobbing over Leon, Operations had a strange expression on his face. Distaste? Concern? A mixture of both?

— Michael and Nikita had a way too brief discussion in Michael's office on the nature of love. Of course, I wanted more.

— Did we finally see Madeline's apartment? Was it in Section?

— The Devos were back, and we almost got to see how those lines on the cheeks were actually inflicted. Almost.

— It was mentioned that gene coding was abandoned four years ago. Adrian gene-coded that message for Michael at the beginning of season four, so that works.

— Nikita was wearing blue in Section again.

— In this week's hair report, Madeline's finally came down. She looked fabulous, too.


Madeline: "Take him to processing."
Operative: "He's dead."
Madeline: "That's his problem."

Leon: "It's hard to imagine, looking at you, that you have any superiors."

Madeline: "Have you seen my recommendation for the Crystal Sky project?"
Unless I'm mistaken, that was last week's project. Did these episodes air out of order?

Walter: "That's the way the cookie crumbled."
Birkoff: "He got the cookie. And I got the crumbs."

Another good one. Three out of four stars,

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


Anonymous said...

Uninteresting, distasteful, and completely unoriginal – of course it’s a Hertzog script. Even the parts of the script that haven’t been recycled from previous episodes still manage to be either boring, repugnant, or illogical.

Spoilers follow...

Almost every aspect of the plot is recycled, and there is absolutely no suspense since the outcome is entirely predictable: we’ve already seen Madeline capable of shooting her own husband (“In Between”), so we know she won’t allow emotion to get in the way of the mission; plus we’ve already seen deceptions within Section way too many times (“Slipping Into Darkness”, “Beyond the Pale”, “Three Eyed Turtle”) to get excited about yet another, especially one that is so simplistic as trying to fool a Red Cell operative into believing that Madeline is so in love with him that she would help him escape. Duh.

Major Plot Recycling:
“Slipping into Darkness” involved Operations allowing himself to be drugged in order to be convincingly “out of control” to trap a Red Cell agent – here it’s Madeline who volunteers for brain surgery in order to be convincingly “out of control” to trap a Red Cell agent. Same premise, except “Slipping into Darkness” was a powerful episode involving a multi-layered deception that intertwined several exciting plot threads (operatives being cancelled, Nikita organizing a mutiny, Madeline supposedly trying to find a cure, Michael supposedly trying to take over), giving each of our Section regulars a dangerous dilemma to wrestle with. Here, the entire deception involves nothing more clever than Madeline’s faked emotions, and reveals absolutely nothing new about any of the characters. Snooze.

Logic Flaws:
Why would Operations and Madeline have to maintain the ruse when they are alone together in the Perch? The only reason to do so is to deliberately mislead the audience at first, thus proving how weak the premise is in the first place.

Why would Madeline need (a completely preposterous) surgery to convincingly play an undercover role? We’ve seen her manage much more difficult deceptions without any artificial aid, let alone brain surgery (“Slipping Into Darkness”, “Three Eyed Turtle”). I’m hoping the writer might submit to some brain surgery himself if this is the best he can do...

Why would the “brilliant” Leon, who is shown to be suspicious of Madeline’s motives to the end, assume that Section has only one way of tracking Madeline? Leon sure is easy to outsmart considering he is supposed to be such a clever adversary.

Over the Top:
So now we have “green lasers of death” keeping the prisoners in confinement? A little too “Star Trek” for the near-future world of Section – what is wrong with a cell door, as in the White Room?

Josie Kafka said...

Hi Serena,

I just wanted to drop you a note to let you know that, even though I have never seen LFN, I look forward to your comments--especially the brutally honest ones! Thank you so much for taking the time to post them!

Anonymous said...

Hi, Josie! You do realize that now it's your turn ;-) You can't admit to enjoying the comments and then confess to never having seen the show! You've read how much fun Billie and I have had -- time to add LFN to your list of New Year's resolutions ;-)