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La Femme Nikita: I Remember Paris

Nikita: "I don't know what was more unusual. Operations blowing up the Section, or you coming to dinner again."

Say hello to the new Section. Same as the old Section. I was entranced by the possibility of a new Section, all new sets. But no.

So how strange was it, seeing Nikita and Operations actually bonding? Nikita stood up to Operations at least twice, which is always a dangerous thing to do. I kept thinking he was going to blow up and shoot her or something, and I was outright shocked when he ended up praising her performance. "You're competent, and you keep your wits about you under fire. I tend towards impatience. Doesn't always work as well in the field." He was right. I think Operations needs to work on his field mechanics.

It's always fun when old villains come back. We thought Sparks and Siobhan, of the classical music and candy, were dead at the end of "Simone." I think they're finally dead this time. And speaking of old episodes, was the temporary Section hidey hole the same one they used in "War"?

This episode was sort of about change, except that in the end, everything was pretty much back to normal. Except for Michael. For some reason, it appears that Michael is now ready to give Nikita what she wants. That's sure how it sounded during that final dinner scene. What did he mean, that enough time had passed? Since Elena? What did he mean, that he didn't choose to stay away? What does Michael know that he's not telling Nikita?

Bits and pieces:

— The opening scene was a shocker. You never expect anyone to be able to get out of The Chair.

— By this point, there were so many hints that it was not a surprise to me that Section was in Paris. Is it still? It must be within driving distance, at least, because Nikita was still in the same apartment at the end of the episode.

— Mick Schtoppel got to be more than Nikita's wacky neighbor. He managed to find Freddie what's-his-face and he actually saved Section. I'm not so sure that's a good thing. It looked like Mick wasn't sure, either, while he was watching Michael torture Freddie.

— Michael has been in Section for nine years. Operations has been in Section for 24. And speaking of numbers, 42 operatives unaccounted for, and 17 confirmed dead, and Operations said, not so bad?

— In this week's hair report, Nikita wore an extreme bun, not once, but twice. It looked sophisticated. Ugly, but sophisticated.


Sparks: "You don't even care what we're doing here, do you, Siobhan? God help us if the other side has more candy."

Birkoff: "What's going to happen?"
Walter: "What do you mean? We're going to get all the bad guys, and we'll all live happily ever after."
Birkoff: "Where?"
Walter: "Hell if I know. This is my first incineration."

Birkoff: "But I like Paris."
Walter: "You'll visit."

Very good. Three out of four stars,

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


  1. My initial reaction to this episode: “What the [censored]?!?” What follows is a lengthy rant, so for those in a rush: my recommendation is to watch only the final scene between Michael and Nikita, and pretend the rest of the episode never existed.

    Spoilers follow...

    At first, I was furious with the writer for perpetrating this Logic and Continuity Nightmare. However, after reading “Inside Section One”, the truth is that the executives, including Joel Surnow himself, are responsible for this abomination. The writer, Michael Loceff, had actually submitted a very different scenario: the captured operative was originally a Red Cell agent implanted with cybernetics in his forearms, thus explaining how he is able to break free of the White Room restraints, overcome Madeline and several other operatives, and jack directly into Section computers to obtain the blueprints for Section and corrupt the I/O to transmit data. Instead of Loceff’s logical explanation, however, Surnow expects us to believe that a “freshman class” terrorist is able to do all of the above, things that no human being (including Adrian, founder and creator of Section) has ever been able to do before.

    Besides giving this “freshman” terrorist seemingly magical powers, Surnow also felt that Red Cell had been used “too often” lately, and simply substituted the words “Glass Curtain” into the script wherever “Red Cell” appeared. Except Glass Curtain is anarchist (“Simone”), and would not have an organization and hierarchy (third tier, relay sites, etc.) like Red Cell, so most of the exposition no longer makes sense when attached to this group. Also, Red Cell is a powerful and resourceful enemy that could convincingly jeopardize all of Section, while Glass Curtain is just not believable as a threat of that magnitude. Of course, the worst problem with using Glass Curtain is that it completely contradicts the pivotal events in “Simone”. The villains’ inexplicable ability to survive a huge explosion and subsequent inferno negates Simone’s sacrifice, and flushes the foundation of Michael’s emotional backstory down the drain. There isn’t even a reference in the script to Glass Curtain’s significance to Michael, only a single line from Walter acknowledging that they were presumed dead. And this entire contradiction results simply because Surnow couldn’t be bothered to check continuity before replacing the name of the villains.

    Operations is also given completely illogical dialogue: his statements that Nikita is not supposed to think do not make sense. Operatives have always been expected to improvise (“Nikita”), and do more than their best (“Treason”) – in fact, a team leader is both a fighter and a strategist (“First Mission”). And if Operations didn’t want deviations from protocol, why choose Nikita to accompany him in the first place?

    I feel sorry for the cast and crew of LFN, forced to enact this illogical mess. The plot vacillates between infuriatingly ridiculous and painfully boring, as there is nothing at all clever about the way Section locates and defeats the enemy (Mick again?). It seems as if everyone, from director on down, was completely demoralized by this script, and it shows in the episode: the climactic action sequence is so brief as to be nonexistent (storming Glass Curtain has perhaps 5 seconds of screen time), and the actors just seem to go through the motions, especially in the evacuation and substation scenes, which are just poor copies of the equivalent scenes in “War”. In fact, this entire episode comes off as a thoroughly inferior and distasteful attempt to recycle the premise from “War”.

    Logic and continuity are mangled so badly, that the only way for me to reconcile these events with the established LFN “universe” is to pretend that they are the jumbled nightmares of our Section regulars. After everyone wakes up from their shared nightmare and breathes a sigh of relief, the only event that actually transpires is the final scene of Michael having dinner at Nikita’s apartment.

  2. Okay, I have to admit that the only thing important to me in this episode is the dinner scene between Michael and Nikita at the end. Because, well... you'll see in the next episode.

  3. Ok, so like everyone else, the most important aspect of the storyline is the Michael/Nikita relationship, but still.......I loved the shot of the Eiffle Tower which signified that Section was in Paris, but please explain this to me..................I know it's just a TV show on a limited budget, HOWEVER........If they were in Paris this whole time, then why does every single person they encounter in that area (particularly the people located in the area around Nikita's apartment) have an American/Canadian accent? Why couldn't ANY of the guest-actors at least fake a french accent?????????

  4. Seriously.....even French Canadian accents would be MORE than welcome!!!!!

  5. There is no such thing as French Canadian accent. What you're talking about is the Quebecer accent.

  6. It's hard to overstate how surprised I was that they decided to reveal the location of Section One to the audience. The fact that it was located in a city that looks nothing whatsoever like Toronto and where the people don't speak native English is so ridiculous that I don't need to dwell at all on it, but it leads me to wonder why they even bothered to do it at all. Revealing the location was irrelevant to the story and it's transparently nonsensical, so why do it? It just made the whole episode feel disjointed.

    This episode also caused me to wonder about some other things, like why there wouldn't be any failsafes to prevent someone from getting out of the torture chair if they get one hand free, why there wouldn't be any failsafes to prevent someone from getting out of the White Room if they escape from the chair, why they incinerated the place this time but not the last time they abandoned it, and why Nikita had no reaction whatsoever to killing an innocent person after a lengthy scene in which she was trying to protect the innocent people. And those are just the things which haven't already been mentioned already on this page. Of course, continuity errors and plot holes aren't all that unusual, whether in this series or any other. What's unusual is that there aren't other things drawing your attention away from them.

    The interactions between Nikita and Operations were the one bright spot in this episode, but it wasn't nearly enough to salvage a story that just wasn't very interesting.

  7. Good notes in the comments, I haven't even realized how bad it was :D
    The location didn't bother me all that much, I easily replaced Paris with in my head, but the rest...
    Operations' behaviour certainly was quite erratic. Also didn't expect he would relent and spare the assistant in the gallery - even Michael killed in situations less critical.
    Initially I couldn't even imagine any reason for him to select Nikita to accompany him, other than plot-related. But later managed to come up with something: he wasn't sure what to expect and preferred a woman (who can get to some places easier) with decent fighting skills. And with the whole situation he might have had limited options.
    Somehow I still liked the episode. Maybe it's just the nostalgia :) It was good to see the patriarch of the "family" being nice.

    1. Hello. . I also thought the episode was odd. I think Michael revisited his relationship with and feelings for Simone when he found out Sparks was behind the data breach at section. That is why Micheal told Nikita enough time had passed. He had taken all the time he needed to reconcile his feelings for Simone. Elena was never a factor. He never really loved Elana.

  8. I could buy Nikita living in a building full of expats, hence her neighbor not being French.

    I could buy Marco O'Brien coming to her home to investigate the serial killer. Maybe he's in some law enforcement exchange program?

    But the reason I could never buy Nikita living in Paris? Her apartment scenes do not feature the incessant whine of French sirens.

  9. Something I think we have to remember is when the series originally aired we couldn’t go back and rewatch the previous seasons. Unless someone was taking notes, a lot of the continuity lapses and implausible plots sailed right on through. And because this was still an exciting genre to watch on tv, they got away with it. This show debuted before The Matrix! We have to keep the context of what was available and where we were at, at the time. 26 years later we’re still engrossed!


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