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La Femme Nikita: In Through the Out Door

Operations: "He's right. The place is falling apart."

Section isn't doing very well, what with the personnel shortage and constant equipment failures and a new arch nemesis and all. And Operations is taking every opportunity to try to bring Nikita down. What a time for the Gelman process to kick back in, huh?

"Michael, help me." Was that really Michael who was communicating with her through her Elizabeth Taylor pendant? Too bad Michael wasn't around to heal her again. Yes, I'm definitely up for another session in the love slinky, Michael.

O'Brien spent the last two episodes doing a credible imitation of an automaton, but here, we got to see more of the real guy. He didn't fall for the "Nikita is a man-killer" bull that Operations was tossing his way. ("I don't trust any man where Nikita's concerned. She has a way of turning heads. Michael, Birkoff, Walter...") O'Brien reported Nikita's illness to Operations initially in order to cover for her later. Okay, I think that's what he did. I'm still not completely sure. Misdirection. It's a long and venerable Section tradition.

Adrian is dead now. So is George. They never found each other again, and that's sad. At least the writers are continuing to tie up loose ends, and we know her ultimate fate.

Bits and pieces:

— O'Brien was using Michael's office. That gave me a twinge.

— Jason was back in Section. It was good to see yet another familiar face under all that unfamiliar hair.

— Nikita had a sports car. That was new.


Jason: "I'm Jason, from Oversight."
Jasmine: "I'm Jasmine, from not interested."

Walter, on the Gelman process: "Wash, rinse, tumble dry... it's an ugly package."

Jason: "I only met my brother once. In the short time we had, he spent half of it talking about you."
Poor Birkoff. I miss him, even when he's right there.

Pretty good. Three out of four stars,

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


  1. A derivative and poorly constructed script that fails on all fronts simultaneously. First, it stretches the plot thread of combatting the Collective so thin that the pace of the episode slows to a crawl – I was constantly looking at the clock. The two dull mission sequences do nothing to generate interest, plus choosing to have the aftereffects of the Gelman process render Nikita useless from the start of the episode is a huge mistake. The audience has seen very little heroism from Nikita so far this season, and depicting her as helpless for the entire episode erodes Nikita’s status even more. Additionally, the plot thread of Nikita’s search for answers to her recruitment and parentage is completely unoriginal – even a Girl Guide could have come up with a more clever and interesting scavenger hunt than the clich├ęd crypt visit.

    Worst of all, however, is the writer’s pathetic attempts to invent Section jargon and technology. First offence: the “chemicals” from the Gelman process turning into a “neurological virus” that Nikita needs a “vaccine” for. That’s just stupid – chemicals can’t become a virus, and the general audience knows this. Why not just have the chemicals accumulate to toxic levels, interfering with neurotransmitters in the brain? Second offence: the PF3 communicator that is so new that Walter says it “[hasn’t] even been deployed yet”. Except that from the very beginning Section has had communication devices that are so small as to be practically invisible – no way is the audience going to believe that this huge, ugly pendant is the latest technology! And how predictable is it to have the pendant "save" Nikita on the last mission?

    As for the characters, at least Operations is given consistent dialogue, and O’Brien is fleshed out more. Unfortunately, Nikita is essentially incapacitated for the entire episode, and Walter is basically relegated to explaining the above-mentioned lame plot devices. As for the rest: Quinn is still weak, Jason is still not Birkoff, and Jasmine hardly registers at all.

    Favourite Scene:
    The teaser: Operations carefully sighting his gun at the bad guy – then deliberately shifting his aim to the committee member ;-)
    Though I did enjoy this teaser, I still find it difficult to believe that the loss of three key personnel has crippled Section One to this extent. Or is this a way to explain the lack of extras portraying operatives around Section due to the budget constraints for this abbreviated season?

    I just confirmed my suspicions: according to the book “Inside Section One”, the scriptwriter really was an amateur – he was hired simply because he is Michael Loceff’s cousin.

    1. Loved was hired because he’s Surnow’s cousin!

  2. I love the bits from "inside section one" serena! thanks. I wish I could afford a copy of that book :(

  3. This series started out soo nicely and i absolutely loved it until about season 4 episode 4! Sadly it went downhill from there! Nikita was still too much of a robot girl.

    All i can say is that the budget constraints excuse so often given for destroying this series doesn't hold much water given the great ratings and success it enjoyed in the beginning.

    Surely they must have made some money by the end of season 2, at least they had more than what they started with.

  4. I was confused and frustrated by this episode. Nikita starts to have Gelman process symptoms. She is led to her father's house to find out her history. Two pairs of baby shoes and a bomb later we have a motocycle disappearing and a disk that only Jason can decipher. Nikita ends up at Adrian's health care center but Adrian is dead and Michael has not been seen since he dropped her off a year ago. Nikita is convinced Michael left the disk but how did he know she would go to her father's house? They find the new equipment in the tomb while getting Adrian's DNA and Nikita says that Michael left the pendant for her. It is possible that Michael got the pendant maybe but it is not even available to anyone yet. The pendant tells her what to do during the mission when she is still suffering effects but the voice is masked and would have to be someone tracking the mission at real time since he/she warns her of hostiles. I would think someone at Section would have caught on since the data was likely being lifted from their system. How are they going to make a vaccine to fix the Gelman process symptoms when Adrian was not immune? She is dead. Walter says this is just the tip of the ice burg and the symptoms are going to come back and get worse.

  5. Ok. I watched again this episode
    ``First offence: the “chemicals” from the Gelman process turning into a “neurological virus” that Nikita needs a “vaccine” for. That’s just stupid – chemicals can’t become a virus, and the general audience knows this. Why not just have the chemicals accumulate to toxic levels, interfering with neurotransmitters in the brain?``
    Totally agreed with this statement!!! Someone lost biology lessons? A “neurological virus” doesn’t come up from chemicals so easily…..Adrian's DNA…what for? They needed Adrian´s tissue…what for? You don’t get a vaccine with that.
    I share the option: `` chemicals accumulate to toxic levels``. Another option: a biochemical unbalance was produced by Nikita´s emotions, stress and sadness (suggesting the obvious subject about Michael) and for that reason she needs a treatment.
    About the pendant (I like one!) I think that is a kind of symbolism that tries to suggest that Nikita feels alone without Michael. I think that the PF3 was left by her father…why it said to her that he was a friend instead confirm that is Michael?

    A la vie!

  6. That pendant kind of reminds of me of the lens in Lensman:


  7. I'm rewatching LFN for probably the fifth time after being an true original airing fan. I found your reviews and I'm really enjoying them! However, I still hate season 5 after all these years. Borrrrring. Inane. And insulting to the fans' intelligence. Has anyone commented on your very clever pen name?

    1. Anonymous, I've had this nom de plume since probably 2005 or thereabouts, so yes, they have. And there have been some interesting guesses on how it's pronounced from some who don't have French. :)


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