Home Featured TV Shows All TV Shows Movie Reviews Book Reviews Articles Frequently Asked Questions About Us

La Femme Nikita: Kiss the Past Goodbye

"You gotta stay detached, Michael. It's the only way to do this job."

Finally, a return to Michael's family. It was about time.

Michael must have suspected right away that Corliss wasn't just a boyfriend, because I can't imagine Michael begrudging Elena another relationship. And he was right to be concerned, since Operations was ready to use Elena and Adam as bait with no more concern for them than a piece of cheese in a mousetrap.

Corliss was shuddery. He felt nothing for his assignments, while still enjoying the sexual duties of his job. ("If only you could have given me another ten minutes.") It was icky, thinking of a man like that sleeping with Elena. The scene where Michael had to advise Corliss on how to seduce Elena ("close the deal with mom") was almost too much. Michael actually looked away when Corliss talked about getting "inside" her. This was especially interesting when you consider that at one time, Michael did exactly the same thing to Elena that Corliss was doing. Things change, don't they? Or does it just seem different because it was Michael?

In fact, despite his trademark stoicism, Michael wrestled with a lot of emotion in this episode. He was outright rude to Walter, and snapped at Birkoff. He came close to blowing up at Operations. He threatened to kill Corliss, and eventually carried out his threat. The only person he didn't dump on was Nikita, who, as usual, was there for him. Although he didn't confide in her or turn to her for help. As usual.

The scene where Michael, in Section black, was walking through his old house like a ghost, protecting Elena and Adam from "beyond the grave," was a good one. (Especially the part where Michael was at Adam's bedside, close to tears.) Elena compared her perception of Corliss to Michael: gentle and understanding, a perfect father figure. Funny. But it also made me wonder again about the real Michael, concealed beneath that expressionless exterior. There are so many sides to Michael. It's not easy to fake "gentle and understanding" believably. Well, maybe for a few weeks or months. Not for seven years.

The one thing this episode didn't have was a confrontation. I wanted Elena and Adam to see Michael, to talk to him somehow. (I don't count Adam's realization that Daddy was in his room.) And now they're gone. "They'll be out of your reach, out of your life. For good."

And I also think they made a significant writing error. At the start of the episode, Birkoff couldn't identify Corliss for Michael. Practically five minutes later, Michael ran into Corliss during a mission. (Yes, I know, deep undercover, but still.) Right after that, Corliss was all over Section, talking with Walter, Operations and Madeline as if he'd known them forever. I think the story would have worked better if Michael had simply recognized Corliss as a Section operative right off the bat.

Bits and pieces:

— In the teaser, Michael was stalking Adam. Of course he was. How could he not?

— As he was walking through the house, Michael's footsteps sounded way too loud to me. Where was stealthy secret agent guy? I also found it odd that many of the lights were on. I'm sure they did that to make the sequence work better visually, but it was jarring. They could have covered it by having Elena say at some point that Adam was afraid of the dark, maybe.

— Corliss said, "Pulling back from a seven year blood cover can't be easy, especially when a child is involved." Was Michael with Elena for seven years? Or does that include the past year or so since he "died"?

— Is Michael still legally married to Elena? Probably. Just as Nikita is probably still legally married to Helmut.

— Nikita wore an incredible black leather outfit in Section. And in the end, she was back in blue.

— Michael: "If something happens to Elena and Adam on your watch, I'll kill you." He did, too.

Very good, but somehow, not what I wanted. Three stars? Three and a half?

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


  1. This solid character-driven episode is elevated to one of the top three because of an otherwise weak season. We get several poignant scenes as Michael has to deal with his continued separation from his family, plus this episode features a slimy nemesis, a ruthless Section plot, and some cool action sequences. Thankfully, this episode also honours continuity, and Section power struggles are put on the back burner as the main plot is to capture a terrorist. I only wish I could say the same for more Season Four episodes. And while Michael’s character is well-served in this story, inexplicably we get very little of Nikita. When does the audience get the main character of the show back?

    Spoilers follow...

    The teaser is quite heartbreaking, as Michael is forced to observe from a distance while another man insinuates himself into Adam and Elena’s lives. But Michael’s instincts lead him to suspect something even more sinister, which is confirmed when he meets Section Valentine Operative Corliss on his next mission. Though Operations claims that the heartless Corliss has been assigned to protect Michael’s family, the truth is that Section has leaked information implicating Elena in her father’s death as a way to flush out her uncle. It is up to Michael to keep his family safe as they become targets for assassination as well as pawns in Section’s strategy.

    Favourite Scenes:
    Michael infiltrating Lupo’s mountain retreat: he single-handedly eliminates five security guards in rapid succession and with minimal effort. Apparently, Michael wanted to work out his frustrations, since the rest of the team (including Nikita) was given absolutely nothing to do on this mission (and no screen time).

    Michael secretly visiting his family's home: I was in tears as Elena comforted Adam. How painful for Michael!

    Continuity Issues:
    Nikita’s character has minimal screen time, but at least Wilson put in an effort in the final scene when Nikita tries to comfort Michael on the fresh loss of his family. I was not happy, however, that Nikita was depicted as such a poor strategist. The Section mission to capture Stefan Vacek is easily foiled, and in spite of what she said to Michael (“... Elena and Adam’s welfare is my primary concern”), Nikita doesn’t ensure any protection for them. This seems to contradict “New Regime”, “First Mission”, and “All Good Things”, when she was able to successfully execute more difficult missions. It seems that the writers are allowing only Michael to be a clever strategist.

    Logic Flaws:
    It makes no sense for Corliss not to have been in Section’s database, no matter how deep his cover. This problem could have been avoided simply by sending Michael on the Lupo mission before Birkoff had a chance to get back to him, thus preserving the surprise of Corliss’ identity as a Section operative without defying logic.

  2. To Billie Doux:
    “As he was walking through the house, Michael's footsteps sounded way too loud to me. Where was stealthy secret agent guy? “
    Right! I said to myself: “Elena must be deaf! How is it possible that she doesn’t hear Michael’s footsteps?”

    To Serena:
    “When does the audience get the main character of the show back? “
    Oh, Nikita, Nikita… I tried long and hard to convince myself that the twisted logic of the script is to blame for this fading of the ravishing character of Nikita. I used to believe that the writers did it on purpose, since Michael had to become more and more human and passionate and, instead, Nikita had to assume all the desperate coldness of an agent in Section 1 – as a kind of sacrifice. But I don’t know anymore… I miss so much the sparks in her eyes…
    Anyway, I know what I know: I never understood why a script should be written by more than one (let’s say two) writers.

  3. Continuity error, helena was not close to her father like the uncle said, they were estranged and had to fake her illness for him just to visit his daughter

  4. Michael actually looked away when Corliss spoke about getting "inside" her.

    But already Corliss seduced her.
    This is about a dinner, which is very important to her, she is conservative, and this is a symbol of a deeper connection.
    At least for me, although it can be interpreted differently, he really thinks of her inner resistance.
    Why Michael looked away, (for someone from the audience -sees something that does not exis)
    Maybe he just makes up the answer, or he is angry, at least for me.
    They screwed up with loud steps, but it's a choreography, a scene, a play of music, light and darkness and... steps.
    It can also be a commercial for the house.
    Birkoff couldn't identify Corliss for Michael.
    It's not strange, I do not even know all the employees.
    Section is ... section in section, no confidence among bosses, among different sections, all hiding - operation / Madeline / Michael.
    The operation can make some people disappear.


We love comments! We moderate because of spam and trolls, but don't let that stop you! It’s never too late to comment on an old show, but please don’t spoil future episodes for newbies.