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La Femme Nikita: Man in the Middle

Absolutely love this photo. It says it all.
"You're both much too gorgeous for words."

The chess game continued. But this time, Section won. It certainly didn't take long for Operations and Madeline to see through Nikita's robot girl pose. And Mommy and Daddy were both very angry at Michael. (Operations: "You are expendable." Michael: "I know.") Michael rebelling against Section appears to be a continuing theme this season. And oh, how I love it.

And again, with the shoe on the other foot. Now, it's Nikita who had to marry for the sake of a mission, and Michael who had to deal with the fact that she was with someone else. Helmut (Maxwell Caulfield) was delightful and I found him very likeable, even though the thought of Nikita having sex with a drug addict was revolting. (At first, with all the touching and flirting and the talk about iron stakes up the rear, I thought Helmut was going for Michael, not Nikita.)

Cold, unemotional Michael showed jealousy several times, and did his utmost to sabotage the mission. He broke up Helmut's little midnight tete-a-tete with Nikita when it probably would have served the mission better to leave them alone. The scene where Michael bazooka'd Helmut's replica of the Eiffel Tower, outright phallic symbolism, was so cute. (Helmut even said, "Since it appears to come down to whose is bigger...") And Michael actually showed (subdued) emotion when the truck failed to blow up and he knew Nikita would have to marry Helmut. If he'd been a normal guy, he probably would have banged on the steering wheel.

Early on, when Michael asked Nikita to move in with him, she was distant; she said she'd have to think about it. She's never played hard to get with Michael before. She acted subdued with Walter and Birkoff during the cupcake scene, too. It was like the feelings were there, but she was holding them down. Again, this reminded me of "Hard Landing," but in reverse. Michael came back to Section for Nikita, and instead of returning his affection, she was blowing him off.

Michael just defied Section and moved heaven and earth to get Nikita back, and now she's married and gone and he's lost her again. Couldn't we have seen them together for at least a couple of episodes before splitting them apart again?

Bits and pieces:

— It was sad to see Nikita leaving her apartment. When Michael was talking about the two of them moving in together, I thought: no, the writers will never let us have that. Can I call it, or what?

— What about AIDS? Did they cover it with the thing about Nikita's "fastidious habits"? Was Nikita making Helmut use condoms?

— "Anna and Freddie" reminded me of "Peter and Sage" in the first season episode "Love."

— Nikita and Michael looked gorgeous undercover. Nikita's extreme leather skirt was something, and Michael looked exceptionally hot half naked with just the necklace and the overcoat. Loved his leather pants, too. Any time they get out of Section clothes, it always makes an impression on me.

— The scene in the church where Michael and Nikita talked about Elena and Helmut and keeping their hearts separate from the mission was so romantic.

— Our old pal Davenport foiled Michael's attempt to foil Nikita's wedding. I used to like Davenport. He was so cool in "Third Party Ripoff," the episode where Michael was demoted. Not any more.

— Loved the disposal truck. Shades of Knight Rider.


Nikita: "You always take me to such nice places, Michael."

Helmut (about Michael): "I should have been born with his face."

Walter (with the cupcakes): "They're for you, Cupcake."

Nikita: "I'm getting married, not cancelled."

Michael: "She's changing."
Helmut: "My God, I hope not."

Partygoer: "Helmut thinks my dress is tacky, too obvious. What do you think?"
Michael: "It is."

Michael: "It's about Anna."
Helmut: "I can imagine almost everything is."

Despite the infuriating ending, this episode was a total hoot. Four out of four stars,

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


  1. This episode is a welcome return to actually combatting terrorism, but there is still the annoying thread of Operations and Madeline playing obsessed relationship wreckers. As well, though I usually love undercover missions, this particular scenario lacks anything remotely resembling a clever plot, and also lacks any sense of urgency or danger. There is no action or jeopardy in the script, so the drama is entirely based on the possibility of long-term separation for Michael and Nikita. As such, this episode is wholly dependent on the performances, and therefore might have been more compelling if we actually had the character of Nikita back. However, for some reason Wilson chose to play Nikita as detached and sanguine for the entire episode, instead of giving the audience Nikita’s usual passionate, vibrant presence. In addition, the guest star’s horribly fake accent and clumsy dialogue undermines any charm the character of Helmut might have had. These lacklustre performances make the numerous contrived and illogical elements in the plot stand out all the more. On a positive note, Dupuis gives us some rare moments of dark Michael humour, and the costume designer did a much better job than in “Love” of outfitting Michael and Nikita to impersonate heroin dealers Freddie and Anna. It’s too bad that this episode is essentially boring.

    Spoilers follow...

    Infiltrating Helmut’s party circle to gain access to a list of Red Cell contacts in Helmut’s safe poses absolutely no difficulty or danger for Michael and Nikita (snooze). The real threat lies in Helmut’s immediate interest in Nikita: he jumps at the chance to propose marriage to a heroin dealer he just met (totally unconvincing plot development, by the way), apparently just as Madeline predicted (pushing credulity here) in order to meet the conditions of his inheritance. Now Michael has to sabotage Helmut’s usefulness to Section in order to negate Nikita’s orders to marry Helmut. Unfortunately, Operations counters his efforts, and Nikita flies off with Helmut to get married under an assumed name. That’s it – not exactly a thrilling plot, and no action to get excited about. As a viewer, the only scenes that engaged my interest were the scenes involving Dupuis, since he seemed to be the only actor actually putting in an effort this episode.

    Continuity Issues:
    Nikita is supposed to be free of the Gelman process now, and it was her intense love for Michael that enabled her to overcome the drugs and brainwashing. Yet here she is practically indifferent to the offer to move in with him. I found Wilson’s lack of response in her scenes with Dupuis to be very odd, especially in the scene outside Nikita’s apartment as she was leaving for the plane. Usually the heat between the two leads can melt icebergs, but Wilson played Nikita as almost completely disengaged, barely looking at or touching Michael.

    Why would Helmut assume that Nikita/Anna actually uses the heroin she sells, and why would Nikita play along with that assumption? Nikita clearly does not have any needle marks (“tracks”) on her arm to indicate a drug habit. Plus, Helmut himself certainly didn’t even try the heroin he bought, so Nikita could have easily explained that she only sells the stuff. Good thing Michael intervened when he did, because Nikita certainly was not thinking clearly.

  2. Ooh, this story arc put me in a terrible snit. I mean, come on - they just got back together!

    At first I didn't know how to feel about Helmut - irritated or amused. On one hand, there he is getting in the middle (ha!) while on the other, there he is being over the top and amusing. But by the end of the arc, I was just sorry for him.

    I have to say, Michael and Nikita as Anna and Freddie were both delicious! They were divine!

    Serena - I did feel irritated with Nikita's somewhat lackluster attitude. I couldn't for the life of me understand why she was so dispassionate and seemingly disinterested. But come to think of it, could she not be completely over the Gelman process?

    Thanks for the reviews! I'm going through them all over again and having a blast doing it. They bring back so many memories about the show and the fandom.

  3. Thank you for the great review Billie! I agree, it was a really good episode.

    I'm with other comments, I don't quite get Nikita's sudden almost detachment from Michael. It seems like just as he is opening up, she is starting to shut down a little. It's just odd considering how both were so wonderfully vulnerable with each other in "Into the Looking Glass." Was this the show's way of starting to set up the audience for the reveal at the end of this season? For me, Nikita was just off for most of season 4.

  4. God not that crap again...we had to go through it with that terrible Jurgen subplot

    and its always sleazy fake vaguely british guys they throw at her (last time it was a Brit acting as an american now it was an American doing a kinda aristocrat british accent)..to be honest he came out as a Euro Tony Stark you ordered from Wish..

    Other than that a very interesting episode and well acted / directed etc

    its just...sigh its hard to watch this.

  5. This episode really irritated me and was the beginning of the end of my respect for the writers. It was like they kept this back n forth tug with Nikita/Michael for drama sake despite it not at all aligning with the story or characters. After the Gelman process and love conquers all ending to that arc the next episode she freezes michael out and they swift her away in one of the most contrived ways ever. A fake marriage ?


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