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La Femme Nikita: Open Heart

"Don't start thinking with your heart."

Yes, Nikita can do butch. It was a new look for her.

We could feel the romantic question mark between Nikita and Jenna through most of the episode, and I was glad the producers of the show had the guts to follow through with the smoochies. Did Nikita and Jenna actually have sex? Did they have time? It was implied that Nikita did indeed feel something toward Jenna and I believe she did; Nikita has compassion for almost everyone. (No, I don't think Nikita is secretly gay.) I loved Jenna blowing Nikita a kiss goodbye as they were locking her in containment. And the quiet explosion in the background that signaled Jenna's death had impact, pun intended.

Did Jenna know all along that she was the carrier? I don't think she did. When did she figure it out? After she was captured, perhaps?

During the interrogation scene where Nikita talked with Jenna about their feelings for each other, check out the faces on the guys. Operations was practically smirking. Birkoff looked stunned, and possibly turned on. Michael was also watching intently, but his expression was harder to read. (Like that was a surprise.) This was one of those times when I would have given a lot to know what Michael was thinking.

In other news, Walter has a new honey, and it's serious. Unfortunately, Belinda is in abeyance and not long for this world. It was so sweet of Birkoff to do what he did. What was interesting was that Operations let him get away with it. ("You're too valuable to us.") This also explained why they let Gail go in the previous episode. How many people could do what Birkoff does?

Operations again praised Nikita's work. Frankly, it felt more like something Madeline would say. Madeline wasn't in this episode; maybe they gave Madeline's lines to Operations. That would also explain why Michael did all the interrogating.

Bits and pieces:

— Getting beaten wasn't intentional, but it sure softened Jenna toward Nikita. What I didn't get was, if they could have had a helicopter there and waiting, why didn't they just leave the first time?

— It looked like they shot a lot of the prison scenes in someone's basement.

— The police car had "Polis" on it. What language was that?

— Walter's jacket looked like it came right out of the sixties.

— One of the "twins" was sitting behind Nikita on the bus.

— Peta Wilson and Gina Torres were extraordinarily gorgeous, even in ratty clothes and no makeup. Or the television version of no makeup, anyway. They looked fabulous together.


Belinda: "Doesn't that breach Section policy?"
Walter: "I'm a rebel."

Jenna: "You talk in your sleep. Who's Michael?"
Oooh. That would be a flaw in an operative. Was it just because Nikita was in pain? Was she thinking of Michael while she was making love with Jenna, perhaps?

Fun to watch, with a great twist at the end. Three out of four stars,

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


  1. I always enjoy an elaborate undercover mission, and this is the first such episode in Season Two. The teaser immediately cranks up the jeopardy with a fascinating and unique threat that seems almost impossible to counter. The rest of the script proves to be suspenseful and tastefully handled, in spite of the cliched “women in prison” concept. Guest star Torres is charismatic as well as beautiful, making her completely believable in the role of “top Red Cell foot soldier”. Most importantly, Nikita impresses even Operations with her ability to survive the prison power structure, and creatively improvise when the mission profile abruptly changes.

    Spoilers follow...

    Wilson kicks butt (and walls!) as Nikita demolishes the existing pecking order, thwarts a murder attempt, and then has to figure out how to manipulate a Red Cell operative into co-operating with her own abduction. Wilson does an especially fabulous job in the aftermath of the beating – her tears of pain were utterly convincing. Good thing Section has a fleet of plastic surgeons to prevent scarring ;-) The hint of a lesbian relationship is tastefully portrayed, and demonstrates that Nikita is capable of incorporating new information into her tactics when necessary.

    Meanwhile, back in Section, the “B” story proves to be quite affecting, as well. Birkoff is definitely becoming a favourite character as he keeps putting himself at risk to help out his friends.

    Favourite Scenes:
    The clever way of delivering the new communications device to Nikita is an excellent example of the LFN team’s utter attention to detail. It’s the accumulation of “little things” that add to the believability of this fantasy world.

    Dark humour: Nikita: “How am I going to do that?”
    Birkoff: “Sorry, not my department.”

    Michael proving just how clever he is by figuring out that Jenna was reacting to her reflection. Though I guess Nikita didn’t get too intimate with Jenna in prison, or else she would have seen the scar.

    Continuity Issues:
    Madeline does not appear in this episode because Alberta Watson was undergoing treatment for lymphoma at the time of filming. Her lines were distributed to the rest of the cast, and that is why the interrogation is done by Michael, and the “pat on the back” is handled by Operations.

    As to why Section couldn’t land a helicopter inside the prison grounds, it was stated that the military inspection of the prison would last all week.

    I do find it a bit of a stretch that Red Cell counted on Section being able to liberate Jenna and take her back to Section before the clock ran out. The margin of success was what, four hours? Seems quite a long shot, plus Jenna did not come across as suicidal.

    Operations says to Birkoff: “You’re too valuable.” Explains their tolerance of Gail, and supports my feeling that in “Noise”, the threat of abeyance was just a bluff to motivate Birkoff and Nikita.

  2. This episode was an odd one for me to watch. First of all, it was so close to a couple of Alias season one episodes that I kept waiting for Sydney to show up. The bomb in the body; deliberately going into prison, even Gina Torres blowing that kiss. That's a great deal of "homage" from the later show.

    I was greatly annoyed by the Jenna/Nikita relationship. It felt like the male producers and writers version of girl-on-girl porn, emphasized by that scene where they are being watched by the men. The reactions, as you point out, Billie, were exactly what one would expect. I have to disagree with Serena -- I didn't find it tasteful at all.

  3. "Polis" is the word for Police in Swedish, as well as Turkish and Turkish-related languages. Given Swedish prisons are nicer than my high school, I would say this takes place in either Turkey or Azerbaijan.


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