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

La Femme Nikita: Recruit

"Karyn is not the only one being tested here."

Actually, Karyn wasn't being tested at all, since Operations and Madeline had already decided to cancel her. It was all about Nikita, who is so protective that it constantly gets her in trouble. Interesting that they gave her a trainee to evaluate that even Santa Claus wouldn't have passed. And that Nikita would most likely have been cancelled herself if she hadn't decided on thumbs down for Karyn.

Karyn went from whiny and immature, to frightened and nervous, to outright killing-is-fun psychotic. The earlier versions were probably all an act intended to disarm Nikita, as was her claim that Brian abused her. The actress who played Karyn was excellent. I believed every single thing she did, and she was all over the place. I particularly loved her glee when she completed the mission and was shooting the dead bodies "just to be sure." "What a rush!"

It wasn't surprising that Nikita went to pretty much everyone to ask for help in making her decision... but a bit surprising that the only person who truly helped her was Birkoff. This episode could have used more Michael/Nikita interaction; I would have loved to hear more about what made Michael pass Nikita in the first place. ("Was there some kind of checklist? Seven out of ten I live, anything less than that, I die?") Michael told Nikita that she was a good trainee and he didn't believe in intuition, but hey, not enough for me.

One thing that was never resolved was why Michael flirted so much with Karyn. ("What are you trying to do, Michael? Guess her belt size?") It was unlikely that he did it because he felt like it; Michael doesn't do that. Did Madeline tell him to do it? If so, why? Wait, I might have it. Michael knew how Nikita felt about him. Was he trying to make it easier for her to have Karyn cancelled? Was he trying to tempt Karyn into trying with him what she did with Brian? Okay, I give up.

Also, if Birkoff was correct and Karyn started killing at age seven, why did Section recruit her in the first place? They need people capable of killing, but psychos are not manageable, and Section would certainly know that.

Bits and pieces:

— The villain here was Andre Kreizel... except it was really all about Karyn.

— The "holodeck"-like training program looked like fun. Painful and sadistic, but fun.

— Walter was very naughty, telling Karyn to take off her bra. Bad Walter, no biscuit.

— Nikita looked particularly hot in this episode, with several gorgeous suits, that sexy evening dress, and the classier-than-usual hairdos. Karyn also looked good, but whose idea was it to give her an orange coat over a fuschia dress?

— Speaking of wardrobe, in the bank vault scene Michael's shirt was tight enough that I just didn't believe he had a bulletproof vest under it.


Michael: "Call Housekeeping. Have them sanitize the area."
Was this the first time Housekeeping was mentioned? I think it was.

Karyn: "I just want the people here to like me."
Nikita: "Why?"
Good question.

Well written, but not a favorite. Two stars,

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


  1. Billie, I read your comparisson of Alias and Nikita, and since Nikita is my farovite show I am now reading all your reviews of each episode. I just want to make a comment on this one: When you asked why would Michael flirt with Karyn: I thought it was more like a twisted way of getting Nikita to doubt her decision to cancel - because Nikita would definately think whether she is being objective or whether she is getting to be against Karyn because she is jealous. We know Nikita would analyze her own feelings and I actually think Michael and Madeline were making it harder for Nikita to make a decision against Karyn. I hope I am explaining at least half way understandable what I am trying to say.
    And Yes - I agree about the bullet proof west - I thought exactly the same thing.

  2. Supposedly, the actress playing Karyn was the runner-up for the role of Nikita. Thank goodness for Peta Wilson, who has the athleticism and fire to pull off the title role in a believable fashion. “Karyn” is so scrawny that her wrist would snap if she actually had to lift a real gun instead of a plastic prop, and she obviously lacks the co-ordination and strength to put any power behind her kicks and punches. Note to the costume designer: please don’t assign midriff-baring fashions to actresses with protruding ribs! Anyway, it is entirely unbelievable that minutes after managing the “interrogation” scenario in the teaser, Karyn is yelping and cringing pitifully during holo training. Even if she was trying to gain Nikita’s sympathy, the actress could have managed a more subtle performance.

    Luckily, this episode gives us some good character development. When Nikita passes on her wisdom to Karyn, the audience is given insight into how she has survived Section: “Yes, you will [make it], and the way you’re going to do that is by realizing that you’re better than these people and their idiotic games.” Though at first she covers for Karyn’s mistakes, Nikita finally matures when given the responsibility to think of the consequences to future missions and the lives of other operatives. To her own chagrin, she actually finds herself aligning with Section’s ruthlessness for the sake of the “greater good”.

    This episode also brings up many interesting questions about Section’s training program, thus deepening the show’s mythology. Which operatives are assigned to oversee the training of recruits, and why? Is it something expected of everyone eventually, so will Nikita be getting her own recruit soon? And when does Michael get his next recruit, or is he training others all along that we just don’t know about?

    Spoilers follow...

    Continuity issues:

    Nikita really should know Michael better by now. His flirtations with Karyn are so obvious (Michael smiling in Section?!?) that he might as well have been waving a red flag. I agree that Madelaine probably ordered him to try to cloud Nikita’s judgement with jealousy, thus making her second-guess her instincts about Karyn. Michael's over-the-top performance is his way of warning Nikita while obeying Madelaine.

    Michael’s carelessness in turning his back on the bank teller seems out of character. Also, since Section is supposed to be set in the “near future”, I guess we have to assume that bulletproof vests are passé, and Kevlar-woven shirts are standard issue. I’ll forgive this lapse from the prop master or costume designer, since I want Michael to live ;-)

    It is difficult to believe that Section would sacrifice an operative (Brian) just to test Nikita – not a very efficient use of resources. It seems the writers sacrificed logic for the sake of a “twist” at the end. Bad trend.

    An unconvincing performance from the guest star, plus logic gaps in the writing, put this episode near the bottom of my list.

  3. I don't mind this episode, but I'm in agreement that it would have been a mistake if the actress who played Karyn (Felicity Waterman) had been cast as Nikita. Peta Wilson and Roy Dupuis are a perfect example of onscreen chemistry, and Waterman and Dupuis had next to none.

    Peta Wilson again struggles with her accent here: if you listen carefully to her accent when she's speaking to a character with an English accent, like Karyn, she mimics their speech a bit and almost loses all of her American-isms. It's especially noticeable when we meet (spoiler)

    Adrienne later in the season - Peta Wilson loses her Australian accent entirely then, trading it in for an English one. Obviously the producers weren't too fussed with having an actress with an American accent if Waterman was in the running as Nikita too.

  4. The dress that nikita wore at the club.....gorg

  5. It was very evident to me, once episode over, that Michael was trying to make Nikita jealous so that she'd choose to cancel Karyn. IOW, he was HELPING Nikita. How come you missed that? You're usually quite clever! ;)

    Granted, Nikita wouldn't do that, but this is a VERY early episode and so you have to think like Michael thinks: he doesn't know her well yet, so he assumes she's " like every other woman ", that's what Micharl thinks at that point. Anyway, great episode and yes, Felicity was excellent. I just now saw her in a rerun of Ellen (she plays a model in a spa) and placed her right away but had to Google to find her name.

    There is no age listed, guessing her to be 48 and she owns a spa, her pic leads to Trip Advisor! She did very little acting, strange for someone so gorgeous AND talented. TRIVIA: IMDb claims she & a German gal both up for the part of Nikita, b4 PETA was chosen cos the German backed out! Strange: I saw PETA interview about her audition, she was 1st 2audition , and I can't recall who said it was always her in mind, no one else.

    Anyone know any better?

  6. A FANTASTIC episode and one of my very favorites! (Pity they couldn't spin her off into her own series!) I pretty much agree with what "Wednesday, March 8, 2017 at 5:49:00 AM" Anonymous wrote about Michael's motivation. I also agree about the bank scene but no one brings up this point? Why did Michael spend so much time on the floor??? A fall would not render him unconscious. And he seemed lazy and wallowing in his "pain". What pain? Michael doesn't feel pain, the Michael we know would pick himself up instantly!

    Plus, you're right Billie: why would he turns his back on her? Are we to assume that this was the final set up to test the gals? To let them alone, so that Nikita would see what Karyn truly was? But still bad writing: Michael should have opened his eyes instead of being "unconscious" on the floor, maybe looked at his watch and stay put.

    Wasn't this like episode 5? Maybe the writers got better, or they got new ones.

    Now for my nitpicks about your review:

    1) you really ought NOT to have given away the end in your first couple sentences. And should NOT have used that line as your quote: it gives away the ending!

    2) Terrible photo of Peta! Bad angle, bad lighting. She looks like she has a golf ball sized tumor growing on her chin! And that white makeup is dreadful on her. This is still when either they had a terrible makeup artist or they didn't know right colors for "Petar".

    Wondering: you people make money off this website? Or else, that's a LOT of hours wasted watching TV and typing fan stuff! (And if yes... how???)

  7. Killer Karyn Rocks,

    1) Anyone reading this review has either seen the episode, or should expect to be spoiled, since the point is to discuss the episode as a whole. Although I will admit that I'm more careful now about the first few sentences. These LFN reviews were among my earliest, and I've been doing this since 1997.

    2) I liked the photo, so I chose it. But whatever. :)

    No, we don't make money off this website, although we make enough to pay for the domain name. Why would you consider all this effort wasted? We do it because we love our shows -- it's a hobby, and it's fun. And you're here reading it, aren't you?

  8. I got to know the series when I was 10 years old and now I'm reviewing it at 33 years old and the context is much clearer now, laughs, the series that remains my favorite for my happy surprise I found the delicious comments to read from Billie and also from Selena.
    I agree with Billie, Nikita in that episode was beautiful, I believe that her style makes it clear that she is maturing, that must be why Operations and Madalene wanted to test her.
    Impact phrase “please don't make me do this” but again they did
    ... just me who noticed Madalene's disappointed face when Nikita lied that she didn't see anything else on the mission that Karyn killed her former trainer? (Did she hope Nikita would check on her?)
    My favorite quote: “it is technically impossible to be rude to this man” I particularly love Walter and Nikita's friendship.
    It was very good, to see the initial training that the session of its trainees, I missed in the first episode of the series.
    ... And Nikita's intensity in this episode we saw her having fun at the nightclub when I completed the mission, admirable how she lives life intensely.
    The timidly funny scene was when Birkoff says he doesn't play all day but drags game control from the table
    I saw the comments of why michel had his back to the bank, but who would suspect an old woman? (michel would suspect, laughs ?!)
    One thing that everyone must agree with me is that Nikita's intuition is sensational.
    Keyla \\\\\\

  9. Keyla, thank you for your comment! I can certainly imagine how different LFN would be at the ages of 10 and 33.

  10. Karyn says she got recruited after robbing a drug store. Isn't that what happens to Nikita in the 1990 film? Nice little easter egg.


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.