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La Femme Nikita: Soul Sacrifice

"All I know is there's no day care center down there."

Yes, Section is a living hell where the normal, human rules don't apply. Terry indeed couldn't be the first woman in Section to get pregnant. And it turns out that Section's pregnancy policy is worse than Communist China's; even Michael didn't know what happened to the babies. Why doesn't Section simply sterilize their agents? Do most of them die before it becomes a problem?

This raised some Nikita and Michael issues, especially since they had sex in the previous episode. I assume they were both smart enough to be careful, but even careful isn't always enough. What would Nikita do if she got pregnant? Geez. What would Michael do if Nikita got pregnant? In "War," the torturer mentioned that, according to Michael's file in the Directory, Michael and Simone had a son who died. Here, Michael said Simone was never pregnant. Was he lying to Nikita for some reason? Or was this a re-write of a plotline that the writers decided to change? (The latter, I think.)

Nikita will do anything for Michael when they are fellow operatives, but the dynamic changes when he's her boss. Speaking of which, Michael appears to go back and forth between management and the field. How far up is Michael, anyway? Does he get a three year evaluation like Walter, or a six month evaluation, like Nikita? Frankly, I'd also love to hear Michael's responses to the same questions they asked Walter. ("What's the most important day of the week? Which would you prefer to kill, a cat or a monkey?" And hey, what did they ask Walter that elicited the "eyeball" response?)

This was the first time "retirement" was mentioned, and it was obviously not good ("It's not exactly the condo in Palm Springs kind of retirement"). So let's see. No real relationships. No children. Either you're cancelled, or you're "retired." Even if you live long enough to grow old, there's no escape from Section. Section bad.

Bits and pieces:

— Terry thought Michael and Nikita were a couple, like everyone else in Section.

— Again, we had a lot of extreme dehumanizing images in a nightclub. This time, it was human bodies on meat hooks.

— One of the "twins" was outside Terry's apartment.

— I always enjoy it when Michael wears something other than black; he looked very good in a pale blue vest and maroon tie. I also liked
Nikita playing the vapid blonde in the same sequence, complete with slutty dress and platinum blonde wig.

— Mick Schtoppel was back, and a lot more fun than he was in his first outing. ("Do not look at me. Just met the bird.")

— Roy Dupuis' blackened fingernail was finally growing out. Geez, that looked painful.


Operations: "Maybe I should call NSA and tell them we're as incompetent as they are."

Nikita: "I usually get a little more from you."
Walter: "What do you want? A floor show every time we meet?"
Well, yes, Walter. Come on. Where's the floor show?

This episode might have had more impact if Terry had been in at least one earlier episode, but it was still intriguing. Two and a half out of four stars,

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


  1. What could have been an interesting premise is completely undermined by a stunningly awful performance from the guest star. In addition, the script seems to have been cobbled together, resulting in continuity errors, inconsistent characterization, and plot holes that you could drive a truck through. The mission sequences don’t ever quite reach their potential, either, as all three segments fizzle out disappointingly. This episode is so painful to watch, that even the annoying Mick seems bearable by comparison. The only decent scenes are provided by the regular cast, as Walter deals with a hilarious “three-year” review, and Michael does his best to protect a fellow operative while taking flak from both Operations and Nikita.

    Spoilers follow...

    In a character-driven story that hinges upon audience sympathy, Alexander is so unlikeable in every scene that I find I’m actually glad that she dies. Alexander merely goes through the motions in this pivotal role: her voice is flat and toneless, as if she’s reading her lines, and her face and eyes do nothing to convey any hint of the emotion that could motivate her character to take such enormous risks. To make matters worse, Terri is supposed to be a “veteran operative, one of our best,” but unfortunately the actress is so stiff and uncoordinated that she is utterly incapable of meeting the physical requirements. This explains why there is very little excitement in the “action” sequences, as the actress’ shortcomings probably hobbled the stunt coordinators as they tried to block these critical scenes. Wilson ends up performing all the action in the hostage situation, the party sequence ends with Alexander running (pathetically) away, and the action “climax” has Alexander merely holding a gun. Not exactly thrilling enough to get the audience on Terri’s side. As well, the writers can’t seem to keep the character consistent, as this “veteran operative” first tries to run away without any plan at all, then conspires to betray Section somehow, and then can’t follow through with that, either. The script has Terri switching within seconds from “I’ll kill you if I have to” to “Deal was no one dies”, and Alexander does not have the acting chops to pull off either threat convincingly. Oh, and note to the costume designer: do not give the guest star clothing that exposes huge portions of her silicone implants – it looks tacky.

    Michael’s character fares the best in this storyline, as he earns the audience’s sympathy for trying to help, but getting only grief in return. First, he has to bear the brunt of Operations’ ire when the mission fails because of Terri dropping out. Then Nikita lies to him repeatedly when he tries to avoid making trouble for Terri (“If I pull her off, she’ll undergo a complete re-evaluation. I’m asking you to tell me, do I need to do that?”). When he covers up Terri's first escape attempt, he pays for it on her next attempt by getting shot in the leg. And to add insult to injury, Nikita ends the episode by suspecting him of being the father. Jeez, can’t this guy get a break? Sadly, even the writers dump on Michael, as Dupuis has to deliver the worst continuity error of the episode.

    Favourite Scenes:
    The teaser between Operations and Nikita is excellent as she ably and humourously deflects Operation’s veiled threats.

    Cool Michael moves: taking out a bad guy with a chop to the throat, then using him as a human shield. And three cheers for throwing Mick out of the limo.

    Continuity Issues:
    According to the book “Section One”, the writers had always intended that the story revealed in “War” about Michael’s and Simone’s son was false. However, there is simply no logical way to justify why Section would have misinformation in its own Directory files. The writers should have just accepted their error, and aligned with what the final cut of “War” presented to the audience.

  2. "Terry thought Michael and Nikita were a couple, like everyone else in Section."

    Billie, I forgot to mention that this gets to me every time - that other people, be it in Section or without, operatives or villains - think that Michael and Nikita are a couple. It's the vibes, definitely. ;)

    Mick Schtoppel entertains me.

  3. I got the sense that Michael was lying when he said the child was not his. If it was his, why is he sleeping with Terry and not Nikita? Inquiring minds want to know.

  4. Why did you say that Michael had been sleeping with Terry? I didn't get it by watching the show..

  5. I completely missed the Michael and Terri "vibe" but my dad and my wife both caught it, each watching separately with no prompting from me. According to production info, the original idea was for it to be Operations' kid, but they scrapped it and went with Michael instead.

    The gigantic elephant in the room is forced abortion. Section certainly doesn't seem to be the kind of place that would balk at terminating a pregnancy, but maybe they wouldn't want to have a bunch of operatives holding that kind of grudge. Still, it should've at least been mentioned.

  6. My first comment, so thank you to Billie for having this website. I thought the episode was interesting, but disagree with one user's comment about Khandi Alexander's portrayal. I liked her, and to comment on her character's Section performance, I just chalked it up to her finding out she was pregnant and being thrown for a loop. As was mentioned earlier, since there was never a previous episode establishing her usual behavior, I assumed she was just shaken up by the news. Although, having it pointed out, I now notice that this episode had less extensive action sequences than some of the others.
    Someone mentioned Terry died at the end, but I thought Section was going to wait to decide what would happen after she had the baby.
    I really struggled with how to interpret Michael's "no" to the question of whether he was the father. So many questions, did he and Terry get together out of personal interest? Knowing what we know about Michael, I doubt it, but hey, it's possible. Maybe they were assigned a mission together that required it? Very possible. The thing about Michael saying "no" is, even if he was telling the truth, how could Nikita believe it? Michael can be very honest (terse, but honest) when Nikita asks him questions, but he also has no problem lying for his own (or Section's) reasons. From the look on Nikita's face, I thought for sure she assumed he was lying.
    When Michael visited Terry's apartment, they left it open to interpretation. Maybe he was the father, but maybe he was just trying to talk things over with Terry. After all, knowing Nikita has really forced him to see what compassion is.
    When I first watched the episode, I thought for sure he was lying about not being the father.
    Having watched the whole series, I believe he is telling the truth, but I guess we will never know for sure. (Hope that is not a spoiler.)
    For the plot deviation of Nikita being told Simone and Michael had a baby in episode 1x17 "War", once Michael contradicted it in this episode, I assumed it was (mis)information that had been planted by Section into the personnel files based on how episode 1x17 ended. I didn't consider it to be a writing mistake, but maybe I am not in the majority.

  7. Adrienne, you're welcome -- and thanks for your thoughtful comment. It would certainly have been nice if a lot of our questions had been answered, but never knowing some stuff was pretty much part and parcel with this series. Maybe that's one reason why fans are still obsessed with it.


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