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

La Femme Nikita: Third Person

"There's been entirely too much externalizing of emotion lately."

Let's see. Nikita asked Michael out, and he said he was busy. Jurgen asked Nikita out and she said no, and then she changed her mind. Michael, realizing he was losing her, finally asked Nikita out again, and she said no. It was practically the Section version of Dawson's Creek.

Nikita was easy to psych out, but it was so hard to tell what was going on with Jurgen and Michael. Did Michael really sacrifice Jurgen's people unnecessarily in the raid, or did Jurgen just lose his temper because it resembled the incident that landed him in prison? The latter, I think. At one point, Jurgen told Nikita, "Michael loves you, Nikita. I could grow to love you. But I could also live without you. I'm not sure if he can." This was an interesting thing to say about a possible romantic rival. It sounded like he cared about Michael as well as Nikita. Maybe he was also being realistic about his chances with her.

Walter was firmly established here as Nikita's confidant, and talked about Jurgen being in his "five percent" club. "Ninety-five percent of the recruits get their souls sucked out of them in the first year. For some reason, this place doesn't get everybody. He's one of us." "Where does Michael fit in?" Nikita asked. "Good question," Walter replied. It certainly is a good question. Although we know a lot more about Michael now, he's still an enigma.


Walter is the only one without an agenda. He had no reason to lie. If Jurgen is what he said he is, then he is actually a damned good guy. Plus, Michael saved Jurgen's life in the end. Why would he do that if Jurgen were evil? The obvious conclusion is that Michael lied to Nikita in order to keep her away from Jurgen, and it had the exact opposite effect. By the end of the episode, Nikita was ready to move on and leave Michael behind for a promising relationship with someone who wouldn't lie to her and manipulate her like he does.

Bits and pieces:

— Gotta love Michael and Jurgen in the white room, beating the crap out of each other, with Nikita outside the door having kittens.


— Nikita actually got a pat on the back from Operations, and a return to full status.

— Operations mentioned that it was Madeline's birthday. This sort of personal touch felt odd, a bit like him asking her if she liked her new office in last week's episode.

— Madeline acquired a new hobby: clipping bonsai trees. Very Madeline.

— In the scene in Michael's office, Michael's mild accent was stronger than usual. Was that because he was upset?

— Michael had "mission hair" again. And Nikita wore some strange-looking pigtails in her apartment. But then again, no one needs to dress up to "redecorate" an apartment with a sledgehammer.

— Speaking of silly hair, Bruce Payne's was a bit odd. And his accent sometimes reminded of me of the Corleones. But for him, it worked.

— Carla moved away.

— Nearly everyone in Section wore black. Nikita came in to see Jurgen wearing blue, with a big, brown floppy hat.

Quotes:

Jurgen: "People on the outside... they're not freer than we are."
Maybe to Jurgen. Maybe not to Michael and Nikita.

Nikita: "So, whose material am I?"
Jurgen: "Mine."
Plus, at one point he said, "They want me to take you to completion." I dunno. Does all that sound sexual, or what?

Nikita to Michael: "That night we had together... did it happen? Or was it just a dream?"

Jurgen: "Don't even tell me. Who was I? A serial killer? A subway bomber? Or did I rape my sister?"

Walter: "Sometimes it's better to keep things primal."

Very good. Three out of four stars,

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

5 comments:

  1. This episode features strong contributions from all of our Section regulars, plus a logical and suspenseful sequence of missions. We also have excellent continuity from the previous episode with Nikita finishing her retraining and returning to full status, and Michael still paranoid about Jurgen knowing their secret. However, there is no avoiding the major story element of Jurgen’s increasing closeness with Nikita. This is unfortunate, because the less said about guest star Payne, the better. Mostly I fast-forward though as much of his performance as possible, so needless to say this is not one of my favourite episodes.

    Spoilers follow...

    Favourite Scenes:

    Always fun to watch Michael in hand-to-hand combat, and we get two such scenes here: first with Jurgen, then with the Helix member. Dupuis is convincingly graceful, even when performing a ridiculous move such as breaking a man's neck with his shins (this scissor-leg neck snap is later used repeatedly for the Jack Bauer character on “24", another brainchild of the LFN creators.)

    Nikita’s confrontation with her Helix target is also memorable and convincing in that it is not attempted to show her overpowering the huge bodybuilder, who outweighs her by 100 pounds. Instead, she uses the weapons at hand to cleverly disable him first.

    Continuity Issues:

    We are beginning to see more of Michael’s many other duties, related both to strategy and implementation. But after he tells Nikita he’s busy (which he really is as he is planning the mission), he somehow finds the time to spy on her conversation with Jurgen. Jealous perhaps? But then in his office, he does the one thing guaranteed to get Nikita to rebel: he orders her to stay away from Jurgen. Michael is too astute to have done that by accident. Is Nikita being manipulated again?

    Jurgen contradicts what he said about Michael in the previous episode (“He’s never loved anyone, not even himself.”) by telling Nikita that Michael loves her. We knew from Jurgen’s initial greeting in “Spec Ops” that these two have met before, but Jurgen being able to read Michael like this implies more than acquaintance. What exactly is the nature of their relationship?

    Finally, we get an explanation for Nikita’s recent childish behaviour when she confronts Michael in his office: she really was seeking reassurance. ("That night we had together... did it happen, or was it just a dream?")

    Cringe-worthy:

    The lowest point of Payne’s performance was Jurgen challenging Michael with the line: “If you want me dead, kill me yourself”. Was that hoarse whisper supposed to be menacing? Sounded like he had a cold as well as a bad accent. As revealed in the book “Inside Section One”, panic ensued when the producers first saw the dailies featuring Payne. His weak screen presence and serious lack of chemistry with Wilson meant significant rewrites were immediately commissioned on the scripts dealing with the Jurgen arc. Originally envisioned as a strong romantic rival to Michael, Jurgen was downgraded to more of a friend and kindred spirit to Nikita. The writers also had to add in the scene where Jurgen fights Michael to a draw, in order to convince the audience that Jurgen is Michael’s physical equal. Um... still not convinced. Though admittedly the wordless fight scene was the best acting Payne did in this episode.

    ReplyDelete
  2. All I can add is this: I wanted Michael to beat Jurgen to a pulp. I was pissed off that the fight was technically a draw.

    And Serena, I do agree that his chemistry with Peta Wilson is non-existent. It was painful watching them together. I think my resentment is partly due to this - I had to suspend disbelief that Nikita would succumb to him (although fine, they justified her attraction to him by their similar convictions but I still didn't buy it.). I mean Michael vs. Jurgen? It's no contest!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I'm fine with the Jurgen character and think he adds some good tension to the trio. Is he Michael's equal? Of course not, but he may be the right guy right now. Michael is still playing too many games.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I liked the Jurgen character in the romantic triangle and was a bit worried that Michael was going to lose out in comparison. Easy to do when Nikita can't even get him to go out to dinner but Jurgen is ready and willing. He also has Walter's seal of approval while Michael is treated ambiguously by Walter. A bit of a nail biter if you are a Michael partisan in this whole thing and I am. He does manipulate her but he does the most important thing and always keeps her alive. Iffy where we are going in the next episode.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Really liking the Jurgen episodes and his arc so far. Season two, especially the early episodes are, some of my favorite in the whole show

    There's a great callback in this episode to the first episode of the series. In the first episode of the series Michael tells Nikita to kill the hotel bellhop but she hesitates and they have to abort the mission. In this episode Michael tells her to shoot the person behind they counter when they see that he's armed and she does it without hesitation. This shows how far she's come as an operative since the beginning of the series. Great continuity there.

    ReplyDelete

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.