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La Femme Nikita: Three-Eyed Turtle

Operations: "I'd like to see you in the Tower."
Madeline: "What is it you want me to be? Your whipping post, or your whore?"

The Hillinger finally hit the fan. So did Operations' escalating sexual harassment of Madeline, as well as the entire season's arc about George. It was a three fan episode.

The sexual harassment plot and its climax (pun intended) made my jaw drop. Operations and Madeline were breathtaking. The vicious personal insults they threw at each other here were epic. And it was all a charade. Two years! Operations and Madeline spent two years setting this one up. On the Nikita twisty plot scale of one to ten, it was easily an eleven; I never saw it coming. Although the fact that Madeline had never wanted to be the boss before now should have been a significant clue.

We also had Birkoff reaching critical mass with Hillinger. The scene on the top of the van and the "black track" confrontation with Hillinger were quite possibly the two best scenes I've seen Matthew Ferguson do on this show. Having Hillinger turn out to be George's inside man was, again, something I didn't see coming, but it made perfect sense. And now, George knows everything that happened with Adrian in season two, and Operations has the company key file. Stalemate.

There was enough plot resolution here for two episodes. And just like the previous one, it was carried almost entirely by the supporting cast. But unlike "Any Means Necessary," this episode hit it out of the park. Maybe they should have cancelled "Any Means Necessary" and stretched this one into two, instead.

Bits and pieces:

— Gold acting stars for Alberta Watson and Eugene Glazer. They were awesome.

— Birkoff and Nikita both went out of their way to save Hillinger's life, while all the time, Hillinger was trying to get into abeyance. Nikita referred to having him killed as "ushering Hillinger into the black."

— What the hell did the title mean? Is it an expression I don't know? "Three-eyed turtle?" Was it a reference to the three points of the plot?

— There were actually Paris street scenes in this episode, including the Arc de Triomphe. Yes, I know they were really in Toronto.

— Poor Victor. Just another disposable Section operative. He died because of Hillinger, and then, adding insult to death, he even got blamed for it.

— Madeline's hickey was immense, but somehow, it immediately disappeared. Maybe Madeline has access to experimental government make-up. If she and Operations weren't actually doing the deed, how did it happen? Can you picture Operations deliberately giving Madeline a huge hickey to make their charade look good?

— Yet another new hairdo for Madeline.

— Nearly everyone in Section wore black, or dark colors. Birkoff opened the episode in light blue, and Nikita wore a champagne-colored shirt that was almost the color of her hair. She also wore a stunning backless black dress at one point. Who works in clothes like that?

— Another piggyback mention, this time in reference to a second mission on top of a first one. Birkoff: "They're not prepared for a piggyback."

— Cancelled scene: Nikita interrogates Brulois' mistress, who immediately offers to sell Brulois out.


Nikita: "How could Hillinger be in abeyance?"
Michael: "He made a terminal sequence of mistakes."

Madeline: "I'm tired of being needed by you. Need someone else."

Hillinger: "Seymour, what are we timing?"

Absolutely excellent. Four out of four stars,

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


  1. Hidden cameras in Section AGAIN? This premise was clever the first time (“Slipping Into Darkness”), eye-rolling the second (“Beyond the Pale”), and just plain insulting to the audience the third time around. And apparently fighting terrorism has become merely an occasional hobby at Section, where office politics and blackmail now take precedence over saving the world. A hugely disappointing episode, to say the least.

    Spoilers follow...

    Continuity Issues:
    It made absolutely no sense that Nikita would try to keep Hillinger alive once he was in abeyance. In the previous episode, Nikita threatened Hillinger for going after Birkoff, and she has demonstrated her resolve by ordering the death of an operative before (“Recruit”). Now all of a sudden, she’ll let Hillinger get away with killing Victor and trying to kill Birkoff? This is completely out of character, and wasn’t in the original script according to the book “Inside Section One”. The decision to have Nikita protecting Hillinger because “Nikita cares about everyone” was another infamous executive order from executives who apparently were no longer watching the show.

    As well, the idea of Hillinger as a double-agent for George could have panned out IF it had been executed properly. But a plot twist only works if it is completely logical in retrospect and supported by the events in the script, and that is sadly not the case here. For instance, Hillinger’s survival depended on pure chance, as Operations almost had him cancelled immediately instead of putting him in abeyance. And it makes no sense that Hillinger needed to be put in abeyance to get out of Section – by this time, George was controlling 60% of Section’s personnel and missions, and could have easily arranged an extraction or even an inconspicuous personnel transfer. Therefore, the only reason Hillinger is put in abeyance is to deceive the viewer, which is underhanded audience manipulation.

    The scriptwriters would need to take some lessons from mystery authors on how to properly plant clues to create a clever (ie. surprising but logical) plot twist while still playing fair with the audience.

    1. Agree with this evaluation. Upper management (Surnow etc) playing too much with creative without being tapped in. Very disappointing when a show starts to deteriorate from management interference like this.

  2. It didn't even occur to me that the mark on Madeline's neck was a hickey. Because Operations had been treating Madeline with such contempt and disdain throughout the episode, I assumed the mark was a result of that attitude being carried over into their Tower meeting (something along the lines of Operations half-strangling her during sex).

  3. agencies are ... state in the state ...
    sometimes with each other in conflict - for example, the CIA / FBI
    there's one term about turtles-one step ahead, two back

  4. so we are meant to think that all references to past relations, all the chemistry of earlier episodes; major instances where Madeline and Operations have been emotional for each other (I dont even mean in the context of sexual relations just overall care) were just a facade?

    Come on..major cop out

  5. I never really perceived it as harassment up until this episode, I thought Madeline is in love with Operations. And what about the episode with the virus, when Operations voluntarily got infected just so she's not alone? Their discord seemed weird, and Operations' behaviour seemed so out of character to me.
    Though I remember Billie mentioned harassment multiple times in previous reviews. As apparently this was a set-up, I've might just missed the point.
    But I mean, wouldn't it be easier to picture Madeline just ambitious, unemotional and power-hungry (which is mostly true anyway)?


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