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La Femme Nikita: Time Out of Mind

"The toxin is where the bulls run. Why are you on TV?"

This was the second episode in a row that Nikita spent dressed in white, tied to a bed and injected with stuff against her will. There was even another lunatic mother and son. I wouldn't mind if this had been a good episode. This was not a good episode.

Right off the bat, I had oh so many problems with this one. They drugged Nikita and just set her loose to wreak havoc. Considering how dangerous a trained Section agent can be, how could they justify the damage Nikita might have caused to innocent people? Yeah, I know, Section really doesn't care about collateral damage, but still – what if Nikita had jumped off a building? Mission over.

And once she was in the hospital, how could they possibly count on Nikita, drugged to the eyeballs with crazy juice, being able to retrieve the antidote from her handbag? What if she were tied down? Don't they take personal objects away from mental patients when they're committed? Let's face it, it made absolutely no sense that Nikita had to be genuinely nuts. After all, David French faked it, and he got away with it. And he didn't even have agent training.

Bitch, bitch, bitch. Let's see. The hospital scenes felt pointless as well as endless. Isn't punishing patients by giving them shock an antiquated cliche? Aren't they a lot more humane and progressive now, especially in the U.S. and Europe? This was Zurich, after all. And why did they show David hallucinating that Nikita was his mother when he was faking it the whole time? Just to make it more dramatic? Or, wait, I think I've got it – was it that Nikita was hallucinating that she was really David's mother? No, there's no good explanation. I give up.


The White Rabbit was this week's Most Obvious Symbolism. The White Rabbit was the one that led Alice into Wonderland, and Nikita did end up in a strange and unreal place. Nikita's white dress and pigtails actually made her resemble the White Rabbit. And of course, we could take it further and compare Section to the mental hospital. Section is also a strange and frightening institution where the regular rules don't apply, and people are confined against their will. Nikita even had a nightmare to that effect at the end, with Operations giving her shock.

Bits and pieces:

— The mean doctor and nurse felt like enemy agents, but they weren't. And Nikita and David killed them. More collateral.

— I thought it was fun that Nikita actually was hearing voices in her head.

— Jason has started looking a lot like his twin. Gee, it's uncanny. It's like they were being played by the same person. Okay, I'll shut up now.

— The Freedom League was back. I remember the Freedom League.

— Drugged and confused, Nikita was able to inject the correct amount of Alanol into her own vein without killing herself with an air bubble. Another improbable stretch.

— The name "Crystal French" sounded almost like one of those two word terrorist group names that they do so often here.

— Nikita's hospital whites looked form-fitting and stylish, instead of like a bag with a drawstring.


— Michael wore a yummy pale grey suit when he came to pick up his "step-sister," and he was stroking his chin again. I thought for a moment he was going to defy orders and take Nikita out of there. In fact, I thought that was Nikita's best scene. That, and the one where she was drooling.

— Operations: "Are you ready to tell the truth?" That was Nikita's nightmare, where Operations was about to give her shock. What did it mean?

— Cancelled scene: The doctor is having tea with Nikita. He questions her about the pills in her compact. There is a drug in the tea.

Bleah. One out of four stars,

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

4 comments:

  1. I usually enjoy undercover missions, but the entire premise of this episode is fundamentally flawed, and its execution is both unoriginal and unpleasant.

    Spoilers follow...

    Yes, in “Slipping Into Darkness”, Operations voluntarily ingested a toxin for the sake of “credibility”, but the actual mission was undertaken by Michael and Madeline who were not mentally impaired. It defies logic to have Nikita take drugs that impede function when she could have easily simulated mental illness.

    As well, the “creepy mental hospital” setting has been so overdone in suspense and horror films that the lengthy “mood” scenes and clich├ęd shock treatment scenes are just boring and predictable rather than eerie or frightening. In addition, the final plot twist of Section being used by David French instead of the other way around simply comes too late to be of interest, and cannot salvage the illogic of the situation. A similar twist was done much better and more convincingly in “Open Heart”.

    By the way, the script writer cannot be blamed for this clunker of an episode. According to the book “Inside Section One”, the original script had Nikita faking a drug overdose so she would be admitted to the hospital as a drug addict – a premise that would have actually made sense. However, showrunner Hertzog intervened and insisted on the nonsense of Nikita’s induced psychosis during her mission, once again proving his own mental impairment.

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  2. Serena, i enjoy reading your reviews and i completely agree with every word you said!

    Especially :'However, showrunner Hertzog intervened and insisted on the nonsense of Nikita’s induced psychosis during her mission, once again proving his own mental impairment.'

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  3. Season five is painfully bad. I'll pretend the show was cancelled at the end of season two.

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  4. One of the very few scenes of worth this episode: sweet moment with Walter trying to encourage Nikita to overcome adversity and get back on track and return 'home'.

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