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La Femme Nikita: Time To Be Heroes

Nikita: "Do you think they'll make it?"
Michael: "No."

Yes, they've played house in the past, but this time, Michael and Nikita got to play Section. They were assigned to train their own little squad of Section Muppet Babies.

Something didn't feel quite right about the whole situation, but I was still surprised when the battle turned into a bloodbath suicide mission. Operations and Madeline were obviously still furious with Michael. What Nikita did in "No One Lives Forever" probably didn't endear her to them, either. Abeyance operatives are too valuable for bait, huh? Since when?

Plus, none of these kids were convicted murderers. Claire and Neal were unlucky enough to be mission collateral, but the other three were taken right out of their lives. (Well, okay, Darwin and Jasmine were possible incipient terrorists, but they hadn't done anything yet.) I noticed that Claire looked and acted exactly like Nikita did when she joined Section, which emphasized how very much Nikita has changed during the course of the series. Darwin was the smart mouth, written to create interpersonal conflict. Trent was supposed to be Birkoff-like. Jasmine was the most professional; she was born to be an agent. Poor Neal was just a nice guy, which might be why he died.

Having the kids decide on their own to go rescue Michael and Nikita edged into improbable, but was still a lot of fun to watch. Imprisoned by Crystal Sky and chained to their chairs, Michael and Nikita thought they were about to die together. Michael took Nikita's hand and looked into her eyes, and that was it. (Interestingly enough, Nikita didn't look back at him.) I don't know, Michael. Professing undying love would have been nice. I know, out of character, but still, you know, dying and all.

This episode was another season four departure from formula. It even felt like a spin-off, a dark version of 21 Jump Street. I don't think it would have worked, though, because what I liked most about it was seeing Section from such a different perspective. I really enjoyed the way the kids reacted to our regular characters. Darwin called Nikita neutered and said she had a "Joan of Arc complex." And I loved his opinion of Michael. "That man is in thundering need of an attitude adjustment. Get him laid. At least he'd crack a smile. I can't hear what he's saying half the time." (imitating Michael's monotone) "Pass. The sugar."

Bits and pieces:

— Davenport was back and acting semi-human this time. He showed displeasure at not being permitted to rescue Michael and Nikita from Crystal Sky.

— Madeline called the Section Eight training facility "The Farm," just like the CIA. Loved the sets.

— The firing range targets were metal. I know, no paper, but wasn't this going a bit too far? Wouldn't metal targets be expensive to create and difficult to dispose of?

— Since they thought Nikita was neutered and Michael needed to get laid, the kids were obviously unaware that there was clandestine foot rubbing going on. And by the way, Operations and Madeline said they were giving Michael and Nikita time to be alone together, and all we got was a foot rub. I feel cheated.

— Roy Dupuis again had small bruises on his hands.

— The musical score was extreme. I liked it.

— The surviving squad of four were to be fully trained and then assigned to "no contest missions," i.e., missions with a less than five percent success rate. In other words, suicide missions. That's sad. Of course, if this was intended to be a spin-off, I'm sure they would beat the odds every week.

— What would happen with Michael's "insurance" if he had died on this mission, or on any mission? Would Adrian just be forgotten? If so, why doesn't Operations just order cancellation for Michael again, instead of trying to kill him so indirectly?

— This week's Most Obvious Symbolism was Claire's pink lollipop. A doll or a tricycle would have been too obvious.


Madeline: "This way, Michael and Nikita can get their fix, spending time together."
Before their premature deaths, anyway.

Darwin: "When do we get to kick some ass?"
Michael (taps him with two fingers and knocks him over): "When you're ready."
This was very funny visually. Doesn't translate well to print.

Claire: "You heard the relic. We're satellite tagged."
Trent: "I'd like to buy another vowel, please."

I actually didn't like this episode much the first time I saw it, but it seriously improved on acquaintance and I loved it the second time. Three out of four stars,

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


  1. I love this episode. its like michael and nikita had babies and they were raised in section. even michael bonded with those kids. how unusually touching.

  2. In a weak season, this rates as one of the better episodes simply because the other ones have been so awful. Though the tone of the episode is too juvenile and jokey to mesh with LFN’s darkly menacing atmosphere, at least there is some indication that the writer has a rudimentary understanding of the characters. The new recruits entertain the audience with several humourous interactions with our Section regulars, but the recruits themselves are not very compelling: of the five, I found only two to be of interest (Trent and Neil) – the others were stereotypical and uncharismatic. Supposedly, the new recruits were to have spun off into a series of their own, which explains all the endless close-ups of their faces. Thankfully, this didn’t happen.

    Most importantly, though, we finally get a couple of decent action sequences (after a six episode dry spell), which helps salvage this otherwise strange installment. It’s too bad that Wilson’s performance is still off – she’s reading the lines and going through the motions as if she’s depressed, leaving the viewers feeling that the passionate and compassionate character of Nikita is somehow missing from every episode, even though Wilson is still on screen.

    Spoilers follow...

    Favourites scenes:
    Madeline teaching Trent some manners, Walter teaching Jasmine some manners, and Michael teaching Darwin some manners.

    Michael figuring out Operations’ double-cross just before it hits the fan.

    Logic Flaws:
    Why would Section forcibly recruit a genius-level computer expert just to make him cannon fodder? The other “recruits” may have been considered too worthless to train (especially Darwin), but treating Trent as disposable is not consistent with the way Section has used resources before (ie. Hillinger).

  3. I enjoyed Michael and Nikita playing Section as Billie describes. I also enjoyed their humorous interaction with the recruits. Like the Anonymous commenter, the episode did feel like they had babies raised in Section and now they're training them.

    I enjoyed the music a lot.

  4. I liked the new characters of they added they had potential to have a spin off or mini series before they were introduced to the show as full time operatives

  5. This right here would have been the best way to have 'rebooted' the series with Maggie Q and Shane West... instead of the dreadful mess that version was... Always felt that version should have focused more on Alex and recruits like the ones from Time to be Heroes... I've been enjoying these reviews and it is good to see someone else who loved the series as much as me yet upon the rewatching finds new things, sometimes absurd things to LOL and WTF at and then lament over the mess USA made of it. Eager to venture into your other TV reviews on other shows I enjoy.

  6. You are all correct; I read that they indeed were planning a spin-off with the younger characters.

    Wonder why they changed their minds? Did they do an audience test?

    Also wonder if the fact that Wilson is sometimes off in episodes is part of some character arc direction or real life issues?

    (say like how ScarlJo has been phoning in most of her Avengers performances. Course I reckon even like this; Peta is actually a better actress than Scarlet)

  7. I think Michael has made contingencies in the event of his death. Prolly something triggers a release of date from Andrian's location to George's mainframe--maybe an implant monitoring his pulse that sends data via satellite. Or maybe a more noirish approach where he just checks in with an ally every so often.

    Remember hes more like Batman -strategist and plans upon plans, not the killing code- and less like James Bond. Even their voice patterns and stoic sense of humour are similar.

  8. Nikita did look back, a few seconds, then there is a cut of their hands touching.

    After that shes looking at the front of her again and Michael is still looking at her -- Thats part of the previous footage where he first looked.

    I d say its more of a cutting room goof than any implication of anything else...

  9. Could have been a beautiful start of new Section 8 (or a reboot, as someone pointed out above).
    Couple of logic flaws already mentioned, but nothing unbearable.
    Putting recruits that clearly demonstrated their potential (and especially Trent) on suicide missions looked like a petty revenge. "Now see your pets die, muahaha". Villanizing Operations&M makes me sad. But it was fun episode overall.


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