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La Femme Nikita: Treason

"Don't beat yourself up. It's their world. You just live in it."

Nikita is no longer on probation, and life in Section, if you can call it that, is getting harder. Failure is not tolerated, and it is implied that agents don't get older – they get eliminated. Section is like an alternate reality, or purgatory. No compassion. No children. No old age. Poor Roger, caught between bad guys and worse guys (who was worse? Suba or Section?) illustrated very well that the only thing Nikita has to look forward to is death.

Michael was dismissive and brusque with Nikita, and gave her orders. No playing house this time... except for my favorite Michael moment, which was the nightclub scene. Michael strode through the club, looking impassive but perhaps a tiny bit perturbed, and arrived just in time to save Nikita from a brutal rape; their little husband and wife argument was so charming. I particularly loved Michael walking right up to Suba, getting in his face with "Let me give you a piece of advice, mister," and then disarming him with, "Don't get married."

Bits and pieces:

— Madeline told Nikita that Michael was at another level, but not what that level was.

— When Roger told Nikita about his son, I kept thinking: what about surveillance in Section? Weren't they monitoring their agents, at least sporadically? And hey, was that how they found out about Roger?

— The windows of the big house where the boy was being held had odd patterns and letters over the windows.

— More hard-to-see pseudo-American licence plates.

— "Dry" mission? What is that?

— Again with the silly hair. Nikita had her bangs in a tiny little tail that stood up. Ever heard of bobby pins?

— This week's wardrobe note: That was some shiny blue dress Nikita was almost wearing. And Peta Wilson looked especially good in white and beige. Of course, she looks good in just about everything.


Michael: "Weaknesses?"
Madeline: "Yes. He likes tall blondes."

Suba: "You need a stepladder for that one."

Nikita: "So do I get a cap? Gown? Merit badge?"

Madeline: "You're a good operative, Nikita. Don't let your humanity get in the way."

Two stars,

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


  1. Another solid, engaging episode: amusing undercover mission, nicely-directed action sequences, and excellent character development that showcases Nikita’s heroism and growing skills as an operative. In a nice ironic twist, it is Nikita’s perceived weakness that enables her to accomplish what Section cannot. The audience also sees more of Section’s devious psychological manipulations and utter ruthlessness, increasing our sympathy for Nikita and pity for Roger.

    Minor spoilers follow...

    I find it fascinating how carefully Madelaine manipulates Nikita. Clearly, she knows how to build loyalty in Section’s recruits using both the carrot and the stick: doling out praise and approval to encourage the recruit to want to please the parental substitute (“We’re very satisfied with your progress.”), then harshly addressing failure of any kind (“In time you’ll learn it’s not enough to do your best.”). Madelaine’s explanation for Section’s ruthlessness is also tailored to Nikita’s psyche, by justifying Section’s actions as the only way to defeat an equally-ruthless enemy.

    Nikita’s heroic nature comes to the fore in this episode. When she is (wrongly) blamed for the failure of the first assault, which resulted in several dead and wounded operatives, she feels the responsibility keenly. This motivates Nikita to investigate further, leading her to the mole, and then the rescue of his son while achieving the mission objective. Her confidence and skill is demonstrated as she does recon, stands up to Operations ("I can deliver Suba."), and plans and executes assaults that have her taking out guards, shooting out tires, setting off explosives, and outmanoeuvering the slimy villain. You go, girl!

    Interestingly, both Michael and Section underestimate Nikita. Michael acts more as an ally by immediately taking responsibility for Nikita’s supposed mistake, but he still shares Section’s belief that compassion makes Nikita weak. And yet, it is her compassion that puts her on the trail of the mole in the first place, and enables Roger to confide in her. Though Section does not approve of her methods (“She’s protecting someone”, “Don’t let your humanity get in the way”), Nikita’s success where Section fails speaks in her favour. This paradox of both disapproving and grudgingly valuing Nikita’s “weakness” will continue to characterize Section’s treatment of her for years to come.

    A solid Season One episode.

  2. Yup, a solid Season 1 episode, one of my favorites - again, agreeing with Serena's eloquently stated reasons.

    I feel that from here on out, I'll be nodding my head in support of Serena's opinions a lot. Your reviews are just as insightful and fun to read as Billie's. Keep it up!

  3. I, too, am enjoying the very intelligent and well formulated reviews by both Billie & Serena. You ladies could have your own show, it would make a lot more sense than Siskel & Ebert ever did.

    Ok! My thing is goofs and neither of you seem to catch it. Watch closely the scene where Nikita is wearing the beige suede jacket and white turtleneck. It would appear that Peta got a bit chilly shooting that scene and they handed her a black T-shirt to put under the white turtleneck. The black hem is sticking out, mainly seen from the back, sometimes from the front as well. In the scene where she bends over to avoid the window the black Tee surfaces from her back and the very next cut, it's completely disappeared and her white turtleneck is flat against her back.

    I'm guessing the takes without it where filmed first and after a while, Peta must have gotten quite cold so someone handed her what was available. Too bad they didn't have a white Tshirt.

    Will post more as I find them

  4. PS: Correction on your Suba quote. He says: "Whoa! I need a step ladder for that one!" Von Flores is not that tall. Peta is about 5'10" without heels (she is often listed as 5'9" as women make themselves shorter and thinner in their bios and male actors make themselves taller) and Filipino Von Flores is quite short. I am guessing he was wearing lifts a la Tom Cruise inside his shoes as when they dance he appears barely a couple inches shorter than her.

  5. Thanks, Goofs. Very cute. :) I'm looking forward to more of your comments.

  6. I don't understand how Operations and Madeleine deduce that Nikita was 'protecting someone'. What made them come to that conclusion so quickly after Nikita offered to deliver Suba?

    Can anyone analyse their train of thought? It's bugging me. Thanks.

  7. That's a good question, huh? The way I see it, they just deducted it due to Nikita's profile. It seemed that in the past, everytime Nikita acted odd, she was trying to protect someone.

  8. Too big for a shirt, I think it's a armour

  9. I agree. Just rewatched this episode, and I think it’s a bulletproof vest. It looked thick.


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