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La Femme Nikita: Up the Rabbit Hole

Jason: "Hey, Walter. What's up?"
Walter: "My faith in humanity."

And they were back on a boat together. How appropriate.

It was utterly lovely to see Michael and Nikita so happy together, literally sailing off into the sunset. This would have been a wonderful way to end the series, and I sort of wish that's just what they had done. There were just a few things that bothered me, though. A few dangling inconsistencies.

Firstly, Bad Things happen all the time in this series and no one, but no one, lives happily ever after. There are nine episodes to go and I haven't seen them yet, but even if this were the finale, it didn't feel like it could truly end here. Operations and Madeline would never stop looking for them, and they wouldn't be able to escape Section resources forever. I also suspect that a man as driven as Michael would never be content to spend the rest of his life on a beach. And what about Adam? I'm a parent, and never seeing my own son again would kill me. In Section, Michael had a chance of possibly finding Adam someday. Not now.

Plus there was the strange reversal. They captured the Cardinal of Red Cell (way too easily, too)... in order to catch Nikita? Is this some sort of alternate universe? That whole set-up in the last episode really bothered me, because it felt so out of character for Nikita. Nikita has been withdrawn and a lot less emotional this season, but she's still Nikita, isn't she? Grenet promised Nikita he wouldn't hurt Michael, and Nikita believed him? Nikita had confidence that Michael could get himself out of any difficult situation? Come on. Can Michael dodge a bullet? I don't think so.

I figured out that Nikita was masquerading as Quinn just moments before the reveal. Now, that was an exceptionally cool and extremely romantic plot twist. It was cool watching this episode a second time knowing Quinn was actually Nikita. You can see Nikita playing Michael, Michael figuring it out, and him playing her in return. Telling "Quinn" that he never loved Nikita... yes, that got the reaction he wanted, but was he punishing her a little for what she did to him, too? He made her wait for his final decision, too.

So, frankly, as good as this episode was, I'm torn. Yes, I want Michael and Nikita to finally be free and together for the rest of their lives. What fan of this show wouldn't? But I wish they had set it up so that it seemed more believable. And made it the final episode of the series, as well.

Bits and pieces:

— Michael had to make a huge choice: control of Section, or freedom with Nikita. Was it hard for him? Maybe not at this point. He's changed a lot in the past two seasons. He did leave Nikita hanging about his decision. Again, I think he might have been punishing her a little there.

— This week's Most Obvious Symbolism was birds. There were three scenes with birds flying away as Michael and Nikita were leaving. They indeed flew the coop.

— The initial scene in the restaurant with the phone call was very good misdirection, because hair color would undoubtedly be the the first thing that Nikita would change. They must have cast Quinn four episodes ago with this plot twist in mind, since she and Peta Wilson have a similar build and features, and their hair is much the same length.

— Jason discovered that George was a traitor all along. That didn't feel quite right, either.

— A lot of these final episodes have called back plot points from early ones. Here, it was the rats ("War").

— Operations was angry at Madeline and told her she was slipping. Was she?

— Davenport died a horrible crashy death. With all the nasty things he did this season, I can't say I was sorry to see him go. They were never consistent in their treatment of Davenport as a character; he started out cool, segued into nasty, went back to cool again briefly, and so on.

— Where did they get the boat? Did they steal it?

— Cancelled scene: Walter gives Jason advice on how to get along in Section.


Nikita: "Where can I feel safe, Michael, if I can't even trust you?"

Jason: "Tight-lipped bunch, arencha."

Michael: "You knew I'd escape?"
Nikita: "Of course. But Grenet promised me he wouldn't hurt you."
Really? You believed a promise from the head of Red Cell, Nikita? I still have a real problem with this one. Can you tell?

Michael: "That's what made her so good."
Quinn: "Good? As an operative or as a consort?"

Operations (after offering Section control to Michael): "You don't seem too pleased."
Michael (deadpan): "I am."

Grenet: "Your attempt at good cop/bad cop is a hopeless failure."
Operations: "That's to be expected. There are no good cops."

Jason: "Mom and Dad must be freaking out."

George: "I'll see you in hell."
Operations: "I'm sure you'll be waiting."

Four out of four stars, of course,

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


  1. “Seems sugar-free leaves a bitter taste on the back of the tongue.”

    This could have been a great episode if only Michael and Nikita had collaborated on their escape plan together. The previous episode could have been explained as a ruse to trap Grenet (as was done in “Slipping Into Darkness” to capture Philo), and then Michael and Nikita could have crushed Red Cell while double-crossing Section by truly escaping – what a grand exit that would have been, worthy of the two best operatives Section has ever seen! Unfortunately, the writers are simply not capable of producing anything resembling a clever plot.

    Spoilers follow...

    Instead, the audience is supposed to believe that Nikita bartered classified Section intel and betrayed Michael (both of these actions are completely out of character, by the way) in order to escape on her own, but then comes back for him afterwards. How exactly does this make any sense? If Nikita wanted to take Michael with her, and obviously she trusted him enough to try to convince him to leave from inside Section, why wouldn’t she have just collaborated with him on the escape plan in the first place? Maybe then we could have witnessed a properly clever strategy to escape Section while outsmarting Red Cell, instead of a “plan” that leaves almost everything up to chance and leaves damaging Section intel in the hands of the enemy. In fact, the outcome of Nikita’s actions owe far more to luck than to intelligence, which does not reflect well on our heroine, espcially since Michael could have easily been killed.

    In addition to this weak premise, we don’t even get a single decent action sequence to make up for the glaring plot holes and character inconsistencies in this script. The only redeeming features of this episode are the consistently excellent performances from Dupuis, Glazer, and Watson. At least we are spared Wilson’s apathy, since for most of this episode “Nikita” is played by Dolenc.

    Still, the final scenes of this episode could have made an appropriate finale to the series: they provide some measure of satisfaction to the audience by reuniting Michael and Nikita, while still leaving things open-ended as they continue to be hunted (and haunted) by Section. The audience could have then imagined Michael and Nikita’s story continuing into the future, having to stay one step ahead of Section while trying to locate Adam. Too bad the next episode ruins this possibility as well.

    Plot Holes and Character Assassinations in Order of Appearance:
    – capturing Grenet is apparently as simple as “tagging” him by satellite and sending Davenport to pick him up
    – Grenet had more than enough time to copy or send the Section intel that Nikita gave him before he was captured – this information is supposed to be incredibly damaging, and yet this plot thread is never mentioned again!
    – even if the surgical records were destroyed, the surgeon would have still been able to describe an image of the new Nikita from memory. It is out of character for Madeline to let this slide.
    – the significance of the “masking filters” being turned off during the Grenet mission is never explained
    – Nikita impersonating Quinn is a poor choice – Nikita has never been good with computers, and it was pure luck that no emergency situation arose that required true expertise (such as in the teaser of “Sleeping with the Enemy”)
    – Nikita justifies handing Michael over to Grenet because she “knew” he would escape – it is again pure luck that Michael wasn’t killed

    Bitter taste? I think so. The Nikita that the audience cares about is far more intelligent and moral than portrayed in this episode. She would never allow the enemy to keep intel that could potentially hurt innocents and/or kill her fellow operatives. She would also never show such callous disregard for Michael’s life. Sadly, the writers have assassinated their main character for the sake of a poorly-executed plot twist.

  2. Serena, I'm sort of frightened and intrigued to hear what you're going to say about the infamous "Four Light Years Farther." :)

  3. "Seems sugar free leaves a bitter taste at the back of the tongue" Good one, Walter! ROFL XD

  4. I am late in commenting because I first discovered this series in the spring of 2020 on TV in the middle of the night during the coronavirus state shutdown. Catching up takes a bit. My advice? Stop at this episode and don't continue on plot holes and all. It would have been an acceptable and much more satisfying ending to the series. (After Michael eventually gets over his PTSD that is).
    This episode was written by Peter Lenkov. Based on the narratives he was, of all the writers, the most engaged with the characters and concerned about staying within the behaviors they would actually do and his story gives you that happy ending.

    The problems with this all are outside considerations for the showrunners who wanted to concentrate on their new series 24 and one actor,Peta Wilson wanting accommodations that the network would not give her regarding an outside role in a movie, that destroyed this series.

    Both Joel Surnow and Michael Loceff were clear that they would treat the fans like Lucy with the football in Charlie Brown or Operations and Madeline never allowing Michael and Nikita to be happy together and that gets really old after awhile.

    If you are concerned about Michael's son do recall how he could always get into Section's computers from the outside. The next episode and the followup truncated season after the fan revolt were pretty bad.

    That said I can see Nikita doing alot of the things in this episode including selling out to Red Cell for herself and her escape. As one of the writers or directors said in one of the backgrounders on the dvds Nikita is not necessarily the smartest or the best character and hero but the one that they found the most interesting as a point of view for the story. Also the plot holes have to do with how they approached the writing of the series only 4 or 5 episodes ahead. It showed up several times throughout the series when the characters had to suddenly out of the blue contradict or change or explain a fact in contradiction from what was stated in an earlier show. E.g. Michael telling Nikita that contrary to what was revealed from the stolen personnel records in the episode "War" he had no child with Simone that had died. Or blowing up Section in "I Remember Paris" based on a character that had been killed in and by "Simone" That's just sloppy on the show runners part.

    Finally they had a problem with casting from the start because their supporting male sidekick character was played by an extraordinary, once in a generation, actor who totally outclassed the first time female lead. He did it without trying and without malice but it was noticeable and that caused issues as well since the writers started writing more and more for him.

    1. “ Finally they had a problem with casting from the start because their supporting male sidekick character was played by an extraordinary, once in a generation, actor who totally outclassed the first time female lead. He did it without trying and without malice but it was noticeable and that caused issues as well since the writers started writing more and more for him.”
      I agreed. That’s why I believe there is an unbalanced between Nikita and Michael. From season 3 there is more about him. And it’s great thing because Dupuis made a great performance. The problem here was that the writers didn’t think so much about “Nikita The Mole from Center”. They could wrote about Center how she was recruited, when? , etc...

    2. The problems with this all are outside considerations for the showrunners who wanted to concentrate on their new series 24 and one actor,Peta Wilson wanting accommodations that the network would not give her regarding an outside role in a movie, that destroyed this series.

      Factors seem to come together resulting in the sabotaging of what started off as a captivating series.

      Whilst I enjoyed seeing more of Roy Dupuis in Season 4, I missed the chemistry that Michael and Nikita shared as well as the action scenes.
      I wonder if the shift by the writers to focus on Dupuis as he seemed as you aptly said carry the rest of the later series affected the working relationship betwen Peta and Roy or any of the other lead actors?

      So I am on the home run with Season 4 and I haven't seen 5 yet....but my heart is saddened that there's not much to look forward to from the insightful comments left by you guys.

      Can't thank Billie and her Team enough for the opportunity to re-live the series and learn what others thought!

  5. I think it was in the Section One book, but the original ending to the series as a whole was initially supposed to have been the boat scene ending. They both made it out, on the run forever but together. They felt they needed to do more and we know the rest

    1. It would been interesting it they pieced in the recruitment from, surrounding nikiting recruitment and internship. But what's astounding is two things. I watched every episode too. Can't remember details, like others. But l. Is the four light years I thought that was a last minute ditch to end series with Nikita betraying everybody. I knew thew that wasn't nakitas way. She loved Michael so much. # two is I'm am so glad the boat Sean would of been origan why mess with perfection. Up the rabbit hole one of my all favorites of fourth season besides first season love episode. The writing was as expected fantastic. Thanks to everyone to ever made comments to this
      Great reading. Not everyone could afford get that book so thankyou so very much. Anomas.


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