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La Femme Nikita: Verdict

Nikita: "There is no bad guy here."
Michael: "There are always bad guys, Nikita."

During most of this episode, I was thinking: did he do it, or didn't he? Mijovich appeared to be so sincere, so self-deprecating, so resigned to the possibility of his own death. How could a man who was just elected leader of his country do something so heinous? And just when I was certain he hadn't done it, we found out that yes indeed, he had.

What happened with Mijovich was a transparent metaphor for the moral imperatives (or lack of same) in Section One. Was the possibility of preventing a war more important than justice for the innocent victims of atrocities? Is lying to save someone like Mijovich ever justified? Michael deliberately sacrificed a Section operative, on purpose, as a diversion. How can this ever be the right thing to do? The answer is, obviously, that it can't be. Mijovich is evil, and so is Section.

Michael accepted Section for what it was a long time ago, that the needs of the many, the good that Section did, outweighed the innocent victims that got crunched up along the way. But Nikita, who did her job very well here, could not bear the fact that justice was not served. It was nearing last straw territory. "I don't know how much longer I can keep this up," she said. And, "Surely the truth must count for something. Even here." But it didn't. And she knew that it didn't.

Bits and pieces:

— Jovan Mijovich was introduced in episode two, "Friend," where he was something of a lightweight.

— Michael was upset about the unexpected death of his source in the opener. Upset for Michael, that is.

— I'm sorry, but if it had been a real party, I think someone would actually notice Michael shooting Griffin and carrying her body out of the room.

— It was fun to see Nikita communicating in "code" with Michael, and doing it so well.

— Gold acting stars to Kate Greenhouse, who played Maria. Not an easy part.

— Wardrobe note: I usually love what Nikita wears, but that white silk dress with the huge jewel clasp looked outright tacky. I didn't think much of her "Something about Mary" bangs, either.

— Wardrobe note part deux: Michael wore the same killer tux he wore several other times this season.


Operations: "In other words, we were outflanked by a collection of farmers."

Maria: "Have you ever been so tormented that you prayed for your own death?"
Nikita: "Yes, I have."
More than once already, I suspect, and this is only season one.

Good intentions, flawed execution. Two out of four stars,

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


  1. This is an example of the dreaded “bottle show”, a phenomenon that plagues most television series: when the budget has run out, a “filler” episode is produced that cuts costs so severely that often all that is left is a bunch of talking heads in a room. There can still be some excellent drama created by such a confined situation, and this script does deliver plenty of conflict in the form of justice vs. revenge (the villagers vs. Mijovich) and justice vs. expediency (Nikita vs. Section). However, when no other dramatic devices are available to distract the audience (ie. action), then superior actors are required, and unfortunately the pivotal performances of Bruner and Mijovich lack subtlety, depth, and realism. Thankfully, the actress playing Maria rescues every one of the scenes she is in.

    At least we get consistent characterization for all our Section regulars, plus we gain further insight into how Nikita and Michael are completely polarized in their service to Section. Still, this episode ranks at the bottom for me.

    Spoilers follow...

    The episode started out promising, but apparently uses up its entire limited budget in the first few minutes: Nikita stalks Michael (jealously, perhaps?) and witnesses the fiery death of his contact. Thwarting the unknown assassin is also entertaining, as every innocent action at the inaugural ball becomes suspicious. But once that threat is removed, Section gets caught with its pants down (loved Operations’ rueful comment), and the “bottle show” gets bogged down with some lousy performances.

    At least there is solid character development for our heroine, as Nikita still strives for justice. Since Section knows that Nikita will always act according to her own moral code, the audience rather expects that Section will lie to her to get her to complete her mission. When the truth is revealed, even Nikita isn’t so much surprised as revolted. She can no longer reconcile Section’s stated goal of the “greater good” with the suffering of innocents.

    Nikita’s remorse at having “killed a man whose only crime was he loved his family and wanted justice” is countered by Michael’s response: “You had no choice.” Clearly, this is how he rationalizes every action he takes in performing Section missions. He’s survived this long because “I never allow personal considerations to interfere with my work.” Though he tries to console Nikita in the final scene, there is obviously a huge chasm between their points of view, in spite of the mutual respect they have for each other.

    Continuity Issues:
    It looked as if Michael shot Griffin: where was the bullet wound or the blood? There wasn’t a mark on her.

    We see Alexei’s body pulled into the ventilation shaft. Michael would would have had to push it farther down the shaft in order to exit himself. The body should not have been just inside the grate for the family to conveniently discover.

  2. About there being no blood or bullet wound when Michael shot Griffin, perhaps he used a tranq?

  3. I agree that this isn't one of the best episodes but it had its strong moments and the actress playing Maria made me feel her pain and had me sobbing throughout her performance.

    Also i half expected Nikita to slap Michael in the face when he told her 'well done Nikita!' (i found that statement unforgivable coming from him).

    Great reviews Billie and Serena

    by Jeri

  4. While I didn't particularly like the brooch, I loved Nikita's dress and I thought her hair and makeup were perfect. She looked gorgeous. Dear me, sunbunny is influencing how I look at costuming, now! :-)

    Anyway, I found this episode really difficult to watch. I knew that Mijovich would end up being guilty and it hurt to watch Nikita defending him, especially at the beginning when Maria knew it was him.

    Michael is an interesting guy to watch. He does care about Nikita, but is really unsure how to show her or how to express it. He keeps getting it wrong, which is just driving her away. But, I guess he helped her get over the trauma from the last episode as she seemed really on her game.


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