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La Femme Nikita: View of the Garden

"Who would you rather be killed by? Operations or Michael?"

I mean, really. Who would I be more afraid of? It's a difficult decision. What must have tipped the scales for Birkoff and Walter was that Michael was trying to save Nikita. Plus Michael is a man of his word. Operations is not a man of his word.

So I was surprised when the "real" Adrian returned, and sad when she almost immediately lost herself again. I also found it sad that she and George never connected. Adrian used her father's garden, something she cared deeply about, to resist the Gelman process, and at least the vacant Adrian was left in the end with a real garden to comfort her. That final scene with Adrian's new keeper made Michael appear so sweet... right up until he told the guy, "If you fail, I'll kill you." Yes, I know, Michael is never sweet. But Michael himself is Nikita's "garden," which makes him the key to her recovery, doesn't it?

Stalemate. I actually got chills when Michael and Nikita walked back into Section. And the role reversals continued. In "Hard Landing," Nikita was free, but came back to Section for Michael's sake. This time, Michael was free, but came back to Section for Nikita's sake. In the final scene of this episode, Michael was watching Nikita through a glass door; we were back to the "look but don't touch" symbolism. This scene was exactly like Nikita looking at Michael walking away at the end of "Hard Landing."

Adrian is now Michael's insurance policy. Jurgen tried and failed to hold Section hostage back in season two. Can Michael succeed where Jurgen failed? And the status may once again be sort of quo, but Nikita is still a perfect robot. I really want Nikita back. I want them in love again. Yes, I know Section will keep them apart somehow, but I just don't care.

Bits and pieces:

— Loved Michael fighting the multiple Nikitas. What a clever way to handicap Michael in a fight. (How Star Trek.) And then we got a Michael/Nikita knife fight. Very cool, but sort of disturbing.

— It appears that a "Y Directive" will get Oversight into Section immediately. After the vid of Adrian that failed to attract George's notice, why didn't anyone get into trouble? I expected heads to roll.

— Nikita got a "Josephine" call, but the caller was a woman. Didn't sound like Madeline.

— I think director Jon Cassar was the guy with the bazooka who shot down George's helicopter.

— George said "piggyback."

— Birkoff has new glasses. They don't become him.

— Cancelled scenes: (1) In the cryo lab, Operations and Madeline discuss how they will cover what happened with Michael. (2) In the farmhouse, Michael tells the restrained Nikita that the Gelman process is dangerous. She says she doesn't know why she ever trusted him, and laughs somewhat maniacally. (3) In the scene where Operations shot out the screen to keep George from seeing Adrian, he followed it by shooting the operative, too.


Operations: "I've come here to ease your mind."
Walter: "That'll be a first."

Birkoff: "Michael's been in touch?"
Walter: "Yeah."
Birkoff: "Oh, god."

Nikita: "I prefer this. No needs, no fears, no desires. I used to think you were like that. But you're not. You're weak. You should let them make you feel stronger."
Michael actually looked upset here. Upset for Michael, that is.

Three out of four stars, and I'm loving this arc,

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


  1. A solid episode that believably progresses the story arc, provides some clever plot reversals, and treats the audience to an especially exciting and original action sequence.

    Spoilers follow...

    Basically, the entire episode is about Michael trying to deprogram Nikita while outmanoeuvring Operations and Madeline. As each side attempts one gambit after the other, the suspense increases as the stakes become higher and higher. However, while Adrian is highly intelligent and (generally) sympathetic, I find that I miss spending time with my favourite characters: Nikita is still a “robot”, and Birkoff and Walter only get a couple of scenes at the beginning of the episode.

    Since the episode ends tragically for Adrian resulting in Michael and Nikita returning to Section, the focus will hopefully return to our Section regulars in the next episode.

    Favourite Scenes:
    Michael fighting several Nikitas: cool Michael moves, excellent choreography in the hand-to-hand combat, plus Michael renders Nikita unconscious with a head lock (another move copied by Jack Bauer in “24"). I also appreciate that we finally get a clever use of the “magic” latex masks; while I still dislike this device, at least it is a technology that is consistent with past episodes. Oddly, though, the wigs on the stunt doubles don’t match Wilson’s hair and give the game away ;-)

    Michael confronting Operations and Madeline upon his return to Section: this lethal stalemate is negotiated with utter calm and complete insincerity (“Welcome back”; “Thank-you”).

    Logic Flaws:
    Why would Operations merely threaten Walter? If Operations wanted to make sure that Michael didn’t get any inside help, why wouldn’t he put a watch on Walter and on Birkoff? The only reason for Operations to be this incompetent is for the convenience of the writers, who apparently couldn’t think of a clever way for Walter and Birkoff to circumvent extra security measures.

    Continuity Issues:
    I guess Section has resumed its regular mission schedule (Operations had shut everything down to search for Michael in the previous episode “There Are No Missions”), or else George would have noticed.

    Though it is never explicitly stated, I have to assume that Michael used Adrian’s people to prevent the assassination attempt on George.

    I guess Operations and Madeline really are stock villains now, implementing assassination plans for their own benefit. Sigh. I miss these characters having noble reasons behind their ruthless actions, as in Seasons One and Two.

  2. I don't understand this episode :-(. They try to contact George via Section (very complicated way) and fail. Then somehow they are able to locate him, save his life, but tell him nothing? I have enjoyed the episode, but this dosen't make sense to me. Maybe it's because I misssed soemthing, as english is my second language... And I totaly agree with Serena, that Operations and Madeline should have monitored Birkoff and Walter!

  3. Early on I asked
    Does Adrian remember George’s phone#?
    Has he kept hers for years, hoping someday she’ll call him?
    Is it 867-5309? Or is that just the same old song?!

  4. I have another theme for this episode based on the ending -

    Chutzpah is a Hebrew word that has been adopted into Yiddish and then English. Chutzpah has been defined as audacity, insolence, impudence, gall, brazen nerve, effrontery, incredible guts, presumption and arrogance. Yet something essential about chutzpah is missing from all these words.

    Chutzpah can be destructive and ugly or vital and fantastic, but never in-between.

    I am choosing the "vital and fantastic" in Michael's actions.

    I am also very happy to see that Michael has planned for his retirement as other spies do and has substantial cash to care for Adrian for example.

    The episode also totally answers the question about how ruthless Michael is. He isn't and only practices it when he needs to.
    Interesting episode but we are still stuck in Section 1 with a nasty Nikita instead if the one Michael loves.

  5. Nice episode. Very unstable stalemate, given Adrian's condition, but instability is not something new to Michael.
    It would be nice to discover more about "previous generation". Adrian-George story probably had a bit more to tell. I also dislike how flat and boring Operations&M's characters have become with their evil schemes. In one of the previous reviews Billie noted that Madeline sounded like she could have been also "gelmanized" at some point. While the process seemed to be too new for that, there could have been some interesting ideas for her character backstory.


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