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La Femme Nikita: Voices

Madeline: "You're one of us."
Nikita: "I'll never be one of you."

It's a topsy turvy world. Nikita beat the crap out of a serial killer, and got in trouble for it.

Poor Detective Marco O'Brien just couldn't leave well enough alone. We could understand his frustration, as well as Nikita's. It was an almost insoluble problem: how could Nikita stop the killer, protect O'Brien, and keep herself from getting canceled, all at the same time? I was worried that the very likable O'Brien would end up dead. And in a way he did, since Section is a living death.

Madeline said that Nikita had become "one of them." Has she really? Perhaps. She was certainly as ruthless as she needed to be with O'Brien, with the serial killer Crane, and even with Carla's obnoxious boyfriend, who will probably think twice before hitting on the next vulnerable-looking blonde.

Speaking of which, that small dinner party with Carla and Kevin served to illustrate Nikita's loneliness. She looked like a fifth wheel. Carla said that she no longer had to pretend to be someone she wasn't when she was with Kevin, but Nikita has to be someone she's not, all the time. Nikita didn't even have a jerky boyfriend; all she had was her sterile working relationship with the unobtainable Michael.

One of the joys of analyzing this series has been trying to figure out what Michael was thinking from the small clues that Roy Dupuis gave us. He actually asked Nikita if she was okay after the rape attempt, and his eyes shifted to one side as she was leaving. For Michael, that was an excessive show of concern.

Bits and pieces:

— Carla's boyfriend Kevin made the serious error of hitting on Nikita when she was having a bad day. ("You hit on the wrong girl the wrong day, Kevin.")

— Pseudo-North American license plates again.

— My favorite Michael moment was the repeat of the pilot's "Row eight, plot thirty" scene, this time with O'Brien. I also loved the scene where the guy walked up to the window and Michael just grabbed him and knocked him against the side of the van.

— Marco O'Brien was an appealing character. I particularly liked the way his hair stood on end. Couldn't they bring him back?

— Wardrobe note: Nikita looked gorgeous in the black coat, hat, and heels. And Michael got to wear a blue shirt. It's always an occasion when Michael wears something other than black.

— The Torture Geeks were back for their second engagement. Madeline: "Did you saturate?" Female Geek: "Any more and it would have killed him." Saturate what?

— Madeline managed to give me chills with just two words: "Butane torch."


Nikita: "There's only one thing to do with garbage like you. Flush."
That was, like, a Buffy moment.

Nikita: "Thanks for the binoculars."
Walter: "Any time. Any place. Any position."
I don't know why, but Walter's sexual innuendos are never offensive. He's such a cutie pie.

O'Brien: "I should have you arrested."
Nikita: "What's the point? I'm dead, remember?"

Very good. Three out of four stars,

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


  1. A solid episode: we cut between the Section world of covert missions and the “real” world of police trying to uphold the law until these separate storylines collide to disastrous effect. The episode delivers a sympathetic guest star, consistent characterization for all of our Section regulars, some dark humour, and an ethical dilemma for our heroine, who tries to protect a dedicated police officer from Section.

    Spoilers follow...

    We get a fascinating look at the logistics of a Section mission, from stake-out, to snatch & grab, to failed ambush, to final assault and endgame. These sequences are interspersed with the progress of the “real-world” storyline, from the assault on Nikita that backfires, to the police officer frantically trying to convict the rapist/murderer by locating, and then convincing Nikita to testify. Unfortunately for O’Brien, he interferes with a Section operation, and once Section knows about him and vice versa, there is no going back. Though it turned out to be the wrong decision, I completely understood why Nikita assumed that Section would react ruthlessly to eliminate the threat of exposure, and instead tried (and failed) to deal with it herself. In an ironic twist, for once Section would have done the right thing by relocating Nikita, and protecting the public and the detective. Because of Nikita’s mistake, there is only one option left that doesn’t involve killing O’Brien, and Operations makes sure that Nikita is the one to execute that scenario (which she seems to accept as her punishment).

    So in the end, the rapist got what he deserved, but Nikita is forced to frame an innocent man and sentence him to the same hell she is living in. After Madelaine tells her that “You’re one of us”, you can see that Nikita, in spite of her brave words, is starting to fear that Madelaine is right.

    Favourite scenes:

    Wilson is entirely convincing when turning the tables on the rapist. Her athleticism makes the scene look completely real.

    The supremely efficient and darkly humourous Michael action scenes: easily overcoming O’Brien at the galleria, and again in the White Room, plus an award for the most ingenious use of a van.

    Continuity issues:

    When Madelaine straightened Michael’s tie, I swear I saw a flash of emotion on his face (quickly repressed, of course). Maybe I’m reading too much into the scenes between Dupuis and Watson, but I keep getting the feeling that Madelaine and Michael had some kind of relationship. Perhaps she gave Michael “hands-on” instruction in seduction techniques when he was a recruit?

    Since Michael gave the indoctrination speech to O’Brien, does this mean that Michael will be training him? I’d love to know more about Section’s training procedures.

  2. Great comments, Serena. The only things I have to add are these: my favourite scene in the whole episode was when Michael karate-chopped the bodyguard in the park just before Nikita did the snatch & grab. I watched that about 10 times to fully appreciate Roy Dupuis's athleticism and especially speed. As to the question of Madeline giving Michael hand-on instruction in seduction techniques, I've seen this posted on other boards and find the idea hard to believe. I mean giving lessons in seduction to a gorgeous Frenchman is like teaching Marilyn Monroe how to be sexy. Michael was a BORN seducer. He didn't need to be taught ANYTHING.

  3. I noticed his face too and watched the scene where Madelaine brushed off Michael's lapels and straightened his tie quite a few times. He did show emotion (eyes smiling slightly and a muscle around his mouth moved, which for him passes for smiling). To me he seemed bemused, but I wasn't sure why. He's so smooth, I agree he had some lessons, if only to refine his natural talents.

  4. "Carla said that she no longer had to pretend to be someone she wasn't when she was with Kevin, but Nikita has to be someone she's not, all the time."

    Spoilers follow..(?)

    Actually, watching along the last episodes of season 2, I realized that Carlas statement here wasn't as casual as it seems..


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