La Femme Nikita: Walk On By

Nikita: "That's the kindest thing you've ever done for me."

It's old home week. In Section, that means deception and death.

Typical Nikita. When she first saw Jamie, she told him, "I don't know you and you don't know me." Five minutes later, she was protecting him. I'm not sanguine about Jamie's chances of surviving in Section. He's not that sharp, and he's not willing to learn.

The Michael/Nikita relationship went right back to where they were before, as if the previous episode never happened. It even advanced a little. That was a huge favor she asked of him, and it was surprising and touching that Michael decided to defy Section to such an extreme to help Nikita save her mother from collateral cancellation. Did he do it because she went to him directly for help, instead of pussyfooting around? Did he do it to make up for the outrageous badness of "Under the Influence"? Probably. Of course, he also did it because he loves her.

Gold acting stars to Peta Wilson, who did an excellent job in this episode. And of course, to Margot Kidder, who jerked the tears right out of me in that hospital scene. I don't know how Peta managed to lie there without expression. I certainly would have started crying, tubes up my nose or no tubes up my nose.



In a parallel plotline, Walter also tried to contact someone important from his past. He should have known better after all those years in Section. He got poor Beverly cancelled, and nearly got Joe cancelled as well. That's life in Section: take a few photos for a friend, end up in abeyance. Walter really, really should have known better.

Bits and pieces:

— Nikita's mother was a destructive alcoholic, which explained Nikita's earlier references to her. Roberta Wirth lived in Oak Bluffs. (What city? What country?) Was Nikita's last name finally revealed? Was it Wirth?

— In an uncredited performance, the younger Roberta was played by Janet Kidder, Margot's niece, who also played Vizcano in "First Mission."

— Early on, Michael actually asked Nikita for a date. ("Do you want to spend the day together?") I think he knew something was up and wanted to be there for her. And he was. But you know, I'm more than ready for them to be together, for real. It's time.

— The hospital scene took place at "Hopital Centrale," where Michael last saw Elena.

— Nikita in drag. That was new. The beard stubble helped a lot, but she still looked too feminine.



— In the final scene, after she kissed him, Nikita and Michael were again looking at each other through glass. Transparent symbolism (pun, pun). Look, but don't touch.

— Cancelled scene: In a follow-up to the Birkoff training scene, Nikita privately tells Jamie that Madeline certainly noticed her covering for him, that he's in trouble, and that he'd better get with it if he wants to live.

Quotes:

Jamie: "You know one thing you were always good at? Making deals. Pack of cigarettes, place to crash, you remember?"
That was an interesting tidbit about Nikita when she was younger. It fit, because she is certainly resourceful now.

Michael: "You know this can't happen."
Nikita: "Why not? Because they tell us it can't?"
Well, yeah.

Operations: "I'm not going to cancel Walter. I owe him for Belinda."
And I'd think that was very human of Operations if he hadn't followed it immediately by having Beverly cancelled.

Was this a four? If it wasn't, it was very close,

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

4 comments:

riri said...

why on earth would she forgive him that easily?

Anonymous said...

An excellent character-driven episode that incorporates an exciting and original action sequence, plus a heart-rending scene between Nikita and her mother. Most importantly, this episode goes a long way towards repairing the damage to the character of Michael incurred during the previous episode. In fact, according to Nikita’s attitude toward Michael when he asks her out, it’s as if “Under The Influence” never happened (which further supports my choice to pretend the previous episode was a bad dream ;-).

Spoilers follow...

Jamie is annoying, but he serves the purpose of alerting Nikita to the fact that her mother is looking for her. After returning from the mission, Nikita investigates Jamie’s information, and finds out that her mother might be close enough to the truth for Section to take “extreme action”. She can’t see a way to prevent this (“I know how this has to end”), and so she asks for Michael’s assistance. Nikita’s compassion for her mother’s need for forgiveness shows exceptional emotional maturity, and probably tips the scales in convincing Michael to help.

Luckily for Nikita, Michael is a genius strategist, and is capable of hiding all of their activities from Section. In addition, he devises a clever scenario that will allow Nikita’s mother closure while ensuring that she will end her search for Nikita. By contrast, Walter is far less successful in hiding his dealings with his past life, with disastrous results for the agents who help him.

Roberta’s good-bye had me in tears – my only consolation is that at least Nikita learns that her mother really does love her. Even better, she learns that Michael truly loves her, as well, as he took enormous risks just to help her.

Favourite Scenes:
The mission to rescue the captured agent: Nikita easily ascends to the roof, takes out both guards, then rappels down and goes back up again in order to prevent idiot Jamie from shooting innocents. In the meantime, Michael uses a spray-on plastique to burn through a wall, then wipes out several operatives, dives and rolls amidst shattering glass to avoid a hail of bullets, then shoots with perfect aim while leaping into to room! I always enjoy these creative action sequences showing off the impressive skills of our favourite operatives.

Nikita’s thank-you kiss: without a word, Dupuis communicates Michael’s surprise and pleasure at Nikita’s gratitude.

1eclecticviewer said...

I don't think I have anything to say because both of you said what needed to be said.

But I just have to note:

1.) With Billie - "The Michael/Nikita relationship went right back to where they were before, as if the previous episode never happened. It even advanced a little."

2.) With Serena - "Most importantly, this episode goes a long way towards repairing the damage to the character of Michael incurred during the previous episode. In fact, according to Nikita’s attitude toward Michael when he asks her out, it’s as if “Under The Influence” never happened (which further supports my choice to pretend the previous episode was a bad dream ;-)."

Eseentially the same sentiment and I agree with you both.

Oh and also, with the thank you kiss being my favorite scene in this episode.

LaBitti said...

Oh my god, this is really one of the best.
Peta Wilson deserves an award for her acting in this one. As well for wat she performed on the previous episode. This is so....strong and vulnerable at the same time. Outstanding performance.
During the first two seasons sometimes she acted a little bit over the egde. But during this third seasing she definite is progressing and evolving, lifting her acting to a higher level.
Hospital scene brought me to tears, so badly that I had to use the kitchen towel instead of Kleenex. LFN always wakes up different sorts of heavy emotions: anger, disbelief, surprise, pity,..., that's what makes the show so brilliant. But it never got to me in this way. Again something to think about, another sleepless night to come.
How difficult it must have been for Nikita being confronted with her mother in that hospital bed, and forced to play dead, litteraly,not able to react and saving her mothers life by doin that. Must have broke her heart, it certanly broke mine. What a woman.
And another deep sigh for the thank you kiss at the end.So touching. Even Michael seemed to melt. He knew how difficult it must have been for Nikita.Especially in the hospital. Maybe he even needed a Kleenex as well while he was waiting in the hallway? There are certainly cracks showing up in his defence. And it's about time.
Five stars for this one. If that's possible.