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All Shows > La Femme Nikita > Season 1

La Femme Nikita - 1x22 - Mercy

Synopsis: Nikita is asked to cancel a geeky inventor, and she can't do it. Michael is asked to cancel Nikita. Can he do it?

Review: Nikita and Mercy serve as bookends for the first season. In Nikita, Michael takes Nikita to a dinner which turns out to be a mission. In Mercy, Michael takes Nikita to a mission that turns out to be a dinner. The case of the Section mistaking Nikita's identity is revisited from the premiere. Nikita reiterates in the finale that she never killed anyone before entering the Section. Also since the premiere, Nikita has changed Michael.

Over the course of the season, I have grown to sorta like the Section. Nikita had too. They seemed to be doing good: stopping terrorist attacks before anyone even knew about them. On the other hand, anyone with a conscience must look at the Section's actions and be appalled. Nikita needed to be reminded of this. It has been foreshadowed for quite some time now. In Missing, Nikita asked for her freedom; in Voices Nikita asserts to Madeline that she will never be one of them; and in the penultimate episode of the season, Verdict, Nikita doubted she could keep on doing the things the Section asked her to do.

When Nikita comes to the realization that she can never be free from the Section, she attempts to commit suicide. Michael interrupts her, and she does not do it. But resignation to failure is not in Nikita's character; she will fight the Section to do what is right.

The moral ambiguity of the series resurfaces in the last act. While the Section orders Michael to do something unconscionable, the sacrificing of six operatives including Nikita, he already sacrificed one team member for the mission in the last episode, and he seems to have no problem sacrificing the other five in this episode--his relationship is just different with Nikita. Even Walter who is outraged that Michael would go through with sacrificing Nikita seems to care less about the other five. Even Nikita killed the terrorist leader with several rounds of an automatic weapon in a moment of passion.

Nikita crumpled the mad libs action script that most spy thrillers (not to mention any names like Mission Impossible 2 and Mission Impossible 3) use. They replaced generic-weapon-of-mass-destruction with a scientific development that would actually be revolutionary. Even the location choice in this episode was great. The exterior of the bad guy's hideout was very distinctive.

Michael must have nerves of steel to rescue Nikita in the way that he did knowing he could never even tell Walter that she was okay and probably never see her again...without blinking an eye. It also changes the direction of the series. Nikita is no longer growing closer to the Section family, but she is running from it, and even if she is recaptured and reinstated (as I suspect she will be very early next season), she will be rebelling against their unethical tactics. The episode was somewhat sedated, like Michael was in the episode, but it only enhanced this already great finale worthy of a 9 out of 10.

Rating: 9 out of 10 (Reviewed by: Matthew Miller)

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