TV Catch-up - La Femme Nikita

Starring Peta Wilson, Roy Dupuis, Eugene Robert Glazer, Alberta Watson

They are dangerous, deadly, deceptive and devastating!

I was a huge fan of La Femme Nikita when it was on TV originally (1997-2001). I loved the Nikita and Michael dynamic as well as the twisty plotting and edgy stories. So about six months ago I got all the DVDs and started watching them. They were my kitchen watching, so it was a bit sporadic at times, depending on how I felt about cooking! :)

So I've just finished the series (including cancelled scenes and commentaries when available), and though I can see the flaws a little more clearly when watching episodes back to back rather than years apart, I also respect the chances they took in story-telling, character development. Though Nikita was often manipulated, deceived and vulnerable physically and emotionally, she also turned into a real kick-ass, confident, calculating and powerful woman. 

The tech, after fifteen years, was far ahead of its time because it rarely seemed quaint (except for in the early years when they used disks and thumb drives to get into computers!). 

There were still some head-scratchers (if I was in a terrorist cell and met a blonde named Nikita, I'd be tempted to shoot first and ask questions later! She and Michael rarely used other names--except for Josephine, which is so delicious when Roy Dupuis says it!). And the twists and turns went improbable at times, and the good guys and bad guys were sometimes hard to distinguish. But they also lost characters, took chances and got injured. There were repercussions to what happened.

There were other far-fetched options - slight spoilers ahead! -- (Michael with wife and kid, frequent betrayals between Michael and Nikita, the reprogramming elements, and escapes and returns and so forth) but also delicious twists (Nikita's escapes and returns, Birkoff and Walter, Mr Jones and such). The first two and a half seasons were the best I think, though there are standouts in each season.

I am amazed by the ruthlessness in the overall actions of Section One and Operations but that Nikita kept trying to see and save the individual in the greater scheme was incredibly integral to each episode. And sometimes she succeeded, sometimes she failed, and sometimes it came back to bite her. 

And they subscribed to the less is more with dialogue (except Operations when giving background as the actor commented!), with Michael saying the very least. Yet even at other moments, the emotion and strength that was conveyed by Michael and Nikita with a look, a touch, an avoidance and a tilt of the head was quite palpable.

In any case, if you like cool, classy, violent stories with a romantic edge, sophisticated, sometimes crazy clothes, electronic/pop music that fits the mood and fantastic actors who really inhabit the roles, be sure to check the series out and let me know what you think!