110. "Choice"

(#10) The CIA believes rogue agents are killing drug dealers, and Section One is called in to clean things up, but Nikita's continuing relationship with Gray Wellman is affecting her ability to do her job -- and putting Gray's life at risk.
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Written by Michael Loceff
Directed by George Bloomfield
Original airdate: April 7, 1997 (USA)
July 19, 1998 (France); November 14, 1997 (UK)

guest stars
Callum Keith Rennie (Gray Wellman)
Robert Bockstael (Oliver Price)
Joseph Griffin (Valery)
Roy Lewis (Jennel)
Jeffrey Scott Grice (Bruce Matches)
Louis Taylor (Ray)
Robbi Jay Thuet (Casey Wellman)
Jane Luk (Paramedic)
B.J. McQueen (Bodyguard)

 "Death By Moonlight," Rhea Obsession
"Drown," Vibrolux

Sunnyside Pavilion is the setting for the Rosewood ripoff of the drug dealers; Nikita loses track of Gray's daughter in Queen's Quay terminal, Harbourfront (a location previously used in "Charity"); Nikita has dinner with Gray and Casey at Spinnaker's Restaurant, Harbourfront.

Czech title: "Volba"
 French title: "Le choix "
German title: "Doppelleben "
Italian title: "La scelta"
Portuguese title: "Escolha "
Spanish title: "Decision"
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Dawn Connolly's commentary on this episode
"Choice" plays out the question (and answer) of why Nikita cannot have a meaningful outside relationship. It also suggests the reason ruthless killers are recruited or created by Section. The job of an operative is to kill or be killed. Relationships inside Section seem to end in death, and relationship with outsiders don't work because of all the deception required. The assassination from the hotel suite marks the turning point for Nikita and Gray in this respect, and it is the last action sequence from the original Luc Besson film to make its way into the series. Loceff also creates the wonderful scene in the mall to emphasize Nikita's lesson. While minding Casey, Gray's young daughter, Nikita is called in for a mission. Distracted for a few seconds, she loses the child and experiences every mother's nightmare. The added twist for Nikita is that her absence from the mission queers the deal, shooting begins, and lives are lost.
Madeline's description of the outside world as an illusion is apt, and her statement that the people in Section are "ghosts" could be straight out of a good spy novel. In contrast to this very practical but cynical advice is the voice of the humanist, Walter, who tells Nikita not to mourn what she cannot have but to sing the tune she can. She can live with Section rules or she can live in spite of them. It's a lovely moment that underlines the real choice of the story.
La Femme Peta, pp 116-118

Ted Edward's "behind the scenes" look at this episode
"Choice" is one of the few episodes of La Femme Nikita since the pilot to utilize significant elements from Luc Besson's feature film. In this case, it's the moment in Venice where Nikita is with her lover and she receives a phone call instructing her to assassinate a target across the street from where she is, taking aim from her bathroom window. The boyfriend in question is Gray Wellman (returning from the episode "Gray"). Joel Surnow considered it significant in terms of the "legend" of the character. "I thought it was important," he told Cinescape, "to put her with a boyfriend and have her try to have a real life, and we see how the Section interferes. I guess I also feel her chemistry with Roy is so strong that I never quite believed that she would choose this guy over Roy. Not that she has the choice of Roy."
Why, he mused, would someone like Nikita settle for Gray when Michael is there, even peripherally? It becomes a problematic situation because Michael truly is the guy for her. "Everyone else," he said, "gives the impression that she's just settling. And you don't like to see a main character just settle.I even felt that in the movie."
La Femme Nikita X-Posed, pp 71-72

Joel Surnow's POV

This was the last episode with a tie to the feature, with her in the Venice apartment with her boyfriend and she has to shoot a guy. Not one of my favorites but an important one in terms of the legend of the character, to put her with a boyfriend, try to have a real life and see how Section interferes. I guess I feel that her chemistry with Roy is so strong that I never quite believe that she would choose this guy over Roy. Not that she has a choice for Roy, but it's just not believable. You know, why would you settle for this guy with Roy Dupuis there? He's so strong and it's really problematic, because he's really the guy for her. Everybody else seems like she's settling, and you don't like to see your main character just settle....I rate this episode a B. It was good. It wasn't wrong, it hit the right marks. A nice moment is when she's at the mall with this guy's kid, the kid gets lost and she gets called. That was the choice and it really drove home why you can't treat this like a job.

La Femme Nikita Episode Guide
Edward Gross, Retrovision # 6 (1999)