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302. "Someone Else's Shadow"

 (#46) Elena asks Nikita to move in with her and Michael, while Section makes final preparations to trap Elena's father, the terrorist Salla Vacek. But Vacek proves to be too elusive, and Section's plan is thwarted.
lfnforever briefing

best dialogue
MADELINE: "Good afternoon, Mr. Williams. You have a personal relationship with Salla Vachek."
WILLIAMS: "Thatís an insane statement. I donít know what faulty intelligence led me to you, but nobody has access to Vachek."
M: "Up until recently, I would have agreed with you. When we found your name on a list of individuals attached to the embassy bombing, my opinion changed."
W: "List? They donít mean a damn thing. Iím sure I could find your name on a list of psychopaths if I looked hard enough, when itís perfectly clear youíre quite ordinary."
M: "You and Vachek were classmates at Cambridge."
W: "Where am I? Let me guess. Not Interpol. They donít have the resources to clean up the mess you made at my office. My best guess is youíre some covert agency that no one has ever heard of. Run amok, no doubt."
M: "We need to send a message to Vachek. Youíll help us do that."
W: "Really?"
M: "Weíll speak in a few hours."
W: "I'll be here. Some tea would be nice."
Written by Michael Loceff
Directed by Rene Bonniere
Original airdate: January 10, 1999
June 14, 2001 (France); April 3, 2002 (UK)

guest stars
Samia Shoaib (Elena)
Evan Caravela (Adam)
Hrant Aliank (Salla Vacek)
John Bourgeois (Misha)
Barry MacGregor (David Henderson-Williams)
Henry Allessandroni (Beckman)

music
 "Please," Mandalay

locations
Nikita and Williams take their dive from an office building on Toronto's James Street, while Etienne Brule Park is the site used for Elena's meeting with Misha.


Czech title: "Cizi stin"
French title: "Le pere absent"
German title: "Der verlorene Vater"
Italian title: "Morte annunciata"
Portuguese title: "A sombra de um outro alguem"
Spanish title: "La sombra de alguien mas"
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Dawn Connolly's commentary on this episode
Domesticity is the theme in this episode. It opens with home movies of Michael and his son planting a tree in the backyard. Memories normally meant to be cherished are only cruel ironies accompanied by his emotionless voice-over (as he describes to Nikita the nature of his real mission to capture Vacek). Vacek has no home; leading the life of a nomad he moves from safehouse to safehouse in an attempt to elude the law. Nikita moves in with Michael and Elena (posing as family), joining someone else's household. This, in turn, gives her a front-row seat to the "happy family" and reminds her of a home she can never have (with echoes of Nikita and Michael's brief period of domesticity in "Psychic Pilgrim"), a normalcy which is as elusive to her as it is an illusion for Elena.
The emerging reality over the next two episodes is that Michael truly loves his wife and child. This is not wholly unexpected, considering the barbarity of Section life. (Imagine the tenderness he showed Lisa in "Obsessed" magnified across years with a wife and a child.) Samia Shoaib illuminates Elena as a woman possessed of a wise and loving heart with a quiet strength of spirit. It is not surprising that given such an opportunity Michael would seize whatever happiness he could.
Nikita and Michael's conversation about Simone raises a question about the nature of that marriage also. How is it that this mythologized love of Michael's life coexisted with his life with Elena without his knowing how Simone felt about it? And how is it that he fell in love with Nikita while he had such an arrangement at home? These are questions without answers, but there is an air of truth about his declaration that he wished he could have told Nikita about it. In the final analysis, the harsh reality is that life in Section is their only reality and it is evident by Nikita's growing restraint that she has accepted this to be true.
La Femme Peta, pp 199-201