(# 78) Madeline matches wits with Leon, her Red Cell counterpart who is captured by Section, and becomes so infatuated with him that she seems willing to help him escape, while Birkoff tracks down his identical twin, Jason.
In their third and fourth season efforts to devise new and original ways to portray Section One's struggle against terrorism while delving deeper into the main characters and the tangled skein of their relationships, the writers and producers of LFN also managed from time to time to stretch the credulity of viewers to the breaking point. This season, with disturbing frequency, writers resorted to shock value in hopes that fans would overlook gaping holes in the plot. In this episode, we're led down the primrose path, asked to believe that Madeline defies Operations in order to save Red Cell master strategist Leon, with whom she has fallen in love. In fact, it's all a cunning scheme to trick Leon into taking Madeline to a Red Cell substation, so that a Section team can follow a tracking device implanted within her. There's no purpose served by most of the conflict between Operations and Madeline prior to the unveiling of the scheme other than to trick the viewers. We've been subjected to this kind of subterfuge before; in Slipping Into Darkness we were supposed to think that Michael was trying to destroy Operations just so he could capture another elusive Red Cell strategist. (In that case, Michael and Operations had to play out their parts -- and fool the audience at the same time -- because of hidden Red Cell cameras inside Section.) Occasionally, the deceptions becomes so convoluted that the ploy becomes virtually incomprehensible (i.e., He Came From Four). Quite apart from the fact that such a contrivance is below par for writer Larry Hertzog, the usually reliable Rene Bonniere also fails us with lifeless direction. The pivotal scenes in which Madeline and Leon match wits are dull when they should be scintillating, and the action scenes are sleep-inducing. (One has to wonder, too, if Michael is psychic -- he always seems to stay behind in the mission van when his team blunders into a lethal trap.) In this entry's sub-plot, Birkoff tracks down his twin brother Jason, and yet just about all we learn about the latter is that he works at Micro Technologies and drives a sporty Mercedes with vanity plates that read "BYTE ME". Happily, a similar story ("Sleeping With the Enemy"), told with much greater verve and imagination, is coming up.
WALTER: "Hey, amigo, everything okay with you? You seem distracted. Is something on your mind?" BIRKOFF: "You're the guy who makes the life-and-death decisions about other people's lives. I thought you had all the answers." W: "I tried to tell you to let this thing slide. But no, you had to push it. And you found out. Yes, you've got a twin brother. Yes, he's free and you're not and I'm the one who made the call. But that's the way the cookie crumbled." B: "Only he got the cookie and I got the crumbs." W: "Let it go." B: "Like you let him go."
Written by Lawrence Hertzog
Directed by Rene Bonniere
Original airdate: April 23, 2000 (USA)
March 14, 2002 (France); January 30, 2003 (UK)
Colm Feore (Leon)
Larissa Gomes (Naomi Hill)
Original score by Sean Callery
Czech title: "Zkroceni zle zeny"
French title: "Au bout de l'enfer"
Italian title: "L'inferno non conosce furia"
Portuguese title: "Nao ha odio no inferno"
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