118. "Voices"

(#19) While working undercover, Nikita encounters a serial rapist. O'Brien, a police detective who's been pursuing the criminal for years, finds out more than he should about Nikita, and she must find a way to keep him from being cancelled.
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best dialogue
O'BRIEN: "I should have you arrested."
NIKITA: "What's the point? I'm dead, remember?"
O: "Is this how you do it in the covert world, or whatever world it is you live in?"
N: "O'Brien, I want to help you."
O: "Well, suddenly you want to help me."
N: "Not in the way you think. I can't testify."
O: "Then you can't help me."
N: "There's a lot at stake."
O: "You know what's at stake here? Innocent women are being raped and murdered. And you want to try and tell me about the bigger picture?"
N: "You have to forget that I ever existed."
O: "In exchange for what?"
N: "I can make him disappear."

Written by Maurice Hurley
Directed by David Warry-Smith
Original airdate: August 17, 1997 (USA)
October 5, 2000 (France); January 9, 1998 (UK)

guest stars
Stephen Shellen (Det. Marco O'Brian)
Anais Granofsky (Carla)
Oliver Becker (Jack Crane)
Jim Codrington (Det. Delray Jackson)
Yuval Daniel (Leon Elder)
Chris Marren (Kevin)
Lindsay Collins (Operative)

"Mandra," In The Nursery
"Ground," Vibrolux
"The Stars Above," SIANspheric

The front of Victoria College is used for the embassy, while the north side of Queen's Park is the site of Michael's and Nikita's stakeout of the embassy. Crane attacks Nikita behind the University of Toronto's Kelly Library; from the house across the parking lot behind Kelly Library is the house from which Nikita is observed beating up Crane. Cherry Street's Canary Restaurant and the adjacent building are used in the scene during which Crane is lured to his death.

Czech title: "Hluk"
French title: "Voix"
German title: "Wendepunkt"
Italian title: "Voci"
Polish title: "Glosy"
Portuguese title: "Vozes"
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Dawn Connolly's commentary on this episode
In a story that springs from the dramatic conceit of Luc Besson's La Femme Nikita we witness another difficult stage in Nikita's growth as an agent. In attempting to handle her exposure to the police without help from Section, she endangers the life of a police detective, sympathetically played by the scruffy, handsome Stephen Shellen (A River Runs Through It, Rude). But it's an awkward lesson. How can she trust Section not to cancel him. The idea that they might have given the cop what he wanted never occurs to her, but why should it? Accommodation has never been Section's strong suit.
Nikita is learning about another aspect of life inside Section, and also about what happens when reality and life within Section cross paths. It is an effectively jarring moment when O'Brien walks into the middle of a mission in progress. (The moment in the gallery also affords the director an irresistible visual pun as Nikita, pretty as a picture, is shot through an oversized frame in the gallery. Too bad the detective has no idea she will be framing him for the rapist's murder by the hour's end!)
As in "Obsessed," Nikita gets to beat the crap out of the villain (her would-be rapist), vicarously affording the female audience another shot at wish fulfillment. And in a parallel men-are-shits story line, Carla's new boyfriend puts the moves on Nikita. A little obvious, but it brings the welcome return of Anais Gronofsky and of real life for Nikita.
Unfortunately, in the end we don't know enough about the detective to really care about his fate. The fact that she's put the cop's life in danger provokes the cold shoulder from Nikita's work colleagues, but it is not enough to create a connection with the audience. It is an interesting departure that Operations pushes Nikita to fix the mess she's made. Her solution (framing the detective and offering him prison or a new job in Section) is classic Section S.O.P., and Madeline's chilling observation hits the mark as she declares that Nikita has finally become "one of us."
La Femme Peta, pp 130-132
Ted Edwards' "behind the scenes" look at this episode
A great deal of fan speculation concerning La Femme Nikita has surrounded the relationship between Nikita and Michael. In the same way, actors Peta Wilson and Roy Dupuis have been sked to evaluate each other in terms of the real-life person and their on-screen persona. What follows are a couple of excerpts from online interviews with fans:
Q: Roy, what do you enjoy most about working with Peta, and Peta, about Roy."
ROY: Her originality, her energy, her talent, and her beauty.
PETA: His unpredictability, his control. His very balanced sexuality between masculine and feminine. His passion. And I like his hair!
Q: Peta, what does Nikita think is Michael's strength and weakness, and Roy, what does Michael think is Nikita's strength and weakness?
PETA: I'm still trying to figure it out. But I think his strength is his focus, his weakness is his sister.
ROY: Nikita's strength would be...she has many. She's very talented in many ways. Which makes her a great operative to be in the Section. She's also very pure in a certain way, very original. Her weakness? Her heart, for sure. A weaness in that reality would be her caring for people, her attachment to people around her."
La Femme Nikita X-Posed, pp 81-82
Joel Surnow's POV

One of the great stories that you could do on this show. It was a perfect Nikita...story. It was a softball down the middle of the plate for us, what happens when the Section people get involved with the cops. Not only is Nikita involved, she got to ward off a rapist, which shows her doing the kind of great wish-fulfillment female stuff that you like to see her doing, then it played upon her emotions in that she doesn't want this guy to go free but knows that she can't help this cop, who's a solid guy, capture [the rapist] because she can't show him who she is. So all the constraints of the show were at play in this episode.

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