121. "Verdict"

(#21) Section One is in charge of security at Jovan Mijovich's inauguration, and Nikita finds herself in the middle of a tense hostage situation when a band of vengeful villagers seize the presidential palace, accusing Mijovich of war crimes.
lfnforever briefing

best dialogue
MICHAEL: "Mijovich made good on his promise. Maria was provided for."
NIKITA: "Yeah. He's even more of a hero than he was before. You know what I think? I think she knew."
M: "That Mijovich was guilty?"
N: "She pretended otherwise for the sake of her country."
M: "Then she's a remarkable woman."
N: "But Section knew all along, didn't they? Mijovich was never in Brussels. He was in the north region near Vakul, right? Operations fed you a lie, knowing you would pass it on to me. Making me a much more convincing advocate, right?"
M: "So?"
N: "So, Mijovich was guilty. Surely the truth must count for something, even here."
M: "And because he's still alive, thousands of people won't have to suffer the way Maria suffered. That is also the truth."
N: "Yeah? So is this. I killed a man whose only crime was he loved his family and wanted justice."
M: "You had no choice."
N: "I don't know how much longer I can keep this up."

Written by Robert Cochran
Directed by Gilbert Shilton
Original airdate: September 28, 1997 (USA)
October 19, 2000 (France); January 30, 1998 (UK)

guest stars
 Eric Peterson (Zoran Bruner)
David Calderisi (Jovan Mijovich)
Kate Greenhouse (Maria)
John-Patrick Mavric (Alexei)
Mary Moore (Griffin)
Hakan Coskuner (Lazlo)
Joanna Bacalso (Woman Friend)

"Working For The Man," PJ Harvey

The 19th Century Park near St. James Cathedral and the Sculpted Garden at 115 King St. East, across from St. James, were sites used in the opening sequences during which Nikita watches Michael make contact with an unknown woman. Inside the gates of the Sculpted Garden is the site where the woman's car was blown up. The courtyard of Casa Loma was used as the exterior of Mijovich's embassy.

Czech title: "Rozsudek"
French title: "Le verdict"
German title: "Das Urteil"
Italian title: "Verdetto"
Polish title: "Werdykt"
Portuguese title: "Veredicto"
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Dawn Connolly's commentary on this episode
Despite the above-average guest cast of David Calderisi and Eric Peterson, "Verdict" fails to capture the horrors of the play from which it draws its inspiration: Ariel Dorfman's Death and the Maiden. Kate Greenhouse is moving as Maria, a courageous woman who foregoes revenge to spare her family pain and her country another war. But the bond of torture and pain she shares with Nikita (fresh from the trials of "War") goes unexplored. Nikita's impulse to kill Mijovich seems a step backward for the character, and it minimizes her cool-headed accomplishments of the previous hour, however contrived. She has already seen Section defend monsters to protect a greater good. Well, at least the absurdity of a Section One operative guiding the course of a hostage negotiation does not go unnoticed by Mijovich, as he squirms his way through the final plea-bargaining scene.
Nikita's and Operations' curiosity about Michael's relationship with the dead contact hangs in the wind undeveloped, barely affording Michael the chance to reestablish his position as an unfeeling bastard after the tenderness of "War." In spite of the promise of the sunny teaser, humorously underscored by P.J. Harvey's "Working for the Man" (and featuring the improbable coincidence of Michael's visit to the same park as Nikita), the episode remains visually uninteresting, with the exception of the black-and-white high-contrast flashbacks and the claustrophobic vent scenes.
La Femme Peta, pp 141-143
Ted Edwards' "behind the scenes" look at this episode
"Verdict" was La Femme Nikita's take on Death of a Maiden, exploring the contradiction that sometimes the people we think are the bad guys turn out to be good, and how in this global scheme of things the Section sometimes ends up protecting bad people rather than the good ones.
La Femme Nikita X-Posed, pp 83
Joel Surnow's POV

My least favorite show of the season. It didn't do it for me....We tried to do a Death of a Maiden story in this one, but it didn't work out. We wanted to show how sometimes the people we think are the bad guys are actually the good guys, and in the global scheme of things sometimes the Section ends up protecting bad people instead of good people.

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