Wednesday, March 09, 2011

When Wrong Can be Right

Doing the right thing is never as difficult as it is for Michael in Nikita. Maybe doing it isn’t so much the issue as figuring out what “right” is.

Division is a complex organization that takes young men and women who are facing the end, and molds them into agents. “The end” usually means jail, or death row, or the loss of everything that means anything to them—usually a combination of career and family. Division gives them a second chance. They’ll train to go into covert service for their country. Except that service includes assassination and other dark deeds. They’re told those deeds protect America, save lives, and get rid of bad people. But that’s not always true.

Michael is second-in-command at Division. He has a loyalty to his boss, Percy, and to the organization that saved him. He has had a deep-seated belief in the work they do, one that was shaken when Nikita went rogue and started exposing Percy’s personal agenda and all the collateral damage and innocent victims of that agenda.

Michael’s stuck, because he cares. Not just about Percy and Division, but about the agents and recruits. He tries to protect them from the Machiavellian techniques of Percy and Amanda, the “wardrobe” lady who has some pretty scary psychological applications.

Some agents spark his protective emotions more than others. He fell for Nikita long ago, and his feelings have kept him from killing her or bringing her in to Division, though her interference in his revenge for his family’s deaths complicates things. He also seems a little more protective of Alex than of the typical recruit, and is almost big-brotherly toward her.

Michael is tied to Division because he is a somewhat mitigating force. Nothing can keep Percy in check, but Michael can decrease the collateral damage. He can help Nikita, keep her alive as long as he’s inside. Which means he must constantly choose between doing what is partly right and partly wrong.

It makes for a very appealing hero, at least to me. :) What do you think? Nikita doesn’t have a huge following, so you might not watch. But what other heroes are in similar situations? Every commenter goes into a random drawing for a $25 gift card to B&N, and all of the heroes you mention will be added to the showdown at the end of the month.

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vickyb said...

Sounds like he's a good character - he's trying to do the right thing, but up against incredible odds. I may have to watch this show just to see him and how he handles it all.

Natalie J. Damschroder said...

I think you'd like it, Bix. It has an Angel vibe, with similar themes of redemption.

Marian Pearson Stevens said...

Love the redemption end of it, Natalie! And things aren't always so black and white . . . but a little grey! Makes for interesting stuff!

EilisFlynn said...

I'm one of the few who watch, apparently, but I'm a couple of episodes behind. I keep wondering when someone who's been crossed by Percy just gets it over with -- and for whatever reason, Michael and Nikita have to protect them. But I'd root for them to fail.

Jami Gold said...

I haven't watched the new Nikita, but Michael from the old Nikita TV series (about 10 years ago) is one of my favorite characters for that exact reason. I love that brand of tortured hero. :)

Natalie J. Damschroder said...

Marian, shades of grey make a show so much more compelling, I agree!

I don't think there are too many people alive who've been crossed by Percy! :) Or who've crossed him, for that matter. Intriguing idea!

Yes, Jami, tortured heroes FTW! LOL

Thanks for commenting, everyone!