I came away from Normandy cold. Now, to be fair it could be attributed to the fact that I was under stress and not feeling so great at the moment, but I also think that while it was nice for once to see a story that actually did move, it moved too fast sometimes. I found myself yearning for a lingering shot here or there for emotional impact. The episode will probably get better upon my second viewing and it was definitely better than the last couple of episodes. But the two biggest problems for me are ones that will not change upon obsessive rewatches: John's removal and Nikola's isolation.
1) Helen is captured, they drag her into the room where John and James are being held. They shoot John and drag him out. John's had his scene with James, Helen's had two seconds on screen with John, and leaving the three of them together locked in the room would have been fantastic. Not having John and Helen interact was a huge missing piece for me. Especially with Helen both angry and worried about John at the same time, as demonstrated by her gasp when he was shot. I would have loved to see them working together, not John showing up at the last second to save the day. This is not the first time I've been pissed off by John's sudden removal from screen only for him to return at the last second to save the day - it happened as well in Pax Romana and it was a pretty poor move on... oh what a surprise, Damian Kindler's (who also wrote Normandy) part. Unless these disappearances are due to Heyerdahl having time issues and not being able to be part of the filming, I find them problematic, a lame fix it for the story and a waste of Heyerdahl's talent.
2) Nikola's isolation. Nikola spends the entire episode isolated from the rest of The Five both geographically and plot-wise. If they had cut all of Nikola's scenes, it wouldn't have made much of a difference in terms of plot - he spent the whole time pacing the room basically. Again, Nikola's isolation may be due to time restrictions on the part of Jonathon Young. Even if that is true, there's no reason why Nikola couldn't have been a more integral part of the plot. Why wasn't he allowed to meet with Eisenhower at the very least? Why didn't they have Eisenhower on the show talking to Nikola, which would have been cool? Fire elemental, blah blah I understand why they needed to use an abnormal - the show *is* about abnormals - but what about Nikola being kidnapped by the Nazis in order to build a machine to contain this fire elemental? He could have spent that time pacing yet another room alone with just one character if necessary. Also, *if* I remember correctly, didn't real!Tesla make claims that he could invent something to control the weather? Four of the Five reuniting once again to rescue one of their own in addition to saving the world (so to speak) and disabling the fire elemental would have been more emotionally compelling than just the world saving and fire elemental.
It's always like this though - give the show a relatively good idea and they will never quite manage to take it to the emotional and plotty heights they can go.
Side note: who totally thinks that the French Resistance lady is going to turn out to be Nigel's wife later? IDK, maybe?