Section One, the most covert anti-terrorist group on the planet, wages war against those who would destroy -- or at the very least reorder -- society. It's adversaries are many, and they are ruthless, and so Section resorts to measures that would be unacceptable for most government organizations. For this reason, Section jealously guards its anonymity. It recruits criminals and killers and gives them a choice: death, or life as a Section operative. It's usually a rather short life -- operatives are expendable, and losses are high, but then so are the stakes in a global power struggle against sinister organizations like Red Cell, Glass Curtain and The Freedom League.
NIKITA was a young street person falsely accused of murdering a police officer and sentenced to life in prison. She is selected by Section as "material" with potential and given the opportunity to serve society as a warrior against terrorism. The alternative is death. After two years of intensive training, she is given a new identity and a codename -- Josephine. Nikita has been groomed to be a cold-blooded killer. But her humanitysometimes gets in the way. She never does quite fit in, but her rebellious attitude is tolerated because she gets the job done. Her love for Michael sees her through some rough spots. Midway through the series, Nikita begins to suspect that she was framed for the policeman's murder and brought to Section for a reason. It's a mystery that isn't resolved until the fifth season.
MICHAEL is Section One's best field operative, and Nikita's mentor. A coldly efficient killing machine, Michael Samuelle was born in Marseilles and while a university student in Paris in the mid-80s became involved with L'Heure Sanguine (The Bloody Hour), an anarchistic student group that engaged in terrorist acts. He "died" in prison at the time of his recruitment into Section. Before Nikita arrived he married another Section operative, Simone, who was (he thought) killed by The Freedom League. The romance between Michael and Nikita -- called the most complicated in television history -- is a fascinating subplot that threads its way through the five seasons, complicated by the revelation (in Season 3) that as part of a mission to nab a master terrorist named Vacek, Michael has married Vacek's daughter and lives a double life outside Section with his wife and his son, Adam.
OPERATIONS is the head of Section One. His real name is Paul Wolfe, and he's perfect for the job -- as ruthless as the terrorists he seeks to destroy. Operations is usually quite willing to sacrifice his operatives if the success of a mission lies in the balance. He's been known to sacrifice a few innocents, as well, if it means saving hundreds of lives that would otherwise be lost to terrorist acts. He'll even manipulate his ex-wife to bring down her new husband, a man with ties to the wrong kind of people. His son Stephen is one of his soft spots -- and he wreaks terrible vengeance when Stephen is killed. He has one other weakness -- his fondness for Madeline, Section's chief strategist and the only person Operations really trusts. According to some, Operations is using Section to slake his thirst for power. Operations dies trying to save Michael's son Adam from The Collective in Season 5.
MADELINE is Section's second-in-command, master strategist and psych op. She's also Operations' lover, on and off throughout the series. An expert at extracting intel from hostile captives, and in evaluating and manipulating Section operatives, Madeline can be positively Machiavellian at times. She was married to a Section operative, Charles Sand, who was left out in the cold by Operations, and whom she kills, demonstrating her unwavering loyalty to Operations. Madeline lives in a hell of her own making, blaming herself for the death of her sister Sarah, who was killed in a fall when they were children. Initially she is another mentor to Nikita, but the relationship between the two women cools. It's Madeline who persuades Operations to use the feelings Nikita and Michael have for each other to the advantage of Section. She commits suicide at the end of Season 4.
BIRKOFF is Section One's computer whiz kid. He seldom leaves Section and, as it turns out, was born there; his mother was a Section operative who gave birth to twins. His brother lives outside Section, unaware of Birkoff's existence -- until he's brought in during Season 4. Birkoff has a healthy respect for Operations, and usually does his bidding without question. But his friendship with Walter and Nikita leads Birkoff to bend the rules occasionally. He usually gets caught, but the fact that there's really no one who can do the job as well as he does saves him. Throughout the series Birkoff has several romantic relationships with young women in Section, none of which turn out well. He sacrifices himself in Season 4 to destroy an artificial intelligence program that he has created and which threatens Section.
WALTER is Section One's munitions master, a weapons expert who trains Nikita in the use of firearms, explosives and a variety of (usually very destructive) gadgets he creates. Once a field operative, he's been around since the beginning, long before Operations became head of Section. He's something of a womanizer, and marries a Section op named Belinda -- right before she's sent on a suicide mission. Walter wants his revenge on Operations, but Nikita stops him; he's her anchor of normalcy in the bizarre world of Section One. Walter is a free spirit, cantankerous at times, rebellious at others, but he has learned the art of survival, and is constantly trying to impart that knowledge to Nikita.