215. "Inside Out"

 (#39) A Red Cell scheme to infect Section with a deadly contagion succeeds, and it's up to Michael and Nikita to find the scientist who has the antidote and persuade him to turn it over -- even though Red Cell is holding his family hostage.
lfnforever briefing

best dialogue
BIRKOFF: "Gail just dumped me."
WALTER: "What?"
B: "She said she wants time alone."
W: "Oh, yeah, I love that line!"
B: "Yeah."
W: "Do you know who it is?"
B: "What who is?"
W: "The guy she dumped you for."
B: "No, she wouldn't do that."
W: "Well, what do you care? With your brains and your good looks, man, you don't want to be tied down, anyway."
B: "She's not seeing anyone, okay? She wouldn't lie to me."
W: "Yeah, of course she wouldn't. I'm sorry. It was a wrong call."
Written by Maurice Hurley
Directed by Ken Girotti
Original airdate: July 26, 1998 (USA)
April 5, 2001 (France); February 4, 2000 (UK)

guest stars
Tara Slone (Gail)
Paul Miller (Janklow)
Roman Podhora (Mowen)
Martin Doyle (Dr. Anatole Bisaroff)
Susan Hamann (Olga)
Joe Ross (Andy)

Original score by Sean Callery


Czech title: "Vnitikem ven"
French title: "Bacterie fatales"
German title: "Der Schleichende Tod"
Italian title: "Virus letale"
Portuguese title: "De dentro para fora"
Spanish title: "Al revés"
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Dawn Connolly's commentary on this episode
Red Cell is at it again. In yet another creative attempt to bring down their enemies, they lead Section One to an abandoned laboratory, knowing that operatives will return with samples of the material they find on-site. So begins a rather claustrophobic hour during which Section becomes something of a pressure cooker. This is a character-driven episode, but the real hero inside Section is Birkoff who, having just been dumped by Gail, remains level-headed throughout -- even under the threat of cancellation from an irate Operations.
Eugene Robert Glazer has some real fun from the get go. Even before the threat, disunity is evident as Operations breaks into one of Madeline's interrogations, undermines her authority by questioning her priorities, and executes her prisoner on the spot. It's a startling and uncharacteristic moment that carries into the passageway and under the gaze of Nikita. The question of whether Madeline and Operations are lovers will be played out to the end of Season Three. But before then, we get an intriguing glimpse into the pair's history when Madeline succumbs to the virus and Operations breaks every procedural and physical barrier to be with her. Watson and Glazer are always a treat to watch, and the scene mirrors Madeline's confrontation with the doctors in "New Regime."
The real shock of the episode, though, is the realization that Madeline's brush with death hasn't softened her in the least as she orders a personnel review in the wake of the panic and emotion of the previous day. She may be acting out against Operationds' behavior, or she may just be retrenching as the most ruthless bitch in town.
La Femme Peta, pp 179-180
Joel Surnow's POV
A really fun episode for us. Very low on Michael and Nikita. You've got to remember that on a lot of these shows we have to give other actors their chance, we have to let Roy and Peta out to do press. A lot of stories begin, "We're over budget, we've got to do a story that takes place all in the Section," and that's sort of where that came from. We ended up concocting three or four nice stories for our existing characters. We built on the Madeline/Operations relationship, which we had hinted at and which took an emotional turn in that episode. Over all, I thought it worked pretty well.
La Femme Nikita Episode Guide
Edward Gross, Retrovision # 6 (1999)