Mission Log: "Nikita"
click here for "Nikita" screen captures
click here for the episode guide entry

City street scenes...
A ratty-looking, blonde street urchin hangs out on a city street. She does the things that street urchins do that the more genteel members of society studiously ignore: congregate in groups, smoke cigarettes, eat whatever food they can afford or find. Some make money by playing musical instruments, some well but often poorly, with a hat or other receptacle placed to catch "donations." When the police or other authorities make an appearance the urchins scatter, seeing authority as foe rather than friend. These are scenes of a relatively care-free life, with no thought given to what the future will hold. The simple joy of playing with a kitten are enough to brighten a day.
Intercut with these scenes are images of another sort. A blonde woman lies strapped to a hospital gurney in a circular room whose walls are covered with stark white tiles. The woman struggles for her freedom but the bonds are too strong. She thrashes like a fish desperately seeking the water that supports her life.

A dark city alleyway...
The blonde street urchin strolls down an alleyway, going who knows where. She reaches an intersecting alley where she sees a horrific scene: a man lies bleeding on the pavement, his policeman's uniform hat beside him. Another man crouches over the first, holding a long, bloody knife. The man with the knife launches himself at her, and she struggles for her life. The blonde bites at his throat like a vicious dog. Somehow the blonde gains control of the knife and the man steps back. The blonde backs away from her attacker, warding him off with the knife, but when she turns to run there are police everywhere, guns drawn, ready to take down the woman they see as a vicious cop-killer. With no where to run, she raises her hands, drops the knife, and surrenders her freedom.
VOICE OF THE JUDGE: You have been found guilty of murder in the first degree. I'm sentencing you to life imprisonment, without the possibility of parole.
Caged in the back of a police car, the blonde looks around, lost.
NIKITA: (half scream, half cry) I didn't kill anyone!

Innocence Lost: In both of the movies from which the TV series is descended, Nikita is guilty of killing police officers, albeit while under the influence of street drugs. In contrast, our Nikita is totally innocent of her crime. This innocence is a central aspect of our Nikita's personality, and figures prominently in several episodes.

Section One, the White Room...
A man inserts a key into the straps that bind her to the gurney, releasing her from her physical bonds.
MICHAEL: Good morning.
Nikita awakes and slowly takes in her surroundings. Seeing a man dressed in black sitting by the foot of the gurney, she launches herself off the gurney and takes refuge in a shallow corner. He speaks calmly, almost soothingly in contrast to her near-panic.
MICHAEL: I'm not going to hurt you.
NIKITA: What is this?
Michael gets up and slowly approaches Nikita in her corner.
MICHAEL: You're not in prison anymore. The world thinks you're dead. Suicide. This is your funeral.
Michael hands her an 8x10 glossy photograph, which she hesitantly takes. She brings it to her face and sees a freshly-filled grave with a few baskets of flowers instead of a headstone. She begins to cry.
MICHAEL: Row eight, plot thirty.
NIKITA: My momma didn't come?
Michael steps away to the other side of the room. Nikita settles to the floor, cradling the picture to her chest, crying softly.
MICHAEL: We've decided to give you another chance. This is where you'll train. This is where you'll learn. After two years, if everything goes well, you'll work for us.
NIKITA: Why me?
MICHAEL: A woman with your looks, who can kill in cold blood...
NIKITA: I didn't! I didn't!
Nikita rises to her feet, her tone rapidly growing stronger in protest.
NIKITA: I didn't kill anyone!
Michael turns to the door to leave. Nikita attacks clumsily, and Michael easily blocks her attack. He easily throws her over one hip, slamming her to the floor on her back. Pinning her beneath him, he instructs calmly, intently...
MICHAEL: When you attack someone from behind, go for the kidneys. It disables, and they can't fight back. Consider that your first lesson.
Michael releases her and gets to his feet. From flat on her back Nikita is still defiant.
NIKITA: I don't want them. I don't want lessons.
MICHAEL: We'll start tomorrow morning, five AM.
NIKITA: And if I don't want to?
MICHAEL: Row eight, plot thirty.
Michael leaves. Nikita, still on the floor, curls up in a ball. Next to her is the photograph of her grave: row 8, plot 30.

Section One, Main hall...
Section One bustles with activity. In Communications, a young man with a buzz cut directs other technicians. Michael enters, closely followed by Nikita. Michael is well dressed in his black suit, Nikita in a ripped T-shirt, black cargo pants, and a plain woven leather choker. From above, a shadowy figure in his glass-enclosed perch, Operations observes. Across from communications an older man wearing a bandanna, Walter,works in Munitions; he does a double-take when he sees Nikita, and his eyes follow her. Nikita takes all this in with apparent disinterest.
NIKITA: Where am I going?
MICHAEL: To meet your new mother.
NIKITA: So who are you? My father?
Michael smiles the smile of one who has heard it before, but he doesn't answer her question.
MICHAEL: Wait here.
Michael turns and departs, leaving Nikita standing before a set of double doors. The doors swing open with a mechanical hum.

Section One, Madeline's lair...
Nikita enters and sees a room unlike any other she has seen in Section. Rather than modern and sterile, this room looks to be part of an ancient stone mansion and is decorated in warm earthy tones. The room appears to be empty. A wooden desk commands a large area, supporting a sparse mix of high-tech computers, plants, candles and other personal items. One of the computers displays Nikita's file, with her picture and many other personal details visible. Nikita is is drawn to it, and touches the picture while trying to make sense of the rest of it. She wanders further into the room, picking up and opening a wooden box lying on a table.
MADELINE: They seem to think you have potential.
Madeline has been observing from a catwalk high to one side of the room. She is impeccably dressed in a conservative but feminine style.
NIKITA: Who's "they"?
Madeline descends the stairs from the catwalk with grace, but does not answer.
NIKITA: (challenging) Who are you?
MADELINE: I'm Madeline. "They" are Section One. They own you now.
Nikita looks Madeline up and down, unimpressed.
NIKITA: Didn't know I was for sale.
Madeline smiles, then walks to an alcove where a table and three-way mirror stand. She stops behind a chair at the table.
MADELINE: Please, sit down.
Nikita eyes Madeline with suspicion.
MADELINE: If you want to live, it has to be on their terms. So, please, do sit down.
Nikita looks around, then swaggers over to the chair and plunks herself down. Madeline bends down and turns Nikita's face towards the mirrors.
MADELINE: Look at yourself. Admire yourself. See your beauty.
Madeline's fingers draw Nikita's hair away from her face. The touch is almost a caress.
MADELINE: You can learn to shoot. You can learn to fight. But there's no weapon as powerful as your femininity.
Nikita responds to the soothing words and touches, and seems to seek Madeline's touch with her cheek.
MADELINE: We're family now, Nikita.
Nikita looks up at Madeline almost longingly. Madeline moves away as Nikita trembles.
Section One, a firing range...
Nikita struggles to control an automatic weapon, as Walter chuckles and shakes his head behind her. With every shot she flinches, and her shots are wild.

Section One, a martial arts studio...
Nikita takes a wild swing at the martial arts instructor, who easily blocks the swing and slams her to the mat.

Section One, the Perch...
Operations observes from above.

Section One, Communications...
The young man with the buzz cut attempts to instruct Nikita, as Michael watches from a distance. Nikita does not appear to be a receptive student, as she plays with things on the desk and tries on the young man's glasses.

Section One, Madeline's lair...
Nikita awkwardly sits on a chair, wearing a short leather skirt, black stockings and high heels, her hands gripping the lower edge of her skirt as if wanting to make it longer. Her feet are spread and her knees are together; Madeline adjusts her position into a more flattering crossed-leg position. Nikita, wearing a black bra under a man's undershirt and no makeup, turns her head in disgust. Michael watches attentively from the stairs to the catwalk; Nikita looks up at him and smiles with a mixture of self-consciousness and pleasure.

Section One, a firing range...
It appears that some time has passed. Nikita again fires the automatic weapon, only this time the gun is controlled and the shots well placed. She does not so much as blink, and Walter watches with satisfaction at her progress.

Section One, Madeline's lair...
Nikita expertly applies lipstick and examines herself in the mirror. As Madeline crosses her view from behind Nikita looks to her nervously. Madeline gives her a brief, reserved smile and Nikita responds with a nervous smile of her own, quickly hidden.

Section One, a martial arts studio...
Nikita spars with a male student and easily wins the match, slamming the other student to the mat with apparent ease.

Section One, the Perch...
Michael enters the Perch and joins Operations looking down over the main hall.
OPERATIONS: (irritated) You're late.
MICHAEL: Training went long.
OPERATIONS: Take a look at this.
Operations activates a viewing screen. Michael responds to what he sees with recognition and perhaps a touch of pleasure.
MICHAEL: Van Vactor.
OPERATIONS: He's brokering an alliance between multiple anti-Western terrorist groups: Shining Path, Hezbollah, everyone from the Middle East to the Far East.
MICHAEL: That doesn't make sense. Half of them are enemies to each other.
OPERATIONS: (chuckling) But their biggest enemy is us. He's coming here to put an operation in place.
MICHAEL: Do we know the when and where?
OPERATIONS: No, but we think there's an itinerary downloaded onto a PDA. Walter's on it, he'll update you.
Michael starts to leave.
OPERATIONS: Michael, about Nikita...
Michael stops, hesitates, then turns back to Operations.
MICHAEL: What about her?
OPERATIONS: I've been watching her. (quietly, but severely) She lacks discipline.
Michael looks away briefly, then back.
MICHAEL: She needs a little more time.
OPERATIONS: It's been two years. That's our policy. We start making exceptions, we're no better than the CIA. Cancel her.
MICHAEL: I think that would be a mistake.
OPERATIONS: It would be a mistake to become emotionally attached to the material.
MICHAEL: It has nothing to do with that. I think she could be a good operative.
OPERATIONS: If she fails, you fail.
Michael holds Operations' gaze without blinking. Nikita has been given her first reprieve.

Section-Speak 101: This is the first time we are introduced to the euphemistic language of Section One: when Operations tells Michael to "cancel" Nikita, he means Michael should kill her or have her killed.

Section One, a martial arts studio...
Nikita practices high kicks with the instructor. Michael enters and observes. The instructor nods to Michael, who motions Nikita over. The instructor and Nikita exchange bows, then she walks over to where Michael stands.
MICHAEL: How's it going?
NIKITA: You tell me.
Michael smiles but doesn't answer, a mannerism that is rapidly becoming a trademark.
MICHAEL: Have Madeline get something nice for you to wear. We're going out.
NIKITA: What do you mean, "going out"?
MICHAEL: Dinner. Tonight.
MICHAEL: You've earned it.
Michael leaves, while Nikita considers this unexpected turn of events. She glances up at the Perch, where Operations stands in silhouette. Nikita allows herself a touch of a smile; perhaps this is a victory for her at last.

Outside a fancy restaurant...
The gloved hand of the restaurant doorman opens the limousine's door, and Nikita gracefully steps out. She wears heels, lace-top stockings and a short but appealing dress; her face beams like a princess at her first ball. Michael appears at her side, pleased but subdued. As if his presence brings her back to reality, her smile fades into wariness.

In the fancy restaurant...
Nikita and Michael touch glasses in salute, then sip red wine. They look at each other, then Nikita looks away nervously.
MICHAEL: Madeline taught you well.
Nikita looks around in awe.
NIKITA: It's hard to believe I'm here.
MICHAEL: Where should you be?
NIKITA: I don't know. It's just that I lived on the streets for so long.
MICHAEL: Why did you run away?
NIKITA: I didn't. My mother preferred her new boyfriend, and he didn't like me. So she told me to get out. (smiles)
MICHAEL: I'm sorry.
NIKITA: Don't be. I never was.
Michael toasts her with his glass.
MICHAEL: You've come a long way, Nikita.
NIKITA: I... feel... (laughs)
MICHAEL: What? Say it.
NIKITA: Happy.
Michael reaches into the seat next to him and hands Nikita a box wrapped in gold paper . A red ribbon with gold edges and a large bow complete the package.
NIKITA: Really?
Nikita unwraps the box with undisguised glee, glancing up at Michael with all suspicions forgotten. The box is of dark wood, with a brass latch on the front. With eyes closed to prolong the suspense, Nikita releases the latch and opens the box. As she looks down into the box the smile on her face falls. In the velvet-lined case is a semi-automatic pistol and a second magazine. She looks up at Michael, as if hoping this is just some sort of bad joke. Michael is suddenly all business.
MICHAEL: The blonde-haired man sitting behind me has a PDA in his briefcase. Get it.
NIKITA: (unsure) How?
MICHAEL: When you get the unit, don't leave through the front. There's a window in the ladies' room. Use that.
Nikita shakes her head with an expression of dread, as she realizes what's being asked of her.
MICHAEL: It leads to an alley. The car will be waiting.
NIKITA: I thought we were...
MICHAEL: If you're not out of there in five minutes the car will leave without you.
NIKITA: (flustered) I can't do this.
MICHAEL: Five minutes.
Michael takes a last sip of his wine.
MICHAEL: If you don't mind, wait 'till I leave.
Michael gets up and heads for the front door. With quiet desperation in her voice, Nikita calls to him as he turns...
NIKITA: Michael...
Michael leaves without a word. Nikita takes a breath to steady her nerves. Her cheeks glisten with tears. She opens the box with the tip of one finger, then without looking she takes the spare magazine and tucks it in her bra. With experience born of two years of training, she thumbs the magazine release and glances down to check that it is properly loaded. She reinserts the magazine into the butt of the gun and drives it home, then looks to her target eating dinner a few tables away. She stands up and as she strides towards her target she draws the pistol's slide back to load the first round. Placing the barrel a few inches from her target's head she elbows his bodyguard then slams the bodyguard's head into the table. Addressing her target she demands...
NIKITA: Open it!
The target grimaces and shakes his head in refusal. Nikita points the gun at the mirror above his head and fires a shot, then returns the her aim to the target. Her hand is trembling and the gun shakes.
TARGET: I've got my men everywhere. You'll be dead in a matter of seconds.
Looking as if she's about to cry, Nikita shifts her aim to the briefcase locked to the target's wrist. She fires and the briefcase pops open. She reaches in, grabs the PDA, and runs for the ladies' room.

In the ladies' room...
Nikita slams through the ladies' room door, careens around the corner, and runs to the window at the far end of the room. She struggles with the window latch trying to get the window open and glancing over her shoulder for the men she knows must be hot on her heels. Suddenly the window opens, revealing the inside of a brick wall - the window is false. For a moment she stares at the brick, despair washing over her face. She runs back to the door, but as she pulls it open shots splinter off pieces of the door trim and frame. She throws herself to the floor and crawls to a more sheltered position. With her gun aimed at the door, she takes a last look around and spots another potential exit: a door marked "Employees Only".

Too Real?: In the DVD narration, Director Jon Cassar comments that Peta Wilson insisted on performing the restaurant sequences with a real gun rather than a much lighter plastic prop, saying that she wanted to feel the weight of the real thing. This might have been a bit too much of a real thing, as "when she went to open that window she smacked herself on the nose with the real gun and blood was pouring out... she's very lucky she didn't break her nose."

The restaurant kitchen...
Nikita steps through the doorway and finds herself in the restaurant's kitchen. Trying to remain somewhat inconspicuous she holds the gun down straight-armed by her thigh, where it trembles. She manages a forced smile at a chef as she passes, then breaks into a run as bullets slam into the food on the kitchen counter tops. A hail of bullets from a submachine gun chops at the baked goods and Nikita turns to return fire. She ducks behind a large machine and sheds her shoes as a second pursuer enters the fray. Sliding down the side of the machine into a sitting position she waits a moment, rolls out on the floor and sends her pursuers scrambling with several shots, then skitters behind another machine. More enemies join the battle and it's clear she's far outnumbered. She pivots out, firing off a few well-placed shots to bring down a light fixture which knocks down one attacker. More shots puncture a pressurized pipe, the spray forcing others to retreat. Holding her now-empty gun she carefully peers out, only to see the muzzle of a rocket-propelled grenade launcher. With few options remaining she runs for the garbage chute in the nearby wall, diving into it just as the rocket is fired at her. She slides head-first down the chute as the rocket explodes above her, and ends her dive in the Dumpster below the chute.

Stealing the Scene: Jon Cassar also notes that the scene of the rocket towards the garbage chute, the grenade's explosion, and of Nikita sliding head-first down the chute were actually clips from the movie "Point of No Return". The choice of Peta's dress in these scenes was selected to resemble by the dress worn by Bridget Fonda in the movie so the movie clips could be used.

The alley behind the restaurant...
Having barely escaped from the restaurant, Nikita climbs from the Dumpster and limps towards the street where the car awaits. She yanks the limousine's door open and dives headfirst into the back of the car, ending up with her face in Michael's lap.

The back of the limousine...
Michael takes her by her arms and places her in the seat across from him, then signals the driver to go. Her hair is tousled, her dress is a mess, her stockings shredded.
NIKITA: You knew?
MICHAEL: We had to see if you could improvise. Did you get the PDA?
With a look of disappointment and betrayal she reaches into her waistband and extracts the PDA, which she throws at him. Still short of breath she asks...
NIKITA: Why didn't you tell me this was a job instead of pretending?
Michael picks up the PDA.
MICHAEL: No matter what state of mind you're in, you have to be able to perform.
NIKITA: You're sick. You don't want a person, you want a machine. I can't do that.
MICHAEL: You just did.

In front of an apartment building...
The limousine glides to a stop in front of an apartment building. Nikita looks out, puzzled. Michael opens the door and looks at Nikita with satisfaction.
MICHAEL: Let's go.
NIKITA: What's this place?
MICHAEL: You'll see.
Nikita has had all of the deception she can handle for one day.
NIKITA. No. Not until you tell me what we're doing here.
MICHAEL: (softly) Nikita, please.

Nikita's apartment...
Michael opens the door to the apartment, then steps aside to allow Nikita to enter. She's wearing his suit jacket over her shoulders, and she looks around as if expecting some sort of trick. She looks back at Michael for an explanation.
NIKITA: You live here?
MICHAEL: No, you do.
She wheels around in surprise to face him.
MICHAEL: It's yours.
MICHAEL: I hope you like it.
NIKITA: (suspicious) What do you mean, "mine"?
Michael is amused. He opens a box of documents and gestures at it.
MICHAEL: Everything you need is in there: ID, driver's license, credit cards. Tell no one who you are, or what you do. If anyone asks, you're between jobs and taking some time to figure things out.
Michael steps slowly to Nikita, and she turns to him with a bit of embarrassment over her suspicion. From behind he places his hands lightly on her shoulders. They look at each other tenderly.
MICHAEL: Your code name is "Josephine".
Nikita recoils, shedding his coat and stepping away, leaving him holding it by the shoulders. She wraps her arms around herself, the tender moment stolen from her. He steps back, puts on his coat and turns toward the door.
NIKITA: What do I do now?
NIKITA: How long?
MICHAEL: Depends. Could be a day, could be a month.
Michael reaches for the doorknob.
MICHAEL: Goodbye.
As Michael steps through the doorway, Nikita takes a step towards him, then stops as the door slams and Michael is gone. She looks around her apartment with wonder, then spies the door to the patio and runs to it. She opens the patio door and steps out to look at the city in child-like awe from the first place she can call her own.

Nikita's apartment, some time later...
Nikita has been decorating. A chain runs under the kitchen island cabinets, hanging from the chain are sunglasses. Lots of sunglasses. Upbeat pop music plays on her stereo. On the living room table are spools of heavy electrical wire, from which Nikita is making interesting artistic shapes. A knock comes from the apartment door, and Nikita turns down the music. Nikita happily heads toward the door then pauses half way there, alert to the possibility of attack. She coils the wire in her hand around her palm, stripping the end to expose the sharp metal tip. She approaches the door warily and looks through the peephole, only to see a large plant that hides the face of the visitor. After a few seconds the plant shifts to the side and Nikita sees the face of a young woman. Nikita yanks the door open suddenly against the chain and stares out suspiciously.
CARLA: Hey, hi. Umm... I'm Carla. I live across the hall.
Carla gestures at the door across the hall, and Nikita's eyes flick to the door then back.
CARLA: Welcome to the building.
Carla puts the plant down, obviously put off by Nikita's cold reception.
CARLA: It's a... a coffee plant.
NIKITA: (accusingly) Who sent you?
CARLA: Who sent me... umm... Listen, if this is a bad time for you...
Carla begins to back away from the door slowly.
CARLA: I can always come back later.
Nikita slams the door, then with the chain removed, yanks it opens wide. Her face is completely transformed to one of open welcoming.
NIKITA: Carla? Hi, I'm Nikita.
Nikita thrusts her hand out. Carla takes it and they shake.
Nikita seems momentarily off-guard, as if she doesn't know what to do. Then, abruptly, she points into her apartment.
NIKITA: Uhh... You want to come in?
CARLA: Sure?
CARLA: Okay!
NIKITA: Great!
Nikita picks up the coffee plant, then stands by the door as Carla enters. Nikita sticks her head out of the doorway, looks around to make sure no one else is there, then kicks the door shut behind her.

Nikita's apartment...
Nikita and Carla sit on pillows in Nikita's living room. Two glasses of wine sit on the table.
CARLA: I'm a carpenter. I know, my mother still hasn't quite recovered from the shock of it all. Whenever anyone asks her what I do, she tells them I'm an interior designer.
NIKITA: At least you like what you're doing.
CARLA: Yeah. Yeah, I mean, ever since I was a kid I wanted to build stuff. So what do you do?
Nikita hesitates.
NIKITA: I'm... I'm between jobs at the moment.
CARLA: Well, what do you want to do?
NIKITA: I don't know.
CARLA: Hmm. Well, you'll figure it out.
In the background the phone rings.
CARLA: You want to go get something to eat?
NIKITA: Yeah, sure.
CARLA: I know this great burger joint.
NIKITA: Great.
As the phone rings a second time Nikita hops up and runs to answer it.
NIKITA: Hello?
Nikita's face turns cold.

A hotel basement...
Nikita arrives to a mission already setting up. Michael is there, as are Walter, Birkoff and Madeline. Other operatives are getting dressed.
MADELINE: (to Nikita) Take off your clothes.
Nikita strips off her clothes. Michael observes the activity. Walter comes up behind Nikita holding a lipstick tube for her to see and begins to explain its use. Nikita listens, obviously uncomfortable at being naked during the explanation.
WALTER: Okay, this opens like a normal lipstick. This is your explosive right here. You jam it into the door, then you arm it, right here.
Walter finishes the explanation and retreats. Nikita shakes her head at the situation. Michael looks on, pleased. Birkoff runs his electronics, and Madeline begins dressing Nikita for her role. Michael speaks to everyone.
MICHAEL: Okay, the target's name is Gideon Van Vactor. He's in Suite twenty-one-oh-five with his mistress. We have a thirty-minute window. She's expendable, he's not. Take him alive. Team One, you'll be the Coolers on this one. Stay in position as long as possible.
Michael points to his headset.
MICHAEL: If you have to break, two pulses. Team Two, you'll be working the rim.
Madeline pulls a maid's uniform over Nikita's head.
MICHAEL: One more thing, we don't know where all his people are. Be prepared for anything.
Nikita looks down as Madeline tucks a small, nickel-plated semi-automatic gun into Nikita's concealed holster.
MICHAEL: (to Madeline) I need her now.
Madeline takes Nikita's sunglasses and gives her a pair of black-rimmed glasses.
MADELINE: This is your comm set. Remember, try and keep your head still.
Walter hands Nikita the lipstick tube filled with explosive. Michael looks at Nikita with confidence.

The hotel, a service elevator lobby...
Nikita wheels a room service cart out of the service elevator lobby into the hotel floor hallway.

The hotel basement...
Consoles show the view from each operative's cameras. Nikita's view is on the main console as she wheels the cart down the hotel hallway.
VOICE OF OPERATIVE: Team One in position.
MICHAEL: (to Nikita) Just two more on the left.
Nikita stops at the door to room 4029 (a continuity error) and inserts a card key.
VOICE OF OPERATIVE: Good job, Nikita is confirmed. She has access to the room.
Nikita opens the door, flips the safety latch to keep the door from closing behind her, and wheels her cart into the room.

The hotel hallway...
NIKITA: Housekeeping!

The hotel room...
Nikita enters the room, which is empty.
NIKITA: (to Michael) Now what.
VOICE OF MICHAEL: Put the plastique on the door. And remember, be quiet. He's in the next room.
Nikita extends the "lipstick" and walks to the connecting room door. She presses the "lipstick" to the door where it sticks and makes a small mound.

The hotel basement...
Another operative's camera shows a hotel bellhop walking briskly down the corridor. Birkoff alerts Michael.
BIRKOFF: On two.

The hotel room...
VOICE OF MICHAEL: Nikita, someone's coming in.
The bellhop enters the hotel room and spots Nikita. He turns and walks confidently towards her. Nikita draws her pistol and demands...
NIKITA: Who are you?
BELLHOP: (surprised) Hey. Hey, easy! Please, I'm... I'm just the bellhop.
NIKITA: What are you doing in this room?
The bellhop sinks to his knees, hands up.
VOICE OF MICHAEL: Nikita, he's one of them. Shoot him.
The bellhop is sobbing. Nikita's hand is shaking, and so is the gun.
VOICE OF MICHAEL: Shoot him now. Now, Nikita, NOW.
The bellhop reaches into his pocket and withdraws something that looks like a remote control. He presses it and an electronic tone is heard. Nikita hits him across the face, knocking him to the ground, but it's too late.

The hotel basement...
MICHAEL: Everyone abort. Get your teams off the perimeter, now!
Birkoff begins packing his equipment.
VOICE OF OPERATIVE: Come on, let's move.

The hotel room...
Nikita sprints for the door and out into the hallway, gun held low. At the 40th floor stairwell door she pauses, checking the hallway in both directions.

Section One, Michael's office...
Michael paces before the windows, agitated, perhaps mindful of Operations' remark "If she fails, you fail." He takes several breaths to calm himself, though his breathing is shaky. He walks behind his desk then turns to confront Nikita, who sits quietly in an office chair.
MICHAEL: (quietly) Get up.
Nikita does not move.
MICHAEL: (shouting) Stand!
Nikita locks eyes with Michael and stands slowly. She comes to attention and looks straight ahead, like a recruit before a drill instructor. He speaks, quietly but shaky with frustration.
MICHAEL: Section One is the most clandestine organization on the planet. It's our job to bring down the criminals and terrorists that no one else can get.
NIKITA: I can't do what you want me to do.
MICHAEL: Mistakes are not an option.
NIKITA: I can't pull the trigger.
MICHAEL: Why not?
NIKITA: Because I'm not who you think I am.
She turns her face and looks into his eyes.
NIKITA: I'm not a killer.
Michael swoops around the desk and places his face in hers, very much the DI. She looks straight ahead. He speaks just above a whisper, which seems more menacing than a shout...
MICHAEL: The moment I believe that, Nikita... you're canceled.
Nikita turns to look him in the face, then ahead again. Michael walks out of his office. Nikita closes her eyes. The threat hangs in the air.

An Emotional Michael: This is one of the few times we see Michael express strong emotions. For him to shout orders is uncharacteristic of him. This episode was the third one filmed, and it seems that Roy Dupuis had not yet fully developed Michael's character.

Section One, Communications...
Birkoff types on his keyboard.
BIRKOFF: Got something.
OPERATIONS: What is it?
BIRKOFF: It's Van Vactor. He's on his way to the airport.
OPERATIONS: All right. Find an intersecting point, start sequencing.

Daytime on a city street...
Construction scaffolding lines one side of the street, workers look down on the scene. A car is overturned, and traffic begins to back up as Van Vactor's cars approach. Two of the vehicles are on fire, their paint blistering in the heat. A motorcycle lies on its side, the rider in the street with his leg at an odd angle. Van Vactor sees the traffic come to a stop.
VAN VACTOR: What's going on?
The man in the front seat turns around to answer. It's the "bellhop" from the hotel.
BELLHOP: Looks like a car accident.
Van Vactor gets out of the car to get a better look at the situation. His men get out too. Construction workers and other motorists look at the accident scene. An ambulance approaches from the opposite direction and stops, the crew gets out with their gear. A woman walks down the street, her grocery bags in her arms. The motorcycle rider twitches on the ground moaning in pain, as the ambulance crew wheel their cot towards him. It all looks pretty normal, but Van Vactor isn't buying it. He shakes his head and backs away.
VAN VACTOR: (shouting) It's a trap!
One of the ambulance crew looks up, her blonde hair tucked up under her uniform cap. It's Nikita. Van Vactor's men start shooting as the construction workers, injured accident victims and others grab for their guns. A gun battle ensues. The woman with the grocery bags appears to be an innocent, and Van Vactor uses her as a shield to reach the cover of the building.
NIKITA: He's running!

In the mission van...
Birkoff and Michael sit in the van, monitoring the action on their screens. Michael speaks calmly into his headset.
MICHAEL: Teams Two and Three, neutralize the area. Team One, pursue.

The city street...
Nikita and Stan, the other "ambulance attendant", are apparently Team One, and they pursue Van Vactor. Stan signals Nikita, then lays down covering automatic weapons fire as she runs for the building. He follows a moment later.

Inside the building...
The building basement is dark enough for Stan and Nikita to need their flashlights as the search. A pigeon, startled by their advance, flies to a perch on a sprinkler pipe, startling the team. Nikita stage-whispers to her partner to get his attention...
NIKITA: Stan...
Nikita signals that Stan should precede her into a stairwell, as he holds a machine gun to her handgun. He jumps through the stairwell doorway, ready to fire, only to find the unlit stairwell empty. As he cautiously makes his way down the stairs, Nikita backs in covering their rear. Together the descend the stairs.

In the mission van...
BIRKOFF: Damn it. (to Michael) We've lost team one.

Inside the building...
Stan and Nikita have reached the bottom of the stairs, and have moved into a damp sub-basement with pools of water on the floor. They carefully move forward. Nikita speaks towards her comm unit...
NIKITA: Michael...
STAN: They don't work down here.
Stan steps through a large round opening in a wall, and is grabbed from behind by one of Van Vactor's men. With a gun to his head he does not resist. Nikita keeps her gun raised as Van Vactor steps into her view. Another of Van Vactor's men approaches from behind her, gun drawn, and Nikita is literally backed into a corner by the round wall opening. She lowers her gun, places it on the inside of the round opening and lets it slide down away from her.
VAN VACTOR: In here.
The man behind Nikita grabs her and lifts her over and through the round opening, while the man holding Stan pushes him against a barred opening.
VAN VACTOR: Pin him.
Van Vactor's men handcuff Stan to the bars, as Van Vactor turns his attention to Nikita.
VAN VACTOR: Why don't I know you? See, I make a point of knowing my enemies, of which I have many. You're lovely.
Van Vactor touches her face with his gloved hand. When she turns her face away, the man behind her forces her to turn her face back with the barrel of his gun. Van Vactor reaches out one hand and a pistol is placed in it.
VAN VACTOR: Yes, I definitely would remember those eyes.
Van Vactor reaches out his arm and shoots Stan in the leg. Nikita turns her head away and grimaces. Stan screams and slumps lower.
VAN VACTOR: What do you say? Should we end his misery?
Nikita looks up to meet Van Vactor's eyes. She doesn't answer. Van Vactor smiles.
VAN VACTOR: Let's prolong the entertainment.
Van Vactor shoots Stan again without looking.
VAN VACTOR: He's a friend of yours, isn't he?
NIKITA: (grinning evilly) Go to hell.
Van Vactor moves closer to Nikita.
VAN VACTOR: Let's try something different.
Nikita smiles a tiny bit. As Van Vactor steps behind her his men seize her and turn her around so she faces him again. One man holds a knife to Nikita's throat.
VAN VACTOR: (shouting) Where do you come from?
The man with the knife raises it, forcing her head up and back. Van Vactor steps forward menacingly. There is movement behind Van Vactor as Michael jumps down from above and shoots the man behind Nikita. Free of the knife at her throat she kicks the man holding a gun on Stan and relieves him of the gun. Van Vactor is now the one backed into a corner, with Nikita on one side and Michael on the other. His gaze shifts from Michael to Nikita, then he gives a laugh, but her expression is no laughing matter: it's cold and calculating. Nikita shifts her attention from Van Vactor to Michael.
MICHAEL: You okay?
Nikita does not respond, except to shift her point of aim from Van Vactor towards Michael. With a steady hand and an unreadable expression she squeezes the trigger. Michael jerks slightly but does not fall. Nikita lowers her gun but not her gaze. Michael slowly turns, then sees the "bellhop" behind him, gun in hand, eyes unfocused, shot in the chest. Michael turns back to Nikita, who watches the man she just shot sink to the ground. Other operatives stream in to take Van Vactor and Stan away. Nikita walks slowly forward, her eyes on the man she has killed. She closes her eyes and lowers her head for a moment, then drops the gun and walks away.

Nikita's apartment...
Melancholy music plays in the background, candles flicker in the foreground. Nikita sits at her table remembering her carefree days living on the street, days now lost in another life. The photograph of her funeral lies face-down on the table. She reaches down and turns it over, fingers it for a moment, then slowly crumples it in her hand. She touches a corner to the flame of a candle, holds it up as it begins to burn, then places it on the table. Her eyes are red and her cheeks wet with tears as she watches the photograph flame. The phone rings and she looks up with penetrating intensity.
VOICE OF MICHAEL: Josephine...


Written by Cyrus Nowrasteh

Guest stars:
Bill McDonald.....Van Vactor
Anais Granofsky.....Carla
Ric Reid.....Stan
Robbie Rox.....Stokes
James Vezine.....Bellhop
Tony Curtis Blondell.....Construction Worker
Pierre Trudell.....French Waiter

Transcript by Reece Pollack