116. "Missing"

(#18) When Operations learns that his son Stephen is part of a group stealing classified information -- a group he must eliminate -- he asks Nikita to keep Stephen alive. Her price: Operation's promise that she can leave Section for good.
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best dialogue
STEPHEN WOLF: "I Know it's cliche, but I can't resist; What's a nice girl like you doing in a place like this?"
NIKITA: "Maybe I'm not such a nice girl."
SW: "Maybe not."
N: "What about you? How did you end up in a place like this?"
SW: "I don't know. Things happen. You do what you do. I'll tell you one thing, though. We better get a damn good price on the CM-12."
N: "'Cause?"
SW: "Because I don't like other people cutting in on my money."
N: "So, in the end, you're all about money."
SW: "Yeah, I'm about money."
N: "Ching-ching."

Written by Naomi Janzen
Directed by Reza Badiyi
Original airdate: August 10, 1997 (USA)
September 18, 1999 (France); December 31, 1997 (UK)

guest stars
Christopher Kennedy (Stephen Wolfe)
Dan Pawlick (Vincent Shirov)
Tony Nappo (Marco Dean)
Pedro Salvin (Bagot)
Harper Quantrill (Frederick Borsos)
Anais Granofsky (Carla)
Leanne Adachi (Operative)

"Hanging On A Curtain," Morphine

Nikita contacts Stephen Wolf and his colleagues at the corner of Toronto's College Street and Euclid Avenue

Czech title: "Pohresovany"
French title: "La disparition"
German title: "Vater und Sohne"
Italian title: "Rumore"
Polish title: "Zagubiony"
Portuguese title: "Perdido"
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Dawn Connolly's commentary on this episode
Screenwriter Naomi Janzen returns to examine the theme of parent and child. This time it is Operations who seeks to protect a son he cannot acknowledge.The son, Stephen, has ironically become a target for Section because he is funding his lifelong search for his MIA father by selling classified information and goods to terrorists. As Roger's plight in "Treason" has already established how Section handles the security risks imposed by the existence of family members, Operations' fear for his son's safety is legitimate, and his choice to remain unknown to Steven seems wise.
Operations' relationship with Nikita is a complicated one. In seeking out her help he unconsciously acknowledges the value of her eccentricities (read compassion) within the organization. Nikita is learning to take advantage of an opportunity, but she hasn't yet acquired the poker face she'll need. In a bid for freedom she takes control of the use of surveillance to gain the upper hand, but the freedom she longs for won't be handed over -- she will have to take it -- and she stands up to Operations fiercely and fearlessly. There is something of a Pygmalion moment in Nikita's assertion, "I've paid for your bloody deportment classes a hundred times over." One wonders just how many Professor Higginses she has had to endure.
Although Nikita is able to protect Michael while faking Steven's death, she is unable to have her cake and eat it, too, when it comes to her bargain with the devil. Operations, aware of Nikita's plan to protect herself, sends Michael to spy on her. Michael is cast once again in the role of errand boy and, as in "Recruit," he again makes careless mistakes: Steven catches him reloading during the shootout.
Not only do we get Operations' back story, but we get a story very close to Eugene Robert Glazer's heart. He has long been interested in the plight of American soldiers missing in action since the Vietnam War. His research on the subject informed the character "bible" he developed for...Operations..., and he is writing a screenplay on the subject. Throughout the series, Glazer can be spotted wearing a POW-MIA pin.
Glazer is heartbreaking as Operations listens with a mixture of pride and pain to his son's story of loss. It goes a long way to humanizing a character so mysterious that he has no name until the end of Season Two. Peta Wilson offers some neat physical bits as she hops across the cold floor when awoken by Operations in the middle of the night. Her double-take at the peephole is priceless.
La Femme Peta, pp 130-132
Ted Edwards' "behind the scenes" look at this episode
During one of her many online chats, series star Peta Wilson took the time to offer her opinions of her fellow cast members. "They're fantastic," she enthused. "They're very giving, they're very different, all of them. Alberta [Madeline] has been acting for a very, very long time. Most women of that age can seem to be a little insecure about a young leading lady. But Alberta is very secure in herself and she is giving to me and not at all intimidated by everything coming to me. She's always there to give me a helpful word of encouragement. They all realize I work sixty percent more than they do. So they know how tired I get and how hard it is on me, and they're always there to be nurturing. They become my family in a way.
"Roy is beautiful," she continued, "but it's kind of like working with a very different kind of man, because he's completely opposite to me. He's kind of soft and softly spoken. He's French Canadian and I'm Australian. You couldn't get more opposite. I'm used to dealing with a very different kind of man. Roy is sometimes shocked by me and my antics. Matthew's a sweetheart. He's a very good actor. He's done many things. He was in The English Patient, he was in Love and Human Remains. He's been in many things. And again, they're really great.
"Gene is a sweetheart. I can't understand the character he plays, but he is a lovely, lovely man. And you couldn't get more of a sweetheart. He kind of wafts onto the set with his little French beret and his cashmere coat. And he's very debonair. And Don is a very interesting man. He's sung with people like Frank Sinatra. He's a great, great jazz singer and he has an incredible band. Between takes Don sings me jazz songs. And if they're having a bit of a rough day or having a bit of a hard time with some kind of suits or people. Don will come by and give my arm a rub. He will then go and break into song about my eyes or something."
La Femme Nikita X-Posed, pp 78-80
Joel Surnow's POV

One of the episodes in which we centered shows around our supporting cast members. This was Eugene's back story: he has a son, wants to protect him. Good episode.

La Femme Nikita Episode Guide
Edward Gross, Retrovision # 6 (1999)