It's a cold (Canadian) winter's day. Nikita is walking home after shopping. A guy is first silently watching her and then hurries after her. "Hi!", he shouts and touches her shoulder. She whirls around, and he immediately backs off, apologizing.
When she turns around to leave, he says "Nikita. Wait". Well, that gets her attention fast! How does he know her name??
"I can get you out of Section One", the man says hurriedly. She pretends not to have any idea what he is talking about.
"There is a number in this glove. If you want to be free, I can make it happen".
And off he goes. Nikita looks around, very worried. But nobody has seen them talk, it seems.
***When Nikita enters Section, Michael watches her through the blinds from his office. Not creepy at all... Unaware, she goes to see Walter, stepping really close before she asks, carefully: "Does Section ever test its operatives? Tempt them, for example?"
Walters answer isn't exactly non-creepy either: He says it's best to think of Section as a living organism. And like any other organism, it will do whatever it has to do to survive.
"Be careful", he adds, with emphasis. Nikita nods.
Outside, a guard is being taken out by an operative. Two kids come running in, circling a table in the kitchen. Jericho his annoyed: What's the point of giving the maid the night off when the kids are there?! They are supposed to be at his mother-in-law's. But his wife shouts back that her mother got sick! Ah, what a lovely family.
The lights go out in the entire house.
Michael and Nikita shine a flashlight on him and order him to drop his weapon. He doesn't. And to make things much worse, his wife comes back in! Michael shoots a tranquilizer dart into his neck, and Jericho goes down ... shooting. All over. Sadly, he hits his wife.
There weren't, he says.
"They just saw their mother get shot!!" she yells.
"It can't be helped, Nikita", is his dispassionate answer.
"I'm ready", she says. They agree to meet at her apartment in one hour.
When Eric (that's the guy who promised to get her out) approaches her apartment, he trips over a wire in the snow. Nikita put it there: precautions! Before trusting this guy, she needs to know who sent him, and how he knows about Section One.
"I'm in it", Eric says, "just like you".
But Nikita wants proof. So Eric unpacks a laptop and shows her ... herself. Undressing.
He tells her that every operative is (constantly) watched. There are two cameras in her apartment. And how does he know about them? Easy: It is his job to watch the others.
So why her? Nikita asks.
Because the plan takes two, Eric says ... and because he knows her. And he knows he can trust her.
M: "I like coffee".
Oh, but Nikita isn't dumb. What's going on? First he compliments her on her new sunglasses and now he is asking her out for coffee?
M: "I've been thinking about you lately"
N: "And what have you been thinking?"
M: "That we might spend more time together outside of Section".
The team goes in. Right before they run down the stairs, Michael holds Nikita back and warns her about the "nooks and crannies" that didn't show up on the schematic. "Be careful", he adds.
They go in deeper and deeper ... and finally find the body of the dead Marine. But no sight of anyone else. Nikita thinks they have long moved on, but Michael orders them to split up and continue to search for the one that is still alive.
Outside her apartment, he is indeed whining about the lost opportunity. She asks him why he didn't go alone, and he claims again that the plan takes two people. But Nikita isn't buying it: it doesn't take two people to run through a tunnel. I have to agree with her.
Nikita: "Is this some kind of game Section's playing with me?"
No, but finally, Eric reveals the truth: he cannot go without her. In all those hours he was watching her he has grown to profoundly like her (oh my, you creepy stalker). He just knows they can be happy together. Even if she doesn't feel the same way now. Maybe in time? Oh dear ... such a sad puppy.
Nikita: "Why would I stay because of Michael?"
Eric: "I've seen your face when he calls".
But Eric knows that Michael doesn't feel the same way. Oh yes - he is watching him too. Enough to know that.
Nikita is at home, looking mighty fine in black trousers and a black velvet blouse. But what is she doing?! She is thinking about Michael. Sometimes smiling, sometimes frowning. And by the way, the fish tank that isn't a fish tank and the silver dolphin she puts in from time to time? I do not get it.
And they are successful - of course. Madeline knows what she is doing. The bad guys have been located in an empty office building. Time for some more advances from Michael to tell her what is going on ... hmmm, the almost whispering and the bending down really closely are ... *gulp*
Nikita: "Does he even have one?"
Madeline: "Would knowing the answers make you perform your missions more efficiently?"
Nikita: "It might".
Madeline: "Is it his life you want to know about, or his heart?"
Nikita: "Does he even have a heart?"
Madeline: "Michael love once - very deeply. Some men can only love once. Whether Michael's like that I don't really know."
Nikita hangs up on him, wearily approaching the door. Look who is here ... it's Michael. Here to go over the "plan again" with her while they are on standby. Please. Lamest excuse ever! :)
She hesitates, but then let's him in. She seems to be feeling a bit uncomfortable around him, especially when he is standing so close.
Michael: "Then we could have that cup of coffee. Or the drink".
Alright, she says, and grabs her coat, but ...
"No need to leave the apartment", he says, "whatever you have will be fine".
"Well, what if I'm out of everything??"
"That will be fine too".
"Are you trying to seduce me?", she asks.
He stands up and walks over, ever so slowly ... and ever so handsome. His hand outstretched, he is asking her to dance with him.
"Why should today ... be different?" she asks. Keep it up, girl. Don't get weak!
It is simple, he says. He was always certain that only someone from outside section could win his heart after Simone. But not so ... because nobody outside can understand who they are.
And now, he has her ...
And while he starts doing that incredibly erotic finger stroking, he adds: "We fight all the time to stay alive ... let's not fight what's between us. Let's take what we can get".
At the location, Eric murmurs "elevator, 15 minutes" as Nikita runs past him. The bad guys are on the top floor in an empty office building. Nikita rides the elevator up and gets out ... pretending to be a dumb blond secretary that got sent to the wrong building.
"Nikita! He does not love you!" Eric shouts.
She nods her head slightly and then says: "You go".
He refuses at first, but then, he does leave ... after telling her that he will take her out of the virus. And he goes.
Nikita: "Go ahead."
She walks away laughing, but the laugh freezes on her face when she comes face to face with Michael. He is as cold as ever, the bastard - and he tells her that the mission was successful, but something came up; Eric didn't come back with the rest of the team and a virus erased him from "our primary database". Oh shit. There's a backup system.
"He will not get far", says Michael. "And anyone who went with him wouldn't have either".
"To keep you alive".
"But why? Why bother?"
He looks at her for a while longer, then turns around without saying anything and walks away.
"Welcome back, Michael", a crying Nikita whispers.
Operations gets very angry, but she says "cancel me if you don't like it". She'd rather be dead than be watched like an animal in the zoo. And off she stomps.
Madeline actually finds it amusing. Michael just slightly, slightly raises his eyebrows. And Operations says to cancel surveillance on Nikita, at least for the time being.
Was to rip a girl's heart out, you bastard! He is forgiven, though, because he really does save her life. Could he have done it any differently? Hm. He could have told her, of course, but I guess that would have meant warning Eric, too; she most certainly would have told the poor sucker. And as we know, Section cannot have weak, traitorous operatives, so he had to "go". And I guess the possibility of becoming more than a dear friend and colleague to Michael was about the only thing that would trump over a live outside of Section - and Michael knows that. He has been the only anchor in her new life, the person that has helped her countless times. Their bond is undeniably strong.
Exactly this, his role as a mentor and friend makes his "seduction" such a mean thing: It is an abuse of power. He knew with absolute certainty that she would "fall" for it (also because he isn't only acting). Oh, she is suspicious alright - he is much more attentive, constantly nice, looks at her during briefings, asks her out for coffee, compliments her, etc. ... But the reason he gives her, especially that thing about how nobody outside Section can truly understand them, and that he is ready to move on from Simone, that is too much. Obviously, she desperately wants a relationship with him (who wouldn't), and once again, she trusts him. That makes the whole thing so utterly humiliating for her. She showed him her true heart - he just played with it.
Still, the reason why he wanted to keep her alive is plain to see. He is strongly attracted to her. It may not be love, but she means more than the others to him. Who knows, he may not be ready to move on, he may be incapable to move on, or he might not want to move on. He knows how dangerous Section is - and he also knows that Section doesn't like relationships between operatives (an issue that will be raised again and again in the series). That's why the interaction between Nikita and Madeline, the "girl-talk", was really creepy to me. Madeline is playing the confidante, the friend to Nikita. All she ever does, though, is evaluating her operatives. And she (now) knows that Nikita is strongly attracted to Michael. That cannot be good.