A mission in the middle of the night: Section operatives are infiltrating a heavily guarded chemical plant somewhere in Easter Europe (Klodno ... that would be Poland, but this is a fictional country). Nikita cuts the wire fence, runs through; several operatives follow. Artfully dodging the powerful beam of a hand operated floodlight, the operatives (Nikita takes point) move closer and closer to the facility. The guard operating the light is taken down - Nikita takes his place. Michael puts a charge onto a tank and orders everybody to move out. But then, one of them is spotted! Everybody starts shooting ... but we do not hear the shots. "Beyond the Invisible," by Enigma is the only sound accompanying the assault.
***Operations congratulates them on a successful mission; the chemical weapons plant was completely destroyed.
"What about Michael", Nikita bursts out.
Birkhoff has done an analysis: 1 chance in 3 that he is alive. And if he is, 1 chance in 10 of bringing him out.
"He'll be missed", says Operations, turning away.
Nikita can't believe what she is hearing: "That's it??"
Yes ... that's it, Operations repeats. Nikita jumps up. She doesn't care about the odds, she wants to go back!
Operations, with a tiny bit of regret in his voice: "I wish I could send you".
Oh, but he did, Birkhoff says ... objectively, it's 100 to 1, even 150. "Sorry, Nikita ... Michael is on his own".
A nurse exits the hospital in Klodno, walking to her car. She sits down and takes off her scarf, when a bloody hand reaches for the lock knob - and a shaking, weak Michael tells her to start the car, while pointing his gun at her head. She does, now shaking herself from fear. She realizes he is hurt and says he needs a doctor - a nurse is close enough, he says. And he orders her to drive to her place, no tricks.
Now, Frankel gets it: they are trying to provoke a rescue attempt? Exactly. Cause then, they will have the agent and the rescue team both. And because they need the agent first for this plan to work, Petrosian will now take charge of this operation. Watch and learn, Frankel.
Because they received information that he is still alive and alluded capture. The odds have changed. Not that they are good - just better.
So what has changed his mind? Nikita still wants to know.
Operations: "I want Michael back too, Nikita. I am human."
Nikita, very sarcastically: "Of course you are."
Going with her is Madeline (haha, she keeps smiling excitedly at Nikita in the background), mission details to follow.
The nurse starts talking to him. Who is he? Why is he here? He tells her to shut up. She offers help in treating his wounds. "Later", he says ... and seems to pass out for a bit.
Oh yes, Madeline says, "they may be expecting a rescue attempt, but not by two women selling makeup."
As to where Michael is: most likely in the hospital near the chemical plant, or not far from it; cause he is badly hurt.
Oh yes, he is. But he has managed to undress. He looks at his ammunition: two rounds left. He takes them out of the clip: He wants to cauterize his wounds. Using pliers, he tries to get the cap off the first bullet, but his hand is shaking too badly. So he gets up, painfully and slowly, and cuts the nurse loose. While she holds the bullet, he breaks off the cap. She talks to him again ... she knows there has been an attack on the chemical plant last night. But he isn't responding: He just tells her to put the powder into a folded paper.
He pours the gun powder onto his wounds, lights a match and ... ouch. And he passes out. Almost.
"Don't", Michael groans, "please".
She looks at the mess that is Michael, sighs, and hangs up. She grabs a kit from a cupboard and has a look at the wound in his back. Can he at least tell her his name? Her name is Angie.
"You can call me Michael", he says.
Nikita and Madeline just landed. First, they need to get a permission to sell their cosmetics. Suddenly, Madeline stops, clutching her chest. It's a heart attack! An ambulance!! Also at the hospital are Petrosian and Frankel. The former lectures the latter on the certainty that a hurt man needs medical attention - therefore, they should concentrate their search on the hospitals; right as Madeline is wheeled past them on a stretcher, a worried Nikita right behind.
Michael is recovered enough to eat something. Angie is tying up the last knot on his bandage. He thanks her ... and he tells her that she is very brave to help him. She talks about her government, who pretends to move to democracy, just to get aid from the West. Nothing has changed for the people though: a nail that stands out still gets hammered. Her father was such a nail: standing up for freedom, justice, dignity.
Is she willing to help him again? Michael asks. He needs a laptop computer. And a phone: a cellular. Does he know how dangerous that is?!
"It's not fair", she says, softly.
"I know it isn't", he replies.
At the hospital, Nikita is still very worried, but Madeline isn't doing too badly. What has Nikita found out? Michael isn't in the hospital - and the soldiers are going from room to room. Madeline says she'll deal with it; Nikita has to go and search the records. Suddenly, it dawns on Nikita ... this .... was deliberate! Madeline took something to give herself a heart attack. A real one. Crazy woman.
At Angie's place, Michael now has word that help is near. He tells her that he will be gone soon. She seems ... sad. Michael notices and wonders why she would be disappointed. Hasn't this been an inconvenience? "Sometimes, a little inconvenience is not such a bad thing", Angie says. She is in her 40s, all alone. He made her all confused, worried, scared ... but she has lived more in the last 24hours than she has in seven years. Since her father died. So her helping him isn't only for her father's sake. It is also for her own. So, when he goes: life will go with him (*sniff*)
"I'll deal with it", she says confidently.
"You don't have to", he replies, "come with me".
She can be a nurse; he will help her. But she must decide quickly - time is running out.
Outside, Nikita and Madeline arrive in a car they've stolen. But they see that they are too late: the police is already there. Nikita pulls the car into an alley.
Here he is! He grabs Petrosian, who screams "shoot! shoot!", while Frankel tells his man not to. Finally, one of the soliders does, and Michael and Angie (who has grabbed a coat and the computer) run for their lives.
The fugitives have take refuge at an (possibly abandoned) airstrip, inside a tent-like house. Michael is setting up the laptop again, Nikita is monitoring the perimeter from the small window. After briefly exchanging a few friendly words with Angie (they both realize they have met at the hospital), Nikita goes over to Michael, who is trying to establish a connection.
"How are you feeling?" she asks quietly.
"I'll be fine", he answers, not looking up. He doesn't look fine at all, but he sure is a tough one.
She nods and then says: "I was worried."
He finally looks up and says: "I'm glad you came back."
Watching them are Angie and Madeline and while Madeline is all impassive, looking ill, Angie realizes something at that very moment, leaving her deep in thought.
At the airfield, they expect pick-up in 4 minutes. But Nikita spots the approaching vehicle. They are going to be upon them before the chopper does.
"We need a diversion", she says, "I'll draw them away".
But Michael holds her back: "It's suicide".
Nikita: "It's the only chance we've got".
"Michael! It's okay", Madeline says quickly, before Michael can shoot.
And while Michael and Nikita just stand there, dumbfounded, Madeline goes up to Petrosian. They greet each other, hug and kiss like old friends. Petrosian? A deep cover operative for Section for the last 17 years. I'll be damned.
So, this was never about rescuing Michael, Nikita states.Rescuing Michael was a convenient way to get Petrosian out without blowing his cover, Madeline says.
"But if it had come down to a choice, say between him and Michael?"
"Leave it alone, Nikita", Michael interjects.
Petrosian says: "By the way ... congratulations on your brilliant escape".
But Nikita won't have the praise: He wasn't really trying to catch them, after all.
"Oh, but I was", says he. He had little alternatives under the watchful eye of Major Frankel. He thanks her for her extraordinary performance.
"Incompetence", Michael repeats.
"Yes", says Petrosian, "or was it part of the plan to get yourself shot?"
He listens to her and sits down on the edge of Madeline's desk with a small sigh. Nikita helps him take off his sling and then says: "I am sorry she died".
"So am I", Michael says ... "but I'm glad she lived".
A very strong episode. Also, a very different episode from the ten that came before: Not only is invincible-seeming Michael badly hurt (such a good performance by Roy Dupuis in this episode!!), he also is far from home, all alone, and shows a side of himself we have not seen so far. The man has emotions! He starts off by threatening Angie, but he soon realizes what kind of woman she is: and from that moment on, he treats her with the greatest respect and sincerity, never trying to manipulate her (we all know how well he does that). His offer to take her with him is genuine - the sadness he feels over her death too.
His emotions do not extend to his job environment though: Him being Michael, he doesn't seem to bear Section any grudge for leaving him behind. Not even being a pawn for another person seems to rattle his cage. That's how things are done in his world - it's standard protocol. He does need a while to wrap his head around the double-agent thing though ... and I guess that is connected to his emotional attachment to his rescuer Angie, who died in vain. And the only time he looks seriously pissed is when Petrosian (by the way, that's an anagram for Operations) calls him incompetent. Let me tell you at this point that Petrosian makes another appearance later in the series - and oh boy, do these two men not like each other.
Nikita gets to be the professional agent in this episode (and even gets to be protective of him at the end!). She shows some anger in the beginning when Operations lets Michael drop like he never meant anything to him - but she is highly efficient and surprisingly unemotional for the rest of the episode. That one sweet moment between her and Michael shows how careful she has become around him. Her face doesn't betray much of what is going on in her heart, even when she says that she was worried. This she could (and would) have said to any colleague. Quite different to what we are used from him, it is Michael that acknowledges an emotional need at that moment, when he admits that he is glad she came back. Sure, the "you" in that sentence doesn't necessarily mean Nikita - but the way he looks at her pretty much makes it a "you, Nikita".
That short scene is very powerful, but also very sad. Their exchange is ultra-brief, but the way they look at each other speaks volumes. Their deep connection becomes plainly visible for all to see (not good that Madeline witnessed it) and when she does see it, Angie seems sad. Has she fallen in love with Michael? A little bit? Did she have hopes of him being near her in the West? Oh yes: if he goes away, her life will go away, too ... In any case, seeing them like this, also watching them during the "I will not let you sacrifice your life" exchange that comes shortly after, makes her come to the conclusion that her life is best put to use by buying these people a few valuable seconds. To be honest, I don't fully understand why she had to die (they could have easily given her a happy ending, with all the bad guys blown up and Petrosian gone), but it sure gives this episode a sad, sad taste that I will not forget easily.