Title: Sympathy For The Devil
Air Date: March 5, 2000
Synopsis: Operations goes to Nikita and Michael to ask a favor. Meanwhile, Birkhoff starts digging into his past.
Flashback to Vietnam, 1972. Operations is a POW and a fellow soldier encourages him and helps him stay alive through Phan’s torture. A rescue team arrives but one of the soldiers informs Operations, "You’re being reassigned." and shoots him. Present, Washington D.C. Vietnam Memorial: Operations is standing by the wall and runs his fingers over the name – Paul L Wolfe.
Michael and Nikita return to her apartment from a date to find Operations waiting for them. Michael whirls and draws his gun on the intruder. "I just want to talk." says Operations. Michael lowers the gun and Operations continues, "I need a favor…" Then goes on to explain how Willie Kane saved his life in Vietnam, and how he’s kept tabs on him since then. Assures Michael and Nikita that he never used Section resources to help his old friend who quickly unraveled after the war and turned to drugs and drinking. "What do you want from us?" asks Michael. "I want you to get close to him. Someone’s trying to kill him. Find out who and prevent it. If you do, I’ll give you 15 days – the same Willie gave me – to be alone no questions asked." Nikita and Michael remain suspicious, as Operations leaves she asks why. "Call it payback, agreed?""
Birkhoff and Walter are in the armory doing an inventory of old equipment. Walter starts reminiscing about the old technology. Birkhoff asks him what its like having memories, "I don’t remember anything before Section." Birkhoff is clearly troubled but Walter gets him back on task, "…not every memory is something you want to remember." And Walter turns away with a worried expression. Michael and Nikita move into a run-down apartment next to Willie. A disheveled Willie visits them briefly. Back at Section, Birkhoff looks for info on his past and finds a reference to Jason Birkhoff. Back at the apartment building, a couple thugs pay a visit to Willie. Michael overhears them asking for money, then he steps into the room – knocks the first guy out and shoots the one holding Kane. Willie slumps into a chair, "You must’ve been one helluva boy scout."
Michael and Nikita meet Operations. They give him some photos of the two thugs and their boss, Carlos Bonaventure. Operations assumes its over money and tells Michael to take care of it. Section, Birkhoff runs into Walter. "Walter, I got to know. Do I have a twin brother?" A reluctant Walter gives in and confirms Birkhoff had a twin brother. Then continues. "Your mother was Lisa, a level two operative. They didn’t know she was pregnant when they recruited her. Your father was dead."
"What happened to her?" asks Birkhoff.
"Killed. She was a great lady."
"They let him out…" Birkhoff gives him an incredulous look and he continues, "It was a psychological experiment, your mother was willing – to see one of her sons lead a normal life. To compare his life on the outside with yours."
Anger creeps in his voice as he states, "He’s been free all this time."
Michael tails Willie around town and watches him make some kind of trade. Later in the evening he drinks a few cold ones at Willie’s place and listens to old war stories and some thoughtful comments of life. Michael hands Willie and envelop full of cash and talks him into accepting it. Willie goes into town and pays some Asian guy, Michael follows him into the opium house after paying off the door man. Back at Section, Operations and Michael review the video from the opium house. Operations recognizes the Asian as Phan Van Nahn. Walter confronts Michael and Nikita about doing personal work for Operations. "I’ve put it on the line for you many times, Michael. Now I want you to do something for me. I know about Willie Kane." Then tells them to let it go, chase Willie Kane away. They question why and he replies, "I wouldn’t ask if I didn’t have a good reason. You ever wonder how I survived in this place as long as I have?" Walter sees Operations approaches and departs. Nikita turns to Michael, "How do we play it? His way or Operation’s." Michael replies, "Ours."
Later at the shabby apartment Michael and Nikita are sharing an intimate moment when she pulls away. "How do you keep your feelings sorted out…I don’t know what I am anymore."
Michael abducts Phan from his lair and takes him to Willie’s apartment. Nikita informs Willie "We’re here to help, but you got to tell us the truth." All four become engaged in a verbal exchange, apparently Willie sold out his platoon. Willie suddenly grabs a knife and stabs it into Phan’s chest. Eventually, Willie admits he was skimming from Bonaventure to pay Nahn to keep quiet. Michael calls housekeeping. "So Walter’s protecting Operations – better for a man to have his illusions." says Nikita. Michael replies, "Those illusions will die with the truth." Out in the hall, Willie gets dragged away. Operations has Michael and Nikita set up a meeting for him with Bonaventure. Operations poses as a ‘gangster’ and handles himself in a very smug manner. "Let Willie Kane go, and forget about him." Carlo rises in anger. "You touch me, you fail to do what I’ve told you to do – your organization will be eliminated. Surgically and systematically. And once you’ve had time to read about it, you’ll be next." After another exchange Operations replies, "Your nephew Francis is living in Sicily, avoiding the police. Give him a call." Bonaventure declares, "I got 20 men watching Frankie, nobody could get to him." Carlo makes the call and finds out his nephew is dead. Operations stands up, "This dump might be yours. Everything outside this door, that’s mine." With that he leaves unscathed.
Willie is at his apartment and just received a call about his old Lieutenant being alive and is surprised to see Paul Wolfe – Operations – walk into the room. They exchange some kind words, then Willie is about to tell Operations the truth when a car pulls up and Willie is shot. A saddened Operations rolls over the limp body. Outside the car is speeding away – and Walter is driving. Michael and Nikita go to Operations. "You did as I asked. I owe you 15 days." "We’d rather wait." they reply. "If that’s what you want." They leave as Operations reads an article of a Bonaventure family hit. Down in the armory, Walter is saying "I told you there are some things you’re better off not knowing." Birkhoff replies, "Your name was on the signature files, why?"
"I decided who would walk."
"Based on what."
"Wasn’t necessary," Walter sadly flips a coin into the air. Birkhoff grabs it – tails.
"Tails, you lose amigo."
Birkhoff lays the coin down, heads up, and walks away.