Title: Down a Crooked Path
Air Date: March 19, 2000
Synopsis: Section One is penetrated with a gas vapor and everyone is sick. Oversight sends in a team to evaluate them.
Airlock Penetration. Everyone scrambles for gas masks as a cloud of vapor infiltrates Section One. Operations orders the air vents inverted and moments later the atmosphere is once again safe. George calls to tell Operations that a Bio-Med Tech team is on the way to test everyone, starting with department heads and key operatives. Operations is immediately suspicious that George orchestrated the event. He tells Madeline that he’s fine but after she leaves he darkens the perch and is clearly ill.
Nikita and Michael are researching to find possible leads to who caused the airlock penetration. The Bio-Med team arrives and takes over the Infirmary. Birkhoff goes to see Walter, who appears to be feeling sick. Walter gets paged to report to the Infirmary. He gets an IV for sedation and the two techs began a ‘Neural Scrape’. During the process Walter has flashbacks of happy memories (curiously none of Belinda). As the process completes a tech removes a disc from the machine and stores it. Operations arrives and questions Walters’ health; he’s told Walter’s memory is gone. Operations demands the data on his desk. Operations returns to the darkened perch and Madeline visits. Operations tells her of Walter’s status and suspects George has, "…finally found a way to get rid of us." Nikita gets her neural scrape and flashes to memories of her arrival at Section, memories of Michael, and telling Walter that she was framed and brought to Section for a reason.
Madeline and Operations conference with Michael about their suspicion that George is trying to erase all their minds. Paul (Operations) gets paged, and must go to avoid alerting George. He orders Michael to, "Find out if George is behind this and proceed accordingly." "Of course." Operations flashes to memories of time with Madeline, being shot in Vietnam, and his son being killed despite his efforts to protect him.
Michael enters the Infirmary and spends a brief moment with a motionless Nikita. Then goes to Birkhoff in Tactical. Birkhoff suggests killing the techs. Michael replies, "What we need are answers." Then sends Birkhoff to reroute power to the Bio-Med computer so they can access the files. Birkhoff returns shortly to find Michael and Madeline waiting. He begins reading the data in the files. There’s no serious virus, only a bug to make them feel sick for 24-36 hours. Then Birkhoff finds a Black Directive – a cancellation order for everyone.
Michael asks, "Why the ruse?" Birkhoff continues, "He’s ordered a neural download." "They’re stealing our minds." Birkhoff reports that the process is reversible. Madeline elaborates that George would be able to create the ‘perfect’ operative with the collective knowledge of years of training. Then she gets paged. Before leaving she tells Birkhoff and Michael the codes to access Operations personal databank and retrieve the formula to construct a neural blocker. It was developed during the Gelman Process but will need modified to have a chance to work.
Birkhoff accesses the file then meets Michael in a lab. "We could have a field day with the file names I saw in there…" They start working on the formula. Meanwhile, Madeline is subjected to the neural scrape and flashes to memories of time with Nikita, Operations, and a short meeting with her mother. Birkhoff is the next to go, Michael has to push the reluctant Birkhoff. "You’re our only help." he says as he leaves for the Infirmary. Birkhoff flashes to many shots of Nikita and his attraction to her, as well as an intimate encounter with the fake Nikita, and some memories of Walter. Michael is still working in the lab when he gets paged. Apparently he injects himself with the blocker before going.
He’s hooked to the machine and starts flashing to memories of Simone, Elana and Adam, a little of Nikita. Then something is going awry. The techs are confused, "He’s red-lining." "Pull the plug." The second tech finds Birkhoff’s interface to the computer just as Michael stands up and shoots him. The first tech blurts, "I was given orders." Michael responds, "So was I."
George is given a successful report and heads for Section One. When he arrives he questions where Michael is. His answer comes from a tranquilizer delivered by Michael. Michael, apparently, subjects George to some kind of mind reprogramming before uploading the rest of Section. They slowly awake and Operations asks, "Were our suspicions correct? Does George know we/he failed?" Michael reports, "Yes, I’ve taken care of it." Later, Madeline and Operations speak to an unusually cooperative George.
I wasn’t sure if Operations said ‘we’ or ‘he’ in that one line. I understand ‘he’ but not ‘we’. Because Section didn’t screw up, George did.