Title: Time To Be Heroes
Air Date: April 16, 2000
Synopsis: Michael and Nikita take charge of some new recruits for Section Eight.
Michael and Nikita are in the firing range. Operations and Madeline discuss George’s orders to get Section Eight functional. Operations plans to put Nikita and Michael in charge of training the recruits on an accelerated schedule. He and Madeline agree it would be good to get them out of Section for awhile and perhaps George will want to keep them at Eight. "After all we’ve put Nikita through lately, I can’t help but think they’re planning some type of retaliation." Madeline replies on her way out, "You trained them well."
Operations briefs the senior operatives on the recent Crystal Sky threat and tells Nikita and Michael they’re on special assignment. Operations fills them in on their mission to train five recruits at an accelerated pace to help replenish Section Eight’s manpower. Each recruit’s profile is pulled up and their ‘talents’ outlined. Claire Brooks and Neil Hudson have been in long term confinement. Patrick ‘Darwin’ Donoghue has a short fuse and likes weapons. Jasmine Kwong orphaned at birth is strong willed and hell-bent on revenge. Trent Hammett a computer genius.
The recruits arrive at Section Eight, to a cool rock song about attitude, and are given a no escape speech by Madeline. Then she passes them copies of their obituaries, "As far as the world is concerned you’re all dead."
As expected the recruits are full of attitude but are somewhat subdued after the speech. A short time later they enter their barren dormitory. Walter arrives to inject them with trackers. Birkhoff tells Nikita he’s done setting up the computers. He questions if Operations told her how long they’d be here. After witnessing the bickering in the dormitory she replies, "I’d say we’re going to be here a little while."
Michael and Nikita are giving the recruits a tour. Darwin asks Michael, "When do we get to kick some ass?" Michael snaps his hand at Darwin’s throat leaving him doubled-over and gasping. "When you’re ready." Firing range next, Darwin steps up first to take some practiced shots. The rest take their turns. Back in the dorm, Darwin and Neil joke about Nikita and Michael’s behavior. Specifically joking about Michael mumbling. (Nice touch.) Trent catches Claire planning her escape. She stole a titanium vest that’ll block her thermal tracker. Trent thinks she’s crazy but keeps quiet for now.
Michael and Nikita are alone. He’s massaging her feet. Nikita questions why Operations is pushing these recruits. Then groans, "We’re gonna be here forever." "Is that so bad." almost smiling. They’re interrupted by a fight in the dormitory.
Darwin cranked up some rock music that angered Jasmine and she attacked him. The other recruits separate them as Nikita and Michael enter. "What’s going on?" Jasmine says, "He plays that hillbilly headbanger crap 24-7! All I did was ask him to turn it down." Darwin snaps back, "Who you calling an in-breeder, egg roll?" Nikita slams him against a wall, "Keep the volume down. Understood?" Michael asks, "Where’s Claire?" Nikita runs to a computer. Trent gives in to Michael’s questioning and tells him she’s headed for the south portal. Michael and Nikita split up to search. Nikita spots Claire and chases her to the exit. Claire opens it and finds Michael on the other side. Nikita tries to comfort the scared Claire.
The recruits are sparring. Jasmine and Darwin finish then Claire and Trent are sent in. Claire viciously attacks him, eventually stopping when Trent climbs the fence surrounding the mat. Operations calls Michael and tells him he needs the recruits in the field in two days. Michael tells him the recruits aren’t ready but Operations doesn’t give him a choice. Trent and Claire are complaining as they come up to the rest of the recruits. Michael walks up, "We have a mission. There’s a briefing in one hour." Everyone is somewhat startled.
Briefing, Michael informs them that it is a recon mission. Darwin asks if they’ll get to kill anyone. Nikita ignores him and tells everyone their positions. Michael states, "That’s all." The recruits leave. Nikita asks Michael, "Do you think they’ll make it?" "No."
Section One. Operations gives a classified briefing to Davenport’s team. Michael’s team is being used as bait to draw out Crystal Sky and capture their leader. Later, Birkhoff tells Walter about the secret mission. But there’s no way to contact Michael and Nikita.
The recruits suit up for the mission. At the location they disperse to their intended observation area. Darwin is all ‘gung-ho’ soon taking his weapon off safety against Nikita’s orders. Michael asks Birkhoff for a report. Birkhoff hesitates as he watches his thermal display showing Michael’s team being surrounded. Operations nods his head no and Birkhoff reports the area cold. Michael thinks for a moment, "He’s lying. We’re bait. Move them back." Nikita shouts, "Move back!" as Crystal Sky soldiers start firing from all directions. Operations tells Davenport to move in. The recruits are scared, trying to run away. Neil gets caught, Darwin points his gun at the man holding him but hesitates and Neil is dead. Darwin shoots but too late. Trent gets shot, Claire helps him to get away. Michael goes down and Nikita runs to his side. Michael and Nikita are surrounded then loaded into a truck. Davenport’s team captures Doc Lesham. Davenport reports success to Operations and asks for permission to go after Michael and Nikita. "Permission denied." Davenport’s team return to Section One. He reports Michael’s team either dead or on the run.
The recruits regroup in a barn. Jasmine does some first aid on Trent – who’s still screaming in pain. Darwin admits he froze up and Neil is dead. They argue among themselves for awhile but soon realize if they run they die and if they return to Section they’ll likely die. So they decide to be heroes and rescue Nikita and Michael – showing their respect for them in the process.
Back at Section One, Birkhoff reports the recruits location and Operations sends Davenport out to cancel them. Michael and Nikita are locked in a small chamber. Michael tells Nikita they’re trying to trade them for Lesham. Birkhoff runs up to Operations, "Crystal Sky wants to trade for Michael and Nikita." Operations nods, "No deal."
Back at the barn, Trent jacks into the Section satellite and finds Crystal Sky’s location. Davenport tracks them there. Someone hooks a gas hose to the chamber Nikita and Michael are in. Michael states, "Operations passed on the deal." He reaches for Nikita’s hand with death nearby.
The recruits start moving in, then Claire and the rest start taking out the bad guys. Darwin unhooks the gas hose and releases Michael and Nikita, "Don’t look so surprised." Jasmine leads the way as they exit the chamber. Michael grabs a gun from Darwin. They face Davenport’s team, everyone with guns raised, except Nikita who stands confidently beside Michael. "I have my orders, Michael." Michael replies bluntly, "Not anymore." After a stare down they all return to Section One.
I love this next scene. The recruits, along with Michael and Nikita, pause to glare up at Operations perch. All with a ‘we beat you look’. He stares back.
Operations then admits the true mission to Michael and Nikita, Crystal Sky needed to have a false sense of victory. Michael asks, "Why not use abeyance operatives?" Operations replies, "Even abeyance operatives are too valuable for this. No one gives a damn about these kids." Nikita questions, "What now?" "They’ll continue training in No Contest missions and if they live, one day they’ll be full-fledged operatives." As they walk out Nikita asks Michael what a No Contest mission is. "Any mission with less than a 5% chance of success." Michael and Nikita see the recruits leaving. That attitude song plays again, as they look back at their trainers. Definitely giving the impression that they’ll be back. Nikita says simply, "Good luck." as the door swings shut.
That ‘Attitude’ song is by Hardknox. (Hardknox: Hardknox – Attitude ) I got the album and love it. And they never really did much with this group of new recruits – they developed decent characters for them and at the time, back in 2000, I thought a spinoff was possible.