Air Date: July 23, 2000
Synopsis: Michael and Nikita go undercover in a small town to retrieve a crashed satellite finding more than the expected. Meanwhile, Operations and Madeline have a plan for Jason Birkhoff.
Dingman’s Hollow, a small rural town. As we go inside the local Diner a tremor shakes the town and a couple patrons step outside and witness an object steak across the sky and crash nearby. Section One, Corman reports that the satellite is down.
Operations gets off the phone. Tells Madeline that it was Mr. Jones from Center, "They’re considering me to take over George’s position at Oversight." and the down-satellite is presumably going to be his test. Briefing. Operations informs the team that the a satellite with a lot of confidential data was lost. Corman relays that the satellite crashed in an isolated town called Dingman’s Hollow. Michael and Nikita enter as geologists studying the area. Corman has tactical and assures Nikita and Michael he can do the job. Michael and Nikita arrive in town and inquire about a place to stay at the Diner. They go check in at Momma’s.
Office complex. Jason Birkhoff is working at his computer when he questions his assistant if any calls have been received from Seymour. He tells her to check again when she replies no, appearing to be somewhat worried. His girlfriend enters and invites him to lunch. The next day she invites him to Aruba for a vacation and he agrees after a bit of protest.
Momma’s. Michael tells Nikita how beautiful she is and they discuss dreams for awhile before spending the night together. The next morning Corman directs them to the crash site. While examining the site and discovering the satellite was probably moved to a nearby barn, a local takes a shot at them. The local claims they he thought they were poachers, and suggests they let the town know where they might be going from now on. Michael agrees and then the local takes the to lunch. That night they check out the barn and find a piece of the wreckage. After returning to Momma’s Nikita goes outside for a walk when she can’t sleep, she discovers the town to be apparently vacant. She enters the Diner and observes that the patrons seemed to have departed in a hurry, leaving their food out and music on. As Nikita returns to her room, Momma offers her a cup of tea. Suspecting drugs Nikita doesn’t drink it. Next morning at the Diner, Nikita tells Michael what she discovered during the night. Michael points out that the postman was eating with his fork in his left hand, uncharacteristic from a rural American. They follow the postman on his trip through the town and collect the mail behind him. For some reason the postman put the flag up after inserting mail, so Michael put it down after taking it out. They find that the town is sending around blank stationary. Then Nikita calls in a list of names to Corman, who reports them all as dead.
That night Nikita and Michael find the town collected at the church watching a film on being more American. After the people clear out, Michael and Nikita enter and take the pastor. Michael chains him between two truck bumpers and slowly tightens the winch on one of them. Shortly they notice a tattoo on the pastor’s wrist. Nikita reports this to Corman who confirms it to be the insignia of Black Storm, a terrorist group down a couple levels from Red Cell. After this report, Nikita relates to Corman that they apparently stumbled into a Black Storm sleeper base where operatives are trained for deep cover missions. As they discuss it, they begin thinking it is more than a coincidence. Corman tries to review the satellites flight data but runs into a security block. He tells Nikita to check back in a couple hours. Meanwhile, Michael extracts some intel from the pastor. The townspeople do have the satellite, the mailman is the courier and is bringing in a device to unlock the data drive.
Maggie’s Diner. The patrons are discussing the pastor’s apparent heart attack. The postman drops off a package to Maggie. Michael and Nikita follow him out of the Diner and Michael asks, "Is there a library?" The postman gives directions and when Michael thanks him in Russian, the postman replies in Russian as well. Then suddenly realizes his mistake.
Section. Corman discovers the satellite was deliberately crashed by Oversight. He reports the findings to Madeline and Operations. At their prompting, he continues to speculate on why Oversight might have done such a thing. And concludes that the data on the satellite must be meant to mislead Black Storm. Further, Michael and Nikita were sent in to make the retrieval mission more believable but they’re not meant to succeed. Madeline and Operations congratulate him then send him to confinement before he can relay the intel to Michael or Nikita. Davenport’s team is sent to Dingman’s Hollow to ensure Michael’s mission does fail. Cut to Aruba. Jason’s girlfriend drugs him. Then we see two Section operatives carry in a body bag and as the open it we see Seymour’s body.
Dingman’s Hollow. Michael and Nikita force the postman to take them to the satellite’s location. Michael plugs a device into the satellite and types for a moment. Momma and several locals arrive with guns in hand. Michael and Nikita surrender their weapons. One man steps up to the satellite to find that Michael has blocked access. After they threaten Nikita’s life he gives them the access code. Momma says, "We were told you were trained to go down for the mission, ha." Michael replies simply, "We haven’t finished the mission." The postman takes the data drive and starts to leave. The others start to escort Michael and Nikita to a wood chipper, apparently to feed their bodies thru it. However, Michael disarms Momma and dispatches the rest of the locals with calculated accuracy. Davenport moves in to keep Michael from pursuing the postman.
Back at Section, Operations reports success to Center. Madeline congratulates him. Michael and Nikita realize they were used. Davenport confirms the true mission, that Michael and Nikita were to fail. "There’s just one problem," states Michael. "We didn’t fail." Then he relates that he programmed a self destruct code into the data drive. Cut to the postman’s truck exploding. Operation’s Perch. The phone is ringing and Operations does not look happy to answer it.
As Michael and Nikita depart Dingman’s Hollow we see that Section has replaced the Black Storm operatives with their own. Michael informs Nikita that they were able to trace the postman and take out Black Storm’s central base 12 hours ago. Cut to what appears to be Jason’s cabin in Aruba. He wakes up groggy and staggers from the room.
Section One. Walter is talking to Michael and Nikita, suddenly looks over their shoulders. Michael and Nikita turn to see a dazed Birkhoff walking toward them. "Good Mother of God." utters Walter. Jason stops and all eyes are on him as he gazes around at his ominous surroundings.