Title: A Girl Who Wasn’t There
Air Date: January 14, 2001
Synopsis: Nikita finds a reference to her having a sibling. The Collective is Section One’s new nemesis. And someone unexpected returns to Section One.
Munitions. Nikita questions Walter about her past, if he knows why she was brought in. Walter is reluctant to even discuss it and cautions her but finally gives in. He gives her a search program that Seymour Birkhoff wrote. "Take it. But you may be starting down a road that won’t come back." Nikita crosses the main floor and goes to Data Retrieval. She inserts the disc in the console and skirts around a couple firewalls seeing some fragmented data in the process: the name Flavius, and an entry about 2 children, one Nikita, and the other with a name starting with ‘M’. Among the entries are some symbols. But then an alert pops up that a back trace is in progress and Nikita makes a quick exit and returns to Munitions. When she tells Walter that she gained partial access to a Level 12 personnel file, he’s impressed. "Birkhoff really was good." Walter doesn’t know anything about Flavius and tells her that the symbols were likely part of the cryptography. Nikita finally talks him into looking for more information, though he’s reluctant.
Systems, a briefing is in progress. Operations confirms that the conference at Dolmatov’s was bogus. Quinn relates that research revealed they used plastic surgery or latex masks to pose as the real terrorists. Apparently, there was a real conference elsewhere among the factions. Remnants of numerous organizations that Section One has taken down have formed a coalition called The Collective. Quinn goes on with some speculation of the dangers they pose. However, Operations is not impressed with the analysis. "If Madeline were alive this wouldn’t be happening." He ends the meeting.
After everyone else departs, Quinn asks if there’s anything she can do that she’s not doing. Operations replies coldly, "You have the ability to bring back the dead?" then walks away.
Nikita finds Jasmine (a recruit from Time To Be Heroes) at a terminal and decides to put her in a pilot program she discussed with Mr. Jones. A program to allow Jasmine more freedom outside of Section but close scrutiny while in Section. Nikita assures Jasmine that the responsibilities and pressure will be nearly overwhelming but Jasmine is confident and thankful.
A short time later in Systems. Operations has the team gathered for another briefing. Vera Mason, formerly of Glass Curtain, she now handles the finances for The Collective. Operations wants her taken alive with a twelve hour window before The Collective realizes she’s gone.
Hotel in Verdan. Vera is working on a laptop while her two bodyguards relax around the room. Room service arrives with a cart. Its O’Brien and Nikita rolls out from under the cart. They easily subdue the guards. O’Brien gets a sample of Vera’s voice. Then Nikita calls the desk using the voice synthesizer to sound like Vera and tells them not to disturb her for the next 12 hours. They stash Vera underneath the cart and walk back out with her.
Section. Quinn reports the success to Operations in the Perch. Then tells him that someone’s waiting to see him in Lab 4. "Send him in." Quinn replies, "You’ll have to go there." then quickly starts down the corridor. Operations chambers a round in his gun before re-holstering it and following her.
As he enters Lab 4, Quinn is taking her place at a console. He walks into the room and sees Madeline standing there, "Hello Paul." Operations smiles and watches the holomatrix intently as Quinn explains she merged Madeline’s psych and analytical profiles with Birkhoff’s AI (Abort, Fail, Retry, Terminate). Quinn continues to enter commands stating that she’s networking the program so Madeline can go anywhere in Section. Operations finally addresses the program, "Madeline, can you see and hear me?" Rather mechanically, the Madeline program replies, "I don’t process data the way a human brain does, but for all practical purposes, yes." Quinn, continuing her explanation, "She’s also tactile, to a degree." Operations caresses Madeline’s hand as she extends it, "Remarkable." Still caressing Madeline’s hand, "I assume the program works whether you’re here or not?" "Of course." "You can leave." Quinn exits. Operations starts to get emotional, "I’ve missed you, Madeline." Madeline is not affected by the emotion and asks about the current situation. Operations struggles to regain his composure and tells her that Vera is being brought in.
Jasmine checks in with Nikita before going shopping. Detecting overconfidence Nikita warns her to be back in time for the mission in 18 hours. Corridor. Nikita steps out of her office and bumps into a bewildered Walter. She asks him if he wants to have lunch but Walter just mumbles for her to look in the interrogation room. Nikita walks down the hall and is appropriately stunned seeing Madeline interrogating Vera Mason. Nikita looks back at Walter questioningly but he just continues down the hall.
White Room. The holo-Madeline, in Madeline-esque style, cracks Vera with some aid from shifting about the room to further violate Vera’s mind. Perch. Madeline reports success to Operations. He asks her advice on sending a recon team to the conference site. He agrees with her decision then starts to ask her some more personal questions about her memories. She replies that they’re in the database but, "Paul, I’m not flesh and blood." "Some say you never were. But I knew better." replies Operations with a smile. "That entity is dead. I do what I am programmed to do."
Moments later, Operations finds Quinn at her computer and asks her if Madeline’s program can be modified. Quinn replies that it can. Anticipating his questions before he actually states them, Quinn agrees to make the program more human and feminine. Quinn smiles after him as he walks away.
Munitions. Nikita asks Walter if he’s found anything out, wondering if he’s stalling. He replies no but assures her he’s working on it. Then she asks where Operations is since he’s overdo in Systems. "Perch. But the Perch is dark and I wouldn’t go up there."
Nikita goes up anyhow and peeks into the Perch. Operations is dancing with Madeline. Nikita leaves without being noticed, looking rather disgusted and annoyed. Systems a short time later. Jasmine is a couple minutes late to the briefing. Operations and Quinn review the complex where the conference took place. The easiest way in is an underground tunnel. Quinn informs the team that they will perform a complete biosweep. O’Brien gets cocky asking what good it will do a week after the meeting. Madeline replies with a detailed analysis of what they can gain. Nikita asks if The Collective is aware they know Dolmatov’s summit was a decoy, worried that it may be a trap; and Nikita is none to happy having to converse with a hologram. Madeline replies that the indication is that The Collective still thinks they’re deceived. Nikita and O’Brien both voice their disapproval. Madeline looks to Operations for support. "The profile stands. You’ll leave in one hour." After everyone leaves, Madeline replies, "Thank you Paul."
Nikita pulls Jasmine aside and reprimands her for being late. She says she got caught in traffic, "What was I supposed to do, hijack a bus?" With complete seriousness, Nikita replies, "If necessary." Then Nikita tells Jasmine she’s going to find someone else for the program. But Jasmine convinces Nikita to let her try.
Mission in Istanbul. The team poses as a work crew to enter a manhole. They access the building through a tunnel. O’Brien, Jasmine, and a third operative begin the biosweep. Nikita puts on a special pair of glasses and begins to scan the room with a series of different filters. She spots a beam from a motion detector just as Jasmine bumps a chair triggering it. Doors begin to slam closed sealing off the building as gas fills the conference room. Nikita screams, "Abort!" O’Brien slides a case under one door to keep it partially open. He and Jasmine get out followed by Nikita. She tries to get the last operative out but O’Brien pulls her to safety knowing its too late.
Cut to the Perch, Operations asks, "What happened?" Quinn replies, from Comm, "It was a trap. The profile was flawed." Madeline counters with, "The execution was flawed." Operations looks troubled.
Lab 4. Operations is discussing the mission failure with Madeline. It seems he’s beginning to see some flaws in her program. Nikita enters and insists on speaking alone so Operations transfers Madeline to Forensics. He informs Nikita that her performance was unacceptable. Nikita replies coldly, "The profile was unacceptable." Then he says that Jasmine should be disciplined for triggering the alarm. "There wasn’t supposed to be an alarm…Under the circumstances, it’s above standard." Operations states he’s going to report the failed experiment with Jasmine to Mr. Jones. Nikita comes back caustically, "And while we’re at it. Let’s tell him you’re dating an inflatable computer program." Operations appears to stand down just as Madeline pages him to say she found a connection in the data from the biosweep.
The team takes control of a greenhouse and does a biosweep but find no traces of Calamortz. O’Brien reports the failure to Operations; and Operations does not look pleased.
Madeline is with Operations in the Perch. "It was a worthwhile experiment, Paul. It failed." Operations blames himself for having Quinn adjust the program. Holo-Madeline replies that it wouldn’t have mattered in the long run. "What you are looking at isn’t Madeline…it never can be. Do you know why I killed myself?" She tells him that if she had lived and they were apart neither would function efficiently. But with her dead she knew he could move on. Operations is hurting, "This place was at its best when it was the two of us." Madeline continues, "You are the one who makes final decisions, takes final responsibility. I can assure you the real Madeline admired you tremendously. She, or I, was wrong to take my own life. It robbed you of the ability to make the call. You know the codes to my files. You know what needs to be done." Operations nods facing the loss of Madeline a second time. He moves to his console and enters some codes, then glances back at her with tears in his eyes. "Good bye Paul." "Good bye, Madeline." He executes the final command and the holomatrix begins to burn away. He watches till the image is completely gone before taking a deep breath to regain his composure.
Quinn is working at her computer. Operations walks near her and questions her motivation for creating the Madeline program. Since she read his files as well as Madeline’s she knew what it could lead to. "This could be seen as an effort on your part to make me forget Madeline." Quinn hesitates then admits, "Her memory was holding you back. Blinding you to -", she halts but then finishes looking away, "- other possibilities." "I’m promoting you to Level 3. Effective immediately." Operations walks away briskly. Quinn is pleased.
Nikita’s Office. Nikita and Walter consider that the ‘M’ could be Madeline, Mick or, Michael. But dismiss the thought. Then Walter gives her an address he managed to retrieve.
That night. Nikita walks along a street in some town approaching the address she found with the search program. She enters the house after finding the door unlocked. Nikita sees two pair of bronzed baby shoes on the mantel and lightly runs her finger along one of them as she turns to examine the rest of the room. Just as she’s about to probe deeper into the home she hears something behind her and whirls but no one is there. A disc is on the floor and she picks it up. Outside, a motorcycle speeds away. Then her attention is drawn to a beeping noise, a bomb sitting on a table in the next room. Nikita dives out the door just as the house goes up in flames. Breathless, Nikita stands there in the street.