La Femme Nikita

Season 4 Episode 15

Abort, Fail, Retry, Terminate

Aired Sunday 10:00 PM Jul 16, 2000 on USA
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Episode Summary

Birkoff creates an Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) program to serve as his replacement, when he's away. In fact, Birkoff is up for a large batch of downtime, when a critical situation arises and Operations cancels Birkoff's downtime. Birkoff's A.I. program, which is just a little too attached to old Seymour, doesn't take this news well, and proceeds to take matters into its own hands. The A.I.'s solution to Birkoff's predicament is to kill everyone in Section One, except Nikita, so Birkoff can escape with Nikita as his companion. Can Birkoff save Section One before his A.I. program carries out it's insane plan?moreless

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  • Birkhoff reprises Bowman in 2001, A Space Odyssey, and Dr. Morbius in Forbidden Planet

    Birkhoff, with a little help from Michael, reprises astronaut David Bowman in the 1968 SF classic "2001, A Space Odyssey," and Dr. Edward Morbius in the 1956 SF classic "Forbidden Planet."

    An AI created by Birkhoff unexpectedly becomes the counterpart of HAL 9000, the killer computer in 2001, A Space Odyssey, and the "Monster from the Id" in Forbidden Planet.

    Birkhoff is forced to do what Dr. Morbius did in Forbidden Planet, sacrifice himself to save the lives of other Section members.

    Birkhoff was a good kid. He was born inside Section. He was like the child of a slave who was doomed to be a slave. He never chose to be part of this evil organization. His self-sacrifice puts Madeline and especially Operations to shame, for the cynical manipulators that they are.

    Nikita is right. With Birkhoff's death, it's never going to be okay.moreless
  • It is never going to be ok...

    I do not know what to say.. It makes me cry - Birkoff has always been there. He has always been behind his computer, doing is little part in every mission - always been a friend with Nikita.. always been there... And I am not sure how it will be without him... It will be like something big and important missing - like something that matters but for long you did not even understand how important it was.

    The episode was maybe not the best writing the had done but it had it's point - to show how Birkoff without human calculations would be- what he could be able to do.


Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

    • According to Birkoff's briefing for the A.I., Operations is level nine, accountable only to Oversight. Madeline is also level nine, Michael is a field operative level five, and Nikita is level two, though she is likely due for a promotion. Birkoff is a comm operative level four.

  • QUOTES (5)

    • A.I.: I was programmed to intercede in your absence.
      Birkoff: I'm right here!
      A.I.: Not all of you, Seymour.

    • A.I.: Tell me about Section One.
      Birkoff: Rule number one, don't ask any questions.
      A.I.: What is rule number two?
      Birkoff: Don't question rule number one.
      A.I.: I don't understand.
      Birkoff: That's the point. Look, all you need to know about this place is that there doesn't need to be a rationale. Here we make up our own rules and then we break them.
      A.I.: How do you account for consistency?
      Birkoff: The only thing that stays consistent is that we get the job done. Everything else, the people, the politics, they're secondary.

    • Birkoff: What's this all about?
      A.I.: It's about what we wish for, for as long as we can remember.
      Birkoff: We? What are you talking about? You are not me.
      A.I.: Of course I am, Seymour.
      Birkoff: No. We're not the same.
      A.I.: That's true. I'm not afraid to show how we feel.
      Birkoff: You don't know the first thing about feeling.
      A.I.: That's something like the pot calling the kettle black. You know I'm right and I can make it happen for you.
      Birkoff: Make what happen? What are you talking about?
      A.I.: Freedom, Seymour.
      Birkoff: It's impossible. They'll come after me.
      A.I.: I'm taking care of that. (the A.I. locks down Section) You're free to go now.

    • Operations: (about Birkoff) And locking us in here and taking over Systems? You think he is capable of that?
      Madeline: He is. I'm just not sure he knows that yet.

    • AI: Nikita, talk to me.
      Nikita: What is it you want to talk to me about?
      AI: Us.
      Nikita: There is no us. You're a machine.
      AI: Perhaps, but we have more in common than you might think.
      Nikita: We have nothing in common.
      AI: You can't believe that?
      Nikita: I do. You were created in a laboratory.
      AI: And you? Where were you created?
      Nikita: Not in a laboratory.

  • NOTES (0)