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.