Birkhoff overhears their little pissing match and calls out to Michael. Michael brushes past Ryan, heads for the sound of Birkhoff's voice and kicks open the door. This episode needed a lot more of that and a lot less of almost everything else. Birkhoff sends Michael off after Nikita. Ryan calls for security, then kindly gets out of the way so that the grownups can fight. Michael throws down with some guards while Nikita takes on some suits who demand to see her ID. In the middle of their separate fights, Michael and Nikita pause just long enough to glare at each other, all fiery-eyed. It's pretty hot. Nikita manages to get away when another group of guards descend on Michael, guns drawn. Michael fumes.
Division. Alex sneaks into Birkhoff's computer room and starts uploading the virus from her MP3 player. A notice on the screen reads "INSTALLING MALWARE." Real subtle. Next time, make it say "Installing Puppies and Rainbows" so no one will suspect anything if they walk in while you're in the middle of uploading something nefarious. Speaking of which, Amanda slinks into the room for a chat with Alex. She wants to know how Alex feels about Nathan. Alex seems shocked and disturbed that Amanda knows about him. Has she met Amanda? Alex angrily insists nothing is going on between them. Amanda manages to sound completely threatening and completely helpful at the same time. Nathan better be a Division plant. Amanda slinks off from whence she came and Alex finishes INSTALLING the MALWARE.
CIA Field Office. Ryan is questioning Michael and Birkhoff. Before he can get anywhere, Babs walks into the room and orders their release. She's pissed that Ryan brought Birkhoff in without her approval. Ryan watches helplessly as his prized acorns slip away from his tiny paws.
Division, Ops Room. Birkhoff and Michael are back home with Percy, trying to figure out how much Nikita has told Ryan. Percy would like to just send Roan after Ryan, but feels Ryan is too much of a "worldwide news sensation" to touch. "Of course, that doesn't mean we can't send him a message," Percy says. "Make him think twice about dealing with Nikita." As Birkhoff is running a systems check, a video of Nikita pops up on every screen around Division. "So this is why she wanted your laptop," Michael says. She talks as if to the recruits, inviting them to join her in her quest to take down Division.
Ryan is drowning his sorrows at an upscale bar when Nikita takes the seat beside him. She's got some Snooki hair and makeup going on. Ryan pouts and informs her he's been demoted to the basement. He ticks off a list of ways Nikita has screwed up his life, so she leans in and kisses him. Sadly, it doesn't shut him up. "You... you used me," he splutters. She promises to make him a hero. Good luck with that, sister. As she gets up to leave, he writes himself a note: "Who is Alex?" Urgent music plays, urgently.
Bed, Bath & Way Beyond. Nikita tells Alex that she's rerouted her tracking device. She can make it look like Alex is anywhere she wants. "So, if you wanna go, you're free," she says. Alex doesn't want to spend her life running. She wants to stay to fight Division, get revenge for what they did to her family.
While Michael and Birkhoff think Alex is at home, she takes the opportunity to slip off to that blues club. She parks outside and pauses for a flashback. She and her father are just walking out of the woods. He tells her he only wants to protect her. That's why he teaches her to build fires and takes away her MP3 players. I guess. She smiles and understands. They arrive home, which is a huge, gorgeous mansion. As she runs inside, it becomes clear this is the same place she dreamed about in the opening scene. She slips under the same bed, pulls out the spare MP3 player she's hidden, and listens to some music. In the present day, she joins Nathan in line outside the club, saying she was able to "break free" from work for a little while. There's a final glimpse of younger Alex, blissfully listening to her tunes... and that's how the episode ends. Hopefully, we're back to kicking butt next week.
Tippi Blevins would join a covert government agency for a really nice apartment. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org or http://twitter.com/tippib.