Birkoff - the computer mastermind
of Section One.
Section One is made up of hundreds of operatives, and each has his own
story. Although many share similarities in their backgrounds - most
often as killers - Birkoff remains a Section enigma.
His relatively young age sets him apart from many of his fellow
operatives. He is a curious mix of youth and complete professional -
often munching on oreos as he guides operatives through life and death
situations. His total assurance of his skills borders on arrogance,
yet in other areas his growth has been stunted. He is surrounded by
guns and other weaponry, yet when caught off-guard in a
life-threatening situation he needed Nikita's direction to help him
load a gun. Shooting the man who attempted to kill him sent Birkoff
into a state of shock, which adds to the theory that however he was
recruited, it wasn't for his mercenary skills.
It is not known how long Birkoff has been a member of Section, and he
doesn't speak about his past or personal life unless coaxed - usually
by Nikita. He once jokingly told her he had been recruited because he
killed his sister, but whether he even has a sister is a mystery. His
lifestyle suggests he came into Section at a young age. We know that
he has been in Section for more than seven years, and during that time
has chosen to remain isolated, shutting himself off from the world
outside Section walls. His living quarters reflect Section in general
- white and sterile, a few personal touches, but very little warmth.
Birkoff is very much a product of Section, but since Nikita's arrival
he seems to be reaching beyond his original training. He is maturing.
Birkoff and Nikita appear to be close in age, their relationship
is one of a tentative friendship as they learn to trust each other.
(Including trusting Nikita with his first name - Seymour.) Birkoff's
shock when he witnessed Nikita's "death", and the unmistakable
happiness on his face when she was "rescued" from Freedom League showed
clearly how much he had come to care for her. His relationship with
Michael is not so well-defined, but it is clear that the two respect
each other's abilities. Birkoff - who claims he "doesn't do favors" -
changed numbers on a computer sim to give Michael a better chance of
being rescued by Section when he was stranded in a hostile enviroment.
An action that could have cost him if discovered by Operations and
Madeline. Birkoff and Walter also have an interesting relationship.
The two often work together on missions, argue over how to carry them
out effectively, and provide each other with a sounding board and
support. They treat each other as professional equals.
Birkoff's most complicated relationships are with Operations and
Madeline. Although they are not parental with him, each has shown
moments of genuine fondness - something not seen in their
relationships with any other operative. Despite this affection,
Birkoff is treated the same as the other operatives in Section. When
his concentration and performance faltered after killing his would-be
attacker, he was placed in abeyance. He is expected to be a complete
professional, but has begun to experience what it is like to try to
cope with personal feelings while doing the job required of him. His
involvement with fellow operative Gail has challenged him, forcing him
to decide between loyalty to Section, or loyalty to someone he cares
Birkoff has lived in Section for a significant portion of his life,
but it is only now that he has begun to realize that he is going to
have to find a way to balance his personal life with his lifetime
commitment to Section One. This may prove to be his greatest