|Directed by||Jonathan Glassner|
|Written by||Kalinda Vazquez|
|Original air date||January 27, 2011|
"Free" is the twelfth episode of the first season of Nikita.
With her promotion to agent, Division gives Alex a new apartment and a cover job. Her new neighbor, Nathan, invites Alex to a party, but Nikita warns her about the risks of getting involved with people. Alex struggles to balance her responsibilities at Division and leading a normal life. Nikita discovers that Division has implanted a kill chip in Alex's head and works on gaining control of the chip. While interrogating Birkhoff, Nikita reveals a secret that shocks Ryan.
Alex has been given a promotion to full agent, with all the perks that entails. She's free to "rejoin the rest of the world", but that's not without a few catches. Along with the nice apartment, her successful cover career, and an new SUV, Alex still has an ID chip implanted in her which allows Division to keep tabs on her.
Alex encounters Nikita, and naturally Nikita wishes to remove that tracking chip and free Alex. Nikita flashes back to when she witnessed Percy test a kill chip which caused a North Korean politician to die on national TV. When Percy suggested that the kill chip technology could be used on the tracking chip, Nikita realized that Alex may have the kill chip implanted in her as well.
Birkhoff is brought into the CIA field office, and Nikita starts to hack into his laptop while Ryan interrogates Birkhoff about his work before he came to Division. Michael and Percy study surveillance footage of Birkhoff's kidnapping and realize that the culprits must be CIA.
Alex attends Nathan's party, but attacks a flirtatious partygoer when he starts getting too aggressive. Shocked at her behavior and at all the eyes suddenly on her, Alex leaves. Later, Nathan speaks with Alex, wanting another chance with her, but she refuses him. Nikita gives Alex a computer virus to upload into Division's system to distract them while she hacks into Birkhoff's account.
Percy gets in touch with his new contact at the CIA, Barbara, and tries to figure out where Birkhoff is, and more importantly, where Ryan is. Barbara admits that, as per her orders, Ryan is off limits. Michael storms into the room where Birkhoff is being held and he's captured by the CIA.
Barbara releases Michael and Birkhoff from Ryan's custody, and Ryan himself is demoted. However, later on Nikita meets with a dejected Ryan and tells him that she'll eventually make him a hero. Alex decides to meet up with Nathan and his friends for a night out.