- "If God is in the detail, then I am a God.
- — Seymour Birkhoff
Seymour Birkhoff (born Lionel Peller) is the tech man of Team Nikita along with Sonya. He's also the former head of IT at Division. He's been at Division under both Percy and Ryan's command.
Seymour Birkhoff was born as Lionel Peller, a son of Ronald Peller (a computer engineer), and Rosemary. Rosemary had already given birth to a daughter, Lily, and a son, Lyle. Lionel was considered an accident. After he successfully turned off the lights in the street using father's computer he began to hang out with hackers. His father thought that he could set him straight if he sent him to the military school. Once Lionel had found out about this, he decided to fake his death and change his name to Seymour Birkhoff.
Before Seymour was recruited by Division, he was a college student. During his time at college his cyber criminal handle was "Shadow Walker". Upon hacking into the Pentagon, Seymour was caught then recruited shortly after.
Before Season One
Birkhoff was recruited before Nikita. When he actually came to Division, it was Nikita, Birkhoff and Michael that were usually put together for missions once Nikita progressed beyond recruit status. He has always told her she is hot, to which she responded with calling him nerd, something he is not fond of. He knew about Michael and Nikita falling for each other, however he has always believed Nikita likes him on some level.
In Pilot Birkhoff finds out that pressure sensor at Daniel Monroe's grave was triggered and gained satelite photo of the area, finding Nikita there. Percy charged him with heading operation to kill Nikita. He was not happy about giving the kill order, but did so nevertheless. However he is tricked and kidnapped by Nikita, who claims she wants access to Division network. He laughed at the idea of bringing down the Division. She "pistol whips his face", yet allows him to live after this. Michael and other Division agents find him taped to a spring rocking horse, much to Michael's amusement.
Birkhoff is thought to be Nikita's mole in Kill Jill when he makes the snide comment that the "only person who could hack into Division is me." This rouses the suspicions of Percy and Michael, who send him to talk to Amanda. Amanda sends Birkhoff to Medical for a brain scan (as well as a full body cavity search), and Birkhoff is found to have a "tiny wireless transmitter" embedded in his second biscupid that was placed there by NIkita when she kidnapped him.
He does seem to care for Nikita, often calling her "Nikki" and telling Michael that he misses her, too.
In Season Two, Birkhoff is first re-introduced after he rescues Michael and Nikita. From there, he begins to work with Michael and Nikita towards taking down Division (although he seemed to be initially against the idea of working with them at all).
He continues to be the "IT" guy, although he does seem to have some fighting capabilities. He is also shown to be extremely wealthy. He claims that during his time at Division he had been hardwiring money for himself from various bank accounts.
It is seen in the ninth episode of Nikita, Fair Trade, that Birkhoff is captured by Division while performing surveillance on Oversight with Nikita. He is brutally interrogated by Amanda, who crushed his right hand. Nikita is forced to trade her black box for Birkhoff, but demanded that Sean Pierce be the one to make the exchange.
Birkhoff has had a good relationship with Sonya, his female counterpart and replacement at Division. They are often seen having video chats when Birkhoff needs her help. In the final episode of Season Two, Birkhoff passionately kisses her. This will most likely develop into a romantic relationship in Season Three...
Birkoff would once again be Division's head IT under Ryan Fletcher's administration. He was ordered by Ryan once to kill communications between Nikita and her team during a mission when Nikita wanted to save Michael. Later on Birkoff told him that despite the fact he was obeying orders, he told him that he was wrong in his call and to trust Nikita's judgment. However, they were not only successful in saving Michael, but also killed a Dirty Thirty rouge named Martin. Later on, he would help them hack into one of Wade's weapons which he purchased from Cyrus to turn on him, killing him. During this time, he developed a budding relationship with Sonya, but this was later on tested when Sonya turned out to be an unwilling double-agent for Amanda, but thanks to him telling Nikita that she had a kill chip in her head and another double-agent was watching her every move, he helped save her.
In Broken Home, Alex suggests that if the rogue agents are to be truly free, they must disable shadow net. Birkhoff is led to the server room where he shuts down shadow net, when asked if it was really gone, he informs that it will always live on in his heart and mind. Birkhoff is then held at gun point when Chris suggests that as long as Birkhoff is around they will always be able to track rogue agents. Birkhoff saves himself by disarming Chris. Birkhoff then activates Divisions firewall. Birkhoff is then held at gun point by Owen, telling Birkhoff to override the elevators.
In "Set-Up" we learn that the man that is MDK's double is Birkhoff's father Ronald Peller . He explains to Nikita and Ryan that his birth name was Lionel Peller, which he changed to Seymour Birkhoff after he faked his death in a sail boat accident.
In Bubble, he like the rest of Team Nikita believed Amanda was dead and the group was shut down, that is until Ryan died trying to get the truth to them, which enraged him to the point where he screamed out 'Amanda, she's a live? That freaking evil BITCH!!' and kicked down a television set.
In Canceled, he appeared to not be aware of Nikita's plan, but in reality, he was in on the plan to use subterfuge to take down Amanda and the group, and it worked. Amanda's in prison for the rest of her life, along with the group main members. Along with Sonya, he will release the code to ShadowNet in an act he calls "Open Source Anarchy" so that people can protect themselves from the government agencies from watching them.
Birkhoff is highly intelligent and is shown to have a rebellious side to him. Birkhoff thinks very highly of himself and his skills. He is the comic relief, often making jokes that lighten the mood. Birkhoff is caring and loyal to his friends beneath his snarky exterior.
- Main article: Nikita and Seymour
Nikita and Birkhoff have known each other since their first years at Division. They have almost a family bond. Nikita always calls Birkhoff nerd and Birkhoff calls Nikita, Nikki. He however does kiss her in Crossbow.
- Main article: Michael and Seymour
Initially only on profesional basis, Michael persuades Birkhoff to show his true nature and help them against Division. Even though they don't show it as much Micheal and Birkhoff seem to be fairly good friends.
- Main article: Alex and Seymour
During Alex's mole days in Division he thought her to be incompetent in his lessons and that did not change for some time. during season 3 birkhoff tries to give advice to Alex when she starts abusing drugs again.
- Main article: Sonya and Seymour
There were some initial glimces into a somewhat closer relationship between Sonya and Seymour before 3.0, but Birkhoff did something that damaged it. However during the middle season three, sonya and birkhoff have succumbed to their feelings for eachother and are now in a romantic relationship.
Birkhoff is shown as one of the best people in the world in his field of IT expertise and is better than anyone in Division including Sonya.
He is also the engineer, building his own equipment.
He has some combat training from Division and sparring with Michael during their rogued days.
He has a networth of several billion courtesy of hacking bank accounts.
- Birkhoff used to wear glasses.
- He collects game characters figures (Assassin's Creed...)
- Birkhoff has a Hermione Granger action figure
- Birkhoff owned an Alienware laptop which he used to hack into systems.
- He usually quotes characters from movies and TV Shows.
- Including a reference to CEREBRO from the X-Men film series. Aaron Stanford portrayed John Allerdyce/Pyro in the second and third films, first as a student at the Institute and then as a member of Magneto's Brotherhood as a mutant terrorist.
- Sonya is the only person who calls Birkhoff by his first name.
- Although Birkhoff is a tech genius and expert in computers, he sometimes looks down at his keyboard to type.
- He shares one thing with Amanda in common, they both faked their deaths as teenagers, albeit their methods differ from each other.
- Also neither had a good relationship with their fathers. However, while Birkoff reconciled with his father later in life, Amanda murdered hers when she was a teenager mainly due to the abuse she went though as his test subject.
- Michael: "You okay?"
Nikita: "Oh babe, I will be when you get me out of here."
Birkhoff: "'God, get a room."
- Birkhoff: "Ha! And that is why you fail! except at hotness...at which you succeed.
'Birkhoff: "You heard me."
- "I'm not the mole genius; it's my molar."
- "Just try and pretend I'm not an idiot. Give me that much."
- "What is this, spy 101? Just do it."
- "You think? I'm on lockdown here Michael, confined to Division. You see those two deltoids over there? They have to follow me everywhere I go. They even accompany me to the bathroom, Michael."
- "Oh I can't look at another tree. This must be what squirrels feel like."
- "It takes a whole squad of you rejects to even come close to me. And I want you to die knowing that!"
- Birkhoff: "Bow down before Shadow Walker!"
- Police Officer: Do not move, put 'em up were I can see them, LET'S GO COME ON HACKER BOY!
- Birkhoff: They're up, they're up.
- If God is in the details, then I am a God.