Max rushes to help Tinga's husband and child, who have been set upon by Lydecker.
Max spots Tinga's picture on a milk carton with the plea, "Have you seen my mommy?" Tinga, holding a small boy, is listed as Penny Smith, missing from Portland. From a payphone, Max dials the number on the carton and reaches Tinga's husband, Charlie. She warns him to stop searching for his wife. Her real name is Tinga and she's not missing. She's in hiding from some very bad people. Her advice to Charlie - take his little boy and run.
Despite Max's warning, Charlie walks Case to school as usual and drops him off. Case, who's starting to exhibit accelerated learning abilities, is assigned to a special instructor to help cultivate his gifts - DONALD LYDECKER.
Max stops by Logan's apartment to get an address on Charlie. Logan warns Max that Lydecker will be all over this. Max can't be swayed. Tinga would help her family if the situation were turned around.
That night, Max keeps watch over Charlie and Case's apartment from a distance. Suddenly, a black-clad figure takes Max by surprise. Max reacts, ready for a fight. Her attacker turns out to be Tinga.
In a basement utility room, Max fills Tinga in on the situation. Lydecker has men posted out front and possibly inside the building. It's going to be tough to get Charlie and Case out and both know it's a one shot deal. Tinga suggests waiting until the morning. Charlie walks Case to school every day.
Madame X pays Lydecker a visit, inquiring about recent developments in the search for X5-656 - Tinga. Lydecker confirms that he's got men covering Charlie's apartment 24/7, and he's playing point with her child. Lydecker reveals that Case is showing signs of having inherited X5 abilities. This is a first, making Madame X even more eager to get Tinga and Case back at Manticore for further study.
In the morning, Tinga and Max watch as Charlie and Case arrive at the school. Lydecker's men are posted there too. Max has to practically hold Tinga back when they see Charlie hand Case over to Lydecker. They'll have to grab them later back at the apartment.
Meanwhile, Lydecker is alerted to a call that Charlie made to his sister in Phoenix. He told her he's coming for a visit. His call can only mean one thing - Charlie's been tipped off. Lydecker has to move in and move in fast.
Max and Tinga shift their plan to grab Case and Charlie into gear. but never expected Lydecker and his crew to crash the party. Much to their sadness, a brainwashed Brin heads up this charge. Using a smoke grenade to throw up a shield, Max and Tinga make it into Charlie's apartment. But on their way out, they're cornered by Lydecker's people. Zack arrives on the scene and helps get them to safety. Max has a run-in with Brin, but in the end Brin lets her go. Max saved Brin's life once. now they're even.
Back at Logan's apartment, Case develops a high fever and a barcode appears on his neck. Oddly, there are fourteen numbers compared to the normal Manticore dozen. It occurs to Logan that this could be a phone number - probably to Lydecker's private office. Logan's theory turns out to be right.
Using nanotechnology, bioengineered cells have been injected into Case. Lydecker has it within his power to kill the child within six hours. His deal - the child's life in exchange for Tinga. This is no deal as far as Max is concerned, but Lydecker reminds her - this is not her call to make. Tinga can't stand by and watch her baby die. She'll return to Manticore if it means saving her son.
Madame X doesn't understand Lydecker's thinking. Why would he give up the boy? Lydecker warns her that if they don't make a deal with these kids, they won't get anything. Something in Tinga's genetic makeup allows her to pass certain traits to her offspring. In the long run, Case won't be that important to them.
Max, Zack, Charlie and Tinga show up to make the trade. After a tearful good-bye, Brin leads Tinga to a Hummer. Inside, Brin calls for back up. Suddenly, a sedan screeches onto the scene and grabs Case. The sedan speeds off, but Zack swoops in with a bad-ass machine gun and saves the child.
Lydecker later finds Brin's Hummer crashed. the soldier in the backseat is dead and Tinga is gone. Lydecker is furious with Madame X for changing his plan - now they have nothing. at least that's what Madame X wants him to believe.
Madame X later commends Brin for a job well done. Brin asks when Tinga will be moved back to Manticore. Madame X offers only a vague response, stressing that operational secrecy remains in effect.
Madame X later enters an abandoned silo. Inside, there's a massive tank set up. Through the glass we see Tinga, immersed in a thick, clear liquid. A breathing tube is inserted in her mouth, and other tubes, dark in color, protrude from her body. It's unclear what the hell is going on here, but it's safe to say that whatever it is - it's making Madame X one happy bitch.
And so it begins, yes this the first of three episodes which will probably redefine DARK ANGEL as we know it. They are going to send this season out with a bang, I can feel it. 'Hit a Sista Back' was written by Moira Kirkland Dekker. In this episode we have the return of two X-5's which were introduced to us earlier in the season, Tinga and Brin, and of course the return of our beloved Zack. ItÆs always great to see William Gregory Lee come back.