Maggie Q and Shane West

On Thursday's episode of Nikita, Michael interferes with rookie agent Alex's budding romance to teach her an important lesson about working at Division: Love and black ops don't mix.

"Love is part of the past," Shane West tells TVGuide.com. "Michael had a wife, a daughter, a job in the Navy. All of that was taken away from him by someone he thought was his best friend. He joined Division to get revenge and take out bad guys along the way. That's why he's dark, why people ask if Michael could smile more."

Nikita's Maggie Q puts the kibosh on the Nikita-Michael-Alex love triangle

That's why he's not thrilled with Alex (Lyndsy Fonseca) smiling now. As Nikita's (Maggie Q) protege and mole inside Division, Alex endured intense training, traumatic flashbacks and torture before she graduated to become a fulltime field agent. But those hard days are behind her (or so she thinks) and romance is right across the hall in the form of her cute neighbor Nathan (Thad Luckinbill).

Falling for a civilian can't end well though. Just ask Nikita, whose lover Daniel was killed by Division because of her attachment to him. Or fellow rogue operative Owen Elliot (Devon Sawa) whose girlfriend Emily (Bianca Lawson) met a similar fate. Could Alex and Nathan complete the tragic trifecta?

"Michael gets in their way, so that was a lot of fun," says West, whose character appears at Alex's new apartment just as she and Nathan are about to get cozy. "He's seeing this mirrored thing of what happened with Nikita and Daniel is going to happen with Alex and Nathan. It's cautionary, it's being wary. Nathan's a sweet guy who has no clue that they are in danger."

Nikita Scoop: Will Alex betray Nikita?

And sorry "Malex" fans, but Michael isn't jealous. "I don't believe Michael can be with Alex," West says. "I think it makes him a little creepy because he's dated Nikita. Is he going to date the Nikita 2.0? Did he date a bunch of other attractive girl recruits? Is he that creepy dude who works for Division?" Michael's recent suspicion that Alex might be working with Nikita would also put a damper on his ardor. "Alex gets in trouble because she's a little sloppy in her new life as an agent and living on her own. Michael might suddenly be catching on that Thom might not have been the mole."

It's a different story with "Mikita" though. Working on the inside, it's Michael's job to apprehend or kill Nikita since she's trying to take down Division, but residual feelings remain, which makes for conflicted loyalties. "It's difficult because if either one of them succeeded, she'd be dead or he would be dead," West says. "They will be collaborating again on a mission, and in one particular scene, we're both caught and she thinks I'm going to take her in again but I let her go. There's still that caring for each other. It's very bittersweet."

Do you believe that Michael and Nikita can be together?