Season: 1–2 & 4, Episodes: 48, Faction: Survivors/Freighter
Michael Dawson was a former construction worker and one of the middle section survivors of Oceanic Flight 815. Before the crash, Michael lost custody of his son Walt to his girlfriend Susan Lloyd and never got to know him. He had no access to his child until many years later when Susan died and he was awarded custody. After the crash, Michael had issues connecting with Walt, but the two eventually bonded during their time on the Island. He was in charge of the construction of the raft and attempted to leave the Island with Walt, Jin, and Sawyer to find rescue. However, while at sea they were attacked by the Others, Walt was kidnapped and the raft was destroyed. They washed up on shore, discovered the tail-section survivors of the plane, and headed back to camp. After communicating with Walt on the Swan station computer, Michael ventured a rescue alone, but was captured himself. When he returned, he shot Ana Lucia and Libby in order to release Benjamin Linus from captivity, and caused the capture of Jack, Sawyer and Kate, meeting his end of the deal he had made with the Others in return for Walt.
After leaving the Island on a motor boat with Walt, Michael returned to Manhattan, but racked with guilt, he became estranged from Walt and turned suicidal. In order to redeem himself he went undercover for Ben as a saboteur on the freighter Kahana, posing as a deckhand named Kevin Johnson. He was aboard the freighter when the C-4 bomb was found, and he froze its battery with liquid nitrogen to delay its detonation long enough for the Oceanic Six to escape, but the bomb eventually exploded, destroying the freighter and killing him.
Because of his actions, Michael did not “move on” and his spirit remained on the Island. Michael would use Hurley’s ability to see the deceased to try and aid his friends, and could be heard among the whispers.
2×02 – Adrift
Michael’s initial reaction is to yell for his now kidnapped son. Michael begins to sink underwater, until he is grabbed by Sawyer, who pulls him up onto the wreckage of what was the raft. Sawyer then starts pounding on Michael’s chest to revive him. Michael wakes up and yells for Walt, despite Sawyer’s advice. Michael is quick to blame Sawyer for the kidnapping, because Sawyer made him fire the flare that signaled the Other’s boat.
Before the two have any more time to bicker, a shark makes its presence known in the water. Michael is even more angry at Sawyer, because his bloody shoulder is what attracted the shark in the first place. Sawyer can’t take this anymore and swims to another piece of wreckage, away from Michael. Michael later advises Sawyer not to take the bullet out of his shoulder with his bare hands, Sawyer says that he thought Michael didn’t want anything to do with him. Michael tells Sawyer that he has no idea what it is to care for someone else. When the shark attacks, Michael helps save Sawyer. In the morning, they land back on the Island. They soon found Jin, who was being chased by mysterious individuals. (“Adrift”)
2×03 – Orientation
Before Michael and company have time to collect themselves, they are knocked out and carried to a pit into which they are dumped. Michael and Jin give Sawyer a boost to the top of the pit, but someone sticks a knife in the pit which makes Sawyer fall. Then their captors drop in a girl who is unconscious. When the girl finally wakes up, she reveals that her name is Ana Lucia and that she was also on Oceanic Flight 815. Michael is discouraged when Ana Lucia claims she hasn’t seen Walt. In an interesting turn of events, Ana grabs Sawyer’s gun, punches him and then is pulled out by an ally of hers. (“Orientation”)
2×04 – Everybody Hates Hugo
Ana Lucia returns and points the gun at Sawyer, forcing Jin and Michael to climb out of the pit. When Sawyer refuses, Ana closes the cover of the pit. Later, Sawyer is given a second chance to come out, which he takes. They all realize that they were on the same plane. Michael introduces himself to Libby, Libby says that 23 people from her group survived. Michael is surprised when they enter the Arrow and only a few people are present. Later in the episode, Michael tells Bernard that his wife, Rose, is safe. (“Everybody Hates Hugo”)
2×05 – …And Found
Ana Lucia decided that they were going to journey back to the middle-section survivors’ camp. Michael chatted again with Libby, before he ran away, in attempt to find Walt. Jin and Eko soon pursued him and convinced him to come back and that they’d get Walt back together. (“…And Found”)
2×06 – Abandoned
Sawyer says a few choice words about Michael, not knowing that he had returned. When Sawyer’s condition gets worse, Michael offers him help, but Sawyer refuses. Michael later questions Ana Lucia for being so paranoid about the Others. Ana Lucia tells Michael about the Others kidnapping twelve of her fellow survivors, to which Michael replies, “They took my son.” When Sawyer collapses, Michael insists that he’ll help Sawyer. He then instructs his fellow survivors on what they need to do to make a stretcher. While carrying Sawyer, they all hear the whispers. Michael then witnesses Ana Lucia accidentally mistaking Shannon for an Other and shooting her. (“Abandoned”)
2×08 – Collision
Sayid, who is also present at the scene, attacks Eko despite Michael’s pleas. Sayid is quickly knocked out, and Ana acts hysterically, pointing her gun at Michael. Michael gets up to get a tied-up Sayid water. Ana points her gun at Michael and orders him to sit down. Michael claims that he’s just bringing him water. He then tells Sayid about the raft, about Ana Lucia, and about his determination to get Walt back. Ana sends Michael to camp to get ammunition and other supplies for her. He leaves the Tailies and runs into Sun in her garden. Sun brings him to Jack and informs him about Shannon’s death. Michael offers to bring Jack to Ana, but Eko who is also present takes Jack instead. Later on, Michael is reunited with his fellow survivors. (“Collision”)
3×14 – Exposé
While all this was going on, Ben and Juliet met in the Pearl station to discuss their plan to use Michael to eventually lure Jack, Kate and Sawyer to a remote location where they would be taken captive. That same day, Michael was contacted by someone claiming to be Walt on the swan computer. (“Exposé”)
2×09 – What Kate Did
That same day, while in the hatch, Michael discovers the blast doors. He asks Locke about them, who doesn’t know anything either. Locke tells Michael about the Swan Orientation Film and offers to let Michael watch it. Eko asks if he can watch it too. Locke does not object. He shows Michael and Eko the film and then explains the shifts to Michael. Michael investigates the computer. He soon notices that the monitor says “Hello?”. Michael types back “Hello?”. When “Who is this?” appears on the monitor, Michael replies, typing “This is Michael, Who is this?”. To Michael’s surprise, “Dad?” appears on the monitor. (“What Kate Did”)
2×10 – The 23rd Psalm
The next day, Michael continues to communicate with “his son” on the computer. “Walt” tells him that he’s OK and that he’s alone. Jack enters when Michael was about to type something. Jack tells Michael that he will do everything in his power to get Walt back and that he can’t imagine how tough it is to Michael. Michael thanks him and Jack leaves after glancing at the computer screen. (“The 23rd Psalm”)
2×22 – Three Minutes
The next morning, Michael asks John if he can borrow some guns for target practice. Michael drops a box ammunition on the ground. When Locke bends down to get them, Michael knocks him out with the butt of his gun. He then walks over to the computer and gets instructions from Walt on where to find him. (“Three Minutes”)
2×11 – The Hunting Party
By this time, Jack found Locke lying on the ground in the closet. Michael tells Jack that he’s going after his son. Jack tries to convince Michael otherwise, but is unsuccessful and Michael locks them in the closet. (“The Hunting Party”)
2×22 – Three Minutes
Michael runs through the jungle until he comes across Pickett urinating. Michael corners him, but is soon attacked by Tom, who takes his rifle. Michael flees with Pickett firing shots at him. Tom orders Pickett to stop and throws a bola that trips Michael. They put a bag over his head and gag him.
At night, when Tom removes the hood off Michael’s head, Michael’s first reaction is to spit on him. Tom warns him not to do that again. Danny and Tom leave to talk to Jack, Locke, and Sawyer, Alex uses this as an opportunity to ask about Claire’s baby. When Tom and Pickett return, Alex is forced to knock Michael out with a gun.
They then take a long hike to the decoy village. When Michael first arrives, Pickett takes a blood sample from him. Michael then encountered Ms. Klugh, who asked him a number of questions about Walt’s upbringing. Michael was unable to answer any of the questions asked. After being kept as a prisoner for almost a week, Michael was briefly allowed to see his son. In the emotional reunion, Walt was once again pulled away from his father after hinting that the Others aren’t who they claim to be. Michael is left in tears, when Ms. Klugh approached him. She offered Michael a deal: if he released the Other who had been captured by his friends, as well as bring Jack, Kate, Sawyer, and Hurley to them, they would release Walt. A devastated Michael agreed, but added that if he did what they asked, he wanted a boat. She agreed. (“Three Minutes”)
Mobisode x04 – The Deal
Shortly after, Juliet came in to see Michael, and told him that he can have the boat he requested. She commented that Walt is very special, and that she’s glad he will be able to leave after Michael complies with their deal. Juliet assured Michael that they will honor their end of the bargain, as she let him know of her own deal that she made to save her sister. Michael asked why she would do that if she couldn’t be with her, and Juliet asked, “Wouldn’t you do anything to save Walt?” (“The Deal”)
2×19 – S.O.S.
Michael was next seen running through the jungle and finally collapsed in front of Kate and Jack. (“S.O.S.”)
2×20 – Two for the Road
They brought him back to the Swan. After Michael regained consciousness, he told them that he wasn’t captured and knew where the Others lived. When he was alone in the hatch with Ana Lucia, he offered to kill Henry Gale for her. He then turned and shot Ana Lucia. He turned around to see Libby staring at him and panicked, shooting her as well. With Ana Lucia dead and Libby slowly dying, Michael freed the Other known as Henry Gale. He then shot himself in the arm to convince the rest of the survivors that he was another innocent victim who simply got lucky. (“Two for the Road”)
2×21 – ?
At the Swan, Hurley tells Michael he was going on a picnic with Libby and adds that he is glad Michael is OK. (“?”)
2×22 – Three Minutes
Michael then rallied the survivors requested in order to “rescue Walt”, insisting that he do it “his way”, and refused help from Sayid who was by far the most qualified for a rescue attempt. While many of the survivors fell for the story, Sayid did not, and confided in Jack that he believed Michael had been “compromised”. Although Jack had his doubts, he agreed that only Kate, Sawyer, and Hurley should go on the mission. Before leaving however, Jack secretly issued Michael a gun without any ammunition. (“Three Minutes”)
Out in the jungle, Michael and his team encountered a large bird that swooped down on them. Michael attempted to shoot it by reflex and realized that his magazine was empty, and when Jack offered to reload the weapon, Michael realized that Jack was suspicious of his motives. The team was scouted by two of the Others, one of whom Sawyer killed. The surviving Other ran from the group, which made all but Jack and Michael fearful that the Others would find out their plan. Jack then revealed that the Others have already been warned, explaining to the team that Michael had betrayed them. He apologized and pleaded for their understanding, but none of them could forgive him for his actions, particularly Hurley who forced Michael to admit his part in Ana Lucia and Libby’s deaths. (“Live Together, Die Alone, Part 1”)
As the team moved through the jungle, they were ambushed by the Others at the capsule dump, all of them taken hostage. The group was moved to the Pala Ferry where Henry Gale showed his authority as the apparent leader of the Others. He acknowledged that Michael kept his word, and returned Walt to him, along with the promised boat. Henry told Michael that by traveling at a compass bearing of 325, they would find rescue. Michael asked Henry how he knew they wouldn’t tell people where they’d been, to which he replied that Michael wouldn’t dare risk letting people know the lengths he went to in order to get his son back.
Michael then desperately asked the question on all the survivors’ lips: who the Others really were. With the ominous reply and grin from Henry that they are “the good guys”, Michael and Walt started up the boat and departed from the pier. While Walt looked back at his friends still held captive, Michael kept his eye on the heading – leaving the Island with his son. Even after all he had had to do, in Michael’s mind the two had finally come together once more. (“Live Together, Die Alone, Part 2”)