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.
After escaping the Island
According to Michael, after following Ben’s bearing of 325, he and Walt eventually came to “an island with people.” He sold the boat the others gave him and boarded a cargo ferry bound for the United States. After arriving home, he and Walt presumably told no one except Michael’s mother who they were. (“There’s No Place Like Home, Part 1”)
4×08 – Meet Kevin Johnson
Wracked with guilt over the two murders he committed on the Island, Michael attempted to kill himself by driving his car into a shipping crate, having pinned a suicide note written to Walt to his shirt.
Michael survived the crash and awoke in a hospital after a visit from his murder victim Libby in a nightmare.
Upon his full recovery, Michael went to his mother’s house seeking to speak with Walt, but in a heated exchange with his mother, who was caring for Walt, Michael learned that Walt was distraught and having nightmares. Michael’s mother refused to let Michael see Walt, telling Michael that Walt didn’t want to speak with him, and when Michael spotted Walt in an upstairs window, Walt turned away.
Michael traded Jin’s Rolex watch for a revolver and ammunition at a Manhattan pawn shop. In a back alley, he prepared to shoot himself when Tom approached with an offer of a job. A scuffle ensued, ending in a stalemate. Tom deduced that the reason Walt refused to speak to his father was because Michael confessed his murders to the boy. Tom informed Michael that he would not be able to kill himself even if he wanted to.
Michael returned to a motel room and tried to shoot himself in the head, but the gun did not fire. Michael’s repeat attempt was interrupted by a television news report announcing the finding of the wreckage of Oceanic 815 at the bottom of the Sunda Trench. Michael headed to Tom’s hotel room where he found Tom in the company of Arturo. Tom ordered Michael to pose as a deck hand named “Kevin Johnson” on board the freighter Kahana, a ship hired by Charles Widmore, disembarking from Fiji. (“Meet Kevin Johnson”)
On the freighter
4×08 – Meet Kevin Johnson
Michael arrived in Fiji and encountered Minkowski, Naomi, and Miles as he boarded the freighter, where Michael was told a crate had been shipped to him. While at sea, he met Frank Lapidus, who told him of his conspiracy theory that the Oceanic 815 wreckage had been staged.
Later, Michael observed Keamy, Omar, and other members of the mercenary team skeet shooting using automatic weapons, but they rebuffed his questions about their mission. Returning to his room, Michael opened the crate delivered to him to find a toolcase filled with explosives. He took the toolcase down to the engine room and prepared to activate the bomb. Libby briefly appeared to him and told him not to do it, but she disappeared and Michael shook off the apparent hallucination. He punched in a detonation count, but at the end of a short countdown, rather than detonating, the bomb popped up a flag reading “NOT YET”.
Sometime later, Michael was summoned to the radio room by Minkowski, who told him that Walt was calling from the mainland. Alone in the radio room, Michael discovered that it was actually Benjamin Linus calling him from the Island. Ben ordered him to remain on board the boat, collect the names of all its personnel and relay them to Ben, and disable the radio and the engines. Ben stressed that some of the crew members aboard the Kahana were innocents and should not be killed during a war. Ben stresses to Michael that when he is at war, no innocent people will get hurt.
Michael questions Ben’s plea and asks him why Ana Lucia and Libby had to die in vain. Then Ben reminds Michael of the fact that he was never told to kill them. It was Michael’s choice of action. Ben tries to comfort Michael by telling him he doesn’t blame Michael, since they did have his boy and what wouldn’t a man do for his son. Michael is dazed but accepts Ben’s mission, to collect information about the people from the freighter, reluctantly. Ben tells him he has finally joined “the good guys”. (“Meet Kevin Johnson”)
4×08 – Meet Kevin Johnson
After Daniel, Charlotte, Miles and Frank left the boat to parachute to the Island, Charlotte was held captive by John Locke’s faction of survivors. At the same time, Ben was being held by the same group and a debate raged between Sawyer and Locke as to whether they should let him live. Ben eventually proved his worth to the survivors by recalling information about Charlotte – and saying that he knew who she was because he had a man on her boat. Four days later, Ben revealed to Locke the identity of his spy, and several days later he revealed Michael’s identity to the rest of Locke’s faction of survivors. (“Confirmed Dead”) (“The Other Woman”) (“Meet Kevin Johnson”)
4×07 – Ji Yeon
Desmond and Sayid were being escorted to their new room by Ray, the doctor aboard the Kahana, until they spotted a large blood stain upon the wall of the new room. Ray proclaimed that it should have already been cleaned up and called out to Kevin, the janitor down the hallway. Kevin began to walk towards the room, and when is face was revealed to Sayid and Desmond through the shadows, they recognized him as Michael. Michael introduced himself as Kevin Johnson, and proceeded to shake hands with the pair, who, while serious and confused, maintained their composure and kept Michael’s identity. (“Ji Yeon”)
4×08 – Meet Kevin Johnson
Michael was later seen on the exterior deck of the Kahana along with Sayid and Desmond observing the beating of two men by Captain Gault. Gault maintained that he wasn’t trying to hurt them, but instead trying to save them from sharing the same fate as Minkowski and Brandon. Gault then ordered Johnson to clean up after the scuffle. The people on the deck began to walk away, and while Michael was heading towards his cleaning area Sayid stopped him and asked him why he was on the ship. Michael simply stated that he was “here to die”.
After, Michael was in the engine room with another man trying to fix the engines when Sayid and Desmond came down. They said that they where there to help with the repairs, so Michael ordered the other man that was with him to go get a valve. When the man departed, Sayid pushed Michael up against a wall and demanded to know what happened to him after he left the Island. After Michael finished telling Sayid how he got onto the freighter, Sayid grabbed Michael aggressively and forced him into the captain’s room. There, Sayid told Gault that Michael is the one that destroyed the engine and communication rooms. He also revealed his real name and proclaimed that he was a spy working for Benjamin Linus. (“Meet Kevin Johnson”)
4×11 – Cabin Fever
When Keamy returned to the freighter with the wounded mercenaries following the attack on the Barracks, he questioned whether Gault had been the one to provide Ben with information about him. Gault took him to see Michael, who had been locked up following his outing by Sayid. When Michael admitted to giving Ben the information, Keamy tried to shoot him, pulling the trigger of his gun several times with no success. Instead, he knocked Michael out.
After this Frank enters Michael’s cell and he asks him why he never admitted he was a survivor of Oceanic 815. However, Michael tells Frank that it was because Widmore, Frank’s boss, was the one who staged the wreckage. He then begs Frank not to take Keamy and his team back to the Island, because he thinks he will ruthlessly kill everyone. Frank reassures him not to worry and he helps him out of his cell. Once out, Michael and Frank both witness Omar strapping a device to Keamy’s arm. (“Cabin Fever”)
After Jin and Sun arrive on the boat, Michael informs Desmond that the engines are fixed. He then attempts to explain himself to Sun and Jin and tries to tell them he is not working for Ben, but instead to atone for his previous sins. Just then, Desmond calls to him, having discovered a large depository of C-4 in the communications room. (“There’s No Place Like Home, Part 1”)
While attempting to stop the explosion, Michael realizes that they’ll have to freeze the battery with liquid nitrogen. Unfortunately, only one canister of the substance is available. Michael delays the explosion by freezing the battery wired to the C-4, but is unable to postpone it indefinitely because of Keamy’s dead man’s trigger. (“There’s No Place Like Home, Part 2”)
As time slowly runs out for the explosion, Michael convinces Desmond and Jin to leave the communications room. Soon after Jin reluctantly leaves, Christian Shephard appears to Michael, telling him he can “go now” (possibly in reference to the Island keeping Michael alive). Michael, seeing Christian, an unknown figure to him, asks, “Who are you?”
The freighter then explodes, apparently killing Michael instantly. (“There’s No Place Like Home, Part 3”)