Season: 3, Episodes: 9, Faction: The Others
Mikhail Bakunin (Russian, Ukrainian) was a member of the Others and a former Soviet soldier who lived in the Flame, where he was stationed to manage communications with the outside world. Skilled in the use of weapons and hand-to-hand combat, Mikhail was a trusted lieutenant of Benjamin Linus. After his capture by a small group of Oceanic Flight 815 survivors, John Locke pushed him through the sonar fence, and he was thought to have been killed, but he survived, attributing his survival to the fence’s non-lethal setting. He was later shot in the chest with a spear gun, but survived long enough to detonate a grenade outside the window of the Looking Glass station, drowning Charlie Pace. He perished when the grenade detonated in his hand, believing that his orders to kill Charlie were essential to the survival of the Island.
Before the Island
3×11 – Enter 77
Bakunin told Sayid that he grew up in Kiev and joined the Soviet Army, performing years of unpleasant actions in the service including a stint in Afghanistan during the war between the Soviets and Mujahaddin. During this time he became familiar with field medical treatments. Mikhail was eventually stationed at a military listening post in Vladivostok, located in the Far East of Siberia on the Pacific Ocean. In the early 1990s his military unit was decommissioned, and he was released from the Soviet Army. He claimed that at the age of 24, he replied to a newspaper advertisement titled “Would you like to save the world?” and was recruited by a “magnificent man.” He eventually ended up arriving on the Island around 1993. Before he was revealed as being one of the Others, he had claimed to be a member of the DHARMA Initiative, but later confessed that this was not true. (“Enter 77”)
On the Island
Mikhail was put in the charge of the Flame communications station by the Others. He described himself as wanting to work alone like a lighthouse keeper, and the job at the station afforded him that opportunity. At the station, he wore a DHARMA Initiative uniform, and was armed.
3×16 – One of Us
When Ben approached the Flame on the day of the air crash, he was very careful. He seemed somewhat concerned that Mikhail might take a shot at anyone approaching unannounced.
The day Oceanic Flight 815 crashed, Ben brought Juliet to the Flame, where Mikhail was already active in screening news reports related to the flight’s disappearance, and starting to gather information about everyone aboard. At Ben’s request, Mikhail opened a live off-island video feed from Richard Alpert in Miami, showing Juliet that her sister Rachel and Rachel’s baby were both alive and quite well, and then cut the feed when Ben told him to. (“One of Us”)
3×05 – The Cost of Living
When Locke, Sayid, Desmond, Nikki and Paulo visited the Pearl station, Sayid was able to rewire the live video surveillance feed to the upper-left monitor (monitor 1). Mikhail, wearing a DHARMA Initiative uniform and an eye patch, appeared. He looked directly at the camera, put his hand over the camera lens, and the signal from the camera was lost. In response, Locke said whimsically, “I guess he’ll be expecting us.” (“The Cost of Living”)
3×11 – Enter 77
En route to rescue Jack from the Barracks, Kate, Locke, Sayid and Danielle came across the Flame station. Danielle claimed that she had never been there before, and then excused herself from the group, saying that she had managed to survive for so long precisely by avoiding contact with other people on the Island. Mikhail was observed by the group as he performed some chores outside the Flame, and, except for the horse tied up outside that was saddled with short stirrups (and that only Sayid made note of), it appeared that he was the sole inhabitant of the station.
Sayid chose to walk unarmed with his hands in the air toward the Flame, but Mikhail shot him in the arm with a rifle. Locke and Kate then charged the station and captured Mikhail. They all then went inside where they interrogated him. Mikhail presented himself as the “last surviving member of the DHARMA Initiative”, referred to the Others as the “Hostiles”, and implied that they had survived a war known as “The Purge”, which had ended with the death of all members of the DHARMA Initiative. Mikhail claimed that the “Hostiles” had been on the Island for a very long time. (Note: Later, Mikhail revealed that he had never been a member of the DHARMA Initiative, but was one of the Others.) A Cyrillic typewriter with a Russian language document by Mikhail was also visible in the room. The text contains the Russian name ‘Andrei’ and a handwritten note in red on the margins: “My name is also Andrei”.
Sayid and Kate tied him up, and went into the basement of the Flame to investigate. Mikhail managed to untie himself, and he then took Locke hostage by stealing Locke’s own knife. When Kate and Sayid returned, they held Bea Klugh, who had been hiding in the basement, hostage. Klugh desperately shouted at Mikhail in Russian to kill her and himself in order to “not let them…get into the territory”. Mikhail was extremely reluctant, but finally conceded. He asked Klugh for forgiveness, and then shot her in the chest.
Immediately after, Mikhail turned the gun on himself, but was quickly subdued by Locke and Sayid before he could follow through. With a rifle pointed at his heart, Mikhail begged for his captors to “finish it,” but Sayid decided he was more valuable to them as a prisoner rather than dead. (“Enter 77”)
3×12 – Par Avion
Bound at the wrists, Mikhail traveled with Kate, Sayid, Locke and Rousseau (who rejoined the group) to find the Others’ home, the “Barracks”. During a discussion, Kate asked Mikhail why he would ever want to return to the Island if he left. He said that it was impossible for her to understand because she was not on “the list”. He then went on to detail specific reasons why they were not on the list, indicating that Kate was “flawed”, Sayid was “frightened”, Rousseau was “weak”, and Locke was “angry”. Sayid challenged Mikhail, suggesting that he knew nothing about them. Mikhail responded by addressing each of them by their full name, even though none of them had told him this information. Mikhail then said sarcastically that he had no memory of Kate or Sayid, and that he had a memory of “a John Locke”, but that the John Locke he knew had been “para-” — at which point he was cut off by Rousseau.
Once at the Barracks’ security perimeter, Mikhail told the other members of the party that it was no longer functional, and that trying to circumvent the perimeter would be a waste of time, as it made a complete loop around the compound. Without consulting Sayid or Kate, Locke suddenly pushed Mikhail between two of the perimeter’s sensor pylons, which then began to emit a loud, high-pitched noise. Mikhail thanked Locke for his action, and began to foam at the mouth while blood spouted from his ears. In short order, Mikhail fell backwards and collapsed. Sayid and Kate looked at Locke afterward in shock at his action. After managing to cross the barrier, they left his body there, believing him to be dead. (“Par Avion”)
3×18 – D.O.C.
Several days later, shortly after Hurley fired a flare, he came across Desmond, Charlie, Jin and Hurley with the injured Naomi. He attempted to flee, but he was chased down by Jin. Jin overpowered him, and Mikhail offered to help save Naomi if they promised to let him go afterward. Desmond agreed, and Mikhail set to work performing first aid on Naomi. He quickly diagnosed that she had a punctured lung. He ventilated her, and removed the branch that had caused the damage. After bandaging her, he said that she would be ready to move in a day or a day and a half, noting that wounds heal much more quickly on the Island. He then left.
Before he could get very far, it was discovered that Naomi’s satellite phone was missing. Jin chased him down again, and it was revealed that he had taken it. Desmond still stuck to his word and let Mikhail go, despite Charlie and Jin’s protests. Mikhail commented that they should understand that he had to at least have tried to take the phone. (“D.O.C.”)
3×20 – The Man Behind the Curtain
Mikhail then found the Others in the jungle, together with Locke. He reported to Ben that the fence was set at a non-lethal setting, and then told about Naomi’s arrival. Ben tried to forestall Locke’s request to see Jacob by using this new crisis as an excuse. In response, Locke attacked and beat Mikhail senseless while the Others watched from a distance, despite Ben’s orders to some of them to intervene. Later, Mikhail watched Ben and Locke leave to go to Jacob, glaring at Locke. (“The Man Behind the Curtain”)
Mikhail was later given the task of securing the Looking Glass when Ben discovered that Charlie had managed to get in. Mikhail arrived at the cable the next day, spotted Desmond in the outrigger just offshore, and fired some rounds at him with his rifle. Desmond dove down to the Looking Glass for safety. (“Through the Looking Glass”)
Mikhail then arrived inside the Looking Glass, and found fellow Others Bonnie and Greta, whom he greeted: “I thought you were on assignment in Canada!” He explained that he was there to check up on things. Alone in the Looking Glass’ communications room, Mikhail contacted Ben over his portable radio, questioning him why Ben had previously claimed the Looking Glass had been flooded. Ben admitted to having lied to his people about that, explaining that he did it for the good of the Island, and that the lie now needed to be covered up, meaning everyone inside the Looking Glass was to be killed. After deliberation, Mikhail accepted the task. He then emerged from the communications room, shot Greta dead, and fatally wounded Bonnie, before he was himself shot by Desmond (who had been hiding in the weapons locker) with a spear gun. Mikhail fell down, seemingly dead, leaving Desmond and Charlie to continue their mission to stop the Looking Glass from blocking all radio signals on the Island.
However, Mikhail was not dead, and managed to escape from the Looking Glass. As Charlie was in the communications room, Mikhail appeared outside the porthole without any breathing apparatus and with a grenade in hand. He then made sure to catch Charlie’s attention by tapping on the window before setting off the grenade, still in hand, grinning. The porthole shattered and water flooded in, drowning Charlie, with Mikhail perishing when the hand grenade detonated. (“Through the Looking Glass”)
6×10 – The Package
In the flash sideways, Bakunin, now with two functioning eyes, was a gangster operating in Los Angeles, and an associate of Martin Keamy and Omar, whom they know via Danny. He was able to speak nine different languages, including Korean, and appeared to be trained in the martial arts. Keamy called him in to translate for Jin and Sun in order to interrogate them.
Mikhail translated between the Koreans (Jin and Sun) and Keamy, and Keamy ordered Mikhail to take Sun to the bank in order to withdraw money for him. When she discovered that the bank account was closed, she and Mikhail went to a specified restaurant where they expected to meet up with Keamy, his thugs, and Jin. Mikhail instead, found that Keamy’s men had been murdered and that Keamy himself was gravely wounded. Keamy, mumbled with pain, and warned Mikhail to turn around as Jin had snuck up behind him. Trying to subdue and then escape from Mikhail, Jin fired a gun at the Russian who then abruptly collapsed as the bullet took out his right eye. In the struggle between Jin and Mikhail, another stray bullet hit Sun in the side and Jin immediately rushed her to the hospital. Mikhail, having struggled briefly with Jin, now lay apparently dead on the floor from a gun wound to his head. (“The Package”)
Associated LOST Themes & DHARMA Stations
Decoded Season 1 Characters
Decoded Season 2 Characters
Decoded Season 3 Characters
Decoded Season 4 Characters
Key Episode(s) to Decoding the Character
Mnevis (written in Egyptian Mer- or Men-Wer), is one of the great sacred bulls of Egypt, along with Apis and Buchis. Like these others, the God Mnevis was incarnate in a living bull who supplied oracles as a herald of the Gods while he was alive and who was upon death interred with great ceremony and worshiped in Osirianized form. Upon the death of the previous sacred bull, a new one was selected based upon certain criteria. In the case of Mnevis, the bull was to be completely black. Aelianus (De Natura Animalium XII, 11) states also that the Mnevis bull, which he knows under the name Onuphis, was of exceptional size, that its hair grew the opposite way to that on ordinary bulls, and that it was fed on alfalfa. The sacred bull had also a bovine harem, which in the case of Mnevis consisted in particular of principal wives identified with Hathor and with Iusâas. The mother of the sacred bull was herself seen as divine, and the mother of the Mnevis bull was identified with Hesat. The center of the cult of Mnevis was Heliopolis, and Mnevis was regarded as the herald of Re. For reasons which are unknown, it appears that the cult of Mnevis continued to receive state sanction during the reign of the heretical pharaoh Akhenaten, who attempted to stamp out the cults of the traditional Gods in favor of his single God, the Aten or visible disk of the sun.
A mythological text from the Delta (Brooklyn papyrus 47.218.84, §5) accords to Mnevis the role of transporting the gathered members of Osiris from Athribis to Heliopolis, a journey in the course of which Osiris is reconstituted. Something more akin to incarnation than transportation is suggested, however, by the statement at one point that “his [Osiris’s] members are inside him [Mnevis].” Elsewhere the text states that the members of Osiris are bound to Mnevis, his name being interpreted in this context as mr-wr, “the firmly bound one”. When the text speaks of the Osirian members as “bound” to Mnevis, it states that they are “wrapped in a panther skin”—the ritual garment the sem-priest wears on his shoulders—and “the skin of a khens[ui] bull”, and identifies them with the four sons of Horus.
The deceased king identifies himself with Mnevis in PT utterance 408 when he says “What is desired, of which is given, is what I give, for I am the Bull of Ôn [Iunu, Heliopolis].” In PT utterance 485A, the king states, “I have come to you, my father, I have come to you, O Re, a calf of gold born of the sky, a fatted calf of gold which Hesat created.” In CT spell 404, a spell to constitute the netherworld ferry-boat, various leather portions of the boat are said to be made from the skin of the Mnevis bull. Since the ferry-boat is a soul vehicle, this has virtually the same meaning as the straightforward identification, albeit in more colorful form. In spell 784, “To go out into the day,” the “Souls of Heliopolis” say, “O N., our son, our beloved, we have commanded that you go in to us and rest in our peace. Mnevis grants ascent to the sky and the Netherworld is opened up for the term of eternity.” Mnevis is mentioned several times in the Greek Magical Papyri. At PGM IV. 140 he is mentioned, along with Apis, in an erotic spell; at IV. 2994, an herb-gathering spell, the fibers of the plant to be picked are identified with the bones of Mnevis; and at XIXa. 7f, another erotic spell, Mnevis, Apis and Buchis are invoked together, all in Osirianized form (hence “Osor Mneuei”, “Osarapi” and “Osor Nobêchis,”) along with Onuphis (“Osor Nophris”), generally regarded as identical to Mnevis. Apis and Mnevis are mentioned together in the ‘Instruction of Papyrus Insinger’, in a chapter teaching against seeking retaliation. The person who has been wronged is advised instead to seek justice from the Gods and from the authorities, for “Apis and Mnevis abide at the window of Pharaoh forever. They will do good to him who will listen to these words,” (Lichtheim, vol. 3, p. 213). Plutarch (Isis and Osiris 364c) records that some regarded Mnevis as in some sense the father of Apis. It has been claimed that Mnevis and Apis are to be understood by the reference to the “two bulls in Egypt,” identified with the sun and moon, of the late Gnostic text “On the Origin of the World” (122) (Lexikon 4, p. 166).
Mnevis was identified as being a living bull. This may be a vestige of the sacrifice of kings after a period of reign, who were seen as the sons of Bat or Hathor, the ancient cow deity of the early solar cults. Thus, seen as a symbol of the later sun god, Ra, the Mnevis was often depicted, in art, with the solar disc of their mother, Hathor between its horns.
A suitable bull was selected from the area, said to be the living Mnevis bull, and was taken to a special temple, where it was worshipped and its movement used as an oracle. Since the fertile soil of the Nile was so black that the word for black (Khem) became the Egyptian word for Egypt, and bulls in this region had a tendency to black colouring, the bull selected to be the Mnevis was traditionally completely black, thus being referred to as Kemwer, meaning great black (one). When a completely black bull could not be found, they chose one that was completely white, in contrast.