In every fandom, there are characters that fans love and hate with a deep passion. While many Lost fans still love characters like Sawyer and Hurley, many of them despise Michael Dawson. These negative feelings are largely rooted in Michael betraying his friends and murdering Ana Lucia Cortez and Libby Smith, with Libby’s death being particularly devastating.
Consumed with animosity toward Michael, many fans tend to overlook much of the hardship and suffering that the character endured. He had one of the saddest backstories and he continued to suffer greatly on the Island, when he got off the Island, and even after he died.
Michael was a gifted artist. He had aspirations to take his talents to the next level and become a professional artist, but he put his dreams on hold so he could work in construction, thereby providing a better life for his son, Walt.
Unfortunately, Michael never got to fulfill his dreams because of the selfish decisions that his partner Susan made. Michael made a sacrifice for the betterment of his family, and in the end, it was for naught as Susan tore apart the family they were supposed to build together.
Not long after Walt was born, Susan accepted a prestigious legal job in Amsterdam and took Walt with her. She accepted the job and made the decision before even talking about the situation with Michael. She took his son away from him and despite her promises that it wasn’t goodbye forever, she went back on her word.
Susan married a man named Brian Porter and she convinced Michael to relinquish his custody so Brian could adopt Walt. Michael was thus cut out of his son’s life entirely. Walt didn’t even know who Michael was until Susan died.
Despite being separated from his son, Michael sent him many letters, cards, and drawings. Susan hid them from Walt, never letting him know that he had a father overseas who loved him very much. After Susan’s death and Brian’s plea that Michael be the one to take care of Walt now, Michael traveled to Australia and learned that Walt had never seen any of the letters, cards, or drawings.
It wasn’t until they were on the Island that Walt got a chance to see them and to understand that even though Michael hadn’t been there through his childhood, Michael cared deeply for Walt and had been doing his best to communicate and stay connected with his son over the years.