The Story of Michael between Leaving the Island on One Boat and Returning to it on Another

  • He's in his apartment, looking at a photo of Walt, and writing a note
  • He leaves. There are Christmas decorations in the neighborhood, putting the time frame probably at early Dec.
  • Gets in his car, turns on the radio. Mama Cass playing
  • Pins the note (a suicide note) to his jacket, drives his car at high speed into a dumpster.
  • But he lives. We get an eye-opening shot. He's in the hospital. A nurse comes in carrying blankets - his mind thinks it's Libby (who was carrying blankets the day he killed her)
  • Michael had no ID on him, but apparently the note he was found with was written to Walt, so the real nurse asks if he wants her to call him. No.
  • Walt is staying with Michael's mother. She won't let him see Walt, because Walt doesn't want to see Michael. Apparently, Michael told Walt what he had to do to rescue him.
  • We learn from Michael's mother that she thought they were dead in the crash. When they show up, she's not allowed to call them by their real names. Walt barely talks, but he does wake up screaming at night
  • Michael was gone for "over two months," meaning he returned to NYC in very late November
  • Walt looks out the window, sees Michael briefly, closes the curtains and walks away
  • Michael pawns the watch he got from Jin to get a gun. In an alleyway, he tries to pull the trigger, but is interrupted by someone asking for the time (ha! classic, considering he just sold the watch). It's TOM, who has come off-island for a little romp in the city
  • Tom explains there was no way they were going to send him back without keeping tabs on him
  • Tom realizes that Michael made the stupid mistake of telling a 10-year-old what he did. Infers that's why Michael wants to kill himself - can't deal with the guilt. Bad news though - THE ISLAND WON'T LET YOU kill yourself
  • Tom tells Michael he has more work to do, and can find him in the penthouse of the Hotel Earle
  • Michael tries the gun back at his apartment - it misfires. Just then, the breaking news of 815 being found interrupts the game show in which Kurt Vonnegut was the answer to a question
  • Michael visits Tom (who is enjoying a nice spread with his boyfriend Arturo). Tom doesn't make it to the mainland too often, he says, but yes, "some of us" can come and go
  • Michael asks about the wreck - Tom tells the exact opposite story Gault told Sayid: that Widmore put it down there, staged the whole thing. Even has photos of the Thailand cemetary where he got the bodies... and the P.O. for the old airplane ... and the invoice for the freighter he used to drop the wreck.
  • Tom waits for Michael to ask what he wants. Only then does Tom tell him about the freighter porting in Fiji, and how the Others have reason to believe Widmore found the coordinates and is headed right for the island. Gives him his fake ID as Kevin Johnson. His job will be to spy, so that Widmore can't kill everyone on the island, including Michael's former friends. Oh, and by the way, your other job is to kill everyone on the freighter
  • In Fiji, Michael boards the freighter (name of the boat and port of origin have a bunch of gunk smeared on them - significant to keep us from knowing?). A crate has arrived for him. And Miles knows his name isn't Kevin. Apparently his ghost pals told him
  • On the boat, Naomi tells Frank she'll be flying the first mission to the island - solo. She needs him to wait and bring the science team after. Her mission is need-to-know... and Frank doesn't
  • Lapidus signed up for this gig because "Charles Widmore believes me" that the 815 wreckage was staged, and that plane is still out there somewhere. "Can you imagine what would happen if we found some of those people alive?" he says right into the face of one of those very people. This quote from Frank is the question that Season Four is all about
  • Keamy's guys chuckle at Michael for believing this is a "rescue mission." They seem pretty eager to get at it with their machine guns
  • Michael's been given saboteur equipment, and a bomb. The bomb even comes with a code plus an "Execute" button just like the Swan had! He hears the Cass Elliot song and has a fleeting glimpse of Ghost Libby telling him, "Don't do it, Michael!" The "island" is again not letting him kill himself. He tries to activate the bomb, but a flag pops up like something out of a cartoon with a message: "Not Yet."
  • Michael gets a call from the mainland to the boat. It's from "Walt," but it's really Ben. Ben explains that Charles Widmore is a monster without purpose. Ben? He doesn't want innocent people - like some who are on the boat - to die. If Michael will compile a list of names of everyone on the boat, give it to Ben next time he calls, then disable the comm room, then the engines, he can consider himself "one of the good guys."

Ben's eyes (both of them, not just one), closed, then open as he gasps for air. Appears that he's just come from somewhere totally cold to totally hot as you can even see his breath. It says he's in the Sahara Desert, but he's wearing a Dharma parka with the name "Halliwax" (sounds conveniently like one of "Marvin Candle's" aliases) and a Dharma logo for a station we're not familiar with. He's in the Sahara - likely Tunisia - and this portal where he's landed is being watched, as two men instantly ride up. Ben disarms them, puts a tourniquet on his injured right arm, and takes off on their horse. He then checks into a hotel in Tozeur, where he has evidently stayed before. He has his Dean Moriarty passport with him, so he obviously planned this possible trip before he turned the wheel. He also has a pretty good idea that the date is not the same as it was from where he left. He verifies with the desk clerk that it's October 24, 2005 (should have been late December 24 on the island). A hotel in the lobby catches his ears. Sayid - famous as one of the O6 - is burying his wife, and wants to do so in peace back in Iraq. Apparently he only got a few short months with Nadia before she was killed. Ben sees a play to be made, and makes his way to Sayid and Nadia's hometown of Tikrit.