- "I have nothing left. If you die, I die."
- — Michael to Nikita
Prior to this, Michael was the head agent for the first iteration of Division, but went rogue upon learning of Director Percival Rose's under-the-table operations and secrets. He goes on to assist Nikita Mears in tracking down Percy's black boxes, and to take down Division from the outside. Later, he is recruited by Ryan Fletcher to track down the Dirty Thirty from within New Division.
Michael is former Naval Intelligence, stationed in the Persian Gulf in 2001. In the episode "One Way", we learn that Kasim Tariq killed his wife Elizabeth and daughter Haley in a car bomb. Later on in the episode, we see him recovering in a hospital bed. As Michael attempts to overdose on morphine, we see Percy enter, and they meet for the first time.
Percy offers Michael the chance to join Division and make a difference. With nothing to lose, Michael accepts. He joins Division hoping that they will assist him in locating Tariq soon, so he could get his revenge.
Before Season 1
Starting as any other Division Agent, Michael made it quickly obvious he is one of the finest agents Division has. After short time Percy made him Head of Operations and head trainer in head of new recruits. He was also made aware of existence of Black Boxes.
He meets Nikita after 'saving' her from Death Row after she killed police officer under the influence of Ketamine. She soon becomes one of Division's best recruits, even going so far as to beating Michael's former record of long distance shooting, and visibly Michael's favorite. The two become very close, prompting Birkhoff, Amanda and even Percy to joking about his evident feelings for her. It isn't until their first overseas mission together in 2007 that they act upon their feelings, however, their actions are proved in vain when Michael professes he cannot move on with her whilst burdened with the knowledge that the man who killed his family is still alive. Unfortunately for Michael, before he can begin to find Turiq, Nikita meets and falls in love with Daniel Monroe a year after their kiss; something that visibly distresses him.
In Pilot after Michael welcomes his newest recruit, Alex in Division and informs her about her new life he is seen planning Black Arrow when Nikita reemerges, Michael is suprised by this event and immediately sent by Percy to interrogate her foster father. Gaining nothing useful he heads back to Divison whilst Nikita captures Birkhoff. After she releases him, Michael heads after him, finding him thanks to his Tracking chip. Present during Birkhoff's report, he is not as persuaded by Nikita's alleged state of a wreck and is much more nervous than Percy who considers her just a complication.
When Nikita finds Percy and Michael at a fundraiser he gives the two privacy, but pursue her after she is trying to escape. He is angry with her for coming back, since she was free and off Division's radar. He tells her about Percy's safeguard against anyone, but is unable to shoot her and lets her go. She shoots in arm to give him cover story. Michael is later present when Percy declares that Nikita is new priority target and is assigned with heading detail.
Almost achieving this in "One Way", Michael plans to stab Turiq with a shiv in an airport after tricking Nikita into letting him drive there alone. He fails when Nikita alerts airport security into stopping Michael.
With Team Nikita
In "Intersection", Michael is pinned under a flipped vehicle. With no other option and unwilling to leave him behind, Nikita cuts off his hand.
Michael is an overprotective kind of person, especially to the people he loves, like Nikita.
Although at one point realizing that Percy is not the man of honor he pretends to be, he stays there in order to protect recruits as best as he can.
He will do anything to protect the recruits and make sure that they are safe from any harm. Michael is also fond of
kids, for him family is more than important - it is everything.
He seldom smiles, the only time he smiles is when Nikita makes him laugh and when he enjoys the company of his friends.
Michael is also very romantic and traditional.
Michael and Nikita have a long history together following their time at Division. It is clear to everyone (regardless how much Michael denies it) that the two shared romantic feelings for each other, enough to prompt Amanda, Birkhoff and Percy to joke about it. However, only Michael and Nikita themselves know they actually acted on these feelings in St Petersburg 2 years before she went rogue, only for it to be in vain after he professes he can't move on with her until he avenges his wife and daughter. One year later Nikita meets Daniel. Daniel ends up being killed by Division - after they get engaged.
During the series, Michael and Nikita repeatedly show hints of a complicated relationship following their opposing
sides yet their hesitation to kill each other, despite Michael's orders from Percy to do so. The sexual tension between them hints greatly at a deeper bond however, It isn't until "Rough Trade" that we are given a glimpse of their past relationship to which it is shown they were incredibly close considering the difference in rank, and it is evident by the way they look at each other that there are romantic feelings involved. Throughout the series, it becomes clear their feelings haven't gone away. Michael displays great distress upon hearing rumor of Nikita's death and Nikita herself displays attachment to him in the sense that she tries to use herself as a reason to save Michael from himself in "One Way", saying she is what he has to live for. However, when this fails, she ends up saving him against his will causing him to believe she has betrayed him.
It is ambiguous, seemingly, to Michael as to why Nikita acted the way she did in saving him. In the episode "Alexandra", he questions her about it, claiming that had she never acted "that shiv would have been between his ribs, and I would have been
the one pushing it in, looking at him as he realized it was me", to which Nikita retaliates "what I did, I did out of--", trailing off before regretting something. They continue to assist each other, using negativity to disguise the fact they missed working together, especially in "Covenant" when finally catching Kasim Turiq in St Petersburg following Michael's blackmail of her. The two, under apparent unwilling co-operation, discover Percy was in fact behind the death of Michael's family as Kasim was under Division's employ and Percy's orders when the explosion occurred. They discover Percy ordered him to kill Michael to become a hero in the ranks of Al-Qaeda's finest however the plan went awry and Michael's family died in the crossfire where Michael himself survived. It is with this knowledge that Michael finally joins Nikita in her battle against Division and the two begin their long awaited romantic
However at the end of "London Calling" Michael and Nikita seem to have a little bit of a fall out. Nikita convinces him that he can either be with her or be with Cassandra and their son, Max. While Michael argues he can do both, Nikita tells him he cannot. The episode is finished with Nikita kissing his hand endearingly and then leaving him to make up his decision. They get back together and in the season 3 premiere Michael proposes to Nikita who accepts by saying, "You had me at give the damn glock," and they kiss pasionately. The last episode of Season 3 Nikita leaves Michael and the rest of the group for their safety (also breaking off the engagment with Michael in the process). However, they get back together later and in the end of season 4 it's showed that they are married and spending their life together on an island.
Michael is also in charge of processing new recruits, and telling them that they have been taken out of prison
and been given a new life by Division. He breaks the news to Alex in the first episode, telling her that the public now will believe her to have committed suicide in prison. As a field agent, he plays a similar role to that of Amanda, who are both high-ranking yet with some psychological leanings in their positions. It is following her successful training as a recruit that Michael forms a bond with Alex, seeing her constantly as a second chance at Nikita due to the likeness of attitude between the two (something which is later discovered to be because of Nikita being her mentor)- a second chance to change what he believes caused him to lose Nikita in the first place. However, due to Michael's strong feelings for Nikita, Michael and Alex do not have a romantic relationship, although it mirrors his and Nikita's relationship when she was a recruit in every other sense. As proven in "Alexandra", he is highly protective of her, as he is with Nikita, and treats her almost like a younger sister- something which evolves into a more fatherly relationship when he and Nikita finally begin a romantic one in "Covenant". By the end of the season however, their relationship is undetermined as is hers and Nikita's following the discovery that Nikita was the agent assigned to kill her father Nikolai Udinov, and his running away with her.
Following the murder of his family in 2001, Kasim Turiq is the sole reason as to why Michael is in Division in the first place; spending 10 years in the company to find and kill him in vengeance for killing his wife and daughter, Elizabeth and Haley. In the two occasions he has come close to completing his vengeance, Michael has worked with Nikita to find him, and it is with Nikita that he discovers Kasim is not the true mastermind behind his family's murder, rather Percy is. At the time of the ordeal, Kasim was under Division's employ and therefore under Percy's orders when he killed Elizabeth and Haley. Percy had informed him to target Michael with the promise that with Michael's death, he would be accepted into the ranks of Al-Qaeda's greatest to which he was, regardless of the plan going awry. He admits he never intended to kill Elizabeth and Haley, his target was Michael and Michael only. Percy used the mistake to his advantage and brought Michael into his employ to murder a villain he himself had created. Shocked by this new knowledge, Michael left in the horror of the realization whilst Nikita stayed and did what she incidentally prevented Michael from doing in "One Way". She killed Kasim.
A woman Michael once seduced for a mission. While Michael does not appear to hold any romantic feelings for her, he does care for her deeply. She apparently reminds him of his previous wife and child. Cassandra's son, Max, is actually Michael's son even though she denies it. Nikita is aware of this fact and told Michael about it at the end of the "343 Walnut Lane" episode.
Michael is trained and highly proficient in both hand-to-hand and all sorts of weaponry ranging from sniper rifles to mortars and including everything in between. He also has a keen sense of perception and intuition, which are very useful when in a tight spot.
- Weapon Combat
- Michael has been trained by Division and is quite adept with all sorts of weapons. He appears to have an affinity towards iron sights on his weapons as he always heads into the field without a sight attached. It must be noted that he is just as deadly with a sight as with the iron sights themselves. He at one point held the marksmanship record at Division, but since then was narrowly edged out by Nikita for the top spot.
- Hand-to-Hand Combat
- Like all Division agents, Michael's hand-to-hand fighting style is Krav-Maga. It is assumed that he was also taught some other fighting methods while in Navy Intelligence, namely Jiu-Jitsu and Muay-Tai. Michael is extremely deadly in hand-to-hand combat, having fought and beaten the best, at times without much effort. His skills surpasses Nikita's, easily able to take her on and defeat her on many occasions while holding back to not kill her and while Nikita was easily overpowered by Percy even when she had blindsided him and held him in gunpoint, Michael was able to stand up to Percy and even eventually overpower and beat him.
- Michael uses a keenly honed sense of perception or intuition to notice things that many others miss. He has often found things that were hidden where no-one else could find it, and his intuition when it comes to situations is almost never wrong. His instinct is a powerful advantage and has gotten him and his friends out of many sticky situations. He also remains calm under every circumstance, save when it came to the man who killed his wife and daughter. This coolness has often been needed to calm people down when they start caving under stress.
- "I knew you'd gone rogue, didn't know you'd gone delusional."
- "[To Nikita] You know, I'm really sick of people telling me that you're dead."
- Nikita: "Michael, I'm not going to hurt you."
Michael: "Really? You know, my shoulder's still sore from where you shot me."
- "Paging special agent Nikki, please report to the nearest phone and dial 625."
- "You're not stupid, Birkhoff . You're just a coward."
- Live the lie until the lie becomes your life."
- Michael destroyed 3 Black Boxes, more than any other agent.