My plan was to fly them there for vacation and tell them the house was a rental, and I know on the last day of vacation Haley would just look up at me and tell me it's time to go home. But I would look back down at her and tell her "we are home."
— Michael telling Nikita about his family in "Covenants"
Michael is a rogue Division agent. He was recruited by Percy after the death of his family at the hands of Kasim Tariq. Michael originally thinks that they were killed by Tariq so that he could enter Al Qaeda. Percy and Michael met as Michael was trying to commit suicide, but Percy instead persuades him to join him at Division. Michael agrees, and becomes a trainer for new recruits, processing them when they are first taken out of prison. He meets both Nikita and Alex this way.
Like many of the current Division agents (apart from Alex), little is actually known about Michael's past, yet it is known that Michael was also in the Navy. In the episode "One Way", he tells Nikita that Kasim Tarik killed his wife and daughter in a car bomb. Later on in the episode, we see him recovering in a hospital bed. As Michael attempts to overdose on morphine, Percy enters the emergency medical station at which Michael is put up at, and they meet for the first time.
Percy offers Michael the chance to join Divison and make a difference. WIth nothing to lose, Michael accepts. He joins Division hoping that they will assist him in locating Tarik soon, so he could get his revenge. Almost achieving this in "One Way", Michael plans to stab Tarik with a shiv in an airport after tricking Nikita into letting him drive there alone. He fails when Nikita alerts Tarik's bodyguards into stopping Michael.
Very little is known about Michael's life before Division. Later in the first season, it is shown that he was in the US Navy and was intended by Percy to be an initiation killing for Kasim Tariq to allow him to enter into the ranks of Al Qaeda. Tariq poses as a "low-level snitch", feeding Michael (who, at this point is a Naval Intelligence officer) information in 2011. When in Yemen, Michael leaves a car bomb intended only for him in a car with his wife and daughter, leading Tariq to kill both of them instead of Michael. Michael joins Division in 2001 and works for them until 2011, when he joins Nikita and her cause after finding out the true reasons behind the death of his family.
It is ambiguous, apparently, 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 retalliates "what I did, I did out of--", trailing off before regretting something.
Michael was 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, and Division will teach her how to talk properly and walk properly, and how to do so while properly serving her country. As a field agent, he played a similar role to that of Amanda, who were both high-ranking yet with some psychological leanings in their positions. It is also heavily implied that everyone, even Amanda and Percy, in Division know of Michael's implied affair with Nikita. Both Amanda and Percy have mentioned this to him, Percy rather more bluntly and Amanda stating that "Percy doesn't need to know everything that goes on here."
Alex is first processed into Division by Michael in the Pilot episode, and he instructs her on the training she will receive, thus learning how to properly "serve her country". This reflects six years prior, when he instructed Nikita of the same duties. This leads Michael to be more protective of Alex. He later finds out that she is Nikita's mole by matching the sounds of her phone calls to him to the echoes produced by Nikita's apartment. This is how he is able to track Nikita down. Alex, Nikita and Michael work together to track down Percy's black boxes for a very brief length of time towards the end of the first season, Nikita often in this time asking Michael to help Alex out of sticky situations at Divisions that may compromise his cover by doing so.
Birkhoff seems to be the only remaining member of senior Division members that Michael genuinely likes and has befriended. This is shown through Birkhoff's behavior around Michael; he states early on that he is slightly romantically fond of Nikita, and helps Nikita on one later occasion to escape CIA headquarters. Whilst Michael is still in Division, the two often spoke of Nikita and Percy's strict policies. It is shown that, before Nikita escaped, Birkhoff acted as the technical side to the duo of Michael and Nikita, often helping Michael stay in contact with Nikita when she was on an important and potentially dangerous mission.