BEFORE THE CRASH:
- Watched parents die in murder/suicide after being swindled out of their life savings by a con man named "Sawyer"
- Became a con man himself and adopted Sawyer's name
- Fell in love with Cassidy, who outconned him
- Deported from Australia for head-butting the Minister of Agriculture
ON THE ISLAND: Plays all the angles and hoards supplies, booze, sunscreen; bought his way onto raft with hoarded supplies.
After bailing from the helicopter that ultimately carried the Oceanic 6, Sawyer swam back to the island. The time flashes eventually take him to the '70s, where he settles down with Juliet as Dharma employees. To everyone in Dharma, he is known as Jim LaFleur, the head of security.
Survived the detonation of Jughead and is back in the present-day time period on the island. Nominated as a candidate to take over Jacob's job as protector of the island.
Lead the takeover of Widmore's submarine and thought he was leaving the island, but discovered they were double-crossed by Locke and set up to die. Didn't trust Jack, who felt the rigged C-4 wouldn't explode, so Sawyer pulled the wire to the battery thinking it would neutralize the bomb -- but he actually armed it. The bomb exploded, leading to Sun, Jin and Sayid's deaths.