Welcome Back, Charlie! A 'Lost' Hero Returns

Do you remember the last time we saw Charlie Pace (Dominic Monaghan) on ABC's Lost (Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET)? It was the start of this season, and he was snarling at Jack Shepherd (Matthew Fox) for foiling his attempt at a drug overdose on board Oceanic Flight 815. (The parallel universe jet that didn't crash, that is).

Well, folks, Charlie's back again tonight. And while the thrust of the episode revolves around Desmond (Ian Cusick), it's Charlie's appearance that's generating the most fan interest. Viewers just really liked this drug-addled underdog, who pined for Claire (Emilie de Ravin), befriended the beloved Hurley (Jorge Garcia) and never lived down the silly name he gave his punk rock band (Drive Shaft). And boy, did he go out on a high note--drowning inside a submarine station (where he punched in a code to un-jam the communications system, enabling the other passengers to hear messages from subs) in the Season 3 finale.

“We felt like we had told the biggest and most important parts of Charlie’s story," exec producer Damon Lindelof told TV Guide at the time. "He was an addict; he recovered from his addiction; he found some meaning and purpose in his relationship with Claire. It just felt like this was the best path for this character.” In another interview Lindelof revealed that "at the end of season two, we realized that if there was any character on the show who would sacrifice their life so that everyone else could be rescued, that would be Charlie."

Being dead, Charlie would have to appear in ghostly form if he returned to the island tonight. More likely, we'll be seeing the Flash-Sideways Charlie who survived the flight — but grudgingly. As for his role in tonight's narrative, that's anyone's guess. "Any time Charlie comes back, it's gonna be significant," Monaghan recently told Zap2it. "It's gonna have to be in an important way. It won't be just like in the background going 'Hey, Charlie's back.' He'll do something."

While some fans had a hard time letting Charlie go in 2007, Monaghan has moved on quite nicely. As Dr. Simon Campos on ABC's Flash Forward, he gets to play an emotionally complex (and shady) quantum physicist who (or may not) have caused the worldwide blackouts. And his ties to Lost remain—through friendships with cast members and an on-again, off-again relationship with costar Evangeline Lilly, who plays Kate Austen.

Which Lost character would you like to see more of? Chime in below!

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