On "Lost," death is about as common as the cold. It drifts in and out just like a sickness, sometimes with warning but often without any signs at all, and almost always claiming its victims with ruthless efficiency. Whether the dead party is a beloved or loathed character, one thing remains true throughout — the death scenes of "Lost" are almost always epic and inventive.
After the jump, we've listed 23 dead characters who should return for the final season of "Lost."
Stay tuned to MTV next week for the final installments of LOST IN NUMBERS, a series of features pegged directly to the show's trademark number sequence:
4, 8, 15, 16, 23, 42. Needless to say, spoilers for season five and earlier lie ahead. And make sure to tune in to MTV Movies Blog next Tuesday for our live blog of the season premiere!
1. ROGER LINUS
Played By: Jon Gries
Occupation: Workman for the DHARMA Initiative
First Appearance: His skeletal remains were discovered by Hurley and Jin in the driver's seat of his van. (Season Three, "Tricia Tanaka is Dead")
How'd He Die: After years of pent-up rage, Benjamin Linus murdered his father with a gas canister moments before the other DHARMA workers were mass-murdered. (Season Three, "The Man Behind The Curtain")
Last Seen: Shooting Sayid Jarrah in the stomach in retaliation for Sayid's attempted killing of young Ben. (Season Five, "The Incident")
Why He Should Return: After killing Jacob, Ben is in something of a rough place right now and could use a father figure — even if it's a father figure he, you know, murdered.
2. HORACE GOODSPEED
Played By: Doug Hutchison
Occupation: Island Leader of the DHARMA Initiative
First Appearance: He drove up and attempted to provide assistance to Roger Linus and his wife as she died giving birth to baby Benjamin. (Season Three, "The Man Behind The Curtain")
How'd He Die: Murdered in 1992 as part of the mass purge of the DHARMA Initiative, as orchestrated by Ben and the Others. (Season Three, "The Man Behind The Curtain")
Last Seen: Relieved of duty by Stuart Radzinsky, who told Horace that he didn't have the stomach to properly interrogate Sawyer and Juliet. (Season Five, "Follow The Leader")
Why He Should Return: Horace is a great character that works even better when he's a ghostly vision, as seen in "Cabin Fever." It'd be nice to get a similar appearance in the final season.
3. CHRISTIAN SHEPHARD
Played By: John Terry
Occupation: Former Surgeon
First Appearance: An apparition of Christian began haunting Jack during the early days of his initial stay on the Island. (Season One, "Walkabout")
How'd He Die: The full story of his death is still unknown, though it's widely believed to be associated with his alcoholic bender in Sydney, Australia. (Season One, "The White Rabbit")
Last Seen: Arguing with Jack following a nearly botched surgery on the part of the young doctor. (Season Five, "The Incident")
Why He Should Return: He's apparently someone who can speak for Jacob, though several people speculate that he's actually working for the Man in Black. No matter who he is loyal to, there is a lot of mystery left to be solved regarding Jack's dad.
4. EDWARD MARS
Played By: Fredric Lehne
Occupation: U.S. Marshal
First Appearance: Wounded on the beach of the Island, suffering from a massive piece of wreckage buried in his midsection. (Season One, "Pilot")
How'd He Die: After Sawyer failed to euthanize him with a bullet, Jack was forced to finish the job himself and suffocate Mars. (Season One, "Tabula Rasa")
Last Seen: Setting up shop near Kate's mother, hoping to find a way to ambush and recapture the young fugitive. (Season Three, "Left Behind")
Why He Should Return: His aggressive relationship with Kate was always fun to watch, and if the timeline reboot was successful, perhaps the Marshal and Kate's rivalry will resume.
5. ETHAN ROM
Played By: William Mapother
Occupation: Surgeon for the Others
First Appearance: Hanging out with John Locke, about to go on a boar hunt. (Season One, "Solitary")
How'd He Die: Shot multiple times by Charlie Pace in retaliation for the kidnapping of Claire Littleton. (Season One, "Homecoming")
Last Seen: Working with Benjamin Linus on a secret Other mission that resulted in the capture of baby Alex from Danielle Rousseau. (Season Five, "Dead Is Dead")
Why He Should Return: Ethan was the first face of the Others and has been in every single season. It would be a shame if the final year marked his first absence.
6. BOONE CARLYLE
Played By: Ian Somerhalder
Occupation: COO of a Wedding Business
First Appearance: Trying to resuscitate Rose Nadler after the crash of Oceanic Flight 815, eventually called off by Jack. (Season One, "Pilot")
How'd He Die: Boone quickly succumbed to wounds sustained from falling off of a cliff while inside of the Nigerian drug plane. (Season One, "Do No Harm")
Last Seen: During Nikki and Paulo's flashbacks of the first few months of their Island stay. (Season Three, "Expose")
Why He Should Return: Whether he should return or not, the "Vampire Diaries" actor has already confirmed that he'll return for a handful of episodes in season six.
7. LESLIE ARZT
Played By: Daniel Roebuck
Occupation: High School Science Teacher
First Appearance: Warning the castaways that stormy weather conditions will endanger the raft's voyage. (Season One, "Born to Run")
How'd He Die: A leaky stick of dynamite ignited while Arzt was giving a speech about how to properly handle leaky sticks of dynamite. (Season One, "Exodus")
Last Seen: Explaining the nature of the Medusa spider to Nikki. (Season Three, "Expose")
Why He Should Return: Arzt is like a fine wine — the further you get from his death, the more you appreciate the hilarity of the character. I'd like to have one last sip before the series closes out.
8. SHANNON RUTHERFORD
Played By: Maggie Grace
Occupation: Spoiled Brat
First Appearance: Screaming like crazy in the middle of the wreckage of Oceanic Flight 815. (Season One, "Pilot")
How'd She Die: Accidentally shot and killed by Ana Lucia Cortez, who mistook Shannon for a member of the Others. (Season Two, "Abandoned")
Last Seen: Arguing with Kate about the hidden cache of guns. (Season Three, "Expose")
Why She Should Return: What's Boone without Shannon to annoy him? If he's already coming back to the Island in some capacity, Shannon can't be too far behind, even though her return still isn't finalized.
9. ANA LUCIA CORTEZ
Played By: Michelle Rodriguez
Occupation: Former Police Officer
First Appearance: Sharing a drink at the airport bar with Jack Shephard before Oceanic Flight 815's takeoff. (Season One, "Exodus")
How'd She Die: She was begrudgingly murdered by Michael when he freed Ben from the Swan Station in order to rescue Walt. (Season Two, "Two For The Road")
Last Seen: Appearing as an apparition in front of Hurley, giving him advice on how to avoid the authorities and get the unconscious Sayid to safety. (Season Five, "The Lie")
Why She Should Return: Her return isn't exactly necessary, but for the sake of full completion, some sort of reunion between her and the kidnapped children from the tail section would be nice.
10. LIBBY SMITH
Played By: Cynthia Watros
Occupation: Allegedly a Clinical Psychologist, Probably Not True
First Appearance: Watching with trepidation as Michael, Jin and Sawyer first appeared together on the beach inhabited by the tail section survivors. (Season Two, "Adrift")
How'd She Die: After stumbling in on Michael killing Ana Lucia, Libby became collateral damage and later died from her gunshot wounds. (Season Two, "?")
Last Seen: Haunting Michael, who was still tortured by his actions inside of the Swan. (Season Four, "Meet Kevin Johnson")
11. MR. EKO
Played By: Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje
Occupation: Former Drug Lord, Priest
First Appearance: Beating the snot out of Michael, Jin and Sawyer after mistaking them for Others. (Season Two, "Orientation")
How'd He Die: After failing to pass the Smoke Monster's trial of judgment, he was savagely beaten to death by the creature in a forest clearing, ultimately whispering to John Locke: "You're next." (Season Three, "The Cost of Living")
Last Seen: That was his last physical appearance on the show, but Hurley once played a game of chess with a disembodied Eko. (Season Four, "There's No Place Like Home")
Why He Should Return: Given recent events, Eko's ideological opposition to Locke would be very interesting to see again in the final season. Plus, the stick-wielding badass died far too early and deserves one more moment on the Island.
12. ANTHONY COOPER
Played By: Kevin Tighe
Occupation: Confidence Man
First Appearance: Reuniting with John Locke, his long lost son, and planning to steal his kidney all the while. (Season One, "Deux Ex Machina")
How'd He Die: Revealed to be the man that caused Sawyer's parents to die, Sawyer proceeded to strangle him to death inside the brig of the Black Rock. (Season Three, "The Brig")
Last Seen: See above.
Why He Should Return: With his ties to Sawyer and the recently deceased John Locke, Cooper is one of the show's smarmiest villains, and a brilliantly written one to boot. If anybody deserves to die twice, it's this guy.
13. TOM, AKA MR. FRIENDLY
Played By: M.C. Gainey
Occupation: Member of the Others
First Appearance: Armed with a gun, a plethora of Others and a ridiculously fake beard, Mr. Friendly proceeded to steal Walt Lloyd off of Michael's raft. (Season One, "Exodus")
How'd He Die: After he had already surrendered to Sawyer, the southern con man still shot him square in the chest, coldly stating: "That's for taking the kid off the raft." (Season Three, "Through The Looking Glass")
Last Seen: Setting Michael up with an opportunity to infiltrate the freighter's crew and save his friends, thereby possibly finding redemption. (Season Four, "Meet Kevin Johnson")
Why He Should Return: Even if Ethan was the first face of the Others, Tom was once the most feared faced — until we realized how subservient to Ben he was, that is. Still, the "new" Tom was an immensely enjoyable character that would do well to return.
14. MIKHAIL BAKUNIN
Played By: Andrew Divoff
Occupation: Keeper of the Flame Station, Other
First Appearance: His eyepatch-clad face first appeared on a screen inside of the Pearl Station, staring directly into the camera and out towards Locke and his friends. (Season Three, "The Cost of Living")
How'd He Die: You mean after getting pushed through the sonar fence and getting shot in the chest with a harpoon gun? He blew himself up outside of the Looking Glass, causing the flood that eventually drowned Charlie Pace. (Season Three, "Through The Looking Glass")
Last Seen: See above.
Why He Should Return: Mikhail was a tremendously worthy adversary for several of our heroes, including Sayid, Desmond, Jin, Locke and, of course, Charlie himself. It would be great to see him face off with some of those characters again.
15. CHARLIE PACE
Played By: Dominic Monaghan
Occupation: Former Bass Player of Drive Shaft
First Appearance: Dazed and likely still feeling the effects of heroin use after the crash of Oceanic Flight 815. (Season One, "Pilot")
How'd He Die: Charlie embraced his fate and allowed himself to drown inside of the Looking Glass with the hope that his sacrifice would allow Claire to eventually leave the Island. (Season Three, "Through The Looking Glass")
Last Seen: As a vision, he warned Hurley that he needs to go back to the Island to rescue his friends and fulfill his destiny. (Season Four, "The Beginning of the End")
Why He Should Return: Like Boone, Charlie's return is already confirmed by Lindelof and Cuse. Love him or hate him, the rocking drug addict is coming back.
16. DANIELLE ROUSSEAU
Played By: Mira Furlan
Occupation: Crazy French Woman
First Appearance: Her voice first appeared when the survivors listened to her distress call, but her physical debut was made upon capturing Sayid Jarrah in the jungle. (Season One, "Solitary")
How'd She Die: She was shot in the back and killed by Martin Keamy and his squadron on their way to infiltrate the Barracks. (Season Four, "Meet Kevin Johnson")
Last Seen: In 1989, Benjamin Linus abducted Danielle's baby daughter Alex from her tent. (Season Five, "Dead Is Dead")
Why She Should Return: Rousseau's story has been told in full, but that doesn't mean I don't want to hear her ridiculously fake French accent one last time.
17. ALEXANDRA ROUSSEAU
Played By: Tania Raymonde
Occupation: Young Member of The Others
First Appearance: Trying to convince a very pregnant Claire to leave the Staff Station, as Ethan and the Others were willing to kill her in order to remove Aaron from her womb. (Season Two, "Maternity Leave")
How'd She Die: She was executed by Martin Keamy after Benjamin Linus foolishly called the mercenary's bluff. (Season Four, "The Shape Of Things To Come")
Last Seen: As an extension of the Smoke Monster, Alex warned Ben that if he didn't listen to every single command uttered by John Locke — later revealed to be the Man in Black — she would kill him. (Season Five, "Dead Is Dead")
Why She Should Return: While Ben could benefit from a visit from dear old dad, he could really benefit from making true amends with Alex — or at least getting his butt kicked by her again.
18. MARTIN KEAMY
Played By: Kevin Durand
First Appearance: Doing his best to keep up a good face while he takes a time-displaced Desmond Hume down to the freighter's sick bay. (Season Four, "The Constant")
How'd He Die: Ben repeatedly stabbed Keamy in the throat in retaliation for his murder of Alex. (Season Four, "There's No Place Like Home")
Last Seen: See above.
Why He Should Return: Like Mikhail, Keamy was one of the show's greatest nemeses, however briefly he was involved. If dead characters are returning this season, Keamy would be near the top of my list of people I'd like to see.
19. MICHAEL DAWSON
Played By: Harold Perrineau
First Appearance: Screaming for Walt in the middle of Oceanic Flight 815's burning wreckage. (Season One, "Pilot")
How'd He Die: Blowing up on the freighter after a ghostly Christian Shephard appeared to tell him: "You can go now, Michael." (Season Four, "There's No Place Like Home")
Last Seen: See above.
Why He Should Return: Thankfully, the producers have confirmed that Michael will be back in the final season. He still has some issues to resolve with his son Walt, though Malcolm David Kelley's own return is currently uncertain.
20. CHARLOTTE LEWIS
Played By: Rebecca Mader
First Appearance: Preparing to jump off of Frank's helicopter and onto the Island in the middle of a terrible storm. (Season Four, "Confirmed Dead")
How'd She Die: Constant jumps in time ultimately got the best of her, leading her to deliver one of the most bizarre bits of final dialogue ever recited by a dying character: "I'm not supposed to have chocolate before dinner." (Season Five, "This Place Is Death")
Last Seen: As a little girl in 1977, she boards the submarine and leaves the Island based on Daniel Faraday's crazy urging. (Season Five, "Follow The Leader")
Why She Should Return: Badly bleeding in the middle of the jungle, Charlotte's ultimate sendoff wasn't exactly graceful. She certainly deserves one last bow on the stage with considerably less gore gushing from her nose.
21. DANIEL FARADAY
Played By: Jeremy Davies
Occupation: Physicist and Professor at Oxford University
First Appearance: Landing on the Island after jumping from Frank's helicopter, he was the first of the freighter folk since Naomi to arrive amongst the castaways. (Season Four, "The Beginning of the End")
How'd He Die: He was shot and killed by his own mother, Eloise Hawking, when he entered the Others' camp searching for her. As he died, he realized that his mother knew about this event his entire life, adding an even more twisted layer to the tragedy. (Season Five, "The Variable")
Last Seen: Following his death, Daniel's fresh corpse lingered long enough for Eloise to realize her own terrible mistake. (Season Five, "Follow The Leader")
Why He Should Return: In the face of a potential timeline reboot, there is nobody better than Daniel to explain the scientific reasoning behind the possible shift in reality.
22. JULIET BURKE
Played By: Elizabeth Mitchell
Occupation: Fertility Doctor
First Appearance: Making muffins and preparing to host the Others' book club meeting, only to have it interrupted by the airplane crash of Oceanic Flight 815. (Season Three, "A Tale of Two Cities")
How'd She Die: Assuming she did die — it's hard to imagine that she didn't — it would be because she fell into the gaping hole in the middle of the Swan Station, where she eventually possibly maybe detonated a hydrogen bomb. (Season Five, "The Incident")
Last Seen: See above.
Why She Should Return: Given that Mitchell is working on ABC's "V," it's all but guaranteed that her character will return to give some sense of closure. It would be too cruel to Sawyer if we never saw her again.
Played By: Mark Pellegrino
Occupation: The Island's Spiritual Authority and Apparent Beacon of Good Stuff
First Appearance: Working on a homespun tapestry inside of the four-toed statue and later snacking on a fish while arguing with the Man in Black about human nature. (Season Five, "The Incident")
How'd He Die: The Man in Black, posing as John Locke, convinced Benjamin to stab Jacob in the heart, thereby finding a "loop hole" in Jacob and the MIB's eternal feud. (Season Five, "The Incident")
Last Seen: See above.
Why He Should Return: Even in death, there is much more to be learned about the enigmatic Jacob, especially considering how important his polar opposite — the Man in Black — is likely to be in the final season of "Lost."
Check back tomorrow for another edition of LOST IN NUMBERS, a series of daily features running until the final season premiere of "Lost" on February 2, 2010.