The current revival era is giving TV audiences a chance to reconnect with some of their favorite characters of past years, such as The X-Files’ Mulder and Scully and, later this month, the Tanner family of Fuller House. But what about characters that have been missing from shows that are still on the air? When do we get to see those people again?
Here are 9 characters from current shows that we haven’t touched base with in a while, but would really really want to see come back at some point, for either a guest spot or a full on seasonal arc. Some involve actors who left shows on bad terms, some involve actors who left on okay terms, and there are a few characters who actually met their demise, but we all know that no death on TV is necessarily final.
Elliot Stabler (Law & Order: SVU)While actor Christopher Meloni has done a great job in his career of mixing serious roles with hilarious ones – one only needs to view anything Wet Hot American Summer-related to prove that last one – he will arguably forever be most associated with the hot-headed and faith-embracing Detective Elliot Stabler on Law & Order: SVU, a character he played for 12 seasons, earning an Emmy nomination. Meloni left the show fairly suddenly in 2011 after contract negotiations didn’t go his way, and Stabler was said to have resigned from the force after being placed on administrative leave. Thankfully, showrunner Warren Leight plans to bring Meloni back, but it likely won’t happen until the actual series finale. We’re holding out hope for something sooner.
Izzie Stevens (Grey's Anatomy)Few actor departures in TV history have been as heated and tabloid-friendly as Katherine Heigl vacating her role of Izzie Stevens on Grey’s Anatomy. It all mostly started when Heigl removed herself from Emmy contention, reportedly because she didn’t feel the show’s use of the character was worthy or deserving, and it all came to a fever pitch in Season 6 when she and creator Shonda Rhimes agreed to immediately end the actress’ contractual obligations. Heigl has expressed interest in returning to Grey’s Anatomy to wrap up Izzie’s story at some point, but Rhimes hasn’t exactly been warm to the idea over the years. Still, it could happen one day, although Rhimes would probably give Izzie cancer again, as well as another doomed relationship.
Jason Gideon (Criminal Minds)Okay, so there are two big reasons why viewers are unlikely to see profiler Jason Gideon returning to Criminal Minds, no matter how much we want to see it. In the first place, after actor Mandy Patinkin left the show in 2007 just a few episodes into Season 3, he said quite often that joining the show was one of the worst decisions he ever made, and that he absolutely could not stand the abundance of violence and rape depicted on the program. In the second place, Criminal Minds killed Gideon off in Season 10, with his offscreen murder serving as an episodic narrative. Still, maybe we could get a non-1970s flashback of some kind showcasing a violence-free moment between Gideon and Joe Mantegna’s Dave Rossi, considering the two were best friends.
Savannah Davis (Mistresses)A big and enjoyable part of Mistresses during its first two seasons on ABC, Alyssa Milano’s Savannah “Savi” Davis got caught up in stories involving an affair with a colleague and sister Joss’ affair with her ex-husband Harry. It seemed like Savi would have much more drama to come, but the show changed filming locations in Season 3 from L.A. to Vancouver, which caused Milano to quit the show to focus on her family. However, when the drama was renewed for Season 4, it was revealed that the production was reverting back to L.A., so there’s still a chance that we may one day see Savi return.
Pornstache (Orange is the New Black)There are a lot of unlikeable characters on Orange is the New Black, if we’re being frank, but I don’t think any are more fun to absolutely hate and complain about than Pablo Schreiber’s George “Pornstache” Mendez. (Except maybe Jason Biggs’ Larry.) Though he did appear once in Season 3, Pornstache was behind bars and talking to his mother about Daya’s child without accepting that he wasn’t the father. Not enough! We want him back and making people’s lives a living hell in a larger capacity, which could easily happen if it’s proven to everyone that Daya’s child isn’t his after all. He’d probably have a pretty good vengeance-fueled narrative arc for that, too. Even if it doesn’t happen in Season 4, Netflix just gave the prison dramedy a huge renewal, so maybe we can look forward to it in later years.
Eddie Thawne (The Flash)Admittedly, Eddie Thawne hasn’t been gone from The Flash all that long, and the span of his absence is the shortest of anyone on this list. And if we’re being honest, I’m not so interested in seeing Eddie return to the show as the Eddie we already knew, but rather in how the show’s creative team would bring back a different version of him. After all, this is a show where there’s an entirely different Earth where major characters’ evil counterparts exist, and one in which time travel is a common narrative device. Personally, I want to see Eddie reappearing on The Flash as the villain Zoom’s secret identity, although I’m game just to have him as a generic Earth 2 villain giving Barry and Joe trouble.
Morales (The Walking Dead)When a Walking Dead character leaves the show, it is usually because he or she has been mauled by walkers or killed off by Rick & Co. But Morales and his family made it safely through part of Season 1 of the AMC hit, and they chose to head off on their own to Birmingham after the central camp was attacked. Fans have been wanting to see Morales return to the show for years, and actor Juan Gabriel Pareja is keen on teasing that possibility, even though it hasn’t happened yet. Considering how big of a reemergence Morgan had in Season 5, we’re still convinced that the post-apocalyptic world hasn’t seen the last of Morales.
Catelyn Stark (Game of Thrones)As the Stark matriarch Catelyn, actress Michelle Fairley was a stellar part of Game of Thrones during its first few seasons, and viewers were both shocked and dismayed when the character was killed off during the Red Wedding. While the show will be bringing back her late husband Ned Stark for a flashback sequence, Catelyn has another far more interesting way to return to the fantasy drama. In the books, George R.R. Martin resurrected her as Lady Stoneheart, a mute and mutilated being who dedicates her new life to avenging her family for every wrong they suffered. It unfortunately doesn’t look like Lady Stoneheart will join the show, but enough fans have demanded it to ensure the minute possibility that it’ll happen one day.
Chef (South Park)For nine seasons, Isaac Hayes’ Chef was a major part of South Park’s popularity, and it is impossible to hear the worlds “chocolate,” “salty” or “balls” without breaking into song in his signature deep voice. But then Hayes, a Scientologist, decided he’d had enough of the show and quit after a Scientology-bashing episode, which led to creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone killing him off in the Season 10 premiere. (Though he did come back as Darth Chef.) Hayes died for real a couple of years after leaving the show, so it would obviously be impossible for him to reprise the role. But a combination of reusing old dialogue clips and subbing in Ving Rhames for some lines could work. What better way is there to disrespect the Super Adventure Club leader than that?
Which Character Do You Want To See Again The Most?