This is speculation & not spoilage. Even so, read further at your own risk. You have been warned.
It is very possible that any and all previously killed characters can return. We've witnessed it already. Two phrases so significant in season five they became titles of episodes are "whatever happened happened" and "dead is dead." We've witnessed first-hand that while these two phrases are true, there's something sinister about them. What we think happened may not have happened the way we think, but only because we do not know all the facts. We may see an event in the past from Jack's perspective where he meets Desmond, but then if we see that same night from Desmond's perspective it carries different meaning and significance. We may see Locke fall from a great height in season one and think his survival miraculous but not otherworldly. In season five we witnessed Locke was very dead until Jacob revived him after his fall. This adds new information to what happened, without literally changing the event. Our perception of it is all that changes, given the new information.
Christian and Locke are both very dead. Dr. Jack Shepherd is many things but he is not incompetent in determining conditions of traditional death. However, both individuals are also still clearly walking around. We've also seen other characters we know to be dead reappear on the series as visions or dreams. It's also possible that there were people who died in the crash of Flight 815 or Ajira 316 who appear to still be alive, but are being kept alive artificially through the unique powers of The Island, for Jacob's purposes, or Blackie's, or perhaps another party we've yet to meet.
Although I personally believe there will be few if any flashbacks in this final season, the writers may surprise me and continue the flashbacks for consistency's sake. There certainly is no longer an overpowering need beyond curiosity at this point. I'd like to see Ben meet, kill, and bury Henry Gale for example, but unless the writers come up with a compelling reason why that pertains to the predicaments in the present of Ben & UnLocke, it'd be little more than a novelty at this point.
What's more plausible is the fact that although we've witnessed the phrase "whatever happened happened" to be predominantly accurate, the writers have also made it clear what we see happen is not always what we think we see. In season one we saw Locke fall out of a building, and miraculously survive. It wasn't until the end of season five that we saw why he survived. There are many events we have witnessed which may have had other participants out of our periphery view. We've been told of Hurley's accident on the pier that allegedly killed 23 people. We have no idea who those people are because the show has never actually visited that incident visually. The writers could choose to do so now, if (and only if) it pertained directly to the current present of Ben & UnLocke.
The phrase which is obviously not accurate is "dead is dead" although one can argue it's very true, IF (and only if) Locke is very dead and what we've been seeing walking around in Locke's stead since the crash of Ajira 316 is 0% Locke. If that's the case, then yes dead is dead. So any and all characters who have died on the Island can and probably will return, but as agents of Blackie/Essau/UnLocke/WhateverHisNameIs or as agents of Jacob. In fact it's plenty plausible that all or some of our characters from Oceanic 815 are very much not really among the living.
One of my more fantastical theories is that most who crashed on Oceanic 815 did die, with the sole witness of Kate. She has admitted that she witnessed the entire crash, while others appear to have blacked out. It's possible that she knows who is real and who is not, which might explain some of her aberrant behavior in the earlier seasons. However, it wouldn't explain her love interests, unless she knew Sawyer & Jack were two people who are still normal.
We know that Jacob can bring people back to life. We've seen miraculous cures for disease and disability. We've witnessed instances when someone should have died but did not. These instances could easily be explained away if said individuals are already dead and are being kept alive by artificial, god-like means.
The easiest way to bring Dominic back would be to bring back Patchy. He waits until he witnesses Desmond return to the surface, then fishes Charlie out of the station and brings Charlie back to the Island. Patchy would then pump the water out of Charlie's lungs, wait for him to get his bearings and breath back, and explain to him that he couldn't die in the station, because he already died on the plane. Patchy would then reveal he's an agent of either Blackie or Jacob, and tell Charlie that now he is too.
Is Charlie still the Charlie that we have come to know? Yes and no. He's got self-awareness, but he's being manipulated. To what extent is unclear. We know that Locke has been getting messages from The Island, and was being manipulated, but he had to actually die (by suicide or murder) off the Island in order for Blackie to get to appear AS him. Why? We don't know. It may have to do with rules that Jacob & Blackie set for themselves when all this began, or rules that have been laid for them by whoever is pulling THEIR strings. Cuz there's always someone bigger.
Who is actually alive and who is actually (un)dead is a little murky. Hurley could very well already be dead. He may have died when the pier crashed, and either Jacob or Blackie revived him at an opportune moment, just as we witnessed Jacob revive Locke after his fall. Hurley experiences great luck that keeps him from dying, but people around him suffer the consequences. Hurley and Charlie both crossed a bridge that they really should not have been able to safely traverse, but Jack & Sayid were not able to cross it. They had to go around. This could be one circumstantial indication that Hurley & Charlie are already (un)dead, and are being kept alive by The Island. However, if Jack & Sayid are still very much alive, the writers wouldn't want them to cross that bridge. It may have shown their hand.
If all that I say is true, then it'd be very easy for the writers to bring back all of the characters we've witnessed die, in order to pose as agents of Jacob & Blackie wherever it might be strategically advantageous for them to do so. For example, Alex appeared before Ben in what was obviously a strategic move on Blackie's part to make Ben obey his wishes. Any characters who have died in previous seasons can come back in a similar manner, to impart messages to surviving Losties that came from either Jacob or Blackie.
We could even witness the return of Nikki & Paulo, IF it would be to the benefit of either Blackie or Jacob to do so. Personally, I'd rather see Arzt and Frogurt one last time, but Nikki was easy on the eyes, and Paulo was good for a laugh. We may see them all come back before the series is over. It's entirely plausible.
You Broke Me A Little Bit
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