A skilled actor does not need a lot of screen time to stand out. As such, some of television’s most memorable characters didn’t even make an appearance in their respective show’s first, second, or third season. Here are some of the best TV characters that came in late but left a lasting impression on audiences.
Holly Flax (Amy Ryan) on The Office
Holly Flax does not make her first appearance on The Office until the two-part finale of season four, but her effect on Steve Carell’s Michael Scott and The Office as a whole is significant. From their very first scenes together, Holly and Michael have strong on-screen chemistry, and her sweet disposition makes the audience like Michael more. More than that, she reshapes Michael’s sense of humor and makes him less mean and more thoughtful. She also changes the course of Michael’s character, taking him away from Dunder Mifflin, and provides a reason for his exit from the show in season seven.
Charles Emerson Winchester III (David Ogden Stiers) on MASH
In the early seasons of MASH, Hawkeye Pierce takes joy in torturing Frank Burns, but Frank is never clever enough for any proper retaliation. Winchester, however, is a worthy opponent for Pierce and often pranks him in epic fashion. For MASH fans, it is hard to imagine the later seasons without the pompous but good-natured Charles Emerson Winchester III.
Craig Middlebrooks (Billy Eichner) on Parks and Recreation
Parks and Recreation is full of memorable characters, but when Pawnee merges with Eagleton in season six, Craig Middlebrooks is one of the survivors from the former Eagleton city staff. Billy Eichner’s manic and hilarious performance earned him more punchlines and his own storylines, usually pairing him with Donna or Tom. Craig is rumored to return to Parks‘ final season tonight.
Daniel Faraday (Jeremy Davies) and Frank Lapidus (Jeff Fahey) on Lost
In the final seasons of Lost, many new characters are introduced from Charles Widmore’s boat and the science team. Among the science team is Daniel Faraday, a physicist whose fate is tied to the island. Daniel’s unrequited crush on Charlotte and his mother’s history with the island add new intrigue to a show with a million and one mysteries.