Charlie first arrived on the scene as a customer at the Bon Jour Café in Paris, Texas. There he met Viki, who had temporarily left her life in Llanview behind and was working as a waitress at the café. Charlie and Viki soon began dating casually, and he admitted to Viki that he was a recovering alcoholic and was looking to patch things up with his estranged son. Viki knew Charlie only as "Charlie B."
Charlie missed reuniting with his son when Jared attended the reading of Asa Buchanan's will at the nearby Buchanan ranch but happened upon Dorian Lord instead. He followed Dorian back to Llanview in an effort to find his son. Charlie located Jared at the Buchanan mansion, just as Jared was falsely revealed to be Asa's illegitimate son. Jared rejected Charlie who then fell off the wagon. Later, he was convinced by Viki to get sober again.
In an effort to resume a relationship with Jared, Charlie agreed to protect Jared's true identity from everyone, including Viki. Dorian, however, knew the truth. Caught off guard after a meeting with Roxy Balsom, Charlie told Rex Balsom and his fiancé Adriana Cramer that his last name was "Balsom," not realizing that Rex was Roxy's son. Rex began questioning the identity of his father, and Roxy, nervous that Rex would find out who his true father is, claimed that Charlie was his father. Roxy pleaded with Charlie to go along with the lie, and Charlie agreed, even lying to Viki.
Charlie was guilt-ridden about lying to Viki, however, and confided to Dorian that he planned to tell Viki the truth. Knowing that this would get in the way of Dorian's plans to take over Buchanan Enterprises, Dorian drugged Charlie and brought him to her home. There she plied him with liquor and then dumped him in the alley behind Rodi's Tavern. A bartender discovered Charlie and called Viki from the cell phone found in Charlie's pocket. Charlie was brought to the hospital at the same time that Nash Brennan was rushed into the ER after falling through a skylight during an argument with Jared and Natalie following Dorian's announcement that Jared was a fraud. Jared rushed into Charlie's room and called him Dad, shocking Viki.
Charlie recovered but was unable to remember falling off the wagon or how he ended up in the alley. Disillusioned by his lies, Viki broke it off with Charlie. Rex also learned that Charlie was not his father and cut off ties with Charlie and Roxy, who form a friendship over their common mistakes. The truth out, Charlie and Jared rebuilt their relationship. Long unemployed, Charlie took on the job of rebuilding Carlotta Vega's diner after it burned down. After Viki nearly died in a car accident, Charlie visited her in the hospital and declared he would not stop fighting to get back in her life.
Viki went to Africa to promote heart transplants. When she returned, Charlie was overjoyed to see her. However, Viki's became occupied in her family's latest crisis. Natalie was missing, and Jared soon suspected that Jessica's alter Tess was behind it. Once Tess figured out that the family was on to her, she dropped off Bree at Todd's home and briefly vanished. Tess returned to Llanfair and Charlie confronted her. She knocked Charlie out and got away. Viki came home and discovered Charlie, shaken but OK. They realized that Tess had reemerged. Viki eventually discovered that Tess was keeping Natalie and Jared in a secret room at Llanfair, just like her alter Jean Randolph had done to Dorian many years ago. Viki and Charlie raced to the mansion, where Viki's sister Tina (who had known all along what Tess had done) led them to the secret room. Charlie managed to grab the bomb that Tess had set to go off, and got it outside, just before it exploded. Viki was overjoyed that Charlie was safe, and that Natalie and Jared were finally free.
Bonding over the problems with their children, Viki and Charlie grew close once again. Charlie surprised Viki by remodeling Carlotta's diner, which had been burned in a fire, into the spitting image of the Bon Jour Cafe' from Paris, Texas. Viki and Charlie were shocked to learn from David Vickers, who had returned to town after having become a Buddhist, that Dorian had been the one to drug Charlie and ply him with liquor to keep him from telling Viki about Jared pretending to be Asa's son. Viki and Charlie confronted Dorian, who admitted nothing.
After Jessica discovered baby Chloe had been kidnapped from Llanfair, Natalie and Jared admitted to Viki, Charlie, and Clint that the baby Jessica delivered had died and had been switched with Starr and Cole's baby. When Jessica and Chloe were reunited at the hospital, Bess emerged and escaped with Chloe before Jessica could be told that the baby wasn't hers. As the family searched for Jessica, Natalie and Jared revealed to Viki, Charlie, and Clint that they had gotten married the night before. After Brody tracked Jessica and the baby down at the West Virginia home of Nash Brennan's parents, Charlie joined Viki and the rest of the family at the Brennan home. Viki pretended to be her alter, Jean Randolph, to gain access to Bess, who had barricaded herself and the baby in an upstairs bedroom. As Charlie assured Brody that everything would be fine, Viki got Jessica to emerge and to painfully admit that her baby had been stillborn.
In the aftermath, Charlie stunned Viki by proposing to her and she readily accepted. Later, while dining at the Palace with a newly engaged Nora and Clint, Viki and Charlie acknowledged that they were also engaged. When the couples realized that they had picked the same wedding date, Renee suggested a double wedding, and they hesitantly agreed.
Viki and Charlie later reluctantly went to La Boulaie to help Dorian resolve a conflict between herself and Markko Rivera's parents that threatened to keep Markko and Langston apart. When Markko confronted his father and said he would move out rather than split up with Langston, Viki offered to take Markko in.
In August 2009, Charlie and Viki said their vows during a double wedding with Clint and Nora. Viki raised the ire of Mayor Stanley Lowell when she refused to have The Banner endorse his re-election bid. In retaliation, May or Lowell shut down a worksite being run by Charlie, and Charlie raised a stink about it during a press conference held by the mayor.
Dorian, who aligned herself with the mayor in the hopes of getting her old job as chief of staff at Llanview Hospital back, told Viki she would love for her to run against the mayor, just so she could suffer a humiliating defeat. Viki laughed off the idea, but Charlie said she would be great in the role and could help restore order to the town that she loved. Viki soon announced she was running as an independent candidate for mayor and named Charlie as her campaign manager.
Viki and Mayor Lowell were in the middle of a televised debate when John McBain came into the room and announced he was placing the mayor under arrest for running a drug ring and ordering Cole Thornhart killed. After the mayor resigned in disgrace, Charlie and Viki thought the election was in the bag. But then Dorian announced she was running as well, pitting the two bitter enemies against each other once again.
The mayoral race was marred by mounting suspicions that Jared was somehow involved in stalking Jessica and the deaths of two people who were found at Llanfair and the Buchanan lodge. Everything came to a head at Nash Brennan's old vineyard in Napa Valley, where a believed-dead Mitch Laurence revealed to a stunned Jessica, Natalie, and Jared that he was in fact alive and behind everything that had transpired. Viki and Charlie arrived to discover that Jared had been shot by Mitch and was raced to the hospital in critical condition, where he later died.
Charlie was devastated, especially after learning that Jared had been blackmailed into helping stalk Jessica because he was protecting Charlie. As a child, Jared saw a drunken Charlie hit Jared's stepfather and inadvertently cause his death. Charlie, who had no memory of the incident, came to believe that he was responsible for Jared's death and began drinking again. Jessica realized he was drunk and confronted him, but Charlie said it was a one-time slip and wouldn't happen again. When Viki found an empty bottle of booze outside Llanfair, she asked Charlie if he had been drinking, and he lied that he hadn't. A drunken Charlie showed up at Mitch's hospital room but was intercepted by Brody, who told Charlie he needed to stop drinking.
Forced by Brody to come clean with Viki, Charlie admitted that he had been drinking but said he had no plans to stop. Viki said she would stand by Charlie no matter what, but Charlie found it increasingly hard to stay sober, especially after Mitch Laurence was released from jail. When Charlie went into a bar for a drink, Dorian happened to be there and talked him out of drinking but said the only way to get past his problems would be to kill Mitch. Dorian, who was desperate to get rid of Mitch because he was threatening to harm her family, gave Charlie a gun and he began target practice.
After Jessica was kidnapped by one of Mitch Laurence's minions, Charlie showed up at Llanfair and tried to comfort Viki, telling her he would bring Jessica back to her. But Viki was unable to trust him and turned him away. Charlie eventually tracked Jessica down at an abandoned mine on Llantano Mountain and showed up just as Brody was about to take Mitch into custody.
Charlie aimed his gun at Mitch when Dorian entered and startled him, causing him to shoot Jessica. Charlie admitted everything to Viki, who was unable to forgive him and eventually told him she would be filing for divorce. After Dorian challenged Viki to forgive Charlie, arguing that she was acting more like Dorian than herself, Viki told Charlie she would hold off filing divorce papers but would be going to London with Kevin and Bree to think things over.
Charlie went to the Palace to meet with a potential customer, only to discover that Dorian had summoned him there to make an enticing job offer: head up development and construction of a new civic center to revitalize East Llanview. Dorian told Charlie the job would be good for him, and was caressing his hand when Viki appeared, fresh from London.
During a private conversation, Viki told Charlie she missed him terribly and wanted to give their marriage another shot. In response, Charlie gave her a passionate kiss. Viki then learned about Dorian's job offer and encouraged Charlie to take the job, despite her reservations about Dorian's motives. Charlie and Dorian got closer as they worked on the project and, during a tender moment, Dorian took Charlie into a close embrace, appearing ready to kiss him. Then Jack snapped their picture. Charlie warned Dorian that nothing like that could happen again, but the damage was done when Todd sent the incriminating photo to Viki. An angry Viki assured Charlie that she trusted him but warned Dorian to keep her hands off her husband.
Viki hired David to be style consultant at The Banner, angering Dorian and irritating Charlie. Charlie and Viki then hatched a plan in which they pretended to fall for Dorian and David, in the hopes that Dorian and David would realize they belonged together. But the plan backfired after Dorian figured out what was going on when Charlie came onto her and then she caught Viki and David in bed together. Dorian was so angry she fired Charlie, which freed him to go on a long vacation with Viki.
Charlie and Viki were gratified when they learned that David and Dorian had finally admitted their feelings for one another and planned to marry. But David disappeared on the wedding day, leaving Dorian at the altar for the second time. Charlie was impressed with Viki, who offered Dorian her help despite everything Dorian had done to her in the past.
Charlie got a bolt from the past when an old flame, Echo DiSavoy, showed up at Llanfair in October 2010. It turned out that Charlie and Echo, who called him "Chuckles," were involved years ago while Charlie was living in Atlantic City. Charlie was stunned to discover from Viki that Echo had slept with Viki's then-husband Clint Buchanan nearly 30 years ago. Echo claimed to have come back to say hello to Charlie and to apologize to Viki for nearly ruining her marriage, but Viki gave Echo an ice-cold reception and was suspicious of Echo's true motive for returning.
Charlie and Viki began arguing about Echo frequently, especially after Viki hired Rex Balsom to investigate Echo's past. Viki was convinced that Echo was up to no good, but Charlie was reluctant to believe anything bad about Echo. It soon became clear that Echo knew something about Rex's parents, and Viki came to the conclusion that Echo was actually Rex's biological mother. She told Charlie that he could be Rex's father, and Charlie realized that the timing fit. Viki and Charlie questioned Echo in front of Clint, Dorian and other witnesses and Echo admitted that she was Rex's mother - just as Rex walked into the room. Echo claimed Charlie was the father but admitted to Bo that Clint could be the father too, so they all underwent DNA testing to determine Rex's true parentage. Charlie was excited when the DNA tests proved he was Rex's father and pressed Rex to accept him and Echo as his parents.
After Echo was kicked out of the Angel Square Motel, Charlie pressed Viki into letting her stay at Llanfair. Charlie and Viki began bickering constantly about Echo's presence at Llanfair and in their lives. After finding Echo stinking drunk with Dorian at brunch, Charlie took her home and she ended up kissing Charlie as Dorian watched from the terrace. Viki confronted Charlie after learning from Dorian what had happened and wanted to throw Echo out of the house, but Charlie begged Viki to show Echo compassion. After Rex was injured in a car accident, Charlie and Echo stood vigil at the hospital and Charlie realized Echo had a drinking problem when he caught her trying to have a drink in the hospital. Charlie encouraged Echo to attend AA meetings with him, and Viki felt that Echo was exploiting her drinking to get closer to Charlie. Charlie was distraught when it was revealed that Jessica was having problems delivering her baby to term because of scarring in her abdomen from when Charlie accidentally shot her. Clint lashed out at Charlie, who ran off and nearly fell off the wagon before Rex intervened. After Viki threw Echo out of the house, Charlie lashed out at her for kicking Echo out behind his back. Rex told Charlie that he had had another DNA test performed and that it proved he was Rex's father. However, during the double wedding of Jessica and Natalie, the truth came out that Clint was actually Rex's father and had ordered one of his employees to alter the tests. Charlie was devastated and stormed out of the church. After nearly drinking at Rodi's, Charlie went to Echo's room at the Minute Man Motel and told her what had happened. Charlie and Echo fell into each other's arms and began kissing. The next day, Charlie returned to Viki's house and learned that additional revelations had come out about who had fathered Jessica and Natalie's babies. He kept quiet about his dalliance with Echo, who called to let him know that she was wearing the watch he had left behind so she could feel closer to him.
Charlie's one-time encounter with Echo soon spiraled into a full-blown affair. Dorian realized what was going on and threatened to tell Viki if Charlie didn't break it off with Echo. Charlie told Echo about Dorian's demand but said he couldn't stay away from her, so he lied to Dorian about breaking up with Echo but continued to see her. Charlie became more preoccupied with Echo and almost missed a custody hearing where Viki was fighting Tess and Robert Ford for custody of their baby Ryder. After the hearing, Charlie headed back into Echo's motel room and told her he was going to break up with Viki as soon as the custody case was over. But Viki barged into the motel room and caught Charlie and Echo in bed together. She lashed out at Echo for ensnaring another of Viki's husbands, but Charlie let Viki know that this was more than a one-time affair. Charlie admitted to Viki that he was in love with Echo, and Viki said they were through and kicked him out of Llanfair.
Dorian told Charlie that Echo had known all along that Rex was Clint's son, but Charlie refused to believe her. Viki gave Charlie a tape that Dorian had given her in which Echo admitted to Clint that she knew all along that Charlie was not Rex's father. Viki told Charlie to listen to the tape if he wanted to know the truth about Echo. Charlie played the tape in front of Echo and was devastated by what he heard. Echo begged for forgiveness but Charlie told her they were through. Charlie later arrived at Llanfair to give Viki the divorce papers and say goodbye to Viki. Charlie said he was returning to Paris, Texas, to rebuild the Bon Jour Café, which had been destroyed by a tornado.