Is Shonda Rhimes a big “Lost” fan? Recent “Scandal” casting certainly makes it seem that way… and we kind of love it.
On the heels of the announcement that Fitz (Tony Goldwyn) and Mellie’s (Bellamy Young) two oldest children will finally appear onscreen when “Scandal” returns to wrap up Season 3, a connection between the two young stars cast to play the kids could not be denied: They both guest starred on “Lost” in pretty memorable roles.
Dylan Minnette, who will play Jerry Grant, played Jack’s son David Shephard in several episodes of the ABC drama’s final season; Madeline Carroll, who’s been tapped to play Karen Grant, had a very special “Lost” episode as Annie, the girl who welcomed a young Ben Linus to the island and the Dharma Initiative in Season 3’s “The Man Behind the Curtain.” Here they both are from their “Lost” days:
“Scandal” has mastered the art of re-using so many Shondaland favorites, actors who’ve also appeared on Rhimes’s other ABC series “Grey’s Anatomy” and/or “Private Practice” (Minnette appeared on “Grey’s” and Carroll appeared on both), all thanks to Rhimes’s casting guru Linda Lowy. And in the past, “Scandal” superfans have noticed a lot of other “Scandal” casting connections — with the show borrowing several actors from the likes of “The Good Wife,” “Gilmore Girls,” “Everwood,” and Aaron Sorkin’s shows.
It seems like “Lost” alums are the latest bunch being poached.
Lowy didn’t work on “Lost” — but her husband, “Scandal” star and “Grey’s Anatomy” alum Jeff Perry, sure did! Here he is as Frank “Sawyer” Duckett, the man Sawyer (Josh Holloway) believed killed his mother, in Season 1’s “Outlaws,” side-by-side with Perry as “Scandal’s” Cyrus Beene.
Other “Lost”-“Scandal” connections include Patrick Fischler, who played Dharma Initiative henchman Phil before being cast in an episode of “Grey’s Anatomy” and then playing low-level NSA employee and privacy conspiracy theorist Artie Hornbacher on “Scandal” Season 2’s “Hunting Season.” Remember Thorngate? That guy.
Sam Anderson — known for playing Bernard of Rose and Bernard, one of “Lost’s” sweetest couples — also came to play in “Scandal” Season 2 for “Spies Like Us,” where he was one of Huck’s (Guillermo Diaz) old spy cohorts, and not at all sweet. (And, yes, before you say it, he did an episode of “Grey’s Anatomy” as well.)
Even Jimmy Kimmel is a thread in the “Lost”-“Scandal” love affair. In the “Scandal” Season 2 premiere, “White Hats Off,” Kimmel appeared in a “Live!” show bit taped specifically for “Scandal.” He was also a huge “Lost” supporter, creating many memorable spoofs, giving fans “Lost” alternate endings, and providing commentary for the “Lost Survival Guide” and “Lost: The Final Season — Beginning of the End.” Here’s “Scandal’s” Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington) watching her client get interviewed by Kimmel on TV (x4!).
And, of course, “Scandal” Season 1 regular Henry Ian Cusick (he played Oliva Pope & Associates’s Stephen Finch before leaving the show after the first season) is still best known to “Lost” fans as Penny-loving romantic Desmond Hume.
Rhimes has never publically stated that she’s a “Lost” fan — that we know of — but she did show support for “Lost” co-showrunner Damon Lindelof after he wrote about the “Breaking Bad” finale, and fan response to finales in general.
The two have done several ABC showrunner panels together at the Television Critics Association press tours over the years, and she seems to be taking a page from Lindelof’s business model as well: She recently told NPR that she knows how “Scandal” will end, and it sounds like she knows when it will end too, much like Lindelof and co-showrunner Carlton Cuse did with “Lost.”
That’s where the parallels end — for now — and if a polar bear or a smoke monster appear at OPA, that’s where we draw the line, but which other “Lost” alumni would you like to see pop up next on “Scandal”? We’re starting our wishlist now.