Henry Ian Cusick will not be returning for the second season of Scandal — could this open a fifth season return to Fringe?
Cusick played Stephen Finch on Scandal, a character who was not a large part of the show’s central storyline. Along with showrunner Shonda Rhimes, Cusick agreed not return to the political drama in year two.
Fringe fans will be wondering whether this frees him up to play a part in the fifth and final season of the FOX sci-fi serial, following his guest role as Fringe Division agent Simon Foster in the 19th episode of Season 4, “Letters of Transit“.
That episode flashed-forward to the year 2036, where Earth has long been overtaken by a bunch of totalitarian Observers — a storyline that will (largely) form the focus of the final season as Fringe Division gear up for one last battle.
In the episode, Foster ultimately sacrifices himself in amber in order to free Peter Bishop (Joshua Jackson), a move that seemed to bring his story to a close. That said, with William Bell (Leonard Nimoy) also encased in that same amber, and ‘flashbacks’ a possibility, there might yet be a door for Foster to return, depending on what the producers have planned.
The final season is already being billed as “the greatest chapter yet” by the FOX marketing department (trailer below), and expectations will be sky high going into the final 13 episodes. Season 4 may not have been the ‘classic’ that fans were hoping for (though on an ‘arc basis’, I’m willing to bet that it holds up better than suspected), but all the pieces are in place for Fringe to go out as a serialized classic. Time will tell.