Although the Scandal Season 4 finale may have disappointed when it came to shocking deaths (I suppose the bus-full of jurors counts as the "more than three" deaths Guillermo Díaz warned us about?), the episode surely didn't skimp in at least one regard: romance. For an hour so jam-packed with violence and WTF-worthy plot twists, the closing scene was remarkably tender: Olivia Pope and President Fitzgerald Grant, reunited on the balcony of the White House, locking lips while "Here Comes The Sun" played in the background. So does this mean that Olivia and Fitz will live happily ever after in Season 5?
With Papa Pope finally in prison, Jake Ballard urging Olivia to follow her heart, and Fitz having dumped Mellie — there's seemingly no obstacle standing in the way of a fairytale ending for Scandal's central couple. (Although anyone on a Shonda Rhimes show should always watch out for sudden, tragic car accidents.) But just because Olivia & Fitz could live happily ever after doesn't necessarily mean they should.
I'm decidedly neutral on the topic of "Olitz" — I'm neither their staunchest advocate nor their fiercest detractor — so I think I'm in a pretty good position to play Devil's advocate here. Let's attempt to break down the major arguments for and against Olivia & Fitz living happily ever after, shall we?
The Case For
Their chemistry is a-mah-zing: Even the most anti-Olitz among us must admit that Kerry Washington and Tony Goldwyn have some killer chemistry. Whenever they're in the same room — whether they're fighting or... otherwise — the atmosphere is positively electric. Scott Foley is certainly a handsome gentleman (and I hope Jake remains on the show despite Olivia's choice), but he's a wet blanket compared to the fiery passion that crackles every time Washington and Goldwyn are onscreen together.
They deserve to be happy: Olivia has spent two seasons now battling her terrorist mother and her egomaniacal, manipulative, murderous father. Fitz has been trapped for years in a loveless marriage he couldn't get out of because of politics. These characters deserve a break. Who can begrudge them some hard-earned canoodling? Now that this interminable B613 plot has been wrapped up (at least for the time being), it's time for Scandal to go back to its soapy, political intrigue roots... and that includes plenty of smoldering glances and clandestine Oval Office hookups.
The drama would be delicious: Will Elizabeth North (Portia de Rossi, promoted to series regular for Season 5) come to regret her new job title when she realizes her first job as Chief of Staff will be to clean up the unholy mess Fitz has made of his private life? How will Mellie react to Fitz going public with his relationship with Olivia? How will Olivia's work as a D.C. fixer be affected by her romantic ties to the White House? These are all good questions that promise some juicy drama should Olitz become an official item.
The Case Against
It would kill the tension: For four years, Scandal has thrived on the will-they-won't-they flirtation between Olivia and Fitz. Can you imagine the show without that central tension? Whenever a show built on a will-they-won't-they concept answers that question in the affirmative, it's very rare that the show doesn't suffer as a result. As great as Meredith and Derek's marriage was on Grey's Anatomy, the show was undoubtedly more exciting in its early seasons, during the days of dramatic "Pick me, choose me, love me" speeches and houses built out of candles. (In my opinion, other examples of couples that ruined their shows by getting together include Jess & Nick on New Girl, Jim & Pam on The Office, and — most infamously — Maddie & David on Moonlighting.) If Olivia and Fitz have to get together, there's an argument to be made for waiting until the final season to do it.
It will never work: Olivia herself neatly outlined the main problem of "Olitz" earlier in Season 4, when she returned home after being kidnapped. She sacrificed everything, even rigged an election, to help him become President, because she believed he would be a great leader. And then he was willing to throw it all away and sacrifice thousands of innocent lives, to rescue her. Vermont is a pipe dream: despite their love, they can only ever seem to turn each other into their worst selves. (Given that this scene was the last time Olivia & Fitz were alone in a room together before their big season-ending kiss, it certainly casts a shadow of doubt over their viability as a couple.)
Olivia deserves better: I may not be a diehard "Olitz" or "Olake" shipper, but I am a diehard Olivia fan... and she deserves better than Fitz. Nothing against Fitz as a character — he's certainly an interesting and integral presence on the show — but he isn't Olivia's equal in any regard (other than sheer physical attractiveness, of course). Olivia is always the smartest person in the room; Fitz rarely is. Olivia almost always makes good decisions; Fitz rarely does. Olivia rarely acts impulsively; Fitz always does. Olivia deserves someone who can be her emotional and intellectual equal. Frankly, no man on Scandal fits that bill right now — but Season 5 might be the perfect time to introduce one.
Images: Kelsey McNeal, Eric McCandless, Nicole Wilder/ABC