Olitzologist reporting for duty. Let’s talk about these three Olitz kisses from season 4 in the context of Olivia’s desire (not sex) and Fitzgerald’s journey of restraint.
1. The three kisses above represent the only times Olivia and Fitz have kissed in the present day Scandalverse timeline (dreams do not count (406, 410); neither do imagined phone sex kisses (407)). Do you notice the synchronous progression of Olivia’s active embrace of Fitz along with Fitz’s increasing restraint? There’s a story here.
In 404, not knowing that she spent 2.5 months on an island with another man, Fitz joins Olivia’s body to his in an embrace where he beseeches, millimeters from her mouth, “Didn’t you miss me?” Weak in the knees, Olivia responds in the affirmative. She finally sucks on his mouth to show just how much she missed him. She stops the kiss because she’s being dishonest, having lied to Fitz earlier that she went to the island alone. Fitz backs away from her.
In 408, we get the second kiss. Again, Fitz tests what (who) it is that Olivia wants. He tells her there is no price to pay. If she wants it, it’s hers. “Kiss me,” he goads. Not able to take her eyes off his mouth, Olivia lunges for the kiss, body-waving into Fitz as she enjoys herself. Fitz abruptly stops the kiss, looking oh so pleased with the results of his little test. You’re still the one, dude.
Finally, In 422, after finding out there was a major price to pay, and both having tried to carry on separate lives–pursuing separate and related goals–they come back to the middle of who they are. Fitz doesn’t take a step toward Olivia until after she replies to “What happens now?” with “whatever we want”. He then presents himself to be kissed. Can the whatever we want begin right now? Olivia says yes by embracing Fitz’s planted form before her, slowly capturing his lips with tenderness and surety. Gone is the sense of reluctant capitulation from 404; the anxiety over the consequences in 408. It’s whatever they want. And boy, does Olivia Pope want Fitzgerald Grant. It’s never not been true.
2. You must have noticed by now that when Fitz is fearful, or desperate to be seen or heard by Olivia, he draws close (all up in the personal space, drawing her body to his, showing up at her door, etc); when Olivia is fearful and uncertain, she pushes away and creates distance (colluding on a pregnancy to save his presidency, going back to her Gladiators, flying halfway across the world, etc). This season we have watched them move away from desperation and fear toward letting go. Letting go has allowed them to accomplish individual goals, without which they could not have reconciled (truthfully) on that balcony.
3. We are left with an explicit or implicit question at the end of every season. S1: Who is Quinn Perkins? That unraveling led us all the way to— S2: Who is Olivia Pope? That drama led her to flee, so we had to ask S3: Where is Olivia Pope (physically and mentally)? At the end of S4: What does Olivia want? Fitz is just one piece of that puzzle, so now, perhaps we get to see what else our girl wants in S5.
It’s the times when you are alone. It’s the extended kisses. It’s the shortness of breath. The quickened heart rates. The short moans. The times you feel like you’re the only two people in the world. Those are the times you know they’re perfect…