Is there any crime that can't be forgiven when you love somebody? That's one of the key questions Scandal will answer when it returns for the second half of Season 5 in the new year.
Before we talk about events to come, let's quickly remind ourselves of the potentially game-changing midseason finale, 'Baby, It's Cold Outside.'
While Mellie did battle with the easily frustrated men of the Senate, Liv watched on with what can only be described as a hefty dose of longing (with a side of jealousy) for the life she herself used to lead, before being the President's other half transformed her life, and not for the better.
We saw Liv abort the unborn baby we didn't even know she had inside of her, before taking charge of her life, throwing out the distractions and ending it with Fitz; not for the first time, it should be said, but if the confidence with which she left the White House is any indicator, then very possibly the last.
So that was that.
Or was it?
Tony Goldwyn, the irritatingly handsome actor who brings President Fitzgerald to life, told The Hollywood Reporter recently that news of the abortion won't necessarily rule out a future reconciliation with Olivia. Here are the words he said in the exact order he said them.
Reading between the lines, it sounds as if Goldwyn's preference is for a reunion, which shouldn't be surprising because he clearly loves working with Kerry Washington, as evidenced by their chemistry.
He goes on to state that Fitz will be "incredibly lonely" without the "yin and yang" of either Olivia or Mellie in his life, but thinks that Fitz might "grow" as a result of the experience.
To be honest, there's a more positive result which could come of this – and that's the possibility that the show itself could grow. We've played through the entire spectrum of this relationship. They've been happy together in secret, happy together in the open; troubled in private and troubled in public. The abortion gives the writers a story strand to thread through the remainder of Season 5, but a reunion can only tread old ground.
It wouldn't exactly be the first time a will-they-won't-they relationship was pushed too far on a TV series...
When will-they-won't-they goes too far
The first relationship that comes to mind when you think of the classic will-they-won't-they is Ross and Rachel. That one worked. For 10 seasons we were happy to have our emotions toyed with, we loved the way the writers found a constant stream of reasons to keep these two people apart – even though they were clearly meant to be. Like the time they were on a break...
Even if nobody other than Ross was ever quite convinced...
Truth is, we enjoyed the rollercoaster because both parts were equally fun. When they were together, however briefly, they were always adorable. But despite that – or maybe because their happiness was fleeting – we also loved seeing them apart, growing as individuals, establishing careers...
Beyond Friends, though, how many merry-go-round relationships on TV have ever really entertained season after season? Five or six years into Desperate Housewives, I no longer cared about Susan and Mike. The writers never got the memo that, at some point, an audience needs resolution, and they screwed their viewers over by killing Mike in Season 8, ruining any chance of a satisfying conclusion to eight years of on-again, off-again.
I understand that perhaps the main appeal – beyond its refreshingly feminist portrayal of a successful, confident female power player in the realm of business and politics – is the romance between Fitz and Olivia. At some point, though, a line has to be drawn under that.
Season 5B should keep them apart, and for good, because it's possible to have too much of a good thing.