In which the previouslies include footage of Mike, though he doesn’t return, dammit; we welcome back Katrina and Brian, yay; Harvey & Zane do bad Terminator impressions; and Samantha wears what may be her most flattering (if bridal-adjacent) outfit yet.
A dramatic story line is shoe-horned into this episode, about this guy Bratton (formerly of Bratton Gould, Alex’s old law firm, the one that was doing corrupt stuff with jails that led to convict deaths). It comes out of nowhere (or last season), apparently for the purpose of making Zane reflect that life is passing by, and so that he can proclaim repeatedly that ZSL needs to present a unified front to the law/business world.
Bratton launches a $20 million lawsuit against ZSL, compensation for the law firm he lost because he was a criminal and our boys blackmailed him, with proof of his crimes, into resigning. The ZSL crew think he’s bluffing, because why would he want to go to jail when his crimes are discovered, but it turns out he has terminal cancer, and wants to live out his days working, not with his family. Harvey promises to delay the case until he dies, but Bratton claims the hate he feels for Harvey et al. will keep him going for 2 years. He promptly proves himself wrong by dying (off-screen) of a heart attack, leaving Zane to ponder his own mortality.
The competition for name partner between Alex and Samantha intensifies when Alex’s new client Gavin Andrews comes up against an insurance company that Samantha represents. Something to do with a claim for a multi-million dollar painting that was damaged (sabotaged?) on a flight. Samantha, in a flattering semi-bridal outfit that makes her look way statuesque, and that Jessica could have worn, come to think of it, wants Alex and the firm to drop Andrews, whom she calls “a shady shit,” as a client. Alex wants to keep Andrews.
Zane and Harvey instruct Samantha and Alex to make peace between the clients without dropping either of them, but Alex and Samantha can’t do that, they’re too adversarial. Samantha goes to Louis to collect the favour he owes her, and asks him to get Alex removed from the case. Harvey hears about this and stops it; he’s had enough of Samantha’s bullshit. Donna asks Samantha if she will concede the next name partnership to Alex if Donna can supply a written promise from the others that hers will come within a year or so. Samantha refuses, because Donna may have internalized the patriarchal system that calls for name partners to be male, but Samantha knows she’s better than Alex, so forget that idea.
To set up the summer finale, Harvey suggests to Zane that Alex and Samantha fight it out: one case, head-to-head, winner takes all. Zane agrees to this fun plan, though the previews for next week promise that the firm will be torn apart (at least temporarily) by the fight.
Enough of that yawner conflict, on to the good stuff: the burgeoning relationship between Katrina and Brian. Katrina is made senior partner, as Louis promised. On the day she chose to wear a fugly shirt/blouse (check the cuffs on that thing), he shows her her swanky new office. She is happy.
Still wearing the fugly shirt, she asks Brian to be her dedicated associate. He half-jokingly asks if they can still be friends (not if you become lovers, Brian!). She unjokingly tells him he must replace his entire tie wardrobe with power ties and she doesn’t want him to be a yes man, she wants him to push back. They begin working on a lawsuit against High Rise Fashion (good low-rent company name) which has been stealing designs from a designer friend of Katrina’s. So she does have friends. Or a friend.
One night in the firm library, Katrina gets anxious about the case. Brian suggests they take a few hours off, go to dinner and celebrate her promotion. They toast each other multiple times with wine, and he tells her that before he went to law school, he wanted to be a songwriter and his wife kinda wishes he’d stuck with songwriting. BUT he has no regrets, because he loves the law, just like Katrina does. Uh oh.
The next day, Katrina is hungover, there’s been a setback with the case, and she blames Brian for taking her eye off the ball. She thinks about trying a bluff to win the suit, “like Harvey does,” but Brian is not a yes man; he tells her that’s a bad idea. So does Harvey, when Katrina asks his advice (is this the first time that Katrina and Harvey and their hurricane names have interacted? Might be.) Just in time, Brian finds evidence of collusion with the clothing manufacturer, and they win the case.
Katrina is happy again and wants to celebrate (again) but Brian can’t, he has to go home to his wife and daughter. He suggests she go out with some other friend (hey, how about the fashion designer whose case she just won?). But no, she will stay in and be lonely. Even more so when Louis gives her a gift of her new business card, framed. He offers to go for dinner, but she demurs. Sensing her loneliness, Louis kindly says that one day she will find love, like he did, after she once told him he would. Problem is, if you ask me, Katrina’s already found it with Brian, her married-to-another soulmate.
Next week: in the summer finale, Alex and Samantha get into the metaphorical ring to fight for the name partnership.
Kim Moritsugu is a Toronto novelist and sometime TV show recapper. Her latest novel The Showrunner, now available from your favourite bookseller, is a darkly humourous, suspenseful Hollywood-noir novel about female ambition inside the TV biz that has been called a “sophisticated, compelling, and surprisingly complex drama.” Check out its book trailer here: