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In this penultimate episode of the summer season, the writers tease us with hints that real changes might happen, both to the show’s somewhat tired five-year-old premise that Mike is a fake lawyer, and to the firm of Pearson, Specter, Litt. But will real changes happen?

Trouble in Love Land

Mike, sensitive guy that he is, develops a rash because he can’t help but wonder if former flame Claire was on to something when she said he shouldn’t marry Rachel if he loves her. It’s okay though, because Rachel is all, “I love you SO SO MUCH that you shouldn’t feel bad that you commit fraud daily and I could probably be charged as an accessory to that fraud. Now, let’s neck.”

Mike with rash

However, Rachel gets rattled when her mother starts talking New York Times Style section wedding announcements and a 300-person wedding guest list that includes the dean of Harvard Law School. Rachel lies and says Mike wants a small wedding, and tells her mother to butt out, which is a bit harsh, Tai.

This is not the Plaza Hotel. But where is it?

This is not the Plaza Hotel. But where is it?

Rachel goes to Donna, who is helpfully wearing a pretty purple (pink?) lace bridesmaid’s dress (which is by J Mendel and costs only US$2800, according to wornontv.net), to ask whether she should tell her mother Mike’s secret. Donna helpfully says that is a terrible idea because then the mom would have to keep it from Rachel’s dad, and imagine how that would go.

donna purple dress

When Mike worries aloud that he is ruining Rachel’s life, she admits he IS taking away her dream wedding plans, but she still wants to marry him because she love, love, loves him. So Mike meets his old buddy Trevor for a drink to invite him to the wedding. Trevor is now married to an unseen virtuous woman and has given up drug dealing and dirty tricks like the betraying of best friends. He advises Mike to take a similar high road by quitting his job, and Mike seems to seriously consider this option.

Mike seriously considers quitting his job.

Mike seriously considers quitting his job.

Yes, Mike! Take the advice of this person who did you grievous wrong in previous seasons! Quit and get a quickie law degree from some cheap online university, then practice for real.

The Hardman is Unleashed

A partners’ meeting is held to vote on Harvey’s suspension, and after Harvey makes a speech offering to reduce his compensation (let’s reverse his position on this a few more times, shall we?) after all, no matter what the outcome of the vote, he is NOT suspended, no surprise, though the vote is close.

harvey addresses partnersJack Soloff slips another item onto the meeting agenda and casually suggests that Hardman rejoin the firm. Jessica and Harvey spit fire at this suggestion, and Donna gives Hardman grief when he shows up at the office and trades insults with everyone he meets. He offers to bring a new, unnamed billion-dollar client to PSL if he were to rejoin, and when Jessica says over her dead body, he promises he will instead take away all the firm’s current clients by having his moneybags client acquire them.

Jessica is pissed.

Jessica is pissed.

Jack (whom we can now hate again, whew) tells Mike he recommended him for partner as a bid to buy his loyalty, but Mike is ever true to Harvey, so forget that plan. Louis, meanwhile, realizes he brought on the whole Hardman problem when he started to conspire with Jack to take down Harvey, so he scurries around trying to fix it.

louis & jack

He warns Jack that Hardman is a devil who cannot be trusted, guesses that Hardman has something on Jack, and tries and fails to find out what it is. He suggests to Jessica that they make Jack a name partner to appease him, but Jessica has a better idea: she tells Jack to resign. His counter suggestion: she can resign. And let the partners vote on who they want least.

Mike & Harvey as Batman & Robin with complementary suit & tie combos - nice work, costumers!

Mike & Harvey as Batman & Robin with complementary suit & tie combos – nice work, costumers!

Harvey & Mike decide Hardman will try to steal good old McKiernan Motors first, so they separately go to two money men who hate each other: Sidwell and Giannopoulos, and get them each to agree to offer a generous sum for McKiernan just to spite the other. When Hardman’s client’s counter-offer is even more generous, Harvey realizes that the client must be criminal mastermind Charles Forstman.

forstman

Harvey visits Fortsman in a country club type jail and threatens to use his legal superpowers to have him transferred to Rikers Island, but Forstman’s not scared. You want me to call off Hardman, he says? Step down from the firm. All Forstman wants is  to see Harvey laid low. And Harvey seems to seriously consider this option.

Harvey seriously considering the option to quit and looking weirdly like Joseph Gordon-Levitt while doing it.

Harvey seriously considering the option to quit and weirdly looking a bit like Joseph Gordon-Levitt while doing so.

Do it, Harvey, quit! For the sake of changing things up!

Sidenotes:

  • It’s nice to see Harvey and Mike together again fighting crime, er, waging legal war together, and some of their bro banter entertains, but enough with the movie quotes already
  • Louis refers to Jack having a “pirate beard” (heh)
  • I laughed when Donna suggested she and Louis follow Harvey and Mike’s example of seasons past and smoke pot so they can think up a way to stop Hardman

Next week: Jessica smashes some office furniture, “someone is going down,” and I’m yelling Timber.

KimMoritsuguTheHungryNovelist

Kim Moritsugu is a Toronto novelist and sometime TV show recapper whose latest novel is a comedy of manners about food and sex called The Oakdale Dinner Club.

In which Troian Bellisario (Patrick J. Adams’s real-life fiancée) of Pretty Little Liars fame makes a return appearance, Jack Soloff is not totally detestable – for once, and Jessica storms around in Angry Boss with Great Hair mode much of the time.

The Aftermath of the Harvey-Louis Beatdown

donna louis

Louis is in high dudgeon since Harvey attacked him, and wants to hire outside counsel to sue Harvey’s ass. Donna looks aghast at Louis’s injuries, but suggests he keep his grievances within the family/law firm.

Louis wants for Harvey, as punishment, to be suspended from work for three months, unpaid. To prevent that motion from coming up at a partners’ meeting, an angry Jessica orders Harvey to go on vacation.

jessica pissed

Everyone knows Harvey never goes on vacation, but he leaves work anyway and goes to see Dr. Paula wearing casual clothes (OMG moment #1)!

harvey casual

After hearing about the fight, Dr. Paula concludes that both men hide their hurt feelings (Louis about Esther, Harvey about his mother) behind angry words (Louis) or punches (Harvey) rather than expressing them – so they’re exactly the same person (OMG moment #2)!

Harvey takes this insight to heart and goes late to the office in his casual clothes (which does not make all hell break loose, for some inexplicable reason) to apologize to Louis and explain. He admits to the panic attacks, being in therapy, Donna’s departure having hit him hard, and even that he has unresolved family issues.

Louis appears to accept the explanation and apology, and he suggests Harvey attend the partners’ meeting the next day in vote on Mike’s promotion to junior partner. Then Louis pulls a Jack Soloff style double-cross and moves to get Harvey suspended anyway. The actual Jack Soloff points out, reasonably, that according to the bylaws, the vote on that can’t happen for a few days.

donna dicta

After the meeting, Harvey asks Louis what the hell, Angry Jessica calls Louis despicable, and Donna wants to know what Louis said that prompted Harvey to punch him anyway. When she finds out that Louis recorded Harvey talking about therapy etc., apparently with the intent of playing it back to the partners to publicly humiliate Harvey, Donna warns him she will quit working for him if he keeps up the dirty tricks. Thus badgered and cowed, Louis suggests to Jessica that he call off the vote, but a fed-up Jessica says no.

Mike, Rachel & Claire Form a Law/Love Triangle

Jack Soloff would be suspicious if Mike didn’t accept the partnership promotion he suggested, so Jessica reverses her earlier command that Mike must refuse it, and hands him his first case as partner, something about a software company that might be acquired by Google.

rachel mike gooeyAmid gooey expressions of mutual love, Mike asks Rachel to work on it as his associate, but he backs out of the first meeting when the software company’s lawyer turns out to be Claire Bowden, his lost love from last season’s flashback. Claire knows he is a fake, and is played by Troian Bellisario, who is admirably crisp, unsmiling, and no-nonsense in the part.

mike and claire

When Claire asks, Rachel says the Mike Ross at Pearson Specter Litt is not the Mike Ross Claire once knew, he’s some 45 year old dude. Rachel tries to handle the case alone, and makes a tactical error that scuppers the deal and incurs Mike’s irritation, though who is he to talk? She eventually comes up with an alternate plan that works, but she has to take Mike’s name off the paperwork because a background check would be necessary to make the deal happen, which is how Claire figures out that Mike IS the same guy she knew. Rachel admits that she and Mike are engaged, and begs Claire not to expose Mike. Claire agrees, but when Mike approaches her privately to thank her, she tells him that if he really loved Rachel, he wouldn’t drag her down into his fraudulent circle of hell with him by marrying her. She’s just saying.

Sidenotes:

Jack is being squeezed/blackmailed by Hardman to do something shady, and he doesn’t want to do it! Plus he gives Harvey some decent advice for how to manage the vote about the suspension. Are we supposed to like him now?

The show continues its tradition of making unbridled, detailed Game of Thrones references with a funny scene in which Mike explains to Louis that Harvey is the Jon Snow of the Suits universe, so he shouldn’t be stabbed and left to die.

My thought: Couldn’t Mike just quietly take the bar exam someday without going to law school, pass it, and become a real lawyer that way? Or like, do a quickie law degree from some on-line university? Just so the question of whether Mike’s secret will or will not be exposed doesn’t drive the plot of this show FOREVER?

Next week: The suspension vote happens? And Hardman tries to take the firm away from Jessica.

KimMoritsuguTheHungryNovelist

Kim Moritsugu is a Toronto novelist and sometime TV show recapper whose latest novel is a comedy of manners about food and sex called The Oakdale Dinner Club.

In which Harvey realizes that hooking up with the beauteous Esther was a mistake, and both Jack Soloff AND Daniel Hardman reappear, sometimes together (face plant).

The return of Esther

Esther is back, dressed in some of the best costumes of the episode, including this great business executive blouse in which she asks Harvey if he will handle a lawsuit brought against her company by some guy with a nut allergy who almost died after eating one of her muffins, which are supposed to be totally nut-free.

esther blouse

In a move Esther later describes as ‘sweet in a dickish way’ but just seemed dickish to me, Harvey accuses Esther of using the lawsuit as an excuse to see him again, and tells her to get Louis to handle it instead, because Louis is a damn good lawyer and Harvey wants to do him a solid.

Sweet but dickish, or just plain dickish?

Sweet but dickish, or just plain dickish?

Louis is touched to be asked, and with Rachel’s help, eventually wins the case, though not without arguing with Esther about doing it his way versus hers. Along the way, Donna divines that Esther and Harvey have had sex, and tells Harvey he must tell Louis about that or she will tell him, because her days of lying to Louis (though not to wedding planners) are done.

Harvey, his mother and his combative shrink

mom&harvey

Dr. Paula is proud when Harvey opens up about his mother, who we see in a flashback featuring a dark-haired child actor playing Harvey, who was definitely a blond child, come on. Child Harvey comes home early from school because he’s sick and finds his mother doing post-coital laughing and shirt-buttoning-up with her ‘cousin.’ (I really hope he wasn’t her actual cousin, because ew.) But aside from the cheating with her cousin thing, the mother seemed nice enough to Harvey, didn’t she?

Dr. Paula’s pride turns into recrimination when she finds out Harvey slept with Esther. She accuses him of being as snaky as his mother, what with the sneaking around and breaking of promises. Harvey gets angry about this accusation, as usual, but sees her point.

esther dress

He returns to the office intent on telling Louis and runs into Esther, who is being flirty and wearing an insane but eye-catchingly stylish dress of the sort Donna wears, asymmetrical hem and all. Esther asks if he’d like to take her out sometime, which why couldn’t she just ask to take him out instead (whither equal rights?). Harvey brusquely shuts that down and hurts her feelings. A few minutes later, Louis, who has guessed all and gotten Donna to confirm it, storms into his office and confronts Harvey on the topic.

louis post-punch

Fisticuffs ensue, Louis gets punched in the mouth AND thrown into a glass coffee table which shatters dramatically, and Harvey’s in deep shit now, including with an appalled Jessica.

Jack Soloff & Daniel Hardman: An Unholy Alliance with a Side Dish of Mike

mike&jack

Jack asks Mike to work with him on a case involving a teachers’ pension fund and some derivatives. Everyone’s motives in this story line are twisted: Jack claims he’s trying to make up and make good, but he’s been consorting with Hardman on the sly; Jessica tells Mike he must work with Jack because she said so and also to test Jack’s two-facedness; and Mike manufactures evidence in the case (a big stack of forged emails) as a way to win it, because now everyone’s go-to tactic is to do fraudulent illegal-type stuff and lie. SMH.

Jack and Mike disagree on tactics and don’t get along, until they do, when they impress each other with their respective acts of cagey underhandedness.

jessica & hardman

Working with Mike changes Jack a bit – he informs Hardman he doesn’t want to conspire to overthrow Jessica anymore, and makes a recommendation that Mike be promoted to junior partner. Jessica, who already had a “get away from my house” talk with Hardman on the street, is properly pissed by this development. She tells Mike that while he is the best associate she has ever known, he will turn down the partnership because now is not a good time for his lack of a law degree to come to light – and can I just say how glad I am that his living-a-lie situation has not come up yet this season? Though I guess it makes sense for it to come up now.

jessica mike

Next week: Harvey vs. Louis redux.

KimMoritsuguTheHungryNovelist

Kim Moritsugu is a Toronto novelist and sometime TV show recapper whose latest novel is a comedy of manners about food and sex called The Oakdale Dinner Club.

In which the series regular women wear beautiful dresses, Snidely Soloff returns, and so does McKiernan Motors.

Harvey and Dr. Paula Had Better Not be Headed for Romance

harvey pj's

In case you forgot that Harvey and Dr. Paula played true confessions and had a big “we’re done” spat last week, we get replays of their therapy scenes in the previouslies AND in the opening scene flashback, during which Harvey gets out of his big old lonely bed wearing so many pajama-ish clothes that I think Gabriel Macht must have a no-skin-showing clause in his contract.

When Harvey gets to the office, a former adversary named Sam Tull is waiting to see him. Tull’s employer (something about assets) is falsely accusing him of criminal wrongdoing (something about an unauthorized trade) in order to avoid covering a big loss. Tull wants Harvey to defend him despite their past mutual hatred because he knows Harvey will do anything to protect his clients and keep them from going to jail.

Harvey agrees. Could it be that deep-down, like Mike, he might want to help people too? Aww. But he freaks out when the ‘proof’ of wrongdoing that Tull’s bad-guy boss brings to the table is that he can provide testimony from a shrink Tull was seeing on the company dime (and therefore doctor-patient confidentiality does not apply). And that shrink is Dr. Paula.

In a manner Dr. Paula calls arrogant, Harvey orders her not to testify, but she is compelled to by subpoena. When she gives her deposition – saying Tull expressed guilt feelings but did not confess to doing anything wrong – Harvey undermines her testimony by referring to the tragic blunder she told him in confidence last week.

Dr. Paula chews Harvey out for this betrayal, including calling him a narcissist. Harvey sort of apologizes, and when he explains his motivation for the betrayal – he was just trying to help Tull – she softens. I really hope their constant arguing does not later turn into lust.

rachel color block

Rachel has been working the case with Harvey (and keeping an eye on his mental health). While wearing an elegant color-block knit dress (or maybe two piece outfit) that makes her look smarter and more serious (also, way fit) than the frilly stuff she often wears, she suggests Harvey ask Dr. Paula for her files on other patients who work for the bad-guy company, to be used as a bargaining tool. That ploy appears to work off-screen, because Harvey later visits Dr. Paula bearing flowers from an exonerated Tull. And guess what – they’re not ‘done.’ Harvey is ready to talk about his mother.

harvey with flowers
Imagine a world in which engine manufacturers called McKiernan Motors and Fletcher Engines exist

Dominic Barrone of McKiernan Motors meets with Mike and Louis to ask them to quickly firm up a handshake deal he made with an old friend to buy a battery manufacturer. Louis annoys Barrone by wanting to do proper, not-so-quick due diligence and good thing, too, because they discover a problem that makes the deal a no go. As an alternative, Mike and Louis suggest McKiernan look at buying the battery division of a company called Tanaka that happens to be represented by Snidely Jack Soloff.

jessica hair

Jessica, sporting the kind of gorgeous highlights and hair styling that I can only dream (and often do) of having, has urged Louis to put aside his pettiness and get Jack Soloff onside as an ally rather than an adversary. So when Jack, in his usual assholish way, asks for 100% of the fee if the deal goes through, Louis agrees.

louis kimono

Louis sets out to woo the head of Tanaka by decorating the boardroom Japanese-style (check the video of the Japanese flag waving on the wall TV screen) for a meeting. Mike is (rightfully) certain that this is a terrible, offensive, making-all-the-wrong-cultural-assumptions idea, but Mr. Tanaka (who, judging from his accent, appears to have been born and raised in Japan), loves it, which causes Mike to make amusing WTF reaction faces.

mike wtf face

Mike and Louis think they have a deal, but Soloff convinces Tanaka to back out, because he’s a mustache-twirling villain who needs to go away. McKiernan fires Pearson Specter as its law firm, but when Mike and Louis apologize and explain what happened, they are hired back. Meanwhile, Soloff has quickly signed up another bigger engine manufacturer, Fletcher Motors.

jessica + soloff

When Jessica finds out about this, she pays Soloff a visit and tells him to drop Fletcher Motors, because the firm’s first loyalty is to McKiernan Motors. He will, but warns her that when he does, the whole firm will know it’s because Harvey is Jessica’s pet/favorite. Jessica gives him one last chance to work with her, rather than against her, and stalks out of his office. The rather formal satin dress she wears when delivering this ultimatum gives off more of a wedding vibe than a ‘I WILL cut a bitch” one, but her regal bearing makes her message loud and clear.

mike honey

The light comedy portion of the episode revolves around Mike’s request of Donna that she help secure the Plaza Hotel as a wedding venue, and on Rachel’s birthday. After some random coffee room banter about honey, Donna sets about recreationally impersonating and blackmailing people to get what she wants, like she did that time when she got into BIG TROUBLE and almost went to prison. But this is all about making Rachel’s dream wedding happen, so I guess that’s okay. Along the way, she gets to know Gretchen a bit better and she gets to wear this gorgeous green print dress, which might be my favorite of the many expensive dresses Donna has ever worn.

donna green dress

Gretchen made me laugh when she surmised that the reason she and Donna haven’t bonded before now is that Donna wasn’t ready to say goodbye to her metaphorical little girl on the first day of school. You mean Harvey is my little girl? Donna says. But no, the little girl Donna was afraid to leave behind is herself, because Gretchen is WISE.

Next week: Hardman returns (ugh). And so does the beauteous Esther, so that Louis and Harvey can go back to hating each other when Louis finds out Harvey slept with her.

KimMoritsuguTheHungryNovelist

Kim Moritsugu is a Toronto novelist and sometime TV show recapper whose latest novel is a comedy of manners about food and sex called The Oakdale Dinner Club.

In which Jack Soloff returns, for what I hope is the last time but probably isn’t; Teddy from Nashville cuddles in bed with Donna (dream sequence!); and the comely English therapist gets some character development.

Harvey and Dr. Paula Agard (yes, she has a name)

poker

I like how Harvey’s therapy sessions form the organizing principle of this episode and maybe this season. The scenes may not be very realistic (are they?), but I find them more dramatically interesting than some of the drawn-out legal cases (cough, Hessington Oil, cough) that have framed past seasons.

tanner & donna

Harvey starts his latest appointment by relating a dream in which he finds Donna naked in his bed, being cuddled by a smirking Travis Tanner. “This Travis Tanner person,” as Dr. Paula excellently puts it, is Harvey’s lawyer foe of past seasons, a guy known to play dirty and to taunt Harvey about his cheating mother, as the previouslies reminded us.

When Harvey tells Dr. Paula that Donna isn’t the woman in the dream, she intuits that he’s lying and suggests they play a hand of poker for some truth-telling. He wins, so he asks her what is the worst professional mistake she ever made, as a kind of trust test. After only a slight hesitation, she reveals that she once “killed someone,” when, as a favor to a long-time client, she assessed the mental competency of a young man locked up in rehab to see if he could attend his mother’s funeral. The young man was released on her say-so and promptly killed himself with a drug overdose.

This admission moves Harvey to reveal that Donna was the woman in the dream, but Dr. Paula, evidently a Freudian, feels Donna was actually a representation of the real cheating woman who fucked up Harvey’s psyche big-time – his mother! Harvey hates any mention of his mother issues so he tells Dr. Paula they’re done. And right when he seemed to be having a breakthrough, too.

Tanner Tanner Bo-Banner

Tanner comes to Harvey looking for a settlement on behalf of his client, a young woman named Alyssa who is being sued by Harvey’s client named Petrov over some intellectual property (Petrov claims Alyssa stole business ideas from him).

doorway haircut

Harvey thinks a fight with dirty-dealing Tanner is just what he needs right now, and invites Mike to join in on the fun, like the good old days when they worked together instead of Mike going off on his do-gooder missions. He also asks Mike what’s up with his new hairstyle, which is a good question. As is this: Mike doesn’t ride a bike or wear skinny ties anymore, so why the hipster hair?

boys in court

Trouble is, Harvey interprets every move Tanner makes as underhanded and out to get him. He counters with dirty tricks of his own to “bury” Alyssa, as per Petrov’s instruction. Tanner claims he’s mostly a reformed man who’s just trying to do right by his client, though he can’t help being a little taunty still. When he likens Donna’s departure to that of Harvey’s mother (has Tanner been talking to Dr. Paula, or what?), Harvey punches him on the street. And Mike becomes concerned that Harvey might be acting a wee bit unstable.

mike& rachel in the library with the candlestick

Mike whisper-consults with Rachel on the subject, then arranges clandestine meetings with each of Alyssa and Tanner. When it seems that Tanner is telling the truth about his changed ways, Mike asks him to prove it by resigning from the case. Cue the off-stage hand-over of the suit to our girl Katrina Bennett, and a quick settlement agreed to by Harvey because there ain’t no battle like a Tanner battle.

Louis the Mudder

Louis’s comic story line this week is about how he wants to go mudding, and how everyone he asks to come along – Donna, Rachel, Jack Soloff, Jessica – outright refuses. Here’s Donna saying no:

donna no

Louis’s other story line involves trying to get the firm’s new compensation structure (that again) changed, like he promised Harvey he would. His first attempt to do this is to tell Jessica that a pre-existing by-law clause makes the vote that was held moot, but she knows he’s lying, tells him to “cut the shit” and advises him to find a less shady way to get the change reversed.

soloff betrayal

When Donna suggests that Louis ask What-would-Harvey-do?, Louis comes up with a dumb scheme to promise Soloff a cut of a big new imaginary deal in exchange for holding a new vote. Soloff agrees, then betrays Louis at the next partners’ meeting, which leads to Louis retreating to the supply room to sit on the floor, despondently throw pens into a mug, and say he shit the bed.

despondent in supply room

A few time-filling machinations later, Louis confesses to Jessica that he left Harvey’s income statements in the copier a few weeks ago, and Jessica shadily uses that information to threaten Soloff with firing unless he agrees to accept the fabricated story about the overlooked bylaw clause and reverse the vote.

jessica getting it done

Jessica has gotten shit done, as usual, and in a printed floral bed/suit jacket yet, plus she saved Louis’s ass, I don’t know why. Because he’s more funny and entertaining to be around than that drip Jack Soloff? That must be it.

And in a nice story line payoff, Rachel and Donna agree to go victory mudding with Louis TOGETHER.

Next week: Dr. Paula gets involved in one of Harvey’s cases.

KimMoritsuguTheHungryNovelist

Kim Moritsugu is a Toronto novelist and sometime TV show recapper whose latest novel is a comedy of manners about food and sex called The Oakdale Dinner Club.

In which Harvey over-flirts, former dancers move about in a dancerly fashion, we are rewarded with a distinct lack of Jack Soloff, and I learn that No Puedo Hacerlo is Spanish for “no can do,” or possibly, “fuck that noise.”

Harvey & Esther Sitting in A Tree

Screen Shot 2015-07-18 at 7.02.31 PM

Harvey and Mike are walking through the lobby of their building doing their old-school basketball schtick about whether Harvey feels competitive with Robert Zane (“Did Magic ever worry about Bird?” etc.) when Harvey spots an attractive, well-dressed woman trying to get by building security to visit someone without an appointment.

Harvey makes a beeline for the woman and aggressively flirts with her, to the tune of let’s have breakfast tomorrow after we spend tonight together. Harvey is handsome and rich and smart and all, but his lines here strike me as calling for a whoa-there-buddy reaction. Though he made similar out-of-place remarks to the model-looks lawyer played by Tricia Helfer last season, so at least his character is being consistently written, I guess. Captain Dickhead, indeed?

The woman, played by Amy Acker, an actress with a dancer’s bearing (and background, according to Wikipedia), appears charmed by Harvey’s attention, but departs for an important meeting with her brother Louis. Turns out this Esther is a wealthy lifestyle business mogul who wants the renowned Harvey Specter she has heard about from Louis all these years to represent her in divorce proceedings.

esther & harvey

Relations are plenty frosty between Louis and Harvey, but Louis asks the favor anyway, and on Donna’s advice, appeals to Harvey’s respect for Family Ties. Harvey agrees on two conditions: that Louis stay completely out of the case, and later, that he take Harvey’s side on the compensation issue of last week. In return, Louis makes Harvey promise not to sleep with Esther, a promise that will be broken by the episode’s end, though not to Louis’s knowledge.

The divorce is happening because Esther’s husband cheated on her, and children (not shown) are involved. Cue the pressing of Harvey’s hot button on cheating spouses and child abandonment! The husband wants 50% of Esther’s business based on a verbal contract they made twelve years ago when he gave up going to medical school in favor of her career.  After Rachel uncovers the fact that the husband was never accepted at any medical school, a settlement is agreed for him to get 25% of the company, which is still more than Esther wanted to give. Harvey convinces Esther to accept the deal for the sake of the children, and because did she ever thank the husband for his 12 years of devotion to the family? Maybe she should have. He then takes her home to bed (not shown), and thanks Donna for HER twelve years of devotion to him, which thank you makes Donna look like this:

donna post-apology

Louis, Man of Many Emotions

Louis brings the comedy and the pathos this week and reveals his own childhood emotional baggage. In his middle school days, cool guys sometimes befriended him when all they wanted was access to the beauteous Esther, so he’s paranoid about Harvey handling Esther’s divorce. He flatters Rachel to pump her for info on the case, and during a divorce-related meeting, he does this in an attempt to listen in:

louis wall

When Louis angrily accuses Harvey of figuratively screwing his sister (by offering too much to the husband) merely to get back at Louis, Harvey assures him he is doing the right thing by everyone because Family Matters. Louis apologizes sincerely for misreading the sitch and it looks like Harvey and Louis might be having a rapprochement. Or at least a temporary truce.

Mike, Robert Zane and The Insurance Case

I’m already bored by this story line so I was glad it got wrapped up though it was nice to see Katrina (played by former ballet dancer of Centre Stage fame, Amanda Schull) appear at Zane’s law firm (yay for continuity re: last season), and she was given some nicer costumes this time, like this pretty cocktail dress that goes well with her awesome curtain of blonde hair.

amanda katrina

Robert and Jessica want to accept the offered $25 million settlement from the insurance company, which works out to $70K per claimant, but Mike doesn’t, so he and Robert clash. Robert reluctantly lets Mike counter the offer, which leads to one of the lawyers saying “No puedo hacerlo.” Mike discovers what might be a conflict of interest that is making Zane wanting to settle but when he tells Jessica and Rachel about it, they both get mad at him for suggesting Robert could be dirty or dishonest.

Mike eventually decides to accept the settlement because the original plaintiff is just happy to have justice done, and anyway, he has brought Rachel and Robert closer together by allowing her to come to her dad’s defense, so okay, whatever. Until Jessica, wearing a rather heinous sheer black lace top, reveals that there was something fishy going on, but it wasn’t Robert being crooked, it was his client the hedge fund. She fixes it somehow so no one gets in trouble, the plaintiffs still get paid, and Robert now owes her. So everyone’s happy, heinous lace top notwithstanding.

heinous lace top

Random Recap Addenda:

1) I really liked this businesslike but pretty ombre blouse that Rachel wore, though I liked it more before I realized it was sheer and worn over a tank top.

rachel grey blouse

2) Hungry Novelist that I am, I also quite liked the pulled chicken sandwich and Frenchy salad that I picked up this week at Flock, the new Toronto artisanal rotisserie chicken and greens place run by chef Corey Vitiello, who is apparently dating Meghan Markle.

IMG_6186

Next week on Suits: the return of the dastardly Tanner character, played by Eric Close, AKA Teddy on Nashville.

KimMoritsuguTheHungryNovelist

Kim Moritsugu is a Toronto novelist and sometime TV show recapper whose latest novel is a comedy of manners about food and sex called The Oakdale Dinner Club.

In which the intra-office tension keeps on coming, Charles Barkley stops by for a cameo, Mike uses his memory skills, and Harvey has another panic attack.

Jack Soloff, Season 5 Antagonist, vs. The World

jessica peplumed

Jessica, looking typically fierce and regal in a peplum power suit and great hair, wants Harvey to kiss (the ass of) and make up with partner Jack Soloff, who despite last week’s victory on the compensation issue, is still out to disempower Harvey further, because Harvey is arrogant.

Harvey makes a conciliatory gesture of arranging a golf date for Jack with former basketball star and current sports commentator Charles Barkley, but Jack literally throws the gift away – he doesn’t give a shit about Charles.

midthrow

One of Jack’s clients is a Barkley fan though, and when Harvey engineers a meeting between the two, the client leaves Jack for Harvey. Jack complains to Jessica about this client stealing and she tells him she and Harvey are a united front, though she later gives Harvey an angry talking-to for antagonizing the antagonist instead of smoothing things over like she told him to.

Jack demands support from Louis of his new plan to reduce Harvey’s compensation further. Louis wants out of the Harvey fight, partly to appease Donna, who gave back his ballet-themed music box gift because she’s angry at him for putting her in an awkward ethical situation the week before. Jack threatens blackmail unless Louis backs him up with more underhanded shit to make Harvey suffer. And Harvey threatens to bury Louis if he sides with Soloff again. So Louis is now involved in quite the hate-quadrangle.

Harvey vs. Donna

gretchen

Gretchen proves her worth as Donna’s replacement by a) coming to work early and trying to play a practical joke on Louis; b) saying she did not read the document that revealed Harvey’s income and thinks anyone who did should be fired; c) digging up background info on Jack’s clients that helps Harvey try to steal them, and d) confessing to her own anxiety issues in the past to help him with deal with his.

Gretchen does this last bit because Harvey has still NOT recovered from Donna leaving him. When Donna hears from Louis that Harvey intends to get her back, she waits for Harvey in his office to give him hell. Wearing a lovely blue dress with an asymmetrical hem that would be hella difficult to wrangle while sitting in a desk chair,  she assumes a power stance to inform Harvey that she is not a piece of property and they are never ever ever getting back together going to be boss and secretary again, no matter how badly Louis treats her.

power stance

Harvey deals with the issue by displacing his anger onto Soloff and Louis, and by being rude to Robert Zane because he fears Zane is going to take Mike away from him. When Jessica calls him out (more like yells him out) on this, he has another panic attack, this time in front of Mike.

He returns to his comely English psychiatrist looking for more drugs but she still won’t write a prescription until he does some talk therapy. They do a role play exercise, and Harvey admits he feels abandoned AND betrayed by Donna. The doctor-as-Donna points out that she didn’t go to work for Louis to hurt Harvey, but to put herself first for a change, and okay maybe to twist the knife a little, because hey, he rejected her after that awkward I-love-you admission last season, so serves him right kinda.

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Mike & Robert Zane vs. the Evil Insurance Company

Jessica is not pleased that her rival Robert Zane has been brought in to “her house” to work with Mike on the insurance company suit, but to avoid looking weak, she plays hardball with Robert about how their firms will split the legal fees if the case is won, and makes him fake-promise to treat Mike like an equal partner.

zane&mike&ocad

In service of their case, Robert and Mike take a Town car to a back alley with a view of OCAD University in Toronto – that’s the elevated checkered box in the background of this outdoor set dressed to depict Poorsville, New York, complete with an atmospheric old car up on blocks. The two men clash, albeit politely – Robert criticizes Mike’s office, has no time for movie dialogue banter (thank god), and withholds key bits of info like that he has gotten a wealthy hedge fund to underwrite the lawsuit. The evil-seeming insurance company lawyers threaten to tie up the case for years in court, but Mike makes a speech to a judge about the plaintiffs that shows off his Mr. Memory skills and makes him look compassionate to boot. So the Mike and Robert team wins the first round, and Mike earns some respect from Robert as well.

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Jessica and Rachel, Mentor and Mentee

Rachel is a bit too smiley and girly for my taste in this episode. She is huggy and kissy with Mike in the office, then, in a self-described attempt to be charming and delightful, she climbs onto the couch behind Mike when he is trying to work, and drapes herself all over him in a manner that does not irritate him, though it sure would me.

In a minor plotline that doesn’t hold water, Jessica asks Rachel to check a draft speech – to be made by a client who is an important black female surgeon – for potential exposure. Which, huh? What kind of speech could the doctor be making that might be actionable? Rachel is a big fan of this surgeon (more huh) but while checking the speech, she rewrites it (huh x 3) to make it more something – powerful? punchy? Jessica invites Rachel to attend the event at which the speech will be made, which causes the two of them to dress up in evening wear – Jessica in a rather bridal Zac Posen gown, which she pulls off, because Gina Torres can pull off just about anything, and Rachel in a burgundy number that doesn’t do her any favors, and that Jessica insults in a typical Suits we-slam-each-other-because-we-love move.

r&J dresses

While mincing out the door in their tight dresses, Jessica reveals that she is the one giving the speech that Rachel rewrote for the doctor (as I have been known to note in the margin of my creative writing students’ manuscript pages – “sense?”) and that she asked Rachel for input on it to cement their mentor-mentee relationship. Rachel reminds Jessica of her younger self and she wants to develop her.

Next week: Louis’s attractive sister flirts with Harvey!

KimMoritsuguTheHungryNovelist

Kim Moritsugu is a Toronto novelist and sometime TV show recapper whose latest novel is a comedy of manners about food and sex called The Oakdale Dinner Club.

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