Suits Recap – S7, E15+16 Finale: Tiny Violin + Goodbye

The two-hour finale makes for a hodge-podge of story lines: Mike works on a class action suit that leads him to his Seattle future, Harvey travels to actual Chicago (not Toronto pretending to be Chicago) to shoot Jessica’s back-door pilot, law firm machinations end with Specter Litt merging with Robert Zane and some of his lawyers,  and oh yeah, there’s a hastily put-together but still glam wedding.

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Mike’s last case first: Tall Nathan asks Mike to help him with a suit against a battery making company that contaminated soil near a school, covered up the problem, and is trying to compensate the affected families (children have permanent cognitive damage from lead poisoning) for the measly sum of $60K per family. Nathan needs the fees a large settlement would bring to keep the clinic running, but lacks the manpower to argue the case. With Donna’s blessing, Mike agrees to give of his time.

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A lawyer named Andy Forsythe waylays Mike in the Specter Litt lobby (like this is not a shady thing to do) and offers Mike & Rachel jobs at a Seattle law firm he’s starting. The firm’s mission: to fight class action suits against Fortune 500 companies. He gives Mike 48 hours to respond (also not at all shady).

Mike pisses off Tall Nathan by refusing a new settlement offer of $100K per family, and forces the case to court. Whoever funds the clinic then withdraws their support. Mike thinks Forsythe is behind the funding withdrawal and gives him shit for his fake job offer ploy.

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Tall Nathan needs 500K to keep the clinic running. Mike asks Donna for the money from the firm. She says no way, and no wonder she said before that Mike wasn’t ready to be a senior partner if he’s gonna make unreasonable requests like this! But she tells Louis about the situation, and Louis makes an ‘anonymous’ gift to the clinic from his own pocket.

Mike and Tall Oliver keep working the case, and make revelatory discoveries about liability insurance and school grounds beautification projects. In a dramatic court scene, Mike badgers the company president into admitting that the company knew about the contamination and tried to cover it up. Mike gets the company to agree to a settlement of $1 million per family.

Since Forsythe had nothing to do with the case (whoops), Rachel & Mike decide to take him up on his job offer and leave New York very soon. Really because this is the season finale and Patrick & Meghan did not renew their contracts. They also decide to get married in like, 3 days, before the finale ends.

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Rachel sees Donna in this nice coat and asks her to organize an elegant but quickie wedding, but we don’t get to see the wedding till after a hell of a lot more story happens.

The law firm crisis: Stanley Gordon brings in a lawsuit from Specter Litt’s former partners. They want to be paid because the firm’s criminal actions damaged their reputations. Alternatively, they will take back their jobs. Harvey divines that Gordon’s ultimate plan is to let someone else takeover/buy Specter Litt, for which Gordon will earn a hefty finder’s fee. And this threat to the firm was triggered by Harvey’s statement denouncing Jessica, which happened because she took the fall for Mike being a fraud, which was Harvey’s fault.

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Jack Soloff and his splendidly ratty head of middle-aged long hair return briefly, but he is of little help. Scottie (!) also appears. She refuses to take back anything bad she ever said about the firm. She has said yes to Harvey too many times and regrets it, plus the strapless corset jumper dress garment she’s wearing makes it difficult for her to move. And their romance is not rekindled, though Harvey had previously said they should reconnect when he was done with therapy. Scottie guesses correctly that Harvey has unresolved feelings for Donna, and besides, her time travel show is doing okay over at NBC.

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Harvey goes to Zane (his firm employs the lawyers who left SL) for help. Zane resists at first, but upon discovering that his own partners are ready to stab him in the back, he joins forces with SL to defeat Gordon, and part of his firm will merge with SL! This deal is arranged with Louis and Mike (not even a senior partner, and he’s involved in the firm restructuring?) running point, while Harvey is in Chicago helping Jessica. And Zane wants his name to come first in the firm, by the way. Maybe Wendell Pierce will be a series regular in Season 8.

harvey & zane.pngOn to Jessica, and the complicated origin story presented here for her as yet unnamed spinoff series. So many new characters! So many ethical compromises Jessica makes! So many gorgeous clothes that Gina Torres wears the hell out of! Despite the beautiful fashions (and Manolo Blahniks), I doubt I will recap the new show when it comes out – it seems too focused on politics and double-dealing for my taste. But here’s what we learn in the pilot:

Jessica moved to Chicago to “make a difference” and to try to reconnect with some poor-ish relations she has there – we meet a cousin and an aunt – about whom she has always felt guilty because she grew up on Park Avenue in New York, and her demanding father did not keep in touch with the relations after leaving Chicago. She is still living with hunky lawyer Jeff Malone in a fancy penthouse, though he appears only briefly.

Jessica begins the episode trying to fight a dirty developer named Pat McGann, who is redeveloping a block of community housing. His initial proposal called for the development to include 35%  low-income housing, but that percentage has dropped to 5%, because McGann could give a fuck about anything but making a buck. Jessica wants to fight him in court but her license has been revoked in Chicago as well as New York, so she asks Harvey to come argue the case for her.

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McGann has the mayor in his pocket, and the mayor refuses to meet with Jessica, so Jessica has two enemies,  right off the top. Also opposing Jessica is the mayor’s right hand, a young lawyer named Keri Allen, played by Rebecca Rittenhouse, late of The Mindy Project. It was she who had Jessica’s Illinois law license revoked. She acts tough but is wounded when Jessica accuses her of sleeping her way to her position. Bit of a low blow there, Jessica.

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Harvey and Jessica are thrown out of court, her attempt to blackmail the developer fails, and they are both threatened by a menacing thug who turns out to be the mayor’s private muscle. When the Specter Litt crisis, not to mention Mike and Rachel’s wedding, seem to be calling Harvey home, Jessica bids him return to New York to take care of his family. She’ll remain in Chicago to take care of hers, and skip the wedding (Priorities!!).

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The elusive mayor, name of Novak, finally summons Jessica to a late night meeting on a scary street under the L, and offers her a job working for him if she drops the lawsuit against McGann. Is he totally dirty or just a little? Not sure, but he’s attractive in a gangsterish way, so looks like there will be some sexual tension ahead between those two. Jessica decides to take the job despite Jeff’s warning that to do so will result in her becoming either a crook or dead. Here’s hoping she keeps up her fab wardrobe on a government salary.

And finally, we get to the wedding.

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I can’t identify the Toronto location (might be the King Edward Hotel), but it’s dressed and decorated prettily. Though will priests perform ceremonies in hotel-type wedding venues? Don’t they usually require something called a church? Harvey and Donna are the only attendants, and visible among the guests are both of Rachel’s parents, Tall Oliver, Louis, and Sheila Sasz, though none of them speak during the wedding scenes.

Instead, the lines are given to Mike and Rachel’s vows (yawn), and to Mike and Harvey bantering about who is the better or best man, then saying goodbye to each other. And here I confess that this cynical recapper teared up (for like, one second) when they hugged.

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Afterwards, Donna checks in on a lonely-looking Harvey at the bar, and he asks her to dance.

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Everybody dances!

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And so we end Season 7, and say goodbye to Patrick J. Adams and Meghan Markle forever, or until Patrick comes back to make a Scottie-like cameo some time next year.

Can you believe Season 8 of Suits begins in July already? See you then.

Kim Moritsugu is a Toronto novelist and sometime TV show recapper. Her seventh novel, coming in June 2018,  The Showrunner, is a darkly humourous, suspenseful Hollywood-noir novel about female ambition inside the TV biz that an advance reviewer called a “sophisticated, compelling, and surprisingly complex drama.” Check out its book trailer here:

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Suits Recap – S7, E14: Pulling the Goalie

In which Harvey and Mike work together on a case that’s all about sacrifice, Donna almost gets outfoxed by a guy named Fox, and Louis gets Sheila back! After sort of taking the high road, or his version of the high road.

louis and sheila

We open with Louis telling his shrink Stan that meeting Sheila’s fiance, whom he calls  Shithead Xander Fuckface, was a heartbreaking experience. Stan suggests that Louis end his affair with Sheila so he can stop feeling terrible; it’s time to let her go.

Xander shows up at Specter Litt, warns him to stay away from Sheila, and insults Specter Litt as a shitty law firm and Louis as a shitty lawyer. Louis picks up the gauntlet and with Katrina’s help, runs with it. He launches a nuisance lawsuit against Xander’s client, something  to do with tech law, about which Louis knows nothing, and Xander is an expert. The lawsuit goes to court, where Louis is stymied by Xander and Katrina takes blame for a mistake that she didn’t make.

An angry Louis fantasizes about telling Xander he was sleeping with Sheila. Stan tells Louis he must find a way to win the case without hurting Sheila, or Stan will have to stop counselling him.

Katrina finds a way to win the suit, but Louis and Xander continue to fight over the  settlement, including that Louis wants a clause put into it stating he is the better lawyer. Sheila asks Louis to reduce the settlement, let Xander save face, and be a bigger man.

Katrina gives Louis the side-eye

Louis asks Harvey for advice on the case, and Mr. Noble Sacrifice (re: Paula, who wasn’t that great a catch, let’s not overvalue her, please, the whole doctor sleeping with patient thing was pretty shady) says sometimes we all need to make sacrifices, even business ones, for the people we love.

Louis settles the case without being too rancorous. Katrina is mad that Louis gave in, but admires him for being a good man. Turns out being a bigger man gets him Sheila back. She leaves Xander and tells Louis she loves him because he fought for her and made sacrifices for her (why this episode wasn’t titled Sacrifice, I don’t know.) They go off to have sex with no role playing (yay for us) and she’s even ready to consider having children – she’s ‘pulled the goalie’ by throwing away her diaphragm. At age 50 (Rachel Harris/Sheila) and 47 (Rick Hoffman/Louis), these two are a little old to be getting pregnant but hey, stranger things have happened. Like that Mike became a legit lawyer.

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Mike is approached by a woman judge (last name Rawls) who was involved in the Mike-as-fraud trial proceedings, and treated him and Harvey fairly then. A law firm has gone after her, saying she should have recused herself from judging a case for which she stood to make a personal gain.

She wants Mike to represent her and clear her name, because no one else will, she thinks Mike is a good lawyer, and he kind of owes her one. Harvey doesn’t want the firm to get involved because of a potential conflict that would arise with another client, but Mike suggests they both owe Rawls, and hey, it might be fun for Mike & Harvey to work together again.

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Sure enough, they discuss the case while hitting balls at a batting cage in their work wear, a scene that appears to exist for the purpose of reinforcing that Harvey is athletic and Mike is dorky (sounds about right). They also talk about their personal lives over dinner at a bar. Harvey says he broke up with Paula because she’s not the One, but when Mike asks if Donna is, Harvey won’t say.  Mike confesses he might have had something to do with the kiss, since he advised Donna to express her feelings. Harvey reams out Mike for this later, when the Rawls case is not going their way. He calls Mike a suck who was guilted into helping Rawls, and tells him he has to be willing to sacrifice things that matter to him, like how Harvey sacrificed Paula after Donna kissed him because Mike told her to.

harvey & mike in bar

Mike rightfully points out that he knows all about sacrifice – since he went to prison so Harvey wouldn’t have to. Eventually, they both apologize, and after the usual back-and-forthing they save/clear Judge Rawls by figuring out (with a moment’s help from Louis) what the ulterior (criminal) motive was for the law firm that was going after her.

Harvey, not ready to drop the Donna storyline, asks Mike about it again. Mike admits he was rooting for Donna over Paula. Harvey says he doesn’t want to be with anyone right now, so there.

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Donna is back at the firm, but things are still a little tense between her and Harvey since the goddamn kiss (and her resignation and re-hiring), so when she gets hoodwinked by a snaky but cute (and notably shorter) property magnate named David Fox, she tries to solve the problem without getting Harvey involved. Fox owns the building where the Specter Litt offices are located, and he wants to illegally increase the rent by 100%.  He flirts with Donna by boasting about his vast real estate holdings in NYC, and tricks her into formally notifying him that the firm has restructured, which makes the current lease invalid. After an initial panic, Donna puts her thinking cap on, comes up with a plan that involves buying the air rights across the street from Fox’s buildings with views,  and gets Rachel (having a weird hair day) to help her execute it. She not only foils Fox, she gets him to give them a decrease on their rent, and presents the new lease to Harvey as something she arranged to thank him for taking her back. Way to be deceptive, Donna.

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Next week: Mike and Rachel get married and make their exit from the show in the two hour season finale. And Jessica Pearson returns in a back-door pilot for her Suits spin-off.

Kim Moritsugu is a Toronto novelist and sometime TV show recapper. Her seventh novel, coming in June 2018,  The Showrunner, is a darkly humourous, suspenseful Hollywood-noir novel about female ambition inside the TV biz that an advance reviewer called a “sophisticated, compelling, and surprisingly complex drama.” Check out its book trailer here:

Suits Recap – S7 E13: Inevitable

In which Harvey and Mike banter to beat the band, as if (spoiler alert) their beautiful friendship is soon to be over; we say goodbye (and good riddance) to Paula; Harvey refuses to accept Donna’s resignation from the firm; and we welcome back Stu the trader, and Harvey’s mom.

Harvey, alone

Let’s start with the case of the week, because it’s neither very interesting nor very germane to the relationship drama/character building goings-on that keep this show alive.

A former client named Teddy walks unannounced into Harvey’s office, making us realize that the show writers have not bothered to give Harvey a new secretary to replace Donna. Jessica never had one either. I guess in the Suits universe managing partners don’t have dedicated support staff. Makes no sense, but okay.

A few years ago, this Teddy person sold his shoe company to Adidas, who have now sold it to a sharky guy named Baxter. Baxter has decided to move the manufacturing off-shore so he can make more money. Teddy wants Harvey to see if there’s a way to stop this happening for the employees’ sake. Harvey asks Mike to take care of it, giving Mike the opportunity to joke about them being Superman and Aquaman, versus their old Batman and Robin shtick.

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Mike comes up with another way to increase the company’s income that still protects jobs, but Baxter refuses it. Harvey and Mike decide the solution to Baxter’s dickishness is to short his stock. Donna, wearing a great dress that is, for once, office-appropriate, and has a bit of an Anna Karenina or maybe Doctor Zhivago vibe to it, asks her old buddy Stu the trader to do the stock manipulation. When he brings up the illegality and risk involved, she tells him he’s getting soft and needs to strut his gunslinger stuff again.

When the stock-shorting doesn’t have the desired effect, Teddy and Harvey come up with a new plan inspired by Donna’s new COO position at Specter Litt: they will give the shoe company employees an ownership stake, and they & Teddy will buy the company back from Baxter (yawn).

Meanwhile, in Harvey’s private life, he makes a dinner date with Paula so that they can remember why they like each other (how much fun does that date sound like?). When asked, he suggests she wear “the dress with the thing,” the thing apparently being a low-cut neckline that shows off her cleavage. Kind of like the necklines Donna wears to work every day, right Harvey? His mother, with whom I had forgotten he is reconciled, calls and cheerily suggests dinner on the same night. Paula doesn’t think she and Harvey are really at the meet-the-parents stage yet, but agrees to meet the mom. The dinner seems to go well. The mom tells a story about how Harvey the adorable child once stood on the piano and sang (we need to see the home video of this, please). Before leaving, the mom thanks Paula for being the special person in Harvey’s life who suggested he mend fences with her a few months ago, which comment leads to this reaction

awkward Paula reaction

because the special person who suggested that was Donna. After dinner, Paula tells Harvey she can’t handle being in a three-person relationship with an ex who is also his co-worker. Harvey, looking for a way out of this dicey sitch, asks Stu to offer Donna a job. Stu is happy to do it, because he thinks Donna is aces.

Donna does a good acting job (those theatre skills) when Stu offers to hire her, and says she’ll think about it. She then goes to Harvey. She knows he put Stu up to the job offer, and asks why he didn’t fire her if he wants to get rid of her, and why didn’t he stick up for her? He could never fire her, he says.

Donna visits Paula to apologize for the tragic kiss mistake and pleads for Paula’s support – as a woman and a professional –. for Donna to keep her job. Paula asks her to swear nothing like the kiss will ever happen again. When Donna hesitates, Paula sees where this is going – someone’s going to have to leave the show, and it won’t be a series regular and star who has renewed her contract for season 8.

Donna reads in voiceover a resignation letter that she leaves on Harvey’s desk after cleaning out her office. Harvey goes to Paula, says, “I wanted this to work more than you know, but I can’t give you what you need,” and breaks up with her. They both cry, Paula more so.

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Harvey makes a surprise drop-in at Donna’s apartment, where she is having a great hair evening in her classy lounge wear, as one does (not). He rips up her resignation letter, and asks her if she’ll come back – she will. He declines to come in. Not tonight, he says. Looks like Donna better decide soon if she has feelings for him or not.

On the Louis and Sheila front, we see no under-mud sex acts this week, thank god. Instead, they indulge in some role-playing games: she plays a burglar who breaks into his house, there’s talk of a prisoner and guard scenario, and also of a story line involving a director of admissions (her real job) and a janitor.

When Sheila’s upcoming wedding announcement is printed in the Times, Gretchen warns Louis that disaster will ensue if he keeps seeing her, but he tells Rachel (wearing a lovely, work-appropriate blouse), when she asks if he would like a plus-one for the wedding, that he has never felt so confident and king-like since embracing his bad boy side.

Rachel white blouse

That’s until he walks into Sheila’s office in costume as a nerdy professor (or something) and is introduced to Sheila’s fiance, Xander. Louis saves face (those theatre skills) and exits awkwardly, then overhears Xander mocking him, and Sheila going along with the mocking. Where’s confident King Louis now?

Like Harvey, Rachel also gets in some bantering time with Mike. Rachel and Mike’s conversations mainly concern a questionnaire on life plans that Father Walker has asked them each to complete, part of the pre-marriage counselling he’s giving them. Mike claims he’s not a planner (since when?) and can’t think that far ahead. Rachel introduces him to a game her parents used to play called Bullshit. The idea is to spitball crazy, half-formed hypothetical ideas at each other, without fear of censure.

Mike & Rachel playing Bullshit

So where would they be in the future if they could do whatever they wanted? Mike likes the idea of moving to San Diego, surfing every morning, and working 2 hours a day at a legal aid clinic that they would run together. Rachel suggests living for a year in Iceland, and having the adventure of a lifetime. Give the showrunner and writers credit – this conversation paves the way nicely for Mike and Rachel’s exit from the series, to happen at the end of the 3 hours that remain in this season.

Kim Moritsugu is a Toronto novelist and sometime TV show recapper. Her seventh novel, coming in June 2018,  The Showrunner, is a darkly humourous, suspenseful Hollywood-noir novel about female ambition inside the TV biz. Check out its book trailer:

Suits Recap – S7 E12: Bad Man

In which Louis gets the episode’s A story, complete with flashbacks to his teen years; Dr. Lipshitz and Tall Oliver return; and Jessica appears briefly, wearing what may be the most entertainingly ridiculous item of designer clothing that the show costumers have dressed her in yet.

mud job

Question: the sex talk between Sheila and Louis is supposed to be silly and stupid, and make them look foolish, right? Asking as someone who is embarrassed for the actors when they perform cringe-worthy scenes like the one where Sheila ambushes Louis at his mudding place, reaches under the mud, and seems to give him a hand-job. Yuck. Her reason for doing this: she wants to continue fucking Louis on the sly, though her wedding is a week away.

When Louis discusses the Sheila issue with his shrink Dr. Lipshitz, whom he now addresses as Stan, Stan asks what’s behind Louis’s pattern of falling for unavailable women. This question leads to flashbacks of Louis in 1986 in Scarsdale, when he was a burly, smiley teen who dated a girl named Mitzi, and his idea of a fun night out was to take her to a production of Uncle Vanya.

Mitzi only dates Louis because he’s a good guy her parents approve of, and she’s under the thrall of a bad boy who is Louis’s opposite.  Young Louis is devastated when he learns about Mitzi’s two-timing, courtesy of his younger but wiser sister Esther (remember beauteous Esther?).

In the present, Louis decides to sic a private detective, Holly Cromwell, and a gambler on Sheila’s fiance in order to discredit him, but Gretchen shuts down that plan, and suggests that if Louis loves and wants Sheila, he should tell her so.

Columbia Law School on Hoskin

Louis approaches Sheila outside Wycliffe College on the University of Toronto campus (subbing for Columbia Law School, which I bet looks rather unlike either Wycliffe or U of T’s Trinity College across the street, seen behind Louis) here:

Louis by Trinity College

He suggests they try to start over, but (like Paula) Sheila is not interested in having her heart broken again. She just wants a bad boy to have sex with.

wycliffe college

By the way, this whole doughy-loserish-guy-as-bad-boy thing reminds me of George’s bad boy episode on Seinfeld, and I think Seinfeld did it funnier. Anyway, Dr. Stan feels that Louis is not and never will be a bad boy, but Louis goes back to Wycliffe College at night, kisses Sheila right there out in the open, tells her they’re going to fuck in her office with the door unlocked, and declares himself a bad man. As if this will end well.

I like Gabriel Macht, but his slender build and Earth-father off-season social media persona make it difficult for me to suspend my disbelief any time Harvey boxes aggressively at his boxing gym, or threatens to beat people up while dressed in an expensive suit.  So picture me scoffing during this episode, when he does both. He also gets his own set of flashbacks, both to childhood (the actor playing him as a child is inexplicably dark-haired, why?) and to 10 years ago. The flashbacks are in service to Jessica’s request, after her name is removed from the wall (and dragged through the mud), for $2 million of her payout to be made to an untraceable bank account. She won’t say why. She does say that she’s not breaking the law or trying to evade taxes, and will declare the amount eventually.

Luckily, Harvey has for years been running an unpaid, off-the-books ‘side tab’  for Rick, a music publisher/record company mogul who owns the rights to Harvey’s dad’s semi-obscure jazz recordings. Harvey asks Rick to pay part (!) of his tab to Jessica’s untraceable account, but Rick can only pay if he sells his catalogue (worth millions, though not as many as formerly) to another company. And if he does that, Specter Senior’s music will no longer be played, not even once a year by a semi-obscure jazz radio station. Harvey struggles with this decision, but convinces Rick to sell. He also convinces the youngish buyer, whose New York office affords a great view of Toronto’s old and new city halls (located side by side downtown), to pay a price slightly higher than his first insulting offer.

Old and New City Hall

Harvey laments the loss of his dad’s music with a sympathetic Donna over an office drink, because they are friends, and always will be, even if Donna’s striking Dolce & Gabbana day dress is more suited to a garden party or wedding than to a routine day at a  law firm.

donna in dolce & gabbana

After the payment is made, Jessica calls in from Chicago to say that her pretty but crazy-ass-cut Monse top doesn’t work as office-wear either, but she doesn’t care. She tells Donna she knew all along about the side tab, of course. The implication being that getting Harvey to finally collect on it may be why she asked for the untraceable deposit. As a way to clean house post-exit, from afar.

Jessica in Monse

In case you wondered about Paula’s not-much-of-a-cliff-hanger reaction to Harvey’s confession from last week: it was that she needed some time alone to think about Harvey’s lying, Donna-kissing ways. Or she did until the end of this week’s episode, when Harvey comes over and says he likes Donna being a part of his life and sharing in his victories and defeats, but he still wants to be with Paula. Paula admits she feels threatened by Donna, and they (P&H) make up. Bets on whether their relationship lasts into season 8 with Katharine Heigl coming on board as a series regular?

Mike and Rachel show no sign this week of getting their wedding underway, despite their pledge to do so last time. They do, however, cook and prepare to consume more pasta, the official food of their couplehood. They also spend time with Tall Oliver, who approaches Mike about a deal between a local food bank that Tall Oliver represents and a Specter Litt client that has jacked up the price of products it was selling to the food bank at cost.

Tall Oliver is Mike’s friend, and his fight-for-the-little-guy motives are good, but Mike has to fight for his own client. Even Rachel encourages Mike not to go easy on T.O. After some verbal sparring, legal ass-kicking and back-and-forthing between the lawyers and their clients, Mike wins the case in his client’s favour and tells T.O. he shit the bed, just like Harvey would have told Mike. Afterwards, tall Oliver drops in at Mike’s apartment to thank him for treating him like an equal (this is how male friendship works in the Suits universe, go figure), and calls Mike a motherfucker, but in a friendly way. Then he, Mike and Rachel sit down to some linguine with pesto, because pasta rules.

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The purpose of the case seemed to be to show that Mike is adopting Harvey’s tough love tactics and behaving more like an asshole senior partner, but when Harvey offers him the position, Mike declines, saying he wants to spend more time with Rachel before they both quit the series. Only four more eps remain!

Next week: Conflict between Harvey & Donna and between Mike & Rachel. But will there be pasta?

Kim Moritsugu is a Toronto novelist and sometime TV show recapper. Her most recent book is a suburban comedy of manners, The Oakdale Dinner Club. Coming in June 2018: The Showrunner, a darkly humourous, suspenseful Hollywood-noir novel about female ambition inside the TV biz. Check out its book trailer:

Suits Recap – Season 7, Episode 11: Hard Truths

Rachel + MikeHere we go, finally, starting off the back six episodes of season 7, AKA the last TV episodes of Meghan Markle’s acting career. This is also the beginning of Patrick J. Adams’s home stretch for the show, but what proportion of viewers tuning into Suits these days are here to scrutinize Meghan? Seems like that many to me, too.

Hell, Vulture, a site that has shown little interest in Suits before, is even keeping a running summary on Meghan’s remaining scenes in Suits, with gifs. IMO, Meghan’s new international fame is why USA Network decided to delay airing the back six, originally scheduled for January, till now, so that Meghan’s Suits wedding at the end of April would lead up nicely to her real-life May wedding date.

Meghan scrutiny aside, this episode is mainly about the Kiss (treated as SUCH a big deal) that Donna planted on Harvey in S7 E10. You know, this one:

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We open immediately post-kiss. Harvey is rattled/flustered/thrown for a loop. He won’t talk to Louis about the pressing problem that is Jessica’s disbarment as arranged by lawyer nemesis Malik, and goes home, presumably to put on a cardigan, drink, and stare into a fire while reliving the passion that coursed through him when Donna’s lips touched his. But, surprise, Paula is at his place, having used the key he gave her. Rather than tell her what happened, he asks her to move in, ostensibly because she makes him feel like the outside world – replete with attack kissers and attack lawyers – doesn’t matter. She declines his offer, though, because she fears heartbreak, and possibly because her shrink sense is tingling about the timing of Harvey’s suggestion.

The next morning, Harvey storms into Donna’s office, says he does NOT want to talk about the kiss, and angrily asks her to promise it won’t happen again. She’s like, okay fine, whatever, because she felt NOTHING. Moving on to business matters, she suggests the firm hire a new senior partner, but he shits all over that idea because she’s not a lawyer, and he doesn’t trust her judgement anymore. Louis agrees that Donna should go ahead and bring in for a meeting some hotshot senior partner prospect who’s in town, but Harvey, in full asshole mode, sabotages the interview to spite and embarrass Donna.

donna + harvey

Donna, wearing a too shiny for work satin cocktail dress, confronts Harvey in the Bay Adelaide Centre lobby and they discuss the kiss. She confirms she doesn’t want more from their relationship, since she felt NOTHING. He is still pissed because a) he did feel something, and b) now he’s lied (by omission) to Paula and it’s all Donna’s fault. Funnily enough, Paula doesn’t agree when he does confess, two days after the fact, to the kiss having happened. She’s only mad at Harvey for the lying.

On Louis’s advice, Donna apologizes to Harvey. She is sad he thinks he can’t trust her judgment on work matters, but hey, what about all the flirting and work spouse bestie confidences they’ve engaged in over the years? She’s not the only one who has acted inappropriately.  Harvey eventually comes around and tells her he appreciates the times Donna put him first. He also takes her advice when she says she doesn’t think it would be a good idea to make Mike a senior partner, as Alex had suggested. And they hug.

Harvey + Donna Hugging

Alex gives Mike a juicy case to work on, partly to thank him for helping rescue Alex  from the thorny Reform Corp sitch earlier in the season, partly to help Mike advance in the firm, and partly on Harvey’s urging. The case is a dispute between Alex’s client, a Fortune 500 company called Quality Foods, and one of their distributors, Arctic, who transport food in refrigerated trucks.

The purpose of the case seems to be to give Mike and Rachel something to do, or not do, together. Mike asks Rachel for help with it, she says no, she’s too busy. He thinks there’s something scammy going on with it, she thinks he looks at all corporations through evil-tinted glasses now. Despite being busy, she does some research into the case, and finds out there is a scam going on. By way of explaining what she thinks Arctic is up to,  she asks Mike to recite their freezer contents by memory, and he reveals that the freezer contains pizza, ice cream, pasta sauce, and leftover lasagna made by Rachel. (Also vodka). Wait a minute – are we supposed to believe someone with Rachel’s ultra-slim build is eating that kind of carby and dairy-heavy diet? I don’t think so.

After they ‘win’ the case for the client, Mike gives Rachel credit publicly and privately for figuring shit out, and tells her they should work together more often, cuz it’s fun and otherwise they don’t see each other much. She suggests that instead, they work on getting their wedding underway in time for the season finale. He agrees.

On the Jessica disbarment front, Harvey & Louis try to find a way to remove Jessica’s name from the firm gracefully, and to give her the pay-out she deserves for her ownership stake at the same time. Louis tries to strong-arm the Ethics Committee guy into stalling the announcement of Jessica’s disbarment, but only gets a few days reprieve.

Harvey at Harbourfront

Harvey goes down to Toronto’s Harbourfront neighbourhood to see Stanley Gordon, a former name partner of the firm who we’ve met before (don’t ask me when or why) and who apparently takes meetings on his yacht in Toronto harbour. Sidenote: does anyone have an idea what New York-adjacent location the pier is supposed to represent, or should we just all now accept that Pearson Specter Litt is a New York law firm that has its head office in downtown Toronto?

Harvey wants to restructure the partnership agreement so Jessica can get paid, and he needs Gordon’s permission to do so. Gordon was ousted by Jessica once upon a time, so he’s in no mood to comply unless Harvey fixes some problem he has with a charity that took $10 million from him in exchange for naming rights on a new building, and did not make good on the naming.

Harvey meets the charity woman, accuses her (with reason) of doing money laundering, and gets her to agree to the naming, but Gordon still isn’t happy. Louis points out that all Gordon really wants is to disgrace Jessica. If she’s to get money, she also needs to be publicly shamed for the Mike as fraud lawyer thing, though Harvey, Louis and Mike were all also to blame. Especially Harvey, who hates the idea of blaming Jessica, but is convinced by Louis that there is no other way out.

An off-camera Jessica agrees to the hard truths of being named “selfish, unethical and reckless” in a press release from the firm, signed by Harvey and Louis, announcing that a “disgraceful chapter of the firm’s history is coming to a close.”

Harvey gets to deliver his own hard truth when he admits Paula that he once, years ago, slept with Donna, another lie by omission he has perpetuated. Her reaction to this confession? Tune in next week to find out.

Kim Moritsugu is a Toronto novelist and sometime TV show recapper. Her most recent book is a suburban comedy of manners, The Oakdale Dinner Club. Coming in June 2018: The Showrunner, a darkly humourous, suspenseful Hollywood-noir novel about female ambition inside the TV biz. Check out its book trailer:

Ten Days in the Valley Recap – Day 10 Finale

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Day 10 actually opens in the middle of Day 9, but who cares because this is it, the last episode, for sure, ever, in which all (or most, or, like, some) dangling plot threads will be resolved. Let’s get to it.

Bilson takes Jane for a long drive, ostensibly to calm her down before being taken in for child abduction. Jane starts rambling, as if in a disassociated state, narrating her life story, sort of, complete with flashbacks to her fling with Tom, her meeting with Pete, to  Lake as an infant, and to her own childhood. She admits she was a lying liar who lies, and says Lake is the only thing that matters.

Bilson is acting pretty weird herself – she recites a psalm about the Valley of Death, she has her own flashbacks. One implies she killed Quinn shortly after Jane visited him that time at his bar, or maybe she made him kill himself? Another shows Bilson, spattered in blood after killing Casey and her bro-in-law, hand off an unconscious, chloroformed Lake to some white guy we haven’t seen before, the guy who drove Lake to the cabin.  After the hand-off, Bilson goes home to wash away the blood, and is addressed as ‘Red” by her unsuspecting, nice-seeming, MS-stricken wife. Confirming what we would not have guessed, because it’s stupid: that the big bad guy in this story is so-named because of the brand of cigarettes she occasionally smokes. And we learn that when she did these bad things she was working for Police Gomez.

At Casa Jane, Pete, Tom, Ali, and Lake are being cheerily domestic, playing board games, grilling burgers and corn. Pete is still hella angry at Jane, and wants to take Lake home after dinner. Ali sees Tom being playful and affectionate with Lake, and feels a pang of I have no idea what – jealousy, regret, anger, love, annoyance? She calls Bird and asks what’s happening since Bilson took Jane, why is it taking so long to sort things out? Bird suddenly remembers that Bilson transferred over from narcotics when she came to his department, asks Buddy to track Bilson’s car, and goes off in pursuit of it.

Tom apologizes to Ali about trying to use the story of Lake’s kidnapping to further his career, then picks up from the mail a package addressed to Jane, and opens it. It’s a cassette tape wrapped in a note that reads, “Jane. You wanted the truth. Gus.”   Tom still wants a scoop, so he listens to the tape in Jane’s writing shed.

Still on that long drive, Jane mentions to Bilson that Lake recognized someone at the police station. Bilson stops at a gas station and tries to call Gomez, but can’t reach him. Jane spots a pack of Red brand cigarettes in the car, puts two and nothing together, and snaps out of her fugue state. She pretends to Bilson that Lake was probably lying, and didn’t see anybody, but it’s too late. Bilson drives out to a remote cliff-top spot that overlooks the ocean, and they get out of the car. Bilson confesses that she’s Red, and she took Lake. She pushes and shoves Jane until Jane punches her and draws blood. Bilson is about to shoot and kill Jane, and say it was self-defence, but Jane throws a handful of sand at her, takes a crazy dive down the hillside, hits her head hard on a rock, and passes out. Only to flash back while unconscious to when one of her mother’s boyfriends tried to drown her, another molested and possibly raped her, and her hateful mother refused to believe that these things happened. God, I hate the child-abuse-explains-all trope. Especially when it’s supposed to explain that because Jane was falsely accused of lying as a child, she became a liar/storyteller/seeker of truth as an adult. And therefore, it’s her fault Lake was taken?

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Bird drives up and sees Bilson alone on the clifftop. He emerges from the car with his gun out, and roughs up Bilson until she confesses that she killed Casita Victim #1 (real name Rosa Garcia) on Gomez’s instruction. She and Quinn had been raiding and robbing drug dealers and gangs – nicely, without killing anyone –  just trying to make a little mad money on the side, as one does. When Gomez found out about this lick crew, he blackmailed her into being his hit man. Rosa Garcia was killed because after she was paid to falsely testify against Medina, she wanted more money.  And Casey and her bro-in-law were killed because … I’m not sure, actually. Maybe because Gomez wanted to pin the kidnapping on Gus as a way to avoid the truth coming out about Garcia.

Bilson offers to kill herself and swears she will never testify against Gomez, for fear of what he will do to her wife. Bird says too bad, cuffs her and throws her in his car. Then he looks down the hill and sees Jane’s crumpled body lying below. He runs down and fireman-lifts her up to safety.

Back at Casa Jane, Ali & Tom fight over the tape. Tom sees it as his ticket to a career-making story about police corruption. Ali says that to write the story would be to exploit Lake, who has been through too much already. If he writes it and has it published, Ali says they’re done.

Bird and Jane are at the hospital tending to Jane’s head gash. Ali comes in and gives Jane the tape (so Tom is not going to write the story?), which was recorded by Quinn (when was it recorded, how did Gus get it, and did Quinn kill himself, or did Bilson kill him? We’ll never know.) Jane thinks they can use the tape to incriminate Police Gomez but Bird knows Bilson won’t talk, and Quinn’s taped confession won’t be credible. He has another plan.

At home, Pete tells Ali he is too taking Lake home, and he’s going to sue for full custody. Ali blurts out that he is not Lake’s father, Tom is. Pete is devastated but insists Lake is his kid because he raised her. Ali makes a deal with him: she’ll never tell Tom he is Lake’s biological father if Pete sues only for joint custody, and allows Lake to stay at Jane’s tonight.

Jane knocks on Police Gomez’s door and is taken aback when a child answers. Turns out Police Gomez has three kids, and is a widower. Nevertheless, Jane and he hiss at each other. Bird walks up playing Quinn’s tape. Bird offers Gomez a deal to turn himself in, solo, and save his brother’s political career. He refuses until AG Gomez appears and  urges Police Gomez to take the fall so they both don’t. Also so all the cases that AG Gomez prosecuted won’t be invalidated and the criminals freed.

Bird summons some uniformed cops who’ve been waiting in the bushes and they cuff and arrest Gomez. He tells Bird he will come for him when he least expects it, and promises to rain hell on Jane. Were these threats in aid of a possible season 2 of the show, I wonder? So much for that idea.

Would you believe the episode isn’t over yet? Ali is at Jane’s, reading to Lake, who wants her mama. A news alert pops up on Ali’s phone that Tom’s story about police corruption has been published (so he did write it). Ali sighs and tells Lake that this is good news for Tom. But are Ali and Tom still breaking up? Don’t know. Ali asks Lake if she wants to know a secret, and why on earth would she, but sure. Ali is pregnant! And no one knows except Ali and Lake. How will this affect Tom and Ali’s relationship? We’ll never know that either.

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Still more: It’s finally Day 10. Matt is on set, wearing a fetching combo of scarf, shirt, and denim (I know) jacket  in a symphony of blues. He convinces a reluctant Dominic to come out of his trailer and shoot his death scene. Bird and Jane watch the scene from afar. Bird has notes to give on how realistic it was, but Jane doesn’t care. They make a date to have Bird’s Memphis ribs sometime soon. Bird says Jane is like a song.

And STILL more: Jane and Lake are at the beach. Jane says she picked the name Lake because she loves water. Lake is a little afraid of water. Jane says water is good because, “It’s big, it’s deep, it’s everything – like you are, to me.” Yeah, I don’t get it either.

That’s a wrap on this crazy show that started out strong, as a suspense thriller about a TV showrunner, and devolved into a melodramatic cop show. It was entertaining to watch and scoff at, though, and fun to recap. And I loved the gorgeous and various shots of L.A., taken from the hills above.  I will be forever disappointed that the (Chekhov’s) candy so prominently displayed on Police Gomez’s desk on several occasions did not pay off, either in the show’s climax or finale, but I console myself with the thought that those Rockets/Smarties would have recurred for sure, if there had been a season 2.

Kim Moritsugu is a Toronto novelist and sometime TV show recapper. Her most recent book is a suburban comedy of manners, The Oakdale Dinner Club. Coming in June 2018: The Showrunner, a darkly humourous, suspenseful Hollywood-noir novel about female ambition inside the TV biz. Here is its book trailer:

Ten Days in the Valley Recap – Day 9

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We’re really in the home stretch now, as we  hurtle toward the Ten Days series conclusion, and – spoiler alert – my disappointment in that conclusion.

I take back what I said last time – that Lake being found safe on Day 8 was a deft structural move on the writers’ part. Because no sooner has Lake spent the night at police headquarters with Jane, Pete, a Child Protective Services officer that I will hereafter refer to as  Matron, Bird, and a bunch of other cops, then she and Jane are on the run. Without Jane’s phone, wallet or wits, apparently.

They’re running because Lake recognized Police Gomez from her knothole view in the cabin where she was held captive. She recognized him right after she failed to identify Gus as her kidnapper from a stack of photos that Bird showed her, and evaded Bird’s questions about who drove her to the cabin. Also after Bird left the station to go get yet more info on Cantina Suspect #1, whose real name is Rosa Garcia.

Jane panics, says she’s taking Lake to the bathroom, and runs out of the the building with her. Matron thinks Lake doesn’t feel safe with her mother, so the cops mobilize and go after Jane, who is now being positioned as Lake’s third abductor.

Jane jumps a subway turnstile (nimble work there, Kyra!) and they run onto a subway train. They get off the train when Jane sees some cops, and emerge in sketchy downtown L.A., where Jane makes the TERRIBLE decision to hide out at the home of Sheldon the drug dealer chef, which faithful viewers of this show (all 5 of you) may recall is a cool, large loft with a restaurant-sized kitchen.

Jane has been pretty frantic since the flight from the police station – she’s snapped at Lake several times and lied repeatedly about what they’re doing and when they’ll call Pete and go home. She tries to make Lake play a “game” that consists of inventing a new description of what Police Gomez looks like (she suggests red hair and a jean jacket, as if). Lake balks at this. She doesn’t want to be a liar like Jane.

For no reason I can think of except a need to inject more conflict into the episode, PJ the bike-riding drug dealer is at the loft, having an argument with Sheldon about money. Sheldon starts beating him up (wtf?), Jane expresses alarm, and in the confusion, Lake grabs a portable phone, runs into the bathroom, calls Pete, asks her to come get her, and describes the loft. He heads right over with Ali, Bilson, and some other uniformed cop.

The beating done with, Sheldon cheerily offers to make everyone grilled cheese sandwiches, which is a super weird thing to do under the circumstances. It’s also another nod to Roy Choi, the real-life chef who pioneered Korean taco food trucks in L.A. like the ones the Sheldon character operates, and who’s known for having devised the gorgeous grilled cheese sandwich featured in the movie Chef, the sandwich that I wrote about in this site’s former life as a food blog. (I can only hope Roy Choi is not also a violent drug dealer.) In the post-beatdown lull, Jane borrows PJ’s phone and calls Bird. She tells him Lake identified Police Gomez, and that she thinks Gus was Gomez’s flunky.

P.J., Jane and Lake sit around eating the sandwiches, which do not look anywhere near as good as the movie one, btw. A bleeding P.J. makes a joke about how his scars will help his eventual TV writing career (remember that?) and engages Lake on the topic of hip-hop dancing. I give the writers’ room points for providing continuity here by returning to the one interest Lake has consistently evinced a couple of times since it was established in the pilot, when she danced some hip-hop moves with Jane.

When Jane sees that Pete & co. have arrived, she tries to persuade Lake, if questioned again, to pretend she saw no one. Lake refuses and goes off with Pete, who is appalled that Jane brought her to this den of iniquity and grilled cheese sandwiches.  Ali and PJ exchange awkward hellos before PJ disappears for the remainder of the series. Jane asks Ali to make sure Lake is not interviewed by police. Jane gets cuffed and taken away by Bilson.

Bird visits his ex-wife Chantal at the D.A.’s office, or maybe it’s a courthouse, so she can have her last appearance on the show. He asks her how to find out about someone in witness protection, she tells him that without a warrant his best bet is to sweet talk a young marshal into giving info without one. He intimidates a young marshal instead, and finds out that Casita Victim #1, real name Rosa Garcia, testified against ganglord Vince Medina, and was authorized to be in witness protection thanks to AG Gomez. Oh, and when Bird checked in with forensics, there was no sign of Lake having been in Gus’s cabin.

Police Gomez asks his assistant Amira to tell Matt how the casita story ended – with the killing of Gus AKA Red (wink, wink) – so that the show can be written to reflect the “truth.” She visits Matt and relates the story.  He is suspicious about her motives in telling him, but goes ahead with it as a plot resolution. In a scene meant to be a bit of comic relief (or time filler?), Matt informs Isabel and Dominic, the actors who play the lovers loosely based on Jane & Gus, that Dominic is actually Red, and he is going to die. Isabel thinks that’s way cool, Dominic less so.

Bird goes to Police Gomez and asks him some tough questions. Was his brother sleeping with Casita Victim #1? (No). Then why did he give her a bracelet? (It was a gift, he was grateful to her for testifying.) Was Gus hired to kill CV#1? (maybe, says Gomez  – Gus visited Medina in prison several times). Bird doesn’t believe Gus was Red. Police Gomez tells him to stop fishing, because Police Gomez doesn’t understand that nobody puts Bird in a corner, or, for that matter, tells him where, when and for how long to fish.

What about Tom the intrepid journalist, you ask? Or you would ask, if anyone cared about the Tom character. He spends the night when Lake is recovered writing his version of the kidnapping story, with his phone off and his headphones on -– playing rap, of all unlikely music genres for a guy of his demographic, and more proof of his incompatibility with his Amazing-Grace-singing wife. Hey, what about the missed opportunity that slips by here for him to show his affinity with his biological daughter? He should hip-hop dance with Lake to some of that rap music! Anyway, he has no idea Lake has been found when he emails his story to Jamie the online news site editor. She kills it because it’s worthless now, and she lets slip that she was doing Ali a favour by talking work stuff with him, which pisses off Tom. He snaps at Ali, who is pissed in turn that he would exploit the family drama for a story. These two.

Buddy shows up at the house, he wants to question Lake once more for the case report. Ali tries to stop him, but Lake lets him ask one question – did she see who took her? Lake follows Jane’s instructions (aww?) and lies, says she saw no one.

We close out what is essentially Part 1 of a two-part series finale with Bilson driving Jane somewhere that isn’t the police station. Bilson mentions that her wife has MS, and she has spent years trying to protect her. She also flashes back to taking Lake from Casey’s house and laying her out cold in the back seat of her car.

Kim Moritsugu is a Toronto novelist and sometime TV show recapper. Her most recent book is a suburban comedy of manners, The Oakdale Dinner Club. Coming in June 2018: The Showrunner, a darkly humourous, suspenseful Hollywood-noir novel about female ambition inside the TV biz. Here is its book trailer: