Suits Recap – S8 E10: Managing Partner

In the mid-season/summer finale, Samantha and Alex fight for the name partnership, Sheila becomes pregnant for real, and Donna orchestrates a rebalancing of power that results in a new firm name I refuse to learn or remember.

The fight is on

The gang meets to sound the name partnership round-starting bell (Zane even says ‘get ready to rumble’). Alex and Samantha come out swinging on the Gavin Andrews vs. Insurance Company case, and that is more than enough boxing metaphors for me. Why the writers didn’t pick up on my tap dance-off suggestion to solve all firm disputes, I don’t know.

Snazzy Tie

Alex, in another pretty tie, gets Harvey to help him with his side of the case. But Zane didn’t get the memo, so he won’t help Samantha, not at first.

Flashback Hair.png

A series of flashbacks show why Zane values Samantha, and also why he owes her. Twelve years ago, when she had longer hair and a center part – a hairstyle I find more flattering to her than her current side-part bob – she was an associate at an unnamed law firm where Zane was a partner. The name partners of that firm were money laundering. When Zane found out, he was blackmailed into staying quiet by being forced to take some dirty money of his own. He gave it to charity and didn’t blow the whistle for the sake of Rachel’s future law career. Little did he know she’d go on to marry a convicted felon, haha.

An FBI agent (who refers to Samantha’s previous military service – what now?) wanted Samantha to be an informant against the bad guys at the firm. Instead, she fixes the situation by convincing Zane to force the crooked partners out and take over the ownership with his trusted partners Caldor & Rand. She helped Zane rather than rat on him and the others because she was moved by his devotion to his daughter. Being a foster kid, she could only wish for a father like him.

In the present, Alex and Samantha take their case to court. Samantha knows that Andrews (Alex’s client) has to be guilty of damaging a Vermeer (!) painting his airline was transporting, in order to increase the value of his own Vermeer (I call credibility on this smarmy punk having access to one Vermeer, let alone two, considering the rarity of Vermeer works – come on now.) But she also needs to get rid of a box of evidence containing information that could incriminate her client, the insurance company. Zane eventually makes the box disappear, but Alex gets access to it by having Katrina go somewhere (off-screen), impersonate Samantha, and get the evidence anew. As shady as this move sounds, Alex could have done worse and didn’t. Andrews wanted him to threaten Samantha with disbarment for ethical violations she committed when she represented Andrews previously.

When Samantha realizes she’s lost the case, she goes to Zane and demands he make her name partner anyway, because he still owes her. Zane floats this idea with Harvey, and they get heated with each other about broken words and promises. That is, Harvey tells Zane to get the fuck out of his office. Wise Queen Donna, suitably garbed in a beautiful and imperial black dress, offers a way out: both Alex and Samantha should be made name partners simultaneously.

Donna puppetmaster.png

Donna’s solution works because she convinces Zane to step down as managing partner, and Louis to take over the role. Louis knows he can handle it because his balls have grown due to his impending fatherhood, and because he has realized he wants an active role in raising his child, which he might have more time for as managing partner, maybe? Especially since the now-pregnant Sheila is up for a promotion to dean of Columbia Law School (from Admissions Director straight to Dean – yeah, sure, that career path makes sense – not), and intends to go for the job. Baby or no baby, she’s a working woman and proud of it.

Peaceful Partners

Zane, Harvey and new name partners Samantha and Alex all make peace, but without having a group hug – ew, gross suggestion there, Zane, you deserve the serious side-eye you get for it from Alex and Samantha.

Group Hug Sideeye

Harvey thanks Louis for stepping up and breaking the impasse between him and Zane. When Harvey finds out about the pregnancy, he offers Louis sincere congratulations, complete with a heartfelt hug.

Louis & Harvey Hug

All that’s left to tie up Season 8’s front ten episodes is for Donna and Harvey to celebrate how tall and thin they both are, and how good they look in their designer duds. They’ll also drink to how well Donna pulled the strings and made her puppets dance.

Donna & Pretty

Suits returns in January 2019 with its back six episodes, and, I hope, a break from any talk about name partnerships.

Kim Moritsugu is a Toronto novelist and sometime TV show recapper. Her latest novel The Showrunner, available from your favourite bookseller, is a darkly humourous, suspenseful Hollywood-noir about female ambition inside the TV biz that has been called a “sophisticated, compelling, and surprisingly complex drama” and has been optioned for development as a TV series!

Check out its book trailer here:

Suits Recap – S8 E9: Motion to Delay

In which the previouslies include footage of Mike, though he doesn’t return, dammit; we welcome back Katrina and Brian, yay; Harvey & Zane do bad Terminator impressions; and Samantha wears what may be her most flattering (if bridal-adjacent) outfit yet.


A dramatic story line is shoe-horned into this episode, about this guy Bratton (formerly of Bratton Gould, Alex’s old law firm, the one that was doing corrupt stuff with jails that led to convict deaths). It comes out of nowhere (or last season), apparently for the purpose of making Zane reflect that life is passing by, and so that he can proclaim repeatedly that ZSL needs to present a unified front to the law/business world.

Bratton launches a $20 million lawsuit against ZSL, compensation for the law firm he lost because he was a criminal and our boys blackmailed him, with proof of his crimes, into resigning. The ZSL crew think he’s bluffing, because why would he want to go to jail when his crimes are discovered, but it turns out he has terminal cancer, and wants to live out his days working, not with his family. Harvey promises to delay the case until he dies, but Bratton claims the hate he feels for Harvey et al. will keep him going for 2 years. He promptly proves himself wrong by dying  (off-screen) of a heart attack, leaving Zane to ponder his own mortality.

Alex's patterned shirt.png

The competition for name partner between Alex and Samantha intensifies when Alex’s new client Gavin Andrews comes up against an insurance company that Samantha represents. Something to do with a claim for a multi-million dollar painting that was damaged (sabotaged?) on a flight. Samantha, in a flattering semi-bridal outfit that makes her look way statuesque, and that Jessica could have worn, come to think of it, wants Alex and the firm to drop Andrews, whom she calls “a shady shit,” as a client. Alex wants to keep Andrews.

Samantha in White.png

Zane and Harvey instruct Samantha and Alex to make peace between the clients without dropping either of them, but Alex and Samantha can’t do that, they’re too adversarial. Samantha goes to Louis to collect the favour he owes her, and asks him to get Alex removed from the case. Harvey hears about this and stops it; he’s had enough of Samantha’s bullshit. Donna asks Samantha if she will concede the next name partnership to Alex if Donna can supply a written promise from the others that hers will come within a year or so. Samantha refuses, because Donna may have internalized the patriarchal system that calls for name partners to be male, but Samantha knows she’s better than Alex, so forget that idea.

To set up the summer finale, Harvey suggests to Zane that Alex and Samantha fight it out: one case, head-to-head, winner takes all. Zane agrees to this fun plan, though the previews for next week promise that the firm will be torn apart (at least temporarily) by the fight.

Enough of that yawner conflict, on to the good stuff: the burgeoning relationship between Katrina and Brian. Katrina is made senior partner, as Louis promised. On the day she chose to wear a fugly shirt/blouse (check the cuffs on that thing), he shows her her swanky new office. She is happy.

Fugly blouse.png

Still wearing the fugly shirt, she asks Brian to be her dedicated associate. He half-jokingly asks if they can still be friends (not if you become lovers, Brian!). She unjokingly tells him he must replace his entire tie wardrobe with power ties and she doesn’t want him to be a yes man, she wants him to push back. They begin working on a lawsuit against High Rise Fashion (good low-rent company name) which has been stealing designs from a designer friend of Katrina’s. So she does have friends. Or a friend.

One night in the firm library, Katrina gets anxious about the case. Brian suggests they take a few hours off, go to dinner and celebrate her promotion. They toast each other multiple times with wine, and he tells her that before he went to law school, he wanted to be a songwriter and his wife kinda wishes he’d stuck with songwriting. BUT he has no regrets, because he loves the law, just like Katrina does. Uh oh.

Dinner a Deux.png

The next day, Katrina is hungover, there’s been a setback with the case, and she blames Brian for taking her eye off the ball. She thinks about trying a bluff to win the suit, “like Harvey does,” but Brian is not a yes man; he tells her that’s a bad idea. So does Harvey, when Katrina asks his advice (is this the first time that Katrina and Harvey and their hurricane names have  interacted? Might be.) Just in time, Brian finds evidence of collusion with the clothing manufacturer, and they win the case.

Hurricane Name Duo.png

Katrina is happy again and wants to celebrate (again) but Brian can’t, he has to go home to his wife and daughter. He suggests she go out with some other friend (hey, how about the fashion designer whose case she just won?). But no, she will stay in and be lonely.  Even more so when Louis gives her a gift of her new business card, framed. He offers to go for dinner, but she demurs. Sensing her loneliness, Louis kindly says that one day she will find love, like he did, after she once told him he would. Problem is, if you ask me, Katrina’s already found it with Brian, her married-to-another soulmate.

Next week: in the summer finale, Alex and Samantha get into the metaphorical ring to fight for the name partnership.

Kim Moritsugu is a Toronto novelist and sometime TV show recapper. Her latest novel The Showrunner, now available from your favourite bookseller, is a darkly humourous, suspenseful Hollywood-noir novel about female ambition inside the TV biz that has been called a “sophisticated, compelling, and surprisingly complex drama.” Check out its book trailer here:

Suits Recap – S8 E8: Coral Gables

In which Louis’s tortured teenhood gets too much air time for my taste, Samantha learns what it’s like to lose a (boring) legal fight, Gretchen makes a work mistake, and I pine for the return of Katrina and Brian, my new favorite characters in this show.

Samantha grey dress

We open with Sam in a very tight (yet flattering) grey dress, dropping in to see bantery nemesis Eric Calder (sometimes pronounced Caldor because continuity seems to be asleep on the job), a name partner from Zane’s (and Samantha’s) previous firm. She wants to sue his client, Greyscale Defense, part of her scheme (don’t ask) to get the client back for Zane, as a kind of gift to him after his wine country travails. Harvey thinks she’s maneuvering for the name partnership again (yawn), and they exchange boasts/threats about how they should get in the boxing ring and duke/kick it out (is this supposed to be foreplay? I hope not). But he agrees to help her after Calder produces (fabricated) evidence before a judge that leads to Samantha being dismissed from the case for a supposed conflict of interest.

Samantha Louboutins

Samantha relaxes enough to put her feet up (in not just Louboutins, but worn Louboutins) on the couch when they discuss the case, but she won’t divulge any gossip about her relationship with Zane when Harvey rather uncharacteristically asks for some.  Much legal back-and-forthing later, Samantha tells Harvey she’s never fabricated evidence herself, but she did once bury some to save an innocent female client from going to prison. Too bad that in the process, she had to banish a lawyer from the old firm named Betty Palmer, who had objected to the evidence burial, to the wilds of Coral Gables. In the end, she atones for her sins by giving her best client to Calder and telling him his fabricating ways will not be exposed, and she will not go after Greyscale, but only if he hires Betty back and makes her a senior partner.

Harvey suggests they go for a few rounds in the ring for fun, but Samantha doesn’t want to. She feels bad about losing the client (and endangering her name partnership bid), so she’d let him win and that would be a drag. Harvey understands her down mood, because he’d never lost until Mike went to prison, and losing sucks when you’re an arrogant, high-priced lawyer.

Dr. ChazYou know what also sucks? When you go see the best fertility specialist in the country, he turns out to be the guy who bullied you in high school, and he recommends fibroid surgery. That’s what happens when Louis and Sheila visit Dr. Chaz McManus, played by Josh Randall, formerly of Ten Days in the Valley, the other TV show I recap (that is, I recapped its one and only season). Louis struggles to deal with the situation – should he give up on the best doctor money can buy because the guy was an asshole jerk 30 years ago and scarred Louis for life? (My answer: yes.) Tedious flashbacks with teenage actors ensue, including an imagination exercise that Stan asks Louis to do which employs an impressive number of kid extras wearing 80’s fashions and hair. I think I at some point owned the vest that the blonde girl is wearing, god help me.

80's kids

Much is made of a contract that young Louis drew up, an agreement he made with himself to never be bullied again by Chaz. In the imagination exercise, young Louis reminds present day Louis that he/they also pledged to raise a kid who would never be a bully. Looks like Sheila is getting that surgery with Dr. Chaz for the sake of un-bully baby.

Alex tie 2

I’m liking the tie and pocket square combos the Suits costume designer is putting on  Alex. The groovy, pretty complementary patterns make a stylish contrast to Harvey’s strait-laced black and grey accessories. Garbed in one such ensemble, Alex asks Gretchen to get Louis’s signature on a document and send it to a client’s lawyer by a deadline.

Gretchen gets the signature, and thinks the envelope was picked up by the courier, but Donna  picked it up by mistake along with a stack of files. When Gretchen discovers what happened, she tries to get the secretary at the other law firm – a youngish person who  replaced one of Gretchen’s cronies – to falsify the receipt log, but the new person is not interested in exchanging favours with an oldster like Gretchen.

Gretchen & secretary

Gretchen next asks Samantha to use her fixer skills to make it seem like the secretary screwed up. Samantha thinks that to do so would only make matters worse. She tells Gretchen to tell Alex the truth.

Alex tie & pocket square

Alex, in another nice tie-and-square duo, gets pissed at Gretchen. But when his client tells him to fire Gretchen or lose the account, he lets the client go. That’s two clients lost this week, which should make Zane unhappy. And Samantha and Alex are now even again.

Gretchen talks to Donna about maybe retiring – she feels like she’s got no fight left.  Donna thinks it’s not Gretchen’s time quite yet. They hug.

Next time: The name partner fight resumes between Alex and Samantha. Only two episodes left until hiatus!

Kim Moritsugu is a Toronto novelist and sometime TV show recapper. Her latest novel The Showrunner, now available from your favourite bookseller, is a darkly humourous, suspenseful Hollywood-noir novel about female ambition inside the TV biz that has been called a “sophisticated, compelling, and surprisingly complex drama.” Check out its book trailer here:


Suits Recap – S8, E7: Sour Grapes

In which Louis and Sheila have conversations that do not, for once, involve inane sex talk; Zane and Alex share a winery storyline that made me wonder if it was written to be shot totally out-of-office to accommodate Wendell Pierce’s other acting roles, Harvey finds himself in the middle of a height lineup with a client and an opponent, and Donna and Samantha continue to team up.

Stan Hug

I was rightly skeptical last week about Sheila being pregnant. The test result she announces to a thrilled Louis at the beginning of the episode turns out to be a false positive. Though we don’t find this out until:

  • Louis does a victory dance in his office upon hearing the positive pregnancy news
  • He agrees not to tell anyone yet, then tells Gretchen, his beauteous sister Esther, and Stan, AKA Dr. L., who says mazel tov and gives him a heartfelt and heartwarming hug
  • Louis and Sheila have some serious talks/arguments about whether their child would be brought up Jewish
  • Gretchen looks for (and finds) a midwifery course Louis can take

With Dr. L’s help, Louis and Sheila arrive at a compromise about their child-to-be’s cultural/religious identity: they will blend their traditions. Sheila makes kugel, Louis promises to allow a Christmas tree in the house. Then they find out about the false positive. Louis puts on a brave face for Sheila, but cries in Gretchen’s arms, in another touching hug scene. Aww.

Gretchen HugZane calls Donna at her home (an upgrade from the last apartment we saw her in, guess her new COO salary has come in handy) and asks her to have Alex driven upstate to his winery/country house to help with a personal case. In a weird bit of business, Donna gives Alex a bag packed with the essentials (including tight-fitting sweaters to show off his abs) he’ll need for the trip, and sends him off.

Donna at homeZane is completely alone at the winery we never knew he owned –  without his wife, any staff, or workers. He says he bought the business to honour his long-dead sister (remember her being an inspiration in the case he fought with Rachel about racial and gender discrimination from an insurance company?) because she liked wine. This unconvincing explanation aside of why he’s been absent for three weeks from the Toronto office set, he has a problem: his wine tastes terrible because he lost an entire harvest due to a supplier not delivering barrels on time that Zane had ordered and paid for.

Zane & Alex at wineryZane thinks the supplier’s motivation for fucking him up is racism. When Zane and Alex confront the (white) supplier and threaten a lawsuit, he angrily denies any racial bias but admits that the long-established community of wine growers is not keen on newcomers – especially well-heeled hobbyist types.  Zane dismisses Alex from the case for suggesting that the guy might be telling the truth, but brings him back after listening to Donna, the voice of reason.  Zane recalls how important community was to him growing up, and promises to build a tasting room the community can share.

So will his scenes from now on in the show be located in the winery? I still don’t get how or why this whole story line came about. He calls Donna to give her an update on the case and firm harmony, and they settle on corny, old-timey nicknames they will use for each other forthwith: Red and Pops.

Harvey & Fox in lobbyBack in the city, David Fox, the arrogant, short-ish, attractive landlord/owner of the office tower that houses the law firm, hands Harvey a file and asks him to deal with it. Harvey doesn’t know that Donna promised Harvey’s legal services to Fox for a year as part of a deal Harvey authorized Donna to make, so he resists angrily until Donna tells him to suck it up and take one for the team.

Harvey & Donna arguing

Fox wants to buy a building that belongs to a rival, and wants to hide his identity from said rival so as to get a fair price. The other developer, an imposing guy named Billows, sees through Harvey immediately when Harvey arrives with an offer he says is from a southwestern property company, or maybe a client in Dubai. Billows refuses to sell to Fox and alludes to Fox having some kind of shady deal going on with one of the building’s tenants, a grocery store owner named Peter Minto.

Billows & Harvey Faceoff

Harvey assumes Fox is money laundering through Minto, and has another fit with Donna about dropping the case, but she won’t let him because if he does, she’ll look like a liar. She asks Samantha (less prone to hissy fits than Harvey) to help out. Samantha and Harvey find out Fox is helping Minto because he was kind to Fox when Fox was a street urchin, stealing cigarettes at the age of 13 on the mean streets of Manhattan (in the 90’s). They come up with a deal that allows Fox to buy the building at a high price (and therefore look like he made a bad deal), but still protect Minto. Harvey grudgingly admits Fox has earned his respect. And by the way, Samantha speaks Mandarin, because she’s multi-talented like that.

After Zane’s and Harvey’s cases are resolved satisfactorily,  Samantha and Donna have a fun chat about the silly men they work with, and how they are either bad at receiving gifts (Zane), or at giving them (Harvey).  Harvey pops in and apologizes to them both about the Fox case – they were right, he was wrong and he’s sorry. They tease him in concert and he rolls his eyes.

Now that everybody’s getting along so well, it’s going to be awkward when it’s time to vote for whose name goes up next on the wall.

Next week: Samantha takes on a case that riles up Harvey.

Kim Moritsugu is a Toronto novelist and sometime TV show recapper. Her latest novel The Showrunner, now available from your favourite bookseller, is a darkly humourous, suspenseful Hollywood-noir novel about female ambition inside the TV biz that has been called a “sophisticated, compelling, and surprisingly complex drama.” Check out its book trailer here:

Suits Recap – S8, E6: Cats, Ballet, Harvey Specter

In which I am amused by the writing and acting in Louis’s scenes with and about Harvey, my new favourite duo Katrina and Brian get significant screen time in their own story line, Donna and Samantha have a gown-off at a charity function, Harvey gets in a little light therapy with a doctor he does NOT want to bone, and Donna experiences weird sexual tension with just about everyone.

Katrina & Brian

Harvey’s week isn’t going well. His brother Marcus is not reconciling with his wife despite Harvey’s fly-in to Boston, his  first-ever client McKiernan Motors has been bought out and will no longer be a client, and Harvey has to sub in for Louis with beauty mogul client Joan Walsh, because Louis must go have baby-making sex (again) with Sheila.

An infuriated Harvey lashes out. He storms out of a meeting with the 16-year-old digital influencer (50 million followers!) who is trying to extort Joan Walsh’s company for cash,  and refuses to give Louis back the case. He lays into Louis, and repeatedly and annoyingly refers to Louis’s ‘afternoon delight’ sessions, among other pissy comments about Louis’s priorities re: the firm and its clients.

Louis being funny

Louis complains to Lipshitz about Harvey’s behaviour. Dr. L. thinks that for once, it’s not Louis who is at fault, though the Harvey-Louis relationship needs work on both sides. An excited Louis suggests couple counselling. Dr. L. agrees to see Harvey & Louis together if Harvey is willing.

Harvey dismisses the idea when Louis mentions it (in a funny scene), but agrees (in a funnier scene) after Donna scolds him for being a shit to Louis, and tells him to deal with his own issues.

The joint session is short; Louis leaves in a huff when he feels (rightly) that Harvey is mocking him. With Louis’s agreement, a sympathetic Dr. L. counsels Harvey privately and gets Harvey to acknowledge that he feels abandoned – by Mike, Rachel, Jessica, his sister-in-law, his first client. He also admits that Louis’s devotion to Sheila and fatherhood make Harvey fear that Louis will leave him too.

Newly self-aware, Harvey tells Louis that he cares about and values him, and that he pushed him away because he was afraid of losing him. A happy Louis asks Harvey to repeat after him that they are so alike they are “brothers from another mother.” Harvey frisks Louis for his dictaphone, ejects the tape he made of Harvey saying those words,  and the two go out for dinner as friends.

Harvey & Louis

In other bonding story lines, Katrina picks Brian to work with her on a case that Louis has promised will lead to a senior partnership if she wins it. It concerns an online entrepreneur whose attempt to take his company public is being blocked by someone on his own board of directors. As usual, the details of the case are only relevant as they relate to the series regulars’ character development. To that end, we learn that Brian and Katrina both talk fast, are clever with legal strategy in a Mike-and-Rachel kind of way,  and like Indian food. Also that Katrina is a friendless workaholic who plays golf, went to Princeton, and has never seen The Breakfast Club. And Brian is (still) a good-hearted mensch.

Best face wiping

When Donna sees them working late and engaging in a classic, intimate, wiping-of-masala-sauce- from-face move, she reminds Katrina to be careful not to let her heart rule her head, and to respect that Brian is married with a young child. I’m not sure the warning was warranted, but Katrina assures Donna she thinks of Brian only as a friend, then gives him a night off work to be with his wife and kid. She finds a way to win the case on her own, and they’re still friends.

More bonding – between Donna and Samantha, now. Donna’s friend Peggy runs a charity for at-risk girls, which Donna would like the firm to represent, pro bono. She asks Alex to get involved, but he, dressed in a fetching blue tie & shirt combo, is too busy, and thinks Samantha would be a better fit. He procures a $5 million donation for the charity from a client, wolfishly compliments Donna on her gala attire, says, ‘Baby, don’t be like that,’ when she calls him out on his wolfish comment, and lets himself out.

alex blue tie

Donna doesn’t trust Samantha yet, but she likes that Samantha seems genuinely interested in the cause and shows up at the gala in her own gown (I didn’t like either dress much, and both seem too formal for a party in the lobby of Toronto’s Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, rather than a ballroom, let’s say, but whatever.) While in the gowns, they have a weird moment where Donna asks Samantha if she is flirting with her, Samantha says what if she was, and Donna replies that she’d be cool with it, because she went to theatre camp. Foreshadowing for when we find out Samantha is gay? And how high are Katherine Heigl’s heels in this scene to bring these two face-to-face at the same towering (Sarah Rafferty) height?



The brief honeymoon is over when Samantha reports that a quick review of the charity’s financial statements indicates that its operating expenses are higher than expected, which suggests that kickbacks might be going on. Against Donna’s instructions, Samantha  calls the president of the charity, and puts him to a stress test by offering the use of a different venue for fundraiser galas at a much lower price. When he refuses, she has the $5 million cheque from Alex’s client stopped, which leads to Peggy being fired.

An upset Donna tries to get Alex to intervene, but he won’t, and tells her that if anyone knows about shady legal shit, it’s Samantha. Donna and Samantha apologize to each other, and decide to take the charity down together.

Donna & Samantha

back zippers

Garbed in zipper-prominent garments, they confront the charity president about his double dealings and get his resignation. Peggy is reinstated, and Donna and Samantha arrange to go for a drink so that Samantha can explain why the charity’s cause is close to her heart. And to continue flirting?

End notes:

  • the episode title lists the three things that Harvey tells Dr. L occupy the forefront of Louis’s mind. Kind of a bully-ish thing for him to say, but at least he knows something about the guy he claims to value and care about?
  • Zane is absent for the 2nd week in a row, not that we’re really missing him
  • No one except Louis has a love life this season. Can we please get on that in the four episodes that remain in the front ten?

Next week: Colour me skeptical, but it looks like Sheila may be pregnant.

Kim Moritsugu is a Toronto novelist and sometime TV show recapper. Her latest novel The Showrunner, now available from your favourite bookseller, is a darkly humourous, suspenseful Hollywood-noir novel about female ambition inside the TV biz that has been called a “sophisticated, compelling, and surprisingly complex drama.” Check out its book trailer here:

Suits Recap – S8 E5: Good Mudding

In which Louis returns to his comic roots, Harvey gets angsty with his brother and mom in Boston, and Alex and Samantha mix it up yet again, this time over Alex’s smart, lippy teenage daughter.

sperm checking talk

In what feels like a filler story line, Sheila demands that Louis have his sperm tested seeing as she isn’t yet pregnant (she’s also having her fertility checked) after like, one month of trying. For purely comedic reasons, Louis asks Harvey if he’s ever had his sperm tested, which of course he hasn’t.

Though I have found virtually all dialogue to date about Louis’s sexual practices to be tiresome/repellent, the scene wherein he and Harvey discuss how to masturbate in a clinical situation made me laugh a couple of times (I know, what is happening, should I seek help?). Mainly because of Gabriel Macht’s reaction faces and tone of voice, including when he spins a bullshit story about the erotic possibilities of tomatoes. I like him doing comedy.

please no, on this topic

tomatoesWhen Donna stops in to dish with the Harvey about the conversation she just overheard (anyone else think her constant surveillance of Harvey’s office is a mite creepy?), they jokingly refer to the time 13 years ago when they did something erotic together with strawberries and whipped cream. This exchange may give faint hope to Darvey shippers, but I bet it’s just a tease/sop. Oh, and Donna tells Harvey to call his brother Marcus.

Strawberries and whipped cream

Marcus is getting a divorce, and wants Harvey to represent him because his wife Katie has hired a shark. Marcus claims the reason for their split is that he had an affair, which triggers Harvey because of his issues with infidelity. He heads up to Boston anyway, with the reported blessing of Zane, who, BTW, is MIA this week, along with Katrina.

Harvey’s first stop is to visit Katie, as her friend/brother-in-law, in hopes of reaching a peaceful settlement, but she won’t budge, and she points out the illegality of him talking to her without her own lawyer present. When Harvey, Marcus, Katie and Katie’s shark lawyer meet the next day, we learn that Katie wants full custody of the kids, and the real cause for the split was that a) Marcus started gambling again, and b) he told his young daughter to keep his addiction a secret when she saw him place an online bet.

Harvey freaks out, and calls Marcus a shitty husband and brother. But before Harvey leaves town, he changes into what look like jeans(!), and his mom shows up at his hotel suite. She reminds him he can be forgiving (as he was with her) and tearfully asks him not to make Marcus pay for her past mistakes.

Harvey in casual clothes!.png

Harvey tells Marcus the only way to get partial custody is to make Katie look like an unfit mother, but Marcus won’t have that, he needs Harvey to find another way. At a Toronto park (that I can’t identify) with a kids’ baseball diamond, Harvey again meets Katie illegally, tells her Marcus won’t let him use the unfit mother accusations against her, and says Marcus deserves another chance with the kids. She eventually agrees. So Harvey wins, but at what cost to his psyche? Some.

baseball park.png

Back to Louis’s sperm! At the clinic, he wants to jerk off to the Wall Street Journal but has to settle for the real estate section of an unnamed newspaper, haha…zzz.  He’s anxious about the results and asks Donna to accompany him to hear them from the doctor. She suggests he should go with Sheila or alone. He opts for alone. Turns out his sperm count is good, but the doctor tells him to lay off mudding while trying to conceive, because of the high temperature of the mud. Much nonsensical business is made of this suggestion to briefly abstain from mudding. Sheila confronts him about his priorities when she finds out he snuck out one last time to mud, he imagines everyone at the office is saying Good Mudding instead of Good Morning, and Donna brings him a cup of hot mud for him to dip his finger in, to tide him over. Silliness.

Alex & Gretchen

Less silly: Alex’s teenage daughter Joy is hanging at the law firm office for a few days because she was suspended from school for a prank involving bleach and the sports field. She has little time for Alex, but on Gretchen’s advice, Alex asks Samantha – a ‘cool’ person – to spend some time with Joy.

better Sam and Joy

Samantha is working on a pharma case about someone stealing someone else’s drug formula. After telling Joy she was suspended from school once herself for stealing the principal’s car, she takes Joy to a coffee shop where the opposing client is hanging out with his lawyer. She asks Joy to eavesdrop on their conversation in case they let anything slip that will help her case.  Joy takes it one further and records some incriminating comments on her phone. Samantha uses this intel to destroy the opposing client when they meet for a deposition, with Joy present (!). Joy loves this, but when Alex hears about it, he reams Samantha out, and tells her a parent’s job is not to show a child how the world is, but to show how the world should be.

A chastised Samantha apologizes to Joy. She confesses that she got expelled from school back in her teens, and she didn’t have good parents watching out for her like Joy has. Alex is the cool guy, not her.

May the best woman win

Samantha and Alex also apologize to each other, and Alex tells her that Harvey promised him the name partnership, just like Zane promised Samantha. Samantha gets the last words: “May the best woman win.”

Sidenote: As the Samantha character develops more dimensions, so does her wardrobe. Just when I’d decided that the costume designer had decided to dress her in only monochrome outfits, she shows up in a dramatically-sleeved black blouse with a brown suede skirt, grey pearls, and her hair in relaxed waves. I’m liking her style.

Sam blouse and suede skirt

Next week: Harvey and Louis see Dr. Lipshitz for some relationship counselling!

Kim Moritsugu is a Toronto novelist and sometime TV show recapper. Her latest novel The Showrunner, now available from your favourite bookseller, is a darkly humourous, suspenseful Hollywood-noir novel about female ambition inside the TV biz that a reviewer called a “sophisticated, compelling, and surprisingly complex drama.” Check out its book trailer here:

Suits Recap – S8, E4: Revenue Per Square Foot

In which Zane has multiple shit fits, Louis gets mugged in a dark alley, Donna cements her whisperer reputation, and Alex makes the improbable assertion that he’s a big fan of Magnum, PI.

Louis and mugger

Louis is late to an evening meeting at a bar with Zane and a client, because Sheila was ovulating (the less said about the Louis & Sheila sex talk, which references Elmer Fudd and Johnny Appleseed, the better). Louis calls Zane and tells him he’s late because he was baby-making. No sooner does the call end than a thug with a gun takes him into an alley, steals his wallet and phone, and beats him up.

louis & gretchen

Louis is, naturally, shaken and traumatized by this experience, but rather than call Zane and explain, he goes to the office, where Gretchen finds him examining the nasty bruises he got from being kicked in the ribs.  Unnaturally, he wants to keep the mugging a secret, lest anyone (mostly Zane) see his victimhood as a sign of weakness. Even though he was frank and fearless with Zane only two weeks before (about his partnership rights), not to mention half an hour before, when he talked openly about having baby-making sex.

Zane is pissed that Louis neither showed up for the meeting, nor explained why he didn’t, so he assigns the file, a defence of a class action suit, to Samantha. And in Shit Fit #1 of the episode, Zane yells at Louis, and tells him never to lie to him again.

Zane & donna

Donna is on the receiving end of Shit Fit #2. Zane rips into her about giving a pro bono case to Katrina which Donna would have known presented a conflict of interest if she had checked with Zane, the managing partner, before giving out cases. He orders Donna to do her COO job, and write up a report on the law firm’s revenue per square foot.

Harvey & Alex with new client

Harvey and Alex, meanwhile, are going after a new client that Harvey thinks will put Alex on the map with Zane. Of course, there’s a shady side to this deal – the big shot potential woman client who acquires companies will sign with them if they pressure one of their existing clients to be acquired by her. Or something. Harvey and Alex decide to pursue another option, Zane wants them to stick with Plan A, Harvey won’t back down. This leads to Shit Fit #3 (or maybe #4) for Zane, who tells Alex to do it his way or kiss his career goodbye.

donna b&w dress

A troubled Alex seeks counsel from Donna in the copy room. She compares his situation with Harvey and Zane wanting opposing outcomes to the Kobayashi Maru simulation exercise from Star Trek (look it up if you care). He can prove himself if he finds a way out of what appears to be a no-win problem.

Donna warns Harvey that Alex is talking to Holly Cromwell, friendly neighbourhood head hunter, about his prospects outside the firm. Harvey accuses Zane of bullying Alex,  but Zane is convinced he’s the better managing partner, so there. Alex signs a new client who is not the one either Harvey or Zane wanted. Harvey is pleased with this ballsy move, Zane is not. Harvey and Alex talk about the relative merits of Captain Kirk vs. Magnum, PI (BTW, am I interested in the reboot of that show coming this fall, starring Jay Hernandez? I am not.) Alex is gonna stay, for now.

Samantha in white

Louis and Samantha end up working together on Louis’s case, because Samantha may be tough, but she wants to make alliances within the firm, not alienate everyone. (And yes, she’s growing on me, as a character.) She leaves Louis to argue the case in court alone, but he has a PTSD-type freak-out and his motion is denied. He freaks out further back at the office when Samantha asks what the hell happened. She goes to Harvey and tells him something’s wrong with Louis, he needs a friend.

Sympathetic Harvey

Harvey sits down with Louis and is sympathetic when he hears about the mugging. Harvey tells Zane about it. Zane calls Louis in and apologizes for his previous shit fits. He is supportive and kind, and says Louis is family.

But is Zane? He’s getting there. Donna brings him the revenue per square foot report, and tells him she shouldn’t have to do this kind of accounting work. Her job is to manage people, and keep the firm together. A job which apparently calls for her to tell Zane not to be an asshole, and to let people do what they do, the way they do it. With a chuckle in his voice, Zane tells her she can try her whisperer shit on Harvey, but not on him. She explains she does it to everybody. Looks like they’re all good.

Sam teaching self defence

Louis heads home to his Toronto Annex home in the dark, and startles when he sees a dark figure waiting in the shadows. It’s Samantha, and she’s there to help – she’s going to teach him self-defence, which she learned after she got mugged once. Everybody say Aww.

Absent (and missed!) this week: Katrina and Brian.

Next week: work family and outside family don’t mix.

Kim Moritsugu is a Toronto novelist and sometime TV show recapper. Her latest novel The Showrunner, now available from your favourite bookseller, is a darkly humourous, suspenseful Hollywood-noir novel about female ambition inside the TV biz that a reviewer called a “sophisticated, compelling, and surprisingly complex drama.” Check out its book trailer here: