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Archive for August, 2014

louiskey

The summer finale of Suits did what well-crafted, satisfying stories are supposed to do: it gave us an ending that was unexpected but inevitable, an ending that surprised, yet made sense given all that has come before, in this half of the season, and even further back. So that was some good work by the Suits creators and writers – nicely done. Heck, I was so busy admiring the story-building skills on display in this episode that I hardly noticed the fashions. Except for when I paused to marvel at and envy the slimness of Sarah Rafferty’s rib cage in one of her many fitted white dresses, and when I was jolted into remembering some of my own long ago work fashion mistakes at the sight of the severe V-neck Glen plaid dress that Katrina wears in the scene when Jessica shows up to give her the axe. I hope Katrina, her loyalty, and her beautifully coloured curtain of blond hair get to stay for the winter part of the season, and that she gets some softer, more flattering clothes to wear too.

Harvey’s a little volatile in temperament, isn’t he? One minute he’s making his compassionate face at Louis on a fake-looking boxing gym set (the generic boxing posters, all in pristine condition, were the giveaway), and saying that he’ll do anything for the guy, and two commercial breaks later, he’s ready to go punch Louis out. Though I have to say that Gabriel Macht, a very handsome and fit-looking man, is the possessor of a lean build more suited to a male model than to a boxer, his demonstration of an acceptable array of punches notwithstanding. It seems more like tennis would be his sport. Or downhill skiing. Or yoga.

Anyway, Louis asks Harvey to let him take three clients from Pearson Specter to wherever he will go now that he’s resigned, because otherwise no law firm will hire him, and Harvey says he will speak to Jessica about it, though the firm’s by-laws, as written by Louis himself, do not allow for any client-poaching by departing lawyers.

Jessica, who always says no unless forced to say yes, refuses Harvey’s request and reminds him he should be worrying about holding on to his own client, a drug company called Versalife that may need to be dropped because of a merger going on with two other big drug companies. This means Mike, who has realized Jessica is not his biggest fan, and needs to hit a home run to win her over, must find a way to get past the dreaded SEC regulation 10b-6 which may inhibit the law firm from representing quite so many drug companies. Note: a quick google check indicates that 10b-6 is a real regulation of some kind, but let’s not bother ourselves with knowing another single thing about it. It’s not as if we watch this show for the legal stuff, am I right?

Harvey, still in the helpful phase of his compassionate-angry cycle, presents Louis with New Job Option #1: a corporate counsel position with Proctor & Gamble in Cinncinnati. Louis refuses this, compares Cinncinnati to Siberia, and says that New York is Rome, he and Harvey are both gladiators, and New York is where they must do battle. After ever-compassionate Donna suggests Louis might be happier in Boston so he can woo his former fiancée Sheila, Harvey arranges New Job Option #2, an interview for Louis with a law firm in Boston. I was briefly convinced that this Boston option was going to work out, and that Louis would continue on the show as a Boston lawyer who comes frequently to New York to do business, but no. Louis stops in to see Sheila at Harvard before his interview and the joyous reunion does not go as planned. Sheila sees that Louis is coming to her in desperation and refuses to be his way out. So much for Job Option #2.

Mike, who is almost as compassionate as Donna, though less inclined to have his eyes brim with attractive tears that do not affect his eye makeup, takes over a box of Louis’s shit that was left behind at the office, and tries to engage Louis in friendly chit-chat about a golden key that is the Chekhov’s gun of this episode. Louis’s request to be left alone to brood in peace spurs Mike to set up New Job Option #3: he asks Rachel’s dad Robert Zane to hire Louis at his law firm, though Rachel warns him that all her dad’s favours come with a heavy price. Like Rumpelstiltskin, I’m thinking.

Zane interviews Louis and says he will make him senior partner if he can bring just one client with him, more as a test of his legal skills to see if he can break the Pearson Specter partnership agreement than because Zane wants the client. Louis goes to visit a former client to try to take them back and runs into Katrina who says he mustn’t (and can’t legally) do that, but she tips him off to the opportunity presented by Versalife and that pesky 10b-6 regulation, and asks in return to be taken with him to Zane’s firm. And for the next twenty minutes or so, I thought, okay, this option is going to happen. I could see Wendell Pierce, the actor who plays Robert Zane, becoming a featured player again in season 5, and the who-owes-who-what-to-whom Rumpelstiltskian thing could come back to haunt various characters and yeah, that would work.

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Louis manages to steal Versalife as a client, which gets Harvey fighting-mad, and gets Jessica pissed at Mike because she figures Mike alerted Louis to the opportunity. Mike comes up with an alternate plan that calls for a visit to old man Gillis (hello again, Michael Gross!). With Harvey standing by as referee, Mike apologizes profusely to Gillis for everything he did, said and fucked up with regard to the takeover of Gillis Industries, and makes an impassioned plea for Gillis to put aside his burning hatred of Mike long enough to buy a division of Versalife that’s developed an effective but not necessarily profitable drug to fight addiction (recall that Gillis’s dead son was an addict). Gillis agrees, and Pearson Specter takes back Versalife as a client.

Mike and Harvey celebrate their Versalife victory with a dinner out at which they lovingly if lamely call each other pussies, but they feel guilty enough about Louis to each try to make amends in their own way: Harvey visits Zane and asks him to take Louis on sans accompanying client, and Mike drops in on Louis to break the Versalife news to him, be told by Louis that he’s a brilliant lawyer (“No you are,” Mike says, and made me laugh) and casually asks again what’s up with that damned golden key, anyway.

Jessica acknowledges that Mike’s Versalife solution was crafty so he can stay a little longer, but tells Katrina to resign or be fired because Jessica knows what she did. A tearful Katrina agrees to resign.

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Next comes the one-two punch of the episode and the whole summer season: two intense and powerful dramatic scenes that showcase the impressive acting range of Rick Hoffman as Louis. In the first, Donna comes upon Louis in Harvey’s office, asks why he’s there, and proceeds to crumple before our eyes as Louis moves from a state of casual amusement to quiet intensity to rage mixed with sadness over how Donna has betrayed his friendship by consistently lying about and covering up Mike’s fraudulent existence at the firm. You see, the golden key was something all summa cum laude Harvard graduates receive, which Mike would know if he were really one. Louis has finally figured out Mike’s secret and is ready to call the police and have Harvey, Jessica and Mike all arrested and charged with fraud. Donna too, maybe.

Louis leaves Donna gasping and barrels down the hall to confront Jessica, who reigns over their conversation in a full-on Ice Queen controlled fury. She admits to being a liar and a hypocrite, refuses to apologize, and calls his threat to watch her be led out of the office in handcuffs a bluff. Now tell me what you really want, she hisses. And only at that moment do we see how all the story threads have come together, how the setups have paid off in the perfect possible outcome. Only now do we say, out loud, to the TV screen, with Louis, that he wants to be – and will be – made a name partner. Of the firm to be known hereafter as Pearson Specter Litt.

Kim Moritsugu is a Toronto writer and novelist whose latest novel is a food-centric comedy of manners called The Oakdale Dinner Club. Her recaps of Season 4 of Suits are her first foray into the wild world of TV show recapping. Suits will return to the USA network and Bravo (Canada) in the winter of 2015.

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This week, as usual, Donna and Jessica wore beautiful, expensive clothes and Rachel wore one of her ridiculous sleeveless tops, but what the episode was really about was the drama. And the fallout for sad, doomed, ruled-by-his-emotions Louis.

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We begin seconds after the last episode ended: Harvey storms into Jessica’s office in time to hear Louis confess that he not only sent Forstman’s money off-shore for tax evasion purposes, he was ‘forced’ to take a million dollar payment from him to keep quiet about the underhanded accounting. Louis plans to confess to the SEC first thing the next day but Jessica doesn’t want that, because then Cahill will be proved right in his suspicion that Pearson Specter is crooked. So she sheathes the death-rays I predicted last week she would shoot from her eyes and burn Louis alive with, calms him down, and tells him to go home. Then she tells Harvey she’s mad as hell and will certainly fire Louis when this nightmare is over.

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Harvey rebuffs Donna’s reminder that while Louis may have put the firm in jeopardy with his actions, so did Harvey the day he hired Mike. Not now, Donna. Harvey goes to see Forstman in the back of a swanky restaurant, asks him to undo the Louis agreement, and to fight fair with Harvey, his real enemy, instead. Eric Roberts, looking suave in a brown shirt, smokes a cigar in his best villainous manner, and says no. When Harvey threatens to uncover evidence of past dirty deals Forstman has done and report it to the SEC, Forstman scoffs – he’ll take his chances of that happening.

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The next morning, Mike suggests that Pearson Specter ramp up the firm’s malicious prosecution suit against Cahill and Woodall. Thus begins the battle of the depositions: Jessica asks Jeff to find everything dirty he can on Woodall without telling him why, which pisses him off and leads to him telling Jessica the one thing he can’t abide from her is being lied to; and Cahill announces his first deposition will be from Rachel about the possible collusion between Mike and Harvey on the Gillis takeover.

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Harvey suggests Mike prep a bib-wearing (or is that a napkin?) Rachel by practice-grilling her in the privacy of their apartment. Mike is initially reluctant but gets way too into it in a scene that starts with him asking questions about the takeover and segues into him browbeating her about Logan Sanders – did she sleep with him or not, and why should he believe anything she says? Rachel apologizes AGAIN, and says she will do so every day for the rest of her life (come on now, is this much abjection really called-for after one lousy, if long, kiss? I think not) but Mike still can’t trust her, and after Rachel went out and got Mike his favorite bean-and-cheese burritos that she hates but that he loves. If you ask me, that’s enough bowing, scraping and placating from her. She later suggests to Mike that he could maybe ease up on being cruel and vicious to her while pretending to do work stuff. To which he replies that he hasn’t slept well since she told him about Logan, and hey, neither has she.

Harvey and Jessica take depositions from Woodall and Cahill, and using information obtained by Jeff, expose Woodall’s history of trumping up criminal charges against those he wants to take down. Jessica is confident things are going their way, and dismisses Louis when he appears in court the next day because he wants to help, but Cahill reveals to the judge that Jessica is having a personal relationship with Jeff, which makes her motives suspect when she hired Jeff away from the SEC, so that didn’t go so well. And I desperately want for myself her hair, her suit, her height and her bearing in this scene.

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Cahill deposes Harvey and Mike first, instead of Rachel. Our two heroes answer Cahill’s questions by comparing themselves to brothers who fight and make up, Harvey uses sports metaphors to praise Mike’s abilities, and they deny profiting from the takeover so convincingly that Cahill leaves the room intent on finding out who did benefit from the deal (Uh-oh, Louis).

Louis thought Jessica might be merciful and not fire him until Katrina accurately compares Jessica to a Mafia boss who talks nice to your face and then orders someone to slit your throat. When Louis finds out Cahill is hot on his trail, he goes to the SEC to confess, though Jessica had expressly told him not to. Only Cahill is not there, so Louis speaks to Woodall, who tells him not to worry about it and lets him go.

When Jessica finds out about this, she’s doubly or maybe quadrupally pissed at Louis, even more so than when Donna followed her into the restroom to make a case for him, and Jessica asked her to butt out unless she wanted Jessica to fire her again like that time in Season 2 when Donna made a mistake.

Mike and Harvey come up with a theory that Woodall and Forstman are working together against Harvey and they stay up all night with their shirtsleeves neatly rolled up and their ties only slightly loosened trying to find evidence of Forstman having paid Woodall dirty money to get him on board. In the morning, Louis shows up in a rumpled, he-hasn’t-slept-either shirt and suggests that Cahill could get access to Woodall’s bank accounts and find the proof they need, if he wanted to. If he’s not also in on the scheme.

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Mike, Harvey and Louis visit Cahill at his office – he gets off a not-bad Witches of Eastwick joke about these three musketeers showing up – and it turns out Cahill is semi-honest, because he asks Woodall about his bank account and it’s like Dorothy throwing the bucket of water on the Wicked Witch of the West. Woodall sinks into a pool of shame and guilt on the floor and that’s him done with. And Cahill won’t prosecute Louis in exchange.

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Back at the office, Jessica is wearing a giant green brocade lampshade (by Giambattista Valli), but she’s still going to fire Louis’s ass, no matter what Harvey or Mike or Jeff or anyone says. Harvey volunteers to do the deed in a kinder, gentler manner, Donna goes with him for moral support, but Louis has beaten them to the punch and left behind a resignation letter which we hear in voice-over over a montage of Louis leaving the office with his framed degrees and Rachel making nice by giving Mike a framed photo of him as a child with his parents. I’m not sure what that was all about. More placating, I fear.

Louis explains that he quit rather than put Harvey and Jessica through the painful process of firing him, but that Pearson Specter is everything to him – his home, his family, and his life, and while he doesn’t deserve to have his name on the door, he hopes they will look after the firm for him now that he’s, wait for it, gone.

Next week in the summer season finale, Mike has maybe fucked up, Jessica is angry, and the big question is not has Louis really gone from the show, but how and when will the writers bring him back?

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I’ve spared you a pic of the rather unsightly opening image of this week’s episode, which is of Patrick J. Adam’s patchily hairy chest and nipples, half-covered by bed sheets. Suffice to say he wakes up alone in the hotel room he repaired to after telling Rachel he needed space the night before at their apartment. And he is sad/pissed.

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Rachel is also sad when she wakes up, her chest covered by a cute T-shirt, on Donna’s couch, which means no one slept at the apartment she and Mike share. That was a waste of some pricey real estate, but this way Rachel gets to hear Donna give her advice in the form of admitting that she slept with Harvey once and never again because now they work together and everything is as it should be. I had trouble following Donna’s logic here but the bottom line is that Donna thinks Rachel should give Mike the space he has requested. And she can borrow anything she wants from Donna’s closet to wear to work!

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Jessica and Harvey meet at the office early in the morning. Jessica is wearing a black jacket and high-waisted white skirt that make her look like a chic penguin but she totally pulls it off. Her hair, makeup and necklace are also looking damn good for 7 am or whatever time this is supposed to be. Jessica reminds us she’s not happy about Mike coming back to the firm, and Harvey smiles like he is happy until they run into Cahill who hands them a search warrant for the Gillis takeover files. Jessica refers to herself and Harvey as Bonnie and Clyde and they’re going to fight this, damn it! They rush downtown and convince the judge to revoke the warrant on a technicality then walk down the center island of University Avenue in Toronto past the landmark Beaux Arts Canada Life building that is across the street from the provincial courthouse in real life so that worked out neatly. Harvey suggests they hand over the files anyway seeing as he and Mike did not actually collude when working on opposite sides of the takeover but Jessica says no.

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Donna greets Mike with “Hello Sailor” though she’s the one who looks nautical in her high-waisted white skirt (white garments being de rigueur this episode) and blue wrap top. She shows Mike his new office and takes credit for arranging it for him. Harvey also takes credit and points out that the new office used to be his, so there – he loves Mike more than Donna does.

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Mike and Katrina exchange some silly “Shi-i-t” hellos. She gives him a funny awkward hug because she has become Louis and also because her dress is neither white nor high-waisted. She recaps that last week, to get Mike hired back, Louis gave up asking for a rearrangement of his work schedule that would have helped him to reconcile with Sheila, so Mike should be grateful. Katrina’s hair looks awesome as usual though not as awesome as Blake Lively’s hair in the L’Oreal Preference commercial that ran during the episode, which was timely because I was thinking about good old Serena the night before when I watched the movie Safe House starring Ryan Reynolds while I was ironing (don’t ask). I hate to sound naïve, but can Blake Lively’s hair in that commercial possibly be all real/her own?

Louis freaks out when Mike tells him Cahill is after the Gillis takeover files because of the incriminating Forstman-spawned document I’m calling the Letter from now on. Louis has already buried the Letter deep in the bowels of the file room but he conscripts Katrina to further cover his tracks, and goes to see Forstman (still on the show!) to try to get the Letter reversed or eradicated. Forstman unhelpfully suggests that the only way to do that would be to have Louis redo the Letter to frame Harvey for the felony that Louis has committed in signing it.

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Much ado about the files – which are basically the Wexler shares of this episode, and possibly the next – follows, including a bit where Jessica, in bridal-style white ruffles, gives Harvey shit for letting go of Logan as a client. We watch in some boredom as the characters debate whether some of the files should be handed over to Cahill, no, all of them, no, some of them, should we, shouldn’t we, will Louis be exposed, and was it really necessary to have Harvey debase himself by making creepy sexist jokes to Mike about Kate Upton and how all women want a daddy? The short answer: by the end of the episode Cahill uses an off-screen Logan to gain access to all of the files.

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Rachel totally ignores Donna’s advice and gets all up in Mike’s grill in the library. She tries being friendly, she tries saying Harvey told her to help him with the case, but Mike won’t talk to her. Donna finds out about this and chews Rachel out in a wrap (top) battle, which is even funnier than the pun I just made because both wrap tops are presumably Donna’s. Rachel later approaches Mike again because she’s stubborn (and annoying) that way. She apologizes repeatedly, but he still needs space and time so he can get the horrible image of Logan grabbing Rachel’s ass out of his head. She reminds him of the time she had a horrible image in her head of him with Tess (his pot-smoking ex who he smoked and slept with though she was married).

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Rachel drops in on Mike at his hotel room (because dropping in on her love interests at home has worked so well for her until now) and makes a get-off-your-high-umbrage-horse-and-come-home-already proposition: she demands that Mike decide, and soon, if he loves her more than he hates what she did. So at the end of a long day spent fighting Cahill and figuring out that Louis is grappling with a moral dilemma, Mike appears in Rachel’s office doorway and makes this cute face to indicate they can forget about listing their apartment on airbnb and go home to it together.

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Louis’s emotions get a real workout this ep – he’s safe! he’s out! he’s funny! (LOL funny, more than once) he’s tragic! – including in this scene where he attempts to give Katrina an awkward hug. I kinda love these two now, who would have thought, especially when Katrina forges a document (to replace the Letter) that would save Louis’s ass but could ruin her career. He refuses to accept her sacrificial gesture and goes to Jessica to confess that he made a huge mistake. Cue Jessica shooting death-rays of fire and ice out of her eyes starting in 5-4-3-2-1-

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