The season finale features two time frames, both with that sly dog villain Forstman in them. Cue hair and makeup!
Twelve years ago, Harvey and Donna meet in a way that’s supposed to be cute but comes off as a little obnoxious if, like me, you’re starting to suffer from some Donna-as-overconfident-know-it-all fatigue. The highlighted hair with bad bangs that she wears in the past doesn’t help matters.
Harvey & Donna both work for the D.A.’s office but don’t know each other. Harvey has won a high-profile white collar crime case and is celebrating in a bar when Donna introduces herself and ‘auditions’ for a job as his secretary, though with a nod to series continuity, her main goal is to become an actress. Harvey discerns that she’s not just a pretty face, and seems interested in her, both professionally and sexually, but before they can seal the deal, they’re interrupted by Forstman, also with supposedly younger-looking hair, who wants to buy Harvey a drink.
Harvey doesn’t know Forstman either but he turns him down pretty quick when Forstman offers to hire him for big money to do corrupt Forstman-like things. Harvey’s only making 50 grand (!!) at the D.A.’s office but he’s not in law to make money, even though he’ll be earning 500 grand when he returns to corporate law sometime soon.
Harvey’s brother Marcus, a Troubled (gambling) Relative who does not look like Gabriel Macht, is trying to turn his life around and open a restaurant. While seated in The Gabardine, an upscale downtown Toronto diner that Harvey discourteously refers to as a dump, Marcus tries to show Harvey a business plan to take over the place and asks him for $150K that Harvey doesn’t have. Marcus wants to go to their mom and her boyfriend for it, but Harvey can’t have that because he’s so mad at the mom for cheating on and leaving the dad and kids in a longstanding plot point AKA Harvey’s Relationship Baggage that he carries around with him everywhere.
Harvey goes to see his pal Jessica, and makes a silly comment about having seen her wear that dress before. She shuts that down by informing him she never wears the same dress twice, hah, and refuses to bring him into her firm earlier than planned so that Marcus can get the investment money which she figures he’ll just gamble away or pay to someone who wants to break his legs. She warns Harvey not to get anywhere near Forstman either, but he does anyway and says he wants the job after all.
When Forstman learns why Harvey wants the signing bonus Forstman offered him, and the job, they start playing who’s-got-the-bigger-dick with talk of betting and racing cars against each other. Forstman tricks Harvey into giving him some insider information that he uses to make $100 million on the stock market in one day. Harvey is pissed when he finds out, quits the job, and threatens to prosecute Forstman but he can’t because Forstman will implicate him for giving him the tip and Marcus has already received the $150,000 cheque Forstman sent over, so Forstman’s got Harvey in a bind the way he gets everyone in a bind – through blackmail, dirty tricks and preying on their concerns for their Troubled Relatives.
Harvey vows to get back at him someday, returns to the D.A.’s office, and hires Donna as his secretary though she is wearing a heinous fuzzy sweater that’s a far cry from her present-day wardrobe. She adds vanilla to his coffee and he loves it. End of past story.
In the present day, our blue-eyed buddy Cahill from the S.E.C. ambushes Harvey in his apartment lobby. He hasn’t been able to find any trace of the dirty money Forstman paid off Woodall with earlier in the season, so Harvey had better find it in 5 days if he wants Woodall and Forstman to burn in hell and be prosecuted.
Harvey goes over to Mike and Rachel’s apartment to ask Mike to dig into the Woodall money sitch. Rachel complains that Harvey has been ignoring her professionally since Mike returned to the firm so she skips law school the next day in order to help Mike, and to prove to Harvey that she exists.
Rachel eventually figures out that Woodall used Forstman’s money to help his own Troubled Relative, an ex-wife who suffers from early onset Alzheimer’s and is living at an expensive care facility. Score one for Rachel in Harvey’s eyes. Mike is impressed with Rachel’s compassion for the poor demented woman – Rachel wants to help people, just like he does! I was impressed with her latest in a series of cute coats that coordinate beautifully with her pencil skirts.
Still in the present, Louis goes nuts in some funny/sad scenes about the sudden off-screen death of Norma, his never seen but often spoken of ‘battleaxe’ of a secretary. The person he confides in most about his emotional turmoil is Donna, who has not recovered from hearing Harvey’s confession of love, or did he mean the platonic kind? from last week.
Harvey is too Harvey-ish and emotionally repressed to clarify the love declaration beyond saying he said it to cheer her up (Doh! And no.) This pisses Donna off even as she helps Louis get over his rage and sorrow (he hated Norma’s clogs and for leaving him, but he also loved her). Donna comforts him through a breakdown he has over choosing an urn for Norma’s ashes, and helps organize a memorial ceremony in Louis’s office, during which he says Norma had a point about not letting life pass you by. The perennial heart-on-his-sleeve wearer Louis tells Donna how wonderful and supportive she is, and asks her to take Norma’s place, because Harvey doesn’t know how lucky he is to have her.
Donna says no at first – she can’t leave Harvey – but changes her mind when Harvey continues to be an unfeeling cold fish with baggage who thinks he and Donna have everything already (except, like, physical love, and a romantic commitment), so why spoil their beautiful friendship by taking it further? The upshot: Harvey, who hates being left, is left by Donna, who will from here on work for Louis.
Two more plot lines to tie up for the season’s end! In one, Harvey tries to get Woodall to turn against Forstman by confessing that Forstman trapped Harvey similarly years before with regard to Harvey’s own Troubled Relative. Blah blah fishcakes, Forstman comes to see Harvey late at night at the office and threatens to reveal the dirt he has on Harvey if he gets turned in. But Harvey is wearing a wire, and Cahill is listening in. They got him! And Harvey’s brother is no longer troubled, by the way.
Finally, Mike, moved by Louis’s admonition to seize the moment, proposes to Rachel with Grammy’s ring, and in a tear-inducing scene nicely acted by Meghan Markle, she says yes. Woo! Mike even asked (off-screen) her dad for permission. Does that mean Zane Sr. gets to find out Mike’s Secret next season? And who’s dying to see how the women on the show will be costumed for the wedding? I am. But wait, the wedding’s totally going to happen, right?
Kim Moritsugu is a Toronto novelist whose latest book is a comedy of manners about food and sex called The Oakdale Dinner Club. Her recaps of Season 4 of Suits are her first foray into the wild world of TV show recapping.