Suits Recap – Season 4, Episode 16 Season Finale: Not Just A Pretty Face

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.

meet cute

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.

forstman past

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.

better bro

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.

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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.

donna coffee

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.

rachel excluded

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 coat

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.

donna & louis

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.

better urns

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 quits

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.

forstman + balls

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.

Suits Recaps – Season 4, Episode 15: Intent

There was a lot of back-and-forthing and reversals of positions and decisions in this episode, but the big reveal at the end (wait for it!) made all the preamble worthwhile.

The Donna-is-in-BIG-trouble story line was the focus of most of the episode, so let’s get a summary of the B story concerning Jessica and Jeff out of the way right off the top. Last week Jeff told Jessica their relationship was over because she’s a lying liar that lies. This week she comes into his office to ask him if he’s also going to resign. He says not right away, but maybe soon.

jeff looking sharp

Jessica meets her sister Leah for dinner, and asks for advice about Jeff without telling her why they broke up. Leah suggests Jessica fight for the man she loves.


So Jessica, wearing a lilac suit with a lacy skirt that is rather bridal, or at least bridal-adjacent, goes to Jeff’s office and tells him she loves him, she refuses to give up on them, she wants him to stay in the law firm, and she wants their relationship – personal and professional – to continue.

lilac suit


He looks embarrassed for her during this outpouring of feelings, but says nothing, only to tender his resignation at the episode’s end, because he doesn’t want to the relationship part to continue, and she wants both, so she gets nothing except this weirdly weaponized skirt (those crystal protuberances snap off, sprout whirling blades, and can be whipped across the room at one’s enemies, right?).

weird weaponized skirt

My guess is she’ll be fine about this before too long. After all, she has a Lawren Harris painting (!!!) in the front hall of her palatial house.

lawren harris painting

But is this the end of the Jeff character’s arc on the show? Maybe, maybe not, as previews for next week indicate that the corruption in the D.A.’s office story line from earlier in the season involving those two cutups Woodall and Cahill (whom Jeff once worked with) is coming back for the finale.

On to Donna, Donna, Donna! (said in Cary Grant’s voice). Harvey meets her on the street outside her apartment to ask her what the fuck re: the video Evan Smith showed him of Donna illegally obtaining evidence.

street meeting

She says she didn’t do anything illegal and “I’m not an idiot” only to later tearfully admit she fucked up and is guilty of felony fraud because she did kind of impersonate a federal agency employee, that is, she implied she was one. But she only did it because she wanted to feel like she was an important contributor around the office rather than just that hot, super-connected, know-it-all babe who answers the phone.

H&D in office

Harvey wants Mike to drop the case against Liberty Rail because he thinks Evan is using Donna as a bargaining chip, and to hell with seeking justice for the poor people who died in the accident, it’s more important to save Donna.

For a few minutes, we all think the crisis has been averted, but it turns out Evan is not trying to make a deal, and Terence Wolf, the D.A., has it in for Harvey, so he will not drop the charges. Wolf even arraigns Donna on the little-used ‘intent’ aspect of the fraud charge (don’t ask me) and somehow hopes to get her to rat on Harvey’s past irregular dealings in the process.

terence & harvey

If the charges are sticking then the lawsuit is back on, because Harvey is mad as hell at Evan Smith. Mike has had to tell the Joe train mechanic guy that he can’t pursue the lawsuit, which causes hard feelings with Joe, who needs the money because he is a poor working man who is reduced to operating machinery in an auto shop or maybe it’s a factory, and who thought Mike was a man of his word.


Except Now Mike has to go back and say, so hey – funny story: forget what I said before, the lawsuit’s on again. It’s too late and go to hell, says an aggrieved Joe. Whereupon Mike guesses/realizes that Joe has taken a confidential payout from Liberty Rail to drop the whole thing.

try this guy

Mike needs a new person to sue on behalf of, but no one who works for Liberty Rail will speak to him. Rachel suggests he contact the driver of the train who was blamed for the accident, then let go with a severance and a healthy dose of guilt-for-life. We know he’s embittered because he uses 3 large red toolboxes to work on his old car in his driveway all day, but he perks up when Mike tells him the accident wasn’t his fault and he agrees to sign on.

3 toolboxes

Louis, who is well and truly recovered from being mad at Donna, is concerned and sympathetic to her plight (there are heartfelt hugs), and is also certain that Harvey will save her from the charges. But when Harvey’s adversarial relationship with the D.A. seems to be throwing shade on Donna’s chances of escaping prison, Louis offers to represent her instead so Wolf will back off. Donna says no thanks, then well, actually maybe that would be a good idea because Harvey’s acting a little psycho and Donna is PETRIFIED she’s going to end up serving 3-5 years in prison. But on third thought, she has faith in Harvey, really she does, so no thanks Louis.

louis hug

Harvey physically threatens the Joe guy to get back into the lawsuit, and ascertains that money is Joe’s only object, which seems to give him an idea. He and Mike meet with Evan Smith and tell her to find a way to pay off the Liberty Rail employee who is the sole witness to Donna’s fraud attempt, or else they will proceed with the lawsuit that will expose the company’s negligence. Evan protests that for her to silence the witness would be an obstruction of justice, but Harvey doesn’t care. All that matters is Donna go free.

thank you

Donna and her cleavage thank Harvey for saving her over convivial drinks at her apartment (though was I the only one who thought the unreadable expression on Evan’s face, the rather pretty green bead trim on her silk blouse, and the better-looking hair than previously at the end of her meeting with Harvey and Mike all might indicate we ain’t yet seen the last of her and this case?).

not over yet

Anyway, Donna apologizes for doubting Harvey and considering Louis as a substitute for even a minute, and he apologizes for snapping at her, but he snapped because it’s just so important that she, of all people, has faith in him.

you know I love you Donna

“Why?’ she asks, and oh yes, oh yes, all you Donna & Harvey shippers, here comes the big payday: “You know I love you, Donna,” Harvey says.

And … mic drop.

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.