Suits Recap – Season 5, Episode 1: Denial

Suits is back for season 5, and so are my recaps!

doctor's office

Harvey is in therapy – in a suit, natch. Though all he wants from his comely English-accented doctor who has an extremely large office is more sleeping pills so he can stop having anxiety dreams about missing important meetings. Which is also happening in real life because he has not replaced Donna since she left to work for Louis, nor can he apparently manage basic administrative tasks like keeping an appointment calendar or checking his phone messages.

The doctor’s cozy sweater suggests she is a nurturer but her therapeutic approach is more of the tough love variety: she insists he tell her again what’s happened since the Season 4 finale, and this time, don’t leave shit out like he did the first time he came to her seeking prescription drugs.

rachel and mike in bed

So back we go to 6 weeks earlier. Mike and Rachel are in bed the morning after Mike proposed (though is Harvey telling the doctor about this part? I hope not) and Rachel, looking pretty in some very good eye makeup (all the women look great in this episode), gazes adoringly upon her engagement ring as if getting one was her life’s ambition, which seems inconsistent with her character to date, but I’m in favor of the wedding taking place for wardrobe eye candy reasons, so let her gush. She and Mike agree to keep their engagement secret at work except maybe for Donna and Harvey, then dive under the duvet where Mike makes an amusingly oblique reference to doing a sex thing they saw online, which reminded me of the Seinfeld episode about Jerry’s swirl move, a prime example of sex humour by way of omission/vagueness that we can all learn from.


Donna tells Louis she’s going to work for him but not till she completes a two week notice period she feels she should give Harvey. Louis says she might as well stay with Harvey forever rather than give Louis false hope like the soul-bruising time he bought a Welcome to Team Litt cake when he thought Mike was going to become his associate, only to have the cake (and his dreams of bro bonding) go to waste when Mike went back to Harvey.

Donna spends the rest of the episode assuring Louis she is committed to the move. She also conducts a silly and possibly actionable double-entendre-laden conversation with him at a deli about how she can’t wait to ease the pressure on his about-to-burst Dictaphone, haha, not that funny.

Harvey does his bit to ensure Donna stays gone by acting like a spurned lover and living up to the nickname Mike gives him of Captain Dickhead. He directs Donna to clean out her desk and leave right away, he gives Louis the can opener to return to her (oh god, not the can opener!), and he refuses to hire a replacement secretary because he’s sure that Donna will be back. He also misses meetings and calls about an important trucking company bankruptcy blah-blah case, and irritates Jessica in the process, who at one point wears a gorgeous, shiny fitted jacket and shell combo that would make great wedding wear. Just saying.

gina torres fitted jacket

Harvey also yells at Mike and blames Rachel, who was only trying to help, for an oversight/mistake that hinges on a printer running out of paper – like a key document would only be read on paper and never checked on a computer screen? Come on now – that Donna was no longer around to restock.

When not pissing off clients and colleagues, Harvey suffers from panic attacks that send him, dizzy and sweating, to the office restroom, to throw up (tastefully shot) which is the real reason he went on the anti-anxiety medication. But he stops needing the medication after Comely English Doctor makes him realize that the panic attacks will only go away once he accepts that Donna has left him, which he does when he finally decides to start interviewing new candidates for her job.

gabriel macht eyelashes

Donna stands up to Harvey’s dickheadedness and refuses to come back when Harvey has a change of heart and asks her to return for two weeks. Their intense, fraught-with-relationship-tension conversation about this affords the viewer a lingering shot of Gabriel Macht’s adorable sandy-coloured eyelashes, which I hope are real, unlike the lush lash extensions adorning the women in the cast. Donna also deals with Louis’s insecurity about whether she’ll stay with him, which he manifests by yelling at her and demanding that she work late – like Norma, who supposedly worked every night till midnight without complaint, ha.

donna in blue dress

Wearing a beautifully draped and figure-flattering pale blue dress (the costumers are continuing their stellar work from seasons past of choosing madly expensive but lovely work clothing – this dress is by Armani Collezioni, according to, Donna tells Louis that the can opener was part of a ritual she and Harvey had when they closed a deal.

You didn’t expect her to reveal what that ritual was, did you? She doesn’t, but when Louis and Donna close their own first deal, she introduces a new ritual, and presents him with a Welcome to Team Litt cake identical to the one he had made for Mike last season, which she knew to get in Louis’s favorite Mocha Fudge flavor rather than German Chocolate, because she is Donna.

rachel with tiffany gifts

Donna also guesses that Rachel and Mike are engaged without being told, and gives Rachel a small engagement gift that’s from Donna alone, and a bigger one that would have been from Harvey if Donna still worked for him, but alas, he wouldn’t think of giving a gift because thoughtfulness (along with loading paper in the printer) was always Donna’s job.

Harvey proves her wrong, and shows he has slightly humanized and redeemed himself in a sweetly funny scene in which he presents Mike with a ribbon-tied copy of Bride’s magazine, so that Mike can “pick colors” for the wedding. Mike is puzzled by this notion – check his puzzled face below – but Harvey knows picking colors is a thing because he is a Grown Man.

brides mag

The boys quickly reassert their masculinity by heading off to see a Nets game from Harvey’s courtside seats, though not before bickering about which one of them gets to sit next to Jay-Z and Beyoncé. Bro-bonding indeed.

knicks tickets


Kim Moritsugu is a Toronto novelist and sometime TV show recapper whose latest novel is a comedy of manners about food and sex called The Oakdale Dinner Club.