Suits Recap – Season 5, Episode 6: Privilege

In which the series regular women wear beautiful dresses, Snidely Soloff returns, and so does McKiernan Motors.

Harvey and Dr. Paula Had Better Not be Headed for Romance

harvey pj's

In case you forgot that Harvey and Dr. Paula played true confessions and had a big “we’re done” spat last week, we get replays of their therapy scenes in the previouslies AND in the opening scene flashback, during which Harvey gets out of his big old lonely bed wearing so many pajama-ish clothes that I think Gabriel Macht must have a no-skin-showing clause in his contract.

When Harvey gets to the office, a former adversary named Sam Tull is waiting to see him. Tull’s employer (something about assets) is falsely accusing him of criminal wrongdoing (something about an unauthorized trade) in order to avoid covering a big loss. Tull wants Harvey to defend him despite their past mutual hatred because he knows Harvey will do anything to protect his clients and keep them from going to jail.

Harvey agrees. Could it be that deep-down, like Mike, he might want to help people too? Aww. But he freaks out when the ‘proof’ of wrongdoing that Tull’s bad-guy boss brings to the table is that he can provide testimony from a shrink Tull was seeing on the company dime (and therefore doctor-patient confidentiality does not apply). And that shrink is Dr. Paula.

In a manner Dr. Paula calls arrogant, Harvey orders her not to testify, but she is compelled to by subpoena. When she gives her deposition – saying Tull expressed guilt feelings but did not confess to doing anything wrong – Harvey undermines her testimony by referring to the tragic blunder she told him in confidence last week.

Dr. Paula chews Harvey out for this betrayal, including calling him a narcissist. Harvey sort of apologizes, and when he explains his motivation for the betrayal – he was just trying to help Tull – she softens. I really hope their constant arguing does not later turn into lust.

rachel color block

Rachel has been working the case with Harvey (and keeping an eye on his mental health). While wearing an elegant color-block knit dress (or maybe two piece outfit) that makes her look smarter and more serious (also, way fit) than the frilly stuff she often wears, she suggests Harvey ask Dr. Paula for her files on other patients who work for the bad-guy company, to be used as a bargaining tool. That ploy appears to work off-screen, because Harvey later visits Dr. Paula bearing flowers from an exonerated Tull. And guess what – they’re not ‘done.’ Harvey is ready to talk about his mother.

harvey with flowers
Imagine a world in which engine manufacturers called McKiernan Motors and Fletcher Engines exist

Dominic Barrone of McKiernan Motors meets with Mike and Louis to ask them to quickly firm up a handshake deal he made with an old friend to buy a battery manufacturer. Louis annoys Barrone by wanting to do proper, not-so-quick due diligence and good thing, too, because they discover a problem that makes the deal a no go. As an alternative, Mike and Louis suggest McKiernan look at buying the battery division of a company called Tanaka that happens to be represented by Snidely Jack Soloff.

jessica hair

Jessica, sporting the kind of gorgeous highlights and hair styling that I can only dream (and often do) of having, has urged Louis to put aside his pettiness and get Jack Soloff onside as an ally rather than an adversary. So when Jack, in his usual assholish way, asks for 100% of the fee if the deal goes through, Louis agrees.

louis kimono

Louis sets out to woo the head of Tanaka by decorating the boardroom Japanese-style (check the video of the Japanese flag waving on the wall TV screen) for a meeting. Mike is (rightfully) certain that this is a terrible, offensive, making-all-the-wrong-cultural-assumptions idea, but Mr. Tanaka (who, judging from his accent, appears to have been born and raised in Japan), loves it, which causes Mike to make amusing WTF reaction faces.

mike wtf face

Mike and Louis think they have a deal, but Soloff convinces Tanaka to back out, because he’s a mustache-twirling villain who needs to go away. McKiernan fires Pearson Specter as its law firm, but when Mike and Louis apologize and explain what happened, they are hired back. Meanwhile, Soloff has quickly signed up another bigger engine manufacturer, Fletcher Motors.

jessica + soloff

When Jessica finds out about this, she pays Soloff a visit and tells him to drop Fletcher Motors, because the firm’s first loyalty is to McKiernan Motors. He will, but warns her that when he does, the whole firm will know it’s because Harvey is Jessica’s pet/favorite. Jessica gives him one last chance to work with her, rather than against her, and stalks out of his office. The rather formal satin dress she wears when delivering this ultimatum gives off more of a wedding vibe than a ‘I WILL cut a bitch” one, but her regal bearing makes her message loud and clear.

mike honey

The light comedy portion of the episode revolves around Mike’s request of Donna that she help secure the Plaza Hotel as a wedding venue, and on Rachel’s birthday. After some random coffee room banter about honey, Donna sets about recreationally impersonating and blackmailing people to get what she wants, like she did that time when she got into BIG TROUBLE and almost went to prison. But this is all about making Rachel’s dream wedding happen, so I guess that’s okay. Along the way, she gets to know Gretchen a bit better and she gets to wear this gorgeous green print dress, which might be my favorite of the many expensive dresses Donna has ever worn.

donna green dress

Gretchen made me laugh when she surmised that the reason she and Donna haven’t bonded before now is that Donna wasn’t ready to say goodbye to her metaphorical little girl on the first day of school. You mean Harvey is my little girl? Donna says. But no, the little girl Donna was afraid to leave behind is herself, because Gretchen is WISE.

Next week: Hardman returns (ugh). And so does the beauteous Esther, so that Louis and Harvey can go back to hating each other when Louis finds out Harvey slept with her.


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.

4 thoughts on “Suits Recap – Season 5, Episode 6: Privilege

  1. Warren Smith says:

    Hi, I found this from a google. Some people and I have been debating the Tanaka scene, where some say Mike totally got his culture “fear” of Louis fully wrong while some (me included) thought Mike was also had ‘rightful’ fears about Louis offending. I’ve interepeted that the scene was supposed to be ultimately culturally wrong but Jack/Daniel (Hardman) got to the Tanaka people first to falsely not worry about this so the short game of giving Mike + Loius false confidence to quickly bring them down since this is something Hardman historically does.

    I note from your recap includes “Mike is (rightfully) certain that this is a terrible, offensive, making-all-the-wrong-cultural-assumptions idea, but Mr. Tanaka (who, judging from his accent, appears to have been born and raised in Japan), loves it, which causes Mike to make amusing WTF reaction faces.”

    Do you have any thoughts why Louis didn’t offend the Japanese people where Mike seemed dead certain it should have as we know know Mike’s total recall and fantastic memory *should* dictate he had a fair idea regarding Louis being (also historically) off the mark for the welcome set up.

    Sorry if I’m rambling, bed time here, almost 1am and had a niggly thought keeping me awake hence googling to see if any light could be shed, don’t you hate these moments! hehe

    • hungrynovelist says:

      I think Louis just lucked out that Mr.Tanaka was not offended. In my opinion, others would be, especially someone like me (3rd generation part-Japanese) who does not feel a strong connection to Japanese culture. So Mike was totally right to not make cultural assumptions about people based on their surname, but Louis wasn’t completely wrong. And he was well-intentioned, I suppose.

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