Suits Recap – Season 6, Episode 7: Shake the Trees

In which arbitrary, rapidly approaching deadlines are imposed for purposes of story tension, Jessica and Rachel wear great hair to wage legal battle, Donna mentions in passing that she just broke up with someone she’s been dating for the last two months (say what now? she has a life outside of the office?), Louis goes on a date, and Stu Douchebag is renamed Stu Dickface.

court hair

Save the date #1: Rachel & Jessica tell Leonard his execution has been set for 30 days hence. He is understandably upset by this news, so Rachel & Jessica and their great hair go to court to ask for a delay and are given Save the Date #2: a week in which to find Maria Gomez, Bailey’s alibi witness. They also collect dirty looks from the families of the murder victims who were two 16-year-olds, ugh.

R&J Commerce CourtOn their way out of Commerce Court, a large office complex in Toronto’s financial district that houses banks, law firms, and accounting firms, but no New York state courtrooms that I know of, Jessica gives Rachel contact info for her personal investigator, someone named Carter. The offscreen Carter discovers that Maria changed her name to evade an abusive husband, and the court records on her new identity are sealed. Rachel’s dad has a connection that can access the sealed info, so she asks him to do her a favour, lawyer to lawyer, and she will owe him.

Zane Sr. find outs Maria is dead, so there goes the alibi. A distraught father of one of the murdered teens accosts Rachel in the law firm lobby at the end of a day, and gives her hell about defending the already convicted murderer who killed his daughter. Gretchen steps in to support Rachel and scare the guy off, and Jessica later returns to the office to commiserate with Rachel, in her steely way.

louis & donna

Louis spends most of his screen time stressing about his upcoming dinner date with Tara the architect. He wants it to be extra special, but Donna suggests instead an intimate restaurant. Tara deems the setting perfect before she confesses that she already has a long-distance boyfriend with whom she has an understanding that they can see other people, so is Louis cool with her dating them both simultaneously? Okay, then. And Lo&Do say I-love-you to each other, but only platonically.

mike & kevin

Mike & Kevin: these two, and their on-again off-again bromance, honestly. They’re breaking up already and they didn’t even get to honeymoon. This week, Mike finds out the reason Kevin won’t turn on Sutter is because Sutter is paying him to keep quiet (and because he wants to protect his wife Jill from prosecution). Mike enlists Donna to help him lure Jill in to the prison so he can urge her to turn on her dad. Jill won’t do that, and when she tells Kevin she met Mike, Kevin threatens to beat Mike up if he keeps interfering with his business.

A remorseful Mike asks Harvey if Kevin and Jill can be included in the going free deal (they can’t) and tries to make up with Kevin, but too late – Kevin has put in for a transfer to another cell.

gallo

Remember Gallo, Mr. Prison Powderkeg? He becomes suspicious of how often Harvey visits Mike without stopping in to see Gallo about his release. After guessing correctly that Mike is trying to use Kevin as a way out, he threatens to reveal this secret unless Harvey gets him released, and soon.

I have become bored confused by the collusion, deception, real or is it fake? defense stuff that’s going on with Harvey, Cahill, and their joint nemesis Sutter. But I will try to summarize what I think went on this time:

Cahill staves off dismissal of Sutter’s case by saying he has obtained Sutter’s trading software program as evidence (secretly given to him by Harvey). The judge warns that if she finds out Cahill acquired the program illegally, there goes the case AND she will charge Cahill with malicious prosecution. She then announces Save the Date #3: the trial will begin in 5 days.

Harvey asks Louis for help in analyzing the big trades Sutter’s company made, which means Louis asks Donna to ask Stu Dickface for access to his database, which means Donna towers over him (like Jessica did), announces that she is Donna and she is awesome, and proves it by sinking a shaky shot in a kids’ basketball net.

Donna & Stu

donna's shotStu sees the Donna light, gives Louis access, and gifts him with new Litt Up mugs besides. Louis discovers the common link in the trades is a consulting investment bank, and someone named Philip Allen is identified as the banker who gave Sutter insider trading info. Offscreen, Cahill makes a deal with Allen to testify against Sutter. Because Harvey, thanks to Louis and Stu, led Cahill to Allen, the free Mike deal still stands, so Harvey makes this happy face:harvey happyUntil Cahill and his bosses nix the deal, and Harvey makes this sad/angry face:harvey sadder

Next week, the gloves are off! The match-ups: Harvey vs. Cahill, Mike vs. Kevin and Gallo.

KimMoritsuguTheHungryNovelist

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

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Suits Recap – Season 5, Episode 6: Spain

In which Donna and Jessica break out some (more) beautiful day dresses, we’re subjected to painful double entendres about Louis’s ‘wood’ and we’re expected to believe that Mike’s cellmate,  Kevin Wiseguy Miller, is a software developer.

better dream

Mike dreams that Harvey tells him Kevin murdered Rachel. Mike dreams this because he’s big-time cold-shouldering Kevin since hearing Kevin is in prison for drunk driving, even though the person Kevin hit had a full recovery. Unlike Mike’s parents, who died in a drunk driving crash also known as the defining event of Mike’s character forever, because this is TV land, where Harvey has lifelong abandonment issues and can’t abide women who cheat because his mother cheated and left.

Harvey had psychotherapy for his problems, so Mike asks Counselor Julius for therapy to help him get over hating Kevin long enough to make him inform on Sutter. Julius warns Mike that all actions have consequences (this season’s theme?). When Mike calls him out as a know-nothing, Julius confesses to his own criminal past.

Harvey finally learns from Cahill what secrets Kevin has to spill, and they concern the proprietary trading algorithm developed by Kevin (hahaha) which governs Sutter’s trades. Cahill wants Kevin to reveal whether the trading software dictates Sutter’s investment returns, or is insider trading going on. Sutter, meanwhile, tells Harvey the software is only one factor in his success, the other is Sutter’s  gut instinct and savant-like knowledge of the markets.

harvey national club

Harvey gets the judge to deny Cahill’s request for the software to be handed over, which makes Sutter command Harvey to move for dismissal. Harvey doesn’t want that, so he meets Cahill outside Toronto’s old, established downtown National Club (standing in for Cahill’s apartment building, I suppose), and tries to surreptitiously pass him the trading software program. Sean insists he won’t risk his career by taking evidence that comes from collusion, but by episode’s end, with the dismissal looming, he asks for the program. Turns out this case is personal – his mom, a humble schoolteacher, always dreamed of going on a trip to Spain when she retired. Too bad her teacher’s pension was lost when she invested it with that Madoff-like Sutter guy, and then she died. Cue the violins.

Harvey and Mike conduct some practice depositions in jail with Kevin and Sutter to stir up the pot, which leads to Kevin and Sutter having a yell off. It’s not until Kevin and Mike are alone in their cell that Kevin admits the trading program is bullshit, and Sutter is guilty – of insider trading and of being a terrible father-in-law. What’s worse is that Kevin’s wife was in on it. Mike brightly suggests that Kevin get back at Sutter by turning on him, and ask for immunity for the wife as part of the deal. Kevin does not agree, and makes Mike promise not to tell anyone what he now knows. Mike gives his word.

jess&rachWhile wearing a serious and flattering ‘fit and flare’ style grey wool dress, Jessica gives Rachel a big ‘not now’ on the Leonard Bailey case. Instead, Rachel convinces her prof, who admires her ‘gumption’ – and I  really hope that’s all he admires about her – to review her  motion for appeal. He suggests she dig deeper into the case and find some undeniable evidence.

Rachel finds out the public defender in Bailey’s original trial never introduced into court an alibi supplied by his friend Maria for his whereabouts at the time of the killings . Turns out Maria was high on meth at the time of the killing, and so was Bailey, a fact he had omitted to mention. Rachel gives Bailey shit for not telling her everything, but she still wants to save him, so when his execution date is set, she makes Jessica help her fight it.

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Jessica’s one goal in life is to increase the law firm’s billings and number of clients, so she decides to go after Sutter’s investment business (which he had promised to give only if Harvey gets him off on the criminal charges) on her own. She buttonholes Sutter at Aria restaurant, across from Toronto’s Air Canada Centre (check the Raptors’ We The North banner hanging in the ACC back there) to pitch/blackmail him into giving her the business now. Harvey is not pleased with this move on her part, since things are getting complicated with Sutter, what with defending him while helping Cahill make his case against him and all, but Jessica doesn’t give a shit about that.

donna in white

Louis & Donna – or as I called them in my notes about this episode, Lo & Do – get the comedy scenes this week, all to do with the Hamptons house Louis wanted to buy in order to woo Tara the architect.

donna pink

Donna, wearing a gorgeous Thierry Mugler white dress in one scene and a pretty pink Alexander McQueen one in another – her salary really is high – helps him buy the house. When Louis wants to show it to Tara before it’s actually in his possession, Donna helps make that happen by sending the owners away and staging the place with photos of Louis’s dead cats, etc.

tara&louis

Their plan backfires when the owners come home early. Tara finds out that Louis orchestrated this elaborate deception so he could spend more time with her, but instead of finding that loathsome, she declares it the most romantic thing ever. She might not think that if she’d had to listen to the series of ‘dirty’ wood-related remarks that Louis inadvertently made earlier to Donna, who made faces like she found them amusing, when, come on now – ebony? Or maybe Tara would laugh appreciatively at Louis’s buffoonish tendencies, because so far, she’s being written as his soulmate.

KimMoritsuguTheHungryNovelist

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

Suits Recap – Season 6, Episode 5: Trust

In which Harvey becomes everyone’s attorney, Jessica helps Rachel not give up on fighting injustice, and people lie like mad to get other people to trust them.

potato chip

I blanked out from boredom with legal matters during some conversations between Sean Cahill and Harvey about the smoking gun deal, but I think what’s happening is this:

Mike’s prison cellmate Kevin Miller is the son-in-law of William Sutter, the investment fund guy who is soon to be indicted by Cahill. Harvey thinks Sutter is a dirty criminal, which is why he refused to represent him when Sutter asked a few weeks ago. However, Sutter craftily got Kevin to protect Mike in jail as a way to make Harvey owe him.

Cahill’s deal is still in place to have Mike freed if he can get Kevin to cough up some damning info that will ensure Sutter’s conviction. But for reasons I didn’t quite follow, that plan will only work if Harvey represents both Sutter and Kevin, and defends them to the best of his ability while secretly hoping Mike finds out something from Kevin that will convict Sutter. Otherwise, it will look like Harvey and Cahill colluded, though they’re not colluding! To make the complicated plan more credible, Harvey tells Kevin not to trust anyone in prison, including Mike.

kev&mike

Kevin gets suspicious when he finds out Mike wasn’t in the infirmary the night he got sprung by Harvey to go see Rachel. To allay those suspicions, Mike arranges via Julius the prison counselor to be put in solitary for a night where he meets the warden, who warns him in passing that informing doesn’t always go so well for the informant. The warden then fake-threatens Kevin, so that Kevin will think Mike is trustworthy again.

This ploy makes Kevin open up enough to finally tell Mike why he is in prison (though why couldn’t Harvey or Cahill just tell Mike this?) which is for drunk driving that almost killed someone. Sharp-minded Mike sees immediately that Kevin’s story doesn’t add up – he asks what Kevin was fighting about with his wife before he drove drunk, and why must he keep quiet about his crime to protect his family, but Kevin has confided enough for one day.

harvey & gallo

On the Gallo threat front, Mike’s attempt to file a motion to get Gallo paroled didn’t work, it has to be done in person by an attorney of record (which Mike would totally have known, come on now), so Harvey has to represent Gallo too. A rather swaggery-of-late Harvey tells Gallo he’ll help him out if Gallo protects Mike in jail, and if he doesn’t want to do that, Harvey will claim Gallo poisoned Mike and have him charged with that crime. Gallo’s not happy, but has no choice but to agree. That’s 3 new criminal clients Harvey has picked up in a week, and at least one of them will pay the firm some legal fees, hurray.

donna & louis

In lighter news, Louis asks Donna to find him a Hamptons house to buy ASAP so he can get Tara the comely architect to remodel it for him. Donna suggests, reasonably, that Louis not lie about having a house, and ask Tara out instead. But he can’t do that, because he is a sad sack, lonely heart fuckup. He is also impatient, and when Donna doesn’t find him a house right away, he gets mad, and she gets mad back. She tells him he can’t ask for her help and advice then ignore it, and he admits how much he misses having her work for him.  All is well when she finds what appears to be a perfect-for-his-needs Hamptons house and and makes an offer for it on his behalf (!) because Presumption is her middle name.

rachel & jess

The professor who got Rachel involved in the Innocence Project says Leonard Bailey’s case doesn’t qualify after all because there is no new DNA evidence, so the 3 solid reasons Rachel came up with for an appeal don’t matter. The prof offers to find Rachel a new case, but she wants to work on this one, and turn that frown on Bailey’s mighty disappointed so-now-I-get-to-die? face upside-down She asks Jessica if the firm could do it pro bono, she’d only need one hour of supervision a week. Jessica says no at first because she’s too busy trying to get the firm back on top. Later, after a discouraging day of trying and failing to find new clients (should have tried the prison, Jessica!), the two women have a sleeveless shootout in the hallway of their office building, and Jessica agrees to help out.

jessica stu.png

Somewhere in there, Harvey needed loose-ethics Stu and his merry band of traders to take on Sutter’s two billion dollar investment fund as a subsidiary company (yeah, right) in order to bypass the punitive move that Cahill slapped Sutter with of suspending his company’s trading license. Louis and Jessica pitch in on this endeavour by Louis coming up with the subsidiary idea, and Jessicca making Stu agree to it.  Go, team!

scotch

I’ll close with props (heh) to Neal McDonough, the Irish-named actor who plays the Irish-named Sean Cahill character, for his way with actual props on the Suits sets. In the last few episodes, he has managed to handle all of a baseball, a basketball, and an LP in Harvey’s office, and had fun with a sandwich and some potato chips in his own. Here he enjoys a scotch in Harvey’s office, after they decide they make a good couple of adversaries/allies who are totally not colluding.

KimMoritsuguTheHungryNovelist

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

Suits Recap – Season 16, Episode 4: Turn

In which the annoying Stu Douchebag  character gets more screen time than he deserves, Louis gets a new love interest in Canada’s own Carly Pope, Harvey gets to labour under a contrived 2 day deadline, and Mike and Rachel get to have sex.

mike&kevin

Mike is having a cozy chat in his cell with his bestie Kevin about Kevin’s young kids, when he gets called away to see Harvey, making a late night emergency jail visit to tell him about Cahill’s Who Wants To Be An Stoolie deal.

But Mike doesn’t want to make Kevin inform on his father-in-law! Even without knowing what crimes Kevin or his father-in-law have committed. He tells Harvey no, and lies to Kevin about why Harvey came by, says it was to tell him Gallo can’t be transferred out. Harvey lies in turn to Cahill that there’s no deal unless it’s in writing, but Cahill sees through that (like Rachel saw through Harvey’s lie 2 weeks before – is Harvey so transparent? ). In a flagrant bid to add some episode tension, Cahill says the deal offer is only good for 2 days.

harvy&donna

The next day, Mike calls Donna to say he won’t take the deal so don’t make him. Harvey wants to let Rachel know about the deal in the hope she will pressure Mike, but Donna advises both him and Cahill that if Rachel finds out that Mike gave up a chance to be with her sooner than in 2 years, their relationship will not survive! Cahill doesn’t give a shit about Mike’s love life, but when Harvey comes up with a crazy scheme for Cahill to secretly meet with Mike to convince him, Cahill agrees to it.

mike drugged

The crazy scheme involves getting someone in jail to drug Mike’s prison food, which makes Mike pass out in the cafeteria and be taken “to the infirmary” for 8 hours, except really he’s put into Harvey’s car, with the help of the warden, and taken to Rachel’s apartment. She finally OPENS THE DOOR, they have a bittersweet yet joyous sexual reunion, and he tells her about the deal.

mike&rachelbed

Cahill shows up at the apartment building to talk to Mike, and when he finds out Mike is inside post-coitally trading you’re-beautiful, no-you-are compliments with Rachel, he’s all what-the-hell, where-are-your-priorities-man? to Harvey. Wise Harvey knows that a few hours with his One True Love will turn Mike into a snitch, and sure enough, Mike comes out and announces that he told Rachel everything, and he will take the deal. OR WILL HE?

Gallo, by the way, also wants to take the deal Mike offered him – to try to arrange for Gallo to get out on parole in 6 weeks. Harvey does not like this idea, but Mike says okay fine, and somehow files a motion on Gallo’s behalf from jail. OR DOES HE?

rachel&bailey

Because Rachel is more than just Mike’s moll, she begins work on her Innocence Project death row case. A Mr. Bailey, the convict in question, does not want the help of a mere law student at first, not after he’s been proclaiming his innocence for 10 years and no one would listen, but hey, someone is better than no one. And Rachel confesses to Donna that working on the case keeps her mind off obsessing over Mike in jail, so it’s a Good Thing.

carly

Independent story line #2 finds Louis flirting and clicking with Tara, a pretty architect who shares his interest in opera, ballet and intuitively understands his office space needs too. When Louis confesses to Jessica that he has already fallen in love with Tara, she foresees trouble and forbids him to hire her to remodel the offices. Louis hires her to remodel his Hamptons house into an office instead – anything to spend more time with her doing stupid things like sniffing her neck.

better jess&Stu

Stu Douchebag bought some of Nathan Burns’s company’s shares last week on Harvey’s behalf but is being douchey about them this week, as well as goading Louis into rages for the fun of it, so Jessica elects to put him in his place. She calls him a pissant and orders him to ‘unwind that trade,’ he asks her out (as if), she somehow manipulates a stock he holds – to his disadvantage, and their sparring ends with him hiring PSL as his lawyers. Jessica even gets him to agree to stop harassing Louis. She’s awesome when she lowers her voice an octave and growls out her commands.

Next week: Someone (everyone?) has got trust issues.

KimMoritsuguTheHungryNovelist

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

Suits Recap – Season 6, Episode 3: Back on the Map

In which Harvey works hard to find a new client, Rachel gets her own case outside of the office, and Mike (finally) uses his legal knowledge to try to protect himself in prison.

jessica houndstooth

Jessica, wearing an itchy-looking patterned wool dress and not her best hair , directs Harvey to snag a big-time client in order to start PSL’s comeback. Her suggestion is William Sutter, a cranky old billionaire whom no law firm wants to represent because he is facing an indictment. But Harvey has had enough of getting into bed with criminals after his Forstman dealings. Instead, he goes after Nathan Burns, a ‘dick’ and ‘asshole’ who heads up an energy company but is apparently not a criminal. Burns initially assigns Harvey tasks both demeaning and time-consuming to prove he really wants the business, then backs away under pressure from Sutter, who wants to stick it to Harvey for turning him down. With the help of a New Recurring Character, a douchebag trader named Stu,  Harvey removes the threat to Burns that Sutter represents, and convinces Burns to hire PSL. Sutter, however, is now Harvey’s lifelong enemy, alongside Hardman and Forstman. At least his name doesn’t end in -man.

white dress

Louis has been tasked with finding tenants to sublet the thousands of square feet of PSL offices that the skeleton staff of six don’t need, but his general lack of good sense lead him to heed some but not all of Donna’s sage advice – given in a wrinkled but otherwise nicely draped white dress – to rent to some finance people. Instead of advisors, he gets in a herd of douchebag traders, including the head douchebag, a squinty-eyed, suspender-wearing fellow who says shit a lot, and whose name is Stu. Or maybe Stew.

Stu Douchebag

Louis tries to get rid of the traders on lease technicalities involving Louis’s bran bars and prune juice (cue the toilet jokes), but Harvey intervenes when he wants Stu to trace some financial transactions in a way that might not be strictly legal. Stu complies, gets to stay, and flaunts his Yale law degree in Louis’s crimson Harvard face in the bargain.

debate

Rachel is still attending law school! She participates in a kind of legal debate in front of her practical ethics class against another student who publicly tries to shame Rachel about Mike and his fraud conviction as part of her argument. The sympathetic (male) professor takes Rachel aside and suggests that she drop the  course and instead earn credit by working on an The Innocence Project (an actual real world thing) case, trying to exonerate someone on death row.

rachel&j dark

Rachel doesn’t want to back down from the debate fight, so she seeks advice from Jessica, Seasoned Law Warrior. Jessica counsels Rachel to make the class see her as a bad-ass to be feared, like Jessica has to do every single day. Rachel digs up dirt on her law class opponent, and tells her she won’t reveal it as long as the opponent withdraws from the debate and publicly acknowledges Rachel’s superiority in intellect and ethics. The dirt must be damn dirty because the opponent does what Rachel asks, and Rachel can now drop the course without losing face, and work on The Innocence Project.

bromance

In prison bromance news, Mike and his roomie Kevin decide to stick together at all times to avoid falling prey to Gallo and his goons. Harvey is bugging Cahill to get Gallo transferred out like he said he might, but in the meantime, Mike will have to leave Kevin’s side during the 2 hour a day kitchen job arranged by his counselor, whose  name is not Malcolm Jamal-Warner after all, but Julius.

julius

Mike tries to quit the job before it starts. Julius won’t let him and asks him to file a formal allegation against Gallo instead, but Mike won’t do that, cuz he’s no fool.

kitchen shot

On Mike’s first day half-believably peeling potatoes, Gallo drops by (though doesn’t Mike now have sharp instruments at his disposal?) to request mashed potatoes over “au gratin” ones (I’m not joking, he really says this), and to mention that oh yeah, he just beat up Kevin in the washroom, hah-hah. Mike tends to Kevin, who is bleeding and beaten, but not badly enough to go to the infirmary. They decide it’s safe to attend movie night together, because even Gallo wouldn’t start trouble there – movie night is sacred in prison, would you believe. And Julius arranges for Kevin to start doing  kitchen duty with Mike, so they need never be apart.

cahill 1st time

Cahill finally gets back to Harvey to say Gallo can’t be moved out of Danbury – he is protected because he’s a government informant. Harvey visits Mike and advises him to neutralize Gallo by threatening to reveal to the jail population that Gallo sold his criminal brethren up the river.

mike&gallo yard

Mike has a better idea. He looks up the records on Gallo’s trial, and discovers that Gallo’s lawyer at the time overlooked a loophole that means Gallo could be eligible for parole in as little as 6 weeks. Mike thinks Gallo must now decide what he wants to do more – get out of prison, or continue to get back at Harvey by harassing Mike and Kevin. It seems to me like Gallo now has six weeks to do both.

better celebration

Jessica and Harvey are celebrating being back on the map with regard to the signing of Burns when Cahill returns to say that hey, speaking of informants, he’s found a new way for Mike to get out of prison early. It seems that Kevin is a smoking gun on a federal case who is holding out on ‘family’ secrets. If Mike can get him to turn, he can go free.

Sidenote: last week’s preview of this episode showed Rachel opening her apartment door to a mystery visitor, but that didn’t happen this week. Maybe next time?

KimMoritsuguTheHungryNovelist

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