In which we get more self-mocking jokes (yay), more of “the Donna” A.I. device (boo), and is it just me, or does it seem like the cast and budget for the show have shrunk since Gina Torres left? Important clients are referred to but not seen, associates are hired but given no lines nor face time, regular recurring characters (Gretchen, Katrina) disappear from week to week. What is this, Nashville after it moved to CMT?
More about the meal/presentation that Katrina and Rachel mastermind for nought later. This episode is mostly about the lawsuit that Mike prepares, with Harvey’s help, against Velocity Technologies, a company that owns mines but has a fancy corporate office in Manhattan, and speaking of plausibility, how likely is it that an ex-miner who is dying of cancer would man the grill at an old-timey diner in New York?
Mike’s class action lawsuit is supposed to a) help all the miners who were exposed to poisonous substances and previously took a small settlement when they should be entitled to millions; b) require Velocity to admit guilt as well pay out those millions, thereby leading to a drop in the stock price, as requested by Crooked Craig, the bar admissions influencer who can sway Rachel’s character and fitness test hearing; and c) cause Crooked Craig to recommend that Mike be admitted to the bar.
The obstacles in Mike’s path to bring this suit include his boss Tall Nathan, who rightly suspects Mike is up to something shady when he enlists the help of Tall Oliver from the legal clinic to prepare the suit; the Velocity CEO Jim Palmer, who sees through the suit almost immediately; and the fact that bringing a lawsuit for the purpose of driving down a stock price is illegal.
Mike lies to Tall Oliver and Tall Nathan about his self-serving motives in bringing the suit, and when challenged by Palmer, improvises that Pearson, Specter, Litt is acting with him. This leads to a meeting between Harvey and Palmer, during which they spit at each other and throw around settlement figures in the hundreds of millions. Palmer then reveals that Crooked Craig was not so much leaking company secrets through his mistress as he was selling them. So Crooked Craig should not be judging anyone’s character, but he is a good candidate for blackmail. Harvey tells him he now MUST sponsor Mike to be admitted to the bar.
In an attempt to get to know each other better, Louis and Tara look at his old high school and college yearbooks (he was in glee club, natch), and she later lends him a sympathetic ear when he confides some work troubles, so things are good between them for now.
What’s not going so well is the co-managing partner relationship between Louis and Harvey. Louis wants Harvey to attend a meeting with an unseen major client named Carly Donahue. Jessica and Louis formerly put on a big presentation to Carly each year to review the legal side of her business, and Louis thinks Harvey should be there in Jessica’s absence. Harvey says he will come, then cancels because of the Velocity thing. Donna suggests Louis enlist the help of Katrina and Rachel instead, and they together come up with the brill idea to plan the presentation around a nine course, chef-prepared themed tasting menu that capitalizes on Carly’s interest in good food and wine. Katrina & Rachel also have a nice bonding moment when Katrina tells Rachel how awesome Robert Zane was when Katrina worked for her, and how proud he is of Rachel.
But we get to see zero food, wine, chef or presentation, let alone Carly Donahue herself, because I don’t know why. And though the presentation was apparently well done, Carly fires the firm afterwards because she felt disrespected by Harvey. Thanks for nothing, Harvey.
As for the silly “the Donna” story line: Donna tells Benjamin it’s not enough for the device (which is so sophisticated and cutting edge that it looks like a 20 year old pager) to solve people’s problems – it should listen as well as talk, and support people’s feelings. Benjamin tries to program it to be more compassionate, and suffers a self-esteem crisis that he cannot seem to. Or can he? When Donna confesses to it about the mistake she made of suggesting that Katrina and Rachel sub in for Harvey, the device speaks to her sympathetically in her own voice. Hey, it maybe works, whoopee, I don’t care.
Some of this week’s jokes did land for me though, including the ones about Luke Perry, croissants vs. bagels, Louis’s multiple experiences with orthodontic braces, and the wearing of size 13 shoes by Jessica, which she does not, I bet. Though she too is Tall.
Next week: In the penultimate episode of the season, Mike is willing to give up being a real lawyer for the sake of the sick miners, but Harvey still wants to fight for Mike’s future.