In which Harvey finds his footing as managing partner; Jessica appears in west Toronto subbing in for Chicago (hah!), looking glamourous AF in a fur stole; Mike goes up against an evil insurance company; and I remember why I dislike negotiation – because it’s all about posturing and lies!
We open with Harvey lying in bed at dawn in his blinds-less bedroom with the oddly positioned bed. He watches Dr. Paula – wearing magically unsmudged eyeliner – sleeping beside him, in what is supposed to be a non-creepy, affectionate way, until she wakes. Pillow talk establishes they’ve had good sex, and they both want him to get to know her better, in a non-sexual way, but first they will have more sex. Harvey discreetly places the duvet between their meant-to-be-naked chests before they start making out again, which I’d like to think is a gentlemanly move made by Gabriel Macht toward Christina Cole, the actress who plays Dr. Paula, but may just be him following the director’s direction.
In a flashback scene, a younger Jessica explains to a younger Harvey that just like a dictator’s statue gets toppled when regimes change, outgoing partners should be supplanted and big clients fired when there’s a new sheriff in town (mixed metaphors hers).
In the present, Harvey interprets this flashback to mean he should ask his old lawyer pal Alex to join the firm and bring a big client with him (which sounded to me like it was Pfizer, the pharmaceutical giant, but maybe it was a company called Feizer?).
Sidenote: Alex is played by actor/tap dancer Dulé Hill, who is probably best known from his starring role on a USA network TV show called Psych. I’ve never seen Psych, but I recognized him from when I saw him on Broadway in 2013, singing and tap dancing in the musical After Midnight. My dive into his Wikipedia page reminded me that I also saw him on B’way in Bring in ‘da Noise, Bring in da Funk in 1996. Because I’ve lived in Toronto all my life, but I’ve gone annually to New York to see Broadway musicals that feature tap dancing since forever.
Dulé still tap dances (see him tap on the Suits set here), so I like him already. Even if his nattily dressed character Alex initially tells Harvey he will come over to the firm only if he can become a name partner.
To begin with, Harvey tries to push this demand through, and ruffles the feathers of Louis, who is jealous that Alex will come in and take his place as Harvey’s friend/fellow name partner; Donna, who thinks Harvey should not drop Jim Reynolds, Jessica’s 1st client, whose products compete with Pfizer’s/Feizer’s; and Jessica in Chicago, who does not want to have her statue toppled just yet.
Long story short: everybody who talked tough and took take it or leave it stances ends up capitulating without much argument. They didn’t really mean it, so here’s milk for his porringer and butter for his bread: Alex will come over as a regular partner, and bring Pfizer with him, Jessica’s statue will be toppled but her name will remain on the wall, and the never-seen client Jim Reynolds is toast (mixed metaphors mine).
Donna gives up her newly acquired senior partnership too, after Katrina – who is not yet a partner, let us remember – gently points out to Harvey that Donna’s promotion might signal to those inside and outside the firm that being a partner at PSL doesn’t mean much. And why did Donna agree to give up the partnership she fought for last week, in return for a new title of COO of the firm and a seat at the table? Because she never expected Harvey to agree to make her partner to begin with. Argh. People and their bogus demands and dishonest bargaining positions, I tell ya.
Mike spends the episode working on a pro bono case. He represents a guy whose wife died in a car accident, and whose claim on a life insurance policy was denied. The insurance company found an old social media photo of the wife holding a cigarette, which they say means she lied on her policy application when she said she didn’t smoke, which means the policy was invalidated, though the death had nothing to do with smoking.
Mike spars with the insurance company lawyer, an experienced but rumpled shark type, who quickly brings up Mike’s fraudulent past before the judge. Mike, worried that his history will prejudice the case, asks Rachel to take over for him. Harvey vetoes that plan – he gave Mike, not Rachel, permission to alternate pro bono cases with paying ones. Harvey suggests Mike stop apologizing, start intimidating, and start a PR campaign to repair his reputation while he’s at it.
Mike and Rachel hire Ms. Cromwell, the industrial spy who met Rachel in the same bar last season, to get some dirt on the insurance company. They pay her 50 grand (out of Mike’s pocket, presumably) for her trouble. She comes up with an incriminating internal email about insurance company policy that Mike leverages with the rumpled shark to get $15 million for his client, and either an admission of guilt or an agreement to be interviewed saying good things about Mike for the New York Times law pages, which, do those exist? Not sure about that.
Rumpleshark agrees to the settlement, and more reluctantly, to the interview for an article about Mike, to be titled, “Redemption of a Fraudulent Lawyer.” Really not sure about that as a NYT headline.
As for Louis, he has not yet heard from Tara since he left her a message asking to talk the week before. In some amusing scenes this week, however, we see that he’s in therapy, and has been for years, with a German-accented male therapist named Dr. Lipshitz. Dr. Lipshitz tells Louis not to make promises he can’t keep, not to let his emotions control his actions, and that his biological clock is not running out. He can father a child in his late 70’s like his idol Tony Randall! An obscure reference, but okay sure.
Louis also sells the funniest line of the night after he confesses to Harvey why he opposed Alex joining the firm. When Harvey promises that the Louis-Harvey friendship will endure, Louis tries to curry favour with a sports analogy he says he stayed up all night researching, to do with LeBron James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosch and the Miami Heat. We know Harvey’s truly ready to be managing partner when he graciously acknowledges Louis’ effort without correcting his mixup of basketball and football. Everybody say AWWW.
Next week: Alex causes friction at the firm.
Kim Moritsugu is a Toronto novelist and sometime TV show recapper. Her most recent book is a suburban comedy of manners called The Oakdale Dinner Club. Coming in 2018: The Showrunner, a darkly humourous, suspenseful novel about female ambition inside the TV biz.