Suits Recap – S7, E14: Pulling the Goalie

In which Harvey and Mike work together on a case that’s all about sacrifice, Donna almost gets outfoxed by a guy named Fox, and Louis gets Sheila back! After sort of taking the high road, or his version of the high road.

louis and sheila

We open with Louis telling his shrink Stan that meeting Sheila’s fiance, whom he calls  Shithead Xander Fuckface, was a heartbreaking experience. Stan suggests that Louis end his affair with Sheila so he can stop feeling terrible; it’s time to let her go.

Xander shows up at Specter Litt, warns him to stay away from Sheila, and insults Specter Litt as a shitty law firm and Louis as a shitty lawyer. Louis picks up the gauntlet and with Katrina’s help, runs with it. He launches a nuisance lawsuit against Xander’s client, something  to do with tech law, about which Louis knows nothing, and Xander is an expert. The lawsuit goes to court, where Louis is stymied by Xander and Katrina takes blame for a mistake that she didn’t make.

An angry Louis fantasizes about telling Xander he was sleeping with Sheila. Stan tells Louis he must find a way to win the case without hurting Sheila, or Stan will have to stop counselling him.

Katrina finds a way to win the suit, but Louis and Xander continue to fight over the  settlement, including that Louis wants a clause put into it stating he is the better lawyer. Sheila asks Louis to reduce the settlement, let Xander save face, and be a bigger man.

Katrina gives Louis the side-eye

Louis asks Harvey for advice on the case, and Mr. Noble Sacrifice (re: Paula, who wasn’t that great a catch, let’s not overvalue her, please, the whole doctor sleeping with patient thing was pretty shady) says sometimes we all need to make sacrifices, even business ones, for the people we love.

Louis settles the case without being too rancorous. Katrina is mad that Louis gave in, but admires him for being a good man. Turns out being a bigger man gets him Sheila back. She leaves Xander and tells Louis she loves him because he fought for her and made sacrifices for her (why this episode wasn’t titled Sacrifice, I don’t know.) They go off to have sex with no role playing (yay for us) and she’s even ready to consider having children – she’s ‘pulled the goalie’ by throwing away her diaphragm. At age 50 (Rachel Harris/Sheila) and 47 (Rick Hoffman/Louis), these two are a little old to be getting pregnant but hey, stranger things have happened. Like that Mike became a legit lawyer.

mike & judge rawls.png

Mike is approached by a woman judge (last name Rawls) who was involved in the Mike-as-fraud trial proceedings, and treated him and Harvey fairly then. A law firm has gone after her, saying she should have recused herself from judging a case for which she stood to make a personal gain.

She wants Mike to represent her and clear her name, because no one else will, she thinks Mike is a good lawyer, and he kind of owes her one. Harvey doesn’t want the firm to get involved because of a potential conflict that would arise with another client, but Mike suggests they both owe Rawls, and hey, it might be fun for Mike & Harvey to work together again.

Mike at bat.png

Sure enough, they discuss the case while hitting balls at a batting cage in their work wear, a scene that appears to exist for the purpose of reinforcing that Harvey is athletic and Mike is dorky (sounds about right). They also talk about their personal lives over dinner at a bar. Harvey says he broke up with Paula because she’s not the One, but when Mike asks if Donna is, Harvey won’t say.  Mike confesses he might have had something to do with the kiss, since he advised Donna to express her feelings. Harvey reams out Mike for this later, when the Rawls case is not going their way. He calls Mike a suck who was guilted into helping Rawls, and tells him he has to be willing to sacrifice things that matter to him, like how Harvey sacrificed Paula after Donna kissed him because Mike told her to.

harvey & mike in bar

Mike rightfully points out that he knows all about sacrifice – since he went to prison so Harvey wouldn’t have to. Eventually, they both apologize, and after the usual back-and-forthing they save/clear Judge Rawls by figuring out (with a moment’s help from Louis) what the ulterior (criminal) motive was for the law firm that was going after her.

Harvey, not ready to drop the Donna storyline, asks Mike about it again. Mike admits he was rooting for Donna over Paula. Harvey says he doesn’t want to be with anyone right now, so there.

donna & david fox

Donna is back at the firm, but things are still a little tense between her and Harvey since the goddamn kiss (and her resignation and re-hiring), so when she gets hoodwinked by a snaky but cute (and notably shorter) property magnate named David Fox, she tries to solve the problem without getting Harvey involved. Fox owns the building where the Specter Litt offices are located, and he wants to illegally increase the rent by 100%.  He flirts with Donna by boasting about his vast real estate holdings in NYC, and tricks her into formally notifying him that the firm has restructured, which makes the current lease invalid. After an initial panic, Donna puts her thinking cap on, comes up with a plan that involves buying the air rights across the street from Fox’s buildings with views,  and gets Rachel (having a weird hair day) to help her execute it. She not only foils Fox, she gets him to give them a decrease on their rent, and presents the new lease to Harvey as something she arranged to thank him for taking her back. Way to be deceptive, Donna.

donna & rachel

Next week: Mike and Rachel get married and make their exit from the show in the two hour season finale. And Jessica Pearson returns in a back-door pilot for her Suits spin-off.

Kim Moritsugu is a Toronto novelist and sometime TV show recapper. Her seventh novel, coming in June 2018,  The Showrunner, is a darkly humourous, suspenseful Hollywood-noir novel about female ambition inside the TV biz that an advance reviewer called a “sophisticated, compelling, and surprisingly complex drama.” Check out its book trailer here:

Suits Recap – S7 E13: Inevitable

In which Harvey and Mike banter to beat the band, as if (spoiler alert) their beautiful friendship is soon to be over; we say goodbye (and good riddance) to Paula; Harvey refuses to accept Donna’s resignation from the firm; and we welcome back Stu the trader, and Harvey’s mom.

Harvey, alone

Let’s start with the case of the week, because it’s neither very interesting nor very germane to the relationship drama/character building goings-on that keep this show alive.

A former client named Teddy walks unannounced into Harvey’s office, making us realize that the show writers have not bothered to give Harvey a new secretary to replace Donna. Jessica never had one either. I guess in the Suits universe managing partners don’t have dedicated support staff. Makes no sense, but okay.

A few years ago, this Teddy person sold his shoe company to Adidas, who have now sold it to a sharky guy named Baxter. Baxter has decided to move the manufacturing off-shore so he can make more money. Teddy wants Harvey to see if there’s a way to stop this happening for the employees’ sake. Harvey asks Mike to take care of it, giving Mike the opportunity to joke about them being Superman and Aquaman, versus their old Batman and Robin shtick.

donna nice dress

Mike comes up with another way to increase the company’s income that still protects jobs, but Baxter refuses it. Harvey and Mike decide the solution to Baxter’s dickishness is to short his stock. Donna, wearing a great dress that is, for once, office-appropriate, and has a bit of an Anna Karenina or maybe Doctor Zhivago vibe to it, asks her old buddy Stu the trader to do the stock manipulation. When he brings up the illegality and risk involved, she tells him he’s getting soft and needs to strut his gunslinger stuff again.

When the stock-shorting doesn’t have the desired effect, Teddy and Harvey come up with a new plan inspired by Donna’s new COO position at Specter Litt: they will give the shoe company employees an ownership stake, and they & Teddy will buy the company back from Baxter (yawn).

Meanwhile, in Harvey’s private life, he makes a dinner date with Paula so that they can remember why they like each other (how much fun does that date sound like?). When asked, he suggests she wear “the dress with the thing,” the thing apparently being a low-cut neckline that shows off her cleavage. Kind of like the necklines Donna wears to work every day, right Harvey? His mother, with whom I had forgotten he is reconciled, calls and cheerily suggests dinner on the same night. Paula doesn’t think she and Harvey are really at the meet-the-parents stage yet, but agrees to meet the mom. The dinner seems to go well. The mom tells a story about how Harvey the adorable child once stood on the piano and sang (we need to see the home video of this, please). Before leaving, the mom thanks Paula for being the special person in Harvey’s life who suggested he mend fences with her a few months ago, which comment leads to this reaction

awkward Paula reaction

because the special person who suggested that was Donna. After dinner, Paula tells Harvey she can’t handle being in a three-person relationship with an ex who is also his co-worker. Harvey, looking for a way out of this dicey sitch, asks Stu to offer Donna a job. Stu is happy to do it, because he thinks Donna is aces.

Donna does a good acting job (those theatre skills) when Stu offers to hire her, and says she’ll think about it. She then goes to Harvey. She knows he put Stu up to the job offer, and asks why he didn’t fire her if he wants to get rid of her, and why didn’t he stick up for her? He could never fire her, he says.

Donna visits Paula to apologize for the tragic kiss mistake and pleads for Paula’s support – as a woman and a professional –. for Donna to keep her job. Paula asks her to swear nothing like the kiss will ever happen again. When Donna hesitates, Paula sees where this is going – someone’s going to have to leave the show, and it won’t be a series regular and star who has renewed her contract for season 8.

Donna reads in voiceover a resignation letter that she leaves on Harvey’s desk after cleaning out her office. Harvey goes to Paula, says, “I wanted this to work more than you know, but I can’t give you what you need,” and breaks up with her. They both cry, Paula more so.

donna good hair evening.png

Harvey makes a surprise drop-in at Donna’s apartment, where she is having a great hair evening in her classy lounge wear, as one does (not). He rips up her resignation letter, and asks her if she’ll come back – she will. He declines to come in. Not tonight, he says. Looks like Donna better decide soon if she has feelings for him or not.

On the Louis and Sheila front, we see no under-mud sex acts this week, thank god. Instead, they indulge in some role-playing games: she plays a burglar who breaks into his house, there’s talk of a prisoner and guard scenario, and also of a story line involving a director of admissions (her real job) and a janitor.

When Sheila’s upcoming wedding announcement is printed in the Times, Gretchen warns Louis that disaster will ensue if he keeps seeing her, but he tells Rachel (wearing a lovely, work-appropriate blouse), when she asks if he would like a plus-one for the wedding, that he has never felt so confident and king-like since embracing his bad boy side.

Rachel white blouse

That’s until he walks into Sheila’s office in costume as a nerdy professor (or something) and is introduced to Sheila’s fiance, Xander. Louis saves face (those theatre skills) and exits awkwardly, then overhears Xander mocking him, and Sheila going along with the mocking. Where’s confident King Louis now?

Like Harvey, Rachel also gets in some bantering time with Mike. Rachel and Mike’s conversations mainly concern a questionnaire on life plans that Father Walker has asked them each to complete, part of the pre-marriage counselling he’s giving them. Mike claims he’s not a planner (since when?) and can’t think that far ahead. Rachel introduces him to a game her parents used to play called Bullshit. The idea is to spitball crazy, half-formed hypothetical ideas at each other, without fear of censure.

Mike & Rachel playing Bullshit

So where would they be in the future if they could do whatever they wanted? Mike likes the idea of moving to San Diego, surfing every morning, and working 2 hours a day at a legal aid clinic that they would run together. Rachel suggests living for a year in Iceland, and having the adventure of a lifetime. Give the showrunner and writers credit – this conversation paves the way nicely for Mike and Rachel’s exit from the series, to happen at the end of the 3 hours that remain in this season.

Kim Moritsugu is a Toronto novelist and sometime TV show recapper. Her seventh novel, coming in June 2018,  The Showrunner, is a darkly humourous, suspenseful Hollywood-noir novel about female ambition inside the TV biz. Check out its book trailer:

Suits Recap – S7 E12: Bad Man

In which Louis gets the episode’s A story, complete with flashbacks to his teen years; Dr. Lipshitz and Tall Oliver return; and Jessica appears briefly, wearing what may be the most entertainingly ridiculous item of designer clothing that the show costumers have dressed her in yet.

mud job

Question: the sex talk between Sheila and Louis is supposed to be silly and stupid, and make them look foolish, right? Asking as someone who is embarrassed for the actors when they perform cringe-worthy scenes like the one where Sheila ambushes Louis at his mudding place, reaches under the mud, and seems to give him a hand-job. Yuck. Her reason for doing this: she wants to continue fucking Louis on the sly, though her wedding is a week away.

When Louis discusses the Sheila issue with his shrink Dr. Lipshitz, whom he now addresses as Stan, Stan asks what’s behind Louis’s pattern of falling for unavailable women. This question leads to flashbacks of Louis in 1986 in Scarsdale, when he was a burly, smiley teen who dated a girl named Mitzi, and his idea of a fun night out was to take her to a production of Uncle Vanya.

Mitzi only dates Louis because he’s a good guy her parents approve of, and she’s under the thrall of a bad boy who is Louis’s opposite.  Young Louis is devastated when he learns about Mitzi’s two-timing, courtesy of his younger but wiser sister Esther (remember beauteous Esther?).

In the present, Louis decides to sic a private detective, Holly Cromwell, and a gambler on Sheila’s fiance in order to discredit him, but Gretchen shuts down that plan, and suggests that if Louis loves and wants Sheila, he should tell her so.

Columbia Law School on Hoskin

Louis approaches Sheila outside Wycliffe College on the University of Toronto campus (subbing for Columbia Law School, which I bet looks rather unlike either Wycliffe or U of T’s Trinity College across the street, seen behind Louis) here:

Louis by Trinity College

He suggests they try to start over, but (like Paula) Sheila is not interested in having her heart broken again. She just wants a bad boy to have sex with.

wycliffe college

By the way, this whole doughy-loserish-guy-as-bad-boy thing reminds me of George’s bad boy episode on Seinfeld, and I think Seinfeld did it funnier. Anyway, Dr. Stan feels that Louis is not and never will be a bad boy, but Louis goes back to Wycliffe College at night, kisses Sheila right there out in the open, tells her they’re going to fuck in her office with the door unlocked, and declares himself a bad man. As if this will end well.

I like Gabriel Macht, but his slender build and Earth-father off-season social media persona make it difficult for me to suspend my disbelief any time Harvey boxes aggressively at his boxing gym, or threatens to beat people up while dressed in an expensive suit.  So picture me scoffing during this episode, when he does both. He also gets his own set of flashbacks, both to childhood (the actor playing him as a child is inexplicably dark-haired, why?) and to 10 years ago. The flashbacks are in service to Jessica’s request, after her name is removed from the wall (and dragged through the mud), for $2 million of her payout to be made to an untraceable bank account. She won’t say why. She does say that she’s not breaking the law or trying to evade taxes, and will declare the amount eventually.

Luckily, Harvey has for years been running an unpaid, off-the-books ‘side tab’  for Rick, a music publisher/record company mogul who owns the rights to Harvey’s dad’s semi-obscure jazz recordings. Harvey asks Rick to pay part (!) of his tab to Jessica’s untraceable account, but Rick can only pay if he sells his catalogue (worth millions, though not as many as formerly) to another company. And if he does that, Specter Senior’s music will no longer be played, not even once a year by a semi-obscure jazz radio station. Harvey struggles with this decision, but convinces Rick to sell. He also convinces the youngish buyer, whose New York office affords a great view of Toronto’s old and new city halls (located side by side downtown), to pay a price slightly higher than his first insulting offer.

Old and New City Hall

Harvey laments the loss of his dad’s music with a sympathetic Donna over an office drink, because they are friends, and always will be, even if Donna’s striking Dolce & Gabbana day dress is more suited to a garden party or wedding than to a routine day at a  law firm.

donna in dolce & gabbana

After the payment is made, Jessica calls in from Chicago to say that her pretty but crazy-ass-cut Monse top doesn’t work as office-wear either, but she doesn’t care. She tells Donna she knew all along about the side tab, of course. The implication being that getting Harvey to finally collect on it may be why she asked for the untraceable deposit. As a way to clean house post-exit, from afar.

Jessica in Monse

In case you wondered about Paula’s not-much-of-a-cliff-hanger reaction to Harvey’s confession from last week: it was that she needed some time alone to think about Harvey’s lying, Donna-kissing ways. Or she did until the end of this week’s episode, when Harvey comes over and says he likes Donna being a part of his life and sharing in his victories and defeats, but he still wants to be with Paula. Paula admits she feels threatened by Donna, and they (P&H) make up. Bets on whether their relationship lasts into season 8 with Katharine Heigl coming on board as a series regular?

Mike and Rachel show no sign this week of getting their wedding underway, despite their pledge to do so last time. They do, however, cook and prepare to consume more pasta, the official food of their couplehood. They also spend time with Tall Oliver, who approaches Mike about a deal between a local food bank that Tall Oliver represents and a Specter Litt client that has jacked up the price of products it was selling to the food bank at cost.

Tall Oliver is Mike’s friend, and his fight-for-the-little-guy motives are good, but Mike has to fight for his own client. Even Rachel encourages Mike not to go easy on T.O. After some verbal sparring, legal ass-kicking and back-and-forthing between the lawyers and their clients, Mike wins the case in his client’s favour and tells T.O. he shit the bed, just like Harvey would have told Mike. Afterwards, tall Oliver drops in at Mike’s apartment to thank him for treating him like an equal (this is how male friendship works in the Suits universe, go figure), and calls Mike a motherfucker, but in a friendly way. Then he, Mike and Rachel sit down to some linguine with pesto, because pasta rules.

Tall Oliver Kitchen.png

The purpose of the case seemed to be to show that Mike is adopting Harvey’s tough love tactics and behaving more like an asshole senior partner, but when Harvey offers him the position, Mike declines, saying he wants to spend more time with Rachel before they both quit the series. Only four more eps remain!

Next week: Conflict between Harvey & Donna and between Mike & Rachel. But will there be pasta?

Kim Moritsugu is a Toronto novelist and sometime TV show recapper. Her most recent book is a suburban comedy of manners, The Oakdale Dinner Club. Coming in June 2018: The Showrunner, a darkly humourous, suspenseful Hollywood-noir novel about female ambition inside the TV biz. Check out its book trailer:

Suits Recap – Season 7, Episode 11: Hard Truths

Rachel + MikeHere we go, finally, starting off the back six episodes of season 7, AKA the last TV episodes of Meghan Markle’s acting career. This is also the beginning of Patrick J. Adams’s home stretch for the show, but what proportion of viewers tuning into Suits these days are here to scrutinize Meghan? Seems like that many to me, too.

Hell, Vulture, a site that has shown little interest in Suits before, is even keeping a running summary on Meghan’s remaining scenes in Suits, with gifs. IMO, Meghan’s new international fame is why USA Network decided to delay airing the back six, originally scheduled for January, till now, so that Meghan’s Suits wedding at the end of April would lead up nicely to her real-life May wedding date.

Meghan scrutiny aside, this episode is mainly about the Kiss (treated as SUCH a big deal) that Donna planted on Harvey in S7 E10. You know, this one:

Screen Shot 2017-09-26 at 12.42.22 PM

We open immediately post-kiss. Harvey is rattled/flustered/thrown for a loop. He won’t talk to Louis about the pressing problem that is Jessica’s disbarment as arranged by lawyer nemesis Malik, and goes home, presumably to put on a cardigan, drink, and stare into a fire while reliving the passion that coursed through him when Donna’s lips touched his. But, surprise, Paula is at his place, having used the key he gave her. Rather than tell her what happened, he asks her to move in, ostensibly because she makes him feel like the outside world – replete with attack kissers and attack lawyers – doesn’t matter. She declines his offer, though, because she fears heartbreak, and possibly because her shrink sense is tingling about the timing of Harvey’s suggestion.

The next morning, Harvey storms into Donna’s office, says he does NOT want to talk about the kiss, and angrily asks her to promise it won’t happen again. She’s like, okay fine, whatever, because she felt NOTHING. Moving on to business matters, she suggests the firm hire a new senior partner, but he shits all over that idea because she’s not a lawyer, and he doesn’t trust her judgement anymore. Louis agrees that Donna should go ahead and bring in for a meeting some hotshot senior partner prospect who’s in town, but Harvey, in full asshole mode, sabotages the interview to spite and embarrass Donna.

donna + harvey

Donna, wearing a too shiny for work satin cocktail dress, confronts Harvey in the Bay Adelaide Centre lobby and they discuss the kiss. She confirms she doesn’t want more from their relationship, since she felt NOTHING. He is still pissed because a) he did feel something, and b) now he’s lied (by omission) to Paula and it’s all Donna’s fault. Funnily enough, Paula doesn’t agree when he does confess, two days after the fact, to the kiss having happened. She’s only mad at Harvey for the lying.

On Louis’s advice, Donna apologizes to Harvey. She is sad he thinks he can’t trust her judgment on work matters, but hey, what about all the flirting and work spouse bestie confidences they’ve engaged in over the years? She’s not the only one who has acted inappropriately.  Harvey eventually comes around and tells her he appreciates the times Donna put him first. He also takes her advice when she says she doesn’t think it would be a good idea to make Mike a senior partner, as Alex had suggested. And they hug.

Harvey + Donna Hugging

Alex gives Mike a juicy case to work on, partly to thank him for helping rescue Alex  from the thorny Reform Corp sitch earlier in the season, partly to help Mike advance in the firm, and partly on Harvey’s urging. The case is a dispute between Alex’s client, a Fortune 500 company called Quality Foods, and one of their distributors, Arctic, who transport food in refrigerated trucks.

The purpose of the case seems to be to give Mike and Rachel something to do, or not do, together. Mike asks Rachel for help with it, she says no, she’s too busy. He thinks there’s something scammy going on with it, she thinks he looks at all corporations through evil-tinted glasses now. Despite being busy, she does some research into the case, and finds out there is a scam going on. By way of explaining what she thinks Arctic is up to,  she asks Mike to recite their freezer contents by memory, and he reveals that the freezer contains pizza, ice cream, pasta sauce, and leftover lasagna made by Rachel. (Also vodka). Wait a minute – are we supposed to believe someone with Rachel’s ultra-slim build is eating that kind of carby and dairy-heavy diet? I don’t think so.

After they ‘win’ the case for the client, Mike gives Rachel credit publicly and privately for figuring shit out, and tells her they should work together more often, cuz it’s fun and otherwise they don’t see each other much. She suggests that instead, they work on getting their wedding underway in time for the season finale. He agrees.

On the Jessica disbarment front, Harvey & Louis try to find a way to remove Jessica’s name from the firm gracefully, and to give her the pay-out she deserves for her ownership stake at the same time. Louis tries to strong-arm the Ethics Committee guy into stalling the announcement of Jessica’s disbarment, but only gets a few days reprieve.

Harvey at Harbourfront

Harvey goes down to Toronto’s Harbourfront neighbourhood to see Stanley Gordon, a former name partner of the firm who we’ve met before (don’t ask me when or why) and who apparently takes meetings on his yacht in Toronto harbour. Sidenote: does anyone have an idea what New York-adjacent location the pier is supposed to represent, or should we just all now accept that Pearson Specter Litt is a New York law firm that has its head office in downtown Toronto?

Harvey wants to restructure the partnership agreement so Jessica can get paid, and he needs Gordon’s permission to do so. Gordon was ousted by Jessica once upon a time, so he’s in no mood to comply unless Harvey fixes some problem he has with a charity that took $10 million from him in exchange for naming rights on a new building, and did not make good on the naming.

Harvey meets the charity woman, accuses her (with reason) of doing money laundering, and gets her to agree to the naming, but Gordon still isn’t happy. Louis points out that all Gordon really wants is to disgrace Jessica. If she’s to get money, she also needs to be publicly shamed for the Mike as fraud lawyer thing, though Harvey, Louis and Mike were all also to blame. Especially Harvey, who hates the idea of blaming Jessica, but is convinced by Louis that there is no other way out.

An off-camera Jessica agrees to the hard truths of being named “selfish, unethical and reckless” in a press release from the firm, signed by Harvey and Louis, announcing that a “disgraceful chapter of the firm’s history is coming to a close.”

Harvey gets to deliver his own hard truth when he admits Paula that he once, years ago, slept with Donna, another lie by omission he has perpetuated. Her reaction to this confession? Tune in next week to find out.

Kim Moritsugu is a Toronto novelist and sometime TV show recapper. Her most recent book is a suburban comedy of manners, The Oakdale Dinner Club. Coming in June 2018: The Showrunner, a darkly humourous, suspenseful Hollywood-noir novel about female ambition inside the TV biz. Check out its book trailer: