Suits Recap – S8, E6: Cats, Ballet, Harvey Specter

In which I am amused by the writing and acting in Louis’s scenes with and about Harvey, my new favourite duo Katrina and Brian get significant screen time in their own story line, Donna and Samantha have a gown-off at a charity function, Harvey gets in a little light therapy with a doctor he does NOT want to bone, and Donna experiences weird sexual tension with just about everyone.

Katrina & Brian

Harvey’s week isn’t going well. His brother Marcus is not reconciling with his wife despite Harvey’s fly-in to Boston, his  first-ever client McKiernan Motors has been bought out and will no longer be a client, and Harvey has to sub in for Louis with beauty mogul client Joan Walsh, because Louis must go have baby-making sex (again) with Sheila.

An infuriated Harvey lashes out. He storms out of a meeting with the 16-year-old digital influencer (50 million followers!) who is trying to extort Joan Walsh’s company for cash,  and refuses to give Louis back the case. He lays into Louis, and repeatedly and annoyingly refers to Louis’s ‘afternoon delight’ sessions, among other pissy comments about Louis’s priorities re: the firm and its clients.

Louis being funny

Louis complains to Lipshitz about Harvey’s behaviour. Dr. L. thinks that for once, it’s not Louis who is at fault, though the Harvey-Louis relationship needs work on both sides. An excited Louis suggests couple counselling. Dr. L. agrees to see Harvey & Louis together if Harvey is willing.

Harvey dismisses the idea when Louis mentions it (in a funny scene), but agrees (in a funnier scene) after Donna scolds him for being a shit to Louis, and tells him to deal with his own issues.

The joint session is short; Louis leaves in a huff when he feels (rightly) that Harvey is mocking him. With Louis’s agreement, a sympathetic Dr. L. counsels Harvey privately and gets Harvey to acknowledge that he feels abandoned – by Mike, Rachel, Jessica, his sister-in-law, his first client. He also admits that Louis’s devotion to Sheila and fatherhood make Harvey fear that Louis will leave him too.

Newly self-aware, Harvey tells Louis that he cares about and values him, and that he pushed him away because he was afraid of losing him. A happy Louis asks Harvey to repeat after him that they are so alike they are “brothers from another mother.” Harvey frisks Louis for his dictaphone, ejects the tape he made of Harvey saying those words,  and the two go out for dinner as friends.

Harvey & Louis

In other bonding story lines, Katrina picks Brian to work with her on a case that Louis has promised will lead to a senior partnership if she wins it. It concerns an online entrepreneur whose attempt to take his company public is being blocked by someone on his own board of directors. As usual, the details of the case are only relevant as they relate to the series regulars’ character development. To that end, we learn that Brian and Katrina both talk fast, are clever with legal strategy in a Mike-and-Rachel kind of way,  and like Indian food. Also that Katrina is a friendless workaholic who plays golf, went to Princeton, and has never seen The Breakfast Club. And Brian is (still) a good-hearted mensch.

Best face wiping

When Donna sees them working late and engaging in a classic, intimate, wiping-of-masala-sauce- from-face move, she reminds Katrina to be careful not to let her heart rule her head, and to respect that Brian is married with a young child. I’m not sure the warning was warranted, but Katrina assures Donna she thinks of Brian only as a friend, then gives him a night off work to be with his wife and kid. She finds a way to win the case on her own, and they’re still friends.

More bonding – between Donna and Samantha, now. Donna’s friend Peggy runs a charity for at-risk girls, which Donna would like the firm to represent, pro bono. She asks Alex to get involved, but he, dressed in a fetching blue tie & shirt combo, is too busy, and thinks Samantha would be a better fit. He procures a $5 million donation for the charity from a client, wolfishly compliments Donna on her gala attire, says, ‘Baby, don’t be like that,’ when she calls him out on his wolfish comment, and lets himself out.

alex blue tie

Donna doesn’t trust Samantha yet, but she likes that Samantha seems genuinely interested in the cause and shows up at the gala in her own gown (I didn’t like either dress much, and both seem too formal for a party in the lobby of Toronto’s Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, rather than a ballroom, let’s say, but whatever.) While in the gowns, they have a weird moment where Donna asks Samantha if she is flirting with her, Samantha says what if she was, and Donna replies that she’d be cool with it, because she went to theatre camp. Foreshadowing for when we find out Samantha is gay? And how high are Katherine Heigl’s heels in this scene to bring these two face-to-face at the same towering (Sarah Rafferty) height?

gownoff

flirting

The brief honeymoon is over when Samantha reports that a quick review of the charity’s financial statements indicates that its operating expenses are higher than expected, which suggests that kickbacks might be going on. Against Donna’s instructions, Samantha  calls the president of the charity, and puts him to a stress test by offering the use of a different venue for fundraiser galas at a much lower price. When he refuses, she has the $5 million cheque from Alex’s client stopped, which leads to Peggy being fired.

An upset Donna tries to get Alex to intervene, but he won’t, and tells her that if anyone knows about shady legal shit, it’s Samantha. Donna and Samantha apologize to each other, and decide to take the charity down together.

Donna & Samantha

back zippers

Garbed in zipper-prominent garments, they confront the charity president about his double dealings and get his resignation. Peggy is reinstated, and Donna and Samantha arrange to go for a drink so that Samantha can explain why the charity’s cause is close to her heart. And to continue flirting?

End notes:

  • the episode title lists the three things that Harvey tells Dr. L occupy the forefront of Louis’s mind. Kind of a bully-ish thing for him to say, but at least he knows something about the guy he claims to value and care about?
  • Zane is absent for the 2nd week in a row, not that we’re really missing him
  • No one except Louis has a love life this season. Can we please get on that in the four episodes that remain in the front ten?

Next week: Colour me skeptical, but it looks like Sheila may be pregnant.

Kim Moritsugu is a Toronto novelist and sometime TV show recapper. Her latest novel The Showrunner, now available from your favourite bookseller, is a darkly humourous, suspenseful Hollywood-noir novel about female ambition inside the TV biz that has been called a “sophisticated, compelling, and surprisingly complex drama.” Check out its book trailer here:

Suits Recap – S8 E5: Good Mudding

In which Louis returns to his comic roots, Harvey gets angsty with his brother and mom in Boston, and Alex and Samantha mix it up yet again, this time over Alex’s smart, lippy teenage daughter.

sperm checking talk

In what feels like a filler story line, Sheila demands that Louis have his sperm tested seeing as she isn’t yet pregnant (she’s also having her fertility checked) after like, one month of trying. For purely comedic reasons, Louis asks Harvey if he’s ever had his sperm tested, which of course he hasn’t.

Though I have found virtually all dialogue to date about Louis’s sexual practices to be tiresome/repellent, the scene wherein he and Harvey discuss how to masturbate in a clinical situation made me laugh a couple of times (I know, what is happening, should I seek help?). Mainly because of Gabriel Macht’s reaction faces and tone of voice, including when he spins a bullshit story about the erotic possibilities of tomatoes. I like him doing comedy.

please no, on this topic

tomatoesWhen Donna stops in to dish with the Harvey about the conversation she just overheard (anyone else think her constant surveillance of Harvey’s office is a mite creepy?), they jokingly refer to the time 13 years ago when they did something erotic together with strawberries and whipped cream. This exchange may give faint hope to Darvey shippers, but I bet it’s just a tease/sop. Oh, and Donna tells Harvey to call his brother Marcus.

Strawberries and whipped cream

Marcus is getting a divorce, and wants Harvey to represent him because his wife Katie has hired a shark. Marcus claims the reason for their split is that he had an affair, which triggers Harvey because of his issues with infidelity. He heads up to Boston anyway, with the reported blessing of Zane, who, BTW, is MIA this week, along with Katrina.

Harvey’s first stop is to visit Katie, as her friend/brother-in-law, in hopes of reaching a peaceful settlement, but she won’t budge, and she points out the illegality of him talking to her without her own lawyer present. When Harvey, Marcus, Katie and Katie’s shark lawyer meet the next day, we learn that Katie wants full custody of the kids, and the real cause for the split was that a) Marcus started gambling again, and b) he told his young daughter to keep his addiction a secret when she saw him place an online bet.

Harvey freaks out, and calls Marcus a shitty husband and brother. But before Harvey leaves town, he changes into what look like jeans(!), and his mom shows up at his hotel suite. She reminds him he can be forgiving (as he was with her) and tearfully asks him not to make Marcus pay for her past mistakes.

Harvey in casual clothes!.png

Harvey tells Marcus the only way to get partial custody is to make Katie look like an unfit mother, but Marcus won’t have that, he needs Harvey to find another way. At a Toronto park (that I can’t identify) with a kids’ baseball diamond, Harvey again meets Katie illegally, tells her Marcus won’t let him use the unfit mother accusations against her, and says Marcus deserves another chance with the kids. She eventually agrees. So Harvey wins, but at what cost to his psyche? Some.

baseball park.png

Back to Louis’s sperm! At the clinic, he wants to jerk off to the Wall Street Journal but has to settle for the real estate section of an unnamed newspaper, haha…zzz.  He’s anxious about the results and asks Donna to accompany him to hear them from the doctor. She suggests he should go with Sheila or alone. He opts for alone. Turns out his sperm count is good, but the doctor tells him to lay off mudding while trying to conceive, because of the high temperature of the mud. Much nonsensical business is made of this suggestion to briefly abstain from mudding. Sheila confronts him about his priorities when she finds out he snuck out one last time to mud, he imagines everyone at the office is saying Good Mudding instead of Good Morning, and Donna brings him a cup of hot mud for him to dip his finger in, to tide him over. Silliness.

Alex & Gretchen

Less silly: Alex’s teenage daughter Joy is hanging at the law firm office for a few days because she was suspended from school for a prank involving bleach and the sports field. She has little time for Alex, but on Gretchen’s advice, Alex asks Samantha – a ‘cool’ person – to spend some time with Joy.

better Sam and Joy

Samantha is working on a pharma case about someone stealing someone else’s drug formula. After telling Joy she was suspended from school once herself for stealing the principal’s car, she takes Joy to a coffee shop where the opposing client is hanging out with his lawyer. She asks Joy to eavesdrop on their conversation in case they let anything slip that will help her case.  Joy takes it one further and records some incriminating comments on her phone. Samantha uses this intel to destroy the opposing client when they meet for a deposition, with Joy present (!). Joy loves this, but when Alex hears about it, he reams Samantha out, and tells her a parent’s job is not to show a child how the world is, but to show how the world should be.

A chastised Samantha apologizes to Joy. She confesses that she got expelled from school back in her teens, and she didn’t have good parents watching out for her like Joy has. Alex is the cool guy, not her.

May the best woman win

Samantha and Alex also apologize to each other, and Alex tells her that Harvey promised him the name partnership, just like Zane promised Samantha. Samantha gets the last words: “May the best woman win.”

Sidenote: As the Samantha character develops more dimensions, so does her wardrobe. Just when I’d decided that the costume designer had decided to dress her in only monochrome outfits, she shows up in a dramatically-sleeved black blouse with a brown suede skirt, grey pearls, and her hair in relaxed waves. I’m liking her style.

Sam blouse and suede skirt

Next week: Harvey and Louis see Dr. Lipshitz for some relationship counselling!

Kim Moritsugu is a Toronto novelist and sometime TV show recapper. Her latest novel The Showrunner, now available from your favourite bookseller, is a darkly humourous, suspenseful Hollywood-noir novel about female ambition inside the TV biz that a reviewer called a “sophisticated, compelling, and surprisingly complex drama.” Check out its book trailer here:

Suits Recap – S8, E4: Revenue Per Square Foot

In which Zane has multiple shit fits, Louis gets mugged in a dark alley, Donna cements her whisperer reputation, and Alex makes the improbable assertion that he’s a big fan of Magnum, PI.

Louis and mugger

Louis is late to an evening meeting at a bar with Zane and a client, because Sheila was ovulating (the less said about the Louis & Sheila sex talk, which references Elmer Fudd and Johnny Appleseed, the better). Louis calls Zane and tells him he’s late because he was baby-making. No sooner does the call end than a thug with a gun takes him into an alley, steals his wallet and phone, and beats him up.

louis & gretchen

Louis is, naturally, shaken and traumatized by this experience, but rather than call Zane and explain, he goes to the office, where Gretchen finds him examining the nasty bruises he got from being kicked in the ribs.  Unnaturally, he wants to keep the mugging a secret, lest anyone (mostly Zane) see his victimhood as a sign of weakness. Even though he was frank and fearless with Zane only two weeks before (about his partnership rights), not to mention half an hour before, when he talked openly about having baby-making sex.

Zane is pissed that Louis neither showed up for the meeting, nor explained why he didn’t, so he assigns the file, a defence of a class action suit, to Samantha. And in Shit Fit #1 of the episode, Zane yells at Louis, and tells him never to lie to him again.

Zane & donna

Donna is on the receiving end of Shit Fit #2. Zane rips into her about giving a pro bono case to Katrina which Donna would have known presented a conflict of interest if she had checked with Zane, the managing partner, before giving out cases. He orders Donna to do her COO job, and write up a report on the law firm’s revenue per square foot.

Harvey & Alex with new client

Harvey and Alex, meanwhile, are going after a new client that Harvey thinks will put Alex on the map with Zane. Of course, there’s a shady side to this deal – the big shot potential woman client who acquires companies will sign with them if they pressure one of their existing clients to be acquired by her. Or something. Harvey and Alex decide to pursue another option, Zane wants them to stick with Plan A, Harvey won’t back down. This leads to Shit Fit #3 (or maybe #4) for Zane, who tells Alex to do it his way or kiss his career goodbye.

donna b&w dress

A troubled Alex seeks counsel from Donna in the copy room. She compares his situation with Harvey and Zane wanting opposing outcomes to the Kobayashi Maru simulation exercise from Star Trek (look it up if you care). He can prove himself if he finds a way out of what appears to be a no-win problem.

Donna warns Harvey that Alex is talking to Holly Cromwell, friendly neighbourhood head hunter, about his prospects outside the firm. Harvey accuses Zane of bullying Alex,  but Zane is convinced he’s the better managing partner, so there. Alex signs a new client who is not the one either Harvey or Zane wanted. Harvey is pleased with this ballsy move, Zane is not. Harvey and Alex talk about the relative merits of Captain Kirk vs. Magnum, PI (BTW, am I interested in the reboot of that show coming this fall, starring Jay Hernandez? I am not.) Alex is gonna stay, for now.

Samantha in white

Louis and Samantha end up working together on Louis’s case, because Samantha may be tough, but she wants to make alliances within the firm, not alienate everyone. (And yes, she’s growing on me, as a character.) She leaves Louis to argue the case in court alone, but he has a PTSD-type freak-out and his motion is denied. He freaks out further back at the office when Samantha asks what the hell happened. She goes to Harvey and tells him something’s wrong with Louis, he needs a friend.

Sympathetic Harvey

Harvey sits down with Louis and is sympathetic when he hears about the mugging. Harvey tells Zane about it. Zane calls Louis in and apologizes for his previous shit fits. He is supportive and kind, and says Louis is family.

But is Zane? He’s getting there. Donna brings him the revenue per square foot report, and tells him she shouldn’t have to do this kind of accounting work. Her job is to manage people, and keep the firm together. A job which apparently calls for her to tell Zane not to be an asshole, and to let people do what they do, the way they do it. With a chuckle in his voice, Zane tells her she can try her whisperer shit on Harvey, but not on him. She explains she does it to everybody. Looks like they’re all good.

Sam teaching self defence

Louis heads home to his Toronto Annex home in the dark, and startles when he sees a dark figure waiting in the shadows. It’s Samantha, and she’s there to help – she’s going to teach him self-defence, which she learned after she got mugged once. Everybody say Aww.

Absent (and missed!) this week: Katrina and Brian.

Next week: work family and outside family don’t mix.

Kim Moritsugu is a Toronto novelist and sometime TV show recapper. Her latest novel The Showrunner, now available from your favourite bookseller, is a darkly humourous, suspenseful Hollywood-noir novel about female ambition inside the TV biz that a reviewer called a “sophisticated, compelling, and surprisingly complex drama.” Check out its book trailer here:

Suits Recap – S8 E3: Promises, Promises

In which Katrina, Samantha and Alex continue to angle for promotions, Harvey takes pity on a cleaning woman, tender soul Brian Altman has a bigger role than usual, and Donna gets to one-up the firm’s charming rogue landlord David Fox (played by Toronto actor David Alpay, who has an interesting resumé.)

Advantage Donna

Three episodes into the season, and I’m already bored with the competition between Alex and Sam to become name partner. At least Harvey isn’t keeping his promise to Alex (that he’s next) a secret from Zane any longer. Zane’s bright idea for how to handle the fact that he’s promised Samantha the same thing: kick the can down the road and deal with it later. He takes a similar approach when Louis comes to him wanting to promote Katrina to senior partner – Katrina must prove she can manage people first.

Louis asks Katrina to manage/supervise Brian to show her skills. She agrees though she’s stressed about a file she’s working on. She gives Brian one hour to prepare for a meeting with a Mr. Bigelow of Bigelow Textiles (again with the corny company names!), then doesn’t show up for the meeting. Bigelow is pissed when Brian proves to be unfamiliar with the file (though Brian is very nice and apologetic about it – his dialogue in this scene is well written and performed).

Brian.png

Turns out Katrina was absent because she’s been suffering stress-induced migraines since firing the associates, and she doesn’t want anyone to know that she has a weakness re: her career aspirations. Brian agrees to keep her secret, because he’s a mensch. He keeps it even when Louis gives him total shit for screwing up the meeting.

katrina & brian

Katrina appreciates Brian’s support, tells him any doubts she had about him are gone, and sends him to court alone on the Bigelow file, so that he can get the credit when he wins the case he helped her prepare. She also tells Louis about her migraines and he’s sympathetic. Win-win-win.

Alex & Samantha.png

Alex is still wrangling his new client Gavin Andrews, the rich asshole who owns an airline and a Renoir. Gavin’s not happy that Samantha is apparently about to sign his competitor Delta Airlines (come on, as if) as a client. Alex confronts Samantha on the street and tells her to back the hell down. She won’t at first, but capitulates after a weird conversation with Louis, wherein he says inappropriate things about her appearance (Brigitte Nielsen?) and 6′ height (Heigl is  5’8″- 5’9″). She retaliates by placing herself inappropriately close to him in a way that emphasizes their height difference (or the height of her heels), and by talking about puddles. She also tells him to never ask her for a favour. That’s going to end well.

louis & samantha

Of course, the moment Gavin gets what he wants, he asks for more. Forget his earlier sob story about the Renoir having sentimental value because of his dead father, he’s selling it for $66 million and he wants Alex to have the proceeds from the sale laundered. Oh no, not the illegal shit again. Alex runs to Samantha and asks for her help in handling Gavin.

After making it clear she repeatedly told him so, she reminds Alex that Gavin only cares about himself.  Alex interprets this hot tip to mean he should trick Gavin into making Alex the trustee of his off-shore bank account – Alex essentially blackmails him into submission. He then thanks Samantha with ringside UFC (!) tickets. In a meant-to-be peace-making move, she says there’s no point competing with her, because she’s already ahead – her name is next on the wall. So much for kicking the can down the road.

harvey & anna

Harvey encounters a distraught cleaning woman named Anna in the men’s washroom (as one does). He questions her gently and gives her his handkerchief, and upon learning she’s owed overtime pay that she needs for her mother’s medical bills, he offers to look into the matter for her.

Zane and Donna are dead set against riling up the landlord, who has proved to be tetchy in the past, but Harvey’s new motto is What Would Mike Do, so he forges on in an attempt to save a woman of the people.

His first meeting with David Fox quickly degenerates into legal threats. David explains that the cleaning services are subcontracted out, so he has no say in the employees’ pay. Harvey accuses him of breaking landlord-tenant law. After cooling down a little, Harvey decides to refer Anna’s case to the legal aid clinic, but when he travels downtown and finds Tall Nathan and Tall Oliver both out of the office, and the other crusading lawyers up to their ears in work, he leaves.

Harvey & David Fox

David Fox starts doing classic dirty landlord tricks like directing his workmen to be slow to repair the elevators, and having Anna fired. After walking up five flights of stairs,  a sweaty Zane demands Harvey resolve the dispute immediately. Donna and Louis agree.

When Harvey questions how he has alienated everyone at the firm to the point where he is MAKING HIS OWN PHOTOCOPIES, OMG, Donna suggests he misses Mike, and he should call him for advice. Instead, Harvey puts his Mike Ross Thinking Cap on, and comes up with the idea to have the clinic launch a class action suit against David Fox on behalf of all the affected maintenance staff.

Harvey & Donna copy room

Harvey gives Donna the satisfaction of delivering the lawsuit and making a deal with David Fox to avoid it. Fox agrees to have Anna rehired and to pay her and her co-workers properly, in exchange for free legal services from Harvey for one year. Fox wants to make a dinner date with Donna part of the negotiation, but she refuses and tells him to write up the new agreement because she has better things to do with her time. Advantage Donna.

Kim Moritsugu is a Toronto novelist and sometime TV show recapper. Her latest novel The Showrunner, now available from your favourite bookseller, is a darkly humourous, suspenseful Hollywood-noir novel about female ambition inside the TV biz that a reviewer called a “sophisticated, compelling, and surprisingly complex drama.” Check out its book trailer here:

Suits Recap – S8, E2: Pecking Order

In which we’re subjected to (more) cringe-making sex talk from Louis and Sheila, Gretchen makes a couple of brief but welcome appearances, Donna wears gorgeous dresses, Samantha gets involved in everyone’s business, and she relaxes her  hairstyle to signal that she may possess one or two redeeming human qualities. Or she’s pretending to possess them.

louis & sheila

It’s nice for Louis that he has found love with someone who loves him back. It would be nicer still if we could be spared Sheila’s crotch-grabbing, reckless use of silly sexual euphemisms, and inane role playing. But slipped into her ridiculous assertions that Louis is a Viking god/king is her fervent belief that he not only wants to be managing partner of the firm, he should be.

Thing 1: he doesn’t want it. He’s afraid to tell Sheila this (and as a result, he can’t get it up, despite all the god/king talk) because he thinks she’s only attracted to his power.  When he asks Dr. Lipshitz for Viagra, Dr. L divines the real problem and advises him that true power comes from admitting the truth. Louis asks Sheila to love him for who he is. After some resistance and a stealth visit to Dr. L herself, she comes around and suggests they start trying to have a baby. Good luck with that.

Thing 2: Zane and Harvey didn’t consider Louis as an MP candidate during their tussle for the position, or even discuss the issue with him, which rightfully pisses Louis off. He confronts Harvey and Zane, and demands to be included as an equal partner in the firm. In a deft bit of misdirection, we leave a scene thinking those two bullies alphas are irritated by Louis’s outburst, but they end up acknowledging his partnership rights by sending him an engraved antique clock (this is meant to be a sincere, appreciative gesture, I think, and is taken as such by Louis).

clock

Donna and her dresses start the episode wondering what the hell is the deal on  Samantha after Samantha asks her to approve a huge expense account allowance, and says that Donna the reality is disappointing compared to Donna the legend.

Donna navy dress

Donna advises Harvey to keep Samantha close (as one would an enemy) and digs for more info on her. When she finds out that Samantha spins a different story on her background every time she meets someone, Donna asks Gretchen for help, and Gretchen asks Katrina – the only lawyer on staff who had worked for both firms before the merger. Katrina’s intel is that Samantha is either feared or loved, there’s no in-between – and that she’s a great lawyer, someone you want in your corner.

Gretchen, Katrina, Donna in file room

The managing partnership may have gone to Zane, but he and Harvey are still working out who’s in charge. When a former client of Mike’s shows up looking for legal help, Harvey takes him on, and warns Zane to let him handle his own clients. Instead, Zane  asks Samantha to look into the file as well, so she can demonstrate to Harvey why Zane values her so highly.

harvey & zane

The case concerns $50 million missing from the bank accounts of a tech startup called Podspace, run by two young guys called Max and Nick. It doesn’t matter what happened to the money. What matters is that Samantha insinuates herself into the case, Harvey bristles, and they clash and disagree. At one point, each proposes a different fraudulent solution to the problem (great crooked minds think alike?) In the end, Samantha comes up with a could-be-worse way out for all. Harvey thanks her for her good work and tells Zane he’s starting to see her worth. That’s why her name should be the next one on the wall, Zane says, making Harvey wince because he made the same promise to Alex, not that he tells Zane that.

Donna pink dress

Donna admits to Harvey that Samantha is an asset, but points out that Alex and Samantha can’t both be made name partner at the same time. Harvey pledges to figure out a way to get what he wants.

Samantha also gets in Alex’s face this week, because Alex’s ambition is causing him to make stupid mistakes. Mistake #1: he asks Zane to play golf with him as a way to win his favour. Zane doesn’t want to play golf with a suck-up. He tells Alex the way to impress him is to bring in a “big fat client.”

Alex asks Katrina which of the clients who stayed with Zane’s former firm he should go after. Katrina warns him off Starboard Airlines (these generic company names!), formerly Samantha’s client, but, mistake #2, Alex goes for it anyway. He meets the company president, an arrogant rich guy named Gavin Andrews. Andrews will throw the corporate business Alex’s way if Alex can arrange for him to get ‘permanent custody’ of a Renoir painting that Andrews’s angry ex-wife loaned to the Met Museum upon the recent breakup of the marriage. Alex waylays the wife in the lobby during an intermission at a ballet performance (as one does) that apparently called for black tie (as they don’t) at Toronto’s Ed Mirvish theatre (not a ballet venue). He gets her to agree to give up the painting if she gets the villa in Bordeaux in the divorce settlement.

Alex at Pantages

Alex considers this a victory, but Samantha pops into his office – with her hair not blown out into a severe bob for once – and warns him that Andrews is a nasty piece of work whom Alex should avoid, given his past experience with nasty (blackmailing and corrupt) clients. Alex is not afraid, because he is getting worse at reading people with every passing week.

Samantha wavy hairNext week: the return of the enjoyably smarmy landlord who owns the building where the law offices are located.

Kim Moritsugu is a Toronto novelist and sometime TV show recapper. Her latest novel The Showrunner, now available from your favourite bookseller, 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: