Suits Recap – S8 E10: Managing Partner

In the mid-season/summer finale, Samantha and Alex fight for the name partnership, Sheila becomes pregnant for real, and Donna orchestrates a rebalancing of power that results in a new firm name I refuse to learn or remember.

The fight is on

The gang meets to sound the name partnership round-starting bell (Zane even says ‘get ready to rumble’). Alex and Samantha come out swinging on the Gavin Andrews vs. Insurance Company case, and that is more than enough boxing metaphors for me. Why the writers didn’t pick up on my tap dance-off suggestion to solve all firm disputes, I don’t know.

Snazzy Tie

Alex, in another pretty tie, gets Harvey to help him with his side of the case. But Zane didn’t get the memo, so he won’t help Samantha, not at first.

Flashback Hair.png

A series of flashbacks show why Zane values Samantha, and also why he owes her. Twelve years ago, when she had longer hair and a center part – a hairstyle I find more flattering to her than her current side-part bob – she was an associate at an unnamed law firm where Zane was a partner. The name partners of that firm were money laundering. When Zane found out, he was blackmailed into staying quiet by being forced to take some dirty money of his own. He gave it to charity and didn’t blow the whistle for the sake of Rachel’s future law career. Little did he know she’d go on to marry a convicted felon, haha.

An FBI agent (who refers to Samantha’s previous military service – what now?) wanted Samantha to be an informant against the bad guys at the firm. Instead, she fixes the situation by convincing Zane to force the crooked partners out and take over the ownership with his trusted partners Caldor & Rand. She helped Zane rather than rat on him and the others because she was moved by his devotion to his daughter. Being a foster kid, she could only wish for a father like him.

In the present, Alex and Samantha take their case to court. Samantha knows that Andrews (Alex’s client) has to be guilty of damaging a Vermeer (!) painting his airline was transporting, in order to increase the value of his own Vermeer (I call credibility on this smarmy punk having access to one Vermeer, let alone two, considering the rarity of Vermeer works – come on now.) But she also needs to get rid of a box of evidence containing information that could incriminate her client, the insurance company. Zane eventually makes the box disappear, but Alex gets access to it by having Katrina go somewhere (off-screen), impersonate Samantha, and get the evidence anew. As shady as this move sounds, Alex could have done worse and didn’t. Andrews wanted him to threaten Samantha with disbarment for ethical violations she committed when she represented Andrews previously.

When Samantha realizes she’s lost the case, she goes to Zane and demands he make her name partner anyway, because he still owes her. Zane floats this idea with Harvey, and they get heated with each other about broken words and promises. That is, Harvey tells Zane to get the fuck out of his office. Wise Queen Donna, suitably garbed in a beautiful and imperial black dress, offers a way out: both Alex and Samantha should be made name partners simultaneously.

Donna puppetmaster.png

Donna’s solution works because she convinces Zane to step down as managing partner, and Louis to take over the role. Louis knows he can handle it because his balls have grown due to his impending fatherhood, and because he has realized he wants an active role in raising his child, which he might have more time for as managing partner, maybe? Especially since the now-pregnant Sheila is up for a promotion to dean of Columbia Law School (from Admissions Director straight to Dean – yeah, sure, that career path makes sense – not), and intends to go for the job. Baby or no baby, she’s a working woman and proud of it.

Peaceful Partners

Zane, Harvey and new name partners Samantha and Alex all make peace, but without having a group hug – ew, gross suggestion there, Zane, you deserve the serious side-eye you get for it from Alex and Samantha.

Group Hug Sideeye

Harvey thanks Louis for stepping up and breaking the impasse between him and Zane. When Harvey finds out about the pregnancy, he offers Louis sincere congratulations, complete with a heartfelt hug.

Louis & Harvey Hug

All that’s left to tie up Season 8’s front ten episodes is for Donna and Harvey to celebrate how tall and thin they both are, and how good they look in their designer duds. They’ll also drink to how well Donna pulled the strings and made her puppets dance.

Donna & Pretty

Suits returns in January 2019 with its back six episodes, and, I hope, a break from any talk about name partnerships.

Kim Moritsugu is a Toronto novelist and sometime TV show recapper. Her latest novel The Showrunner, available from your favourite bookseller, is a darkly humourous, suspenseful Hollywood-noir about female ambition inside the TV biz that has been called a “sophisticated, compelling, and surprisingly complex drama” and has been optioned for development as a TV series!

Check out its book trailer here:


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