Suits Recap – S9 E1: Everything’s Changed

In which Harvey & Donna are seen in full post-coital splendour, there is a LOT of debate about whether Robert Zane’s name should be taken off the wall, Sam & Harvey box each other (!), and the firm gets a new nemesis.

We open with Harvey & Donna in bed the morning after Harvey ran over to Donna’s (in last season’s finale) and proclaimed his love need for her wit, wisdom and sexual prowess in his moment of sadness because Robert Zane got disbarred.

Sam, grieving for her mentor/father figure Zane, later accuses Harvey & Donna of callously going off to have a sex romp when they should have been moping around like she is, not to mention taking responsibility for the actions that caused Zane to take the fall, and she has a point.

Louis is so upset about the firm’s prospects in the wake of Zane’s disgrace that he shows up at Donna’s apartment early the next morning, sees Harvey in his walk-of-shame clothes, and assumes – after making several painful and unintentional double entendres about banging, hammering, stroking and releases – that Harvey and Donna have been up all night strategizing, rather than fucking. And btw, they each took the time the next morning to call Mike (H) and Rachel (D) – both off-camera, of course – to gloat about their conquest of the other, which was kinda funny.

Donna also calls Thomas that morning to suggest they meet for a breakup lunch. He waits till evening to call back, and they break up over the phone. At least the pale blue Rolande Mouret dress Donna wears when speaking to him is fetching.

We don’t see Zane this week but he’s the talk of the episode. His clients are fleeing the firm, and new clients don’t want to sign up because his name’s still on the wall. When Harvey and Sam realize Eric Kaldor (played by Big Little Lies’ Jeffrey Nordling) has been negging the firm like all over town, they confront him at an ice rink where he’s playing rec hockey. He’ll maybe stop spreading the bad gossip if Harvey hands over 10 of his clients. As if! Kaldor calls Sam “sweet pea,” cuz he’s a sexist douche. She gets angry and roughs up him up against the boards.

Sam and Harvey bond over drinks and decide to go on the offence and steal Kaldor and Zane’s clients. That doesn’t go so well, no one wants to come over to the tainted firm. Then Sam finds out Harvey and Donna were sex-celebrating the night she lost Robert, who was “everything” to her, and she, in her own pale blue dress, is PISSED. 

Donna suggests that Harvey give Sam the physical fight she wants, so he meets her at her boxing gym and they box in a scene I neither wanted or needed to see, because: boring. Neither one wins (zzzz). Afterwards, they agree to keep Zane’s name on the wall so that plot point can be debated next week.

For his part, Louis wants Zane’s name gone, since Sheila, wearing a comically fake pregnant belly prosthetic while making matzo brei (scrambled eggs and matzo) for him, told him to protect the firm’s reputation.

Also, Louis called Henry (the ethics prof at Harvard played by Stephen Macht, Gabriel’s dad), and Henry confirmed the firm’s rep has gone to shit.

Someone from the NY Bar Association got up in Alex’s grill on Front Street when he was out jogging, so Alex, who started the episode being fired by Thomas Kessler, is also under pressure to remove Zane’s name, and maybe take over as managing partner himself.

Let’s break it down: Harvey and Sam want to keep Zane’s name up there, while Louis and Alex (and a non-voting Katrina) want it down. After some yelling and posturing, Harvey breaks the impasse by handing over some of his clients to Kaldor after all.

Donna apologizes to Sam about her involvement in the Zane debacle, and Sam admits Zane partly took the blame to atone for the time years before when he planted evidence to convict Sam’s mugger, and the mugger got killed in prison. So his retirement wasn’t all the fault of Donna and Harvey.

Harvey and Donna meet at Mike & Rachel’s old apartment, for which Harvey has been paying the rent all these months, in the hope M&R return (foreshadowing Mike coming back mid-season). H&D talk about how much they mean to each other, Harvey says he loves how quick and smart Donna is, and Gabriel Macht should get more romantic roles! He does tenderness more convincingly than aggressive badass-ness, if you ask me.

Louis is alone in the office when a stern-looking woman arrives from the New York Bar Association. Her name is Fay Richardson and she’s taking over control of the firm, unless he wants every lawyer currently working there to be suspended for 6 months.

Next time: More arguing about Zane’s name being on the wall. And more Katrina, please! Which reminds me, how weird was this week’s scene where Sheila told Katrina to frump it up a bit to increase her sex appeal, because her beauty is getting in the way of her hotness (or something)? Plenty weird.

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: