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Archive for the ‘Suits Recap’ Category

In which Harvey and Mike enact completely separate story lines, we’re subjected to flashbacks shot with an ugly-making filter, a few characters (and artwork) from former seasons return, and new recurring ones are introduced.

flashback-donna

Flashbacks to 9 years ago indicate that Suits’s costume department is still committed to that fake looking bangs-hairpiece for Donna, and her habit of wearing beautiful expensive cocktail dresses to work is not new. In the past, Donna urges Harvey to attend his father’s funeral, where he acts like a sulky child who bears a huge grudge against his mother Lily because she cheated on his saintly dad, and once asked him to lie about the cheating. He holds this grudge even though the parents were divorced several years before the father died, and the mother is now in a committed relationship with Bobby, the guy she had an affair with.

angry-harvey-at-funeral

At the funeral, where the flashback filter makes everyone looks embalmed, a haggard-looking Lily makes a touching graveside speech – against Harvey’s wishes – about how important Harvey and his brother were to the dad, though he was on the road a lot, and she did the majority of the child-rearing. Even stone-faced Harvey is moved by this speech – only because of the dad part, mind you – but later, at the wake his brother Marcus encourages him to attend, he gets all pissy with Lover Bobby and acts like a dick to Lily, with the result that they do not speak for the next 9 years.

thin-harvey

In the present day, Donna shows up at Harvey’s condo to find out why he missed his flight to Boston to reconcile with his mother.  An almost alarmingly thin Harvey, dressed in casual clothes that don’t hide Gabriel Macht’s slight frame like his suits do, isn’t sure he’s ready to forgive Lily, but Donna pep talks him into going anyway.

mom-the-artist

Harvey drops in on a much more vital-looking Lily at the school where she teaches art, and asks her to go for dinner at Marcus’s restaurant. She is happy to see him after all this time and agrees for the next night. On Marcus’s insistence, Harvey stays overnight at his house and bonds with him, his wife and children.

hm-bonding

At dinner, Harvey condescendingly announces that he’s ready to forgive Lily for her past transgressions. Lily says she is willing to forgive him too –  for treating her and Bobby like dirt at the funeral, for not accepting her many heartfelt apologies for her 25-year-old actions, and for cutting her out of his life lo these many years. This makes Harvey throw another fit, because he is a BIG BABY who thinks he is innocent of all charges. When he starts to storm out of the restaurant,  she says to go ahead and leave like he always does. Whereupon a lightbulb goes on over his head. Who’s the abandoner now?

Marcus takes Lily’s side when Harvey complains that she dared accuse him of wrongdoing, and tells him about the time a few years ago when his cancer came back and Lily and Bobby stepped in and helped him out like good family members do and Harvey didn’t, because he is not part of the family anymore.

harevy-and-mom-hug

Harvey returns to the school the next day and finally apologizes for real to Lily, who does the same and they hug and agree to not hate each other anymore. He then asks her for the weirdly huge photo poster she has on her wall of the two of them (Harvey as a child) with shows the duck painting in the background he was forced to give to Elliot Stemple in S16, E2. He brings the poster back to New York, hangs it on his office wall, and he and Donna gaze on it as if it is their dearly beloved child.

our-baby

Mike, meanwhile, is taking a day off from his unsuccessful job search when Nathan of the Tall Guys’ Legal Aid Clinic drops by. Tall Nathan wants to hire Mike to work for the same salary as the office coffee fetcher – specified as being a paltry $35,000 per annum – to supervise the young lawyers and law students at the clinic. He knows all about Mike’s fraudulent past (they first met when Mike pretended to be a law student in his bike courier days) but Nathan figures that paying a smart ex-con with partner level lawyer experience peanuts to help poor people is nothing but a win.

mike-staff-mtg

Mike happily takes the job and starts acting know-it-all-ish in a Harvey-esque manner with Tall Oliver, a young lawyer who likes him, and Medusa-haired Marissa, a law student who resists Mike’s sage advice and guidance because she thinks he’s a corporate fatcat and doesn’t know his back story, only Tall Nathan and Tall Oliver do. These youngsters are too busy fighting for the common man to have read up on Mike in the National Law Journal – they catch up on news via the Huffington Post (which, really?).

Mike calls a meeting of all staff in the clinic and hands out clippings about his storied past. Boom. He’s not hiding anything anymore. Except that when Marissa and Oliver are outfoxed in court by a slum landlord’s experienced lawyer, and it looks like the single mother tenant will be evicted, Mike drops off a cheque to the tenant to cover the rent owed. He claims it comes from the clinic’s emergency fund, but it comes from his personal account because he’s a do-gooder now who will also soon be poor. Just like he always dreamed! And Marissa and Tall Oliver are more willing to hear his advice and keep on fighting for justice for the downtrodden now that he was proven right by them losing. So those two get to recur for at least a few more episodes.

louis-rachel

Louis has very little to do this episode except handle, off-stage, with Rachel’s help, a problem/inquiry one of Harvey’s clients has while he is away. When Harvey returns from his family therapy trip full of peacemaking feelings, Louis also gets to accept an apology from him for Harvey’s harsh words about Louis’s abilities of the previous episode.

Together, they decide to become co-managing partners of the firm, and to leave the firm name as is, in case Jessica wants to return. (Which she may do soon, per imdb.)

Next week: Rachel may not get admitted to the bar, and Harvey has an idea for how Mike could be admitted that Mike doesn’t like.

KimMoritsuguTheHungryNovelist

Kim Moritsugu is a Toronto novelist and sometime TV show recapper whose latest novel is a suburban comedy of manners called The Oakdale Dinner Club.

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Jessica Pearson is well and truly gone (for now), hence the episode title that shouts out Hall & Oates’ classic track without actually playing the song, one of several great tunes by them that I wish the rock choir I’m in would add one of to its repertoire. But there’s no accounting for other people’s musical taste, so my only singing of Hall & Oates hits will be in the privacy of my home office, which may be just as well.

harvdonna-shirt

Jessica’s departure triggers Harvey’s issues with abandonment, starting with a dream that’s he slept with Donna, who flirtatiously makes him morning-after coffee in his window-covering-less Museum House condo with a splendid and very bright view of the Toronto skyline. This scene is a fakeout intended to make Darvey shippers happy, and lead the rest of us to believe for a minute that the hand-holding that closed out the mid-season finale led to actual sex, after which Harvey put on a T-shirt to sleep in because of the no-skin-showing clause I’m convinced is in Gabriel Macht’s contract.  But we know it’s a dream because Donna is wearing a man’s shirt that has been tailored for maximum sexiness on her (check out those back darts!), in classic old-timey TV trope style.

Still in dreamland, Donna says she can’t work for Harvey anymore now that they’ve had sex. Oh no, Harvey is being abandoned again! Time to wake up, put his dick away and go to work so he can be abandoned some more.

church

Remember when Mike was grateful to Harvey for helping him get out of jail? Mike doesn’t. He’s all about turning down Harvey’s offer to work as a consultant at PSL, quitting corporate law, and using his skills to help people and do good. He applies to legal aid clinics but hasn’t much hope of being hired, what with him being a convicted felon. In a plot turn that makes no sense whatsoever, Mike’s mentor/priest friend  Father Walker offers him a two week supply teaching high school students, despite Mike being totally unqualified for the job, then fires him after two days because some parents found out he is a convicted felon. Did Father Walker not think anyone would find out?

When Harvey complains to Donna that Mike is not returning, at a time when he badly needs allies, she suggests he help Mike get his law licence back, so Mike can do good as a lawyer. Harvey asks his father Stephen Macht, AKA Harvard Ethics Professor with a gambling problem Prof. Girard, if he would speak on Mike’s behalf at a character and fitness hearing. These two are pals now, but Girard suggests a better reference would come from Harvey’s nemesis, U.S. Attorney Anita Gibbs.

harv-anita

Anita does not take kindly to Harvey’s request, and mutters darkly about Sean Cahill’s involvement in Mike’s release from prison. When some of the legal aid clinics  call her to inquire about Mike’s felony conviction, she gets super pissed and pulls a classic Suits loiter outside someone’s house for hours move in order to tell Mike to get the hell out of law work, or else.

anita

Mike doesn’t know what she’s even talking about, so he goes and yells at Harvey to stop messing with his life, even after Harvey explains he was trying to help. Mike’s anger seemed overblown, and the big conflict trumped-up for conflict’s sake, but the timing of the argument does lead Harvey to ream out Louis way aggressively right afterwards – as one does – about how ill-suited he is to be managing partner, something Louis had already figured out on his own.

angry-mike

After Harvey’s meltdown, Donna, secretary/therapist/know-it-all, tells him it’s time he resolved his abandonment issues by looking up and reconciling with his mother. To which suggestion Harvey makes this sad face.

tortured

Rick Hoffman definitely does NOT have a no-nudity clause in his contract, but Louis also wears a T-shirt to bed, now that he is engaged to pregnant Tara, who sleeps in complicated but tasteful lingerie.

louis-tara

Louis’s goals this week are to be managing partner and to get back at Robert Zane for having the gall to offer to merge his firm with PSL, as if they are in trouble and need charity. Never mind that Zane did that mainly because he  thinks Rachel has a better chance of passing her character and fitness lawyer test one day if she is not working on a sinking ship that hires criminals.

kat-louis

Louis contemplates (= has a yelling match with Donna about) stealing Zane’s biggest client until his former mentee Katrina Bennett tells him that would be a huge mistake. PSL is, surprisingly, in okay financial shape, but it needs to staff up with associates. So Louis schemes instead to poach a group of Zane’s associates who work with Katrina, both as a swipe at Zane, and because it’s easier to hire people who’ve already been vetted and trained.

The poaching scheme results in some amusing Louis-Katrina talk about the ludicrous code names they have for each other, but they actually succeed in their mission after Zane gives the associates his blessing to go. Welcome back Katrina and your golden hair!

rachel-dad

Robert Zane offers Rachel a job with his firm upon her graduation from law school because of the whole PSL sinking ship thing and her engagement to an ex-con. She can’t imagine leaving the firm but doesn’t want to jeopardize her law career. She asks a sympathetic Gretchen for advice. Gretchen is too smart to tell her what to do, but after Louis hires his new associates, she suggests he make an offer to one more.

rachel-job-offer

He offers Rachel not only a job on graduation, but 2nd year associate ranking. She accepts and will stay at PSL for the foreseeable future, because this episode was written and shot before Meghan Markle’s relationship with Prince Harry became worldwide news.

Extras:

  • I’ll miss seeing how great Gina Torres looked in Jessica’s crazy, stylish, powerwoman wardrobe. Come back soon, Jessica!
  • I finally figured out where Father Walker’s ornate Italian Romanesque style church is located in Toronto – it’s St. Paul’s Basilica, in Corktown, built in 1887. I think Suits only uses its exterior, its real life interior looks quite grand.
  • Hart House at the University of Toronto stands in for not one, but two educational institutions this episode – Harvard University, when Harvey goes to meet Prof. Girard, and St. Andrew’s, the fictional Catholic school in Queen’s where Michael teaches for those two days, and where this scene supposedly takes place.

hart-house

KimMoritsuguTheHungryNovelist

Kim Moritsugu is a Toronto novelist and sometime TV show recapper whose latest novel is a suburban comedy of manners called The Oakdale Dinner Club.

Read Full Post »

In which deals are on and off and off and on, and I’m sorry to say that the plot reversals have come to feel more like time fillers than organic, inevitable outcomes of a well developed story.

jill in prison

The end result of the incessant back and forths on who will inform on whom is that Mike convinces Kevin’s wife Jill to testify against her father in exchange for full immunity. That’s after we learn that Jill only agreed to the insider trading scheme to begin with because she found out Sutter’s fund was a big Ponzi scheme and she hoped they could make some quick gains to square things with their investors. In other words, William Sutter is the worst, and Jill and Kevin are collateral damage to his horribleness. Also, Harvey played Jill a recording of Sutter saying it would be better for Jill to go to jail than for him to, and Donna approached Jill on the street, and redheads should stick together, and since Donna’s dad was also a criminal, her advice is to get out now.

j in pink

Harvey starts the episode with Jessica, in a fetching shade of pink and a very tight skirt, commanding him to win Sutter’s case (for the sake of the law firm) since Mike’s deal was called off anyway. Harvey gives Sutter’s defence a good go for a bit, blows off Cahill, and discredits a key prosecution witness in a deposition, but he ends the ep by persuading Sutter to plead guilty and make his own deal for a reduced sentence.

Mike and Kevin (or, as Gallo amusingly calls them, while channeling my mother –  Frick and Frack) start off this week by making up, but when Mike comes clean about informing on him, Kevin beats him up in the kitchen. Later, after Jill agrees to testify against her father, Mike and Kevin make up again. Since Mike cut a new deal with Cahill in exchange for delivering Jill, it looks like he’s going to get out of prison. It looks like it enough that he tells Rachel he’s coming home, and Donna and Rachel go out to celebrate his release. But he’s not out yet. Not with two more episodes still to come before the show goes on its mid-season hiatus. He’d better be out by then, though. Or I will be doing a lot of sad head shaking and disappointed finger wagging.

kev & mike make up

And what about Gallo, you ask? Gallo pressures Mike to pressure Harvey to get moving on that motion to have Gallo paroled. Harvey admits he hasn’t done anything about it yet because he thought that if Mike got out, Gallo should stay in. Mike urges Harvey to get to it, and convinces  Gallo to use his influence with the guards to get Kevin out of solitary after the kitchen fight. Gallo delivers but warns Mike that violent retribution will ensue,  inside or outside of jail, if Mike double crosses him. So we’ve got that to look forward to.

rachel & aunt

This episode was directed by Gabriel Macht, BTW, so I have him to thank for making my screengrabs easier to grab by occasionally using shots that show two characters facing each other in the same frame. Thank you, Gabriel!  Anyway, Rachel & Jessica tell Leonard Bailey his alibi witness is dead, but there is another way to delay his execution – if he can come up with, say, a relative who would attend the execution but can’t for 60 days because she’s not well. Amazingly, Bailey has such a relative! – the aunt who raised him but thinks he is guilty and has not seen or spoken to him in years. Rachel pays the woman a visit. The aunt has no intention of witnessing the execution, but when Rachel implores her to sign an affidavit saying she would like the execution to be delayed, she does.

When Bailey hears about this, he gets all pissed that Rachel didn’t make his aunt care about him, as if that’s more important than whether he lives or dies, and he accuses Jessica of being cold and heartless. Afterwards, Rachel tries to be sympathetic to Jessica, but Jessica is like, just go find some evidence to clear the SOB, will ya? And late at night in the law firm library, it looks like Rachel might have found something she can use in the case …

donna in full skirt dress

Louis confides in Donna, wearing a kicky full-skirted dress that is a flattering departure from her usual flattering dress styles, that he doesn’t know if he can be the Other Man with Tara. Donna mentions that she broke up with the never-seen-and-only-recently-talked-about Mitchell person she claims to have been dating because he wanted to move in with her, and she knew he wasn’t the One. But Tara does seem like the One for Louis, so he should keep trying. And why are all the Suits scenes lit so darkly, even daytime office scenes?

louis&tara

On a dinner date with Tara, Louis makes a scene with the maitre d’ that is all about Louis’s inability to share her with anyone. Tara is inexplicably charmed by this outburst, and they go home and have what Tara calls ‘magical’ sex, after which Director Gabriel treats us to this rather frightening if comical aerial shot of the lovebirds. Louis thinks his yeoman sex work means Tara will now break up with her other guy, whose name is Josh.  Except Tara is not ready to do that, and Josh is coming to town soon.

What do you think – will this Josh be way better looking and charming than Louis, and play on all his insecurities, or will he be Rick Hoffman, playing a dual role? That would be kind of funny, actually. Or maybe Josh could be Gabriel Macht playing a dual role. That would be even funnier.

jessica and jeff

While in court making a motion on Bailey’s case, Jessica runs into her old flame Jeff Malone. Jeff has softened somewhat since leaving the law firm and their relationship in a major huff. Jessica says she hasn’t called him because she’s still embroiled in all her law firm’s shit but she cares about him. They go for dinner, and Jeff says he loves her for herself, cold heartlessness and all. Awww. She invites him to spend the night, but he wants to go slow. That is, he’s looking for a job reference from her, because he’s moving to Chicago. She gives him a good one, and he leaves, though not for good, if I know this show.

Next week: Cahill tells Mike his deal to get out of prison is off (again). Sigh.

KimMoritsuguTheHungryNovelist

Kim Moritsugu is a Toronto novelist and sometime TV show recapper whose latest novel is a suburban comedy of manners called The Oakdale Dinner Club.

Read Full Post »

In which arbitrary, rapidly approaching deadlines are imposed for purposes of story tension, Jessica and Rachel wear great hair to wage legal battle, Donna mentions in passing that she just broke up with someone she’s been dating for the last two months (say what now? she has a life outside of the office?), Louis goes on a date, and Stu Douchebag is renamed Stu Dickface.

court hair

Save the date #1: Rachel & Jessica tell Leonard his execution has been set for 30 days hence. He is understandably upset by this news, so Rachel & Jessica and their great hair go to court to ask for a delay and are given Save the Date #2: a week in which to find Maria Gomez, Bailey’s alibi witness. They also collect dirty looks from the families of the murder victims who were two 16-year-olds, ugh.

R&J Commerce CourtOn their way out of Commerce Court, a large office complex in Toronto’s financial district that houses banks, law firms, and accounting firms, but no New York state courtrooms that I know of, Jessica gives Rachel contact info for her personal investigator, someone named Carter. The offscreen Carter discovers that Maria changed her name to evade an abusive husband, and the court records on her new identity are sealed. Rachel’s dad has a connection that can access the sealed info, so she asks him to do her a favour, lawyer to lawyer, and she will owe him.

Zane Sr. find outs Maria is dead, so there goes the alibi. A distraught father of one of the murdered teens accosts Rachel in the law firm lobby at the end of a day, and gives her hell about defending the already convicted murderer who killed his daughter. Gretchen steps in to support Rachel and scare the guy off, and Jessica later returns to the office to commiserate with Rachel, in her steely way.

louis & donna

Louis spends most of his screen time stressing about his upcoming dinner date with Tara the architect. He wants it to be extra special, but Donna suggests instead an intimate restaurant. Tara deems the setting perfect before she confesses that she already has a long-distance boyfriend with whom she has an understanding that they can see other people, so is Louis cool with her dating them both simultaneously? Okay, then. And Lo&Do say I-love-you to each other, but only platonically.

mike & kevin

Mike & Kevin: these two, and their on-again off-again bromance, honestly. They’re breaking up already and they didn’t even get to honeymoon. This week, Mike finds out the reason Kevin won’t turn on Sutter is because Sutter is paying him to keep quiet (and because he wants to protect his wife Jill from prosecution). Mike enlists Donna to help him lure Jill in to the prison so he can urge her to turn on her dad. Jill won’t do that, and when she tells Kevin she met Mike, Kevin threatens to beat Mike up if he keeps interfering with his business.

A remorseful Mike asks Harvey if Kevin and Jill can be included in the going free deal (they can’t) and tries to make up with Kevin, but too late – Kevin has put in for a transfer to another cell.

gallo

Remember Gallo, Mr. Prison Powderkeg? He becomes suspicious of how often Harvey visits Mike without stopping in to see Gallo about his release. After guessing correctly that Mike is trying to use Kevin as a way out, he threatens to reveal this secret unless Harvey gets him released, and soon.

I have become bored confused by the collusion, deception, real or is it fake? defense stuff that’s going on with Harvey, Cahill, and their joint nemesis Sutter. But I will try to summarize what I think went on this time:

Cahill staves off dismissal of Sutter’s case by saying he has obtained Sutter’s trading software program as evidence (secretly given to him by Harvey). The judge warns that if she finds out Cahill acquired the program illegally, there goes the case AND she will charge Cahill with malicious prosecution. She then announces Save the Date #3: the trial will begin in 5 days.

Harvey asks Louis for help in analyzing the big trades Sutter’s company made, which means Louis asks Donna to ask Stu Dickface for access to his database, which means Donna towers over him (like Jessica did), announces that she is Donna and she is awesome, and proves it by sinking a shaky shot in a kids’ basketball net.

Donna & Stu

donna's shotStu sees the Donna light, gives Louis access, and gifts him with new Litt Up mugs besides. Louis discovers the common link in the trades is a consulting investment bank, and someone named Philip Allen is identified as the banker who gave Sutter insider trading info. Offscreen, Cahill makes a deal with Allen to testify against Sutter. Because Harvey, thanks to Louis and Stu, led Cahill to Allen, the free Mike deal still stands, so Harvey makes this happy face:harvey happyUntil Cahill and his bosses nix the deal, and Harvey makes this sad/angry face:harvey sadder

Next week, the gloves are off! The match-ups: Harvey vs. Cahill, Mike vs. Kevin and Gallo.

KimMoritsuguTheHungryNovelist

Kim Moritsugu is a Toronto novelist and sometime TV show recapper whose latest novel is a suburban comedy of manners called The Oakdale Dinner Club.

Read Full Post »

In which the annoying Stu Douchebag  character gets more screen time than he deserves, Louis gets a new love interest in Canada’s own Carly Pope, Harvey gets to labour under a contrived 2 day deadline, and Mike and Rachel get to have sex.

mike&kevin

Mike is having a cozy chat in his cell with his bestie Kevin about Kevin’s young kids, when he gets called away to see Harvey, making a late night emergency jail visit to tell him about Cahill’s Who Wants To Be An Stoolie deal.

But Mike doesn’t want to make Kevin inform on his father-in-law! Even without knowing what crimes Kevin or his father-in-law have committed. He tells Harvey no, and lies to Kevin about why Harvey came by, says it was to tell him Gallo can’t be transferred out. Harvey lies in turn to Cahill that there’s no deal unless it’s in writing, but Cahill sees through that (like Rachel saw through Harvey’s lie 2 weeks before – is Harvey so transparent? ). In a flagrant bid to add some episode tension, Cahill says the deal offer is only good for 2 days.

harvy&donna

The next day, Mike calls Donna to say he won’t take the deal so don’t make him. Harvey wants to let Rachel know about the deal in the hope she will pressure Mike, but Donna advises both him and Cahill that if Rachel finds out that Mike gave up a chance to be with her sooner than in 2 years, their relationship will not survive! Cahill doesn’t give a shit about Mike’s love life, but when Harvey comes up with a crazy scheme for Cahill to secretly meet with Mike to convince him, Cahill agrees to it.

mike drugged

The crazy scheme involves getting someone in jail to drug Mike’s prison food, which makes Mike pass out in the cafeteria and be taken “to the infirmary” for 8 hours, except really he’s put into Harvey’s car, with the help of the warden, and taken to Rachel’s apartment. She finally OPENS THE DOOR, they have a bittersweet yet joyous sexual reunion, and he tells her about the deal.

mike&rachelbed

Cahill shows up at the apartment building to talk to Mike, and when he finds out Mike is inside post-coitally trading you’re-beautiful, no-you-are compliments with Rachel, he’s all what-the-hell, where-are-your-priorities-man? to Harvey. Wise Harvey knows that a few hours with his One True Love will turn Mike into a snitch, and sure enough, Mike comes out and announces that he told Rachel everything, and he will take the deal. OR WILL HE?

Gallo, by the way, also wants to take the deal Mike offered him – to try to arrange for Gallo to get out on parole in 6 weeks. Harvey does not like this idea, but Mike says okay fine, and somehow files a motion on Gallo’s behalf from jail. OR DOES HE?

rachel&bailey

Because Rachel is more than just Mike’s moll, she begins work on her Innocence Project death row case. A Mr. Bailey, the convict in question, does not want the help of a mere law student at first, not after he’s been proclaiming his innocence for 10 years and no one would listen, but hey, someone is better than no one. And Rachel confesses to Donna that working on the case keeps her mind off obsessing over Mike in jail, so it’s a Good Thing.

carly

Independent story line #2 finds Louis flirting and clicking with Tara, a pretty architect who shares his interest in opera, ballet and intuitively understands his office space needs too. When Louis confesses to Jessica that he has already fallen in love with Tara, she foresees trouble and forbids him to hire her to remodel the offices. Louis hires her to remodel his Hamptons house into an office instead – anything to spend more time with her doing stupid things like sniffing her neck.

better jess&Stu

Stu Douchebag bought some of Nathan Burns’s company’s shares last week on Harvey’s behalf but is being douchey about them this week, as well as goading Louis into rages for the fun of it, so Jessica elects to put him in his place. She calls him a pissant and orders him to ‘unwind that trade,’ he asks her out (as if), she somehow manipulates a stock he holds – to his disadvantage, and their sparring ends with him hiring PSL as his lawyers. Jessica even gets him to agree to stop harassing Louis. She’s awesome when she lowers her voice an octave and growls out her commands.

Next week: Someone (everyone?) has got trust issues.

KimMoritsuguTheHungryNovelist

Kim Moritsugu is a Toronto novelist and sometime TV show recapper whose latest novel is a suburban comedy of manners called The Oakdale Dinner Club.

Read Full Post »

In which Harvey works hard to find a new client, Rachel gets her own case outside of the office, and Mike (finally) uses his legal knowledge to try to protect himself in prison.

jessica houndstooth

Jessica, wearing an itchy-looking patterned wool dress and not her best hair , directs Harvey to snag a big-time client in order to start PSL’s comeback. Her suggestion is William Sutter, a cranky old billionaire whom no law firm wants to represent because he is facing an indictment. But Harvey has had enough of getting into bed with criminals after his Forstman dealings. Instead, he goes after Nathan Burns, a ‘dick’ and ‘asshole’ who heads up an energy company but is apparently not a criminal. Burns initially assigns Harvey tasks both demeaning and time-consuming to prove he really wants the business, then backs away under pressure from Sutter, who wants to stick it to Harvey for turning him down. With the help of a New Recurring Character, a douchebag trader named Stu,  Harvey removes the threat to Burns that Sutter represents, and convinces Burns to hire PSL. Sutter, however, is now Harvey’s lifelong enemy, alongside Hardman and Forstman. At least his name doesn’t end in -man.

white dress

Louis has been tasked with finding tenants to sublet the thousands of square feet of PSL offices that the skeleton staff of six don’t need, but his general lack of good sense lead him to heed some but not all of Donna’s sage advice – given in a wrinkled but otherwise nicely draped white dress – to rent to some finance people. Instead of advisors, he gets in a herd of douchebag traders, including the head douchebag, a squinty-eyed, suspender-wearing fellow who says shit a lot, and whose name is Stu. Or maybe Stew.

Stu Douchebag

Louis tries to get rid of the traders on lease technicalities involving Louis’s bran bars and prune juice (cue the toilet jokes), but Harvey intervenes when he wants Stu to trace some financial transactions in a way that might not be strictly legal. Stu complies, gets to stay, and flaunts his Yale law degree in Louis’s crimson Harvard face in the bargain.

debate

Rachel is still attending law school! She participates in a kind of legal debate in front of her practical ethics class against another student who publicly tries to shame Rachel about Mike and his fraud conviction as part of her argument. The sympathetic (male) professor takes Rachel aside and suggests that she drop the  course and instead earn credit by working on an The Innocence Project (an actual real world thing) case, trying to exonerate someone on death row.

rachel&j dark

Rachel doesn’t want to back down from the debate fight, so she seeks advice from Jessica, Seasoned Law Warrior. Jessica counsels Rachel to make the class see her as a bad-ass to be feared, like Jessica has to do every single day. Rachel digs up dirt on her law class opponent, and tells her she won’t reveal it as long as the opponent withdraws from the debate and publicly acknowledges Rachel’s superiority in intellect and ethics. The dirt must be damn dirty because the opponent does what Rachel asks, and Rachel can now drop the course without losing face, and work on The Innocence Project.

bromance

In prison bromance news, Mike and his roomie Kevin decide to stick together at all times to avoid falling prey to Gallo and his goons. Harvey is bugging Cahill to get Gallo transferred out like he said he might, but in the meantime, Mike will have to leave Kevin’s side during the 2 hour a day kitchen job arranged by his counselor, whose  name is not Malcolm Jamal-Warner after all, but Julius.

julius

Mike tries to quit the job before it starts. Julius won’t let him and asks him to file a formal allegation against Gallo instead, but Mike won’t do that, cuz he’s no fool.

kitchen shot

On Mike’s first day half-believably peeling potatoes, Gallo drops by (though doesn’t Mike now have sharp instruments at his disposal?) to request mashed potatoes over “au gratin” ones (I’m not joking, he really says this), and to mention that oh yeah, he just beat up Kevin in the washroom, hah-hah. Mike tends to Kevin, who is bleeding and beaten, but not badly enough to go to the infirmary. They decide it’s safe to attend movie night together, because even Gallo wouldn’t start trouble there – movie night is sacred in prison, would you believe. And Julius arranges for Kevin to start doing  kitchen duty with Mike, so they need never be apart.

cahill 1st time

Cahill finally gets back to Harvey to say Gallo can’t be moved out of Danbury – he is protected because he’s a government informant. Harvey visits Mike and advises him to neutralize Gallo by threatening to reveal to the jail population that Gallo sold his criminal brethren up the river.

mike&gallo yard

Mike has a better idea. He looks up the records on Gallo’s trial, and discovers that Gallo’s lawyer at the time overlooked a loophole that means Gallo could be eligible for parole in as little as 6 weeks. Mike thinks Gallo must now decide what he wants to do more – get out of prison, or continue to get back at Harvey by harassing Mike and Kevin. It seems to me like Gallo now has six weeks to do both.

better celebration

Jessica and Harvey are celebrating being back on the map with regard to the signing of Burns when Cahill returns to say that hey, speaking of informants, he’s found a new way for Mike to get out of prison early. It seems that Kevin is a smoking gun on a federal case who is holding out on ‘family’ secrets. If Mike can get him to turn, he can go free.

Sidenote: last week’s preview of this episode showed Rachel opening her apartment door to a mystery visitor, but that didn’t happen this week. Maybe next time?

KimMoritsuguTheHungryNovelist

Kim Moritsugu is a Toronto novelist and sometime TV show recapper whose latest novel is a suburban comedy of manners called The Oakdale Dinner Club.

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In which Mike gets beaten up, Harvey makes and breaks promises, we learn that Jessica and her beautiful hair live in Toronto’s Yorkville neighbourhood, and Jack Soloff returns!

jessica's hair

Prison Blues

Turns out Frank Gallo, tough-guy gangster and this season’s villain, didn’t fool Mike into pouring his heart out last episode in order to collect damning evidence against Harvey. All he needed to know was that Harvey holds Mike dear, so now he can hurt Harvey by hurting Mike.

kevin

Mike no longer trusts anyone, so he scorns his real cellmate, Kevin, who, despite his wise guy face, has a strong belief in staying out of trouble, especially Frank’s brand of it, which is why he let Frank take his place for Confession Night. But Mike is too much of a hothead to be cautious. When Frank threatens to distribute photoshopped nude pics of Rachel to everyone in the jail (a bit of a weak threat, IMO), Mike starts throwing punches.

mike fighting

The altercation lands Mike in Counselor MJW’s a bit too nicely decorated office (that lamp! the model sailboat!), where he’s told he has two options : work on rehabilitating himself by taking on a prison job, or spend a month in solitary the next time he is involved in an incident. And guess what was in the envelope of pics Frank brandished? Blank paper.

mjw

Donna has worked her magic to get Rachel on the approved visitor list at the jail with no waiting period. When Rachel hotfoots out there, she’s turned away because Mike has had his visitors’ privileges suspended for 2 weeks. She tries to get in as his lawyer, but the prison reception desk knows she is not Harvey, so no.

Harvey’s turn to visit Mike. Mike tells him about Gallo and the corrupt guards and Harvey reports that Gallo was jailed somewhere harder and meaner for racketeering when Harvey was the Assistant DA, but he must have been transferred to Danbury for good behaviour. Harvey wants to speak to the warden and get Gallo moved, but Mike makes him promise not to, he will take care of himself (because that’s gone well so far.)

frank fence

On Harvey’s way out, Gallo taunts him from the exercise yard. Harvey wants to fight him real bad, and settles for twisting (breaking?) Gallo’s finger through a link in the fence (would there be that kind of openwork baseball field-type fence at a prison? Just asking.) Harvey tells Gallo to leave Mike alone, under pain of death by paid assassin or by Harvey’s own hands, take his pick.

finger breaking

Back at the office, Harvey lies to Rachel that everything is cool at Danbury, it was some other prisoner named Ross who was in trouble, but she sees through that and tells him he’d better deal with Gallo no matter what he promised Mike, or else (drum roll) she will never forgive him!

lying better

Harvey returns to prison and tells Mike he wants to ask Cahill AKA our old buddy Keyhole of the Justice department to get Gallo moved, and Mike says okay, fine, and he will be sure not to get caught alone with Gallo until then.

post shiv attempt

Naturally, he gets jumped by Gallo and his two goons soon after, in a common area which, on Gallo’s cue, is quickly emptied of other inmates and guards. Gallo is about to stick a shiv in Mike when Cellmate Kevin brings a (temporarily?) non-corrupt guard to ask what’s going on. “Nothing,” says Mike, because he understands how prison works now. Later, in their cell, Mike thanks Kevin and Kevin explains he wanted to make up for having let Gallo into the cell, something he only did because he was afraid. There’s one account paid.

Battle of the Longhairs

avenue road sign

Harvey meets Jessica outside her spiffy Avenue Road apartment building (check the blue street sign in the background) with coffees, and they go into the office to find it bustling with people who look like staff and associates. They’re actually movie extras (played by TV extras, in a meta move) Louis hired to make the company look like it’s not a sinking ship. When Jessica, in her ridiculous bridal-adjacent white peplum jacket, points out they need to look poor because they want to settle the class action lawsuit for 10 cents on the dollar, Louis fires them.

movie extras

That leaves Gretchen and Donna as the only support staff. While chilling in the executive kitchen with Jessica, Gretchen observes how much blacker the firm is now, at 50% (that’s 3 out of 6 employees, including Rachel). This comment earns her a fist bump from Jessica, and a questionable remark from Donna that she is black inside.

donna's black inside

Gretchen later takes exception to this, and Donna shows her cell phone pics of an unseen, unnamed possibly famous recording artist she once dated. I guess he must be black because her past relationship with him is proof of, wait – what, exactly?  I didn’t get it, but Gretchen seems convinced.

jack's hair

Jack Soloff and his amusing pro baseball player hair try to sue Jessica for his partner money, which he needs to buy into Robert Zane’s firm. Jessica tells him she can’t pay him back without paying back all the other partners, and asks Zane to make Jack stop suing her. Zane does call him off, which means Jack is ruined, but at the last minute, Jessica lends money to Zane to lend to Soloff for the buy-in because she’s the one who got Jack into this mess. And that’s a second account paid.

stemple

The settlement of the class action lawsuit is about to be ratified in court when Harvey’s old Harvard nemesis Elliot Stemple holds up the proceedings with an objection that one client (Jack Soloff’s!) was wrongfully excluded from the suit. Harvey offers Stemple money to withdraw, but all Stemple really wants is to get a piece of Harvey in retaliation for Harvey’s past aggressions.

duck painting

His price is $20 million or the cartoonish duck painting Harvey has always kept in his office, which Stemple deduces must be valuable to Harvey. Harvey gives up the painting though it represents the one happy memory he had of his mother. That’s a third account paid.

Next week: Mike works in the prison kitchen, Frank Gallo is still a menace, and Rachel opens her apartment door when she maybe shouldn’t.

KimMoritsuguTheHungryNovelist

Kim Moritsugu is a Toronto novelist and sometime TV show recapper whose latest novel is a suburban comedy of manners called The Oakdale Dinner Club.

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