Suits Recap – Season 6, Episode 11: She’s Gone

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.

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Suits Recap – Season 6, Episode 9: The Hand that Feeds You

In which Mike gets out of jail, for real and for good! Yes, there were many machinations and reversals and ‘the deal is off’ declarations in this hour, but still – Mike’s release came earlier than I expected. And speaking of completely wrong predictions, Louis’s romantic rival Joshua was not only not played by Rick Hoffman or Gabriel Macht, as I suggested he should be, but the Joshua character did not even appear. Joke’s on me.

mike-hugs-rachel

There are two story threads that affect the timing of Mike getting out of prison. One has to do with Cahill’s seizure of Jill and Kevin’s assets, including those acquired before Jill started committing financial crimes. To combat this, Mike threatens to sue Cahill on Kevin’s behalf for abuse of power, though he won’t file the suit if Cahill gets Kevin released. Cahill is initially outraged by this threat. He barks at both Mike and Harvey about the very idea, abd even mutters the word ‘fucking’ at one point (shocker) but he later helps Mike get Kevin out another way.

The other story thread that affects Mike’s release is Gallo’s. For Mike’s sake, and because he said he would, Harvey swallows his conscience and integrity and represents Gallo at a parole hearing, before which he coaches Gallo to express remorse over his past behaviour, and makes him promise to still protect Mike as long as he’s inside.

Cameron Dennis, Harvey’s former mentor and tormentor from the D.A.’s office, the guy who never saw a criminal he didn’t want to punish, by hook or by crook, and who worked with Harvey to put Gallo away originally, shows up at the hearing. He doesn’t want Gallo to go free, not even after Harvey explains why he’s doing what he’s doing.

Harvey’s conflict over what to do is not helped by Donna reminding him that Gallo is a very bad guy. She reminds Harvey of this while wearing a so not right for the office, yet so amusing (black and white cookie) dress, which wornontv.net informs me is by the designer Roland Mouret, costs US$2,470 and is currently sold out. And yes, the black panel is supposed to be on the diagonal like that.

donna-dress

The day that Harvey is set to perjure himself before the parole board and testify that Gallo is not a menace to society, Mike rescues him by offering himself to Dennis as a witness for the (kind of) prosecution. He truthfully reports all of Gallo’s recent evil prison doings at  the hearing, and parole is denied. Bonus: he made a deal with Dennis to have Kevin released in return for his testimony.

That night, Kevin is released, but Mike has secretly arranged with Cahill to stay in jail one more night, alone in his cell – dum da dum dum. Gallo comes to the cell after hours, swearing vengeance, and pulls out a shiv. But Mike has set up a video camera in the room to record the incident, and asked the one honest guard in the joint to watch the footage and break into the cell after Gallo tries to knife him, but before any actual stabbing happens.

handsome-harvey-gloats

Harvey gloats when he informs Gallo after this incident that he now has two options:1) to return to maximum security prison, where everyone knows he is an informant, so he will be either killed or made to suffer mightily (my words), or 2) stay at Danbury for 5 more years, but without arranging any kind of harm to Mike, Harvey, or their loved ones on the outside, because if he does, back to Rikers (or equivalent) he goes. Gallo picks  option 2, and I can only hope that  Suits will have ended its run before he gets out of jail.

donna-mudding

Louis’s screen time this week is confined to stressing about and solving his love life issues with Tara and her unseen long distance boyfriend Joshua, who has come to town for deep talks. Louis and Donna discuss his worries during a joint mudding session, during which Donna appears in a white bikini top which exposes more details of her anatomy than I feel comfortable knowing, and they discuss it at the office too.

tara

The Joshua problem is resolved by episode’s end when Tara, whose hair and makeup have noticeably improved since she became a semi-recurring character, tells Louis that Joshua up and proposed to her, the cheeky unseen guy, but wonder of wonders, she wants Louis instead.

jessica-shirt

Jessica, not to be outdone by Donna when it comes to wacky, impractical, designer-wear office getups, wears this Givenchy blouse/top/what? to speak to Harvey about his Mike/Gallo problems, but spends the rest of her time working on the Bailey case.

Rachel has found a precedent for re-opening the case that involves accusing Bailey’s  former lawyer, a woman named Georgina who has moved into corporate practice from criminal law, of having provided inadequate representation for Bailey, because she didn’t introduce the alibi witness’s testimony into the case 12 years ago.

jr-w-bailey

Jessica “drops the hammer” on this Georgina, and convinces her to sign an affidavit saying she heard the alibi and didn’t use it. A judge reopens the case, which means that a male prosecutor starts trying to make deals with Jessica to avoid a re-trial. Deals like 7 more years for Bailey and then he can go free. Jessica thinks Bailey should take the deal, but Rachel thinks they should fight, which she admits to Bailey when he presses her. Bailey also wants a chance to be proven innocent, because there’s no point in living, according to him, if the world and his family think he’s guilty. He accuses Jessica of being heartless and uncaring (this again), prompting her to prove she does care by reuniting Bailey with his teenage daughter. Hugs all around.

Penultimate episode end questions:

  • What happened to Julius, the prison counselor? Will we ever see him again? How about the prison? That big set, the recurring guard characters – are they all gone? And what about Stu Dickhead? One can only hope he and his suspenders are on permanent hiatus. Probably not, though.
  • Can Mike and Rachel get married now? I guess not – she has to get her law degree first, right? No wedding for us!
  • All the principal characters this season have had at least a semblance of a personal love life (even if it was only referred to, and not shown, ahem,  Donna) except for Harvey. He’s about due to enter the dating scene again.

Next week, on the summer season finale, it’s all law firm business, all the 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.

Suits Recap – Season 6, Episode 5: Trust

In which Harvey becomes everyone’s attorney, Jessica helps Rachel not give up on fighting injustice, and people lie like mad to get other people to trust them.

potato chip

I blanked out from boredom with legal matters during some conversations between Sean Cahill and Harvey about the smoking gun deal, but I think what’s happening is this:

Mike’s prison cellmate Kevin Miller is the son-in-law of William Sutter, the investment fund guy who is soon to be indicted by Cahill. Harvey thinks Sutter is a dirty criminal, which is why he refused to represent him when Sutter asked a few weeks ago. However, Sutter craftily got Kevin to protect Mike in jail as a way to make Harvey owe him.

Cahill’s deal is still in place to have Mike freed if he can get Kevin to cough up some damning info that will ensure Sutter’s conviction. But for reasons I didn’t quite follow, that plan will only work if Harvey represents both Sutter and Kevin, and defends them to the best of his ability while secretly hoping Mike finds out something from Kevin that will convict Sutter. Otherwise, it will look like Harvey and Cahill colluded, though they’re not colluding! To make the complicated plan more credible, Harvey tells Kevin not to trust anyone in prison, including Mike.

kev&mike

Kevin gets suspicious when he finds out Mike wasn’t in the infirmary the night he got sprung by Harvey to go see Rachel. To allay those suspicions, Mike arranges via Julius the prison counselor to be put in solitary for a night where he meets the warden, who warns him in passing that informing doesn’t always go so well for the informant. The warden then fake-threatens Kevin, so that Kevin will think Mike is trustworthy again.

This ploy makes Kevin open up enough to finally tell Mike why he is in prison (though why couldn’t Harvey or Cahill just tell Mike this?) which is for drunk driving that almost killed someone. Sharp-minded Mike sees immediately that Kevin’s story doesn’t add up – he asks what Kevin was fighting about with his wife before he drove drunk, and why must he keep quiet about his crime to protect his family, but Kevin has confided enough for one day.

harvey & gallo

On the Gallo threat front, Mike’s attempt to file a motion to get Gallo paroled didn’t work, it has to be done in person by an attorney of record (which Mike would totally have known, come on now), so Harvey has to represent Gallo too. A rather swaggery-of-late Harvey tells Gallo he’ll help him out if Gallo protects Mike in jail, and if he doesn’t want to do that, Harvey will claim Gallo poisoned Mike and have him charged with that crime. Gallo’s not happy, but has no choice but to agree. That’s 3 new criminal clients Harvey has picked up in a week, and at least one of them will pay the firm some legal fees, hurray.

donna & louis

In lighter news, Louis asks Donna to find him a Hamptons house to buy ASAP so he can get Tara the comely architect to remodel it for him. Donna suggests, reasonably, that Louis not lie about having a house, and ask Tara out instead. But he can’t do that, because he is a sad sack, lonely heart fuckup. He is also impatient, and when Donna doesn’t find him a house right away, he gets mad, and she gets mad back. She tells him he can’t ask for her help and advice then ignore it, and he admits how much he misses having her work for him.  All is well when she finds what appears to be a perfect-for-his-needs Hamptons house and and makes an offer for it on his behalf (!) because Presumption is her middle name.

rachel & jess

The professor who got Rachel involved in the Innocence Project says Leonard Bailey’s case doesn’t qualify after all because there is no new DNA evidence, so the 3 solid reasons Rachel came up with for an appeal don’t matter. The prof offers to find Rachel a new case, but she wants to work on this one, and turn that frown on Bailey’s mighty disappointed so-now-I-get-to-die? face upside-down She asks Jessica if the firm could do it pro bono, she’d only need one hour of supervision a week. Jessica says no at first because she’s too busy trying to get the firm back on top. Later, after a discouraging day of trying and failing to find new clients (should have tried the prison, Jessica!), the two women have a sleeveless shootout in the hallway of their office building, and Jessica agrees to help out.

jessica stu.png

Somewhere in there, Harvey needed loose-ethics Stu and his merry band of traders to take on Sutter’s two billion dollar investment fund as a subsidiary company (yeah, right) in order to bypass the punitive move that Cahill slapped Sutter with of suspending his company’s trading license. Louis and Jessica pitch in on this endeavour by Louis coming up with the subsidiary idea, and Jessicca making Stu agree to it.  Go, team!

scotch

I’ll close with props (heh) to Neal McDonough, the Irish-named actor who plays the Irish-named Sean Cahill character, for his way with actual props on the Suits sets. In the last few episodes, he has managed to handle all of a baseball, a basketball, and an LP in Harvey’s office, and had fun with a sandwich and some potato chips in his own. Here he enjoys a scotch in Harvey’s office, after they decide they make a good couple of adversaries/allies who are totally not colluding.

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.

Suits Recap – Season 5, Episode 7: Hitting Home

In which Harvey realizes that hooking up with the beauteous Esther was a mistake, and both Jack Soloff AND Daniel Hardman reappear, sometimes together (face plant).

The return of Esther

Esther is back, dressed in some of the best costumes of the episode, including this great business executive blouse in which she asks Harvey if he will handle a lawsuit brought against her company by some guy with a nut allergy who almost died after eating one of her muffins, which are supposed to be totally nut-free.

esther blouse

In a move Esther later describes as ‘sweet in a dickish way’ but just seemed dickish to me, Harvey accuses Esther of using the lawsuit as an excuse to see him again, and tells her to get Louis to handle it instead, because Louis is a damn good lawyer and Harvey wants to do him a solid.

Sweet but dickish, or just plain dickish?

Sweet but dickish, or just plain dickish?

Louis is touched to be asked, and with Rachel’s help, eventually wins the case, though not without arguing with Esther about doing it his way versus hers. Along the way, Donna divines that Esther and Harvey have had sex, and tells Harvey he must tell Louis about that or she will tell him, because her days of lying to Louis (though not to wedding planners) are done.

Harvey, his mother and his combative shrink

mom&harvey

Dr. Paula is proud when Harvey opens up about his mother, who we see in a flashback featuring a dark-haired child actor playing Harvey, who was definitely a blond child, come on. Child Harvey comes home early from school because he’s sick and finds his mother doing post-coital laughing and shirt-buttoning-up with her ‘cousin.’ (I really hope he wasn’t her actual cousin, because ew.) But aside from the cheating with her cousin thing, the mother seemed nice enough to Harvey, didn’t she?

Dr. Paula’s pride turns into recrimination when she finds out Harvey slept with Esther. She accuses him of being as snaky as his mother, what with the sneaking around and breaking of promises. Harvey gets angry about this accusation, as usual, but sees her point.

esther dress

He returns to the office intent on telling Louis and runs into Esther, who is being flirty and wearing an insane but eye-catchingly stylish dress of the sort Donna wears, asymmetrical hem and all. Esther asks if he’d like to take her out sometime, which why couldn’t she just ask to take him out instead (whither equal rights?). Harvey brusquely shuts that down and hurts her feelings. A few minutes later, Louis, who has guessed all and gotten Donna to confirm it, storms into his office and confronts Harvey on the topic.

louis post-punch

Fisticuffs ensue, Louis gets punched in the mouth AND thrown into a glass coffee table which shatters dramatically, and Harvey’s in deep shit now, including with an appalled Jessica.

Jack Soloff & Daniel Hardman: An Unholy Alliance with a Side Dish of Mike

mike&jack

Jack asks Mike to work with him on a case involving a teachers’ pension fund and some derivatives. Everyone’s motives in this story line are twisted: Jack claims he’s trying to make up and make good, but he’s been consorting with Hardman on the sly; Jessica tells Mike he must work with Jack because she said so and also to test Jack’s two-facedness; and Mike manufactures evidence in the case (a big stack of forged emails) as a way to win it, because now everyone’s go-to tactic is to do fraudulent illegal-type stuff and lie. SMH.

Jack and Mike disagree on tactics and don’t get along, until they do, when they impress each other with their respective acts of cagey underhandedness.

jessica & hardman

Working with Mike changes Jack a bit – he informs Hardman he doesn’t want to conspire to overthrow Jessica anymore, and makes a recommendation that Mike be promoted to junior partner. Jessica, who already had a “get away from my house” talk with Hardman on the street, is properly pissed by this development. She tells Mike that while he is the best associate she has ever known, he will turn down the partnership because now is not a good time for his lack of a law degree to come to light – and can I just say how glad I am that his living-a-lie situation has not come up yet this season? Though I guess it makes sense for it to come up now.

jessica mike

Next week: Harvey vs. Louis redux.

KimMoritsuguTheHungryNovelist

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

Suits Recap – Season 5, Episode 4: No Puedo Hacerlo

In which Harvey over-flirts, former dancers move about in a dancerly fashion, we are rewarded with a distinct lack of Jack Soloff, and I learn that No Puedo Hacerlo is Spanish for “no can do,” or possibly, “fuck that noise.”

Harvey & Esther Sitting in A Tree

Screen Shot 2015-07-18 at 7.02.31 PM

Harvey and Mike are walking through the lobby of their building doing their old-school basketball schtick about whether Harvey feels competitive with Robert Zane (“Did Magic ever worry about Bird?” etc.) when Harvey spots an attractive, well-dressed woman trying to get by building security to visit someone without an appointment.

Harvey makes a beeline for the woman and aggressively flirts with her, to the tune of let’s have breakfast tomorrow after we spend tonight together. Harvey is handsome and rich and smart and all, but his lines here strike me as calling for a whoa-there-buddy reaction. Though he made similar out-of-place remarks to the model-looks lawyer played by Tricia Helfer last season, so at least his character is being consistently written, I guess. Captain Dickhead, indeed?

The woman, played by Amy Acker, an actress with a dancer’s bearing (and background, according to Wikipedia), appears charmed by Harvey’s attention, but departs for an important meeting with her brother Louis. Turns out this Esther is a wealthy lifestyle business mogul who wants the renowned Harvey Specter she has heard about from Louis all these years to represent her in divorce proceedings.

esther & harvey

Relations are plenty frosty between Louis and Harvey, but Louis asks the favor anyway, and on Donna’s advice, appeals to Harvey’s respect for Family Ties. Harvey agrees on two conditions: that Louis stay completely out of the case, and later, that he take Harvey’s side on the compensation issue of last week. In return, Louis makes Harvey promise not to sleep with Esther, a promise that will be broken by the episode’s end, though not to Louis’s knowledge.

The divorce is happening because Esther’s husband cheated on her, and children (not shown) are involved. Cue the pressing of Harvey’s hot button on cheating spouses and child abandonment! The husband wants 50% of Esther’s business based on a verbal contract they made twelve years ago when he gave up going to medical school in favor of her career.  After Rachel uncovers the fact that the husband was never accepted at any medical school, a settlement is agreed for him to get 25% of the company, which is still more than Esther wanted to give. Harvey convinces Esther to accept the deal for the sake of the children, and because did she ever thank the husband for his 12 years of devotion to the family? Maybe she should have. He then takes her home to bed (not shown), and thanks Donna for HER twelve years of devotion to him, which thank you makes Donna look like this:

donna post-apology

Louis, Man of Many Emotions

Louis brings the comedy and the pathos this week and reveals his own childhood emotional baggage. In his middle school days, cool guys sometimes befriended him when all they wanted was access to the beauteous Esther, so he’s paranoid about Harvey handling Esther’s divorce. He flatters Rachel to pump her for info on the case, and during a divorce-related meeting, he does this in an attempt to listen in:

louis wall

When Louis angrily accuses Harvey of figuratively screwing his sister (by offering too much to the husband) merely to get back at Louis, Harvey assures him he is doing the right thing by everyone because Family Matters. Louis apologizes sincerely for misreading the sitch and it looks like Harvey and Louis might be having a rapprochement. Or at least a temporary truce.

Mike, Robert Zane and The Insurance Case

I’m already bored by this story line so I was glad it got wrapped up though it was nice to see Katrina (played by former ballet dancer of Centre Stage fame, Amanda Schull) appear at Zane’s law firm (yay for continuity re: last season), and she was given some nicer costumes this time, like this pretty cocktail dress that goes well with her awesome curtain of blonde hair.

amanda katrina

Robert and Jessica want to accept the offered $25 million settlement from the insurance company, which works out to $70K per claimant, but Mike doesn’t, so he and Robert clash. Robert reluctantly lets Mike counter the offer, which leads to one of the lawyers saying “No puedo hacerlo.” Mike discovers what might be a conflict of interest that is making Zane wanting to settle but when he tells Jessica and Rachel about it, they both get mad at him for suggesting Robert could be dirty or dishonest.

Mike eventually decides to accept the settlement because the original plaintiff is just happy to have justice done, and anyway, he has brought Rachel and Robert closer together by allowing her to come to her dad’s defense, so okay, whatever. Until Jessica, wearing a rather heinous sheer black lace top, reveals that there was something fishy going on, but it wasn’t Robert being crooked, it was his client the hedge fund. She fixes it somehow so no one gets in trouble, the plaintiffs still get paid, and Robert now owes her. So everyone’s happy, heinous lace top notwithstanding.

heinous lace top

Random Recap Addenda:

1) I really liked this businesslike but pretty ombre blouse that Rachel wore, though I liked it more before I realized it was sheer and worn over a tank top.

rachel grey blouse

2) Hungry Novelist that I am, I also quite liked the pulled chicken sandwich and Frenchy salad that I picked up this week at Flock, the new Toronto artisanal rotisserie chicken and greens place run by chef Corey Vitiello, who is apparently dating Meghan Markle.

IMG_6186

Next week on Suits: the return of the dastardly Tanner character, played by Eric Close, AKA Teddy on Nashville.

KimMoritsuguTheHungryNovelist

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

Suits Recap – Season 5, Episode 2: Compensation

The season’s second episode features internecine law firm conflict, oh my! Also callbacks to two guest players from past seasons who each pop in for a single scene reappearance, a couple of new law firm characters, and one good yelp-out-loud joke.

Let’s go one story line at a time, starting with:

The Aftermath of the Michael/Rachel Engagement

colette

Rachel and her dad Robert meet for dinner at a NYC restaurant played by the Colette Grand Café in Toronto’s Thompson Hotel, which is located on the same block as my adult son’s apartment. This scene was shot one day a few months back when I happened to stop by. I saw the trucks lined up outside, asked a security guard what was filming, heard it was Suits, and tried to storm the restaurant (not really – all I did was timidly walk in and out of the hotel lobby), only to find the café firmly closed – including the bakery counter part of it, which sells, when open, nice miniature hazelnut madeleines – and all its windows covered with blackout curtains.

So I did not even glimpse Meghan Markle or Wendell Pierce shooting the scene wherein Robert complains that chicken nuggets are not on the menu of the fancy restaurant they’re in, then hands Rachel a pre-nup he’s had drawn up that he thinks Rachel and Mike should sign so that the considerable financial assets he will one day leave Rachel will not fall into Mike’s hands.

Rachel sees the pre-nup as an instance of her dad trying to control her, but after a heart-to-heart with Robert, Mike figures out that Robert is actually trying to protect her. So Mike signs it, but Rachel doesn’t, because their love is bigger than money and pre-nups! And because she has her own heart-to-heart with Jessica, during which Jessica alludes to her trust issues with Jeff of last season as having taught her not to treat her personal relationships like business ones.

The Aftermath of the Harvey/Donna Split

donna+harvey coffee

Harvey appears to be over Donna’s departure – he’s cordial when he sees her in the office, and finally hires a replacement for her. Or is he over it? He passes on a candidate who, like Donna, is attractive and over-confident, in favor of an experienced older woman named Gretchen, who supplies the episode’s big laugh when she tells him he needn’t worry about any boss-secretary sexual tension between them, because she prefers her men to be manly.

manly

When Louis accuses Harvey of being jealous of Louis and Donna’s new work partnership, Harvey reveals to Louis something he’s never told Donna: that he generously supplements her firm-paid salary out of his own pocket and is continuing to do so while she works for Louis, unless Louis wants to take over those payments. Harvey eventually does tell Donna about this, but she is more pissed that he kept this info from her than pleased that he was doing it, so that doesn’t go well.

And Louis and Jessica both accuse Harvey of working out his Donna anger on Louis. Poor Harvey. Sort of.

Louis, a random new guy and the compensation issue

soloff+louis

A lawyer who everyone calls by his full name (so that we’ll remember it?) – Jack Soloff – joins the cast as the new head of the firm’s compensation committee. He wants to even things out at the firm by making billables more important than contingency cases, an internal policy change that would affect (reduce) Harvey’s income the most.

Louis brings up the subject in a partners’ meeting so that he can be seen to support Harvey, but that plan backfires, with both Harvey and Soloff pissed off at him afterwards. When Louis finds out by how much Harvey is supplementing Donna’s salary, he decides to support Soloff’s suggestion after all, so that he can earn extra dough with which to pay Donna.

At the height of the conflict, Louis decides to leak the amount of Harvey’s compensation to the law firm by doing the old trick of leaving a confidential document in the photocopier to be discovered by the next person who comes along. Donna strongly counsels against this ploy, but Louis asks her to decide whose side she’s on, once and for all, and she stays quiet in her pretty green and blue print dress.

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Harvey, moved by the story of a client who wants to sell his successful athletic shoe business because his good friend recently died, and is that all there is? etc., apologizes to Louis sincerely for all the shit-flinging and suggests they bury the hatchet. Too late, Louis tries to take back the compensation document from the photocopier. Harvey is super-pissed when he finds out everyone now knows the HUGE number of dollars he makes. He vows to get Louis fired, and asks Donna to admit that Louis leaked the info, but Donna won’t, because she’s chosen a side and it’s Louis’s. For now.

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Louis gets the new compensation policy passed and declares that he’s won, but Harvey doesn’t care anymore because it’s not about the money, it’s about ownership of the chattel known as Donna. And Harvey is going to get Donna back, dammit.

Mike the Do-Gooder Rides Again

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Mike meets two former associates who used to work at Pearson Specter Litt for drinks to announce his engagement to Rachel. One of those associates is (Childe) Harold, of the curly blond hair and the thin-skinned permanently blushing cheeks. The other is a guy named Jimmy, who asks Mike to look into taking on a class action suit against an insurance company that neglected poor-ish patients who died because the company wouldn’t pay for treatment. Jimmy’s law firm won’t allow him to take on the case but he’s hoping that Mike the do-gooder will, because didn’t he used to want to help people?

Mike looks into the case, but when Jessica finds out, she nixes spending the firm money on the labor and prep that would be required (this is one of those contingency situations Soloff is so against), whether Mike thinks it’s winnable or not.

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Mike goes next to see his old investment banker boss Jonathan Sidwell (tall Canadian actor Brandon Firla makes his one-scene reappearance) to ask him to underwrite the case, but not only won’t he, he will besmirch Mike’s name with all the other investment bankers because he’s holding an extra-tall grudge against Mike for how the Gillis situation played out in season 4.

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Mike’s last option is to go to Robert Zane, who had earlier mentioned having been poor-ish himself back in the day. Mike presents Robert with a gift/bribe: a zip-loc bag containing what are meant to be homemade, deep-fried chicken nuggets cooked by Rachel, though the one Wendell Pierce tries to choke down a bite of looks like a breaded fish filet that came out of a Costco frozen food box. Zane agrees to take on the case but suggests he and Mike do it together. How will that work? Find out next week!

KimMoritsuguTheHungryNovelist

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

#Suits Recap: Season 4, Episode 5: Pound of Flesh

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Rachel is asleep alone in bed (in full eye makeup and a cute sleep T-shirt and shorts) when her cell phone vibrates, Logan calling. She does not pick up, but freaks out when she sees it’s past 9 am, and figures out Mike turned off her alarm so she could sleep for all of 6 hours. But she can’t afford to sleep what with the demands of law school and law work and Harvey the mean boss, can’t Mike see that? He suggests she ask Harvey for a day off.

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Harvey catches the end of a Cahill-prosecuted trial on the courtroom set and engages Cahill in a pissing contest in the aisle. Actually it’s more of a silly who-played-with-tougher-toys-as-a-child contest, which Harvey wins by saying he was a Rock-Em-Sock-Em guy as opposed to Cahill and his wussy little Battleship barbs. Which means they were both not tough at all since actual tough kids play with kitchen knives and bent crack spoons, duh. Harvey threatens to have Cahill fired if he keeps going after Harvey’s clients, but Cahill is not scared.

Mike exposits to Amy, who looks a little more mature this week (because she’s not wearing a girlish tunic dress?), that he hasn’t taken Forstman’s money yet. Maybe he can just use it as leverage (again with the leverage!) against Harvey and Logan. He meets Harvey by an elevator bank and tries to do this but Harvey sees through his bluff right away and says no dice. Foiled again.

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Harvey goes up the elevator (continuity!), and talks to Jessica about some Gillis Industries shares that the Wexler hedge fund  will soon be offloading. (These Wexler shares will be discussed far too many times during the episode.) Jessica acts all bossy when she tells Jeff Malone to find a way to acquire these shares, by hook or by crook, but she says this while wearing a tight white dress that verges on being bridal, with basketweave panels on the bodice and the hip and an off-the-shoulder sleeve/strap thing. The dress looks good on her but the costumers are just fucking with us now – the dresses Jessica and Donna wear are gorgeous and flattering, but they are so not office-wear.

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Donna is going to perform the role of Portia that evening in an amateur production of The Merchant of Venice with a three night run. I know, what? But just go with it, because this subplot is the big (and only) story line in which Donna and Louis appear in this episode. Louis finds her rehearsing her lines in the file room, is shocked to discover she is not yet off-book, and offers to help her learn her lines, even if it takes all day. He is well-equipped to do this because he happens to have memorized every word of every Shakespeare play. (Like I said, just go with it.) She confides in him that she gave up her acting dream when she was younger to get a paying job but has always wondered if she would have made it as an actress, and what if it turns out she is not good? He gives her a rousing pep talk that includes a mention of the stage fright he has suffered since grade school when he wanted to play a molar in the school play and was assigned the part of Plaque Man (heh) instead, then mocked for it.

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Mike and Sidwell (whose first name is Jonathon) have a bonding moment over Sidwell’s tombstone awards, which are these cheap acrylic trophy things that are apparently imprinted with details of financial achievement and given to banker types on completion of big deals. (Talk about nerdy toys.) Or it would be a bonding moment if Mike weren’t worried about having to cut Sidwell out of the deal as Forstman has decreed.

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After listening to and smiling at a voicemail from Logan saying his Board loved her takeover suggestions from last week, Rachel, in a suitable shirt for once, asks Harvey for “a day or two” off so she can do some of her law school homework. Harvey gives her total shit and says no. Joke’s on him when she faints in class the next day and is hospitalized for exhaustion, and he’s called because he’s one of her emergency contacts. Bad Harvey.

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Donna tells Louis she triumphed on night one of her Merchant of Venice run (though, if you ask me, there’s a pretty gaping plothole here that Louis didn’t go see her perform after coaching her the whole day). She asks Louis to fill in as Shylock for night two, because the show’s Shylock broke his ankle. Louis agrees, gets dressed up like this (that’s some expensive getup for a community theatre production), but is seized with stage fright just before his entrance. Donna talks (yells) him out of it, and he goes on to his own triumph, only to withdraw from night three because he’s happy being a lawyer. Donna reveals the play’s lead did not actually injure himself (but agreed to give up his part for one night? How likely is that? Not. Gaping plothole number two) and that she wanted to give Louis a chance to shine. Donna and Louis compliment each other in their own bonding moment.

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After a meet-awkward at the hospital where Rachel is “resting” under sedation (?! ) – totally not how I was treated when I fainted in a public place and was taken to emergency by ambulance a few years ago, but never mind – Harvey calls off the dark pool bidding auction he and Mike were about to have for those damned Wexler shares, and the two go out for a steak dinner. Noted vegetarian Gabriel Macht gamely puts food that could be fake steak in his mouth in this scene, and Patrick J. Adams doesn’t even pretend to eat. They share the third bonding moment of the episode when Harvey shows Mike a pic of Louis in his Shylock costume, complete with codpiece, and indulge in some not unfunny speculation about the size of Louis’s dick.

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Harvey and Mike are almost kind of getting along like they used to when they worked together when Cahill ambushes them on the sidewalk outside the restaurant. He’s having them watched and he thinks he can make a case for the two of them colluding on this takeover deal what with Rachel working for Harvey and living with Mike and the number of clandestine meetings Harvey and Mike have been having at elevator banks, hospitals and steak houses. He also tells them someone (Jessica!) bought the damned Wexler shares, which makes Mike feel like Harvey played him, and makes Harvey swear he will “fix it” but when he tries, Jessica won’t let him. Oh and Mike tries to return the money he got from Forstman but he can’t because Forstman has now told Sidwell about it without telling him that Mike will cut Sidwell out of the deal. Meaning that Mike is now not only in bed with the devil, he’s being … FOILED AGAIN.

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Rachel wakes in the hospital from a bad flashback/dream in which Logan proposes to her, then morphs into Mike, whom she calls a fraud she could never marry. She’s soon back at the office, where there is a thoughtful bouquet with a warm but not cloying note from Logan saying he’s glad she’s okay. On the way out of the office, Donna, wearing a pretty lace-trimmed blue dress that reveals too much lace-framed cleavage for work, runs into Harvey, who waits for her holding a bouquet of flowers and standing next to a lingeringly and lovingly shot product placement Lexus. He’s going to drive her to the theatre and catch her closing night because he may not be a Shakespeare fan but he’s a Donna fan. Good Harvey.