Ten Days in the Valley Recap – Day 3

Screen Shot 2017-10-21 at 10.15.21 PM.pngOne thing I like about this show is that it’s more about the why and the who than the what. Every episode so far ends with a scene showing that while Lake, the child captive, may be a little cranky, she’s alive, well, and decently-enough cared for. It appears we have nothing to fear about her being harmed, so we’re not dread-watching, we’re watching to see why she was taken.

Also, the revelation late in the episode that Casey – ! – is the abduction mastermind (or at least a key accomplice in an abduction gang), is big news for episode 3/10. Kudos to the show for upending expectations about how long we’d have to wait to find out who is involved, yet still hooking our interest.

The episode opens with Jane and John Bird reviewing the video sent to Jane on Day 2, of Lake on an outdoor swing. John asks Jane to look for identifying features in the background. All Jane can offer – because her showrunner skills include cinematography, apparently –  is that judging from the way the light falls on Lake’s face, the video was shot late the day before.  And that Lake is wearing a red hoodie that is not her own. We later learn that the hoodie is from the show’s wardrobe closet and was given to Lake when she recently visited the studio and went home afterwards with Pete. During that studio visit, Matt the head writer and co-exec producer played with her on-set because he is a nice guy dad, and Jane ignored her because she is work-obsessed. She feels bad about ignoring her later, though.

John Bird speculates that the video could have been sent to reassure Jane that Lake is safe, to establish she is alive in advance of a ransom note that will follow, or to torment Jane. Like I said  –  the why of the kidnapping is still unknown.

Jane assures her narcotics cop lover Gus that her computer contains no info that reveals  that he is her source. She asks him what an IP anonymiser is (one was used to hide where the video was sent from). He explains, then exposits that the LAPD’s best team is on the case. When that team discovers that the video was sent from within the studio, Bird suggests that Jane could help him identify the culprit by assuming her staff are guilty,  then work back one-by-one to figure out what each person’s motive might be. Problem is, too many people she works with have reasons to resent her. Starting with the show director Henry, once her peer, now her subordinate, and given to temper tantrums on set when Isabel, the demanding actress who is the show’s star, complains about her lines.

Bird and his team arrive with Jane at the studio, and ask everyone to hand over their laptops for examination. Cut to Matt watching the video on his computer in a back room and acting shady – he calls his husband (a stay-at-home dad with IT skills) to ask how to forever delete a file on his hard drive, he tries to hide his laptop among the prop ones in a storeroom. Under questioning, which for some reason Bird lets Jane watch on a computer monitor from another room (she’s so trustworthy?), Matt admits that with his husband’s help, he gained access to Jane’s laptop and emails a few months before.  He needed to get into her inbox to delete a bridge-burning resignation message he sent when he got a new job that then fell through.  He kept monitoring her emails after that because he thought they might give him ideas for how to curry her favour, and help him understand the workings of her brilliant showrunning mind. That’s why the video of Lake was on his computer; he saw it via Jane’s emails.  So he is innocent, maybe, despite having much to gain if Jane leaves the show, even temporarily, and despite his resentment of her bossy and demanding ways.

Not anywhere close to being in the clear, still, is Pete, who a) recently sold his BMW for $18K cash – to cover debts?, b) has no idea what items of clothing belong or don’t belong to Lake, c) punches a random guy in the street because the guy posts flyers that cover Lake’s missing posters, d) calls Sheldon the Korean BBQ Taco King/Drug Boss and says, “Listen, for god’s sake, this is insane. Just call me,”  e) acts defensive and tries to discredit Jane every time he’s questioned by police, and f) urges Casey to go to the station ASAP to reinforce his alibi.

Police Commander Gomez – so far more of an interested party than a suspect – spends the day playing golf with his brother, who is running for state attorney general. Police Gomez confides that a shoot-up of bad guy gangs that occurred some years ago might have been carried out by dirty cops who were robbing dealers. There were rumours then, but no hard evidence, so no case, but that’s what Jane’s TV show, “Internal,” is about, which is not good for either brother. Gomez asks John Bird to find out who Jane’s source is, and John delivers: he finds Gus’s name in Jane’s deleted emails (taken from Matt’s hard drive). To Bird, Gomez is like, it’s probably no big deal, but thanks. He immediately calls for all of Gus’s records and files.

Casey finally comes in for questioning by the police, and Bird figures out that she and this Kathryn Collins they’ve been waiting to see with regard to Pete’s alibi are one and the same. Casey/KC pretty quickly identifies PJ from the surveillance camera video as Jane’s drug dealer, and pretends to sympathetically excuse Jane’s drug use as being occasional and only when necessary due to overwork.

Bird confronts Jane with a Child Protection Services officer at his side, and threatens to charge her with obstruction of justice for lying about her drug use. She tries to tell him that Pete has Lake because of the red hoodie, but he cuts her off and tells her he doesn’t work for her, he works for her daughter. So I guess she won’t be watching anymore when he questions suspects?

Meanwhile, in a not very nice house, in back of which sits a beat-up car, Lake “doesn’t sleep, just stares,” and is creeping out her caregiver, a many months pregnant blonde woman who goes outside to complain to a waiting-in-the-shadows Casey. “It’ll be over soon,” Casey says. “We’ll end it tomorrow.”

Convincing behind-the-scenes TV show details this episode:

  • the look of the wardrobe room, the writers’ room, and the offices
  • the hairnet Isabel wears between shooting scenes
  • Matt referring dismissively to the show he was asked to run as episodic and on cable, when “Internal” is on cable too

Less convincing details:

  • Henry being “the show director” rather than one of several directors
  • non-production staff hanging out on the set between shots – doing real work at a set  desk, running around playfully with a kid, and generally dirtying up the joint
  • the “Isabel wheel” in the writers’ room that indicates her diva behaviour affects the writers’ room on a daily basis
  • Jane having convinced Isabel to join the show by telling her they would “walk hand-in-hand toward the truth”– alrighty, then.
  • the lack of any network or studio executives weighing in on how Lake’s disappearance is affecting production and Jane’s job performance/sanity, not to mention having an opinion about police detectives taking over the offices

Next week: follow the money! Pete owes Sheldon some cash, Jane buys more drugs, and the pregnant captive-minder wants thirty grand.

Kim Moritsugu is a Toronto novelist and sometime TV show recapper. Her most recent book is a suburban comedy of manners called The Oakdale Dinner Club. Coming in 2018: The Showrunner, a darkly humourous, suspenseful Hollywood-noir novel about female ambition inside the TV biz. Here is its book trailer:


Ten Days in the Valley Recap – S1, E1&2

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Why have I departed from exclusively recapping Suits to recap Ten Days in the Valley? Because Ten Days is a suspenseful story about a showrunner in L.A., as is my novel The Showrunner, coming out in June, 2018, thanks so much for asking. Also because Ten Days is a twisty mystery that will resolve by the end of the ten episode run. And we’re shown at the end of the first two episodes that the missing daughter is alive and well, hidden away somewhere, so I’m pretty certain there will be no grisly child murder or abuse scenes to fast forward through. For all that, I’ll put up with the handheld camera shots, of which there are not tons, at least. But if I’m going to recap the show, it had better not be cancelled before the run ends. (I’m looking at you, ratings.)

Ten days, ten episodes, one day per episode, I like the neatness of the structure. Not too keen though on the blurry flashbacks in Episode 1, the ones that establish that Jane Sadler, our showrunner anti-hero, did not have the greatest childhood. Her parents were irresponsible partiers who apparently had little regard for Jane and her younger sister, whose name is Ali. In the present, Ali has become the sensible one. She’s married, she’s Jane’s business manager, she’s a straight shooter, she’s all about calling the cops when Lake goes missing. She’s also undergoing fertility treatments, which allows her to bond with John Bird, the world-weary, slow-talking but sharp police detective who is assigned to the case. He helps Ali with her hormone injections because he knows all about them from the time when his second wife tried to get pregnant. She didn’t, though, and is now his ex, we gather, from the look of his lonely cop apartment.

Jane, on the other hand, may be a talented filmmaker – we hear early and often about  her award-winning documentary that exposed police corruption – but she’s also a work-obsessed, substance-abusing (Ambien, cocaine, Adderall, whole bottles of wine – and that’s just in the first episode), distracted if loving mother of Lake, age 7 or so. Lake is a sensitive child, bright and fun (see her and Jane do hip-hop dancing together!) who says creepy things like, “When I’m away with Dad, I miss you so much I think I want to go to heaven.”

A sleeping Lake is taken from Jane’s bed on a rainy night sometime between 1-4 am, while Jane was in the backyard shed rewriting a scene to be shot the next morning for the fictional – or is it? – cop show that she now produces. The sliding glass doors at the back of the house were open, and Jane had a baby monitor with her, on which she heard nothing but static.

Jane freaks out big-time when she discovers that Lake is missing, but she’s also a big fat liar who lies: about the film student/drug dealer/Korean BBQ delivery guy who dropped off some cocaine to her in the shed in the middle of the night, about her love life, about how much the TV show is based on the dirty truths she learned about police practices while researching that documentary.

Jane is recently separated from her husband Pete, a skeevy music producer with an Aussie accent. He’s a heroin addict (currently clean, he claims), he’s fucking Jane’s young skinny assistant Casey on the down-low, and he claims to adore his daughter, while hating Jane for making him adhere to the terms of their custody arrangement. He’s portrayed as a nasty, manipulative jerk who cares more about slagging Jane than about finding his daughter. His alibi (that he was with Casey) is fake; he receives a text that says “where is my money?” And his car, or one like it, was seen outside Jane’s house on the night in question. Jane is so convinced that Pete arranged the abduction to punish her and cast aspersions about her parenting skills that he can’t be the culprit, can he?

The other suspects/shady characters introduced in episodes 1 and 2:

  • Bea, the Salvadorean nanny. She’s poor, has an ex-con gardener boyfriend who has stolen valuable stuff (like leftover fancy bathroom floor tiles, go figure) from Jane, and she never told Jane about the 16-year-old daughter she is trying to bring to the US, an effort that will cost money she doesn’t have.
  • Matt, the head writer on the cop show. Described on the show website as being Jane’s right-hand man, he seems to question Jane’s judgment and challenge her ideas more than he backs her up. As if he were trying to take over the show. Sidenote: is it just me, or does the writers’ room seem a little understaffed?
  • Tom, Ali’s husband, who is friends with nasty Pete, AND a recently laid-off journalist who can’t afford to pay for the next round of IVF for Ali.
  • Commander Gomez, a police big wig who gets his hands on leaked scripts of Jane’s cop show in advance of each episode because he apparently fears exposure of evil doings, though whether those doings are his own or his department’s is yet to be revealed.
  • Gus, an undercover narcotics cop who meets Jane secretly to chide her for not sufficiently disguising in her scripts the source material he has given her. According to the previews for next week, Gus is also Jane’s lover. About whom Jane, of course, lied.
  • Possibly Sheldon, the Korean BBQ taco chef/drug kingpin who runs a successful food truck business (shades of Roy Choi or what) while dispensing the hard stuff, including to trendy glamourpusses at his ultra-cool loft. That’s where Jane stupidly snorts some Special K to prove she’s not a cop, and spends the the night high, naked and passed out in the loft’s bathroom, after taking a shower during which the mascara on her false eyelashes does an excellent job of being waterproof.

Who isn’t a suspect? Maybe not Commander Gomez’s comely female assistant/underling, who is sleeping with a woman writer on the show to get access to the scripts. And probably not Detective John Bird and his underlings Buddy and Nicole, though why are 12 cops from the Robbery and Homicide department working around the clock on what looks at first to be a child custody dispute?

Next week: more revelations, and a more timely recap from me, I pledge.

Kim Moritsugu is a Toronto novelist and sometime TV show recapper. Her most recent book is a suburban comedy of manners called The Oakdale Dinner Club. Coming in 2018: The Showrunner, a darkly humourous, suspenseful Hollywood-noir novel about female ambition inside the TV biz. Here is its book trailer:

Suits Recap – Season 7, Episode 10: Donna

In which Andy Malik goes after Harvey by discrediting Donna; Robert Zane attempts to right a past wrong, with Rachel’s help; Louis helps Alex fight against his former law firm; Mike doesn’t do much, and oh yeah, this happens:

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We open with Harvey at home, trying on and discarding ties, on the day Donna is to appear in court, subpoenaed by Malik. Dr. Paula interprets Harvey’s somewhat nervous behaviour as a sign of his great loyalty to his work fam, as opposed to any sublimated feelings he has for Donna, say. Way to self-delude, Dr. P.

At the office, Louis declares there is no need for him to eviscerate Donna in a mock trial because Malik will raise the Danner case from years ago, and what happened is privileged “work product” so Donna won’t have to testify. He’s proven wrong when Malik brings up the Coastal Motors case instead, the one where Donna destroyed a file, which Malik says means she probably also destroyed the memo that never existed in the current Wall St. case.

Malik puts Donna through the wringer on the stand, and implies that she slept her way to her COO position at PSL. Afterwards, Donna lashes out at Louis, and says he’s to blame because he didn’t help her prepare for court. Donna figures out that Holly Cromwell is involved with the leaking of the fake memo to a Times reporter. She finds Holly, apologizes for PSL’s past treatment of her, and asks her to testify. Holly won’t do that, but knowing that she was involved gives the team the leverage they need to scare Malik off the case.  Still intent on bringing Harvey low, Malik announces he’s going after Jessica next, and will get her disbarred for her part in the Mike Ross-was-a-fraud-lawyer situation.

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Jessica shows up in a gorgeous powder blue coat to remind us how much we miss seeing her statuesque form garbed in beautiful expensive clothing. She’s cool with being disbarred – who needs New York to lawyer in, when she’s got Chicago? – and with taking her name off the firm’s wall, because it’s time for the firm to be Harvey’s. Time for Louis and Harvey to buy her out.

Zane père-et-fille are still fighting this Arthur Kittredge bank CEO guy, who years ago harassed Robert’s sister into quitting her job and going into decline before she died of cancer. Flashbacks show the sister to have been strong and smart, and Robert to have been afraid to help her for fear of risking his law career. In the present, Rachel and Robert try to establish that Kittredge had a pattern of discriminating (against women). Robert’s personal grudge and hot temper keep getting in the way of legally taking Kittredge down, but in the end, Rachel negotiates a deal with the bank’s Board that includes a settlement for the loan applicants who were discriminated against, and Kittredge’s resignation.

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Remember how Alex used to work for the evil, vindictive firm of Bratton Gould? Team PSL forced Bratton to resign, and now Gould is coming after Pfizer, the client Alex took with him when he left. Louis helps Alex by directing all the associates to work on his case. He also asks Dr. Lipshitz to impersonate a German pharmaceutical company head and make a fake phone call to head Gould off, but Dr. L declines, for obvious ethical reasons. Louis’s final ploy is to lend Alex his Dictaphone. Alex uses it to secretly tape Gould saying he is only going after Pfizer to punish Alex, which is illegal. The Dictaphone strikes again!

Louis also consults with Dr. Lipshitz about how upset he was when Donna blamed him for letting her go to court unprepared. After Dr. L points out the parallels with Louis’s Sheila situation, Louis apologizes to Donna. He explains that he didn’t want to question her about her feelings for Harvey because he wouldn’t want anyone to ask him about his for Sheila. Mike has earlier counselled Donna to make her feelings for Harvey known, so when Louis says he regrets not having told Sheila he loved her when he had the chance, Donna has a come-to-Donna moment. She kisses Harvey, delighting Darvey shippers the world over, and says, “I just had to know.”

Series creator Aaron Korsh said in a Deadline.com interview  – that also hints at what’s to come when Suits returns in 2018 – that Donna wanted to know how the kiss made her feel, not how Harvey would respond (which he mostly, but not totally, didn’t). We  are left hanging, in suitable summer finale fashion, as to what they each thought or felt.

ICYMI, some off-camera (let’s face it, gossip) notes about two cast members:

  • The news broke in late September that Gina Torres and her husband, actor Laurence Fishburne, have separated, which helps explain why she left Suits last season to return to LA from Toronto. She is now set to return to The Six to shoot her Chicago-set Suits spinoff.
  • Also in late September, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry did make their public debut as a couple at the Invictus Games in Toronto, as was keenly anticipated by royals watchers. For an interesting analysis of the meaning and import of Meghan’s recent Vanity Fair profile, check out the always entertaining Fug Girls’ take on it here.

Kim Moritsugu is a Toronto novelist and sometime TV show recapper. Her most recent book is a suburban comedy of manners called The Oakdale Dinner Club. Coming in 2018: The Showrunner, a darkly humourous, suspenseful novel about female ambition inside the TV biz. Here’s a trailer for it:

Suits Recap – Season 7, Episode 9: Shame

In which Louis hallucinates and babysits (not at the same time, luckily), Harvey goes up against the new Deputy Attorney General in town, and Robert and Rachel Zane work together on a pro bono case.

7211180885db4096ffeef3a954baIt’s the penultimate episode before Suits goes on hiatus, and everyone talks fast so they can get the new story lines underway before the break. Starting with Mike, who tells Harvey a new Deputy Attorney-General has announced he’s going to clean up Wall Street, and wouldn’t it be a kick for Harvey to lock horns with the guy? They quickly sign up as a client a woman investment banker whose firm is being investigated for evading taxes (or something), just so they can defend her against the crusading DAG.  Not sure why that would be fun, but hey, conflict!

Turns out Harvey knows the DAG, a guy named Andy Malik (played by actor Usman Ally,  as seen on Veep), from when they both worked in the DA’s office. Harvey, in his arrogant way, doesn’t remember Andy, but Donna does – as sneaky and conniving. She warns Harvey and Mike not to fuck with him, but they do anyway, and damn if he doesn’t come up with a new sneaky tactic every time they think they’ve outwitted him. By episode’s end, he has threatened to expose shady, Cameron Dennis-related doings that Harvey and Donna were involved with back in the day. This means that Donna may be called on to testify, which means it’s time for another mock trial so Donna can practice not falling apart on the stand. Harvey & Donna ask Louis to conduct the mock trial again, because he proved how incisive (read: cutthroat) he was during the last mock trial, when he got Donna to admit she was in love in Harvey. Donna swears she can take Louis’s hectoring this time.

Louis doesn’t agree to conduct the mock trial at first, because his mental breakdown is proceeding apace, his latest trigger being the the night he spent with Sheila Szaz in the Hotel of Immoral Assignations. During his unshaven walk of shame into the office the morning after, he hallucinates that he is being loudly shamed by more extras than the show has ever assembled on-set – are we supposed to think PSL employs this many people now? He cancels a session with Dr. Lipshitz, and urges Brian to get aggressive with a case involving patent infringement between two pacifier manufacturers. He also a) hallucinates that the CEO of the opposing pacifier company is Sheila’s fiancé and is berating him for sleeping with her, and b) is verbally abusive to Brian after Brian makes a mistake in the wording of a document.

Louis then has a big shouty argument with Gretchen, who won’t back off, because her job is to watch his back, but she promises to knock him the hell out if he treats another associate the way he’s treated Brian.

Gretchen sternly tells Brian to man up, not resign, and to clean up his mess, which he does by finding a solution for the case. A contrite Louis apologizes to Brian, has a session with Dr. Lipshitz, and tells him he is unraveling because he thinks Sheila is the one and he pushed her away and now has nothing. Dr. L would prefer Louis forget about his lost loves right now and work on the lashing out problem. Still contrite, Louis goes to Brian’s apartment and offers to hold the baby for a few hours so Brian can sleep. Brian is so sleep-deprived that he accepts the offer.

Robert Zane asks Rachel to work on a pro bono case with him –  a discrimination suit against a bank that he believes practices predatory lending against people of colour. They work well together and seem to be bonding. But when they depose a black loan officer who insists there is no discrimination at the bank, Robert loses it and calls the bank’s attorney a fool.  Rachel asks Robert what’s really going on, and he admits that he wants to take down the bank’s CEO because many years ago the CEO (then a bank branch manager) harassed and fired Robert’s late sister, and ruined her life. And get this: Robert was inspired by Mike’s commitment to social justice causes to go after this old enemy. Double Aww. And they’re not giving up on the case yet!

At first Donna won’t tell Rachel how her ‘date’ with Mark at the Hotel of Immoral Assignations went, or rather, did not go. When she’s had a few days to get over feeling like shit for even going over there, she tells Rachel the whole sordid story, with this punch line: she doesn’t regret putting Harvey over Mark in the days when she and Mark were dating. She regrets putting Harvey over herself.

Next week: On the summer season finale, Mike advises Donna to tell Harvey how she feels about him.

Kim Moritsugu is a Toronto novelist and sometime TV show recapper. Her most recent book is a suburban comedy of manners called The Oakdale Dinner Club. Coming in 2018: The Showrunner, a darkly humourous, suspenseful novel about female ambition inside the TV biz.

Suits Recap – Season 7, Episode 8: 100

Patrick J. Adams directs the series’ much-promoted 100th episode, in which a fierce Robert Zane throws Harvey, none too gently, against a wall; Louis’s comedy bits make me laugh; and the writers upend my expectations (Frank Gallo dies! the prison case wraps up with 2 episodes left to go in this part of the season!) to pleasing effect.

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Let’s start with Donna’s hey-how-are-you call to her ex, AKA is calling an ex ever a good idea? Mark may be a (past) giver of leather-bound Shakespeare sonnet books, but he is also currently (and unhappily) married, a detail he neglects to mention till he and Donna are well into a cozy restaurant lunch. After that revelation, Donna tells him not to contact her until he’s single. Instead, he calls to say he’ll soon be in the city (from Connecticut), at the Carlyle Hotel (really Toronto’s Fairmont Royal York, unless the glass doors at the Carlyle are embossed with RY logos), for a conference, maybe she can drop by.

Donna has no intention of taking Mark up on his skeezy invitation, that is until she has a hella awkward run-in with Dr. Paula at the office. Dr. P has dropped in to leave Harvey a note or maybe a gift in honour of their 2 month anniversary.  I’ll praise Director Patrick J. and Sarah Rafferty for the relatable cutaways (pretending I know film direction terms now) during this scene, wherein Donna makes cringey faces to herself during the fakely bright and friendly convo that ensues, a conversation that Dr. P. sees through immediately because she’s a psychiatrist, yo.

The combo of Mark making caddish advances and Harvey being happy in his new relationship makes Donna sad. She refuses Rachel’s invitation to go for drinks, gets gussied up, and heads to the Hotel of Immoral Assignations. Luckily, her better instincts  – and a sweet text from Rachel, saying that Donna deserves the best – prevail, and she does not enter Mark’s room.

On to Louis: he flies off the handle because Gretchen requested that various Ivy League law schools send over resumes of new grad candidates to fill Stephanie’s now-vacant position (never mind that Stephanie was a 4th-year associate) and Columbia did not send any, damn it. After a decent comic bit featuring Louis’s ability to tell how many file folders he is holding from flipping through the stack and listening to the sound they make, he storms over to Columbia to complain. There, he discovers that his ex Sheila, who would not leave Harvard for him, now lives in New York, is engaged, and works at Columbia. She didn’t send any applicants for the job because she didn’t want to Louis to be hurt when he found out how much she has moved on.

Back at the office, Louis is sad that two loves of his life have rejected him in one year, and refuses to take Sheila’s calls. She eventually gets through and says she wants to use his body once more before she gets married in two weeks. Their phone conversation about what she would like to do with him sexually is funny because it contains so many incomplete sentences. And because their sex talk is ridiculous.

Sheila has booked ‘their’ special hotel room, also in the Royal York, and invites Louis to come over. He tells Rachel he is tempted to do something wrong without specifying what, and Rachel tells him she knows he has a good heart, no matter what happens.  Poor Louis goes and does ridiculous sex things with Sheila anyway.

The prison case: Harvey, Mike and Alex make a plan to take down Reform Corp and Masterson Construction and to save Alex from his evil overlords at the same time. Phase 1 of the plan is for Harvey to hand over the class action suit to Robert Zane, who has no client conflicts in the game, and whose role in the strained Batman and Robin analogy the show keeps pushing is apparently that of Commissioner Gordon.

Zane gets fired up about the case, because of the injustice and oppression it represents for mainly black prisoners. He asks for a huge settlement from Reform Corp (still repped by Harvey) and when that’s turned down, wants Frank Gallo to testify (like Mike wanted before). The PSL boys don’t want that though, because Alex will be ruined if the prison conspiracy comes to light. Rachel, of all people, finds a way to discredit her dad and Frank Gallo in court, by bringing up the photos of her that he took from Mike’s phone in prison back in the day, and passed around to the other inmates. After roughing up Harvey in a men’s restroom for that trick, Zane video-interviews Gallo anyway, and gets incriminating testimony from him about the Reform Corp CEO, a very bad guy named Shapiro.

All conflicts resolve when the gang learns that Gallo has been killed in jail (by Shapiro’s henchmen). Using Gallo’s pre-death taped interview – now admissible in court as a death-bed confession – as a weapon, they get Shapiro to sign a confession of conspiracy to fraud, and to agree to the original large settlement of the class action suit. They also convince very bad lawyer Bratton to resign from his firm, and to tear up Alex’s affidavit, the one that has him falsely taking responsibility for the prison-related wrong-doing. And no one is going is prison!

Alex no longer has a black cloud hanging over him, and tells Harvey they’re square, though Harvey thinks Alex owes him now. Mike apologizes to Zane for opposing him in court. He also delivers a generous cheque to Gallo’s daughter, and tells him Gallo was a decent man (you know, for a murderer/psychopath).

Now Harvey and Dr. Paula can go out for their romantic 2 month anniversary dinner! She gives him a small wrapped gift that he does not open, and he gives her the key to his apartment (the one Donna returned to him last week) in exchange. She is not fooled, she knows he didn’t know about the anniversary and had not prepared a gift. She still likes/loves him, though.

Next week: banter, jokes, and, I hope, a break from prisons.

Kim Moritsugu is a Toronto novelist and sometime TV show recapper. Her most recent book is a suburban comedy of manners called The Oakdale Dinner Club. Coming in 2018: The Showrunner, a darkly humourous, suspenseful novel about female ambition inside the TV biz.

Suits Recap – Season 7, Episode 7: Full Disclosure

In which we find out Alex’s secret and it’s a doozy, Anita Gibbs and her expensive-looking wig make a return appearance, we get an origin story on Louis and his shrink, and the flashback filter makes everyone look vampirish and sickly, except maybe Donna in her fake bangs.

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We start with Mike telling Rachel he plans to take the prison case to criminal court because he can’t let it go, and doing that would not be a violation of his agreement with Harvey. She is fine with his decision as long as she doesn’t have to lie to Harvey about it.

Mike tries to give the file to his old nemesis Anita Gibbs. And I have to say here that the way that Mike has faced down his biggest enemies, Gibbs and Frank Gallo, and asked them to work with him on the case, is either a measure of his brave and bold resolve, or is just crazy. Also possibly GoT-ish, from what I know of the show, to make alliances with people you despise in order to fight a big foe.

Anita will only pursue the case for the Dept of Justice if Mike can bring her proof of conspiracy between the two corporations involved, and that proof has to be from the company PSL does not represent because of attorney-client privilege.

Mike gets the proof he needs by asking Benjamin, the PSL IT guy, to do some illegal hacking of the company that isn’t their client, Reform Corp (shades of Mr. Robot‘s Evil Corp or what). But Harvey catches wind of Mike’s plan, and quickly signs up Reform Corp as a client, so it too will be protected.

And why does Harvey do this? Because he owes Alex big-time, thanks to what went down several years ago, pre-Mike, in the days when Harvey and Louis were associates and the Hardman in Pearson Hardman was running the firm. Back then, Louis gets a partnership ahead of Harvey, and Harvey is pissed. But the first time his lawyer pal Alex, an associate at Bratton Gould, floats the idea that they offer BG  a deal to take the two of them on as junior partners for the price of another more senior solo lawyer, Harvey says no, the deal doesn’t sound good enough for him.

Past Jessica makes past Harvey work on a case with past Louis. Louis lords it over Harvey, and when Harvey complains, Jessica tells him to stop whining and suck it up. Sort of like how she has had to rise above sexism, racism, and arrogant bossmen on her way to becoming name partner.

After Jessica puts him in his place, Harvey is humiliated and angry. He tells Alex to go ahead and make BG that 2-for-1 offer and gives his word he’ll take the job if his rock star rider type requirements are met. Bratton agrees to the terms but warns Alex he will be in deep shit if Harvey does not accept.

No surprise, Harvey changes his mind – mainly because Jessica told him he was the best lawyer in the firm, she wants him to be her work husband, and she has made Hardman promise Harvey is next up for a partnership. Alex is screwed, but he accepts Harvey’s decision graciously. And now Harvey owes Alex a big favour.

What was unknown to Harvey until the present was that after Alex’s play backfired, he was treated like shit by BG for years, until the day he was asked to take on a new client, Masterson Construction. Masterson partnered with Reform Corp and together they illegally and secretly used prisoners to build prisons. Alex didn’t know how criminal the two firms were being until a prison guard – who had told Alex that an inmate died during construction – was killed. Alex tried to extricate himself from the whole mess because murder! – and discovered that Bratton and Masterson Constr. had fixed the books so that Alex was complicit in every underhanded move they made. Rather than blow the whistle and end up in jail, which would leave his daughter fatherless (this guy has a family and personal life?), Alex stayed quiet at BG, his secret festering for years, until Harvey came along and offered him a partnership at PSL.

Remember a few weeks ago when BG was coming after PSL’s clients, and Alex signed a paper that made BG stop doing that? That paper said Alex was responsible for everything bad that ever happened with the prison building scheme. Now we know why he was so eager to stop Mike’s class action suit.

Alex starts the episode confessing all to Harvey, and ends it confessing all to Mike, against Harvey’s orders. Good thing too, because now Harvey can stop threatening to fire Mike for persisting with the case and they can all try to take down Masterson Construction and Reform Corp together before everyone’s futures are threatened. Especially since the boss of Masterson turned down a big cheque Harvey offered him to no longer be their client. He’d rather have them in his clutches, bwah-ha-ha.

Still in the past, Jessica commands Louis to go into therapy. Louis calls Dr. Lipshitz a Nazi upon hearing his German accent, but thaws a little when he learns Dr. L is a German Jew. He thaws further upon learning that Dr. L is excited to work with him, given that Louis is transparently screwed up and given to revelatory outbursts about his psyche. When Jessica hears that Louis is working on himself, she gives him responsibility for the associates for the first time, which doesn’t make much sense but okay, sure.

Also in the past, Donna and her bangs give Harvey grief about not consulting her when he was thinking about the two of them jumping ship for Bratton Gould. And she has a six month anniversary dinner with ‘Mark,’ a guy she’s dating who is thoughtful enough to give her a copy of Shakespeare’s sonnets as an anniversary gift. Too bad he breaks up with her on the spot because he’s sick of hearing her talk non-stop about Harvey.

Next week: In the series’s 100th episode, Rachel joins Team Prison Case, and we get the return of (the) Mark.

Kim Moritsugu is a Toronto novelist and sometime TV show recapper. Her most recent book is a suburban comedy of manners called The Oakdale Dinner Club. Coming in 2018: The Showrunner, a darkly humourous, suspenseful novel about female ambition inside the TV biz.

Suits Recap – Season 7, Episode 6: Home to Roost

In which Harvey finds out Mike is still working on the prison case, Alex gets the case dismissed in court because he’s afraid his secret will come out, and Donna briefly pretends that she knew that Harvey and Dr. Paula were dating when she did not.

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Let’s start with Mike and his lying ways. He tells Rachel, still pissed after their argument the night before, that he can’t back down on the case because he is helping people. This is the same justification he used for lying about being a lawyer all those years, so at least he’s consistent. A consistent liar, that is.

Frank Gallo leaves Harvey a phone message warning that he and Mike had better not be trying to fuck him over again. Mike lies about why he contacted Gallo and brushes off Harvey’s warnings about him. Harvey pays a visit to Oscar Reyes and gets confirmation that Mike and Tall Oliver are working together on the prison class action suit. Harvey confronts Mike and tells him he must get off the case. Mike still wants to see it through. In addition to being consistent, he’s stubborn.

After another tiff with Rachel, who is angry she had to lie to Harvey about Mike’s whereabouts, Mike tells Tall Oliver he has to quit the case. He yells at TO to get the goddamn job done alone. Tall Oliver is all “this  motherfucker” –  (by which I believe he means the case) – “is going down” and seems to be doing well in court the next morning, but Alex strides in, tells the judge about the agreement Mike signed, and gets the case dismissed.

Back at the office, Alex and Mike argue loudly about what went down in the courtroom. Harvey takes Alex’s side and tells Mike he made his bed, so go lie in it. But when Harvey and Alex are alone, Harvey rebukes him for having the suit dismissed and asks what’s really going on with him and this prison case.

Mike slinks off to see Oscar Reyes, who is justifiably pissed that he turned down a generous settlement on Mike’s advice so that the class action suit could proceed, and now he has nothing. Mike assures him the case is not over, and he will make it right. Bets on whether this case will be resolved before the show takes its mid-season break in September? I bet not.

When not dealing with his unruly underling, Harvey screws up the courage to tell Donna he’s dating Dr. Paula, which Dr. P thinks he should do now that she is referring to him as not only her boyfriend, but as her outstanding boyfriend. Also because she knows from when she was analyzing Harvey that Donna loves him, and Harvey needs to let her move on.

Donna puts on an amused air of superiority when Harvey finally tells her and says she knew all along.  But she confides in Rachel that she didn’t see the relationship coming because she didn’t want to. She hates it that the news bothers her, and she really hates it that she lied and pretended she knew. To her credit, she soon admits to Harvey that she didn’t know, and says she’s happy for him. She gives him back his apartment key, a symbolic gesture to suggest she’s let go of him. Has she, though? I still think Dr. P. will be gone by season’s end.

Louis gets a lot of scenes again this week, since he is being sued for sexual harrassment by dour Stephanie, who has moved on to the Zane law firm. Stephanie has a roomful of witnesses who heard Louis disparage her likelihood of having children when she worked in the PSL bullpen. She also has her reputation to protect from people who think she left PSL because she couldn’t cut it in the big leagues.

Louis goes about preparing his case in the worst ways possible: he tries to get mild-mannered associate Brian Altman (nicely under-played by Jake Epstein of deGrassi and Broadway fame) to say he’ll fudge the truth if asked, and he goes to see Stephanie against Katrina’s explicit advice and insults her again. His aggressive approach leads Stephanie to subpoena Brian, Rachel and Donna to testify for her side.

Katrina tries and fails to broker a deal with Stephanie. On Brian’s advice, Louis visits her once more, apologizes sincerely, and explains that his outburst was caused by his deep disappointment after being dumped by Tara, when his hopes of becoming a parent were dashed along with his hopes of ever being loved. A compassionate Stephanie can relate to the fear of ending up alone and childless after over-devoting oneself to lawyering, and agrees to drop the suit.

A sincerely contrite Louis thanks Donna for her advice on dealing with Stephanie, and Donna gives him back responsibility for the associates, now that he’s become more sensitive. Louis completes his redemption arc (of the episode) by apologizing to Brian and telling him he can go home early and play with his new baby. Brian wonders if he is being fired or punked, and Louis presents him with a custom-made “You’ve Been Spitt Up” onesie. Now available at the Suits USA online merchandise store!

Sidenote of the week: Did y’all see the big announcement that Gina Torres will star in a Jessica Pearson Suits spin-off set in Chicago, to do with politics, that will premiere in 2018? I could have sworn a big reason given for Torres leaving Suits was that she wanted to be closer to home and family (i.e. not live in Toronto for 9 months of the year) but the new show will be also be filmed in Toronto with same exec producers and production company, also the same costume designer that clothes Jessica in her amazing power wardrobe on Suits. Looks like I’ll have to recap that show when it comes out too.

Next week: Alex is It in the Everyone-Has-A-Secret game.

Kim Moritsugu is a Toronto novelist and sometime TV show recapper. Her most recent book is a suburban comedy of manners called The Oakdale Dinner Club. Coming in 2018: The Showrunner, a darkly humourous, suspenseful novel about female ambition inside the TV biz.