In which we’re subjected to (more) cringe-making sex talk from Louis and Sheila, Gretchen makes a couple of brief but welcome appearances, Donna wears gorgeous dresses, Samantha gets involved in everyone’s business, and she relaxes her hairstyle to signal that she may possess one or two redeeming human qualities. Or she’s pretending to possess them.
It’s nice for Louis that he has found love with someone who loves him back. It would be nicer still if we could be spared Sheila’s crotch-grabbing, reckless use of silly sexual euphemisms, and inane role playing. But slipped into her ridiculous assertions that Louis is a Viking god/king is her fervent belief that he not only wants to be managing partner of the firm, he should be.
Thing 1: he doesn’t want it. He’s afraid to tell Sheila this (and as a result, he can’t get it up, despite all the god/king talk) because he thinks she’s only attracted to his power. When he asks Dr. Lipshitz for Viagra, Dr. L divines the real problem and advises him that true power comes from admitting the truth. Louis asks Sheila to love him for who he is. After some resistance and a stealth visit to Dr. L herself, she comes around and suggests they start trying to have a baby. Good luck with that.
Thing 2: Zane and Harvey didn’t consider Louis as an MP candidate during their tussle for the position, or even discuss the issue with him, which rightfully pisses Louis off. He confronts Harvey and Zane, and demands to be included as an equal partner in the firm. In a deft bit of misdirection, we leave a scene thinking those two
bullies alphas are irritated by Louis’s outburst, but they end up acknowledging his partnership rights by sending him an engraved antique clock (this is meant to be a sincere, appreciative gesture, I think, and is taken as such by Louis).
Donna and her dresses start the episode wondering what the hell is the deal on Samantha after Samantha asks her to approve a huge expense account allowance, and says that Donna the reality is disappointing compared to Donna the legend.
Donna advises Harvey to keep Samantha close (as one would an enemy) and digs for more info on her. When she finds out that Samantha spins a different story on her background every time she meets someone, Donna asks Gretchen for help, and Gretchen asks Katrina – the only lawyer on staff who had worked for both firms before the merger. Katrina’s intel is that Samantha is either feared or loved, there’s no in-between – and that she’s a great lawyer, someone you want in your corner.
The managing partnership may have gone to Zane, but he and Harvey are still working out who’s in charge. When a former client of Mike’s shows up looking for legal help, Harvey takes him on, and warns Zane to let him handle his own clients. Instead, Zane asks Samantha to look into the file as well, so she can demonstrate to Harvey why Zane values her so highly.
The case concerns $50 million missing from the bank accounts of a tech startup called Podspace, run by two young guys called Max and Nick. It doesn’t matter what happened to the money. What matters is that Samantha insinuates herself into the case, Harvey bristles, and they clash and disagree. At one point, each proposes a different fraudulent solution to the problem (great crooked minds think alike?) In the end, Samantha comes up with a could-be-worse way out for all. Harvey thanks her for her good work and tells Zane he’s starting to see her worth. That’s why her name should be the next one on the wall, Zane says, making Harvey wince because he made the same promise to Alex, not that he tells Zane that.
Donna admits to Harvey that Samantha is an asset, but points out that Alex and Samantha can’t both be made name partner at the same time. Harvey pledges to figure out a way to get what he wants.
Samantha also gets in Alex’s face this week, because Alex’s ambition is causing him to make stupid mistakes. Mistake #1: he asks Zane to play golf with him as a way to win his favour. Zane doesn’t want to play golf with a suck-up. He tells Alex the way to impress him is to bring in a “big fat client.”
Alex asks Katrina which of the clients who stayed with Zane’s former firm he should go after. Katrina warns him off Starboard Airlines (these generic company names!), formerly Samantha’s client, but, mistake #2, Alex goes for it anyway. He meets the company president, an arrogant rich guy named Gavin Andrews. Andrews will throw the corporate business Alex’s way if Alex can arrange for him to get ‘permanent custody’ of a Renoir painting that Andrews’s angry ex-wife loaned to the Met Museum upon the recent breakup of the marriage. Alex waylays the wife in the lobby during an intermission at a ballet performance (as one does) that apparently called for black tie (as they don’t) at Toronto’s Ed Mirvish theatre (not a ballet venue). He gets her to agree to give up the painting if she gets the villa in Bordeaux in the divorce settlement.
Alex considers this a victory, but Samantha pops into his office – with her hair not blown out into a severe bob for once – and warns him that Andrews is a nasty piece of work whom Alex should avoid, given his past experience with nasty (blackmailing and corrupt) clients. Alex is not afraid, because he is getting worse at reading people with every passing week.
Next week: the return of the enjoyably smarmy landlord who owns the building where the law offices are located.
Kim Moritsugu is a Toronto novelist and sometime TV show recapper. Her latest novel The Showrunner, now available from your favourite bookseller, is a darkly humourous, suspenseful Hollywood-noir novel about female ambition inside the TV biz that an advance reviewer called a “sophisticated, compelling, and surprisingly complex drama.” Check out its book trailer here: