In which Katrina, Samantha and Alex continue to angle for promotions, Harvey takes pity on a cleaning woman, tender soul Brian Altman has a bigger role than usual, and Donna gets to one-up the firm’s charming rogue landlord David Fox (played by Toronto actor David Alpay, who has an interesting resumé.)
Three episodes into the season, and I’m already bored with the competition between Alex and Sam to become name partner. At least Harvey isn’t keeping his promise to Alex (that he’s next) a secret from Zane any longer. Zane’s bright idea for how to handle the fact that he’s promised Samantha the same thing: kick the can down the road and deal with it later. He takes a similar approach when Louis comes to him wanting to promote Katrina to senior partner – Katrina must prove she can manage people first.
Louis asks Katrina to manage/supervise Brian to show her skills. She agrees though she’s stressed about a file she’s working on. She gives Brian one hour to prepare for a meeting with a Mr. Bigelow of Bigelow Textiles (again with the corny company names!), then doesn’t show up for the meeting. Bigelow is pissed when Brian proves to be unfamiliar with the file (though Brian is very nice and apologetic about it – his dialogue in this scene is well written and performed).
Turns out Katrina was absent because she’s been suffering stress-induced migraines since firing the associates, and she doesn’t want anyone to know that she has a weakness re: her career aspirations. Brian agrees to keep her secret, because he’s a mensch. He keeps it even when Louis gives him total shit for screwing up the meeting.
Katrina appreciates Brian’s support, tells him any doubts she had about him are gone, and sends him to court alone on the Bigelow file, so that he can get the credit when he wins the case he helped her prepare. She also tells Louis about her migraines and he’s sympathetic. Win-win-win.
Alex is still wrangling his new client Gavin Andrews, the rich asshole who owns an airline and a Renoir. Gavin’s not happy that Samantha is apparently about to sign his competitor Delta Airlines (come on, as if) as a client. Alex confronts Samantha on the street and tells her to back the hell down. She won’t at first, but capitulates after a weird conversation with Louis, wherein he says inappropriate things about her appearance (Brigitte Nielsen?) and 6′ height (Heigl is 5’8″- 5’9″). She retaliates by placing herself inappropriately close to him in a way that emphasizes their height difference (or the height of her heels), and by talking about puddles. She also tells him to never ask her for a favour. That’s going to end well.
Of course, the moment Gavin gets what he wants, he asks for more. Forget his earlier sob story about the Renoir having sentimental value because of his dead father, he’s selling it for $66 million and he wants Alex to have the proceeds from the sale laundered. Oh no, not the illegal shit again. Alex runs to Samantha and asks for her help in handling Gavin.
After making it clear she repeatedly told him so, she reminds Alex that Gavin only cares about himself. Alex interprets this hot tip to mean he should trick Gavin into making Alex the trustee of his off-shore bank account – Alex essentially blackmails him into submission. He then thanks Samantha with ringside UFC (!) tickets. In a meant-to-be peace-making move, she says there’s no point competing with her, because she’s already ahead – her name is next on the wall. So much for kicking the can down the road.
Harvey encounters a distraught cleaning woman named Anna in the men’s washroom (as one does). He questions her gently and gives her his handkerchief, and upon learning she’s owed overtime pay that she needs for her mother’s medical bills, he offers to look into the matter for her.
Zane and Donna are dead set against riling up the landlord, who has proved to be tetchy in the past, but Harvey’s new motto is What Would Mike Do, so he forges on in an attempt to save a woman of the people.
His first meeting with David Fox quickly degenerates into legal threats. David explains that the cleaning services are subcontracted out, so he has no say in the employees’ pay. Harvey accuses him of breaking landlord-tenant law. After cooling down a little, Harvey decides to refer Anna’s case to the legal aid clinic, but when he travels downtown and finds Tall Nathan and Tall Oliver both out of the office, and the other crusading lawyers up to their ears in work, he leaves.
David Fox starts doing classic dirty landlord tricks like directing his workmen to be slow to repair the elevators, and having Anna fired. After walking up five flights of stairs, a sweaty Zane demands Harvey resolve the dispute immediately. Donna and Louis agree.
When Harvey questions how he has alienated everyone at the firm to the point where he is MAKING HIS OWN PHOTOCOPIES, OMG, Donna suggests he misses Mike, and he should call him for advice. Instead, Harvey puts his Mike Ross Thinking Cap on, and comes up with the idea to have the clinic launch a class action suit against David Fox on behalf of all the affected maintenance staff.
Harvey gives Donna the satisfaction of delivering the lawsuit and making a deal with David Fox to avoid it. Fox agrees to have Anna rehired and to pay her and her co-workers properly, in exchange for free legal services from Harvey for one year. Fox wants to make a dinner date with Donna part of the negotiation, but she refuses and tells him to write up the new agreement because she has better things to do with her time. Advantage Donna.
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 a reviewer called a “sophisticated, compelling, and surprisingly complex drama.” Check out its book trailer here: