Suits Recap – Season 4, Episode 1: One-Two-Three Go
The Previously on Suits clips remind us that Rachel is attending law school at Columbia while working part-time at Pearson Specter, and that Mike quit the firm to go work for this Sidwell guy, an investment banker who later mentions that he is also running a hedge fund (are those two occupations the same?) and also likes to buy and sell companies for ‘real money’ because he’s a versatile cutthroat except when he lets his eyes go kindly and sympathetic like he did at the end of last season, and which he does here.
Wherever he works, Mike is still going around handing people papers and folders and envelopes filled with paper (and in this shot, a bag filled with Chinese food takeout) because that’s how he rolls, though he now wears a vest under his suit jackets which no longer look as shrunken as they did when he got to wear the skinny mod business look in contrast to Harvey’s more classically cut suits, spread collars and Windsor-knotted ties that he wears in his apartment all day and night.
Mike’s new secretary-with-attitude and an annoying way of pronouncing the ‘mein’ in ‘lo mein’ remarks saucily on Harvey’s fat tie when she meets him because she’s not going to be outdone by Donna, whom she’s never met. But we all know that Mike lied when he told Donna his new secretary is fitter, younger and funnier than Donna, because no one is better than Donna at anything. And few people could fit into the several print dresses she wears in this episode that are so tight I can only imagine the level of body shaper (Defcon5) she has on under them, but they’re nevertheless quite pretty and flattering. Especially this black and white one with two different but complementary patterns on it.
The episode actually begins with a montage of Harvey and Rachel showering (at their respective apartments) in the morning and trying to look sexy and sensual while wearing a not very attractive bathrobe (Harvey) and a bath towel accesssorized with full-on mascara (Rachel) and then having morning sex. Rachel has sex with Mike, and Harvey has relations with a one night stand I felt sorry for because the actress not only has to wear only lingerie in her one scene, she has to lounge suggestively in it in bed, ass in the air, and then she unhooks her bra from the front so we almost see her breasts but instead, we cut to a behind-the-back shot that shows Harvey fully dressed in his suit staring at her nakedness, which just, ugh on how that actress was used.
Then in Rachel’s cute we’re-still-in-the-playful-sex-stage-of-our-relationship morning scene with Mike, she does a similar drop the towel move to reveal her nakedness which we again see from the back while Mike sees her from the front, and double ugh. We also see Jessica leaving a man’s apartment after having spent the night with an unseen guy who is in the shower and she is fully dressed in her work clothes because I bet Gina Torres has a no-bathrobe, no shot-from-the-back nudity clause in her contract, and smart thinking if she does. But since the note on this episode seems to have been to bring on the sexy/smutty, Gina/Jessica is later compelled to make suggestive remarks about her own naked body and masturbation – to Harvey (!), when they’re alone in his apartment at night talking about work stuff – which, triple ugh.
On the legal front, the main business deal/legal case of the week (of this season?) is that everyone wants to take over a once prosperous but now failing company that has something to do with renting movie DVDs, might be based on Blockbuster or the non-streaming side of Netflix, and is owned by a guy named Walter Gillis who is played by Michael Gross of Family Ties fame. Gillis lives in a fabulously decorated house that contains what looks like a centuries-old carved stone fireplace as well as an awesomely creepy art photograph of a castle being swept away (a visual representation of the failure of his business?), and some serious antiques and objets. Gillis’s son that he used to watch movies with died at some past point, so he doesn’t want the company to be taken over by anyone (it’s his family now), let alone by a hostile yet good-looking guy named Logan Sanders who tries to throw his weight around with Harvey because his father retired and he’s now the boss of HIS family firm. And oh yeah, years before Rachel had an affair with Logan (a married man! though he looks a little young and artfully stubbled to have been married for any length of time, and he also looks like he could be Stidwell’s brother) so: awkward.
Rachel seems to be Harvey’s associate now and she’s professional enough to wear a white shirt, lace pencil skirt and heels to her law classes at Columbia, and to have no problem working on a case against Mike if she has to, but she might not be professional enough to work with the guy she once had a messy affair with. Though good work on the continuity of past seasons when Rachel mentioned the messy affair in regard to Mike sleeping with that blonde married woman and the woman’s husband ambushed Mike outside the Bay-Adelaide Centre one night and beat him up on the sidewalk.
Mike wants to take over Gillis’s company but save the jobs of the employees who work in its weirdly often mentioned “distribution centers” by selling the centers to a pharmaceutical company who will retain the employees to distribute drugs. This plan doesn’t sound like it would ever happen in real life, but it shows us that Mike’s still sort of The Compassionate One/Moral Compass of the show, because he lost his family too young, just like Gillis, so there’s some consistent characterization there, bravo.
Conflict arises, of the personal kind, between Mike and Harvey, when Harvey doesn’t approve of Mike’s friendly takeover plan, and of the actual conflict of interest kind, when Logan Sanders asks Harvey to also go after the company, which Harvey agrees to do after he establishes that he’s the alpha male/top dog in the room, always, and because he approves of Sanders recognizing some dialogue Harvey utters as being a reference to the movie Jerry Maguire. Eventually, Mike signs a paper waiving the conflict, which leads to comments about the fight now being ON, and I guess Mike is no longer represented by Harvey at this moment, but the takeover is not resolved by episode’s end, so more to come on that
snoozy intriguing business story, I guess.
As for Louis, he and his associate Katrina conspire amusingly throughout the episode about how they found out that a guy who works for the SEC named Jeff Malone is coming in to investigate the firm, which will give Louis an opportunity to save the day and the firm’s ass, which could lead to him becoming a name partner. Only Malone, a big, handsome black guy, comes into the office early and tells Jessica and Harvey that Woodall (the D.A from the end of last season who was out to get Harvey) will be siccing Malone onto Pearson Specter the following week, unless Malone is hired as a senior partner by the firm first.
Turns out Malone is the guy Jessica has been sleeping with, so after mulling over for about five minutes what’s more important to her – her booty call guy or her entire career/work life – she tells him he’s hired but that they have to stop seeing each other. He’s not so sure about cutting out the sex since he got signed for a multiple episode arc and has no qualms about taking his tie off and undoing his shirt buttons while at home, or probably about wearing bathrobes and back nudity, so it looks like they will continue to quaintly watch DVD movies and bang.
How This Episode’s Pop Culture References Went Over
– The two Game of Thrones lines (“Winter is coming” etc) landed nicely, with a nod to last season, when two actors from GoT were on this show.
– Mike refers to Harvey as Michael Jordan and himself as LeBron James. Which is very timely after LeBron just did that dunk while staring down Jordan in this year’s playoffs, but way too arrogant a comparison for the Compassionate Moral Compass to make, if you ask me. Seems like a line better suited to Harvey.
– Mike and Rachel are keen to go to a Daft Punk concert? They strike me as more of the Snow Patrol/Arcade Fire types.
And the funniest lines of the episode both came from Louis in conversation with Katrina, first when she tells him she’s dating someone, and second, during the conversation that ends with the phrase “Schmuck me.”
That’s my recap. Writing on deadline is hard! But fun. How’d it go for you? Please come back next week when I’ll try to do it again.
Kim Moritsugu is a Toronto novelist who likes to eat good food and watch good TV.
For more of my Suits Season 4 recaps, go here.