Suits Recap – Season 7, Episode 4: Divide and Conquer

In which everyone’s pissed at Harvey; Jessica appears, again looking glamourous AFand Robert Zane returns.

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Storyline #1: Rachel & Mike’s long delayed wedding

Harvey once offered up his spiffy condo as a wedding venue for Mike & Rachel, so Rachel gets his keys and takes her dad over there to check it out. Robert is not into it, and Rachel is not too keen either. When Rachel says she and Mike have been too busy to really plan the wedding, Robert wonders aloud if they will have time to focus on their marriage if they ever do get married, what with them being so wedded to work.

Sure enough, Mike can’t make it to the appointment with the wedding planner in the rather impressive looking ballroom at Toronto’s Fairmont Royal York Hotel, standing in for the Plaza Hotel in NYC, and Rachel is an hour late because of work. Afterwards, she tells Mike she still wants the wedding at the Plaza someday, but not super soon because they are both too busy doing what they love – working. They do promise to set a date though.

Storyline #2: It’s Hate Harvey Week

Louis, mostly recovered from what seemed like a major mental breakdown last week, goes looking for Stephanie, the associate that Donna fired for insubordination. When he finds out she was fired, he yells at Donna that Harvey (whom he refers to as Lord God Almighty, in more of a rage-y way than a joking one) is driving the firm into the ground, and everyone is pissed at him. Donna promptly tells Harvey to get his head out of his ass and deal with how the PSL team is falling apart.

Harvey returns to Chicago so we can check out Jessica’s latest stunning white dress and jacket combo, and asks her for advice. She suggests he give Louis a new piece of business to keep him happy, and alludes to the time when she and Harvey overcame some spat they were having because they worked together to poach a client from Zane.  Like maybe what Harvey & co. need is a crisis to bring them together, she’s just saying.

Next thing you know, Alex’s old law firm, Bratton Gould, aggressively comes after PSL’s clients, by suing them or courting them. Harvey fights one lawsuit in court, with Mike’s help, which makes them refer lamely to themselves as Batman & Robin. Louis reassures another skittish client with Alex’s help, which leads to a friendly dinner at which Louis and Alex discover something they have in common other than cats is that they were previously overlooked by their law firms’ name partners.

Bratton Gould is five times the size of PSL though, and they are not giving up on their vendetta, apparently caused by PSL taking away Alex and his clients. Harvey asks Zane to pretend to be considering a merger with PSL, to make it look like they can fight off BG, but Zane won’t do it.

Donna is tasked with finding out who at PSL is giving BG all the juicy deets on which clients are vulnerable or stealable, and asks Rachel to confront the fired Stephanie, a likely suspect, and see if she’s the traitor. She isn’t, though (and the actress who plays her is very good at having perpetual bitchface).  It kills Donna that she has let Harvey down by failing to identify the leaker.

Alex finally admits that he has some (unspecified) dirt on Bratton, though he was involved in said dirt, so yeah, the sitch is awks. He goes to see the Bratton head guy (who may be Bratton himself), and they make a deal to never speak to each other again, for Alex to take all the blame if the dirty thing ever comes to light, and for BG to stop with the attack on PSL for 10 years.

Crisis averted, and fences apparently mended, Harvey figures out Jessica (!) was the person who fed inside info on the firm’s weaknesses to BG, though she clarifies that she only spilled the beans when they asked her to. And because she thought the best way to bring the PSL crew together was for them to be attacked. With friends like her …

Storyline #3: Mike’s Pro Bono Case is Still Going On

Last week, Mike promised Harvey – in writing – that he would stay out of the prison neglect case, and he handed it over to Tall Oliver.  This week, Tall Oliver asks Mike for advice without directly asking him, and Mike advises without seeming to advise. But when Tall O receives a large settlement offer from the prison company, Mike realizes they are onto something bigger than one prisoner’s death. He persuades the original client, Mr. Reyes (Reyos?), to turn down the settlement so that more claimants can be found, a bigger settlement sought and future deaths prevented.

Tall O finds more claimants, but he and the other tall guys at the legal aid clinic can’t handle all the work involved, they need Mike’s help. Mike hesitates because of the agreement. Come on now, Tall O asks, what’s a little lie between Harvey and Mike about this vital social justice case when Mike lied for years about being a lawyer? Mike soon caves: he’s back on the case, on the down low.

Random Notes:

  • Rachel and her dad have a mutually admiring conversation about how she liked the idea of working with him when the fake merger was being talked out, and he thinks she’s a great lawyer. Is Rachel’s possible departure for her dad’s law firm the beginning of an exit strategy for the Rachel character, now that the actors’ seven year contracts are coming to an end and Meghan Markle may be looking to move to the U.K.?
  • Looks like iterations of the ‘fuck’ word are here to stay in Suitsland: Alex referred to his former partner at Bratton Gould as a motherfucker (!)

Next week: Same as every week, Pinky – secrets and lies abound.

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.

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Suits Recap – Season 4, Episode 16 Season Finale: Not Just A Pretty Face

The season finale features two time frames, both with that sly dog villain Forstman in them. Cue hair and makeup!

Twelve years ago, Harvey and Donna meet in a way that’s supposed to be cute but comes off as a little obnoxious if, like me, you’re starting to suffer from some Donna-as-overconfident-know-it-all fatigue. The highlighted hair with bad bangs that she wears in the past doesn’t help matters.

meet cute

Harvey & Donna both work for the D.A.’s office but don’t know each other. Harvey has won a high-profile white collar crime case and is celebrating in a bar when Donna introduces herself and ‘auditions’ for a job as his secretary, though with a nod to series continuity, her main goal is to become an actress. Harvey discerns that she’s not just a pretty face, and seems interested in her, both professionally and sexually, but before they can seal the deal, they’re interrupted by Forstman, also with supposedly younger-looking hair, who wants to buy Harvey a drink.

forstman past

Harvey doesn’t know Forstman either but he turns him down pretty quick when Forstman offers to hire him for big money to do corrupt Forstman-like things. Harvey’s only making 50 grand (!!) at the D.A.’s office but he’s not in law to make money, even though he’ll be earning 500 grand when he returns to corporate law sometime soon.

better bro

Harvey’s brother Marcus, a Troubled (gambling) Relative who does not look like Gabriel Macht, is trying to turn his life around and open a restaurant. While seated in The Gabardine, an upscale downtown Toronto diner that Harvey discourteously refers to as a dump, Marcus tries to show Harvey a business plan to take over the place and asks him for $150K that Harvey doesn’t have. Marcus wants to go to their mom and her boyfriend for it, but Harvey can’t have that because he’s so mad at the mom for cheating on and leaving the dad and kids in a longstanding plot point AKA Harvey’s Relationship Baggage that he carries around with him everywhere.

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Harvey goes to see his pal Jessica, and makes a silly comment about having seen her wear that dress before. She shuts that down by informing him she never wears the same dress twice, hah, and refuses to bring him into her firm earlier than planned so that Marcus can get the investment money which she figures he’ll just gamble away or pay to someone who wants to break his legs. She warns Harvey not to get anywhere near Forstman either, but he does anyway and says he wants the job after all.

cars

When Forstman learns why Harvey wants the signing bonus Forstman offered him, and the job, they start playing who’s-got-the-bigger-dick with talk of betting and racing cars against each other. Forstman tricks Harvey into giving him some insider information that he uses to make $100 million on the stock market in one day. Harvey is pissed when he finds out, quits the job, and threatens to prosecute Forstman but he can’t because Forstman will implicate him for giving him the tip and Marcus has already received the $150,000 cheque Forstman sent over, so Forstman’s got Harvey in a bind the way he gets everyone in a bind – through blackmail, dirty tricks and preying on their concerns for their Troubled Relatives.

donna coffee

Harvey vows to get back at him someday, returns to the D.A.’s office, and hires Donna as his secretary though she is wearing a heinous fuzzy sweater that’s a far cry from her present-day wardrobe. She adds vanilla to his coffee and he loves it. End of past story.

cahill

In the present day, our blue-eyed buddy Cahill from the S.E.C. ambushes Harvey in his apartment lobby. He hasn’t been able to find any trace of the dirty money Forstman paid off Woodall with earlier in the season, so Harvey had better find it in 5 days if he wants Woodall and Forstman to burn in hell and be prosecuted.

rachel excluded

Harvey goes over to Mike and Rachel’s apartment to ask Mike to dig into the Woodall money sitch. Rachel complains that Harvey has been ignoring her professionally since Mike returned to the firm so she skips law school the next day in order to help Mike, and to prove to Harvey that she exists.

rachel coat

Rachel eventually figures out that Woodall used Forstman’s money to help his own Troubled Relative, an ex-wife who suffers from early onset Alzheimer’s and is living at an expensive care facility. Score one for Rachel in Harvey’s eyes. Mike is impressed with Rachel’s compassion for the poor demented woman – Rachel wants to help people, just like he does! I was impressed with her latest in a series of cute coats that coordinate beautifully with her pencil skirts.

donna & louis

Still in the present, Louis goes nuts in some funny/sad scenes about the sudden off-screen death of Norma, his never seen but often spoken of ‘battleaxe’ of a secretary. The person he confides in most about his emotional turmoil is Donna, who has not recovered from hearing Harvey’s confession of love, or did he mean the platonic kind? from last week.

better urns

Harvey is too Harvey-ish and emotionally repressed to clarify the love declaration beyond saying he said it to cheer her up (Doh! And no.) This pisses Donna off even as she helps Louis get over his rage and sorrow (he hated Norma’s clogs and for leaving him, but he also loved her). Donna comforts him through a breakdown he has over choosing an urn for Norma’s ashes, and helps organize a memorial ceremony in Louis’s office, during which he says Norma had a point about not letting life pass you by. The perennial heart-on-his-sleeve wearer Louis tells Donna how wonderful and supportive she is, and asks her to take Norma’s place, because Harvey doesn’t know how lucky he is to have her.

donna quits

Donna says no at first – she can’t leave Harvey – but changes her mind when Harvey continues to be an unfeeling cold fish with baggage who thinks he and Donna have everything already (except, like, physical love, and a romantic commitment), so why spoil their beautiful friendship by taking it further? The upshot: Harvey, who hates being left, is left by Donna, who will from here on work for Louis.

forstman + balls

Two more plot lines to tie up for the season’s end! In one, Harvey tries to get Woodall to turn against Forstman by confessing that Forstman trapped Harvey similarly years before with regard to Harvey’s own Troubled Relative. Blah blah fishcakes, Forstman comes to see Harvey late at night at the office and threatens to reveal the dirt he has on Harvey if he gets turned in. But Harvey is wearing a wire, and Cahill is listening in. They got him! And Harvey’s brother is no longer troubled, by the way.

proposal

Finally, Mike, moved by Louis’s admonition to seize the moment, proposes to Rachel with Grammy’s ring, and in a tear-inducing scene nicely acted by Meghan Markle, she says yes. Woo! Mike even asked (off-screen) her dad for permission. Does that mean Zane Sr. gets to find out Mike’s Secret next season? And who’s dying to see how the women on the show will be costumed for the wedding? I am. But wait, the wedding’s totally going to happen, right?

Kim Moritsugu is a Toronto novelist whose latest book is a comedy of manners about food and sex called The Oakdale Dinner Club. Her recaps of Season 4 of Suits are her first foray into the wild world of TV show recapping.