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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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In which Harvey drives a Ferrari convertible around Toronto, Rachel wears new hair about which I have doubts, Louis acts like a jerk, and Donna’s search for ‘more’ in life is rather quickly resolved.

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I don’t get why either, but Mike being back in the firm makes Harvey decide to romance his former shrink Dr. Paula, so he drives up Toronto’s University Ave, past the Toronto General Hospital, to Lowther Avenue in the Annex/Yorkville neighbourhood, a location I identified by a) scouring Google maps’ streetview of Yorkville side streets, and b) riding over there on my bike to confirm the specific spot on the block, diligent recapper that I am.

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Harvey finds Dr. Paula walking on the street by her house when he pulls up, which does NOT happen in real life mild stalking, as I may know from personal experience, having maybe once walked very slowly by a modest house in Toronto’s west end where Suits was purportedly shooting one hot summer day last year (or was it the year before?), only to fail to see anyone of interest except a security guard and a crew member wearing a Suits T-shirt.

Harvey asks Dr. P out, and she brings up the ethics issue with regard to doctor-patient dating, but in a friendly, slightly flirtatious manner. He points out sufficient time has gone by since she last treated him, and she agrees to one dinner. And yes, he should definitely bring the car to their date, because in the Suits universe, a smart, accomplished woman who previously told Harvey she is not impressed by his wealth and sexual history is a woman who digs a dashing guy in a vintage expensive sports car.

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Back in law land, Mike gives Tall Nathan at the Tall Guys Legal Aid Clinic a cheque for $500K,  but oops, this means Mike is leaving to work fulltime for PSL after all. Tall Nathan sits down to make his height less noticeable and takes the money, but he and Tall Oliver won’t believe that Mike will alternate his fatcat corporate cases with pro bono ones until they see him doing it.

Fresh off showing his dick car to Dr. Paula, Harvey is all banter and jokes with Mike about bike racks and Jedis, and wants to  put on one last show case with him before he has to stop having fun and perform boring managing partner duties. The last case involves a vodka company run by a tough talker named Stillman (get it? vodka = a still + this guy is a man?). Stillman wants to sell his company and he wants it done quickly or he’s going to fire PSL, so here we go with another classic Suits fake tight deadline to propel the plot.

Harvey & Mike giddily plan a party featuring an open bar and models (of the fashion variety) for prospective vodka business buyers. Harvey goes to a modeling agency to hire the models (as if he wouldn’t just look at headshots or delegate this job to Donna) but all he can think about amidst all the beautiful faces and skinny young bodies is Dr. Paula, so he calls her, and phone flirts, which she is into.

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At dinner, Harvey makes the big date mistake of NOT LISTENING when Dr. Paula is filling him in on her background (a brother who teaches at Cambridge U is mentioned to underline that Paula is not a mindless pretty face. Unlike models.) In Harvey’s defence,  he has been under some work strain, but Dr. Paula is all, “This was a mistake,” and “Doctors and patients should never date, especially since I have been known to fantasize about being kissed manfully by you on my doorstep, you handsome devil. I was a fool to entertain that fantasy, but I’ll throw it out there now so you can pick up on it later in the episode.” And she stalks out of the restaurant.

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At the vodka buyers party, Harvey reveals that because he is an astute biz world observer, he knows that the serious bidders for the business will be the guys at the party who are not chatting up the models nor getting wasted on the free booze. Nice sexist and stupid thinking, boys. Meanwhile, Mike and Harvey get to drink, cuz woo-hoo! They’re bros in suits!

The next day they meet with two of the three serious bidders who have come forward and start a bidding war. Too bad Mike finds out soon after that Stillman wants to sell because he has been accused of stealing another company’s vodka recipe.

Harvey goes to confront Stillman about his deceptive ways, and is ordered to do his job and make the sale. But after a who-asked-you? pep talk from Mike about how Harvey is afraid – afraid! – to take responsibility and fill Jessica’s large shoes, Harvey goes back to Stillman (who has a weird habit of spending his work hours in the vodka plant that looks an awful lot like a brewery) and dictates a cockamamie plan to buy the competitor and market the identical formulas as separate brands or some such nonsense that will be a win for everyone except possibly vodka consumers.

The biggest story line this week is Donna’s. Early on in the ep, she buttonholes a distracted Harvey to say she has figured out what the formerly vague ‘more’ she wants from life is, and it’s to be a full partner at the firm (not a name partner though, let’s save that for next season). In a nice touch of sympathetic characterization, we see her cocky demeanour slip for a moment behind Harvey’s back, when she whews with relief after she makes her request and he doesn’t laugh her out of the building.

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Instead, he’s, like, “I’m busy booking models for a party, but I’ll take it under consideration.” He continues to dodge her on the topic even after she presents him with a cheque for 500 grand (Gretchen’s idea) to show she’s serious, and even when she punches above her weight class by dealing with Louis bullying the associates he claims to love except he’s a fucked up person who expresses his affection by being not just mean, but actionable-harrassment-type mean. And Donna deals with the Louis sitch despite Louis insulting her big-time and ranking her on the firm’s Ladder of Importance as far below Rachel, who is of course far below Louis.

By the 3rd or 4th time Donna asks Harvey about her partnership, after mentioning that BTW, other law firms have partners who aren’t lawyers, so it’d be no biggie if PSL did, he says okay, you got it.

That was quick.

At least one fan tweeted at series creator Aaron Korsh that Harvey’s capitulation was a sign of his poor management skills (sign #2 after the whole models party plan, if you ask me) but Mike thinks it’s about time, and I say sure, let’s go with it for Women Power reasons, and in the hope of fewer “because I’m Donna” scenes, and more interesting story lines for Sarah Rafferty, who seems like a lovely person from her Instagram feed. Really.

before hair

Nowadays, it’s difficult to watch Meghan Markle as Rachel and see beyond the Prince Harry’s girlfriend filter. My “What’s happened to her hairline?” thoughts upon seeing her were quickly followed by wonderings on how soon she will leave the show, will she and Harry go public at the Invictus games in Toronto this fall, and could she possibly want to live the life of a royal, even a minor one, what with the tabloid scrutiny and the never-ending smile-and-be-gracious public appearances? Regardless, Rachel doesn’t have much to do this episode, aside from making weak she’s-a-good-sport jokes with Mike about how she is going to meet some Chippendale dancers (!) because the writers apparently could not come up with any guys who are more enticing and 21st century-ish that she could joke about meeting while Mike is partying with models. Guys like Nico Tortorella, Idris Elba,  John Cho, or Harry Styles, say.

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Rachel also gets yelled at by Louis when she suggests that maybe she should take over the associates, but in the end, thanks to new partner Donna, Rachel does take over the associates. Which should make for more interesting story lines for her this season than being a good sport about her fiancee’s partying. By the end of the episode, her hair even looked more becoming. Oh yeah, and she compassionately suggested to Louis that he speak to Tara, and get some closure on their breakup by voicemail.

To finish things off, Harvey caps off his good day as the firm’s official new managing partner by, you guessed it, driving back to Dr. Paula’s townhouse, taking her in his arms, and kissing her passionately. And what do you know, she too is tall.

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Bonus point: The word fuck is uttered (and promptly garbled/swallowed by someone in post-production) twice in this episode! Could it be that the glory days are ending of shit as the profanity of choice on this show?

Next week: Harvey and Dr. Paula have sex.

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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In which Harvey becomes everyone’s attorney, Jessica helps Rachel not give up on fighting injustice, and people lie like mad to get other people to trust them.

potato chip

I blanked out from boredom with legal matters during some conversations between Sean Cahill and Harvey about the smoking gun deal, but I think what’s happening is this:

Mike’s prison cellmate Kevin Miller is the son-in-law of William Sutter, the investment fund guy who is soon to be indicted by Cahill. Harvey thinks Sutter is a dirty criminal, which is why he refused to represent him when Sutter asked a few weeks ago. However, Sutter craftily got Kevin to protect Mike in jail as a way to make Harvey owe him.

Cahill’s deal is still in place to have Mike freed if he can get Kevin to cough up some damning info that will ensure Sutter’s conviction. But for reasons I didn’t quite follow, that plan will only work if Harvey represents both Sutter and Kevin, and defends them to the best of his ability while secretly hoping Mike finds out something from Kevin that will convict Sutter. Otherwise, it will look like Harvey and Cahill colluded, though they’re not colluding! To make the complicated plan more credible, Harvey tells Kevin not to trust anyone in prison, including Mike.

kev&mike

Kevin gets suspicious when he finds out Mike wasn’t in the infirmary the night he got sprung by Harvey to go see Rachel. To allay those suspicions, Mike arranges via Julius the prison counselor to be put in solitary for a night where he meets the warden, who warns him in passing that informing doesn’t always go so well for the informant. The warden then fake-threatens Kevin, so that Kevin will think Mike is trustworthy again.

This ploy makes Kevin open up enough to finally tell Mike why he is in prison (though why couldn’t Harvey or Cahill just tell Mike this?) which is for drunk driving that almost killed someone. Sharp-minded Mike sees immediately that Kevin’s story doesn’t add up – he asks what Kevin was fighting about with his wife before he drove drunk, and why must he keep quiet about his crime to protect his family, but Kevin has confided enough for one day.

harvey & gallo

On the Gallo threat front, Mike’s attempt to file a motion to get Gallo paroled didn’t work, it has to be done in person by an attorney of record (which Mike would totally have known, come on now), so Harvey has to represent Gallo too. A rather swaggery-of-late Harvey tells Gallo he’ll help him out if Gallo protects Mike in jail, and if he doesn’t want to do that, Harvey will claim Gallo poisoned Mike and have him charged with that crime. Gallo’s not happy, but has no choice but to agree. That’s 3 new criminal clients Harvey has picked up in a week, and at least one of them will pay the firm some legal fees, hurray.

donna & louis

In lighter news, Louis asks Donna to find him a Hamptons house to buy ASAP so he can get Tara the comely architect to remodel it for him. Donna suggests, reasonably, that Louis not lie about having a house, and ask Tara out instead. But he can’t do that, because he is a sad sack, lonely heart fuckup. He is also impatient, and when Donna doesn’t find him a house right away, he gets mad, and she gets mad back. She tells him he can’t ask for her help and advice then ignore it, and he admits how much he misses having her work for him.  All is well when she finds what appears to be a perfect-for-his-needs Hamptons house and and makes an offer for it on his behalf (!) because Presumption is her middle name.

rachel & jess

The professor who got Rachel involved in the Innocence Project says Leonard Bailey’s case doesn’t qualify after all because there is no new DNA evidence, so the 3 solid reasons Rachel came up with for an appeal don’t matter. The prof offers to find Rachel a new case, but she wants to work on this one, and turn that frown on Bailey’s mighty disappointed so-now-I-get-to-die? face upside-down She asks Jessica if the firm could do it pro bono, she’d only need one hour of supervision a week. Jessica says no at first because she’s too busy trying to get the firm back on top. Later, after a discouraging day of trying and failing to find new clients (should have tried the prison, Jessica!), the two women have a sleeveless shootout in the hallway of their office building, and Jessica agrees to help out.

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Somewhere in there, Harvey needed loose-ethics Stu and his merry band of traders to take on Sutter’s two billion dollar investment fund as a subsidiary company (yeah, right) in order to bypass the punitive move that Cahill slapped Sutter with of suspending his company’s trading license. Louis and Jessica pitch in on this endeavour by Louis coming up with the subsidiary idea, and Jessicca making Stu agree to it.  Go, team!

scotch

I’ll close with props (heh) to Neal McDonough, the Irish-named actor who plays the Irish-named Sean Cahill character, for his way with actual props on the Suits sets. In the last few episodes, he has managed to handle all of a baseball, a basketball, and an LP in Harvey’s office, and had fun with a sandwich and some potato chips in his own. Here he enjoys a scotch in Harvey’s office, after they decide they make a good couple of adversaries/allies who are totally not colluding.

KimMoritsuguTheHungryNovelist

Kim Moritsugu is a Toronto novelist and sometime TV show recapper whose latest novel is a suburban comedy of manners called The Oakdale Dinner Club.

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In which Mike gets beaten up, Harvey makes and breaks promises, we learn that Jessica and her beautiful hair live in Toronto’s Yorkville neighbourhood, and Jack Soloff returns!

jessica's hair

Prison Blues

Turns out Frank Gallo, tough-guy gangster and this season’s villain, didn’t fool Mike into pouring his heart out last episode in order to collect damning evidence against Harvey. All he needed to know was that Harvey holds Mike dear, so now he can hurt Harvey by hurting Mike.

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Mike no longer trusts anyone, so he scorns his real cellmate, Kevin, who, despite his wise guy face, has a strong belief in staying out of trouble, especially Frank’s brand of it, which is why he let Frank take his place for Confession Night. But Mike is too much of a hothead to be cautious. When Frank threatens to distribute photoshopped nude pics of Rachel to everyone in the jail (a bit of a weak threat, IMO), Mike starts throwing punches.

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The altercation lands Mike in Counselor MJW’s a bit too nicely decorated office (that lamp! the model sailboat!), where he’s told he has two options : work on rehabilitating himself by taking on a prison job, or spend a month in solitary the next time he is involved in an incident. And guess what was in the envelope of pics Frank brandished? Blank paper.

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Donna has worked her magic to get Rachel on the approved visitor list at the jail with no waiting period. When Rachel hotfoots out there, she’s turned away because Mike has had his visitors’ privileges suspended for 2 weeks. She tries to get in as his lawyer, but the prison reception desk knows she is not Harvey, so no.

Harvey’s turn to visit Mike. Mike tells him about Gallo and the corrupt guards and Harvey reports that Gallo was jailed somewhere harder and meaner for racketeering when Harvey was the Assistant DA, but he must have been transferred to Danbury for good behaviour. Harvey wants to speak to the warden and get Gallo moved, but Mike makes him promise not to, he will take care of himself (because that’s gone well so far.)

frank fence

On Harvey’s way out, Gallo taunts him from the exercise yard. Harvey wants to fight him real bad, and settles for twisting (breaking?) Gallo’s finger through a link in the fence (would there be that kind of openwork baseball field-type fence at a prison? Just asking.) Harvey tells Gallo to leave Mike alone, under pain of death by paid assassin or by Harvey’s own hands, take his pick.

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Back at the office, Harvey lies to Rachel that everything is cool at Danbury, it was some other prisoner named Ross who was in trouble, but she sees through that and tells him he’d better deal with Gallo no matter what he promised Mike, or else (drum roll) she will never forgive him!

lying better

Harvey returns to prison and tells Mike he wants to ask Cahill AKA our old buddy Keyhole of the Justice department to get Gallo moved, and Mike says okay, fine, and he will be sure not to get caught alone with Gallo until then.

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Naturally, he gets jumped by Gallo and his two goons soon after, in a common area which, on Gallo’s cue, is quickly emptied of other inmates and guards. Gallo is about to stick a shiv in Mike when Cellmate Kevin brings a (temporarily?) non-corrupt guard to ask what’s going on. “Nothing,” says Mike, because he understands how prison works now. Later, in their cell, Mike thanks Kevin and Kevin explains he wanted to make up for having let Gallo into the cell, something he only did because he was afraid. There’s one account paid.

Battle of the Longhairs

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Harvey meets Jessica outside her spiffy Avenue Road apartment building (check the blue street sign in the background) with coffees, and they go into the office to find it bustling with people who look like staff and associates. They’re actually movie extras (played by TV extras, in a meta move) Louis hired to make the company look like it’s not a sinking ship. When Jessica, in her ridiculous bridal-adjacent white peplum jacket, points out they need to look poor because they want to settle the class action lawsuit for 10 cents on the dollar, Louis fires them.

movie extras

That leaves Gretchen and Donna as the only support staff. While chilling in the executive kitchen with Jessica, Gretchen observes how much blacker the firm is now, at 50% (that’s 3 out of 6 employees, including Rachel). This comment earns her a fist bump from Jessica, and a questionable remark from Donna that she is black inside.

donna's black inside

Gretchen later takes exception to this, and Donna shows her cell phone pics of an unseen, unnamed possibly famous recording artist she once dated. I guess he must be black because her past relationship with him is proof of, wait – what, exactly?  I didn’t get it, but Gretchen seems convinced.

jack's hair

Jack Soloff and his amusing pro baseball player hair try to sue Jessica for his partner money, which he needs to buy into Robert Zane’s firm. Jessica tells him she can’t pay him back without paying back all the other partners, and asks Zane to make Jack stop suing her. Zane does call him off, which means Jack is ruined, but at the last minute, Jessica lends money to Zane to lend to Soloff for the buy-in because she’s the one who got Jack into this mess. And that’s a second account paid.

stemple

The settlement of the class action lawsuit is about to be ratified in court when Harvey’s old Harvard nemesis Elliot Stemple holds up the proceedings with an objection that one client (Jack Soloff’s!) was wrongfully excluded from the suit. Harvey offers Stemple money to withdraw, but all Stemple really wants is to get a piece of Harvey in retaliation for Harvey’s past aggressions.

duck painting

His price is $20 million or the cartoonish duck painting Harvey has always kept in his office, which Stemple deduces must be valuable to Harvey. Harvey gives up the painting though it represents the one happy memory he had of his mother. That’s a third account paid.

Next week: Mike works in the prison kitchen, Frank Gallo is still a menace, and Rachel opens her apartment door when she maybe shouldn’t.

KimMoritsuguTheHungryNovelist

Kim Moritsugu is a Toronto novelist and sometime TV show recapper whose latest novel is a suburban comedy of manners called The Oakdale Dinner Club.

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pere and fils

If you want to get buzzed, drink every time you hear the word respect in this episode. Though it’s also about manning up, wiping the slate clean, taking a charge (obligatory basketball reference – mine), being a grown-up, and doing what needs to be done (lying) to win, regardless of boring old ethics, sportsmanship, the law, or whether you actually like a single person that you work with, and zzz.

So yeah, Louis still thinks being a name partner equates to being a total dick, and Donna is still trying to overlook his dickishness and be friends again, I’m not sure why – because she’s the show’s Mother Hen? Harvey is still threatening Louis physically (not the most attractive trait in a person, and I just don’t buy Gabriel Macht as a tough guy, sorry), Rachel’s skirts are still one or two sizes too tight, Jessica is still lying to Jeff and feeling guilty about it. And veteran character actor Stephen Macht (father of Gabriel) is back as Professor Henry Gerard, a ethics professor from Harvard Law School who has committed yet another crime, because we are all flawed human beings, even the father figures we formerly put up on pedestals while also blackmailing them.

Let’s rip through the plot summarily, starting with our girl Jessica, who meets Harvey on the roof of the office tower wearing a chinchilla (silver fox?) stole, though I could have sworn it was summer last week when Louis strolled around outdoors with Katrina, played by Amanda Schull, who I just discovered is a trained ballet dancer who starred in the film Centre Stage 15 years ago. Check a young Amanda in this deeply weird clip from that movie, where she pirouettes to Jamiroquai in her toe shoes and heavy black eyeliner, and looks alarmingly like Kelly Taylor (AKA Jennie Garth) on Beverly Hills 90210.

jessica fur

Back on the Toronto rooftop, Jessica and her fur are worried that Jeff is going to find out she lied when she told him Louis was made partner because he knew she’d covered up the Hardman embezzlement. When she asks Louis to play along with her story if it ever comes up with Jeff, he demands to be given one of Harvey’s clients in return, because he ain’t doing nothing for nobody no more unless he gets something good. Jessica caves, because – reasons.

harvey threatens louis

Louis saw that his old idol Professor Gerard was in the office and asks to take over his case, whatever it is. Harvey, who has Issues with Gerard,  refuses to hand him over, threatens to knock out Louis’s teeth, yells at Donna, and acts generally bad-tempered and tiresome. Under Donna’s influence, Harvey eventually agrees to let Louis take on a client named Joan Walsh, who owns a cosmetics company, and was the first client given to Harvey by Jessica when HE became name partner.

rachel hands over file

Rachel tries to warn Louis about Joan Walsh’s capricious ways, but he’s too busy being an arrogant jerk to listen to her and he does bully-ish power move shit like make her stand up and hand him a file rather than walk two feet over to her desk. He takes Walsh out for dinner, and pisses her off by trying to talk business when she wants to drink Manhattans, eat dessert and dance the cha-cha (heh), and also when he makes a business suggestion he wouldn’t have made if he’d listened to Rachel. Rachel later helps him save the situation because even when he treats her like shit, SHE IS A PROFESSIONAL. And a team player. And a grown-up. In a cute coat.

I am a professional

When Walsh informs him that Harvey and Jessica offloaded her onto him because neither of them can stand her, Louis yells at Donna that she betrayed and tricked him with the story about Walsh being Harvey’s first client as name partner. Donna, wearing a sleeveless dress in a week when it was cold enough for Jessica to wear fur,  explains that she’s been supporting and helping and caring about him all along and tells him to “get on the goddamned team.”

goddamned team

Louis goes to see Jeff, demands respect from him in an assholish manner that seems to be an act (for once) and in the process, convincingly backs up Jessica’s story about the embezzlement. This gets him a nod of approval (or was it a nod of respect? drink!) from Jessica.

jessica nod

As for the Macht père et fils duo, here’s their story. You may (not) recall that earlier this season Harvey went to Gerard, esteemed Harvard ethics professor who never liked Harvey, to see if he knew Mike’s secret, for some reason I don’t remember. While in Boston, Harvey discovered that Gerard had serious gambling debts and used this knowledge to blackmail Gerard into doing something or maybe not doing something.

Now Gerard is in trouble again, because when he was traveling, the TSA found $25,000 cash on him, he couldn’t explain where it came from, and he’s been accused of stealing from a victims’ compensation fund he was administering. He wants to hire Harvey – not Louis or anyone else at the firm – to defend him, not because Harvey is a good lawyer, but because all Harvey cares about is winning.

Harvey is insulted (he is too a good lawyer!) and besides, he doesn’t believe Gerard is innocent, so he refuses to take the case till Mike convinces him he should, for the sake of the victims, and because it’s the mature thing to do.

Mike grills Gerard to prep him for court on the poker game story he’s come up with to explain where the money came from. Mike realizes Gerard is lying, and divines the truth: that the money came from a student who bribed Gerard to fix his failing grade in the course, though Gerard doesn’t explain what he wanted the money for (not to pay gambling debts, it appears). Mike finds the bribing student, and strong-arms him into signing a document saying he lent Gerard the money. Problem solved. Harvey even agrees to cover the loan repayments from his unethically-earned mountain of cash at home.

bros

Harvey confesses to Gerard that not only was he hurt that Gerard didn’t respect him, he was disappointed to learn that Gerard is weak and has faults like regular people.  Gerard apologizes for letting him down and admits he respects Harvey’s legal wizardry. He also says he’s figured out that Mike didn’t attend Harvard. But Gerard and Harvey are father and son bros now, so Mike’s secret is safe with him.

after work drinks
Over after-work drinks at a fancy bar, Harvey thanks Mike for his work on the file. Mike asks if Gerard knows his secret – there was something about the side-eye the old man gave him when last they met that got Mike wondering. Not to worry, Harvey says. Gerard doesn’t know. Dum-da-dum-dum.

Next week: a flashback episode! And Patrick J. Adams’ real-life fiancée Troian Bellisario guest stars.

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Of White Dresses, Bowls of Shit, and the phrase “Name Partner” Repeated Ad Infinitum

Previously, in the mid-season summer finale, Louis finally figured out Mike’s secret AND that every other series regular already knew it and hadn’t told him, and he used this knowledge as leverage to demand from Jessica that he be made a name partner (check Rick Hoffman’s entertaining enunciation and facial tics/expressions when pronouncing the new firm name in the previously bit) or else he’ll blow the whistle and Jessica, Harvey and Mike will be sent to jail! or be in deep career-ending shit, anyway.

louis face

The episode begins minutes after that demand was made. Jessica, wearing a dove grey suit accessorized with a delicate, multi-tiered necklace that clashes with her brass balls, summons Harvey back to the office at night, and updates him in Louis’s smug I’m-now-your-overlord presence. Louis wants the announcement of his new name partner status made the next day but Jessica says she needs some time to sell the deal to the senior partners, and instructs Louis not to tell ANYONE until she’s ready.

jessica necklace

Louis, of course, ignores this dictum and tells EVERYONE. He starts with Mike, whom he does not plan to fire, but to break, by overloading him with horrible, below-his-intellect-level, gasp – paralegal type work. He also tells a teary Donna, who is wearing white dress #1 of the ep and whose mascara is at last smeared (hooray for verisimilitude!), that their friendship meant nothing and she’s dead to him.

donna white dress #1

Louis also shits all over Rachel’s lawyering abilities and future as a lawyer. This causes her to cry, and Mike to threaten to beat up Louis. So happy families, all around.

Louis takes time out from stabbing his way through the Jessica-Harvey-Mike-Rachel-Donna quintet to check in with Katrina and offer her back her associate job (recall that she was forced to resign in the summer finale), though he does not tell her about Mike’s secret. She appears to accept his job offer, but later Rachel asks her father, Robert Zane, to hire Katrina, not as a favour, but because she’s a damn good lawyer. Not sure what the strategic thinking is behind that suggestion.

Harvey also drops in on Zane, to thank him for pretending he might hire Louis, and to tell him not to bother pretending anymore because Louis is returning to the firm. Zane thinks Harvey owes him one regardless, and asks him to deal with a dispute Zane’s firm is having with another law firm. Turns out Harvey’s ex Scotty now works for the other firm, so Harvey meets her at a bar, and asks her to settle the dispute. More tears ensue as Scotty rightly calls out Harvey on what a hard-hearted dick HE is, but hey, she loved him once and he’ll be in big trouble if Zane figures out the Mike story (which Scotty knows!), so she’ll do what Harvey asks this once but NEVER AGAIN. If this is her actual final appearance on the show, it’s nice to see that the costumers dressed her in a pretty sapphire-blue dress, rather than something like the awful crinkly white number she wore in her previous final scene. Any bets as to whether she’ll be back someday? I predict Scotty and Harvey as a romantic couple is part of the series’ end game. Maybe.

scotty sad smile

Harvey accurately describes Louis as being a total dick in victory, yet despite Louis’s asshattery, or because they don’t want to eat shit (big bowls of it, according to Jessica, in white dress #2 of the episode) forever, the others try to make peace with Louis, or be sort of friends again, or at least get him off their backs, because (episode title).

white dress #2

These efforts mostly backfire, as when Mike reminds Louis, after being made to memorize all of Louis’s cases, that he used to be a man of integrity. Not anymore, Louis snarls. Donna, in white dress #3, pushes the hardest for détente and promises honesty with Louis forthwith, only to be asked by Louis if she ever slept with Harvey. She tells the truth – that she did, once. Look for that admission to be used against her and Harvey in the future.

white dress #3

Jessica and Harvey publicly welcome Louis to the firm as name partner and preside over an unveiling (that Louis insisted on) of his name being added to the sign in the office reception area. My favorite bit: when Mike and Rachel lean against the wall amidst the unveiling crowd and talk about how fucked up everyone and everything in the firm is, also known as what I used to do at office parties when I had a semi-corporate job. They also compliment each other’s gutsiness and willingness to beat up bullies, and say they love each other because yeah, violence!

mike&rachel talking shit

announcement

Jessica and Harvey deliver snarky speeches at the law firm gatherings that make their antipathy for Louis clear to anyone with ears, though Jessica thinks her barbed comments sound more sincere than Harvey’s. In fact, she thinks Harvey’s such a bad actor that she conceals from him until the last minute – lest he spoil it – her little power move against Louis: that his new partnership agreement includes a clause he must sign asserting he’s a co-conspirator in the Mike-is-a-fraud situation. Louis balks but signs because he wants the name partnership so badly, as Jessica knew he would and does. Jessica thinks she’s one-upped him here (which, has she, really? Looks to me like Louis is still winning, so far).

peplum suit

Jessica, in a fabulous black peplum suit, celebrates her little finesse move by lying to Jeff – she admits Louis blackmailed her but says it was because of her non-Mike-related past business crimes/sins, though she has the decency to look conflicted about this lie behind Jeff’s back.

Remember Jeff? Hunky guy who’s sleeping with Jessica but has a thing about honesty between fuck buddies who are also law firm partners? He brings the number of key players who don’t know the secret that will power the engine of this show for at least one more season to three (the other two are Robert Zane and Katrina). But something about his broad shoulders and furrowed brow tells me he’s the person who’s going to find about it next.

jeff

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.

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louiskey

The summer finale of Suits did what well-crafted, satisfying stories are supposed to do: it gave us an ending that was unexpected but inevitable, an ending that surprised, yet made sense given all that has come before, in this half of the season, and even further back. So that was some good work by the Suits creators and writers – nicely done. Heck, I was so busy admiring the story-building skills on display in this episode that I hardly noticed the fashions. Except for when I paused to marvel at and envy the slimness of Sarah Rafferty’s rib cage in one of her many fitted white dresses, and when I was jolted into remembering some of my own long ago work fashion mistakes at the sight of the severe V-neck Glen plaid dress that Katrina wears in the scene when Jessica shows up to give her the axe. I hope Katrina, her loyalty, and her beautifully coloured curtain of blond hair get to stay for the winter part of the season, and that she gets some softer, more flattering clothes to wear too.

Harvey’s a little volatile in temperament, isn’t he? One minute he’s making his compassionate face at Louis on a fake-looking boxing gym set (the generic boxing posters, all in pristine condition, were the giveaway), and saying that he’ll do anything for the guy, and two commercial breaks later, he’s ready to go punch Louis out. Though I have to say that Gabriel Macht, a very handsome and fit-looking man, is the possessor of a lean build more suited to a male model than to a boxer, his demonstration of an acceptable array of punches notwithstanding. It seems more like tennis would be his sport. Or downhill skiing. Or yoga.

Anyway, Louis asks Harvey to let him take three clients from Pearson Specter to wherever he will go now that he’s resigned, because otherwise no law firm will hire him, and Harvey says he will speak to Jessica about it, though the firm’s by-laws, as written by Louis himself, do not allow for any client-poaching by departing lawyers.

Jessica, who always says no unless forced to say yes, refuses Harvey’s request and reminds him he should be worrying about holding on to his own client, a drug company called Versalife that may need to be dropped because of a merger going on with two other big drug companies. This means Mike, who has realized Jessica is not his biggest fan, and needs to hit a home run to win her over, must find a way to get past the dreaded SEC regulation 10b-6 which may inhibit the law firm from representing quite so many drug companies. Note: a quick google check indicates that 10b-6 is a real regulation of some kind, but let’s not bother ourselves with knowing another single thing about it. It’s not as if we watch this show for the legal stuff, am I right?

Harvey, still in the helpful phase of his compassionate-angry cycle, presents Louis with New Job Option #1: a corporate counsel position with Proctor & Gamble in Cinncinnati. Louis refuses this, compares Cinncinnati to Siberia, and says that New York is Rome, he and Harvey are both gladiators, and New York is where they must do battle. After ever-compassionate Donna suggests Louis might be happier in Boston so he can woo his former fiancée Sheila, Harvey arranges New Job Option #2, an interview for Louis with a law firm in Boston. I was briefly convinced that this Boston option was going to work out, and that Louis would continue on the show as a Boston lawyer who comes frequently to New York to do business, but no. Louis stops in to see Sheila at Harvard before his interview and the joyous reunion does not go as planned. Sheila sees that Louis is coming to her in desperation and refuses to be his way out. So much for Job Option #2.

Mike, who is almost as compassionate as Donna, though less inclined to have his eyes brim with attractive tears that do not affect his eye makeup, takes over a box of Louis’s shit that was left behind at the office, and tries to engage Louis in friendly chit-chat about a golden key that is the Chekhov’s gun of this episode. Louis’s request to be left alone to brood in peace spurs Mike to set up New Job Option #3: he asks Rachel’s dad Robert Zane to hire Louis at his law firm, though Rachel warns him that all her dad’s favours come with a heavy price. Like Rumpelstiltskin, I’m thinking.

Zane interviews Louis and says he will make him senior partner if he can bring just one client with him, more as a test of his legal skills to see if he can break the Pearson Specter partnership agreement than because Zane wants the client. Louis goes to visit a former client to try to take them back and runs into Katrina who says he mustn’t (and can’t legally) do that, but she tips him off to the opportunity presented by Versalife and that pesky 10b-6 regulation, and asks in return to be taken with him to Zane’s firm. And for the next twenty minutes or so, I thought, okay, this option is going to happen. I could see Wendell Pierce, the actor who plays Robert Zane, becoming a featured player again in season 5, and the who-owes-who-what-to-whom Rumpelstiltskian thing could come back to haunt various characters and yeah, that would work.

donnawhite

Louis manages to steal Versalife as a client, which gets Harvey fighting-mad, and gets Jessica pissed at Mike because she figures Mike alerted Louis to the opportunity. Mike comes up with an alternate plan that calls for a visit to old man Gillis (hello again, Michael Gross!). With Harvey standing by as referee, Mike apologizes profusely to Gillis for everything he did, said and fucked up with regard to the takeover of Gillis Industries, and makes an impassioned plea for Gillis to put aside his burning hatred of Mike long enough to buy a division of Versalife that’s developed an effective but not necessarily profitable drug to fight addiction (recall that Gillis’s dead son was an addict). Gillis agrees, and Pearson Specter takes back Versalife as a client.

Mike and Harvey celebrate their Versalife victory with a dinner out at which they lovingly if lamely call each other pussies, but they feel guilty enough about Louis to each try to make amends in their own way: Harvey visits Zane and asks him to take Louis on sans accompanying client, and Mike drops in on Louis to break the Versalife news to him, be told by Louis that he’s a brilliant lawyer (“No you are,” Mike says, and made me laugh) and casually asks again what’s up with that damned golden key, anyway.

Jessica acknowledges that Mike’s Versalife solution was crafty so he can stay a little longer, but tells Katrina to resign or be fired because Jessica knows what she did. A tearful Katrina agrees to resign.

katrinaplaid

Next comes the one-two punch of the episode and the whole summer season: two intense and powerful dramatic scenes that showcase the impressive acting range of Rick Hoffman as Louis. In the first, Donna comes upon Louis in Harvey’s office, asks why he’s there, and proceeds to crumple before our eyes as Louis moves from a state of casual amusement to quiet intensity to rage mixed with sadness over how Donna has betrayed his friendship by consistently lying about and covering up Mike’s fraudulent existence at the firm. You see, the golden key was something all summa cum laude Harvard graduates receive, which Mike would know if he were really one. Louis has finally figured out Mike’s secret and is ready to call the police and have Harvey, Jessica and Mike all arrested and charged with fraud. Donna too, maybe.

Louis leaves Donna gasping and barrels down the hall to confront Jessica, who reigns over their conversation in a full-on Ice Queen controlled fury. She admits to being a liar and a hypocrite, refuses to apologize, and calls his threat to watch her be led out of the office in handcuffs a bluff. Now tell me what you really want, she hisses. And only at that moment do we see how all the story threads have come together, how the setups have paid off in the perfect possible outcome. Only now do we say, out loud, to the TV screen, with Louis, that he wants to be – and will be – made a name partner. Of the firm to be known hereafter as Pearson Specter Litt.

Kim Moritsugu is a Toronto writer and novelist whose latest novel is a food-centric comedy of manners called The Oakdale Dinner Club. Her recaps of Season 4 of Suits are her first foray into the wild world of TV show recapping. Suits will return to the USA network and Bravo (Canada) in the winter of 2015.

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