Patrick J. Adams directs the series’ much-promoted 100th episode, in which a fierce Robert Zane throws Harvey, none too gently, against a wall; Louis’s comedy bits make me laugh; and the writers upend my expectations (Frank Gallo dies! the prison case wraps up with 2 episodes left to go in this part of the season!) to pleasing effect.
Let’s start with Donna’s hey-how-are-you call to her ex, AKA is calling an ex ever a good idea? Mark may be a (past) giver of leather-bound Shakespeare sonnet books, but he is also currently (and unhappily) married, a detail he neglects to mention till he and Donna are well into a cozy restaurant lunch. After that revelation, Donna tells him not to contact her until he’s single. Instead, he calls to say he’ll soon be in the city (from Connecticut), at the Carlyle Hotel (really Toronto’s Fairmont Royal York, unless the glass doors at the Carlyle are embossed with RY logos), for a conference, maybe she can drop by.
Donna has no intention of taking Mark up on his skeezy invitation, that is until she has a hella awkward run-in with Dr. Paula at the office. Dr. P has dropped in to leave Harvey a note or maybe a gift in honour of their 2 month anniversary. I’ll praise Director Patrick J. and Sarah Rafferty for the relatable cutaways (pretending I know film direction terms now) during this scene, wherein Donna makes cringey faces to herself during the fakely bright and friendly convo that ensues, a conversation that Dr. P. sees through immediately because she’s a psychiatrist, yo.
The combo of Mark making caddish advances and Harvey being happy in his new relationship makes Donna sad. She refuses Rachel’s invitation to go for drinks, gets gussied up, and heads to the Hotel of Immoral Assignations. Luckily, her better instincts – and a sweet text from Rachel, saying that Donna deserves the best – prevail, and she does not enter Mark’s room.
On to Louis: he flies off the handle because Gretchen requested that various Ivy League law schools send over resumes of new grad candidates to fill Stephanie’s now-vacant position (never mind that Stephanie was a 4th-year associate) and Columbia did not send any, damn it. After a decent comic bit featuring Louis’s ability to tell how many file folders he is holding from flipping through the stack and listening to the sound they make, he storms over to Columbia to complain. There, he discovers that his ex Sheila, who would not leave Harvard for him, now lives in New York, is engaged, and works at Columbia. She didn’t send any applicants for the job because she didn’t want to Louis to be hurt when he found out how much she has moved on.
Back at the office, Louis is sad that two loves of his life have rejected him in one year, and refuses to take Sheila’s calls. She eventually gets through and says she wants to use his body once more before she gets married in two weeks. Their phone conversation about what she would like to do with him sexually is funny because it contains so many incomplete sentences. And because their sex talk is ridiculous.
Sheila has booked ‘their’ special hotel room, also in the Royal York, and invites Louis to come over. He tells Rachel he is tempted to do something wrong without specifying what, and Rachel tells him she knows he has a good heart, no matter what happens. Poor Louis goes and does ridiculous sex things with Sheila anyway.
The prison case: Harvey, Mike and Alex make a plan to take down Reform Corp and Masterson Construction and to save Alex from his evil overlords at the same time. Phase 1 of the plan is for Harvey to hand over the class action suit to Robert Zane, who has no client conflicts in the game, and whose role in the strained Batman and Robin analogy the show keeps pushing is apparently that of Commissioner Gordon.
Zane gets fired up about the case, because of the injustice and oppression it represents for mainly black prisoners. He asks for a huge settlement from Reform Corp (still repped by Harvey) and when that’s turned down, wants Frank Gallo to testify (like Mike wanted before). The PSL boys don’t want that though, because Alex will be ruined if the prison conspiracy comes to light. Rachel, of all people, finds a way to discredit her dad and Frank Gallo in court, by bringing up the photos of her that he took from Mike’s phone in prison back in the day, and passed around to the other inmates. After roughing up Harvey in a men’s restroom for that trick, Zane video-interviews Gallo anyway, and gets incriminating testimony from him about the Reform Corp CEO, a very bad guy named Shapiro.
All conflicts resolve when the gang learns that Gallo has been killed in jail (by Shapiro’s henchmen). Using Gallo’s pre-death taped interview – now admissible in court as a death-bed confession – as a weapon, they get Shapiro to sign a confession of conspiracy to fraud, and to agree to the original large settlement of the class action suit. They also convince very bad lawyer Bratton to resign from his firm, and to tear up Alex’s affidavit, the one that has him falsely taking responsibility for the prison-related wrong-doing. And no one is going is prison!
Alex no longer has a black cloud hanging over him, and tells Harvey they’re square, though Harvey thinks Alex owes him now. Mike apologizes to Zane for opposing him in court. He also delivers a generous cheque to Gallo’s daughter, and tells him Gallo was a decent man (you know, for a murderer/psychopath).
Now Harvey and Dr. Paula can go out for their romantic 2 month anniversary dinner! She gives him a small wrapped gift that he does not open, and he gives her the key to his apartment (the one Donna returned to him last week) in exchange. She is not fooled, she knows he didn’t know about the anniversary and had not prepared a gift. She still likes/loves him, though.
Next week: banter, jokes, and, I hope, a break from prisons.
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.