Suits Recap – Season 7, Episode 11: Hard Truths

Rachel + MikeHere we go, finally, starting off the back six episodes of season 7, AKA the last TV episodes of Meghan Markle’s acting career. This is also the beginning of Patrick J. Adams’s home stretch for the show, but what proportion of viewers tuning into Suits these days are here to scrutinize Meghan? Seems like that many to me, too.

Hell, Vulture, a site that has shown little interest in Suits before, is even keeping a running summary on Meghan’s remaining scenes in Suits, with gifs. IMO, Meghan’s new international fame is why USA Network decided to delay airing the back six, originally scheduled for January, till now, so that Meghan’s Suits wedding at the end of April would lead up nicely to her real-life May wedding date.

Meghan scrutiny aside, this episode is mainly about the Kiss (treated as SUCH a big deal) that Donna planted on Harvey in S7 E10. You know, this one:

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We open immediately post-kiss. Harvey is rattled/flustered/thrown for a loop. He won’t talk to Louis about the pressing problem that is Jessica’s disbarment as arranged by lawyer nemesis Malik, and goes home, presumably to put on a cardigan, drink, and stare into a fire while reliving the passion that coursed through him when Donna’s lips touched his. But, surprise, Paula is at his place, having used the key he gave her. Rather than tell her what happened, he asks her to move in, ostensibly because she makes him feel like the outside world – replete with attack kissers and attack lawyers – doesn’t matter. She declines his offer, though, because she fears heartbreak, and possibly because her shrink sense is tingling about the timing of Harvey’s suggestion.

The next morning, Harvey storms into Donna’s office, says he does NOT want to talk about the kiss, and angrily asks her to promise it won’t happen again. She’s like, okay fine, whatever, because she felt NOTHING. Moving on to business matters, she suggests the firm hire a new senior partner, but he shits all over that idea because she’s not a lawyer, and he doesn’t trust her judgement anymore. Louis agrees that Donna should go ahead and bring in for a meeting some hotshot senior partner prospect who’s in town, but Harvey, in full asshole mode, sabotages the interview to spite and embarrass Donna.

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Donna, wearing a too shiny for work satin cocktail dress, confronts Harvey in the Bay Adelaide Centre lobby and they discuss the kiss. She confirms she doesn’t want more from their relationship, since she felt NOTHING. He is still pissed because a) he did feel something, and b) now he’s lied (by omission) to Paula and it’s all Donna’s fault. Funnily enough, Paula doesn’t agree when he does confess, two days after the fact, to the kiss having happened. She’s only mad at Harvey for the lying.

On Louis’s advice, Donna apologizes to Harvey. She is sad he thinks he can’t trust her judgment on work matters, but hey, what about all the flirting and work spouse bestie confidences they’ve engaged in over the years? She’s not the only one who has acted inappropriately.  Harvey eventually comes around and tells her he appreciates the times Donna put him first. He also takes her advice when she says she doesn’t think it would be a good idea to make Mike a senior partner, as Alex had suggested. And they hug.

Harvey + Donna Hugging

Alex gives Mike a juicy case to work on, partly to thank him for helping rescue Alex  from the thorny Reform Corp sitch earlier in the season, partly to help Mike advance in the firm, and partly on Harvey’s urging. The case is a dispute between Alex’s client, a Fortune 500 company called Quality Foods, and one of their distributors, Arctic, who transport food in refrigerated trucks.

The purpose of the case seems to be to give Mike and Rachel something to do, or not do, together. Mike asks Rachel for help with it, she says no, she’s too busy. He thinks there’s something scammy going on with it, she thinks he looks at all corporations through evil-tinted glasses now. Despite being busy, she does some research into the case, and finds out there is a scam going on. By way of explaining what she thinks Arctic is up to,  she asks Mike to recite their freezer contents by memory, and he reveals that the freezer contains pizza, ice cream, pasta sauce, and leftover lasagna made by Rachel. (Also vodka). Wait a minute – are we supposed to believe someone with Rachel’s ultra-slim build is eating that kind of carby and dairy-heavy diet? I don’t think so.

After they ‘win’ the case for the client, Mike gives Rachel credit publicly and privately for figuring shit out, and tells her they should work together more often, cuz it’s fun and otherwise they don’t see each other much. She suggests that instead, they work on getting their wedding underway in time for the season finale. He agrees.

On the Jessica disbarment front, Harvey & Louis try to find a way to remove Jessica’s name from the firm gracefully, and to give her the pay-out she deserves for her ownership stake at the same time. Louis tries to strong-arm the Ethics Committee guy into stalling the announcement of Jessica’s disbarment, but only gets a few days reprieve.

Harvey at Harbourfront

Harvey goes down to Toronto’s Harbourfront neighbourhood to see Stanley Gordon, a former name partner of the firm who we’ve met before (don’t ask me when or why) and who apparently takes meetings on his yacht in Toronto harbour. Sidenote: does anyone have an idea what New York-adjacent location the pier is supposed to represent, or should we just all now accept that Pearson Specter Litt is a New York law firm that has its head office in downtown Toronto?

Harvey wants to restructure the partnership agreement so Jessica can get paid, and he needs Gordon’s permission to do so. Gordon was ousted by Jessica once upon a time, so he’s in no mood to comply unless Harvey fixes some problem he has with a charity that took $10 million from him in exchange for naming rights on a new building, and did not make good on the naming.

Harvey meets the charity woman, accuses her (with reason) of doing money laundering, and gets her to agree to the naming, but Gordon still isn’t happy. Louis points out that all Gordon really wants is to disgrace Jessica. If she’s to get money, she also needs to be publicly shamed for the Mike as fraud lawyer thing, though Harvey, Louis and Mike were all also to blame. Especially Harvey, who hates the idea of blaming Jessica, but is convinced by Louis that there is no other way out.

An off-camera Jessica agrees to the hard truths of being named “selfish, unethical and reckless” in a press release from the firm, signed by Harvey and Louis, announcing that a “disgraceful chapter of the firm’s history is coming to a close.”

Harvey gets to deliver his own hard truth when he admits Paula that he once, years ago, slept with Donna, another lie by omission he has perpetuated. Her reaction to this confession? Tune in next week to find out.

Kim Moritsugu is a Toronto novelist and sometime TV show recapper. Her most recent book is a suburban comedy of manners, The Oakdale Dinner Club. Coming in June 2018: The Showrunner, a darkly humourous, suspenseful Hollywood-noir novel about female ambition inside the TV biz. Check out its book trailer:

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Suits Recap – Season 7, Episode 2: The Statue

In which Harvey finds his footing as managing partner; Jessica appears in west Toronto subbing in for Chicago (hah!), looking glamourous AF in a fur stole; Mike goes up against an evil insurance company; and I remember why I dislike negotiation – because it’s all about posturing and lies!

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We open with Harvey lying in bed at dawn in his blinds-less bedroom with the oddly positioned bed. He watches Dr. Paula – wearing magically unsmudged eyeliner – sleeping beside him, in what is supposed to be a non-creepy, affectionate way, until she wakes. Pillow talk establishes they’ve had good sex, and they both want him to get to know her better, in a non-sexual way, but first they will have more sex. Harvey discreetly places the duvet between their meant-to-be-naked chests before they start making out again, which I’d like to think is a gentlemanly move made by Gabriel Macht toward Christina Cole, the actress who plays Dr. Paula, but may just be him following the director’s direction.

In a flashback scene, a younger Jessica explains to a younger Harvey that just like a dictator’s statue gets toppled when regimes change, outgoing partners should be supplanted and big clients fired when there’s a new sheriff in town (mixed metaphors hers).

In the present, Harvey interprets this flashback to mean he should ask his old lawyer pal Alex to join the firm and bring a big client with him (which sounded to me like it was Pfizer, the pharmaceutical giant, but maybe it was a company called Feizer?).

Sidenote: Alex is played by actor/tap dancer Dulé Hill, who is probably best known from his starring role on a USA network TV show called Psych. I’ve never seen Psych, but I recognized him from when I saw him on Broadway in 2013, singing and tap dancing in the musical After Midnight. My dive into his Wikipedia page   reminded me that I also saw him on B’way in Bring in ‘da Noise, Bring in da Funk in 1996. Because I’ve lived in Toronto all my life, but I’ve gone annually to New York to see Broadway musicals that feature tap dancing since forever.

Dulé still tap dances (see him tap on the Suits set here), so I like him already. Even if his nattily dressed character Alex initially tells Harvey he will come over to the firm only if he can become a name partner.

To begin with, Harvey tries to push this demand through, and ruffles the feathers of Louis, who is jealous that Alex will come in and take his place as Harvey’s friend/fellow name partner; Donna, who thinks Harvey should not drop Jim Reynolds, Jessica’s 1st client, whose products compete with Pfizer’s/Feizer’s; and Jessica in Chicago, who does not want to have her statue toppled just yet.

Long story short: everybody who talked tough and took take it or leave it stances ends up capitulating without much argument.  They didn’t really mean it, so here’s milk for his porringer and butter for his bread: Alex will come over as a regular partner, and bring Pfizer with him, Jessica’s statue will be toppled but her name will remain on the wall, and the never-seen client Jim Reynolds is toast (mixed metaphors mine).

Donna gives up her newly acquired senior partnership too, after Katrina – who is not yet a partner, let us remember – gently points out to Harvey that Donna’s promotion might signal to those inside and outside the firm that being a partner at PSL doesn’t mean much. And why did Donna agree to give up the partnership she fought for last week, in return for a new title of COO of the firm and a seat at the table? Because she never expected Harvey to agree to make her partner to begin with. Argh. People and their bogus demands and dishonest bargaining positions, I tell ya.

Mike spends the episode working on a pro bono case. He represents a guy whose wife died in a car accident, and whose claim on a life insurance policy was denied. The insurance company found an old social media photo of the wife holding a cigarette, which they say means she lied on her policy application when she said she didn’t smoke, which means the policy was invalidated, though the death had nothing to do with smoking.

Mike spars with the insurance company lawyer, an experienced but rumpled shark type, who quickly brings up Mike’s fraudulent past before the judge. Mike, worried that his history will prejudice the case, asks Rachel to take over for him. Harvey vetoes that plan  – he gave Mike, not Rachel, permission to alternate pro bono cases with paying ones. Harvey suggests Mike stop apologizing,  start intimidating, and start a PR campaign to repair his reputation while he’s at it.

Mike and Rachel hire Ms. Cromwell, the industrial spy who met Rachel in the same bar last season, to get some dirt on the insurance company. They pay her 50 grand (out of Mike’s pocket, presumably) for her trouble. She comes up with an incriminating internal email about insurance company policy that Mike leverages with the rumpled shark to get $15 million for his client, and either an admission of guilt or an agreement to be interviewed saying good things about Mike for the New York Times law pages, which, do those exist? Not sure about that.

Rumpleshark agrees to the settlement, and more reluctantly, to the interview for an article about Mike, to be titled, “Redemption of a Fraudulent Lawyer.” Really not sure about that as a NYT headline.

As for Louis, he has not yet heard from Tara since he left her a message asking to talk the week before. In some amusing scenes this week, however, we see that he’s in therapy, and has been for years, with a German-accented male therapist named Dr. Lipshitz. Dr. Lipshitz tells Louis not to make promises he can’t keep, not to let his emotions control his actions, and that his biological clock is not running out. He can father a child in his late 70’s like his idol Tony Randall! An obscure reference, but okay sure.

Louis also sells the funniest line of the night after he confesses to Harvey why he opposed Alex joining the firm. When Harvey promises that the Louis-Harvey friendship will endure, Louis tries to curry favour with a sports analogy he says he stayed up all night researching, to do with LeBron James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosch and the Miami Heat. We know Harvey’s truly ready to be managing partner when he graciously acknowledges Louis’ effort without correcting his mixup of basketball and football. Everybody say AWWW.

Next week: Alex causes friction at the firm.

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.

Suits Recap – Season 4, Episode 13: Fork in the Road

Flashback episode alert! We’ve got two timeframes running this week and both feature Michael Jordan references, because he’s timeless, yo.

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In the present day, Donna and Rachel meet for a drink at a bar so Donna can dismiss a pickup artist with some snappy banter and Rachel can wear a pretty black cocktail dress of the type Donna usually wears to work. They chat briefly about how someone said Rachel resembles Khaleesi’s translator on Game of Thrones, then recap (from episode 12) that Donna told Louis about Rachel having gotten Katrina (again MIA this week) a job at her dad’s firm, and that Louis asked Rachel to be friends again. Trouble is, Rachel could only be friends with him if he can forgive Mike, and he can’t.

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Meanwhile, Harvey, looking suave in a black swacket with coordinated throw cushions, is having a drink with Jessica in his apartment. After they dispense with their icebreaker topic – which basketball play was Michael Jordan’s best – Jessica asks Harvey to make peace with Louis, but Harvey can’t till Louis forgives Mike. So make him forgive, Jessica says.

Harvey decides to force his errant children to get along by tricking them into taking a road trip together to see his first big client, McKernon Motors, at the company’s plant.

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Louis is all up in both men’s grills (sorry, couldn’t resist) during the drive – he tells Harvey he drives like a savage animal, and tears into Mike: he refers to him as a fraud, a disease, a liar and a conman. From his seat in the back of the car, Mike delivers some childish insults of his own, and plays up his vulnerable side – he admits he doesn’t know how to drive, and reminisces about playing I Spy with Grammy on car trips. Louis retorts that Mike is probably lying about being an orphan whose parents died in a tragic car accident.

When the happy trio stops at a gas station that looks like a relic from a 1950’s movie, Harvey goes inside, and Mike and Louis start fighting – in their suits – outside of the car. Louis gets Mike into a chokehold, and blurts that Mike ruined his life and the law firm, but Harvey calls him off before Mike suffocates. Then the two of them make up and become friends again because there’s nothing like a bit of vicious wrestling to bring two work colleagues together. That Mike said he was sorry might have helped, and also when he swore that the only thing he ever lied to Louis about was Harvard.

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Post-reconciliation, Louis says, “You’re not a fraud,” though Mike is, but who cares as long as we’re moving on from the constant obsessing over Mike’s secret. Harvey gives the reconciliation his paternal seal of approval by handing over the McKernon account to them to share, and Louis offers to teach Mike how to drive on the way home. Aww.

The flashback parts of the episode follow two unrelated story lines from 6 years before the present day: one depicts the rivalry between Louis and Harvey when they were both associates wanting to be promoted to partner, at a time when Hardman was the big boss; the other shows Mike in his bike messenger/stoner days.

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The Harvey/Louis back story goes like this: Harvey just signed Michael Jordan as a client! Donna, in a bad bangs hairpiece, was possibly more bossy and know-it-all-ish then than she is now! Harvey wears unflattering skinny pants and short suit jackets to indicate this flashback takes place in the past! Let’s team up Harvey and Louis to get ahead together! But Hardman is a manipulative, promise-breaking, double-talking asshole who pits us against each other for sport! Fuck that, I’m going to try to make partner on my own! Me too! But now someone has to lose so the other can win! Don’t you know that loyalty is all that matters? No, it isn’t, winning does! I hate you forever because you didn’t fight fair! Me too! The end.

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The past Mike story line brings back Mike’s mostly but not totally bad news drug dealer friend Trevor, and Mike’s Grammy, sympathetically played by actress Rebecca Schull (who is apparently unrelated to Amanda Schull AKA Katrina Bennett). Trevor wants to pay Mike’s rent for a year in a rundown but roomy 2 bedroom apartment to make up for getting him expelled from college and prevented from ever going to Harvard (see season 1). But Grammy does not approve of Trevor, so Mike won’t agree to move in.

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While delivering packages to a free legal clinic, Mike crushes on Claire, a law student who is interning there. Claire, played by Patrick J. Adams’s real-life fiancée Troian Bellisario, of Pretty Little Liars fame, is beautiful, smart, serious (she wants to become a lawyer to help people!), and will only date guys who are of the same mind.

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So Mike lies, says he’s a law student at Columbia, helps her with an immigration case, and flirts and banters with her charmingly (she is charming and convincing too). Though, this being Suits, they bond somewhat implausibly over references to movies (Indiana Jones, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid) that are not of their own era, while eating sausages at groovy downtown Toronto spot Wvrst.

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For a few days there, Mike gets all motivated to put down the weed, go back to college for real, study the law, and become the man Claire would like him to be. He gives up that plan when Claire’s suspicious boss discovers Mike is not a law student and tells Claire, who has no time for that noise and cuts him dead.

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Mike defies Grammy and moves in with Trevor, resumes smoking, and laments ever meeting a woman of Claire’s ilk again. Cue the final flashback scene: Jessica interviewing and hiring an eager new applicant to the law firm – beautiful, smart and serious Rachel. She might want to help people too.

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Suits Recap Season 4, Episode 6: Litt the Hell Up

Multiple appearances by Suits USA merchandise (mug available in the online gift shop on your way out), tense meetings, blue files handed back and forth, tight dresses worn well, Rachel bringing her hotness to makeout scenes, Eric Roberts pwning crisp white dress shirts worn open at the collar, and Harvey taking a break from being angry to joke that he’s George Clooney’s better-looking brother – this episode has it all!

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Louis, in good spirits (because of his triumph as Shylock last week?), dance-walks through the office handing out his You’ve Been Litt Up mugs to deserving colleagues. Donna, who looks fetching in a sexy-widow-type black cocktail dress, receives a mug containing a necklace that’s a replica of one worn by Dame Judi Dench when she played Ophelia (Dench actually did play Ophelia in London in 1957). Donna is touched by this gift. Louis is grateful Donna helped him overcome his stage fright and asks her to give Harvey a mug too.

Sidenote: I’ve recently discovered wornontv.net, a website that identifies selected styles (and provides info on where to buy them) shown on selected TV shows, including Suits. The site is how I found out that some of the beautiful dresses worn by Donna and Jessica can be bought at retail for prices that begin around the $1,000 mark, and go up from there. Of course they cost that much.

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Jessica is worried about “exposure” on her sneaky purchase last week of those boring-as-hell Wexler shares so she asks Jeff Malone to double-check his work. When he refuses, Jessica, wearing a pink top I don’t like with lovely silver-rimmed pink crystal (quartz?) earrings that made me want to get my ears re-pierced so I can wear them, takes Louis out to lunch and asks HIM to double-check the transaction.

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Louis praises Jeff’s work but finds a small error that will allow the firm to cancel the sale and not get caught doing something untoward. Jessica is pleased but tells Louis not to take any action until he checks with Harvey. When Harvey doesn’t return Louis’s calls, Katrina (She’s back! With her hair as beautifully styled as ever, though Amanda Schull must be bummed at how little screen time she’s gotten in the last three episodes) urges Louis to act quickly before Jeff figures out his mistake, corrects it and gets the glory.

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Louis offloads the shares, Forstman scoops them up, and Harvey gets super pissed off, like he has done every episode this season – being without Mike is making him SO cranky. Louis meets with Forstman and puts on a convincing performance (no stage fright there) as someone who hates Harvey with a passion (the diary he produces that lists, by date, every insult Harvey has ever hurled at Louis, is a nice touch) and will do anything to fuck up his deal.

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Louis gets the shares back from Forstman for Logan to purchase, and his successful subterfuge makes Harvey happy enough to suggest that he and Louis drink Scotch together in Louis’s mugs, which is not a euphemism. (Or is it?) Except Forstman makes Louis do illegal tax-evasion things with the money, which Louis does not tell anyone about except Katrina, nor will he refuse to comply, because Harvey likes him again and that’s worth being dishonest and compromising his principles for.

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Rachel, Rachel, Rachel. Rachel does that thing we’ve all done where we go see the guy we used to be into and pretend we no longer have feelings for, with an ostensibly above-board and high moral ground excuse that nevertheless requires dressing up in a low-cut top that looks like the top half of a nineteen forties bathing suit underneath a fabulously chic light grey wool coat (by Burberry, according to wornontv.net, and it costs only $2,495!) that’s all business. She also visits Logan at his condo in the early morning (again) when everyone knows early morning drop-ins end badly. Especially when you indulge in shivery flashbacks on the way over in the cab of that time a few years back when Rachel acted completely out of character and steamily seduced Logan, the married man, in the law firm library, when he just wanted to do the right thing and go home to his wife.

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Logan sees through Rachel’s fabulous coat to her looking-for-trouble bathing suit top right away, calls her on her motives in coming over, recites back her come-on line from the flashback about their sexual chemistry, and starts a makeout sesh with her full reciprocation (though he goes awfully quickly to the two-handed butt grab, didn’t you think?) until she shakes herself out of her sexual stupor and runs out of the apartment. She spends the rest of the episode confiding in Donna and wringing her hands about is she a bad person and how could she betray Mike and should she tell him what happened. Donna says Rachel is a good person who had a bad moment and warns her against telling Mike. Rachel decides she must tell him anyway, because drama. And conflict.

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Mike spends this episode in a series of one-on-one meetings with Harvey, Sidwell and Forstman, and a two-on-one meeting with Logan and Harvey. Throughout, he acts clever, cocky, secretly nervous, and like he might manage to complete the takeover and find a way to not cut Sidwell out of the deal as per Forstman’s decree. But it all blows up in his face, because Forstman is the devil, and Mike won’t leave his personal animosity toward Logan out of his business dealings, and let’s face it, Mike can’t succeed without Harvey at his side to complete him.

Sidwell – played by a Canadian actor named Brandon Firla, who has a very amusing, self-deprecating bio on imdb.com and who is hella tall (6’5”+), enough to tower over not-short Patrick J. Adams in their final scene – fires Mike. So much for Mike’s investment banking career. Wait till he gets home and Rachel tells him what she’s been up to with Logan! Fisticuffs will ensue, also attractive facial cuts and bruises, according to next week’s preview. And weed smoking, I bet.