Suits Recap – S7, E14: Pulling the Goalie

In which Harvey and Mike work together on a case that’s all about sacrifice, Donna almost gets outfoxed by a guy named Fox, and Louis gets Sheila back! After sort of taking the high road, or his version of the high road.

louis and sheila

We open with Louis telling his shrink Stan that meeting Sheila’s fiance, whom he calls  Shithead Xander Fuckface, was a heartbreaking experience. Stan suggests that Louis end his affair with Sheila so he can stop feeling terrible; it’s time to let her go.

Xander shows up at Specter Litt, warns him to stay away from Sheila, and insults Specter Litt as a shitty law firm and Louis as a shitty lawyer. Louis picks up the gauntlet and with Katrina’s help, runs with it. He launches a nuisance lawsuit against Xander’s client, something  to do with tech law, about which Louis knows nothing, and Xander is an expert. The lawsuit goes to court, where Louis is stymied by Xander and Katrina takes blame for a mistake that she didn’t make.

An angry Louis fantasizes about telling Xander he was sleeping with Sheila. Stan tells Louis he must find a way to win the case without hurting Sheila, or Stan will have to stop counselling him.

Katrina finds a way to win the suit, but Louis and Xander continue to fight over the  settlement, including that Louis wants a clause put into it stating he is the better lawyer. Sheila asks Louis to reduce the settlement, let Xander save face, and be a bigger man.

Katrina gives Louis the side-eye

Louis asks Harvey for advice on the case, and Mr. Noble Sacrifice (re: Paula, who wasn’t that great a catch, let’s not overvalue her, please, the whole doctor sleeping with patient thing was pretty shady) says sometimes we all need to make sacrifices, even business ones, for the people we love.

Louis settles the case without being too rancorous. Katrina is mad that Louis gave in, but admires him for being a good man. Turns out being a bigger man gets him Sheila back. She leaves Xander and tells Louis she loves him because he fought for her and made sacrifices for her (why this episode wasn’t titled Sacrifice, I don’t know.) They go off to have sex with no role playing (yay for us) and she’s even ready to consider having children – she’s ‘pulled the goalie’ by throwing away her diaphragm. At age 50 (Rachel Harris/Sheila) and 47 (Rick Hoffman/Louis), these two are a little old to be getting pregnant but hey, stranger things have happened. Like that Mike became a legit lawyer.

mike & judge rawls.png

Mike is approached by a woman judge (last name Rawls) who was involved in the Mike-as-fraud trial proceedings, and treated him and Harvey fairly then. A law firm has gone after her, saying she should have recused herself from judging a case for which she stood to make a personal gain.

She wants Mike to represent her and clear her name, because no one else will, she thinks Mike is a good lawyer, and he kind of owes her one. Harvey doesn’t want the firm to get involved because of a potential conflict that would arise with another client, but Mike suggests they both owe Rawls, and hey, it might be fun for Mike & Harvey to work together again.

Mike at bat.png

Sure enough, they discuss the case while hitting balls at a batting cage in their work wear, a scene that appears to exist for the purpose of reinforcing that Harvey is athletic and Mike is dorky (sounds about right). They also talk about their personal lives over dinner at a bar. Harvey says he broke up with Paula because she’s not the One, but when Mike asks if Donna is, Harvey won’t say.  Mike confesses he might have had something to do with the kiss, since he advised Donna to express her feelings. Harvey reams out Mike for this later, when the Rawls case is not going their way. He calls Mike a suck who was guilted into helping Rawls, and tells him he has to be willing to sacrifice things that matter to him, like how Harvey sacrificed Paula after Donna kissed him because Mike told her to.

harvey & mike in bar

Mike rightfully points out that he knows all about sacrifice – since he went to prison so Harvey wouldn’t have to. Eventually, they both apologize, and after the usual back-and-forthing they save/clear Judge Rawls by figuring out (with a moment’s help from Louis) what the ulterior (criminal) motive was for the law firm that was going after her.

Harvey, not ready to drop the Donna storyline, asks Mike about it again. Mike admits he was rooting for Donna over Paula. Harvey says he doesn’t want to be with anyone right now, so there.

donna & david fox

Donna is back at the firm, but things are still a little tense between her and Harvey since the goddamn kiss (and her resignation and re-hiring), so when she gets hoodwinked by a snaky but cute (and notably shorter) property magnate named David Fox, she tries to solve the problem without getting Harvey involved. Fox owns the building where the Specter Litt offices are located, and he wants to illegally increase the rent by 100%.  He flirts with Donna by boasting about his vast real estate holdings in NYC, and tricks her into formally notifying him that the firm has restructured, which makes the current lease invalid. After an initial panic, Donna puts her thinking cap on, comes up with a plan that involves buying the air rights across the street from Fox’s buildings with views,  and gets Rachel (having a weird hair day) to help her execute it. She not only foils Fox, she gets him to give them a decrease on their rent, and presents the new lease to Harvey as something she arranged to thank him for taking her back. Way to be deceptive, Donna.

donna & rachel

Next week: Mike and Rachel get married and make their exit from the show in the two hour season finale. And Jessica Pearson returns in a back-door pilot for her Suits spin-off.

Kim Moritsugu is a Toronto novelist and sometime TV show recapper. Her seventh novel, coming in June 2018,  The Showrunner, is a darkly humourous, suspenseful Hollywood-noir novel about female ambition inside the TV biz that an advance reviewer called a “sophisticated, compelling, and surprisingly complex drama.” Check out its book trailer here:

Advertisements

Suits Recap – S7 E12: Bad Man

In which Louis gets the episode’s A story, complete with flashbacks to his teen years; Dr. Lipshitz and Tall Oliver return; and Jessica appears briefly, wearing what may be the most entertainingly ridiculous item of designer clothing that the show costumers have dressed her in yet.

mud job

Question: the sex talk between Sheila and Louis is supposed to be silly and stupid, and make them look foolish, right? Asking as someone who is embarrassed for the actors when they perform cringe-worthy scenes like the one where Sheila ambushes Louis at his mudding place, reaches under the mud, and seems to give him a hand-job. Yuck. Her reason for doing this: she wants to continue fucking Louis on the sly, though her wedding is a week away.

When Louis discusses the Sheila issue with his shrink Dr. Lipshitz, whom he now addresses as Stan, Stan asks what’s behind Louis’s pattern of falling for unavailable women. This question leads to flashbacks of Louis in 1986 in Scarsdale, when he was a burly, smiley teen who dated a girl named Mitzi, and his idea of a fun night out was to take her to a production of Uncle Vanya.

Mitzi only dates Louis because he’s a good guy her parents approve of, and she’s under the thrall of a bad boy who is Louis’s opposite.  Young Louis is devastated when he learns about Mitzi’s two-timing, courtesy of his younger but wiser sister Esther (remember beauteous Esther?).

In the present, Louis decides to sic a private detective, Holly Cromwell, and a gambler on Sheila’s fiance in order to discredit him, but Gretchen shuts down that plan, and suggests that if Louis loves and wants Sheila, he should tell her so.

Columbia Law School on Hoskin

Louis approaches Sheila outside Wycliffe College on the University of Toronto campus (subbing for Columbia Law School, which I bet looks rather unlike either Wycliffe or U of T’s Trinity College across the street, seen behind Louis) here:

Louis by Trinity College

He suggests they try to start over, but (like Paula) Sheila is not interested in having her heart broken again. She just wants a bad boy to have sex with.

wycliffe college

By the way, this whole doughy-loserish-guy-as-bad-boy thing reminds me of George’s bad boy episode on Seinfeld, and I think Seinfeld did it funnier. Anyway, Dr. Stan feels that Louis is not and never will be a bad boy, but Louis goes back to Wycliffe College at night, kisses Sheila right there out in the open, tells her they’re going to fuck in her office with the door unlocked, and declares himself a bad man. As if this will end well.

I like Gabriel Macht, but his slender build and Earth-father off-season social media persona make it difficult for me to suspend my disbelief any time Harvey boxes aggressively at his boxing gym, or threatens to beat people up while dressed in an expensive suit.  So picture me scoffing during this episode, when he does both. He also gets his own set of flashbacks, both to childhood (the actor playing him as a child is inexplicably dark-haired, why?) and to 10 years ago. The flashbacks are in service to Jessica’s request, after her name is removed from the wall (and dragged through the mud), for $2 million of her payout to be made to an untraceable bank account. She won’t say why. She does say that she’s not breaking the law or trying to evade taxes, and will declare the amount eventually.

Luckily, Harvey has for years been running an unpaid, off-the-books ‘side tab’  for Rick, a music publisher/record company mogul who owns the rights to Harvey’s dad’s semi-obscure jazz recordings. Harvey asks Rick to pay part (!) of his tab to Jessica’s untraceable account, but Rick can only pay if he sells his catalogue (worth millions, though not as many as formerly) to another company. And if he does that, Specter Senior’s music will no longer be played, not even once a year by a semi-obscure jazz radio station. Harvey struggles with this decision, but convinces Rick to sell. He also convinces the youngish buyer, whose New York office affords a great view of Toronto’s old and new city halls (located side by side downtown), to pay a price slightly higher than his first insulting offer.

Old and New City Hall

Harvey laments the loss of his dad’s music with a sympathetic Donna over an office drink, because they are friends, and always will be, even if Donna’s striking Dolce & Gabbana day dress is more suited to a garden party or wedding than to a routine day at a  law firm.

donna in dolce & gabbana

After the payment is made, Jessica calls in from Chicago to say that her pretty but crazy-ass-cut Monse top doesn’t work as office-wear either, but she doesn’t care. She tells Donna she knew all along about the side tab, of course. The implication being that getting Harvey to finally collect on it may be why she asked for the untraceable deposit. As a way to clean house post-exit, from afar.

Jessica in Monse

In case you wondered about Paula’s not-much-of-a-cliff-hanger reaction to Harvey’s confession from last week: it was that she needed some time alone to think about Harvey’s lying, Donna-kissing ways. Or she did until the end of this week’s episode, when Harvey comes over and says he likes Donna being a part of his life and sharing in his victories and defeats, but he still wants to be with Paula. Paula admits she feels threatened by Donna, and they (P&H) make up. Bets on whether their relationship lasts into season 8 with Katharine Heigl coming on board as a series regular?

Mike and Rachel show no sign this week of getting their wedding underway, despite their pledge to do so last time. They do, however, cook and prepare to consume more pasta, the official food of their couplehood. They also spend time with Tall Oliver, who approaches Mike about a deal between a local food bank that Tall Oliver represents and a Specter Litt client that has jacked up the price of products it was selling to the food bank at cost.

Tall Oliver is Mike’s friend, and his fight-for-the-little-guy motives are good, but Mike has to fight for his own client. Even Rachel encourages Mike not to go easy on T.O. After some verbal sparring, legal ass-kicking and back-and-forthing between the lawyers and their clients, Mike wins the case in his client’s favour and tells T.O. he shit the bed, just like Harvey would have told Mike. Afterwards, tall Oliver drops in at Mike’s apartment to thank him for treating him like an equal (this is how male friendship works in the Suits universe, go figure), and calls Mike a motherfucker, but in a friendly way. Then he, Mike and Rachel sit down to some linguine with pesto, because pasta rules.

Tall Oliver Kitchen.png

The purpose of the case seemed to be to show that Mike is adopting Harvey’s tough love tactics and behaving more like an asshole senior partner, but when Harvey offers him the position, Mike declines, saying he wants to spend more time with Rachel before they both quit the series. Only four more eps remain!

Next week: Conflict between Harvey & Donna and between Mike & Rachel. But will there be pasta?

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:

Suits Recap: Season 7, Episode 3 – Mudmare

In which besties Rachel and Donna shout mean things at each other but all is okay after they apologize (is that how friendships work?), Harvey and Mike lock horns about a pro bono case, Louis has a breakdown, and Mike gets case-blocked by new partner Alex.

rachel and donna.png

We open with Louis mudding, and we know this is a dream because a bare-chested Harvey is mudding next to him, which will never happen in the Suits’ version of real life, though I’d like to point out that this is the second consecutive episode in which we have seen Gabriel Macht’s chest and shoulders – so much for the show-no-skin clause I was sure he had in his contract. Alex also shows up in the mud room to taunt Louis, because this is actually a mudmare, though when informed by phone of the dream, Louis’s shrink Dr. Lipshitz suggests a more positive interpretation: Alex could become a new friend for Louis.

Louis tries too hard to befriend Alex, of course, though his welcome gift of a honeysuckle plant is appreciated, and Alex has two cats, so things are looking up until he cancels a lunch date with Louis to go to a meeting with Harvey.  Louis of course assumes that Alex canceled to be mean, and that Alex and Harvey are laughing at him. Dr. Lipshitz talks him down from the Seven Stages of Louis and into doing his breathing exercises.

At lunch with Harvey after their meeting, Alex asks what Louis’s deal is, and Harvey explains that Louis is like the Frank Burns character on the TV show MASH. This is a pretty tough reference to make for anyone under 40, but Alex gets it: Louis loves Harvey, hates him, and wants to be him, all at once.

When Louis later confronts Harvey about letting Alex’s concerns take precedence over Mike’s, Harvey meanly tells him off, and accuses Louis of jealousy, which sends Louis into mental breakdown mode. He calls Dr. Lipshitz, distraught, addresses him as Harvey, and pours out all his hurt, self-loathing, anger, and despair. Hard to know what direction the Louis character will take after that scene.

Must have been a slow week at the NYT, because the profile they ran of Mike looks like it took up major column inches, especially when blown up to poster size,  laid out with mocking captions, and posted on Mike’s office windows – all thanks to Harvey, and a bit of a dick move considering it was Harvey’s idea that Mike do some self-promotion to repair his reputation. Though Harvey says the display is all so he can make a joke about how Mike should wear black next time he’s photographed, because it’s more slimming.

Mike takes this ribbing with a smile, kind of like how Patrick J. Adams smiled when my son, a fellow (but younger) Northern Secondary School alum, disturbed PJA at the Wayhome music festival last weekend and asked to take a pic. “For my mom who writes Suits recaps,” my son said, to my mortification at a remove. Love the picture though!

IMG_4776.JPG-1.jpeg

Back on Suits, Mike is supposed to be working on a corporate merger file for Harvey when he is approached by a Mr. Reyes, a man whose son died in a privately run prison, and who has sought out Mike after reading the NYT article. Mr. Reyes doesn’t believe the prison’s story – that his son, who was in for possession of one ounce of marijuana, got into a fight shortly before he was to be paroled, then died of a heart attack  – and wants Mike to find out what really happened, to prevent other convicts from dying needlessly.

Harvey gives Mike his blessing to take on Mr. Reyes’ case pro bono, and brings in Alex to work on the merger. But Mike’s digging into how the prison is run – on a bare bones budget that neglects prisoner safety – causes trouble at the law firm. It seems that one of Alex’s clients is a land developer who sometimes builds prisons, including the one where the son died. And Harvey does not want to piss off any of Alex’s clients.

Harvey tells Mike to drop the case or he can forget about doing any more pro bono cases.  Mike meets Tall Oliver down in Parkdale on Queen West, ribs him about his comic book buying habits (it’s better than being a corporate stooge, Tall Oliver retorts) and asks him to take over the case and file a lawsuit against the prison management company. Tall Oliver is skeptical at first, but agrees.

Harvey is not happy with Mike handing off the case to the clinic, and makes him sign a declaration saying he will have nothing further to do with the case. A testy Mike introduces himself to Alex, presents him with a list of the next 12-14 lawsuits he plans to file, and testily asks him to check now for any potential conflicts among them, because he never wants to bullied by a client again. Alex tells him he will check, and that he has just told his construction company client the same thing. Are they all good now? Not quite, but at least neither of them broke down.

Donna and Rachel have tense times too, as they try out their new roles as COO and Associates Supervisor, respectively. Rachel is pissed off when an upstart 4th year associate named Stephanie tries to bypass her instructions and shrug off assignments, but she doesn’t want to fire her. A second confrontation between them turns ugly and public when Stephanie implies that Rachel is not deserving of respect because she is less experienced. It gets uglier when Donna steps in and gives Stephanie total shit, making Rachel look ineffective and weak.

Rachel and Donna have a yelling match in the restroom about the bullpen incident. Rachel says Donna belittled her in front of the associates, Donna says Rachel is not ready to supervise staff. Later, they both apologize – Donna explains she isn’t that ready for her new job either, and besides, Harvey treated her like shit earlier. Rachel says she realized she doesn’t want to supervise the associates, she wants to be a lawyer. So Donna takes over the associates and promptly fires Stephanie.

Also: Harvey (who had a hella lot of screen time and character interactions this week) cooks a steak dinner for Dr. Paula. They are cozy with the wine and fire and all, but she has to wonder whether the two of them dating is a big mistake (IMO, she’s got that right!), ethically or otherwise. She’s scared their relationship will not work out, and she will feel and look like a fool, to herself and to others “Let’s be scared together,” Harvey says. Meh. I still think this won’t end well.

Next week: Alex’s old law firm comes after PSL.

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.