SUITS Recap: Does Anybody Know What’s Happening?


The fifth episode of SUITS season 6 was a lesson in trying to figure out what exactly the characters were thinking. While Mike Ross and Harvey Specter both made a number of seemingly contradictory moves in the increasingly convoluted plot to get Mike released from prison and away from the dangerous Frank Gallo, Louis Litt was busy with an elaborate plan to get to know his latest potential love interest. It involved forcing Donna Paulsen to find him some property in the Hamptons. (Because playing Louis’ real estate agent and matchmaker is totally Donna’s job now.) Elsewhere, Rachel Zane hit a snag in her quest to free an innocent man. Does anybody know what’s happening at this point? We’ll do our best to figure it out.

Pearson Zane 2016 – Finally, a partnership we can all get behind. Regardless of the massive heap of confusion that was the rest of the storyline in “Trust,” one thing made a beautifully perfect kind of sense: Rachel Zane’s eventual team-up with Jessica Pearson. Following her vow to fight for Leonard Bailey in last week’s episode, Rachel had found plenty of evidence to prove that Leonard’s case should be reopened.

But it just wasn’t enough.

Professor Dunbar called Rachel to his office to let her know that the Innocence Project wouldn’t be taking Leonard’s case because, despite all of her hard work, she hadn’t discovered any new DNA evidence so the case didn’t meet important qualifying criteria. The old Rachel would have cried about it and moved on; but the new, improved Rachel Zane delivered to viewers in SUITS season 6 didn’t back down. Because she worked for Pearson Specter Litt, where the lawyers had taken pro bono cases from time to time, Rachel promised she’d have a lawyer to supervise her as she continued fighting for Leonard.

The one wrinkle was that Rachel hadn’t actually approached any real life lawyers to help her with this, but she went to the best possible one in Jessica Pearson. Although Jessica originally turned Rachel down because she didn’t have even a single minute to work on an extra case, the episode (thankfully) ended with the firm’s fearless leader teaming up with its newest Strong Woman in Training. Jessica’s reason? She would much rather see headlines about her firm freeing an innocent man than the current “Manhattan Law Firm Hires A Fraud” story.

Here’s a headline I’d like to see: “Pearson & Zane Save The World, Prove Women Run It.” Make it happen, SUITS. I’m counting on you.

I don’t even want to try to figure this one out. One of the most compelling relationships on SUITS has been Donna Paulsen’s oftentimes humorous, yet always meaningful, friendship with Louis Litt. Well, at least these two characters’ scenes always had a certain value to them until this latest episode. As problematic as Louis’ decision to hire Tara in a ploy to get close to her originally was, his admission to Donna that he didn’t even have a house in the Hamptons for the architect to redesign made the whole thing even sketchier. Making matters even worse, Donna became demoted to Louis’ house hunter after she was essentially guilted into doing it.

Somewhere in the middle of the episode, the two friends had a spat that didn’t make the most sense; but at least the argument ended with Donna telling Louis to look for his own house if he couldn’t trust her to do the job correctly. Later, Louis begged for his life back or whatever? I guess? And he admitted to missing Donna…as his secretary. Oh, and of course Donna produced the perfect house, complete with news that she’d submitted an offer on Louis’ behalf…but only after just the right amount of groveling.

Sure. Fine. Whatever.

Earth to Louis: Donna was your secretary for all of five minutes, while Harvey was off having his panic attacks over her. You don’t get a girlfriend by hiring her to redo your non-existent house in the Hamptons, and you don’t spend more time with your supposed friends by ordering them around and not trusting them to buy you the right house in the Hamptons to replace your imaginary one.

The most confusing, most high-stakes game on SUITS. I’m really trying to make sense of all of this, but it’s a bit difficult. The episode started with Mike, Harvey, and Sean Cahill discussing the exact details of Cahill’s deal with Mike. That didn’t last long, though, because Cahill mentioned having been trying to nail William Sutter for the past three years.

Does that name sound familiar? It should.

Harvey was shocked to find out that the very client he’d refused to take was essentially the key to getting Mike free; and the conversation quickly turned from just the barest hint of a plan for Mike’s role as Double Agent Man in prison, to whether or not Cahill agreed with Harvey’s decision accept Sutter’s business after all. Harvey was certain that Kevin would never trust his cellmate if he knew that the very man Mike had gone to prison to protect also happened to be the lawyer who’d told his father-in-law to go to hell. Meanwhile, Cahill was pretty convinced that Harvey would be treading some pretty murky waters if he represented Sutter, knowing about the investigation and Cahill’s need to be successful in it if Mike was to make good on the deal. Obviously, Harvey did what Harvey wanted to do and took Sutter up on his earlier offer.

That, apparently, meant that Kevin would also be Harvey’s client. More to the point, despite actually being on the same “side,” Harvey and Cahill would go back to being enemies in the courtroom. Specter and Cahill each acted their parts so well, though, that it was impossible to tell which moves were part of the original plan and which were just the result of two men who were very at their jobs getting far too invested in the case. At one point, Cahill even had to ask Harvey if he realized that, had his ploy to get a new prosecutor on Sutter’s case been successful, the deal for Mike’s freedom, which Harvey had taken Sutter as a client to make good on, wouldn’t even exist anymore.

Harvey delivered that patented Specter smirk and said he knew the consequences but had to do his job well or else everything would fall apart anyway, and I was pretty much thinking “ok, Harvey. Whatever you say.”

Back at the prison, Mike told Kevin Miller just enough lies to cover up his three hours on the outside without raising too many eyebrows. (Kevin only has two, after all.) Mike’s roommate suspected something was up, but despite clearly protecting his family by keeping a secret (I think that reminds me of someone?), the guy never really seemed to put two and two together. Kevin opened up to Mike at the end of the episode but didn’t necessarily tell Mike the full story.

At least we know now that whatever resulted in Kevin’s imprisonment involved a fight with his wife, too much alcohol, a bad mistake, and someone’s near death. That’s at least something, I suppose? No word yet on how exactly it has anything to do with William Sutter or Sean Cahill’s case against him.

In the midst of all of this, Mike’s backup plan — namely, to get Frank Gallo released from prison early and therefore out of his hair — needed a boost. The paperwork hadn’t gone through because it had to be delivered both in person and by Gallo’s lawyer, so that meant Harvey was going to have to represent the person who tried to kill his best friend and was the whole reason the other shenanigans were even underway.

What a mess.

Additional thoughts:

  • Mike used Gallo’s phone to call Harvey and discuss their super secret plans. From prison. Where anyone could have heard. Logic?
  • Donna told Louis to stop being a wuss and just ask Tara out. Not only would that have saved a lot of time and confusion — not to mention plenty of Louis’ money, which he didn’t want to pitch in to save the firm but was more than willing to blow in order stalk Tara — but Donna should probably take her own advice. I never thought I’d say this, but…Donna? Stop being a wuss. Just send your crush a “will you go out with me (check yes or no)” note already.
  • “How could I not? Badass Rachel.” The response when Rachel asked Jessica if she remembered she had been assigned an Innocence Project case. There’s no way this SUITS viewer is forgetting Badass Rachel any time soon, either.
  • “I have no relationship. I’m all alone. Ever since Sheila rejected me, I thought I would never find love again…” Ok, that kind of hurt. I probably would’ve been guilted into doing Louis’ creepy bidding after that line, too.
  • “Google it.” Jessica Pearson, I love you. Also, quite a lot of people would save themselves time and embarrassment if they took the queen’s advice.
  • Everything’s tying together a little bit too well. This series has always been excellent in terms of having something that makes the A and B storylines merge, but there is such thing as too much of a good thing. To recap: Frank Gallo is threatening Mike Ross’ life because Harvey Specter is the reason he’s in prison. Mike has a chance to get out of prison, courtesy of Sean Cahill — Harvey’s former enemy — because the person Cahill is after is Mike’s cellmate’s father-in-law. But wait, there’s more! Top all of that off with this week’s newly-gained knowledge: Said father-in-law is the very person from whom Harvey recently refused to take business. Yeah, ok. And the cherry on top of that sundae full o’ convenience? Pearson Specter Litt’s tenants are traders, so when Harvey needed someone to submit trades on Sutter’s (aka the father-in-law of Mike’s roommate, who was also the key to Mike’s freedom and also Harvey’s new scumbag client) behalf, Stu and his fat boy trader buddies were already right there for Jessica to approach on Harvey’s behalf. No, really. I didn’t make this up. SUITS did.
  • “I didn’t as a baby, and I’m not going to start now.” Harvey Specter on crawling. Mr. Cocky seems to have made a reappearance. Despite all of the awesome character growth, I still love that guy.
  • I don’t understand how the warden’s involved in all of this or even if he can be trusted. What was with that line about things turning out even worse than Mike serving his two years, anyway? I also don’t understand why Mike keeps going back to his counselor, tossing out ultimatums, walking out of the office with seemingly nothing accomplished…and then getting exactly what he wanted.
  • Honestly, the only good thing that came out of the cluster that was Mike’s situation was the moment between Harvey and Louis. First off, Harvey actually let Louis see him flinch and even admitted that the favor he needed was for Mike, not the firm. In the past, he wouldn’t have done that. Secondly, Louis told Harvey that he knew how hard it had been for him without Mike. More importantly, he showed Harvey that he understood and even missed Mike himself. “Because actions speak louder than words. And you doing this? Says it all.”
  • What a waste of the power of Donna. After last week’s episode of SUITS, there was a lot of buzz on the internet about whether or not it was time to finally give Donna her own storyline, free of just being Pearson Specter Litt’s resident Fixer of All Things. (Spoiler alert: I was one of the people asking this very question.) Television storylines do not happen overnight, so at least this…whatever it was…between Donna and Louis wasn’t the response to the criticism of Donna’s season six involvement thus far; but I’m thinking that now might be the time to say that the creative team seems to be more than just a little bit confused as to how best to use the character this season. I really, truly hope I’m wrong here; but so far, the outlook is not good.
  • Harvey basically admitted to Frank Gallo that he’d set him up for poisoning Mike, and he was more than happy to continue abusing both his power and the system. Who’s going to believe a convict over a model of a lawyer, casually leaning in a doorway and making threats?

Make sure to tune in to the next episode of SUITS on Wednesday, August 17 at 9/8c on USA Network.


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  • John

    I agree with your analysis. I can’t fathom Mike’s plan with Gallo and any of Harvey’s plans. I can’t see how any of this will work out logically.

    My opinion of Donna is mixed. She is an interesting character, but she is one of those characters that is too super for the show. She is nearly psychic and this show isn’t about the supernatural.

    Louis is annoying. He is too disfunctional and he never learns that Harvey and Jessica will never view him as anything more than a sometimes useful annoyance.

    Thanks for the recap.