SUITS Recap: What Goes Up Must Come Down….But Please Go Back Up

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After perhaps the strongest episode in SUITS history, the series got back to a disappointing level of business as usual in “Teeth, Nose, Teeth.” Harvey Specter considered a sketchy deal to get one of his Pearson Specter Litt family members out of a sticky situation, and the result was anything but a surprise. Meanwhile, Donna Paulsen finally had the promised chance to reconsider her career; but it didn’t exactly involve the most respectful business opportunity of all time. With the season’s end looming ever closer, a number of the series’ characters either stayed stagnant or took a step backward. Check out our SUITS recap for the full story.

The family that works together keeps working together, apparently. Family is important to Harvey Specter. SUITS has made that abundantly clear. So, when Harvey started repairing his broken familial relationships in last week’s episode without having a chance to talk to Mike Ross, that smacked of unfinished business. Cue the opening of “Teeth, Nose, Teeth,” when Mike arrived at Harvey’s door to deliver an overdue apology. Continuing to prove that he might actually be capable of growing up after all, Mike admitted that he was way out of line last time he saw his former boss: “I know you only had my best interests at heart. You always do. I shouldn’t have snapped at you.”

Yes, Mike. Exactly.

Harvey wasn’t blameless in that situation, though, so he took a giant leap in admitting that he should never have gone to Anita Gibbs behind Mike’s back. With that settled, the two brothers shared some booze and barbs, while their better halves did the same back at the Ross/Zane household. Obvious details for Mike and Rachel’s wedding were confirmed — best man Harvey, maid of honor Donna — and Harvey agreed to let Mike use his place as a venue. As both pairs caught up, Mike told Harvey all about his new job at the legal clinic, and Rachel revealed to Donna that she had finally submitted her application to the bar.

SUITS, we know where this is going. Your “previously on” and set up were glaringly obvious.

Much of “Teeth, Nose, Teeth” was focused on Harvey and Louis’ efforts to get Rachel her appointment to defend herself before the Bar Ethics Committee. This was the first test of the two lawyers’ relationship as co-managing partners; and proving that they were equally dedicated to making things work, both guys really stepped up. I don’t even need to write an opinion here because Louis and Harvey summed it up for me: “Normally, instead of coming to me, you’d go full steam ahead and do something that makes the situation significantly worse.”

“Because we said we’d run this firm together, and if we’re going to do that, then I have to be honest with myself on what I’m good at and what you’re good at.”

“Louis, that shows real growth.”

The beauty of it all.

Louis admitted that Harvey was better at “fixing” things; and later in the episode, Harvey came to Louis for help because he had a better knowledge of financial transactions. Both men knew that the Ethics Committee member who initially blocked Rachel’s application was looking for the firm to do something illegal, but they were willing to do…nearly anything for Rachel. It turns out Mr. Ethics wanted Harvey to bring forth a fraudulent lawsuit forcing a rival company’s shares to drop. The company in question had stolen his idea by having some nameless woman snoop around on his computer. How did the terrible woman have access to said computer? Ethics Dude had cheated on his wife with her. Ethically, of course.

The fact that Harvey didn’t punch the guy after learning of his infidelity really shows how therapeutic that hug Mommy Specter was…

Harvey worked his charm to get Rachel her appointment without making any sketchy deals, but he said he’d do the deed for a different reason.

Surprising to absolutely no one thanks to its long-honored SUITS tradition, the favor Harvey Specter requested was…a chance for Mike Ross, fraud, to join the bar. I swear to God. Despite being in the middle of a seemingly unwinnable case for Sophia Price, especially after his chosen person to represent the client — Marissa — had to leave town due to her father’s poor health, Mike initially refused Harvey’s offer. He prepared Oliver, who had already frozen in court once, for trial. And, with a child’s health, a mother’s ability to provide shelter and medical care, and so much more on the line…Oliver froze. Again. This time, Mike tried to intervene; but opposing lawyer Ms. Johnson had already gone behind his back to the judge, warned the judge of Mike’s conviction, and made sure that he could not be heard.

And so, SUITS 6.13 ended with Mike Ross appearing in the doorway of Harvey Specter’s office, just in time to say he’d take the deal.

Eyes everywhere rolled so hard that they popped out of their sockets. I just…Mike’s entire existence as a lawyer was the result of Harvey’s shady hiring decision. The deal with Cahill that “earned” Mike’s early release from prison was also somewhat unclean. And now this. For someone who has grown up so much during throughout SUITS’ run, Harvey Specter sure hasn’t learned anything about this particular scenario; and then there’s Mike. Mr. “I’m more of a lawyer now than I ever was” totally…wants to take the easy way out. Again.

Please make this backfire, SUITS. Please.

Donna’s “big story.” Speaking of eyes rolling too hard to remain part of a human’s anatomy, I would like to refer everyone to the concept of “The Donna” and remind you that Donna Paulsen deserves better. SUITS fans were promised a storyline for Donna during the back half of season 6, and “Teeth, Nose, Teeth” was the first chance to really focus on her. While Donna certainly had a chance to take a look at her career as promised, this particular plot device was, to be frank, garbage at best.

When Benjamin the I.T. guy came to Donna’s desk and she dumped line after line of innuendo on him, SUITS 6.13 looked to be rocking the “Donna as usual” writing. We all know Donna’s great with the wit and the double entendres; some of her conversations with Louis have been…uh, interesting…after all. As usually happens, though, Donna’s involvement in things sparked some interest. Then, though, things started to get bizarre.

After Benjamin supposedly upgraded Donna’s computer, she started having so many problems that she needed to march up to his desk to complain “because that thing has crashed more times than Mel Gibson on his way home from a Saturday night.” (Side note: I am 100% here for dragging Mel Gibson, anti-semite and drunken ranter extraordinaire.) This is, of course, where things became horrible. Benjamin had developed “The Donna,” some sort of Siri-like failure of a device equipped with Donna’s signature sass and capable of “learning” more of it. Rather than asking Donna directly to be his partner on creating and marketing the product, Benjamin sabotaged her computer to get her to come up to the I.T. department — his turf — to discuss. What followed was what Rachel aptly called a “cute joke” but was, ultimately, lacking in substance.

Yes, it was cute watching Donna interact with “The Donna.” Yes, it’s hilarious that Donna doesn’t like that Keurig crap that Gretchen does. Yes, Benjamin was totally correct when he said that Donna is the best secretary “in the history of everything” and always manages to say the right thing at the right time. No, seeing her reduced to “nothing but quippy lines and sassy remarks” wasn’t at all fulfilling — especially when Benjamin was so shocked to learn that Donna Paulsen was so much more than that.

Do better, SUITS.

Through her friendship with Rachel and some introspection, Donna realized that her worth was far more than what the “The Donna” could offer, which was great. So, was SUITS setting us up for something big? Sorry, but no. Benjamin came back to Donna, asking her to help him find a way to bring her heart and empathy to his wannabe device…and she actually agreed. You can not replace a strong, intelligent woman with technology created by a guy who isn’t even intelligent enough to see her complexities. No. Just no.

But shoutout to Harvey for realizing that Donna’s flirting with Benjamin wasn’t a threat, at least. His own subtle flirting via that smirk and the Harvey Specter charm were greatly appreciated, too. Perhaps he’ll convince Donna that she’s so much more than Benjamin and Siri-lite can ever imagine? I hope?

To keep it easy for the SUITS team: Donna as entrepreneur? Good. This? Bad. Very bad.

Extra thoughts:

  • “Does she have a man purse?” I screamed. I’ve been all about Mike bringing back his man bag. Harvey Specter gets me.
  • “You finally told him to pick a hairstyle and stick with it?” Donna, I appreciate the savagery against Mike Ross and all…but your boy isn’t innocent here either.
  • “We also need to make sure that you don’t [coughs] Donna at the wedding.” Actually.
  • Meanwhile, Mike was speaking a little bit too fondly of Marissa, so I’m still on my, “good God, please don’t make this be the way that we lose Rachel Zane” kick.
  • Louis and Tara: No. Louis had to go through this whole ordeal to make peace with the idea of Tara’s babydaddy coming to the sonogram, only for dude to not even show up. And Tara’s response to Louis’ upset was that she didn’t know him at all? Louis Litt is officially destined to never have a healthy relationship. 
  • I really want to love Mike because he clearly wants to do some good in the world; but he has made so many bad decisions, that it’s becoming impossible. As much as we were supposed to dislike Ms. Johnson because she’s so terrible to Mike’s client, she’s also not exactly wrong when it comes to Mike. He should take her advice, not Harvey’s: “Because you were deemed a fraud, and no judge in the world is going to let you turn his court into a joke.”
  • “Louis, I don’t speak for all handsome men.” Ok, but you should because look at you.
  • Louis ordered Harvey his favorite sandwich. Then, Harvey actually gave Louis solid relationship advice — despite not being able to get his own act together — and just…They were so sweet together? “Louis, it doesn’t matter what I see. It matters what this woman sees, and she obviously sees something. Or she wouldn’t be with you. She’d be with him.” And they worked so incredibly well together in this episode, even with Harvey’s jokes about being better than Louis? Is this Larvey rising?
  • “Because there’s nothing more important than family.” The SUITS message and motto.
  • “…what really makes me special is my intuition, and my empathy, and my heart.” Yes, Donna. Yes. Now, let’s send that message in a positive way, rather than through whatever SUITS 6.13 was. 
  • “Unless you want me to focus my rapier-like wit on you, I suggest you walk your pretty, little self back into your office.” Harvey, she opened the door for you. You walked back to the office instead of stepping right on through. You foolish, yet pretty, man.

Make sure to tune in to more of SUITS season 6.5 on Wednesdays at 10:00 EST/PST on the USA Network.

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  • MemyselfandI

    I really wish I could make things more challenging and exciting for you and disagree with your review but…it seems today isn’t the day! LOL!
    The episode did start on an excellent note showing Harvey drinking with Mike and Donna drinking with Rachel. It’s always nice to see them hang out “with friends” outside the office and if Suits want to incorporate more light moments into the show that’s a nice way to do it. Remember how fun it was to see Rachel and Donna out in a bar, Harvey and Mike smoking pot? It’s always nice when Suits puts the focus on the friendships reminding us WHY those people stick together. Also, the opening scene reminded me that those two pairings are on opposite sides of the spectrum. Rachel and Mike are pushing into a wedding while having more issues that I can list VS Harvey and Donna trying to fix every single issue under the sun (including other people’s issues, like working on getting Mike’s out of jail) while being the slowest of slow burns. I do hope that if indeed there’s a wedding, Harvey will do exactly what Mike thinks: *cough* Donna.

    I was glad to see Harvey and Louis working so well together. Also, Harvey giving good relationship advice showed real character growth in Harvey’s emotional journey. So now, okay Harvey: you dream about IT, you obviously understand now how IT works, maybe it’s time you apply all this growth to your own LIFE and go for IT? *cough again*.
    But then argh! Like you wrote, that shadyyyyy deal (with flashing neon lights all around!): WHY!? Please Suits UNDO THIS. I don’t want the show to take the same path AGAIN and I am even more scared of seeing how they could handle it differently this time. I guess we’ll see…

    Ah THE Donna.
    I’m still confused about THE Donna.
    Yes, it was very funny to watch, but as I was promised a real Donna storyline, I expected more. The whole thing was a joke. A really funny joke but it certainly lacked substance especially after last week’s episode where Suits peeled ALL the layers and stripped Harvey Specter down to the core, also showing Donna so sensible and true-to-herself and making her emotional side so available in the process. In Teeth Nose Teeth, it’s like the writers only scratched the surface and I think there is a way they could have shown introspection and still be funny. I hope the App/Device will transform into something more viable on a real market because so far it seems like something just very appealing to US, the fans.
    So yes, you said it: Donna as entrepreneur, YES, but GOSH please find something else. Donna is much more than ALL THAT. She’s fierce, she’s brilliant. I’m sure she and Benjamin can find something that can be a real, viable business opportunity that will fit into the universe of the show.

    As for Louis, he’s this character I hate one minute and love the next, but one thing for sure he has a big heart and his relationship with Tara has been tinted right from the start… Can I add that I don’t like when shows put a baby/pregnancy into the mix for drama? I’m sad for Louis and it’s to the point I am waiting for Sheila or Katrina to “save him” and I can’t believe I’m saying that but…it’s sad and pathetic.

    One last (Important!) thing: if I remove my “critical/overanalyzing” goggles, YES I did enjoy this episode a lot! It was fun to watch even if I cringed and yelled at my TV. It is still really good TV.
    (thanks for your review which was, by the way, an excellent example that a text can be funny and still dig under the layers! Bravo!)