While offering compelling relationships linking its major characters, SUITS is a series that has often been accused of being predictable. Everything has always come back to Mike Ross’ fraudulent practicing of the law; and even the most high-stakes of lawsuits usually winds up settled in Harvey Specter’s favor. If it doesn’t, that just means the case will rear its ugly head again later, giving our series’ “hero” the chance for whatever qualifies as redemption in his world. With SUITS’ seventh season premiere, then, it should be no surprise that Harvey and Mike are back to their usual frat boy banter in the midst of settling a case that seems like an easy win but isn’t. The only difference now is that Mike is suddenly a legitimate lawyer, and Harvey’s using the sale of his client’s vodka business as “one last case together” before he moves on to bigger things. Also not surprising is Louis Litt’s outlandish behavior, taking is frustrations out on the firm’s associates following his recent breakup.
SUITS has dipped into both of these wells time and time again, after all. But the series’ relationships have always saved it, right? Not, as of the SUITS season 7 premiere. Not at all. Change can be refreshing. Surprises on an otherwise predictable series can be fun. SUITS’ apparent changes for season 7, however, are neither of those things. Welcome to SUITS season 7.
Welcome to Left Field.
Be careful what you wish for, Suitors. You just might
wtf get it.
Disclaimer, lest I be seen as just an angry shipper: Yes, as a viewer, I make no mystery of my support for the so-called “Darvey” dynamic. No, objectively as a reviewer, I do not believe this has to be the only option. Want to give Harvey a new love interest? Sure. Develop it. Or even bring back an old one. (Scottie, anyone?) Even Esther would’ve worked. Or, go for broke and have Mike leave Rachel for Harvey. The “Marvey” dynamic is has been developed, so I’d be here for it.
This whole Dr. Feelgood thing, though? (No, really. Harvey actually calls her that in some weird attempt at “flirting” — because I’m sure that’s original.) Laughable, at best. Lazy and sloppy at its worst.
“Skin in the Game” opens with a gratuitous shot of Harvey Specter, driving his fancy car…where? Is it anywhere viewers have been waiting for him to go? Anywhere special?
Harvey suddenly has feelings for a therapist whom viewers haven’t seen since the series’ fifth season. He tells her what a changed man he is, having made amends with his family, and he’s going to take over his firm as managing partner as of today. Forget the fact that the tidbit about taking over the firm is an embellishment at best and the lie of a coward at worst. His status as managing partner somehow relates to his big, determined trip to confess his hidden feelings to the very same person with whom he’d shared details of his Donna-induced panic attacks and morning-after dreams.
Despite exactly zero indication that Harvey had any kind of real interest in Dr. Agard, he’s suddenly so smitten that he even calls her in the middle of interviewing with models to tell her he’s surrounded by hot chicks and only thinking of her. Wow. Secret feelings so secret we keep them from everyone, including the person we’re paying to help us sort out our feelings.
Worse yet, Paula apparently has harbored a thing for Harvey all along. During their (awful) date in which Harvey speaks to Dr. Agard as if she’s, well, his doctor — imagine that! — she delivers some sort of tearful speech about how she has had unnatural fantasies of them starting something. It all makes her sound like some sort of lovesick, unprofessional hack with a crush. Which is really a great treatment of a female character, for sure.
Honestly, though, if Dr. Agard sat across from Harvey, heard how screwed up he was, and still wanted him that badly…Go for it, I guess? He’s pretty and all, but wow. Anyone who deals with feelings all day ought to know better.
But no worries! After Harvey finally reclaims the firm and even fixes Donna’s situation after ignoring it for longer than he’d promised, we get more gratuitous shots of Harvey in his fancy car. This time, he even gets out of the driver’s seat to deliver on that big, romantic gesture from Dr. Agard’s fairytale-inspired, inappropriate dreams.
And that’s how the SUITS season 7 premiere closes: with a massively unearned move “forward” for Harvey Specter. It’s not just a fling or a conquest, so I guess we’re supposed to accept this as growth.
Donna Paulsen: Senior Partner???
I guess since I brought her up in the context of Harvey’s love story — never again, not unless there’s some quality rewriting — let’s talk about Donna’s big career development.
(In the context of SUITS, let’s all just agree that “development” is a loosely used term.)
While it’s certainly nice to see Donna Paulsen continuing to look for something more than being just a legal secretary, her actual ask — not to mention its relatively quick answer — has no relation to any of her previous interests. After “The Donna” failed (thank God), everyone’s favorite not-just-a-secretary decided overnight that she wanted to…wait for it…become a partner at the very firm that had taken her for granted for over a decade. Forget about any previous dreams — everyone else certainly has — Donna wants a seat at the table so she can officially make the big decisions she’s been making all along.
No, really. She literally made this big choice about her future overnight. Rachel makes a comment in “Skin in the Game” that Louis broke up with Tara “last night,” meaning Donna’s “business” tanked due to patent issues just a day before she showed up to work, ready to demand her partnership at whatever they’re calling the firm today.
The only thing that fits about this storyline is the way that Harvey took Donna for granted and blew her off for the entire SUITS premiere, only to come swooping in and rescue her with (empty) words of praise when it became obvious that he needed her.
I guess even Left Field has a few familiar landmarks. Which brings us to our next point.
Stale, tired of it, over it.
Mike and Harvey as frat bros, talking about hitting on models and getting drunk, followed by Mike giving Harvey the big speech on morals and growing up. Haven’t we seen all of this before? Isn’t it time for something new?
Because Mike Ross has any maturity to stand on when giving such a lecture, right? Right. Forget about the fact that Mike was right about Harvey being a coward. I just want to move on.
And then there’s Louis. There’s nothing Louis Litt is known for, if not taking his emotions out on the wrong people — and in abusive ways at that. So, color me unsurprised when Louis chose a chance to abuse the associates over taking a mudding vacation. Color me even less surprised when he became an outright monster, risking getting the firm sued, when he found out that one such associate needed time off due to the birth of his child. (I mean, it’s laughable that Louis Litt would try to insult someone’s sex life, considering, but it was pretty in character anyway.)
But color me outraged when he decided to throw in massive amounts of misogyny, directed toward the only two people who have put up with his garbage and taken his abuse, making constant excuses for him for years: Rachel and Donna.
There’s nothing more frustrating than characters who never show anything remotely resembling permanent growth. SUITS has been kind enough to gift us with several.
Additional thoughts on the SUITS season 7 premiere:
- Harvey: “I liked you better when you were drunk.” Mike: “I liked you better when I was drunk, too.” Me: I don’t think I’d like this premiere better, even if I’d happened to get drunk.
- “Harvey, I need to know what you’re doing about me.” Oh, the wasted potential.
- Meanwhile, Oliver serves delicious tea: “Better for who? Based on that extra cash that you had to throw at Nathan, I’d say it’s better for you.” So does Nathan. His assertion that Mike was handing the clinic a big, fat check just to make himself feel better was 100% correct. Mike, please stop fooling yourself into thinking you’re doing anything for the right reasons, ever.
- One of the very few highlights of this episode was Donna’s trip to congratulate Mike in his new office. It had the great banter that SUITS is known for — without stale immaturity — and it even included some real heart. As in, someone happened to remember that SUITS is at its best when it deals with the family dynamic between its characters. Gasp.
- The other positive note was, of course, Rachel’s new role as leader of the associates. Too bad it only came after Harvey saved Donna, thus saving Rachel as a consequence.
- Paging Jessica Pearson: Please come back and save us all…
- “I’m a partner now, Louis. Which means your whole, ‘‘you’re up here and I’m down here’ bullshit? Not anymore.” And in that moment, I lived.
- It’s probably time that Donna puts that can opener away for good, though…
- “I am just sick and tired of being everyone’s go-to and not getting what I ask for.” Donna, next time you want to borrow a line from my constant griping about my day job, just ask. And Gretchen? That whole line about what did Donna expect? Next time, “@” me. You all get me so well, and I wish you were real so I could chat with you? But man, did your confrontation make me feel so attacked!
- Speaking of Gretchen: She is wonderful. Love her. Just cancel SUITS and let a roomful of women create a new series that’s about nothing but Gretchen, Donna, Rachel, and (occasionally, Gina Torres’ schedule permitting) Jessica. Please and thank you.
- Also: “Though I don’t know why a person would do that in the first place. It’s like sitting in a bathtub of your own poop.” Gretchen speaks for Suitors everywhere.
Can someone make sense out of this mess? Catch the next episode of SUITS on Wednesday, July 19 at 9/8c on USA to satisfy your morbid curiosity.