The latest episode of SUITS saw quite a few of the main characters getting by on lies and omissions. Mike Ross lied to the two most important people in his life — Rachel Zane and Harvey Specter — as he continued to work on a prison case that he’d sworn he’d stay out of. Harvey himself attempted to hide his personal connection to his psychiatrist from Louis Litt when asking his partner to represent his girlfriend in court; and after Louis knew about Paula Agard’s actual connection to Harvey, both men actively kept it from Donna Paulsen. Meanwhile, it took potential blackmail for Agard to open up to Louis…So, after getting out of the tough position of having to keep one big secret (Mike’s status as a fraud) many of SUITS’ main players are now keeping a series of smaller, yet still potentially damaging, secrets as a way of sticking to their idea of normal.
Let’s all just be glad nobody’s under oath here.
As Agard’s World Turns.
When the managing partner of Pearson Specter Litt found out that his Pop-Tart-loving girlfriend was having trouble with “a nuisance suit for an ex-business partner,” he decided she needed the best representation possible. So, not the best out there — Harvey’s ego would assign that distinction solely to himself — but as good as it gets in this situation. Enter Louis Litt.
Now, forget the fact that Paula didn’t describe the full nature of her relationship with this former partner to Harvey. Honesty isn’t exactly expected from therapists who have relationships with their business partners, then violate legal agreements to treat their former partners’ clients. Besides, when Harvey first offered the case to Louis, he only mentioned that his “psychiatrist” was in need of representation. It took Louis realizing that Harvey must be hiding something for P.S.L.’s managing partner to be like, “oh, yeah. I’m with her” or whatever.
Call it a match made in half-truth heaven.
Let’s add another layer of omissions to this one: Once Paula officially accepted representation from Louis, she still didn’t dish all the dirt on her romantic history with Jacob Manning. Instead, she told Louis just enough to get the ball rolling. But it took Louis blowing up because he thought he’d been lied to for Dr. Agard to decide she was in a sharing mood.
In short, Dr. Agard and Dr. Manning were partners, who happened to also be, like, totally in love. Jacob had their whole future planned out until he “made a mistake,” forcing Paula to leave him. But — and here’s the part Paula initially failed to share with Louis — Jacob “changed his mind” and did everything in his power to get Paula back, including stalking her.
Is this SUITS or MELROSE PLACE right now?
At any rate, Paula told absolutely none of this to Harvey until the big, romantic conclusion to “Brooklyn Housing.” And she decided the last half — Jacob being a creeper — wasn’t something she should share with her lawyer until it meant saving herself from being dragged by the Ethics Committee for dating a patient. In the end, Dr. Stalker’s stalking ways were exactly what Louis wound up using in order to get the case against Agard dropped.
…but that’s none of my business.
So, what we’ve learned here is that Harvey can’t tell the truth unless forced, and neither can his latest love interest. Bonus: Dr. Agard even asked Louis for assurances that he’d never tell Harvey about her past relationship problems. Typically, I believe that’s what you’d call attorney-client privilege anyway. But when specifically asked? It reeks of a cover-up.
“Harvey, we’re a tight-knit group. We don’t betray each other, and we don’t keep secrets from each other.” Um. About that.
As if the Agard case’s web of lies wasn’t full enough, Harvey asked Louis to start spinning his own section. When Louis asked if Donna knew about Harvey’s relationship with Dr. Fuzzyethics, he decided to go for putting Louis in a position to potentially have to lie to his closest friend: “No, she doesn’t. And…for right now, I’d like to keep it that way.”
Donna, therefore, spent most of “Brooklyn Housing” convinced that something bad was happening at the firm. It was painfully obvious, especially to someone as good at figuring things out as Donna, that Harvey and Louis were hiding from her. Out of concern for the future of Pearson Specter Litt, Donna repeatedly lowered herself to asking both men for information about their latest fight; but there just wasn’t anything for them to tell.
Don’t worry, Donna. Things are completely normal at P.S.L. The partners are hiding something from everyone else, just like they did when Mike was practicing law without a degree. The only difference is that you’re being kept out of the loop this time.
Oh, and all of this dishonest behavior was happening as Donna was wasting her time on making sure that, if hired, Holly Cromwell wouldn’t double-cross the firm. Wouldn’t adding someone “in the betrayal business,” as Donna described Holly, basically just be adding another kindred spirit for Harvey and Mike?
Never-Gonna-Be-Ross Zane tells Mike what a lot of SUITS viewers might be thinking.
In a surprise to exactly zero people, Mike spent the entirety of “Brooklyn Housing” working on a case that he’d actually signed paperwork saying he wouldn’t touch. To do so, he had to lie to Rachel about where he was going; and he had to make up all sorts of excuses for why he couldn’t assist Harvey on his case of the week.
The situation was so bad that even Mike knew his lies would catch up to him. Rather than stopping what he was doing right there, Mike upped the stakes and went to see his old friend, Frank Gallo. Remember SUITS season 6, when Gallo threatened Mike’s life? Well, so does Mike…but he still thinks Gallo will help him take on the for-profit prison world.
Oliver, for his part, was worried for Mike’s safety when he realized who Gallo was. But Mike totally had it all under control:“We only have so long before my work on this becomes too risky, which means this is the only way.”
When Mike went home from a late night of “working on that Brooklyn housing case,” Rachel confronted him about his recent whereabouts. When Mike said he hadn’t been lying about working with Oliver, thus implying that he just might have been less-than-honest about the exact work he’d been doing, Rachel immediately realized Mike had going behind everyone’s backs to work on the one lawsuit he shouldn’t be touching with a ten foot pole.
Needless to say, Rachel wasn’t happy. She told Mike he’d been taking advantage both Harvey’s trust and hers before adding that the ends simply didn’t justify the means because “trying to do the right thing doesn’t change the fact that you gave your word.”
Mike still tried to defend himself — probably because his five minutes in prison wasn’t long enough for him to learn any lessons — so Rachel swept in for the kill: “You have to ask yourself: What is your word worth? Because the way things are going, it’s not going to be worth very much.”
If Rachel Zane could go have the same chat with Harvey and Louis, that would be fabulous.
Additional thoughts on SUITS 7×05:
- ”I know you care about me — and not just because you have an obligation to.” Louis and Dr. Lipschitz are totally the next thing. So glad I can see this one coming from a mile away thanks to the last doctor-patient romance.
- “Harvey isn’t going to fire me.” Cocky, much? I mean, Mike’s probably right…but still.
- More scenes between Donna Paulsen and Holly Cromwell, please and thank you. Something magical happened in that meeting. Two smart, strong women learning enough to respect one another? Quality.
- ”Because some people think that a woman who can be cheated on can’t be lovable.” Did Dr. Agard listen to a single word Harvey Specter said in therapy, or was one hundred percent of her attention focused on fantasizing about how hot he’d look with some scruff? All of Harvey’s issues stem from catching his mother cheating on his father. Agard supposedly helped him with those issues…And she really thought he’d see her in a negative light because she was on the receiving end of a similar situation? Sure, Paula.
- While we’re at it, how did Agard not immediately figure out who Louis was when he showed up unannounced at her lunch meeting? Harvey recommended his partner. Harvey discussed Louis in session…Anyone who’d listened to Harvey’s description of the guy should’ve picked up on that. Paula Agard can’t relate.
- ”It’s funny: I love my new position, but I miss this.” “I miss it, too.” (Just not enough to tell the truth about why this little moment has to be cut short. Sorry, Donna.)
- ”The second you signed that agreement, I knew you’d go back on it.” Nathan brewed up some of Oliver’s tea this week. Too bad he soured it by talking about how it was cool for Mike to be a lying liar as long as he was screwing over Harvey Specter.
- “I’m not your secretary anymore. I’m COO of this firm, so instead of criticizing me for working late, why don’t you go see what he wants?” Tell him, Donna. Once more for the confused Harvey Specters in the back: “I told you I’m not your secretary anymore. I’m COO, and you made me that for a reason.” All joking aside, it looks like SUITS has made one thing really clear here. Harvey is still keeping Donna in that secretary box. Is it because he’s not good with change or trying to avoid certain other roles she might have played in his life? Or maybe it’s because Harvey’s simply a condescending jerk who takes Donna for granted. Time will tell.
- Rooting for Donna to burn Harvey’s balls once she finds out he’s been keeping secrets. You know, the ones he keeps in his office. Nothing else, not at all.
- “I don’t care to be represented by a man who questions my integrity.” Was this supposed to be the SUITS comedy moment of the week? Because it totally was.
- ”I’m not looking to make a spot on the payroll for someone whose only skill set is crossing lines.” “You mean when you cross them so well yourself.” No, really. SUITS, I would like to keep Holly forever.
What will happen when the truth comes out, as it has a pesky way of always doing? Tune in to the next all-new episode of SUITS on USA next Wednesday, August 16, at 9/8c to find out!