This week on SUITS, Mike Ross and Harvey Specter had what might have been their last chance to bond over a lawsuit, and the result was an absolute treat. The pair managed to cover everything from Harvey’s recent relationship woes, to how much the two men have sacrificed for one another, to exactly how to hit a baseball (or, in Mike’s case, how not to). Not to be left out, the SUITS ladies, Rachel Zane and Donna Paulsen, got to spend some time working on their friendship — all while taking down a man who was stupid enough to underestimate Specter Litt’s new COO. Oh, and Louis faced some of the consequences of his affair with Sheila…sort of.
Mike and Harvey hit some balls. When Mike was approached by Judge Ralls, a few things were immediately obvious: First, someone at SUITS expected viewers to make like Mike Ross and remember every little detail. Second, since the judge had treated Mike fairly during his case (this is the part we’re supposed to remember, as if all the drama of “will Harvey or won’t he” sacrifice himself didn’t kind of consume our attention at the time), our favorite bleeding heart was going to feel obligated to win for her at all costs. Third — and most importantly for our theme of bonding — enlisting Harvey’s help on the case would be the perfect way for Mike to spend some time with his favorite best friend/boss/brother figure/father figure before his character disappeared from Specter Litt forever following the series’ upcoming seventh season finale.
Viewers would later find out that Mike had, in fact, learned something from the prison case and was therefore not willing to sacrifice his relationship with Harvey over trying to save the judge’s good name should the other man not wish to participate. As a bonus, Mike had heard through the grapevine that Harvey’s “relationship” with Paula Agard was officially over, so he figured the whole thing would be a good way to
parent trap Mom and Dad help take his friend’s mind off of things.
“I just thought that if we did this thing together, maybe we could have some fun.” And fun, in fact, was had.
Rather than getting straight to work in the most traditional sense, Harvey and Mike went off to the batting cages, clad in their fancy suits, and started to work out a plan while they hit some balls. Or, well. Harvey hit some balls, and Mike sucked at it. “Now, I’m having even more fun because you hit like a monkey trying to have sex with a buffalo.” Much like Mike, I have no idea what that monkey-sex simile means, but what’s even more confusing is why SUITS deprived me of this sort of male bonding ritual for seven seasons.
Also, since Harvey hit his last ball out of the park, so to speak, does that mean that he’s rounding the bases with a certain redhead sometime soon? Please.
But after that all-too-short time of Harvey teaching his son about baseball (rather than bad nature films), it was off to try to get Judge Ralls to recuse herself from certain upcoming cases. The way our dynamic duo saw it, the case against her had too many holes in it and therefore must really be about something else. The judge, however, wasn’t going along with anything that even implied guilt.
Having already participated in the sportsball bonding ritual, Mike and Harvey went on a dinner date to plan their next move…and also to talk about Harvey’s favorite subject and ours: Donna. Harvey, in a rare moment of openness (I guess those therapy sessions were good for something other than transference!) admitted that Mike was right about him needing a distraction. Excellent parent-trapper that he is, Mike then asked Harvey what exactly ended his thing with Paula. The conversation included some of Clueless!Harvey’s greatest hits, such as: “Out of the clear blue sky, Donna kissed me” and — a personal favorite — “I’m saying that you should know better than anyone that sometimes shit happens you couldn’t see coming, and it knocks you into a different life. This is one of those times.”
Harvey, honey. I know your therapy was as close to worthless as it could get, but…you really never could have predicted that Donna might, in some timeline, kiss you? You banged thirteen years ago. More recently than that, you were all, “you know I love you, Donna,” and the two of you are constantly putting yourselves at risk for one another.
But nah. Totally unexpected!
Anyway, the other big takeaway from Batman and Robin’s meal was this well-promoted exchange: “It’s a long story, but it led me to realize that Paula’s not the one,” followed by Mike’s “because Donna is.” (At which point, mobs of SUITS viewers were like, “exactly!”) After that, Mike admitted that, while Harvey was miraculously blindsided by what Donna did, he should have seen it coming because he’d given Donna that whole speech about telling Harvey about her feelings before it was too late. Harvey told Mike that he wasn’t pissed at him for doing that because there was no way the younger man could have known what Donna’s response would be (sure, Jan); and that gave Harvey his brilliant idea for how to handle Judge Ralls’ case…
Oh, right. A case.
Harvey’s newest plan was forgery (which always works out well), but Mike had misgivings. After Harvey played on his emotions, though, he caved. Off they went to play their Big Boys versus The Opposition game, which met a terrible roadblock when they learned that the judge had a history of questionable decisions and were told to ask her about the Sullivan case. After a 16-year-old kid was given the worst public defender ever, Judge Ralls broke the law by having personal contact with the defendant.
And this was somehow a dealbreaker for Harvey Specter, who hired and protected a fraud for…how many years?
So, it was back to the law offices of Specter and Litt, where despite having promised Specter that he’d drop the case if the managing partner wanted out, Ross did more research. And then SUITS added “Mike and Harvey have a screaming match” to its list of accomplishments in “Pulling the Goalie.” Harvey accused Mike of being a sucker and only wanting to proceed because the judge had made him feel like he owed her something (he’s not wrong), and then all of the bickering over the case quickly turned to both Mike and Harvey going off about the love of Harvey’s life and ours: Donna.
Things quickly got ugly, turning to Mike reminding Harvey of who had gone to prison and therefore knew everything about sacrifice — Mike himself, not Harvey — but it wasn’t long before the two men made up, figured out what the case was really about, enlisted the genius that is Louis Litt for help, and saved the day.
As Batman and Robin do.
But Mike and Harvey aren’t just Batman and Robin anymore: They’re also friends and brothers that have finally learned how to have the big, emotional conversations (Darvey can’t relate). Did anyone ever foresee that in 2018, SUITS would give us this exchange?
“Why’d you say that stuff to Donna?”
“Because I care about her, and I didn’t want her to go through life not knowing.”
“What about me?”
“What about you?”
“Did you think what it would do to my relationship?”
“I guess I thought that if you were that solid with Paula, it wouldn’t matter.”
Mike was not remotely wrong, which is a fun thing to get to say!
At this point, Harvey made some sort of horrible comparison to one of Rachel’s exes, which Mike shot down with — miracle of miracles — “I guess maybe I was rooting for Donna to be with you,” but then Harvey decided that he wasn’t “looking to be with anyone right now.”
…anyone not named Donna, apparently, because his next move was to go flirt, share drinks, and make googly eyes in his COO’s office. We love mixed signals! (Actually, we hate them. Stop it, SUITS. Just stop.)
Taking down a basic man is one of the most exciting Donna-Rachel bonding rituals! While Mike and Harvey were playing baseball and saving the judge’s reasonably good name, Donna found herself needing more than just a little help from her best friend, the brilliant Rachel Zane.
After some fake (and gross) flirting at the coffee cart, Donna was tricked into drafting a letter that actually put the firm in danger of being evicted within 90 days, then hand-delivering it to David Fox, the firm’s slimy landlord. Realizing she was in over her head, yet afraid to approach Harvey because of recent (smoochy) events, Donna asked Rachel to help her find a way to send Mr. Fox “to prison for the rest of his miserable life.”
Pathetic trash that he was, Fox had set Donna up to put the firm in jeopardy a second time: Because he hadn’t actually made good on his previous eviction threat but Donna had brought him a lawsuit without arbitration, the firm was now subject to eviction within 30 days, as opposed to the original 90. The jerk then bragged about how many buildings he owned for the third time in as many meetings, and when Donna threatened to ruin his reputation, he smugly declared that, when you’re as wealthy as him, “people don’t care how they’re treated. They just want in.”
Back to the firm Donna went, where she had more girl talk with Rachel to explain why she really, really couldn’t involve Harvey: “He chose me over [Paula], and it was only a few days ago. And I can’t be responsible for losing the only home that this firm has ever had.” (Crushed soul, anyone?) But then Rachel pointed out that, if Donna didn’t give Harvey a chance to save said home before it was too late, he might wish that he’d let her leave the firm after all; and Donna agreed to approach the man in question…right up until she heard the entire Marvey shouting match about, um, herself.
Donna went back to Rachel and said she remembered why Harvey had promoted her in the first place — she knows what makes people tick — so she just needed her friend’s help in getting Fox to back off. The ladies needed exactly zero help from their respective men in this pursuit. In fact, aside from the googly eyes incident, Rachel and Donna didn’t interact with their male counterparts much at all, which is awesome because it means that these two fierce females are getting what they deserve: existence within the storyline based on their own merits and not dependent upon anyone else, regardless of how great any outside relationships may be.
Not only did SUITS allow for Rachel and Donna to be the ones to figure out a way to take down their swamp landlord, but they also got to threaten him with ruining his oh-so-precious views with a 40-foot-high box of tampons. Way to nail the male fragility that makes so many dudebros shake at the very sight of anything having to do with women’s periods. Thank you, SUITS!
In the end, not only did the remaining two original SUITS ladies save the firm from David Fox’s trap, but they also negotiated a better lease in the process. Best of all, they didn’t need to be Harriet Specter and Michelle Ross to do it: They were just Donna Paulsen and Rachel Zane, Specter Litt’s COO and associate. My, how beautifully far we’ve come.
Louis and Sheila bonded, too. It was weird. After coming face-to-face with “the shithead that [Sheila’s] marrying! Xander Fuckface,” Louis Litt took another trip or several to see Dr. Lipschitz. Also, Xander Epstein (née Fuckface) confronted Louis at his law firm, which led to a lot of crappy male posturing, as well as Louis enlisting Katrina to help him bring suit against Xander so he could prove he was the better man.
If the two men had just whipped them out and measured them, less time could have been wasted in this SUITS episode.
Louis spent a lot of time doing what I’ve decided should just be called “pulling a Louis,” namely completely losing his mind and acting out because of his emotions; but by the end of the episode, he’d managed to control himself — at least somewhat. Despite really wanting to rub it in the other man’s face, Louis never actually revealed that he’d been schtupping Mr. Epstein’s fiancee all this time; and when Sheila
emotionally blackmailed begged him to take the (somewhat immature, though fitting) stipulation out of his settlement that Xander admit Louis is the superior lawyer, he actually did it.
Out of love, apparently.
The situation was so rough that Louis even asked Harvey, the obvious king of healthy relationships, for advice.
But as bad as all of this sounds, complete with Louis actually “winning” Sheila, by doing nothing more than proving he was a decent human being with a soul, SUITS still managed to make this story watchable (if far, far too dragged out). First up, Katrina and Louis’ friendship continues to be just as important to the series as either of the two previously covered in this recap; and the way Katrina consoled Louis was the absolute sweetest. Secondly, there’s nothing Rick Hoffman does better than making Louis Litt lovable and turning at least this SUITS viewer into absolute mush whenever he’s down. It just never gets old. It can’t. It won’t. Don’t fight me. Third, as ridiculous as the concept was, seeing Harvey give Louis some solid advice on making sacrifices for the people that we love was a great way to add some bonus name-parter bonding to the episode.
And finally, Dr. Lipschitz had the conversation with Louis that Paula Agard should have had with Harvey all along. I mean, it even brought abandonment issues and harming those we love into the mix:
“I have taken an oath to do no harm, and lately, I have been feeling our relationship is doing harm.”
“How could you say that? You said that you would never leave me.”
“I know. And it would cause me great pain. But my oath to my profession is greater than my words to you. And if my willing to leave you does not prevent you from hurting the woman you claim to love, then what we are doing here is not working.”
A real therapist. (Paula will never, ever relate.)
Let’s share our thoughts and feelings so we can become friends.
- SUITS 7B has given us both Boxing!Harvey and BaseballInMyFancySuit!Harvey. What a ride.
- It’s probably not your business, Mike? Really? You brought your boy a case to take his mind off of things. You’re family. You care about each other, and you even pushed Donna into doing that, but you think that asking Harvey about what happened with him and Dr. Feelbad had the potential to be overstepping? Oy.
- We very, very much appreciate Judge Ralls calling Mike on his b.s. about wanting to be a do-gooder…except for the part where Mike seems to have actually not been bullshitting about it after all.
- Also: Next time that Xander dude wants to come into my house and trash-talk Specter Litt, I can’t be held responsible if I pull a Louis myself.
- For someone who just went through a “major” breakup, Harvey seemed pretty chill. This was not a broken Harvey Specter. We’ve seen him before — countless times — so we know what he looks like, and this…just…wasn’t…him.
- “I’m saying I made one mistake. Twelve years ago…” Excuse you. Darvey wasn’t a mistake. Oh, this was the judge talking about Sullivan? Oops!
- “Are you really making this about Donna right now when we’ve got a woman’s future on the line?” I screamed. It was inhuman. There’s audio on my colleague’s Whatsapp. “Don’t give me that shit. You made it about Donna when you said I couldn’t sacrifice. I sacrificed everything!!” I don’t think “everything” means to Harvey what it means to those of us with Earth logic.
- How did we not get treated to Harvey rushing in to punch Fox in the face, though?
- “The thing is, it’s been an emotional week; and when you accused me of never sacrificing…” “I shouldn’t have said that. You sacrificed for me hundreds of times. I know that.” “More like thousands.” I love exactly one family. This entire episode really drove home the importance of that Marvey dynamic, and it highlighted every single aspect of the relationship that we’ve come to know and love — all while adding new layers, such as: Mike’s growth in the morals department, the balls, and even this newfound ability for the two men to fight about Donna. SUITS just isn’t going to be the same without showcasing its two guys bringing out the best and worst in each other.
- SUITS: We can write Donna and Rachel so well! Also SUITS: Sheila is a trophy.
- Not to be outdone, the friendship between Donna and Rachel is absolutely everything. SUITS has put the spotlight on this relationship so very rarely, and I absolutely feel attacked for having been deprived of the opportunity to see more of it, especially now that both women have higher positions at the firm.
- If Katrina is Louis’ Black Swan, does that mean she has to do 32 fouettes for him? Amanda Schull would get me on this reference…
- “Oh, she’s not just my friend. She’s my lawyer.” I cried?
- “Because if you can’t say that, then people might notice that you’re really just an insecure little man who builds buildings just to cover up his weaknesses.” This tea is delicious and applies to so, so many losers who use money and possessions to compensate for their complete lack of any redeeming qualities. One of the biggest culprits, who also works in shady real estate dealings (on top of other things), happens to be orange.
- For the entire Louis/Sheila arc in this episode, Dr. Lipschitz’s facepalm was the mood.
- Donna showing up in the scene immediately following Lipschitz’s “woman you claim to love” commentary to Louis? Amazing! SUITS is not remotely subtle but just brilliant enough for me not to care.
- “It’s about my honor! I don’t get the girl. I don’t get to be happy. But at least I get to beat this asshole to the ground.” MY HEART. Louis, go off.
- “Then, my friend, I say sometimes we have to sacrifice our business for the people we care about.” This could actually be the SUITS tagline.
- Am I starting to ship Katrina with Louis? Suitors, sound off. Should I? Have I absolutely lost it???
- “It made me feel like someone was ripping my heart out, shredding it to pieces, and lighting it on fire right in front of me.” Louis encountering Xander for the first time? Or me, every single time one of my favorite SUITS characters (so really all of the main cast) is hurting. The world may never know.
- God, I loved the delivery on this line: “Because I may be the new girl on the block, but you just picked a fight with the best lawyers in the city. And in case you haven’t noticed, they’re on the block, too.” Never, ever underestimate Donna. The. End.
Don’t miss SUITS’ two-hour season finale on Wednesday, April 25 at 9/8c on USA.