Back from its mid-season break leaving the firm in pieces, this episode of Suits brings us several emotional fight scenes.
It opens teasing the audience with Donna staying over at Harvey’s. But as Suits really takes its time for character development, they could not have shown this (what I believe to be final-season material) without building it up, so it’s not too surprising that all this is just a dream. Harvey feels abandoned after Jessica, his mentor and family, left the firm and then Mike lets him down, too, by not accepting his offer to come back to the firm. The whole episode is informed by this theme of abandonment and the opening scene foreshadows the conclusion that all this is made worse by Harvey’s issues with his mother.
Louis did an amazing job by finding money in their finances to hire associates but lets himself be provoked by Robert Zane offering a merger so all our pride towards Louis is gone immediately. Hot-headedly, he tries to lure Catrina Bennett away from Zane’s firm and wants her to take 10 associates with her. It’s nice to see her back (I guess she will stay on the show for quite some time and hopefully have some scenes with Mike, with whom she has a good chemistry) and she had some genuinely funny scenes with Louis with their secret operation. Louis takes another swing at Zane by attempting to steal his biggest client. Everyone (literally: Donna, Catrina, Gretchen) dissuades Louis from this mistake but it is not until Catrina reveals Zane waived their non-competes that Louis realizes Zane was trying to help (for Rachel’s sake as she is determined to stay, although she is seriously considering her better chances at the bar) and he is unfit to be managing partner.
Which brings us to the other candidate for managing partner. He drives and flies around to persuade some influential people to speak for Mike at the character fitness test of the bar. Thereby he pisses off Anita Gibbs and makes her aware of Mike’s aspirations to work at a legal clinic. Mike understandably confronts Harvey furiously and wants him to “stop messing with my life”. That hurts Harvey, who just wanted to make Mike’s dream come true, and he lets the steam off at Louis, whom he was going to confront because of the bullshit he pulled with Zane. He screams at him and once again reveals his feeling of superiority towards Louis. This is a hard-to-watch scene as Louis for once showed some self-awareness and wanted to admit his lack of leadership abilities. Donna stops this nonsense and addresses the delicate subject of Harvey’s mother. As wise and warm as always (and every viewer loves her for that), she manages to convince Harvey that it is time to bury the hatchet. I am very interested in how that will turn out as Harvey has been portrayed seriously struggling since we know about that (season 5a).
Aside: It was nice to see Gretchen’s loyalty to Louis reminding him that he also did some good all on his own as well as Louis’s very tender scene with Tara discussing potential baby names. As his last act as the “shortest reigning managing partner ever”, he thanks Rachel for sticking with the firm through thick and thin and hands her a very generous job offer. Their subsequent hug is very heartwarming and is another moment of loyalty and solidarity the show regularly displays so aptly.
Mike has been out job-hunting at various legal clinics but none of them would hire a convicted felon. He speaks to Father Walker, who offers him a job at the school of the church. With his “if we can’t offer redemption to one of our own”-argument, I would have also accepted it. After having initial problems and being pissed because of their audacity to present his mug-shot to him, he learns their actual teacher, for whom Mike jumps in and who had also been Mike’s teacher at this school, is terminally ill. His conversation with Father Walker has Mike man up and get through to the kids by sharing their memories of him. Unfortunately, one of the parents gets wind of Mike’s past and that leaves Father Walker no other choice than firing Mike. It was obvious this school job won’t last long and I suspect it will only be a matter of time before Mike returns to Pearson Specter Litt.
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