'Suits' Recap: Harvey Confronts Mike - And Someone From His Past
July 17th, 2013 7:24am EDT
When last we left Suits, things went a little crazy, with Pearson Hardman becoming Pearson Darby, Mike and Rachel getting back together in explosive fashion, and Harvey and Jessica at odds. Guess what? Things are still crazy.
A partners' meeting is called in the middle of the night, much to Mike's confusion. "Are you afraid of the dark?" Harvey quips, before explaining that we (as in the two of them) are finalizing the terms of the merger between firms. He goes on to say there's "nothing to forgive" between him and Jessica, and that he thinks Mike "did what you needed to do," but somehow we don't think Harvey is going to let go that easily. Neither is Rachel, who interrupts the meeting saying that Mike is a fraud. She has the cops with her, so it's pretty clear that this is a nightmare. Sure enough, Mike wakes up in a cold sweat.
In reality, Donna finds Harvey still sulking in his office and tells him, "It's Sunday night. Darby needs an answer." She means as to what to do with Harvey's psuedo-ex-girlfriend Dana Scott. "London," Harvey replies. "Send her to London." Donna makes her unimpressed face and asks if he wants to talk about it. He doesn't - he'd rather go to Brooklyn to talk about Deron Williams' contract with an executive from the Nets. After a little jawing, Harvey lets slip about something incriminating that he told Mark Cuban, owner of the rival Dallas Mavericks, and that puts the kibosh on the conversation.
When he gets back to his place, Jessica is waiting and calls him out for "negotiating behind Deron Williams' back." Oops. She has the contract he signed with Brooklyn in her hand, and says he's "out of her mind" for pushing the situation further. The argument expands into her accusing him of trying to get fired. He retorts that he's always operated this way, and as if on cue his phone buzzes with a message from the Nets exec, who's just caved to Harvey's demands. He looks smug while Jessica is rendered silent.
"It's been two days and I couldn't take it anymore. I had to see you," a disheveled Mike says when he turns up on Rachel's doorstep. Apparently he can't stop thinking about their impulsive fling in the file room. She's not thinking about that; she's still angry at him for lying to her. He confesses about his nightmare, and she tells him that she would never expose him to the firm. But Mike's not done. "The real nightmare would be if you didn't want to be with me," he tells her. Rachel asks if he's afraid of being caught, and suggests that he quit before that happens.
The next morning, Mike arrives at work with Harvey still not happy to see him, and so he ends up talking to Jessica, who's given him his own office that he is completely unable to enjoy having. Elsewhere in the building, Louis complains to Donna about the merger, namely how it means he might have to buy his own pens thanks to a new decree from someone named Barbara. Louis Litt as comic relief, yet again.
While Jessica and Darby (guest star Conleth Hill) chat about their new operation, Darby informs Jessica of his intention to assign Harvey to Hessington Oil, because he's heard of the stunt Harvey pulled with Deron Williams' contract. It's an important case to Darby and he won't let anyone else but Harvey handle it, much to Jessica's displeasure. She informs Harvey of the decision, twisting the narrative to say that she assigned him the Hessington case.
Rachel chews Mike out for not quitting, and he correctly guesses that she's more angry about how he has a fake Harvard diploma when she can't get a real one. When he says she has no idea what he's done to get where he is, she replies, "That's the problem. I have no idea who you are." It's trouble in paradise already.
Harvey walks into Darby's office and says matter-of-factly that "I want out." He wants another deal: if he wins this case, Darby tears up his non-compete agreement and fires him. He rants about all the things Jessica has done to him, and over Darby's statement that Jessica actually does want to make up with him, gets Darby to agree to the proposition.
Speaking of broken relationships, Mike confides in Louis about being in the doghouse with Harvey. Louis tries to encourage him by saying that "Batman needs Robin. You help him win, he'll remember why he needs you." All Mike has to do is get access to Harvey's hard drive, via the IT department (and that same guy Benjamin he messed with before), and find out what cases Harvey is currently assigned to.
Upstairs, Harvey is drowning in paperwork until Donna points out that his case started in the London office - so we have a convenient excuse for our favorite closer to reunite with Dana (Abigail Spencer). When he tracks her down at the airport, she wants nothing to do with him. She wants him to "tell me something" and he recounts the first time he ever saw her, before saying that she will "always mean something to me." It's the closest to emotional he's probably ever going to get, and she knows it, so she agrees to help.
Louis's office rampage comes to an awkward pause when he realizes Barbara is actually Nigel, the British Louis that we met last season. He's back and determined to make Louis's life as difficult as possible. Louis takes this revelation to Donna, who tells him that he needs to get Nigel bumped out of his position of power.
Harvey meets Ava Hessington (Michelle Fairley, Game of Thrones), who wants to know why she should even hire him as counsel. He responds by bluntly telling her everything that the investigation into her company is going to find, including bribery and a cover-up. She admits to the bribe and invokes the "everyone was doing it" excuse. Her stubbornness seems to please Harvey, who leaves with a smile on his face. That smile disappears when he sees Mike. The two have another brief argument that ends abruptly when Harvey tells Mike that when Jessica threatened him, he should've come to him. This sends Mike running to Rachel, saying that he's going to tell her everything, and the next morning we find them in her bed together.
Ava and Harvey meet with the U.S. Attorney, with Harvey wanting to know how big the check has to be to settle the case. The U.S. Attorney doesn't want money; he wants jail time because he's running for office. Even when Harvey admits he needs the help, he won't budge.
Back at the firm, when Louis makes a play for Nigel's job, Nigel responds by taking Louis's job as supervisor of the associates. Rachel distracts Donna with a claim that Richard Gere is in the lobby so that Mike can sneak into Harvey's office and drop off a file. If that seems too easy, that's because it was. Donna walks into Mike's office that night and hands him back the exact same file he left. "I know what you don't seem to get," she tells him. "Harvey didn't value you for your help on cases. He valued you for your loyalty."
When Mike responds by revealing that he knows Harvey reached out to Dana for assistance this time around, and asks her to separate their relationship from the one she has with Harvey, Donna retorts that he also betrayed her as she's had his back from his first day at the firm. He tries to compare his situation to her attempting to cover for Harvey last season. Bad move, Mike. "I did what I did for him, not for me," she replies. "And I didn't get a brand new office for it. I got fired."
Calling in one more favor from IT guy Benjamin, Mike asks for a time machine. He might not need one: Donna hands Harvey the file that Mike left for him, and it's a game changer. "Just because you use it doesn't mean you have to forgive him," she says. Harvey agrees that he doesn't, but goes to meet the U.S. Attorney again and confronts him with the fact that Hessington Oil's number-one competitor also happens to be his biggest campaign contributor.
Cue another face from Harvey's past: disgraced former District Attorney Cameron Dennis (Gary Cole). The U.S. Attorney apparently appointed him special prosecutor on the Hessington case, setting up the stage for a new confrontation between the two of them.
But that's not all the dominoes that are falling. Mike tells an unsympathetic Jessica that "I don't want to be here if I'm not solid with Harvey," and hands her a letter she wrote to the District Attorney when she threatened to expose him. He wants to give his new office back, too. Not satisfied simply with that gesture, as he leaves, Mike reminds Jessica that if she ever does send that letter, she'll be in the same boat that he is.
A second late-night meeting is taking place in Darby's office, where Harvey - having found out Darby's personal connection to Ava - wants to adjust the terms of their deal: if he wins, Darby backs him for managing partner. "You want to take down Jessica," Darby deduces, and Harvey replies, "Yes, I do."
There's a lot going on in "The Arrangement," which anyone who's watched Suits over the last two seasons will know is par for the course with this show's premieres and finales. So much of the tail end of season two was devoted to the merger that it's not only not surprising, but incredibly smart to show the fallout from that - whether it's the slightly more comic aspects, like Louis's subplot, or the much more serious ones. You can't realistically have two companies coming together without significant change, and Suits has never been one to overlook things like that.
What's interesting about the episode is the new status quo almost completely shakes up the relationships amongst the key players in the firm, whether it's Harvey and Jessica now clearly adversaries, or Mike and Harvey still having issues, or even the tension between Mike and Donna. Everyone's affected - and in the case of Mike and Donna, it's nice to see a scene touching on a relationship that's not usually addressed. So many TV shows establish set relationships between characters and tend to keep them in those same boxes, but this one gives us a little variety.
If there's a sore spot here, it's Mike and Rachel, who continue to have an incredibly dysfunctional relationship, most of it seeming to be on her end. In one scene, they'll have a moment; in another, she's angry at him again; and then in a third, they're back in love. We've seen their relationship do this back-and-forth so many times that it's getting tiresome. Here's to hoping now that Mike has supposedly told Rachel everything she needs to know, that they'll stay in this relationship that's been teased for so long and she'll learn to accept him.
That issue, though, is counterbalanced by the decision to bring back a familiar face from Harvey's past (and we don't mean Dana, who we can leave in London). The last time Suits fans saw Cameron Dennis, it was in the two best episodes of season one - and two of the best episodes in the show's history - "Rules of the Game" and "Dogfight." The character's unique relationship to Harvey, the chance it affords the writers to reveal bits and pieces of Harvey's past by virtue of said association, not to mention the perfect way Gary Cole can play smarmy (see: Office Space) - it all adds up to something that worked so well before. If what happens next is half as good as those two episodes, it's going to be breathtaking. Let's hope the writers make some great use of Cameron before we get to enjoy his downfall.
Or will we? Something that's worth respecting about Suits is that it doesn't take the easy way out, the TV way out, or even the way out that the fans want. It takes the one that makes sense. That lends the show a certain unpredictability that heightens the experience of watching it. Looking at this first episode, we know that Harvey and Cameron are really going to battle it out, and that if Harvey and Jessica go to war, it truly will be a war. The stage is set here for some serious and potentially long-term conflict, which is what drama is of course all about. In its third season, Suits continues to mine these rich characters for everything they've got. "The Arrangement" is clearly chapter one in an ongoing story, and it's a great first installment that definitely leaves us wanting more.
(c)2013 Brittany Frederick. Appears at Starpulse with permission. All rights reserved. No reproduction permitted. Visit my official website and follow me on Twitter at @tvbrittanyf.
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