'Suits' Recap: Will Mike Become Louis's New Associate?

July 24th, 2013 8:32am EDT

Suits After shaking things up last week with a merger and a special prosecutor, Suits gives us an episode titled after a Cheap Trick song. And it's a really appropriate title, because relationships are under a microscope here.
The action opens with a very surprised Donna, who's just been told by Harvey that he's planning to upend Jessica. "I just have one question," she asks. "Do I get my own office?" She's not entirely sure he's ready to do this, but she's excited about getting to beat up on Cameron Dennis. Things aren't so fun for everyone else. Mike enters and makes his umpteenth apology, but gets kicked out a moment later, while Louis breaks the news to the associates that he's no longer their boss. Even if you're not a Louis fan, it's a really sad scene to watch, played beautifully by Rick Hoffman.
After his farewell speech, Louis finds Jessica in his office, encouraging him to make the most of a bad situation. When she gives him permission to pick anyone he wants to work with going forward, he naturally thinks of Mike and goes to Donna to "ask permission" from Harvey to select him. Donna would rather watch Louis squirm in front of Harvey. "I'm sure you two will be very happy together," Harvey quips, although Louis thinks it opens the door for him to permanently convert Mike to the dark side. He takes Mike out to a very expensive lunch and explains that they're now partners on an "unwinnable" case.
Meanwhile, Jessica pays a visit to Cameron, telling him not to take the past out on Harvey or his current client, which leads to an argument between them over way back when, when Harvey chose Pearson Hardman over staying at the District Attorney's Office. Cameron hands Jessica what he claims is a very incriminating DVD. She returns to the office and tells Harvey she wants to fight alongside him. While that's going on, Donna confronts Rachel with the knowledge that Rachel and Mike are a couple, and makes a size joke as only Donna can.
What's on the DVD? Footage that looks very much like Ava Hessington (guest star Michelle Fairley) and her protege Nick bribing an official. An unrepentant Ava explains the details to Harvey and Jessica, admitting that she knew it was a bribe. Harvey wants to split hairs, asking if she ever used that specific word, and she contends she didn't. Yet Jessica quickly deduces that Nick has likely already been turned by Cameron, and Harvey agrees that Nick is making a deal to sell her out. They didn't get to be the best lawyers in New York City without knowing how to play the game.
After a very late night at the office, Louis and Mike are in court arguing to save one of Louis's favorite restaurants from turning into a shopping center. They miss the mark as the judge orders the restaurant to be demolished the next week. Louis's response to this defeat is a spa day, which is decidedly uncomfortable for his young colleague. However, it does give Mike an opportunity to question Louis about his motives. "You've changed me," Louis insists, saying Mike has "made me want to be a better man." While Mike may not be convinced about that, he has a lightbulb moment about their case - although he promptly suffers a shock when he sees way more of Louis than he ever wanted to.
Ava is more than a little bitter about Nick's betrayal, but suggests another bribe - giving him a new title and a raise - to keep him from testifying against her. Harvey knows that's exactly what Cameron was hoping she'd do, and tells her to let him handle the situation. He visits Nick, who claims he "had no choice" but to turn on his boss, yet admits that he cares about Ava. That's something not unfamiliar to Harvey at the present moment. Playing on that, he tells Nick that if he goes through with testifying against Ava, he'll never forgive himself.

Rachel comes to Donna believing that Louis is stealing Mike, believing that Harvey doesn't really want to lose Mike to Louis. Yet she's in for a shock when Donna retorts that Mike betrayed Harvey. She points out that she spent the last year keeping Mike's double life secret. "What I don't understand is when somebody takes loyalty like that and they throw it in the garbage," she says, putting the kibosh on the conversation.
Rachel tells Mike about the psuedo-fight when he gets back from winning his case, and Mike isn't happy with her, either. That starts a real fight between them, as Mike reveals to her that he previously broke up with her because Harvey told him not to tell her anything, and Rachel throws Harvey allowing him to be poached by Louis in his face. That leads Mike to storm into Harvey's office and admit that "I actually like working for Louis." Harvey responds to Mike's tirade by flat-out telling him that "You and I are done." Twice.
Jessica finds Harvey on the rooftop, drink in his hand and making a Hatfields & McCoys reference. The two of them sling accusations back and forth, going all the way back to Harvey bringing Mike into Pearson Hardman in the first place. Jessica admits that she regrets where their relationship has ended up. When he asks if she'd do it all again, her response is a question of her own: does he want her there with him for the next morning's deposition or not?
Apparently he does, because the two of them take Ava for a visit to Cameron's office in the morning, at which the ex-District Attorney is smug about the DVD getting out and a potential takeover of Hessington Oil. Harvey's response is to tell Cameron that he was never his mentor, Jessica was, and to get out of his face. The only way that scene gets any better is if Harvey had punched him in the face afterward.
But Harvey isn't the only one riled up; so is Rachel, who's shocked to hear that Donna also thought Mike needed to get over her. "You cared more about protecting Harvey than protecting me," Rachel says tearfully, after which Donna decides to "walk away before you and I can't go back."
At Nick's deposition, he admits to bribing the official, and Jessica grills him about his relationship with Ava. More damning, Harvey gets Nick to admit that if the takeover were to happen, he'd be the next in line. What's more interesting for Suits fans is that the way Jessica phrases things, the relationship between Ava and Nick doesn't sound too unlike the one that exists between Harvey and Mike, or to a degree, Jessica and Harvey. But that might be a moot point, because Louis is showing up on Mike's doorstep, officially asking him to become his new associate.
Cameron reluctantly tells Harvey that the U.S. Attorney wants him to make a deal, but it's contingent on Ava pleading "guilty" instead of "no contest," which would look like a win over Harvey in his book. Harvey contemplates whether or not he wants to feed Cameron's ego even if it's what's best for his client...for all of thirty seconds. He's determined to keep going, but Jessica wants to take the deal, and furthermore tells Harvey if she had everything to do over again, she would. That sticks with Harvey, even as Ava signs the deal and heads back to London. Donna points out that if he's going to blame Jessica for everything, he ought to consider forgiving Mike.

And so, just as Mike is standing in Louis's office, Harvey walks in and tells him not to switch sides. "You're going back where you belong," he tells his protege. The two of them share a high-five, which would be an awesome moment if it wasn't crushing Louis, who sees the whole thing while holding a "Welcome to Team Litt" cake. On one hand, we're excited that the Dream Team is back together, but on the other, we must mourn the death of a perfectly good chocolate cake.
"I Want You To Want Me" continues one of the strong points about "The Arrangement," which is the focus on different individual relationships between characters than the ones we're commonly used to. Last week, it was Mike and Donna, and this week it's Mike and Louis, as well as Donna and Rachel. Suits plays all of its characters off one another, and doesn't skimp on doing so; viewers can understand at any given moment how each of the main cast connects, and not just in a functional sense, but an emotional one as well. That's a breadth of development that most shows don't have, and so far season three is playing that to its distinct advantage.
That's where the serial nature of Suits comes in handy. It allows the relationships to develop organically, rather than having to be truncated every 42 minutes. When characters have rifts, they're going to go on for more than a moment. The actions they take will have lasting consequences. We get to see these protagonists through the difficult parts of their lives, rather than having to move past them to get to the next story.
One also must tip the proverbial hat to the writers for establishing a "case of the week(s)" that fits perfectly with the character development going on at the firm. It's reminiscent of how the Buffy the Vampire Slayer monsters of the episode often reflected what that show's heroes were going through. For astute viewers, it's easy to see how the relationship between Ava and Nick parallels (and therefore allows the characters to consider) the one between Harvey and Mike - and yet it's also done in a way where it doesn't feel like we're being beaten over the head with said similarities. What makes Suits the best show on television is the number of layers woven into the show, whether it's the nuances in the writing, or the subleties brought to the performances by the talented ensemble cast.
While this episode takes some big steps in various relationships - like Mike and Harvey officially re-teaming and Harvey hearing from Jessica that she'd do everything over again if given the choice - audiences know that Suits isn't going to take the easy way out and make everything okay next week. Now we have to consider how Mike and Harvey will gel together again, how broken Donna and Rachel's friendship might be, and how Cameron Dennis is clearly not out of the picture. For everything we learn, there's so much more to discover. This is one of those rare series that gets better with every episode.
(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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