Risks are inevitable, so is change.
Even though the mid-season premiere claimed that some hard truths did come out, the safety in the characters’ choices was undeniable. However, 7×12 sent the people of now Specter Litt (*cries*), on a path of complicated decision making. With Louis agreeing to a torrid affair with Sheila, Mike and Rachel’s continuation of finding their place in the world of law and relationships (More Rachel, please???) and Harvey’s confusion over what THE kiss with Donna meant for his relationship, 7×13 presented a big step in the process of these characters coming closer to what they want.
Our new found “Bad man” Louis, had seemingly taken the greatest step towards finding happiness for himself in 7×12. He did risk a lot, but through the course of the 13th episode, despite it looking like he was comfortable and confident in what his relationship with Sheila is (and gosh how much do we love Gretchen for what she said), following the flashbacks of his youth and the struggle he has been through, this role gets harder to keep up with as the story progresses. Of course, he has strong feelings for Sheila, but ultimately there are obstacles and differences they can’t get pass. So, they continue to date and sleep together, behind her fiancé’s back, and within the borders of rules they set. As much as they are risking a lot, they are also playing it safe – and it takes for Louis to literally be standing face to face with her fiancé, and be taken back to where it all started (the flashback of a “bad boy” from high school making fun of him), to wonder: Is this really worth it?
On the other, more professional end, after Mike’s case with Oliver, this episode shows him working with Harvey again, luckily for him, playing the actual right side of a corporate battle for once. Teddy, a character that was one of Harvey’s loyal clients till season 5, despite having sold his company, still encounters an issue when the new owner wants to sell it to the Chinese. His issue is not so much the company being sold – Teddy did make his choice to give it up a long time ago, but rather the fact that all his workers, which were promised to keep the job after he is gone, are going to be fired, since the new owners would want to employ a new team. Because of the value he is placing on loyalty, he cannot let go of that, and comes to Harvey for help, asking him to make the impossible happen.
At first, it seemed that this case, loyalty and all, was there as Harvey and Mike’s last chance to work together and do something meaningful as partners, but it ended up also being a bridge between them as friends (“One day you are going to miss me” “Nothing lasts forever” – this hurts already) and a continuous thematic reminder of what this episode was really about. Where our loyalty lies? And when is it time to take a risk?
Besides this being a chance for Mike and Harvey to connect again, it also gave Donna time to shine doing what she does best – persuading people to do something (she could talk the stripes off a zebra, right?). While figuring out a way to get Teddy his company back and help him save all the employees, they need Stu’s help – in dropping a stock, so that the company’s value would fall and Teddy would be able to buy it back. This becomes a one person job, more precisely Donna’s, because she understands people and it takes her all of 1 minute to have Stu where she wants him: agreeing to everything she suggests (we love a queen).
This situation, where all characters do have a common goal, aside, they are in completely different places personally. While Mike and Rachel now finally start talking about their future together, through Father Walker’s counseling, they realize that they have different ideas of how what is yet to come should be handled. Rachel wants to plan things and figure their life out a bit: and very understandably so, as she says – they have always been so preoccupied with Mike’s secret, that they hardly had time to think about what they want as a couple, and honestly, WHERE IS THE LIE? But Mike, on the other hand, wants to wait and see what happens. Even though their approaches to this appeared to be completely different, they find a common point, as the episode progressed – not only are they both willing to talk about the hypothetical (the bullshit thing, so funny), respect each other’s differences (I love when Suits knows how to write couples stuff) and listen, but they are also ready to take some risks. We don’t know yet where, will it be San Diego, Iceland or somewhere completely different, but we do know when – and that, sadly, is soon. Even though they haven’t made any decisions, and so far, it seems that all these scenarios really are just hypotheticals for them, the episode did do a great job at teasing us with the ideas of what the risk they will take soon, together could be.
On the contrarily, Harvey starts off the episode in a seemingly secure place, which slowly starts to crumble down through the course of the episode. While he is preoccupied with Teddy’s case, his mom calls – showing us that he really has grown into a man who can have that relationship with the person he used to avoid at all costs (we love character growth!) – and asks him out for dinner. Flashing back to the start of the episode, he had promised Paula the same (right after sipping on his vanilla coffee, done the donna way) and now their plans were about to get interrupted by another dinner he couldn’t possibly say no to. However, Harvey being the mature guy he is now (apparently), decides to do both at the same time – and introduce Paula to his mom. All would be well, had it not been that this relationship with his not-therapist, is based on twisted facts and some flat out lies, including the fact that he reassured her by saying she was the one who helped him with his mom, in 7×12. Meanwhile, exactly 1 season before that, we were sitting through an episode where he made up with his mom solely because Donna encouraged him to go see her. Awkward now? Yes. So, he invites his new bae to come along and then everything goes bad (was anyone really surprise though lol). Of course, Lily, in an attempt to sustain a relationship with him and be a supportive mother, tries to show affection towards Paula and thanks her for being that “someone special” and the reason she got her son back. Hand holding breaks, uncomfortable silence takes over, I laugh… Anyways, as Lily expresses her gratefulness, she realizes she had somehow said something wrong, and Paula explains that indeed – she is not the person Harvey is talking about (we been knew sis, we been knew).
Anyone in their right mind, would consider leaving a person, after they had lied to you and tried to keep you by reassuring you with lies. But not Paula! After finding out that Harvey and Donna had not only kissed, but also slept together a while back and Harvey asked her to move in as a direct consequence of being overwhelmed with feelings for this woman, she decides an ultimatum will save them. Because…? No idea. She tells Harvey that she feels weak and insecure and her past relationship is influencing this one (again: we been knew sis), hence, she needs him to fire Donna. There is no way they will survive, if there are three people in this relationship, she reasons (sounds familiar? Cause that is exactly what Mark did with Donna in 7A flashback, only he actually left).
Throughout the course of the episode we see Harvey struggling in various ways – from gazing out of his car window in a dramatic manner, to completely dismissing his mom’s approval of Paula (Lily: she is a keeper, Harvey: ok gotta go! #romance), but ultimately, because Stu has been present in this episode and continued praising Donna for her undeniable geniousness (Stu: If I were you, I’d hold on tight, Harvey. Thanks Stu!), Harvey tries to solve his dilemma by getting her another job. At this point, he removes himself from the situation and consideration of the consequences his decision carries so much that after Donna, of course, figures out what he had done, he even says “I could never fire you”. He isn’t thinking about what he is doing at all (since in a way, he was “firing her”?), he is just trying to do what he is supposed to, When you are in a relationship… you choose that person. Especially when you have spent half of the past season reassuring her that she is your number one now, right? Right.
However, there is one more problem here. Which is the fact that we are talking about Donna ? Of course she is devastated by his actions, but at the same time, she willingly takes some of the blame because she is the reason for this ultimatum – she kissed him… but, like she says: she is being asked to leave a job she loves, a job that she feels like she has worked her whole life to get. And she isn’t’ having ANY OF IT. So, seeing that Harvey is completely lost and has no idea what to do, she takes matters into her own hands and tries to talk to Paula. *Deep breath* Now if you didn’t dislike Harvey’s not-therapist before, this is the time to start. Not only does she act as if the situation was out of her hands and she is just a poor victim in this scenario, she sits there, hearing and seeing Donna tear up, apologize and talk to her as “a woman and a professional”, only to tell her “Sorry Donna, I wish it weren’t so, but it is.”. Good talk?
While Dr. Feel Good clearly masters the act of selfishness in all of this, Donna takes one last fall and gives up the happiness and validation this job has given her, in one last attempt to save what she thinks would make Harvey happy. She resigns.
This is where we all cry and the episode ends, right? Oh hell no. Harvey Specter finally wakes up. Upon seeing Donna’s resignation letter (hats off to the way Sarah read that, it was perfect and we don’t deserve her acting skills) on his desk (because of course, she couldn’t bear the thought of saying goodbye face to face *sobs*), it is like something snaps inside of him. He runs to her office, then down to the lobby, takes the emergency exit and he just keeps running. His brain is still catching up on him, but his body is finally starting to wake up and do the right thing. He ends up at his soon-to-be-ex girlfriend’s apartment. Paula is all giggly and happy to see him, and even goes as far as to say that she is sorry for what happened – because she assumes he fired Donna for her (remember, that woman that told her this is her dream job and begged her as a professional? Yeah, that one). But of course, Harvey does not hesitate before correcting her: Donna wasn’t fired, she resigned. And now, he is taking it all back. *Insert Paula’s crying face*. He tells her he can’t give her what she needs (aka: he can’t give Donna up) and breaks up with her. Paula, Harvey’s ex-girlfriend (feels so good to write this, let me have it) sheds a few tears and says goodbye. GOODBYE!!!!!!!!
And at last, he finds himself starring at “206”. Donna opens the doors and she looks devastated, a painful expression he soon correct by ripping up her resignation letter (we love a drama queen). She asks if he is sure, he says he is, and then proceeds to tell her that him and Paula broke up. “Are you okay?” “Will you coming back?” “Yes” “Then I am okay”. Harvey is sure and confident in his decision, Donna looks… overwhelmed and happy. He walks away, she smiles. Darvey is back and stronger than ever and all is well in this world.
Even though I said in the beginning of this review, that 7×12 and 7×13 only set up the characters for some risks that we will see them take in what is left of 7b, Harvey did take one here already. He firstly broke things off with Paula, because he just knew that no matter what his following conversation with Donna amounts to, this relationship just wasn’t right. Only after having done that, he went to fix his other mistake and tell Donna he had chosen nothing with her, over something with another person. No matter what her answer is. It was a statement, a bold one, and It appears to be the perfect way to tease what Is yet to come. Sometimes we just have to take a risk, not knowing what will come out of it. Thus, in the following episodes, we should get some answers: Will Louis choose an uncertain future with Sheila? And how exactly will Mike and Rachel start one of their own? And last but not least: where do Harvey and Donna go from here?
Suits returns this Wednesday, at 9/8c on USA Network.
- About 7×12: I love young Esther.
- Rip “I felt nothing when I kissed you, Harvey” Donna, welcome back “I can’t promise not to kiss him again” Donna
- Harvey running out of the office for absolutely no practical reason, that’s the man we love
- Rachel unplugging the copy machine, I will miss one (1) woman
- “You may know me better than I know myself” also known as, the way Suits continues to put romantic value on the idea of knowing your other half better than anyone (Darvey khm)
- Thank you, Christina Cole for amazing performances. Paula might suck, but you definitely don’t.
- *Continues waiting for the show to explain why Harvey went to see Paula in the first place*
- When Sheila said “Oh my god, this is so powerful” over the phone, let’s make that into a meme please
- “Does anyone ever tell you that you are good for the eyes?” “Only every day.”
- Harvey jumping on a piano and singing when he was little?! Add that to young piano playing Donna & I already ship it.
- “I deserve everything I have” Donna Paulsen, speaking the truth. Thank you very much.
- Give Sarah Rafferty awards.