Suits (S08E13) “The Greater Good”

 

“When you care about someone, you fight twice as hard”

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Source: Courtesy of USA Network/Spoiler TV

The Greater Good?

One of the reasons why I thought the lack of renewal beyond the forthcoming, shortened s9 was a surprise (at least for me), is because of the new characters whom joined the ensemble just recently. With the show’s ending, I felt like they would stay largely unexplored and their presence unsatisfactory. But this episode, at least to some extent feed into that by elaborating on Samantha’s childhood.
We get to actually meet her foster parent, Judy. She shows up at her doorstep after not having seen her for 10 years. Naturally, because of the role she played in her childhood, Samantha is immediately willing to help. Judy still takes care of some kids through the system and one of them was found driving her car while carrying drugs. Since it would have gone on his record, and the reason he was doing so was to earn extra money for the family – Judy took the blame. While she had done so to ensure the boy had a future unscathed of a criminal record, this posed a threat to her losing the foster kids all together. This is where Samantha comes in.

I thought it was a rather interesting case, and Judy was introduced to us as an undeniable hero of this story. What was she supposed to do? However, as it turns out, Samantha’s work on the case led her to find out Judy had voluntarily given her away as a teen. Till that moment, Samantha thought she was taken from the foster family because of her behaviour only, but as it turned out, Judy had ben given a chance to try one more time. In Samantha’s eyes, not only has she had to live with a lie for years, but she was also given up upon by the closest thing she ever had to a mother. Cries.

One of the things I loved most about this plot is the way the show portrayed work as a place to find family, again. Robert ended up standing by her side, as a parental role almost, giving her sensible advice and guiding her through the initial moments of hurt, where she wanted to remove herself from the case. He was the “I am proud of you” and the “Let’s put our heads together and figure this out.” that she desperately needed. So she took the case back.

In the end, what spoke louder than any other legal argument could, is who Samantha turned out to be. She is a fierce, fearless and smart lawyer, one for whom a life without all the possible doors open, regardless of her childhood setbacks, would seem like a grave tragedy. Life taught her a lesson that she now used to help another struggling child: take responsibility for your actions and then go from there. A refreshing message to hear on this show.

Kevin Miller, Stu Buzzini, Sean Cahill walk into a bar…

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Source: Courtesy of USA Network/Spoiler TV

Speaking of past sins, this episode (as teased by the show’s creator a while back), delved into the aftermath of one of the plots from the previous season. Stu was persuaded by Harvey and Donna to make a trade in order to tank a stock price in their (and his own) favor. Well, guess what? That backfired. Nick, a trader at Stu’s firm found out and handed him an ultimatum: sign over your company to me, or I turn you in to the SEC. Take your pick.

What ended up being really great about the storyline is the fact that it brought back some of the ICONIC, fun faces that we had not seen in some time. Because the case gets complicated, and both Harvey and Donna feel responsible for persuading Stu into the trade in the first place, they need to reach out of the firm for help. Kevin Miller, to be exact. Mike’s cellmate. A sweetheart. (Twitter bio idea?)

Since he is a free man… because Harvey helped him get out… he now owes him one. First grade math. So what Harvey asks of him, is to offer Nick a job, as if that was going to shut him up and get him out of the way? That seemed like a stretch. But nonetheless, Kevin agrees, which, as one could have guessed – does not really work to convince Nick to back off. He is high on power and aware of the upper hand he has. But hey, at least he stops by for a Darvey roast!

NICK: “A woman who is now your COO signed into our visitor’s log to meet with Stu. Donna Paulsen I think is her name, right?”

HARVEY: “Be very careful what you say next and who you threaten”

NICK: “Looks like I touched a nerve”  

– every conversation random strangers have with Harvey ever

Thus, Harvey has to resort to the other, even-more-uncomfortable-to-watch option… Sean Cahill. He is to Harvey what Harvey was to Kevin Miller. But nonetheless, out of pure desperation (and because Donna ask him to lol) Harvey begs him to pretty much remove the existence of this issue from the SEC’s peripheral vision.  And of course, Sean says no…

… However, as it turns out, Cahill returns towards the end of the episode and once again saves the day (remember that time he got Mike out of prison?). I love the way Suits writers use the “surprise” factor, just as everything sort of starts to feel hopeless to the viewer. This was the most pronounced in 6×16 when Jessica was brought back for the bar committee hearing – only for us to find out it was all orchestrated by the characters – only we did not see that coming. Albeit on a much smaller scale, this plot ends with that kind of satisfying shock as well, when the characters once again surprise by coming through with a plan we did not see coming. So Nick has no choice but to let go.  I like!

 

“Fighting isn’t talking and I should know that better than anyone”

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Source: Courtesy of USA Network

And as I reach the end of this episode (pain, tears, wake up Harvey!!!!)… I am also brought back to the very start. The previous two instalments left me dissatisfied, in the sense that I felt the writing did not carry the weight of “oh we only have so many episodes left” by pairing Donna up with a completely new character.  However, I also believed that the choice was not random and the idea of a perfect man who is in so far as 8B will go, one dimensional and gets on Donna’s good side by being able to openly talk (as opposed to… khm Harvey) was something I was hoping the show would highlight. And that, it did. So lets dissect the Thomas, Donna, Katrina, Brian of it all.

Starting at the first scene, we see a yet another parallel to the Darvey 6×11 dream sequence. First, when Harvey was dating Paula, the director seemingly used that scene as a contrast to what was happening. Paula was there, bringing him coffee in bed, with the same shots of 6×11 being used. However, the lighting was blue and the way I always interpreted that scene was the lack of “the dream” and the warmth of yellow lighting in what was his new, coupled reality. Now fast forward to this episode, Donna wakes up to the mug of coffee on her bed side table. She tells Thomas last night and this morning was “nice” and he says “As much as I would like to spend the whole morning with you”… he has to get going.

Harvey and Donna, over coffee, in the morning, 6×11.

DONNA: “That was nice”.

HARVEY: “It was. And as much as I would like to spend all day doing it, we should get going.”

(please do not talk to me i am too busy laughing???)

That scene alone already sent a clear message. Thomas, this new, open, available man, is now officially living Harvey’s (literal) dream. And okay, you can go on and call that a matter of interpretation, or ambiguous (Korsh literally just walked in upon hearing that word, he loves it THAT much), but the rest of the episode went down a way more explicit rout to send the same message.

Brian and Katrina’s further confusion in this episode served as a way for Donna to express what was implicitly already known to us. She and Harvey never had a real conversation about their “complicated issues”, they just fought (if you ever needed any proof that their 7×11 “I didn’t feel anything” was all fake news, here you go!). And now? Well now Donna is ready to move on and find love “outside this place” (How exactly is Thomas outside this place Mr. Client?). Conveniently enough, it so happens to be a man whose one of the only characteristics we know of is that he is open and “whatever she wants to talk about” he is here. #NoConnection #Coincidence #Not.

As later on in the episode, Brian and Katrina finally set the record straight on what the cringe-worthy 8×12 meant for them, they actually do have a really touching moment of closure. In contrast to Harvey and Donna, they are able to say: we felt something for a while, we got carried away, but this just isn’t worth the insane amount of trouble we would have to go through to keep it alive. So rather, they chose to focus on work and let it die out. Whether that was it for that plot is still a question, but nonetheless, the whole idea of being able to pin point to what your moment was and consciously chose it just isn’t “worth it”, is something Harvey and Donna never had. So I guess now Donna thinks she has decided fate for the both of them.

And then… Harvey calls. This episode really solidified the fact that this is Harvey’s turn to speak up, once and for all. Because she is, in some way, at least consciously now, trying to move on and accept what they are. But the ending took it one step further still. It was mentioned in an interview before the start of this season that the ending of this episode would juxtapose Harvey and Donna’s current state in life. Donna rushes off to meet up with the new man in her life, while Harvey dials her number. And no one picks up. He leaves a message, asking if she wanted to celebrate together. He calls from home – further emphasizing the want for her presence that has nothing to do with having drinks at work only. And he leaves it up to her to decide.

Only it appears she is done making the decisions for the both of them.

And Harvey needs to step up.

And just as Samantha, when he cares about someone, he must fight twice as hard.

 

HIGHLIGHTS:

    • Katherine Heigl and Wendell Pierce are such a great combo
    • “The only thing I think about you is that you are the same brilliant and wonderful, quirky woman that I have had the honor of working with all these years. And that will never change”; LOUIS AND KATRINA ARE SUCH A BROTP NO ONE TOUCH ME
    • The song choices on this show continue to be the absolute best
    • “Miss you, Buddy”  “ME CRIES
    • “Too Soon?”, “No Louis, right on time.”
    • Team Harvey, always and in all ways.
    • Katherine Heigl shines when the show gives her a chance, and I am so glad we have Samantha, even if for a short period of time.