“You fight for everything that happens in here, but nothing that happens in (your heart)”
For the past 8 years, Suits has offered us so much. From names on the wall, to heart wrenching flashbacks, demons and heroes, weed addicts going to amazing lawyers, managing partners leaving and new partners coming. Throughout all these changes and laughter, pain and pleasure, for many many of us, one thing stayed constant: Harvey’s inner struggle to grow out of his fears and fight for what matters: his heart. Or in other words, Donna Paulsen. And that ladies and gentlemen, is “Harvey”’s story.
So, if you are one of those people who read these reviews and have ever minded my Darvey-Attention-to-Detail in trying to piece together how they will finally get there… well guess what, today turned out to be both of our’s lucky day. You won’t have to read that stuff anymore, and I… well… won’t have to do it again.
So this review, episode 8×16, is my love letter to Harvey and Donna.
This episode ties largely to 8×15. Firstly, the case referenced to by Samantha (the fact that she was attacked, robbed and the “justice” was never served), ended up being a key piece in the puzzle of: how do we save Harvey? And secondly, that question itself, which most of us thought would be detrimental to Harvey’s career in this episode.
To track back, Harvey had told Donna priviliged information about the case. Which, in itself, was not really a problem since they both work in the firm. But well, Harvey told Alex, and Thomas found it all out when Donna told him. Privilige. Broken. Twice.
So in this episode the whole firm came to Harvey’s defence in order to prevent Daniel Hardman from taking away his license. Because of course, he was going after them for it.
Louis and Harvey
“Louis, managing partner”, had never sounded more right. All through this episode he showed nothing short of support and rationality, and had Harveys back – regardless of the fact that the firm was in trouble and he had nothing to do with it.
The main steps, whether paid off or not, in 8×16 were done by Louis and Harvey together. Yes, there was some tension, coming from the fact that Louis was annoyed with Donna and Harvey did not want to hear any of it (I love one protective husband who is the ONLY person that did not get bitter about that in the episode because he is too in love aaand- I could go on for years). However, that seemed so insignificant to Louis, compared to the threat under which was, not only Harvey, but also the firm itself.
So they fought, hard. First they tried to strike a deal with Simon, offering a significant sum of money. But by that point, he had been charmed by Hardman and looking at the long term win – which to him really was just getting back at Harvey. And the prior, just reaaaally wanted his name on the door.
So Louis and Harvey then turned to the chair of Simon’s board, one whom he had tried to remove the previous year. Very well known to Harvey, and not at all known to the chair of the board herself. So she promised to take care of Simon and along with him, drag Hardman down. Premature celebrations, 3..2..1… go.
Samantha and Robert
But while Louis and Harvey thought they had things under control, the reason why Hardman was considering backing down for real, was because of a side deal he had made with Robert – his long time friend and confidant.
Robert promised him a name on the wall of Rand Kaldore, if he were to back down. And it comes as no surprise, that Hardman accepts this… because really, he is just a power hungry man holding a grudge. However, Samantha does not manage to persuade either – Rand or Kaldore – to let him in and so this fails, miserably.
But what the plot is very successful at (and I will speak more to this later on with regards to Samantha & Robert flashbacks) is giving us insight into how strong the bond between Robert and Samantha is. They have a rich history and have always had each other’s backs. In many ways, they reminded me of Harvey and Jessica, who in my opinion, remain the best BROTP the show ever had. As a viewer who really appreciated the dynamic of the two, I loved that we got to see so much of Samantha and Robert, before the latter left.
Harvey and Thomas
But after Samantha and Robert’s plan failed, Harvey and the rest were notified of the ethics hearing… amidst their premature celebrations. Because Daniel realised there will be no Rand Kaldore Hardman, he acted fast and they were all being summoned to show up the next day (Gabriel’s acting here was absolutely amazing, the sheer frustration and his realisation that he might actually lose his fight to Hardman after all, was so well done).
But beyond all that, the scene following this, turned out to be a good trigger for what started to unravel the one final road to Darvey. Samantha went to Harvey and added onto the pile of everyone-sees-you-love-Donna facts (I will sure miss these moments, but not as much as I will love everyone finding out Darvey are together). She had pointed out, to him and the audience, the obvious BUT MUST BE SAID fact. Harvey could turn this all on Donna, and his license and/or career in this firm would no longer be threatened. But the weight of this goes beyond – it speaks to the fact that their relationship and work, are affecting each other, regardless of them being together or not. Something that they tried so hard to avoid and protect, has been impacted by their feelings for each other in many ways. Now to the point that Harvey’s career is on the line, and the way they are dealing with the situation is completely upside down from what “any other law firm” would do. As I said last week: crazy, crazy love.
So, if by this point, you were already touched by Harvey’s commitment and devotion to Donna, you just had to wait 0.5seconds to be absolutely!!! floored!!!. Because what did Harvey do following that conversation? He went to Thomas and asked him to “tie him down” on the train tracks and let him lose his license at the hearing… To protect Donna.
The significance of this is insane. Following 8×15, many people were angry with the fact that instead of being vocally bothered by Thomas, Harvey tried to put his hurt aside and act in what he thought were Donna’s best interest. On the other hand, one could have also spoken to that as immense character growth and Harvey’s selfless pursuit of Donna’s happiness. So in this episode, he further solidified the fact that his character growth and love for Donna was the reason why he was being selfless in this, rather than lack of it thereof.
Harvey: “I want you to say it was me.”
Harvey: “She worked her entire life to get to where she is, and if the truth comes out, she will be barred from working at a law firm for the rest of her life.”
Thomas: “What am I not seeing here Harvey? How does all this protect you?”
Harvey: “It doesn’t, I just don’t see why she has to stand in front of that firing squad too. All I am asking you to do is to protect her.”
A man worthy, a man fighting for love, a man who couldn’t care less about himself when the love of his life is in trouble.
Donna and Thomas
And on that note, let’s go back to the previous episode. We were all loud and triggered by how Donna had handeled the situation. Rightfully so, as she ended up putting a man, who she had known for all of 2 weeks, over the firm. However, as I mentioned in my review last week, the flashbacks and the all-over struggle she had been voicing through 8B, offered an alternative look at her actions. She was in pain and trying to move on from Harvey. She lost hope and had solidified, in her head, the fact that he was simply just too “afraid to say it”.
So, she chose this other man, but at the same time, interestingly enough, teared up at her claim that “If there is anyone in the world I have fate in, it is (Harvey)”. She acted with her head, but that was not what her heart wanted, no matter how much she tried.
And Indeed, the episode followed through with the explanation which was hinted at in 8×15. Starting at the beginning of the episode, Donna was already reacting to her choice. Thomas had called her to hang out, but she refused – the completet antidote to how she acted in previous episodes. Surely, you could argue the case in itself was reason enough for her to distance herself. However, through the episode, it all came crashing down further, starting the conversation she had with Alex (we stan this legend now).
Donna told him two very important things. Firstly, she admitted to the fact that she doesn’t know anymore why she did what she did and secondly, that she doesn’t love Thomas. Neither of those were a shock, but both of those were important to say. The struggle was not about choosing between this man and the firm, it was about choosing between what she thought was either Harvey or herself. And speaking to that, what I loved about this scene is how it seemed like her endless streak of advice and wisdom she has imparted on others, finally returned back to her. Alex told Donna a story from the early days of what is now his marriage. He made a parallel to how his wife had once distanced herself from him in a law school matter, only for them to realise their “resentful” actions had nothing to do with law school and everything to do with their feelings for each other. He was afraid, she wanted to move on.
And the result? Alex, back then, showed up for his wife, more petrified of not being a part of her life than he was of committing. And Donna finally realised why she did what she did.
And it was when Thomas showed up at her place the next morning that we received a follow up insight into her conversation with Alex and Thomas’ conversation with Harvey. Cue the absolute best Donna scene ever (and gosh, Sarah Rafferty. The queen of heart-wrenching deliveries????).
Thomas was absolutely astonished at the fact that Donna’s “coworker” was willing to lay himself on the train tracks for her, and not only that, but also ask him face to face to help “tie him down”. And this is where, usually, Harvey and Donna’s relationships end because the person asks them to choose and they always, immediately or eventually, choose each other. However, in this case, the situation was different. Donna had technically already chosen Thomas, but after his conversation with Harvey, the perspective he had on this mess, shifted completely.
“Who are you to him?”
“Harvey came to me (…) and all he seemed to care about was you.”
While Donna, who spends her life figuring out people and knowing everything, was faced with the one question she never could answer, she did figure out one thing.
“I don’t know who he is Thomas, I just know he is somebody who I can’t seem to figure out how to cut out of me. But I want to. And I have wanted to. And apparently I tried to when I told you what was going on. But the truth is, I don’t know if I will ever be able to.”
And this is also the moment I knew the Darvey future was bright. Not only did Donna quite literally say the most heart-felt and touching, thing ever… but she also spoke the ultimate truth. Harvey is a part of her, and no matter how much she tries, she doesn’t seem to be able to let go.
Goodbye Thomas, the very last Harvey-Donna love interest. None of them will be missed.
Alex and Robert
Following that, Thomas went to the ethics hearing and Donna never showed. She must have been so shaken up. BUT SO WERE ALL OF US, with how the ethics hearing itself unveiled.
The episode took us back to flashbacks of when Samantha was attacked (I cry, Katherine Heigl is so good) and Robert was by her side every step of the way. The sad story in itself offered insight into how tragic Samantha’s life has been, but even more, it also teased all throughout, the fact that Robert had done something shady and was tormented by it till the present. In fact, it had been connected to the robbery and attack Samantha endured, following which he made sure the man was imprisoned. That is where the man consequentially died during an attack.
This (literal lol) blood Robert had on his hands was something he was reminded of by Samantha helping Louis. Dare I say, the whole self reflection came at the perfect timing for Harvey, because Robert decided it is time he finally pays for his sins. And he did so, by orchestrating with Alex, a new narrative at the ethics hearing.
After Harvey denied ever telling Thomas privileged information, Alex testified to that, and he suddenly pointed the finger at Robert. They had fabricated emails (congrats, we love breaking the law to cover up the law we had already broken) and orchestrated the whole revelation. Robert acted out due to being removed from the managing partner role and emailed Alex all the facts of the side deal Simon Lowe was making with Harvey. Alex gave this information to his client – Kessler, and Thomas was supposed to release the statement (which he did) and therefore, in Robert’s satisfaction, destroy the firm’s reputation. Did any of that really happen? Of course not, lol (easy ways out of plots in order to get to a desired outcome, maybe? yes?). But did it work? Of course it did.
In the end, Robert felt like he finally started the process of redemption for his past sins. This way, the episode did surprise, and undeniably, provided an outcome which no one could have seen coming. It is just up to each person to decide whether the way they got there was satisfactory to you.
Goodbye to Zane of Zane Specter Litt Wheeler Williams. And welcome, yet another firm name change.
Samantha and Harvey
While this was breaking free in Robert’s eyes, and an obvious win for Alex, Harvey, Louis and Donna; it was absolutely heartbreaking for Samantha.
Robert: “You haven’t needed me for a long time.”
Samantha: “I dont want to be alone.”
Robert: “You aren’t going to be alone here.”
While Robert spoke to the fact that she has found a new family, he also hinted to the possibility of her and Harvey. I found this move to be absolutely hilarious and so very Korsh, because I, as he (I am sure) would be happy to know: DIED INSIDE, NOT KNOWING WHAT WAS FOLLOWING AND MOMENTARILY LOST MY HYPE. So Korsh of Korsh, to do this to Darvey fans one last time. Poetic.
Anyways, Robert had insinuated that she had found a commonality in Harvey… and so on. While that statement could have also refereed to the fact that they are indeed so similar in many ways, it turned out to be a great transition into what followed.
Harvey sympathised with Samantha, because he had lost his mentor once before. But the key difference here is that, while Samantha lost her whole support system, when losing Robert… the night Harvey found out he lost Jessica, Donna held his hand and stood by his side. He did not ever lose HIS person, because that person was still there, and they didn’t just accept each other or love each other, they were in love.
Samantha: “He believed in me. He was the only one who ever did that. The only one who saw who I was; all my baggage, all my flaws”
Harvey: “And he accepted you anyways”
Samantha: “He didn’t just accept me. He loved me. Not easy to find somebody like that in this world.”
Harvey: “No it is not.”
Samantha: “I mean, what am I supposed to do when i have a big victory or a big loss and the only person I want to go run and tell isn’t there. What am I supposed to do?”
And in that moment, Harvey knew. There was one last fight left for him to win. And his reaction to Samantha’s words, when he realised EVERYTHING, was one of those to-become-iconic moments of TV, where you know what is to come by a single facial expression. And you can’t help but scream.
Harvey: “I’m sorry Samantha, but I have to”
Harvey: “I just have to.”
Harvey and Donna
The last sequence of the episode (along with the rest of the episode, obviously) was directed by the amazing Christopher Misiano. This was the absolute perfect fit, as he also directed 7×13. In that episode’s last sequence, Harvey too ran out of the firm and into a cab, in order to get Donna to come back to him at work. That ending was one of the most pure-Darvey endings ever, with Donna sacrificing for him, Harvey fighting the fight in return and them at her door in the end. Again, reunited, alone, but together.
Thus, it comes as no surprise that so much of that content and Darvey essence was present in this scene as well. Harvey ran, he squeezed through a closing elevator door and got into a cab. All this direction was so powerful and on point, perfectly conveying the fact that he was determined and ready. He finally understood.
And at last, he shows up at her door, Donna opens, panicked, but then her facial expression changes. She sees HIM, she takes her hands off the door handle, her eyes become glassy and she steps away. She is literally saying “I am here, and it is up to you what you do with that fact.” by taking extra steps back. She gives him all the power in this. And he takes it.
The most amazing thing about this scene, to me, is the fact that there is not a single word exchanged between the two. I have been a part of the Darvey fandom for many years, and whether it be our conversations, speculation or even interviews and so on, them having “THE talk” before they get together, was in most cases a given part of the narrative. But truly, what do two people who have 13 years of history say that is enough in that one moment? And more so, what do two people, who know each other better than anyone have to say? Their expressions and timing spoke for them, and no words were needed.
I found that to be more powerful than any speech or fight ever could be.
And then they kissed. Harvey stopped to make sure they were on the same page. Donna looked at him and pushed him to her… and then we all died. The scene was absolutely everything to me, and after years of waiting and pain and disappointments and suffering and and and, THAT SAYS SOMETHING. It was passionate, lustful and intense, but at the same time, also gentle and tasteful. It was Darvey.
In the end, they walked to the bedroom together, speaking to yet another layer of their dynamic, which is one of comfort and domesticity they have always radiated, before they ever got here again.
It took them 13 years.
It took the show 8 seasons and 124 episodes.
And it was, truly, absolutely, completely, worth the wait.
When words run dry,
he does not try,
nor do I.
We are on par.
He just is,
I just am
and we just are.
– Lang Lea
- Thank you Wendell Pierce for all the amazing scenes on this show.
- Harvey telling Louis, Sheila is what Donna is to him, to explain himself. OF COURSE HE DID THAT.
- Robert: “How are you doing?” Samantha: “Physically I am fine, mentally I am pissed the f*ck off.” What a mood
- Samantha’s story about her foster family experience, I cry
- Sarah Rafferty and Gabriel Macht are so talented, I feel blessed.
- Alex, to Harvey, in a teasing tone, being super obvious with his Darvey intentions: “Sorry Harvey, Robert is right, I need to get home to the woman I love” – And I love Alex Williams now
- THE DARVEY MAKE OUT SCENE “Love is Mystical” SONG IS SO THEM. Just wow.
- Korsh, pick a toaster, on the house.
- Also, just on a personal note, To all Darvey fans, we made it, guys. WE REALLY DID.