Loss and acceptance
Season 8 ended with two big changes, one long time coming and the other a surprise to everyone, including the people at the firm. Darvey finally made official what we all knew to be true for… years, and Robert took the ultimate sacrifice by getting himself disbarred to protect Harvey and redeem himself of his past mistake. The first episode of season 9, and the last Suits premiere (*sobs*), did not waste any time with getting into the immediate aftermath of both.
The opening scene (which made me emotional before we even got to see anything, of course Suits used ‘Cigarettes after Sex’ as Darvey soundtrack!!!) let us into Donna’s bedroom, several hours after where we left of in 8×16, the new day already approaching dawn. That scene in many way already set the tone for the first few days of Harvey and Donna’s relationship: the fact that this night wasn’t just a one night thing, but rather a start of something and Harvey’s need to make his intentions clear to Donna any way he knew how. While 8×16 already made Donna’s feelings rather clear, from Alex’s reveal of her intentions when she told Thomas about the deal to her honest conversation with the later where she admitted she can’t cut Harvey out of her, the show intentionally left a large chunk of Harvey’s inner turmoil in the finale under wraps. The show runner himself said they opted out of him giving a speech at the end of 8×16, and hence, put that dialogue in the beginning scene of 9×01. The rest of the episode continued with that goal. Because Harvey and Donna’s blissful morning got interrupted by Louis (still laughing over that scene, bless Rick Hoffman), Harvey did not manage to fully explain himself as to why he came over last night of all nights. So through out the episode, the writers made sure to further emphasize and portray the reason why Donna let him in in the first place. It wasn’t just because her conversation with Thomas made her realize she might never be able to let him go, but because she saw something in him that night that felt different – he had arrived at his own realization at the same time she did. Soulmates till the very end.
The point I am trying to arrive at is the fact that this episode really focused on Harvey’s point of view, and him voicing his feelings, because that was what the show left out of 8×16. We all, including Donna, saw the shift when he showed up at her door. But what happened exactly? Despite the fact that the final episode did show us the way everyone from Robert to Alex and then finally Samantha reminded him of Donna with their evening plans and speeches, his push was rooted deeper. And it’s not until their last scene of the episode that we find out. Regardless of Donna’s role in the mess and the fact that Harvey almost lost his license, what really made him feel empty that day, was the lack of her presence – when he was losing and then when he won. Much like Samantha’s speech had indicated, she is his person and when, for once, she wasn’t there anymore the way he had always loved her being… he snapped. And that’s exactly what he tells her in that beautiful (and my new favorite!!!!) scene they share in Mike and Rachel’s apartment. He tells her that the emptiness he felt without her at a moment of loss and then at one of winning made him realize where he was supposed to be: with her. And she tearfully agreed (it’s ok Donna, I am crying too).
The other aspect of their storyline in this episode was another immediate fall out of 8×16: the Thomas situation. At the last second, the writers decided to remove their break up scene from the finale and then they chose to promptly deal with that in the premiere. I actually really appreciated this change, as it (especially if you saw the original break up scene) turned the tables and made Donna the one ending with him because of her feelings for Harvey – not because of Thomas’ push to end it for the same reason. But not only It gave her the upper hand in ending a relationship with a by-the-book perfect man for her guy, it also shed light on another huge aspect of Harvey showing up and kissing her. That night, as well as the following morning, he had not even thought about Thomas… which for Harvey was HUGE. He was so focused on being with her and feeling at home, that the concept of crossing any sort of line didn’t feel comprehensible. They were meant to be and if anything, they had been cheating on each other in the past with literally all other love interests. The first glimpse into that could be seen during their phone conversation, where Donna opened up about ending it with Thomas, and Harvey had a very caught-of-guard reaction, because he clearly hadn’t even thought of that guy till that moment. As a man who has struggled and failed to understand the complexities of love and crossing lines because of it, this was a huge realization for him and a fact he had to rationalize and understand for himself. Which he did, and then the night at Mike and Rachel’s also explained to Donna. In one of the pre-premiere interview, Gabriel Macht himself perfectly explained that this situation allowed Harvey to accept a little bit more of what his mother had done and move forward. Despite the fact that, as Donna told him, he hadn’t actually done anything wrong since that relationship ended with Donna’s admission to Thomas the day of the hearing, the fact that he hadn’t even considered that there was another man made him accept some of that complexity of relationships that will allow him to connect with Lily even further and be more open and present in his romantic relationship. His love for Donna was stronger than his issues with cheating, and I think for a man who struggled with both for 8 seasons, this was a beautiful and extremely satisfying way to start his last journey before the show ends.
Now to the other plot of the episode: with Robert’s very public and shocking disbarment, came the aftermath. While much of that back and forth about keeping his name on the wall was already done once with Jessica, the difference this time was clear. Robert hadn’t actually done anything to justify throwing away his legacy in their eyes. Which brought on a lot of issues for the characters, as the whole world around them wanted the name gone, but they didn’t. The part of this plot that I enjoyed most and I also think generally had most significance was seeing Samantha and Harvey working together for the same goal, after everything that happened at the end of season 8. While Harvey was burdened by Donna’s request to keep their relationship a secret, Samantha caught wind of their late-night rendezvous from the ever clueless Louis… and sh*t went down. I found it satisfying to see her voice the fact that her anger was actually super justified (since Harvey and Donna did trigger the whole chain of events that led to Robert’s disbarment), but then also to have Samantha admit a lot of her anger was stemming from the fact that she felt partially responsible too. The back and forth Harvey and Sam had in this episode was very much done justice to, in my opinion. From the tenderness and understanding they share through their similarities, to the anger which erupted and ended with them punching the crap out of each other – It is this complexity that the show managed to introduce to their friendship very early on in her arrival that was definitely captured the way it should be, following the end of season 8. Not to mention that despite Louis’, Alex and Katrina’s efforts to keep the firm afloat, It was Harvey’s sacrifice and his awareness of the damage they had done to her and Robert that saved the day. Him giving away his clients to Kaldor saved the firm’s image and Zane’s name on the door, but also showed to Samantha that he was willing to take responsibility for the actions that hurt her and her mentor. I am soo here for this friendship.
In the second to last scene of the episode, which I have probably mentioned more times than any other scene ever (no regrets), Harvey told Donna there are things he saw as losses that she has helped him accept. And perfectly in line with that, much of this episode was about losing and accepting – whether it be losing a mentor, accepting the consequences of yours and other’s actions or finally accepting your feelings for the person you were always supposed to be with. I was here for it all. And in true Suits fashion, this wouldn’t be a premiere if It didn’t all come crumbling down at the last second. Just as Louis was happily walking towards the elevators from a finally successful work day, Faye Richardson showed up and told him that under the special master provision of the Bar, for which she works, she is now taking over the firm as the new managing partner. And the best part? She doesn’t have an ulterior motive or a bone to pick, she is just there to make them accept and understand their wrong doings, or to have them lose… everything *cue tense music*.
- Harvey and Donna in bed together vs my sanity
- Of course, Aaron Korsh made a parallel between “I told you it was worth the wait” and “I was worth the wait”, directly making her the woman of his dreams and the person Harvey knows well enough to predict her words in a specific situation even in his dreams.
- “You do know I am coming over again tonight, right?” I LOVE ONE SOFTIE
- “Donna is top notch at releases” vs my sanity 2.0
- I adore every single Samantha boxing scene, the power she has. OBSESSED.
- The dynamic between Katrina and Alex is so good. The ability to make the most random friendships so pleasant to watch and subtly develop over time is truly one of the things Suits writers are best at.
- Sheila and Katrina’s scene was something I never knew I needed until they were in the same room and I was very fittingly creeped out by their interaction
- “Harvey if there is one thing I know about Samantha is that she wouldn’t want you to treat her differently because she is a woman” my president Donna Paulsen
- I am now officially living for Harvey’s soft Donna voice. Thank you.
- I am so curious to see the Darvey after this episode. In many ways their storyline for the premiere was super set in advance by 8×16 – harvey’s pov and thomas break up being the priorities. So I can’t wait to see what the writers come up with now that it has been largely dealt with.
- Suits paralleling 9×01 to 1×01 with Rick Sorkin and “That’s why I love you, you get me” (from the first Darvey scene ever!!) already made me emotional and hopeful for all the ways in which this season will honor the past.
- season 9, bring it on… and please please don’t go by too fast.