Suits (S09E02) “Special Master”

 “When there is this much smoke there is always fire”

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Source: Courtesy of USA Network

Just as the people of ZSLWW thought everything will slowly start to fall back into place post Zane’s disbarment, Faye Richardson showed up. Following the cliff-hanger of the premiere where Louis signed off on her joining the firm as the new special master, 9×02 delved into the consequences of the new addition. The good, the bad and the ugly.

To begin with the good. In last week’s installment, Thomas Kessler dropped Alex and the firm, due to the fact that he was forced to lie in front of the bar and everything that came with that. However, during Donna and Faye’s first meeting alone, the later requested of her an in person interview with Thomas about his exit. Also known as: trouble. However, while this momentarily sent both Harvey and Donna into panic mode, what really comes out of this storyline in my opinion are all good things and promises for future development as well. Firstly, we got to see Harvey and Thomas interact, as the couple decided to ask the later to come back to the firm. That would have allowed for Thomas to avoid questioning, and hence, for Harvey and Donna to get out of this situation. The scene between the two guys was very satisfying, not just because Harvey got the chance to point out that while yeah, they had not treated him right as his lawyers, they did end up in that situation with the Bar because they were protecting his business, personal agenda or not. But more, the scene acted as an insightful parallel to 8×16. While in that episode, Thomas had asked Donna what she means to Harvey, in order to figure out where they stood in their relationship and she didn’t know how to answer, Harvey was more than willing to respond. “She is the most important person in my life, Thomas. And she knows it”. In this way, the complication which Faye triggered, gave us some more clarity and insight into the Darvey situation. They are evidently both confident and in touch with what has rang true for the past 8 seasons of the show: being each other’s number one. Simultaneously, the scene carried additional weight and meaning because Harvey answered to a man whom he hadn’t thought of the night he went to see Donna. While Harvey already opened up to her about his lack of consideration for “the other man” when he finally realized they were meant to be together, to see him owning up to that truth in front of Thomas spoke volume about the level of character development he has reached.

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Source: Courtesy of USA Network

While Thomas did end up deciding to come back to the firm after their honest conversation, Donna was a lot more hesitant. And then cue that golden scene between her and Harvey. What I loved most about It, is the fact that we are now privy to not only seeing them forget what personal space is (please never stop), but also, seeing the roles reversed a bit. Harvey was confident that this new situation was going to work out, so he was able to calm down her anxieties and simultaneously get Donna to open up about the fact that he has always been able to make her feel like everything will be okay. Art. Despite the fact that they thought the decision Thomas made was going to save them from further questioning, it ended up not working out when Thomas interacted with Donna and realized his heart is still too broken to continue with this firm. And who can really blame him?

Thus, when they had exposure to Faye once again, Donna decided that maybe honesty is the best policy. She was lucky with her explanation, because it pulled on Faye’s heart string just right. In the episode, it was revealed that she had once been working at the same firm with her husband, and long story short, when he acted unethically, she took his name off the wall and proceeded to fire him. The ache and consequences that may come when the lines between work and personal get blurry is thus something she is familiar with. Faye appreciated Donna’s honestly, and this scene acted as proof of the fact that she isn’t there with a hidden agenda. When presented with the truth, she didn’t hesitate to accept it and move on from wanting to question Thomas. Hopefully, this will also be a start of a new and complex dynamic between two fascinating women in position of power.

Things went less smoothly for others. Louis struggled with the fact that Faye wasted no time in establishing her authority within the firm and Samantha clashed with the special master on pretty much everything. However, while the bad and the ugly did get…. really bad and ugly lol, the situation also offered us what the fans love most: amazing character interactions.

The bad started with Samantha taking on a pro bono which Faye was to approve (and wouldn’t), while simultaneously having to come to terms with the fact that Robert’s name was ultimately going to come off the wall despite their fight to keep it. While Harvey couldn’t help her keep her mentor’s good name intact anymore, he did allow for her to continue with the pro-bono… that was until Faye cut her resources. However, what we know about Samantha by now is that when she sets her mind to something, there is no keeping her away from pursuing it (love that). Same goes for this pro bono and the personal ties she had to the cause. The show thus explored Katrina and Samantha’s dynamic as the prior willed to help her once the firm resources were frozen, and simultaneously also decided to shed light on a very relevant issue within the US and the world in general: war veterans PTSD and the way in which this trauma can impact assimilation back into the world. To be precise, Lucas whom Samantha served with in the army (we love this complex female character) needed her help in proving that he had been fired due to nepotism. However, as it turned out, his boss’s decision to terminate his employment rather had to do with the impact war had on Lucas. Regardless, Samantha had been prepared to fight tooth and nail for him, because true to Suits loyalty, she felt bad for leaving him behind to pursue a career in corporate law. In the end, it was a little bit of Katrina’s rationality (which truly never disappoints, Katrina for managing partner) and accepting the hard truth which got Samantha to present Lucas with a settlement offer. The truth being also the best part of this plot, in my opinion. Sometimes we just need professional help, and for a show that has mishandled therapy storylines in the past (…Paula anyone?), they did handle this plot with care and focused on the non-political aspect of war perfectly: the people who make it out and the help most of them desperately need. In the end, Lucas accepted Samantha’s settlement and promised to get help, as she presented him with a year’s work worth of her own money (seriously, I ADORE HER) if he is to get the help he needs. The idea of reaching out to heal mentally was thus normalized and presented as integral to someone’s health. We stan one storyline. Amazing plot, interwoven with us getting to know a main’s past and a satisfyingly touching outcome? More of such cases please!

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Source: Courtesy of USA Network

And then, the ugly. In his quest to find a loop hole that would allow Louis to take back his firm, he asked Benjamin (the comedic genius since season 1, so glad we get to see him before the end), to go over the Bar’s three thousand pages bylaws. At the same time, Louis also decided to fabricate a story about Faye’s arrival in order to maintain his relationship and authority with what he prizes the most, also known as his associates. Both situations were sure to backfire greatly, starting with Faye setting the record straight in the associates pool. But what that gave us was a very upset and hurt Louis, that ended up going bowling with Alex. The comedy of that scene, from the acting to the music and props choices (the pina colada, of course Louis drinks that lol) was just golden. Simultaneously, It also allowed for us to gain a bit more insight into Alex’s personality and use Dulé’s talent with comedy, as opposed to his usual more serious scenes. Even though not deeply explored, the dynamic between Alex and Louis since the prior’s arrival has always carried a level of intrigue for me and I was happy to see the show delve into that a bit more.

Though the light-hearted Louis didn’t last long, as Faye figured out he had ordered Benjamin to do something super illegal in order to get her out of his firm. Cue the yelling and the one sided fight for power, the later what makes this storyline so interesting. While Louis felt the need to fight her left and right, Faye didn’t have to do any of that because the truth is: she won already and didn’t care for it. She was simply there to help them get on the right track. And as of 9×02, that also included stripping Louis of his managing partner title. The question now being:  by the end of the show, who will be the next leader of the firm and even more importantly, who will get to make that decision?

 

Random thoughts:

  • The Darvey dynamic in this episode felt so so natural and amazing. While we saw a lot of them in more none-work environment in 9×01, I love that the writers took this episode to establish how couple Darvey work at the firm. Apparently that means 0 personal space and lots and lots of flirting any chance they get AND I AM SO HERE FOR IT.
  • Susan and Louis, I love this dumb ass comedy
  • Since 8b, I love Alex more and more each episode and I am glad because his entrance into the show truly can’t relate.
  • “I don’t know if you noticed that about me but I have a lot of rage” Louis, 2019
  • Harvey saying he is acting consistently to Donna because he truly has been whipped since always, we love facts
  • Samantha Wheeler is one of the best things that happened to Suits and I love Katherine Heigl for playing her so perfectly.
  •   “That’s the problem with this place. You are  a bunch of wild dogs running around defecating all over the legal standards you swore to uphold. And you can bet your ass I’m gonna put a leash on every one of you.” Two words: academy award.
  • The whole scene between Louis and Donna about Darvey was truly beautiful and so so satisfying. I could simply just transcribe the whole dialogue with heart emojis, and that would be the review. ART.
  • Speaking of Darvey, cant wait to see where the whole “Harvey agreeing because you are together” fact takes us in 9×03. I am so here for it.
  • “You were there for him” “we all will.” I love Katrina and Louis and Alex and this family.
  • Truly cant wait for more of Faye. What an amazing and fitting final storyline for this firm.