Suits (S09E03) “Windmills”

“The closest thing I have to a family are the people at this firm.”

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Source: Courtesy of USA Network

The second episode of season 9 left us with the question of who was going to be in charge now that Faye demoted Louis. However, the answer wasn’t about to come easily and while the title of the managing partner may belong to the new special master, the characters had to do a lot of soul-searching to start finding their place within the firm that still feels like theirs but right now is anything but.

As someone who has always envisioned Louis to end his career as a corporate lawyer eventually and redirect his love of law to another professional path, I found it exciting to see this explored as part of the show’s last season. While he was struggling to accept that he wasn’t managing partner anymore, an opportunity presented itself (and by itself, I mean that Sheila made it happen for him), when his Harvard buddy offered him a judgeship. Apparently, when Louis was at law school, he had aspired to achieve his success at a high-powered law firm, and then “settle down” as a judge – the offer now being, potentially for the last time if they succumbed to Faye’s pressure, on the table.

As Louis went to great lengths considering and reconsidering, the show took us on a wild ride of comedy.  And yes, by that I am referring to the dream Louis had after talking to Sheila who had been very encouraging of him taking the job. Just as I thought I could literally not laugh any more than I was as Louis dreamt himself on the bench, Donna throwing comments of admiration at him, and 12 Harveys as his “jury of peers” (never seen anything more accurate for Louis in my life), they showed Gretchen as a guard and one of the 12 Harveys petting a cat as Louis sentenced Faye to death penalty…. And yeah, I lost it. That scene will now truly go down in Suits history as one of the most epic scenes of the show, and all the kudos to Gabriel Macht for directing it. But back to the plot, thanks to Dr. Lipschitz (favorite therapist returns!!!) Louis realized that despite his occupation in the dream being both a judge and a lawyer, the people his fantasy world was filled with were his coworkers, his family. That cleared his mind, momentarily, as to what he was supposed to do.  “This whole time I was worried about what they would do without me, I didn’t even think about what I would do without them (…). I think they are everything to me and I don’t want to go anywhere”.

But… not so fast. While Samantha and Alex focused all their energy on helping Louis and Harvey took a case against Faye’s old firm as direct attack on her after what she did to the ex-managing partner, circumstances had forced Louis to overlook the rescue to which all his friends came for him, and almost change his mind about leaving. Harvey and Donna had spent their first evening apart since that night at Mike and Rachel’s place, because of Harvey’s agreeing with her in the previous episode, when it was clear he had a different opinion. That hurt and confused Donna and prompted her to stay away from him for the night, as the problematic adult she is (fact: darvey are messy children and I love it). An honest conversation between the two (Harvey grinning at Donna any chance he gets prolonged my life for 5 years) led them to decide to have date night once a week, in order to better balance life and work. I was so there for it… And then, Faye and Harvey started fighting over the case he took, and Harvey’s client Dan got fired as direct consequence of the mess. Simultaneously, Donna was also asked by Faye to finish some secretarial work for her (“I was the best secretary any firm ever” amen) and thus sent a message about the attitude their special master had towards her position and the work she does. Needless to say, Donna hated it. And Harvey hated his situation with the case.  So… one plus one equals impromptu relaxing date night.

If anything, their realization that taking a break from work and who they are there in order to spend time on who they are outside of the firm was so very satisfying to see for these two individuals who were always the last to have a private life. But while Gretchen so sweetly and amazingly (truly, you are forgiven for interrupting them twice) chose to cover for them and become Faye’s temporary secretary, Louis had other plans. Donna had promised him her and Harvey would be there if he needed them, and clueless about the fact that Harvey was fighting to defend his honor, he had decided to seek them out and ask for support.

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Source: Courtesy of USA Network

Meanwhile, in the Darvey heaven, we were privy of seeing their first official date night as a couple unfold. Much to my joy, the writers once again decided to highlight the comedic, but also complex and loving dynamic that Harvey and Donna once shared more covertly and now do so very openly. During their date, the two started to learn how to separate work from who they are as a couple (“water is wet” pls I choked so much). What their little hiccup amounted to, was firstly the most hilariously fitting admission by Harvey, who told Donna he had a crush on a ginger mom when he was sixteen, and their collective realization that they still have a lot to learn about each other. The beauty of seeing these two people learn and love new things about the other, despite being partners for over a decade is a true testament to how meant to succeed this relationship is. Even just throughout this one date, there were different moments that indicated substantial growth on both their parts: trying to put themselves first, showing commitment to making this relationship work and learning to share just how much they really truly are into each other (“Making me feel *wiggles her eyebrows*” , Donna you are the death of me). It feels as though any step they take together since the start of this season, only brings them closer to being truly emotionally open and on fully solid grounds.

But while the date ended up being perfectly imperfect, Louis’ veiled third wheeling did not amount to anything good. When he had entered the restaurant, all he saw from far away was Donna ignoring his call and then Harvey and Donna laughing. What he did not know though was the fact that they were laughing at Harvey’s beautiful sex joke (MY RIGHTS), and not at him. Like seriously Louis, you were not on their minds, I guarantee you. This unsurprisingly sent him into a spiral and made him decide to take that judgeship.

However, that wasn’t going to last long, as the couple (I will never tire of using that word for them, you have been warned), convinced him that he had misunderstood the situation. While Louis’ issues with being left out and neglected are truly a story as old as time, the way the show connected that with Harvey and Donna’s quest for striking a work life balance made a lot of sense (even if i wanted to punch Louis because seriously, after all this time, they deserve all the privacy they need and want). In the end, both of them, in their own ways showed to him that they value and stand behind him one hundred percent. While Harvey also managed to win the case against Faye in the process, Donna’s method included a hilarious night in with Louis and Sheila… and I never knew I needed it until I had it.

Speaking of things I didn’t know I needed, Samantha and Alex’s efforts to help Louis out ended up amounting to an amazing friendship dynamic. While the two had a lot of shared screen time and storyline throughout season 8, so much of that was focused on fighting to get their names on the wall, that we didn’t really get to explore the potential another side of their relationship. With the show ending this season, I am glad they decided to focus on exploring these two newer characters through their mutual connection. While the strategies Alex and Samantha wanted to employ to help Louis definitely didn’t match, it was Alex inviting her to his house to unwind from the butting of heads, that led to a shift in this dynamic. To see Samantha interact with family and enjoy herself in this environment, while being very aware of her tragic past with family, made me even more emotional than I thought it would. Alex offered her something special, and when she then came back to him revealing that this motivated her to look into her own biological parents…. I was pretty much an emotional wreak. These people challenge each other, but ultimately, they are family just as much as any.

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Source: Courtesy of USA Network

In the end, that also acted as a guiding force for the plot between Katrina and her wanna-be associate Susan. The two started working together on a case Katrina once worked on with Brian, and while Susan had introduced herself as eager to learn from the senior partner, it was soon revealed that she had leverage she wasn’t afraid to use about Brian. While Katrina ended up seeking advice from Samantha, it was ultimately her own rationality that got her out of this jam. Being the fair and fearless lawyer she is aspiring to being, Katrina took Susan to Faye and had her admit her own wrong doings during the case. That not only proved to the associate that Katrina was not to be intimidated and extorted, but that she wasn’t in a position to make a threat at someone else, when she had her own mistakes to worry about. Wouldn’t everyone at this firm benefit from being Katrina’s associate? All thanks to some amazing advice Samantha gave the senior partner.

Ultimately, family wins. It bonds and it holds together. So many episodes of Suits, in their own different ways, sent that message. But there was something about the 9×03 family spirit that could be felt so deeply. We are seeing these characters in their homes,  other spaces outside work and in one way or another, we are seeing them question their wishes for their career and themselves as whole. That is exactly what the last season of a TV show should be.

Random Thoughts:

  • Seriously, the Darvey banter just keeps getting better and better.
  • So apparently Donna has a much older sister she doesn’t seem to like??!!
  • Samantha to Alex: “Are you trying to adopt me?” PLEASE I CHOKED
  • Faye: “I Will be watching” Harvey: “Enjoy the show”
  • “Objection, high jacking my metaphor” I swear, this show, this character.
  • The Darvey date: I can’t deal. I will never stop rewatching.
  • Harvey having a teenage crush on a redhead. Donna listening to Sheila talk sexual details about her and Louis. S9 IS A FANFICTION. #Blessed.
  • Katrina saying “Ambition is not a bad thing” to Susan reminded me of Jessica telling Harvey “I never said ambition was a bad thing” in s5. Also known as, once again, Katrina for managing partner.
  • Harvey: “I am the guy it always works out for.”  Faye: “Your modesty is astounding”  – Comedic duo
  • So many thanks to Gabriel Macht for all his directing on the show. It was soo soo unique and soo sooo appreciated.

Suits returns for 9×04 next Wednsday at 9/8c on USA Network in the States. In Africa, you can catch it starting August 8th at 20pm on TGE.