Suits (S09E09) “Thunder Away”

“Sometimes good guys gotta do bad things to make the bad guys pay”

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Source: Courtesy of USA Network

Last week the episode left me devastated. Not just because of what happened with Harvey’s mom, but also because it left a bitter taste in my mouth. I, as were so many other fans, was worried that the show dug a hole for itself they would struggle to climb out of for the last two episodes. I will say that I am happier than ever to admit I was wrong. This episode was everything I personally hoped to see as we truly get close to the ending of Suits (crying): the proper drama, the characters’ love for each other, the promises for the future and the references to the past.

The episode opened with something I sort of expected to see following that beautiful scene between Harvey and his mother in 9×07. That is the flashback to the baseball game. Harvey had a revelation recently, one that undoubtedly signaled his growth, where he reconstructed the memory of that day in his mind and realized, so much of the blame he had assigned to his mother, was really one both of his parents shared. The fact that we then got to see him make a speech at his mom’s funeral truly broke me, but at the same time, tied so many of the ends I felt were left loose together. He got to say his piece, he got to show us his grief and the parallel of that, to the time his mom spoke at Gordon’s funeral was just devastatingly beautiful. The show runner said this decision to kill Lily right before the end was about life, and representation of how it’s not always fair. Though there are many reasons, narrative wise, that I would have prefer this to having never happened, the point he made was beautifully reflected in this episode.

“I just have so many things I wish I could say to you.”

“We were making plans… talking about her coming to meet Donna.”

“She would have loved her Harvey”

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Source: Courtesy of USA Network

It is a tragedy, and the show is not pretending that it isn’t. Which brings me to the second important point I wanted to make about this episode: Harvey’s grief. It was clear, following last week’s promo, that Mike was going to be back (indeed all planned by Donna, but we been knew she is the best gf) and help take Harvey’s mind of everything that has happened. But there is a difference between trying to survive and deflecting, and this is where I felt like the show was going to have to be very careful not to make it seem like Harvey was pushing it all away and skim over his grief. They truly did not. While Harvey was indeed busy fighting, because their plan to have Samantha and Mike take Faye out took an interesting turn, it was a consistent theme throughout this episode that Harvey is grieving, hurting and also healing.

But to start at the beginning, Harvey and Louis ended up being forced into representing Faye and keeping the reasons behind it away from Mike and Samantha. If they were to cross any lines or to collude with the other side (that they were intending on colluding with lol), she would bury the firm. I feel like the request Faye made here was key to how everything will ultimately unfold for these characters: she asked Harvey to put the firm above the relationships with his work family, and both Harvey and Louis leaped at the ultimatum because it is what they are used to doing. It is an autopilot at this point, to fight and keep the firm afloat. However, what we then proceed to see throughout this episode is that while yes, both Harvey and Louis fight to protect their house, there is a sense of exhaustion on part of the prior, having to do this for what feels like the 100th time. From the fact that Harvey and Louis had to go back on the plan Mike, Donna and Samantha orchestrated to help Harvey breathe again, to Louis having to tear Samantha down on the stand and twist the memories they made together into something they weren’t – all of these things they have done before, but not to the people they have come to consider their family. Thus, while I truly enjoyed watching this case and I can’t wait to see how it all unfolds in the final episode, I appreciated most these subtle moments that make you as a viewer think “hasn’t it been enough”?

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Source: Courtesy of USA Network

While I could talk about the amazing court scenes in this episode (Samantha putting Faye on the stand and roasting her gave me 10 extra years to live, though sad years because Suits is ending) and scream about how the mock trial at the firm with Donna’s eyes killing Faye, Alex as a judge and Louis refusing to defend her was peak TV, I want to focus on the family moments this case gave us. After all, that is what we are here for.

“You are the best lawyer I have ever seen, and you are an even better friend”

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Source: Courtesy of USA Network

Louis and Harvey’s pure respect for each other, and the way Louis was there for him through the first stage of grief felt at the same time super emotional but also heartwarming. They started at the bullpens, hating each other, bickering and knowing better than anyone else how to press each other’s buttons. Harvey pushed Louis through a table, Louis’ words pushed him to the edge. They have been the brothers of the show, Jessica’s problematic sons and today, friend and partners. The way this dynamic has developed over the years has truly become some of the writers’ best work. From Louis protecting Harvey and taking over the role of attacking Samantha, to Harvey telling Faye she crossed a line with “the best lawyer this firm has ever had”, seeing these two finally in a good place and friends for life has filled my heart with so much joy. As we go into the last episode, I really feel at peace with where these two are, and I am glad that the show gave us that.

“Because more than anyone else, she gets me”

And of course, I could not talk about the family Harvey still has around him, supporting and loving him through this hard time, without talking about Donna. A huge chunk of why my heart broke for Harvey and his mom throughout this episode, was the fact that the three of them will never get that time together. In fact, just thinking about that devastates me. But for the sake of where I am going with this, lets discuss it. Donna meeting Lily has always felt like a “everything is right in this world” kind of moment, and the episode did acknowledge that a lot. The fact that Harvey was never going to be able to share his future with his mom, ultimately meant whatever future he will have with the love of his life. From Marcus saying she would have loved her, to Harvey saying they had plans to meet, the awareness of the devastation of this was clear. And how could it not be? The level of pain and protection Donna showed in this episode (Sarah Rafferty’s acting >>) was a sentiment to why everyone in Harvey’s family has always loved the idea of her and everything she represents and is. She anticipated every step before Harvey took it (like going to Alex), she stood up for him with Faye (that scene in Donna’s office is just… WOW Academy Awards, category of best COO and best protective wife) and in the end, she knew when to just sit down and listen, even if it was just to hear his opening statement.

The fact that, despite the grief and the pain, the struggles and the issues Harvey has faced over the years, he has this person in his life now, who protects him, loves him so fiercely and is there for him every step of the way is the reason why I believe that despite everything, next week will be a happy ending for Harvey. Which brings me to one of the most important key scenes of this episode (also known as the moment I literally screamed into my pillow) and the biggest hint for the finale of the show we got so far.

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Source: Courtesy of USA Network

When Harvey was with his brother (that was a touching last scene, the brothers hugging in Lily’s painting room, crying much? Yes), Marcus gave him a letter Lily wrote and wanted to send to Harvey before visiting him and Donna in NYC. Harvey at the time, was way too emotional to read it, so he just took it but never opened it. The moment I saw that envelope, I literally just had that  “Oh my god” reaction, because I felt like I knew where this was leading. Though as the episode progressed, it slipped to the back of my mind, in the midst of all the court drama (shocking but I swear, it was so good??). And then cue Harvey, early in the morning, sitting on his couch and opening the letter. The way they filmed this was crazy because the moment you saw him with the piece of paper, and you connected the dots as to what it was, you also saw Harvey holding his grandmother’s (and once Lily’s) engagement ring. Like, HOW IS THAT OKAY FOR OUR HEALTH? I screamed and I felt tears prickling up into my eyes (though I did also tear up during ‘Greenback boggie’ so I may be just all around unstable at this time), as Lily’s voice revealed the letter:

“Dear Harvey,

I know we have been talking about a visit soon and I was going to bring this with me as a surprise, but I don’t want to miss my chance. So, I wanted to make sure you had this, just in case. I know that your grandmother would have loved Donna. I can’t tell you how excited I am to finally meet her.

Love, mom”

Are there really any words for me to describe how this feels? Harvey went from not speaking to his mother, deflecting each time Donna brought it up, to reconciling with her, making her a part of his life, getting together with Donna and having the two most important women in his life love each other too. This ring represents all of that, and more than just the past, it also represents a full future Harvey is about to have with Donna. A future and a love story, that with this ring (and that painting now hanging in Harvey and Donna’s home) Lily will always be a part of. There was a time in the experience of watching this show where I feared the last episode, I might have to nervously hope to get to see Harvey and Donna finally together. Now I sit here, at peace, knowing that in a week, I will see Harvey Specter ask Donna Paulsen to spend the rest of her life with him. He did ask her to marry him in episode 1 of season 1 of the show after all.

“I never did thank you for helping me make all that happen”

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Source: Courtesy of USA Network

And last, but definitely, most certainly not least, Mike and Harvey. The final episodes would never feel right without Batman and Robin. While 9×05 ended on a very unsatisfying and bitter note, just this episode alone already made up for a huge chunk of the Mike and Harvey emptiness we continued to feel despite his appearance in the 5th episode. Though Mike was back in less than ideal circumstances, and they ended up standing on opposite sides of the case again, this time at least, the emotional weight of everything happening in Harvey’s life led them to be… them nonetheless. All their banter throughout this episode was reminiscent of the earlier season, but nothing topped that last scene for me.

From that proper Darvey discussion we have all been waiting for (“You know Rachel just said the other day, the only thing she regrets about leaving is not getting to see the two of you as a couple” I died???) to the vulnerability and openness with which Harvey can now finally communicate: that scene was everything we deserved out of 9×05 but did not get. Though Harvey felt like he had been abandoned by that person closest to him for years, it was losing his remaining parent that now connected the two on a devastating but touching level, as people who lost their family, but made a new one for themselves. Ultimately, that scene was also immensely important, in my opinion, for what we are about to see triggered in Harvey. He had to ruin a moment, with one of the most important people in his life, to fight for a firm that keeps bringing everyone nothing but misery. They have always done this: fought for the firm, used tricks, turned their backs on people and worked as a team, only now Harvey and Louis are doing it against the people they love. And they are losing other one in the process (Protect Samantha and Katrina at all costs). Which brings me to my final thought for tonight… Will this make Harvey finally realizes he is tired of fighting the same old fight? My guess is, by the end of the next episode, the people who have been forced out of the firm will be back, but neither Harvey nor Faye will be there anymore. The prior by choice, and in peace.

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Source: Courtesy of USA Network

And thank you the reader, for getting through another long review from me. We have one more left together. Till then, thank you Suits, I am now hopeful and at peace. See you next week, for one last con.

Random thoughts:

  • Harvey’s speech at the funeral. Donna watching. The moment he saw Mike. Pain, that is it.
  • “I never want to see Superman laying low” I swear I love Louis and Harvey so much
  • M: “You put him up to this didn’t you?” D: “At least I didn’t put him up to pretending to be a lawyer. Too soon?” H: “Right on time!” My favorite family!!!!!
  • KATRINA TOOK CARE OF EVERYTHING WITH HARVEY while he was gone. Gretchen will tell him next week. Katrina for name partner. Amen.
  • “You have been the judge, jury and the executioner”!!! The power this has! The power Samantha has!
  • “If you think I am going to keep this from donna you are out of your mind” I love one couple
  • “He is a cancer until you need him. I don’t want you to say anything Faye, I just want you gone. You are the real cancer around her. And if you hurt Harvey more than he has already been hurt, Mark my words, I will be the one coming for you next” THIS WIFE!!!
  • Louis learning A FEW GOOD MEN LEARNED TO MAKE HARVEY SMILE is just about the purest thing I have ever seen
  • vulnerable men on this show >>>
  • I didn’t want my review to be a book, so I didn’t go in depth with this, but Samantha and Robert are so amazing, always. “Nothing in this world would keep me away”
  • “I WILL TELL YOU DONNA, BUT NOT TODAY” I will literally never stop screaming, I really never will
  • And the can opener returns!!!!!
  • Machel are the Darvey OGs
  • Mike suggesting Harvey and Donna move to Seattle… like… where do I sign? Was this a hint?
  • I love love love that the episode ended with Harvey alone, so poetic. He will step down next week to save everyone and the show will end with him surrounded by family and his fiancée. You heard it here first.

Suits returns for the final episode next Wednesday at 9/8c on USA Network in the States. In Africa, you can catch Suits at 20pm on TGE.