Suits: “Bad Faith”
B+

Suits: “Bad Faith”

B+

Suits

“Bad Faith”

Season 3, Episode 9

Ava Hessington strikes again.

Just when it seemed as if the show had finally moved on from the Ava Hessington case, she comes roaring back in grand fashion at the last minute to put a wrench in Jessica and Harvey’s plans to rid themselves of Darby forever, by firing them and filing a lawsuit against the firm for malpractice.

While it’s somewhat frustrating that Ava Hessington just won’t go away, it’s certainly not surprising, given the circumstances. The second Stephen Huntley’s role in the murders Ava was accused of was revealed, the show gave itself a huge story ace in the hole, one ready to be revealed at just the right moment. It’s classic Suits storytelling, and for the most part it works.

One of the reasons it works is that watching the whole firm—including Louis—come together to take down a common threat is always a treat, and that is certainly the case here. Their plan is to secretly go after the firm’s big mutual clients to get them to commit to the U.S. side of the operation. They target Samsung but hit a snag on the way: Louis was the one put in charge of the negotiations with Darby’s team, and he lets his carefully constructed plans completely go off the rails when Nigel uses Mikado to manipulate his emotions.

Louis is a huge part of this episode, and while he remains the most complex, interesting character on the show, some rough choices were made for him here. The one thing that has seemed consistent about the show’s portrayal of Louis over the course of the series is that he is a brilliant lawyer who is an outsider because of his personal quirks. This season, however, those quirks have started to dominate the brilliance, and it all culminates here in a somewhat ridiculous debacle where Louis completely loses all sense of propriety or professionalism when faced with Nigel’s taunting, essentially blowing the whole deal.

Later, Louis regroups and uses his smarts to convince one of Tony Gianopoulos’ underlings (the Wharton guy from earlier in the season) that he has the smarts to be their lawyer, but he won’t sign off on Louis being the face of the firm. Gianopoulos only even gets face time with them when Harvey is involved, and Harvey sells them on the fact that his shoot-from-the-hip style and Louis’ attention to detail make them a great team. Listen, I see what they are doing here by bringing Harvey and Louis together and emphasizing the teamwork aspect of it all, but something about the way Louis’ skills were thrown away just for them to get to this place sits wrong with me. Louis might be quirky, but until the last few episodes he’s never been a buffoon, so it’s tough to see one of the more complicated characters on the show treated with such cavalier malice, even if he did get a few genuine, heartfelt words of encouragement from Harvey, which seemed to mean more to him than anything. In Suits’ worldview, it appears the Louis Litts of the world will always be desperate for approval from the Harvey Specters.

As for Harvey, his obsession with loyalty strikes again when he and Jessica secure everything they need to have the upper hand against Darby, but Scotty shows up at his apartment, begging him for mercy. If he takes money from Darby’s pocket he’s also taking money from Scotty’s pocket—as well as taking away her name on the door—and he relents. (The strangest thing about this? That Jessica just goes along with it.) When Ava Hessington subsequently fires them, giving them far too little of the client money pie in comparison to Darby, Harvey immediately blames Scotty for double-crossing him, without bothering to do even the most minor work confirming this fact. If that massive chip on his shoulder tells him someone double-crossed him, then that’s all the proof he needs! At least Harvey is consistent.

The other big story of the night is Mike and Rachel, who get an entire little self-contained arc about their relationship. It starts out on a very uncomfortable beat, with Rachel nagging Mike about all the little things he does that annoy her, to which Mike responds horribly. He only redeems himself when he brings her to the apartment he bought for his grandmother—which apparently he’s been paying the mortgage on this whole time—and asks her to move in with him there together. It’s a nicely complicated relationship moment for them (complicated even further when Mike has to manipulate her father a bit to help the firm in the Darby situation) because of where Rachel is in her life. Rachel’s goal of being a lawyer is finally starting to become a reality, so her getting into Stanford at the same time she’s falling in love with a guy who lives in New York puts adds complexity to that dream. When Rachel is faced with anything regarding her career she feels like far more of a person than in any of her scenes that are solely relationship-focused, so it was nice to see her struggle to marry these two worlds.

Next week is the midseason finale, where the firm must defend themselves against the very client they just spent the whole season exonerating. I would say that will likely be the last we see of Ava Hessington, but she sure is proving a tough one to get rid of.

Stray observations:

  • Yes, you can buy a “You just got Litt up!” mug of your very own.
  • Louis’ extended riff on The Great Escape with Jessica was pretty great. Is Louis Steve McQueen? Discuss.
  • I would like Katrina as Louis’ advisor much more if I could tell if she was doing it in a genuine way or just sucking up to him to establish a place in the firm. Her motives are very unclear.
  • Louis got a foster cat! Please keep this cat, Louis.
  • Harvey: “I am showing him respect. I’m being dismissive to his face.”

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