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Suits: “Endgame”

For a show that is so mired in the shifty double-crosses and morally iffy power struggles that go hand-in-hand with working at a prominent law firm, Suits can be surprisingly optimistic about the sanctity of the law itself. More often than not, this optimism comes straight from Harvey, who despite being obsessed with winning always seems to manage to keep things just on the right side of the moral line. Harvey takes this moral optimism to new levels in “Endgame,” using his underlying faith in Cameron—who has proven to be morally bankrupt in the past—to finally get Ava Hessington cleared of murder charges for good.

It’s very interesting that someone as closed off as Harvey, someone so singularly focused, contains the capacity for subtlety required to see that Cameron’s corruption doesn’t encompass everything he is and ever was. Cameron started like Harvey: an idealistic lawyer who simply wanted to put the bad guys in jail and get a win. It was only gradually that Cameron’s idealism turned into something more sinister, and Harvey recognizes that he easily could have made the same choice, had it not been for Donna’s guidance.

So when Colonel Moriga refuses to change his story to the truth to implicate Stephen in the murders instead of Ava, Harvey turns to what he now sees as his only viable option: Cameron’s buried sense of justice. It’s to Suits’ credit that they have spent the time building up this world enough that they can use past client Clifford—all the way back from the first season finale!—to give Cameron just the nudge he needs to see that putting an innocent person behind bars just because it’s an easy win isn’t the moral thing to do.

This is where things got tricky for me. Harvey’s appeal to Cameron was wrapped up around morality and the “right thing to do,” and then immediately undercut but everyone’s decision to go along with Edward Darby lying under oath that he knew Stephen ordered the murders. Cameron got his win—and Harvey admitted he appealed to Cameron not just because it was the “right” thing to do, but because it also was an easier case to win with Stephen as the defendant—but Harvey and the firm certainly didn’t come out clean. In the end, justice was served, but at what cost?

For Darby, the cost was five years of probation and losing his license to practice law in the United States. It’s that last bit that certainly wipes away any sort of moral superiority Harvey and Jessica might have over their British counterparts, and it’s also precisely that bit that keeps Suits compelling. Harvey might be optimistic about the law, but he certainly isn’t afraid to use trickery within the law to get what he wants. In this case—spearheaded by Jessica, who is back with a vengeance these last few episodes—he used Cameron to slip the loss of license into the deal knowing that Darby had no choice but to sign it if he wanted to free Ava. It’s equivalent to one step forward, one step back for moral relativity, with everyone arriving somewhere in the middle when all the dust settles.

But now that Ava’s murder trial is finally put to rest, Harvey and Jessica move on to their next task: taking Darby’s side of the firm for all they’ve got. Harvey and Jessica as enemies were just never quite as interesting as Harvey and Jessica working together, as shown in their lovely scene in Harvey’s apartment tonight where they apologize for everything. Much has been made this season of Ava and Darby’s familial connection, and that’s what Harvey and Jessica are to each other as much as they might have been loath to admit it before: family. As tiresome as Harvey’s vow to take down Jessica seemed at the beginning of the season, the prospect of them teaming up again to fight a common enemy is as equally thrilling.

The one big question that remains for me this season is: Was the Ava Hessington case really worth the amount of time spent on it? The show got a significant amount of mileage out of what really could have been a one-off case in the past, but that mileage came with a bit of a price. Where the Daniel Hardman case had enough personal stakes for Jessica, Harvey, and Mike to find new, passionate ways to battle each week, there were several moments during Ava’s trial that just couldn’t possibly connect in the same way. Now that Pearson and Specter have a common enemy in Darby again, things are definitely looking up.

Stray observations:

  • Fine commenters, you all were right and I was so wrong. Darby had no idea Stephen ordered the murders. Definitely an overestimation on my part in last week’s review.
  • The dismantling of Stephen was far less satisfying than I expected, mostly because it seemed ridiculous that Donna got to drop the news of his firing and that he was being arrested. I know she’s Donna, and Donna is magic, but come on.
  • Louis’ story continues to frustrate me, simply because it feels repetitive and doesn’t fit into the rest of the narrative. From the previews for next week, he joins the gang in their fight against Darby, which has a lot of potential.
  • Also, Louis, just get a new cat. I promise you can love it just as much as you loved Nigel’s cat. 
Filed Under: TV, Suits

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