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Suits: “Normandy”

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Suits

“Normandy”

Season 2, Episode 15

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We’re one episode away from Suits’ season two finale, and instead of things feeling like they’re barreling toward a conclusion, everything is decidedly still up in the air. The 10 episode/six episode midseason split has always been kind of an odd one, storytelling-wise, and at this point, it feels like these six episodes just aren’t going to be enough time to do justice to all of the story threads introduced in this arc. No matter the status of the arc, though, the actual episode here just wasn’t one of the strongest ones of this stretch, forced to do a bit of emotional shorthand in order to get all the players in place for what promises to be a very eventful season finale.

It’s still full steam ahead for Pearson (sans Hardman) on the Folsom Foods discrimination case, but the added wrinkle this week is the return of Harvey’s old friend Dana Scott, whose firm wants to partner with them on all the cases. There’s a fun bit of back and forth while Harvey and Scotty dance around each other in an attempt to never be the one who just asks for what they want out of the partnership, ending up with everyone getting what they want in the end. Suits has a fascinating way of making every outcome go through at least four different permutations of a plan before it ends up working out for everyone in the end, and “Normandy” was no exception, even going so far as to use World War II battle analogies in order to determine their plan of attack.

But the actual mechanics of the discrimination case are really secondary here to what is happening with Pearson (sans Hardman) as a firm. Of course they were going to find a way to get the drop on Hardman (in this case by finding emails from the CEO proving he only promoted a qualified woman after she had a surgery preventing her from having children), but the true meat of the case is what all of this means for the firm as a whole. Scotty’s firm wants more than just 50 percent of the Folsom winnings; they want 50 percent of Pearson (sans Hardman) as a whole.

Here’s where things got a bit unsatisfying for me. Harvey’s immediate reaction to Scotty’s offer to merge and have him immediately become a name partner was to completely reject it, vowing to never allow it to happen if he can help it. Why? Because Harvey views it as some sort of defeat, someone “giving” him a partnership and him not earning it himself. Although Harvey is staunchly committed to taking care of his own business, and although he always feels like he has to “win” everything in his orbit, his immediate dismissal of this and of everything Jessica is trying to do to save the firm in the wake of the Hardman disaster feels dangerous for the character. Why is Harvey so adamantly against everything Jessica does? What pushed him to start distrusting her at all corners, when at first their relationship was so solid? I have no problem with the show becoming about the battle between Jessica and Harvey—hell, I welcome it—but there needs to be a bit more emotional oomph behind this before I can completely buy into the story they’re selling.

The story that felt like an actual miss for me tonight, however, was the battle between Mike and new fifth year Katrina Bennett. Katrina’s battle with Louis was good for her character, establishing her dedication, smarts, ruthlessness, and softness all at the same time. Here, both she and Mike come across as petty, hypocritical jerks, trading lowdown behaviors and barbed dialogue with no real upside for anyone involved. The biggest disservice, honestly, was to Mike’s character, who has slowly become a real asshole over the course of this season. It’s actually kind of fascinating to take the guy who was the audience’s point-of-view character at the beginning of the series and slowly harden him into something completely different, but it’s the way the writers are hardening Mike that rubs me the wrong way. Mike has a tricky line to walk—in that everything he does is predicated on a lie—so when he calls out other characters on any sort of dishonestly or shortcut, he comes across as a complete hypocrite. That’s exactly what happened here when he confronted Katrina about taking the job she was offered under less than ideal circumstances, which was exactly what he did when Harvey offered him the job.

The most emotional story of the night was Rachel and her rejection from Harvard Law School. It was fairly obvious she wasn’t going to get in (lest her character have to leave the show for two years) but it was very clever how the show used Louis’ relationship with admissions officer Sheila to frame the whole thing in a far more interesting way. The truth of Rachel being good but simply not good enough amongst the competition is a tough one; Louis hiding that truth and taking the blame himself so Rachel doesn’t get even more hurt is even tougher. Louis remains the most well-rounded, multifaceted character on the show, and it would be almost impossible to imagine Suits being as good as it is today without the growth of his character.

So here’s where we stand going into next week’s finale: Jessica has a merger offer on the table, but Harvey is going to do everything in his power to prevent this merger from happening. Will it fracture his relationship with Jessica for good? It feels like there’s a long way to go to get to there from here.

Stray observations:

  • Scotty is fine as a character, and her interactions with Harvey were intriguing in her first appearance, but everything on that plane felt forced to me. It’s not sexy when you have to try that hard.
  • I don’t know anything about paralegals, but do they really make copies? Don’t legal assistants do that?
  • Hardman is just never going to win against Jessica. You’d think he would have learned his lesson by now. The shot of him looking small and lost in his office after Jessica smacked him down was perfect.
Filed Under: TV, Suits

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