Is Mike Ross destined to become Harvey Specter? That’s the question Suits appears poised to answer as the show kicks off season four with a whole lot of change—and even more that’s exactly the same.
Season three was a bit of an unfocused mess, but it ended on a genuinely intriguing beat, as Mike quit Pearson Specter and embarked on a job as an investment banker. Making this leap feels crucial to the continued viability of the entire premise of Suits, as the longer Mike’s secret remained central to the show’s storytelling engine the more the mere mention of it began to grate. With Mike in an entirely different setting (complete with his very own Donna-esque assistant) the dynamics shift just enough to make things feel fresh.
But where Mike’s move giveth, it also taketh away. This isn’t a show that feels comfortable blowing up everything in its orbit, or straying too far outside of its comfort zone. Mike’s office is almost a carbon copy of Pearson Specter, another shiny modern glass monstrosity filled with beautiful people in impeccable clothes. Mike’s assistant Amy is clever and preternaturally competent and endlessly sassy, just like everyone’s favorite redhead. Mike himself is now arriving at work in a hired car and wearing three-piece suits and Windsor knots. Essentially, Mike’s entire world is exactly the same just in a different location, which is symbolically rich but practically quite boring to watch.
It doesn’t help that Mike and Harvey’s world immediately intersects due to a mutual interest-—or conflict of interest on Harvey’s end—in the same company. For Mike’s part, he needs a to catch a “whale” in order to impress his new boss, but he wants to do it with a twist: Instead of taking over companies to rip them apart and sell to the highest bidder, he wants his firm to take over a company to help them get stronger. This puts him in direct opposition to Harvey’s interests, as Harvey gets approached by a new client who wants to take over the same company and strip it down for parts.
It’s the typical Suits case (big money, high-powered people, virtually incomprehensible mechanics) and it immediately sets the tone for the season by setting Mike and Harvey at opposite sides of a big battle, with both certain they will win. Harvey versus Mike is something the show has hinted at in the past within the Pearson Specter world, but it’s never been as overtly textual as it is here, and it’s definitely the story arc that will drive the season. This isn’t a bad thing, but it’s a bit frustrating to see Mike’s world so immediately and completely intertwined with Harvey’s. Suits’ world is incredibly insular—even the clients really only mostly exist as empty vessels for the main cast to bounce off of—and moving Mike to an entirely new environment is a great chance for the show the chance to release some of the stranglehold. By making Mike’s office a clone of Pearson Specter and then immediately forcing him to face Harvey in a huge case, it’s almost as of the show is declaring it has no interest in broadening its world at all, which is a bit disappointing.
Other than Mike and Harvey’s impending battle to the death, the biggest thing Suits is introducing in season four is the promise of a big, juicy battle for Pearson Specter itself. US Attorney Eric Woodall made himself known as an enemy of the firm in the season three finale and the specter of that encounter remains, as Jessica and Harvey are given the heads up that the SEC will be coming after them, via harassment of their clients. This mostly feels like an excuse to give Jessica a storyline for once, as the person they hire to take on the SEC internally turns out to be none other than Jessica’s new romantic partner, played by D.B. Woodside. Jessica’s personal life is largely unexplored by the show, so this could either be an opportunity for Gina Torres to do some great work or be royally embarrassed by some ridiculous interoffice nonsense. With this show, it could really go either way.
- Seriously, Mike’s assistant Amy is so much like Donna that it hurts.
- I am not sure where this weird sexual innuendo between Jessica and Harvey came from but it is highly unwelcome. Keep it friendly, even in jest, kids.
- Louis and Katrina were a strange little distracting runner throughout the episode, especially because Katrina now appears to have no purpose on this show except as Louis’ cheerleader.
- Not only is Pearson Specter’s newest lawyer Jessica’s lover, but their newest client is none other than the married man Rachel once had an affair with. I have notes, and most of them are “people on this show should just never have sex.”
- Michael Gross is a welcome presence as the head of the company at the center of this season’s big deal.
- So many Game of Thrones references. We get it, you know what Game of Thrones is.