Tuesday, August 13, 2013

'Suits' Review - 3.05 Shadow of a Doubt

On the newest episode of USA's Suits, lines between the personal and the professional get blurred when Harvey and Stephen work together on Ava's case; and Mike invites Rachel to join him on a case that gets complicated when his secret falls in the line of fire.

Suits has increasingly become a giant chess game filled with people either going behind or stabbing someone in the back. While this often creates some great dramatic moments, it also makes it that much harder for the characters - and the audience - to tell if someone's action are truly genuine or have a double meaning. This concept is perfectly embody in the final scene in "Shadow of a Doubt" where Jessica comes to Harvey with the proposal of actually putting his name on the door. And yet, Harvey is very obviously skeptical - thinking that she just wants him back on her side. He knows of how upset she's been about being forced to play second fiddle to Edward Darby. In his mind, this could all very easily be a plot to rid the firm of Darby. Jessica says it's not and that this is her gesture to apologize over the whole merger. But it's hard for Harvey to see things that way because of everything that both he and Jessica have done to get ahead - no matter who they have to stab in the back. Gina Torres was phenomenal in this scene - as well as her first one-on-one with Michelle Fairley. She brought genuine and humbleness to that moment which made me believe that her action was honorable and truthful. She is a leader and not a follower. But it's moments like these where she steps back to see just how much she has hurt others that makes her a great character - and the show for actually recognizing it and putting it out there as it will most definitely effect Harvey's ongoing plot to oust her.

As I noted last week, the Stephen-Donna relationship could be interesting through the perspective of how it would effect her job abilities. Donna has always exuded this unobtainable quality and to see her fall so into Stephen so quickly is a little disappointing. But hey, at least she brings it up to Harvey. He responds just how I thought he should have in last week's review. It's her personal life - as long as it doesn't interfere with work, why should he care? But, of course it's gonna interfere with work because that's just how these plots are done. The show has always hinted at a romantic history between Harvey and Donna but it has never explicitly come out and said that it did, in fact, happen. If we had the knowledge of this part of their dynamic, her relationship with Stephen and how it effects her's with Harvey would hit much better in the scenes between Stephen and Harvey as they dealt with the fallout of trying to get Cameron off Ava's case. But the show is going back in time again for next week's episode - which could possibly address these questions. So I may feel completely differently one week from now.

Elsewhere, Mike and Rachel tackled their very first case together - and the outcome opened a very pivotal conversation between the two. The overall case was quite the flop but it did produce one decent moment. Rachel - to the case's only real guest character - blurts out how "the fear of him getting caught is gonna cast a shadow over every moment for the rest of your life together." And that is exactly what is weighing down on her relationship with Mike. These two will never be truly happy together until Mike's truth is exposed. But wondrously, Rachel actually became a meaningful character again tonight - simply not just Mike's girlfriend. She is trying hard to keep his secret but she is not used to lying for him especially to her parents. Her mom picks up on this right away but doesn't insist on knowing. Mike is a good man but is lying for him enough to keep her committed to this relationship? The Stanford issue comes up to delay the inevitable real conversation of how far she is willing to go to protect Mike. But it is a meaningful character moment that should produce some good results in the coming weeks.

Nigel returned this week to continue to mess with Louis. And yes, it was very humorous. But nothing really happened with the story. It started out promising as Louis confronted him about how he was managing the associates. That led to a discussion of how the two of them vary. And then, Louis got distracted by a cat - and the cat was the focus for the rest of this little plot. The show has drawn just how similar these two men are - and even when they disagree about how things should be done they understand the other and their mannerisms. Nothing new was added to this dynamic which just made it feel kinda pointless by the hour's end. And then, there was the recurring gag about Louis talking to Donna about her glow caused by having sex with Stephen as he is completely oblivious to it. Again, very humorous but lacking of anything of real substance.

Some more thoughts:
  • It was nice to see Wendell Pierce pop back up as Rachel's father. But he and Megan Gallagher merely existed as expositional plot points to get Mike and Rachel into their fight.
  • Mike was bummed about being bumped for the big meeting in favor of Stephen - and yet he also had the meeting for his other case all lined up already? How was he planning on doing both?
  • So, the firm will now be called Pearson, Darby & Spector. Why do I have a feeling that it will be back to just two names by the season finale?
  • Mud baths and cats were both clearly pointed out as quirks of Louis' earlier this season. So, the reveal that Nigel likes them too felt like the show thought that out.
  • Ava and Cameron both felt low-key in this episode. Which is weird once you think about how much of the main plot revolved around their serial story of the season.