Tuesday, August 27, 2013

REVIEW: 'Suits' Stages a Cat Fight and an Actual Fist-to-Fist Smack Down in 'She's Mine'

USA's Suits - Episode 3.07 She's Mine

Harvey and Stephen clash over Ava's case; Harvey and Jessica strategize; and Louis gets Rachel's help with a broken contract.

So much of Suits' third season has been about the Ava Hessington case and the parallels it has drawn to the inner workings of Pearson Darby Spector. Harvey and Jessica are trying to understand how the number one couldn't know what the number two was doing when they're in the same predicament. But "She's Mine" shows that the roots of this story are much more widespread than they initially appeared - connecting her murder trial, Harvey and Jessica's issues over the merger, and all of Stephen's dealings together seamlessly. Everything has been connected all along. So while the individual pieces may not have always been perfectly calibrated, the reveal of the truth is immensely satisfying. Harvey starts the episode threatening to beat the shit out of Stephen. And by the end, he does just that. And we gasp and applaud him for it because Stephen is the root of all their problems and thusly is entitled to a beating.

That feels like the appropriate response now but it puts a huge wrinkle into the murder trial. Like it or not, Stephen still works for the same firm and it's gonna be awfully hard to work around that. But that's all based on whether or not Jessica and Harvey want to stay in business with Darby. Jessica thought she left all these dirty maneuverings behind when they got rid of Daniel Hardman. Now she has two partners that she is not sure if she can completely trust. Their actions may just be for whatever is more beneficial to themselves than to her or the entire firm. She has a longer history with Harvey but he betrayed her with his plan to oust her. Like she astutely alludes, he reveals the truth to make himself feel better not because it was the righteous thing to do. He has been against the merger since the beginning and the idea that this plot could turn Jessica against Darby did cross his mind. Jessica knows this but doesn't have a lot of time to react when all the new developments come rapidly in Ava's case. The war between the three partners is brewing over the edge now and which ones emerge victoriously is perhaps the thread I'm most looking forward in the final three episodes of the third season's summer run.

Also, Sarah Rafferty gave a great performance in this episode. This hour has been the best use of her this season. Yes, even better than last week's flashback hour. This season called for her to show off a romantic side. She let herself open up to the idea of romance with Stephen which in turn dig up some past feelings from Harvey. Her loyalties are to him and she wouldn't do anything to betray him. But she just wanted to have some fun because she didn't want to just keep waiting for Harvey. She got with Stephen and was betrayed by him. He only had his best interests at heart - coming to the states only to make sure that Harvey wouldn't dig up the actual truth. His constant pestering in Harvey's handling of the case didn't also make sense before but with this newfound information, the logic follows through. Donna is the first to catch on to him and promptly dumps their relationship. Her walking down the hall was a perfectly done moment by Rafferty. Silent moments are some of the hardest to nail and yet the pain expressed in her face was flawless as well her immediate reaction to running into Mike.

Louis and Rachel staging a mock trial against Nigel for custody of Mikado the cat was perhaps the most humorous Louis subplot ever. And yet, it was rooted in deep human emotions and reactions. This has been a terrible season for Louis - getting beat down at everything he tries. He lost the associates to Nigel and couldn't win over Mike as his personal associate. He did get Katrina but she is never there for him in moments like these - instead choosing to go to Barcelona. He latched onto this animal and doesn't want to let go. Where he reveals his true feelings to Rachel is a terrific scene for Rick Hoffman. He needs her help and even though he hasn't been able to help her in the past, she's still the only one who can understand him and want to help him. The two have always been a great pairing and they ground a story in reality when it seems like it shouldn't. But the plot never forgets about Nigel and his feelings in all of this. It's not clearly cut on which owner should get Mikado and that makes things inherently more interesting. And it was great to see Harold return and for Rachel to prove herself as a great lawyer. In the end, everyone gets what they wanted. Louis gets the associates back. Nigel gets his cat. And Rachel gets a win and is accepted at Columbia (not Stanford!). All of these little arcs have been simmering throughout the season and it's nice to see them get some satisfaction and resolution when the larger story of the season keeps getting murkier by the second. 

Some more thoughts:
  • Rachel: "Harold, you're under oath." Harold: "No, I'm not."
  • Donna: "Watch what you're doing!" Mike: "I wasn't actually moving."
  • Louis: "And check on the status of the 'Litt up' trademark."
  • Another low key episode for Gary Cole but that scene with Mike in his office trying to get the information is pretty great once you realize what Mike's plan was all along.
  • Stephen better be bruised and broken in next week's episode. You can't just break a mirror like that and then be perfectly fine next week.
  • It's interesting that the show has set up this deeply personal connection between Darby and Ava and yet deliberately hasn't had the two in a scene yet.
  • I really hope that Mikado is the correct way to spell the cat's name.