Thursday, March 20, 2014

REVIEW: 'Suits' - Harvey Goes Up Against an Old Rival as Louis Wages War Against Scottie in 'Moot Point'

USA's Suits - Episode 3.13 Moot Point

Harvey goes one-on-one against an old law school rival (Patrick Fischler), with an assist from Mike, while he and Jessica try not to get caught in the crossfire of a battle that erupts between Louis and Scottie.

It always feels like a nice breathe of fresh air whenever Suits moves past the frequent plots about the exposing of the truth about Mike. This is the most enjoyable episode of the 2014 episodes so far because it just lets its characters interact with each other in interesting ways. The ending brings up the issue with Mike again but in a way that feels more earned than Louis' attempts to learn the secret in the two previous episodes.

As a way to thank Harvey for getting Louis to move past his secret, Mike gives him the only gift he can't get himself - the chance to beat his old law school rival in court. Patrick Fischler is a fun character actor and he is fun here. He's a wonderful adversary to Harvey and Mike because both sides are aware of the tactics that each other like to use. Trying to predict what the other counsel is going to do is part of the appeal of legal shows. And it's definitely fun here. It leads to fun and playful banter as well as a moment of clarity for Harvey as he thinks settling is the better option at one point.

But of course, in the end, Mike and Harvey find out what he is really up and get everything their client wants - including an apology from a Fortune 500 company. That's a huge win. Unfortunately, Mike can't fully celebrate in that victory because being in the spotlight could shine an ever bigger light on his past. It's an idea that the show and Mike have known about all along. And yet, it feels meaningful and tragic when it's brought up again here. It's a huge win but he can't really be apart of it in the public's eyes. In his current arrangement at the firm, there really is no growth for him because that could risk everyone's legal careers. And as he good as Mike is, a life behind-the-scenes isn't exactly what he aspires to be. He aspires to be Harvey. They have a fun rapport for the entire series and think in similar ways. He has a need to be praised as much as Harvey and yet can't simply because he's not really a lawyer. And that's the greatest threat to the grand premise of the show ever. The fact that he can't get that promotion that Rachel imagines for him. That he'll spend his life working at this firm and enjoying the work that he does for others and with the people at the office without any knowing how much work he put in. But ultimately, if he wants recognition, the truth will have to come out.

And perception is also a big story for the B-plot with Scottie and Louis. Scottie wants to hit the ground running and prove to the entire firm that she is a force to be reckoned with and not simply Harvey's girlfriend. Louis on the other hand has stricken that fear in his co-workers. The two go back and forth and argue over the bylaws that only they have a full understanding of. She is his equal in a way and demands that respect. When crossed, he heads straight to war instead of trying to see where the other side is coming from. The resolution of the story ultimately comes down to two decisions being made above their need for friendship. Louis forces Harvey to get Scottie off the case and he compiles even though it throws a huge wrench into both relationships.

Some more thoughts:
  • "Moot Point" was written by Daniel Arkin and directed by Kevin Bray.
  • So, Rachel spent the entire episode lounging around the apartment moving furniture and looking at the thoughtful picture Mike got her, right?
  • It's nice to know that both Mike and Donna would get the same kind of gift for Rachel.
  • Louis to Scottie: "How dare you quote me to me."