Wednesday, August 10, 2016

REVIEW: 'Suits' - Harvey Learns the Details of Sean Cahill's Plan to Get Mike Out of Prison Early in 'Trust'

USA's Suits - Episode 6.05 "Trust"

Mike works to gain Kevin's trust while Harvey enacts a risky plan. Jessica mends the firm's reputation as Rachel runs into a roadblock. Louis enlists Donna's help in a matter of the heart.

Last week's episode of Suits was all about Mike accepting that his family outside of prison is far more important than the friendship he has formed with Kevin on the inside. That bond is something he needed to make in order to survive. But it was frustrating to watch him be so committed to this character who has only been important for a few episodes. Yes, Mike has such a huge heart and doesn't want to hurt other people. But it was so odd that he had to be reminded of the life he is missing out on while in prison. Nevertheless though, he came to his senses and decided to take Sean Cahill up on his deal. And now, the show is actually providing the details of this story and what Mike will need to do to get out early. It's a very plot-focused story the show is telling at the moment. Mike needed to remain an important part of the show. His status as the co-lead couldn't change. Everything just had to adjust to his new prison environment. And yet, the bulk of the story has been about how to get him out of prison. So, the narrative has focused on whatever Mike needs to do to be released instead of actually reflecting on the crime that got him sent there in the first place.

It also doesn't help that the main story with Mike is starting to get way too complicated and contrived. Cahill needs Mike to inform on Kevin because Kevin's father-in-law is William Sutter - the arrogant trader Harvey turned down a couple of episodes ago - who Cahill is planning on indicting for illegal misdoings. On top of all of that, Harvey believes it's no coincidence that Mike and Kevin are cellmates in prison and that Kevin has been protecting Mike from Frank Gallo. He believes it's a favor that William has extended to him. And now, he has to represent him in order to pay it off. All of this is further complicated by Harvey being a part of the team colluding to take William down so that Mike can be set free. All of it just seems a little too illegal and complicated. There's no way that this is going to go according to plan. Also, what the heck is the plan? It feels like things just happen in order for the tension to be high and complex throughout the entire hour. That's keeping the show from delving deep into the actual emotions of the character dynamics. It's just making this stretch of the season very lackluster - albeit necessary if the ultimate goal is to get Mike out of prison as quickly as possible.

Meanwhile, Frank Gallo no longer feels like an important or necessary character. He had purpose at the start of the season. He was the reason why Mike was so terrified and in fear for his life in his first few days in prison. But now, that threat has essentially been neutralized. Frank is no longer purposefully inserting himself into Mike's life. He was simply a way to bring Mike and Kevin together. They bonded because of Frank's reign of terror. And now, that is taking precedence as the main driver of story. So where does that leave Frank? It means he's just in the corner complaining about not enough being done about his upcoming chance for parole. That's just a minor little annoyance that the characters have to put up with. It's not even an important detail throughout this hour. Plus, how in the world is it legal for Harvey to take Frank on as a client? How can the prosecutor who put a criminal away now represent him for parole? That just seems too far-fetched and ridiculous. It's something that could work if the character work was strong. But the increased focus on plot over characters has really made these problems especially glaring. Harvey only does this so that Mike can focus his attention on gaining Kevin's trust. That's something that he is successful with but only sets up more mysteries.

Kevin got drunk and was in a car accident that almost killed someone. That's why he's in prison. It's not a scandalous action that would greatly help Mike's chances of getting out. The actual crime isn't the reason why Mike needs to turn Kevin. His connection with his father-in-law is. That makes William more important as a character even though he is just a one-note character best described as corrupt and shady. Harvey is representing him and putting on quite a good show for the court and Cahill. It's fun to see Harvey and Cahill go back-and-forth. They are just going through the motions. Harvey wants Mike out of prison and is willing to do all of this just so that can happen while Cahill gets William for his crimes. It's just a lot of hassle without a whole lot of substance. It's the show going through the motions for an inevitable conclusion. So, it's great that Mike has this stronger friendship with Kevin now. Kevin is starting to open up to him because everyone is pressuring him to do so. But that's not that dramatically satisfying considering the importance prison should have on Mike right now.

It's perfectly understandable why the show is doing all of this as well. The thought process for the writers is very clear. But things go completely off the rails when it comes to Louis' new romantic subplot. It's such a horrendous story. The show wants to play it as Louis' hopelessly pining after the perfect girl for him. Instead, it comes across as a really unhealthy obsession that everyone is now indulging. Donna has the right mentality when he approaches her with these plans of manipulating this new woman into liking him. She rightfully suggests that he just ask her out and get to know each other on a date. If he is caught manipulating her like this, it would completely explode in his face. She sounds rational for a split second. And then, Louis somehow gets her to change her mind because he's Louis. The show is really embracing the broadest strokes with his character this season. It has been really weird and off-putting. It's strange when he blows up at Donna for not being able to find him a house in the Hamptons. But it's also strange that the show thinks that sounds like a good idea right now. Louis shouldn't be focusing on buying a crazy expensive mansion. He should be worried about making sure the firm continues to be a successful business. But apparently, the weight of that endeavor is completely on Jessica - though that happens mostly offscreen. It's just so frustrating and largely feels like something for Louis to do because he can't be too involved with the Mike story for some reason.

And finally, Rachel's story feels like it's coming together very slowly. It's still absolutely fantastic that she is being given her own story that is completely separated from Mike and Harvey. She's grown as a lawyer and it's about time we see that transformation. It's unclear how much law school she still has left to complete. But it's exciting to see her get this change to potentially get a death row inmate out of prison. And yet, complications are keeping this plot from moving too quickly. She met the guy, Leonard. She made promises she couldn't keep. And now, she's facing the pressures of how to help Leonard when no one else will. She has formed a personal attachment to him and believes she can get him released. But no one wants to help her because that process won't be cheap. Jessica needs to focus on securing as many paying clients as possible while Rachel's professor just doesn't believe there's enough evidence to move forward with an appeal. Of course, Rachel wins out in the end. She convinces Jessica to supervise her work. Again, all of this sounds like an exciting plot dynamic. But it's literally just taking up a brief amount of time this season. Nothing has really happened with it yet. It should be compelling once something finally happens. It just very slow actually getting to that point.

Some more thoughts:
  • "Trust" was written by Kyle Long and directed by Kate Dennis.
  • Mike lets the prison warden and Julius in on his deal. He even asks them to help him manipulate events so that he can gain Kevin's trust. Again, that seems more plot-motivated than something that would actually happen. In fact, this warden has been very accommodating to Mike and Harvey's outrageous demands.
  • Donna is able to find a house for Louis in the Hamptons. One that she knows he'll love even though he plans on changing it just to get closer with his new crush. The moment where Donna forces Louis to admit why he lashed out at her was strong. But it's so difficult to get invested in this plot because of the weird and nonsensical plotting.
  • Something is clearly going to happen between Jessica and the leader of the stock trader tenants. It's a forced dynamic that doesn't seem like something interesting or genuine. But it's obviously something the show wants us to care about because Jessica takes time from her busy day to tell him about why the firm's reputation is so poor.
  • Harvey finalizes the deal with Cahill over Mike and then takes William on as a client. He does both of these things without telling Jessica. It's an afterthought almost. He only goes to her when he needs a favor.
  • Harvey is keeping the loop small when it comes to who knows the precise details of Mike's deal with Cahill. Everyone basically knows that something is officially happening. But the exact arrangement largely remains between Harvey and Mike.