Wednesday, July 24, 2019

REVIEW: 'Suits' - Faye Makes Her Presence at the Firm Known By Noting All the Management Issues From the Past in 'Special Master'

USA's Suits - Episode 9.02 "Special Master"

The firm faces the repercussions of their actions. Samantha enlists Katrina to help an old friend.

In 2018, there were 495 scripted shows airing amongst the linear channels and streaming services. The way people are consuming content now is so different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, there is less necessity to provide ample coverage of each specific episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site is making the move to shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the next episode of USA's Suits.

"Special Master" was written by Genevieve Sparling and directed by Michael Smith

The firm has survived several perilous scandals across the years. Collectively though, they may paint a dire picture of a firm that is constantly in disarray. One that is being severely mismanaged and deserves to be placed under a microscope by a regulatory body. Now, the audience may understand that there are certain things the show needed to do in order to remain dramatic and entertaining to watch across nine seasons. The show wants to play things realistically in saying that all of these scandals should be troubling to anyone looking from afar. The scandal with Robert being disbarred is really just the straw that broke the camel's back. Faye Richardson comes in as special master for the bar with the awareness that it is so much more than just that one problem. The firm is constantly changing up its managerial structure. Numerous name partners have been disbarred and one junior partner was sent to prison. Faye may only be armed with speculation at this point. And yet, her first days at the firm show an environment that is very hostile to outsiders. Now, the audience may always be sympathetic to the plight of the protagonists. We may always want Harvey, Louis and company to succeed no matter what. Faye is just an effective antagonist because she serves as an individual armed with a convincing argument that none of these characters should continue practicing the law in the way that they have for years. The show has always delighted in how far it could push the line. It deals with the brutal realities of corporate law and how these shady deals can be made in backrooms in the hopes of lining one's own pocket. Harvey was more than fine hiring a man without a law degree. He is still dealing with the consequences of that action as well. He may have finally woken up to the fact that Donna is the best thing to ever happen to his life. And yet, that may not be enough to save him from complete destruction. At this moment, Louis is the one who is lashing out the most though. It is delightful to watch as he and Alex blow off steam by going bowling. But that is only a momentary distraction. Instead, his precise leadership is called into question by Faye. At one point in time, he may have been seen as the stabilizing force needed to save the partners from going to war with one another over control of the firm. But now, they are united against a common threat and his tactics are exposed as being morally corrupt and toxic. Benjamin isn't fired because of what he thought he had to do to appease Louis. But Louis is forced out as managing partner. That certainly seems like the right action. The audience may really be finding it easy to agree with everything that Faye is trying to do. Of course, it still seems inevitable that the firm will find some way out of this situation without having to destroy their business in the process. Sure, the rest of the partners are deceitful with Faye as well. They just don't immediately cross the line in the same way that Louis does. Donna and Harvey conspire to keep Thomas from giving an exit interview to Faye, while Samantha helps a friend whose case Faye doesn't want the firm to spend resources on. Now, both of these stories seem underdeveloped in significant ways. Samantha's has an important discussion about PTSD while Harvey and Donna's seems like it comes to a solution that could have happened from the beginning. It shows that Faye is willing to listen and respect the opinions of these partners. She hears Louis when he lashes out about being questioned and demeaned in front of his peers and staff. But right now, the dysfunction is fully on display in order to increase the stakes of the storytelling.