Wednesday, September 4, 2019

REVIEW: 'Suits' - Harvey and Samantha Delve Into Their Complex Pasts During a Road Trip in 'Scenic Route'

USA's Suits - Episode 9.07 "Scenic Route"

Harvey and Samantha go on a road trip. Louis gets in over his head with a potential client.

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.

"Scenic Route" was written by Garrett Schabb and directed by Emile Levisetti

The journey ultimately proves to be the most significant destination for Harvey and Samantha here. They have gone through so much professional turmoil at the firm lately. Mike's return sent them clashing over what they were willing to do to win. Harvey got more emotional than he has been in a long time because of that deep-rooted history. Meanwhile, Samantha needed to prove that she was just as good as the lawyer who is infamous around town. Everyone knows who Harvey Spector is. The same can't be said for the other lawyers at the firm even if their names are also on the wall. Samantha is always out to prove something. That ultimately got her fired. Faye could no longer tolerate the actions she was willing to take. Despite all of that though, Harvey was willing to step up to be there for Samantha during her time of need. Her upbringing doesn't match perfectly with his. And yet, they remain kindred spirits who know how to hold onto anger for so much of their lives. They know exactly how destructive that can be. Samantha grew up abused by the foster care system. She eventually found a place to call home. She even found meaningful connections in her professional career. But she has long been plagued with feelings of not being good enough or wanted. That all stems from her parents' decision to abandon her. She has never known why. She wants those answers now in the hopes that it can clarify things for her life in the present. Harvey going on this journey with her brings up many painful memories of the past. He isn't like many of the abusive men she has known before. He is cool and supportive. He wants her to get exactly what she needs out of this journey to track down her biological father. But again, the story isn't about the conversation she has with him. Instead, it's all about Harvey and Samantha using this experience together to share their most genuine feelings in the hopes of moving to a better place in the future. It won't magically fix things at the firm. But it's also nice for them to escape that drama for a little while. They can be defined by their lives outside of work. Sure, they still have fun at Louis' expense after learning that he has been pretending to be Harvey all day long. That is a purely comedic subplot because the main story is so dramatic and emotional. As such, Louis' adventure goes to some pretty broad places without the eventual payoff actually being seen onscreen. Instead, it just brings Harold back into the fray with his desire to return to the firm where he always felt the happiest. That's something that Louis can give to him even though he creates a ton of problems throughout this day because of his ego. This isn't a typical day for Harvey. But it's enough to entice Louis into doing some crazy things. Harvey and Samantha do that right back to him. That is a moment of levity on this journey. But it still builds to those dramatic beats in which Harvey opens up about his childhood and how he was able to let go of the anger he long carried towards his mother. He can now see her as a fully complicated woman who made mistakes but deserves a relationship with her son. It's meaningful that he calls and values that support at the end of this hour. Meanwhile, Samantha gets some clarity. Her father never knew she existed. Her mother never told him and she died a few years into Samantha's life. That's how her story started. But she inherited so much from them. That is significant. It hopefully brings her the clarity she has long sought out. Harvey may push her into doing things she doesn't want to do. But he does so out of a sense of love and wanting to help Samantha get through this difficult experience. They both return to the city with a newfound perspective and the hopes that things are finally getting better in their lives. In fact, it's really starting to become clear that the show is ending. Donna returns the picture that Harvey always loved in his office but lost a few seasons ago. She too is magical and brilliant. That shows that these friends know each other so deeply. That is the greatest strength of the show in an hour like this.