Wednesday, September 11, 2019

REVIEW: 'Suits' - Andy Malik Returns to Target Harvey Again While Louis Is Determined to Help His Sister in 'Prisoner's Dilemma'

USA's Suits - Episode 9.08 "Prisoner's Dilemma"

An old foe forces Harvey to account for past actions. Esther has a problem only Louis can solve.

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.

"Prisoner's Dilemma" was written by Ethan Drogin and directed by Julian Holmes

The third time does not turn out to be the charm for Andy Malik in his vendetta against Harvey. In fact, the outcome of this case is the most consequential for him so far. Of course, the audience can also argue that his appearances largely follow the same rhythm. He has a personal need to defeat Harvey in court. His attacks have grown in severity. However, the reason why they may be so valuable and intense is because they unearth actions from the past. Eric Roberts returns as Charles Forstman for the first time since the fifth season here. He has gained new ammunition against Harvey and the firm because he happened to be in the same prison as William Sutter. This isn't exactly a story of past threats coming together as one antagonist that may be too powerful for anyone at the firm to take down. It's simply Charles relaying some information to Malik after Sutter dies. It's a legal battle that quickly ensnares Harvey and Sean Cahill. They are absolutely guilty of what Malik is accusing them of doing. They did conspire to send a client to prison in order to get Mike released. Kevin Miller was the only other person who knew the details of this crime. Sure, he doesn't share everything with Malik. But the attack is legitimate. However, it's a familiar structure. It's a story that makes it seem as if Harvey and Cahill are about to lose everything they have worked hard to achieve in their respective careers. And yet, it doesn't quite go that far to depict a conclusion for the series that is absolutely bleak in terms of what could happen to these characters. They still remain powerful with the law on their side. However, Faye continues to see Harvey as a snake who is guilty of any action that anyone accuses him of doing. She believes Malik's claims solely because he has an affidavit from Kevin Miller. That's all it took for her to once again look at Harvey as someone who doesn't deserve to practice law. It may be better for Cahill to have her as his attorney. That would ensure there is never even the appearance of the conspiracy continuing. But Harvey and Cahill need each other. They may not enjoy seeing each other anymore. They always bring bad news. And yet, it's a relationship built on respect even when they can both lose themselves from time to time. Cahill understands that he can't be seen as too eager to put the pressure on someone. He doesn't want to be charged additionally for witness tampering through intimidation. That's how the people of this world operate though. Everything is basically told with the understanding that it could be seen as a threat. Malik may have a very low opinion of Donna. He simply sees her as someone who would do whatever Harvey orders and isn't capable of any thought herself. But she is just as active a fighter as everyone else in the firm. She is the one who helps remind everyone of their humanity especially when there is so much on the line. That is a vastly important quality. There is also the reassurance that everything will work out in the end for the various careers of the main characters. Malik is the one sent to jail for misrepresenting evidence in order to come after someone he has a proven and malicious vendetta towards. That's really the only thing that defines him as a character. So, he probably shouldn't be seen again. Plus, things have as much resolution as they need with Cahill. But it ultimately doesn't matter how well Harvey's professional career is going. There is still devastation because he returns home to the news that his mother has died from a sudden heart attack. That is shocking and inherently tragic. Their bond has meant so much over the last few seasons. He worked hard to get to a good place with her. And now, that connection is just gone. Family means so much to these characters. They view the firm as a family that has to protect each other. Louis, Samantha and Katrina are all there to help Esther after she wants to tank a potential merger headed up by the man who sexually assaulted her fifteen years ago. These people care about each other. It's important to celebrate the victories in court. It's also more moving to watch the victories in their personal lives and to be there when things take a turn towards the inevitable tragedy of life.