Recaps

Two Takes: Suits “Donna”

Photo Credit: Shane Mahood/USA Network

As much as we want to start with the end of the latest Suits, we’re going to refrain for a minute and set this Two Takes up properly. Then we’ll get to that bit of cliffhanger goodness.

The midseason finale featured some formidable teams:

Photo Credit: Shane Mahood/USA Network

  • Team Batman and Robin (Harvey and Mike) vs. Deputy Attorney General Andrew Malik
  • Team Zane (Robert and Rachel) vs. the dastardly Arthur Kittridge
  • Team Alex and Louis (too early for a nickname) vs. Alex’s former boss Eli Gould

Plus, this episode is called “Donna” and she’s formidable all on her own, although in this episode, we saw many sides of Ms. Paulsen.

Photo Credit: Shane Mahood/USA Network

  • She was vulnerable. She must have felt like the weak link since Malik targeted her and wanted her on the stand.
  • She was pissed off. Not just at herself. She was really mad at Louis when he backed out of the mock trial. He was supposed to prepare her to testify.
  • She was crafty. She came up with the name of the person who helped Andrew drum up some fake evidence (Holly). Who needs fake news when someone’s revengenda was furthered by trumped up evidence (see what we did there?).
  • She was also bold…that last scene with Harvey is all the proof we need.

Okay, enough with the setting up. Let’s get to talking “Donna.”

Tina: Cortney, Cortney, Cortney. I must say it’s been awhile since an episode of Suits did this. It made me feel the feels, as they say. For so many reasons. But I don’t want to bury the lede any more. I have to start with the cliffhanger.

Photo Credit: Shane Mahood/USA Network

Harvey and Mike won this battle but they haven’t won the war just yet, because that pitbull Malik is going after Jessica. We’ll get to that in a bit, I want to concentrate on Harvey walking up to Donna to give her the good news that they won. What did she do? She stepped right up to him and kissed him. And she said:

I’m sorry, Harvey. I had to know.

And then she walked out. All episode long, there was Harvey/Donna talk. Mike the big #Darvey shipper that he is even told Donna to tell Harvey how she feels. And now we have to sit on that kiss for a few months until Suits returns? How fair is that? That Aaron Korsh (Suits creator) is a cruel, cruel man. Here’s the thing. What do you think that kiss meant? I hope it means, this is how I feel about you, the ball’s in your court. Or maybe even this is what you’re missing. I don’t want the show to come back and that kiss meant something else. I’m sure you have some thoughts. What did she have to know?

Cortney: Thank goodness! I was worried you were going to make us start somewhere else and save the end (best?) for last, which just wouldn’t do this episode justice. It also just wouldn’t have been nice to make our readers (or me) wait! I do have so many thoughts, but I’m still wrapping my head around what they are.

Photo Credit: Shane Mahood/USA Network

Donna can’t have wanted to know whether she and Harvey could be together or whether he felt that way about her if she just kissed him and walked off, right? That wouldn’t provide any answers. So did she want to know what kissing him would be like? Did she want to know if there was a spark? Did she want to know how he’d react? I want to know what she needed to know! Lol. What do you think it meant?

Photo Credit: Shane Mahood/USA Network

But before you answer, I have to agree with you, this is the most emotionally invested I’ve felt in a while. While this show always has a personal side, it is also heavily shrouded in the legal side….but something about this episode tied them both together in a way that the feels were definitely being felt. And I honestly don’t know how the heck I’m going to wait until it returns…especially since we don’t even know when that is! I need to mark my calendar and start counting down the days stat!

Photo Credit: Shane Mahood/USA Network

One other thing before I toss it back to you, you mentioned Mike’s speech to Donna about how she pushed him to tell Rachel his feelings and how she needs to do the same for Harvey — I loved this. So much. Something about it just felt so genuine and real and raw. And we are so used to Donna giving people advice, especially personal, but as you mentioned, she was vulnerable this episode and it was time for someone (or someones, we’ll get to the Louis speech later) to step in and be her Donna. Mission accomplished.

Tina: Well, I don’t know what Donna wants to know. That’s why I asked you first. Maybe she just wanted to know if they still had a connection. Maybe she wanted to know if there was a potential future for them. Whatever she wanted to know I’m happy she took the initiative. Now I want to know what Harvey’s thinking right now. It’s going to be a long hiatus.

Photo Credit: Shane Mahood/USA Network

Another emotional moment for me came after Andrew let Harvey know since he didn’t succeed in railroading Harvey using his mentor Cameron Dennis, he was going to go after his other mentor, Jessica Pearson. She set herself up to be vulnerable when she showed up in court to save Mike Ross’ life, essentially. Everybody knew she knew Mike was a fraud but until now, nobody did anything with the information.

Photo Credit: Shane Mahood/USA Network

When Harvey went home, Jessica was waiting for him. I love, love, LOVE scenes between Gabriel Macht and Gina Torres. The connection Harvey and Jessica have is so special. Of course, the woman is unflappable. She knew this outcome was possible. And she really didn’t care that much because, as she said to Harvey, Chicago won’t care about what happened in New York. Harvey’s upset because he can’t lead a firm that bears the name of a lawyer that’s been disbarred. So Jessica tells him he knows what he has to do. And Harvey says he’s not ready. Their attachment to each other is remarkable. And the lengths they go to protect each other is even more remarkable. This moment feels like they’re planting the seed for whatever happens in next year’s season seven finale, the one where they set up the potential Jessica Pearson spinoff.

Cortney: The nerve! I honestly couldn’t believe that Andrew went after Jessica, but then again, it’s clear he has no boundaries and will stop at nothing to take down Harvey, so I really shouldn’t be surprised. That being said, Jessica was pure Jessica and her measured response to this “crisis” just reminded me of why I adore her. We knew her taking the fall would come back around eventually and like you said, this feels like a big set-up for what’s to come.

Photo Credit: Shane Mahood/USA Network

Nevertheless, I love her and Harvey together as well. They get each other in a way most don’t. And for some reason, that connection feels even stronger for me now after we’ve seen the flashbacks of their early days and learned that what is almost wasn’t. And did I mention I’m dying to see Jessica on the stand? I cannot wait for her and Andrew to come face to face.

Speaking of being on the stand, how did you feel watching Donna, who wasn’t suppose to have to take the stand per Louis’ grand plan, being interrogated by Andrew? And what about her reaction to Louis afterwards?

Photo Credit: Shane Mahood/USA Network

Tina: I know Louis had his reasons for backing out of interrogating Donna in front of everyone at PSL, but she needed him to be brutal with her. To prepare her for the slaughter, which is what ended up happening on the stand. She was blindsided by the fact Andrew didn’t go after her for the Cameron Dennis memo scandal, he went after her for what she’d done in her PSL past — for shredding a document during the Coastal Motors Case. See if they had held the mock trial, this is something that could have possibly come up and she would have been prepared to answer it properly.

Photo Credit: Shane Mahood/USA Network

Also, Andrew is completely and utterly despicable. He implied Donna had slept her way to COO. Or that she didn’t get to COO because of her qualifications, after all she was a theater major. He was condescending, smug, overly arrogant, and more importantly, just plain wrong. Unfortunately, Donna couldn’t come up with a solid way to defend herself and her history with PSL. I think she was more mad with herself than she was with Louis, but she was plenty mad at Louis, too. And I was okay with that. What did you think of his apology and his explanation for why he didn’t want to question her about her feelings for Harvey?

Cortney: You mean this explanation?

Louis: I was writing down questions and kept imagining someone putting my life on trial and I just couldn’t take it. So I took the coward’s way out.

If I’m being honest, I didn’t like it. I get that he was broken hearted over Sheila, but he needed to be there for Donna. That being said, I do love when Louis digs deep and gets in touch with his real feelings (much in thanks to Dr Lipschitz, even though their session was BRUTAL this week) and this was no exception. His speech admitting how he was counting down the minutes until the love of his life marries someone else and all he wants to do is tell her that she should be with him was stellar. And the music they chose to play in the background only made the feels that much stronger. (Dean Lewis “Waves”) This scene overall was so so powerful, from his delivery to Donna’s reaction…it all set up what she was about to do so perfectly. What did you think about Louis priming her for that big final moment?

Tina: Louis mentioned Sheila being his soulmate and how he wished he could have told her the man she was meant to be with was standing right in front of her face. I mean, I don’t know how Donna could have heard Louis’ words and not have applied them to her own life. Louis may not have been there for her for the mock trial, but what he said in that moment made an impact on her and helped her decide to take action.

Photo Credit: Shane Mahood/USA Network

Louis also helped somebody else out in this episode. Alex’s former boss, no not the one that was removed from his position a couple of weeks ago. It was the other one, Eli Gould. Gould came after Alex’s biggest client, Pfizer. But it was all just a ploy to get Alex back at his old firm and screw Harvey Specter in the process. I like how Team Louis/Alex worked together to solve this problem. It further solidified Alex’s place in the family and Louis, for once, didn’t have to clean things up because he effed something up royally.

I did enjoy how Louis tried to enlist Lipschitz as a fake German owner of a pharmaceutical company. It was a big deal for Louis to turn to his shrink considering their last session went horribly, horribly wrong. Unfortunately, the good doctor didn’t play along, he didn’t feel it was right ethically. Thoughts on this particular story before we get to Team Zane? Oh and I do have a comment about Harvey and Paula, too. Don’t let me forget about that.

Cortney: I think you covered it all as far as Alex and Louis. I too LOVED the fact Louis accepted Alex as “family” and fought for him just as hard as he would anyone else. I also thought Alex was particularly badass this episode. He’s never really been a pushover, but something about him in this episode really solidified him as the kind of lawyer who belongs as PSL…or should I say SL? Now I’m eager to see him move past all this old bosses’ business and finally start working cases with the team.

Photo Credit: Ben Mark Holzberg/USA Network

And now, on to Zane and Zane. Donna storyline aside, this was my next favorite. Last week, I asked for Robert Zane flashbacks and this week, we got them in spades. Or should I say, we got “Robbie” flashbacks, which was even better. We had a chance to see young Robert Zane working to knock down walls and earn his stars as a lawyer while watching his sister Jasmine being mistreated by a sexist, racist future-CEO.

And can I just say, this guy was despicable, which made the fact that Rachel was the one to take him down all the sweeter. Knowing that her dad was personally triggered by this case and this jerk, she took the lead in the case and knocked it out of the park as the cool, calm and confident woman that we all know she is by finding other women he had hit on (and even allowing him to hit on her), proving a pattern of behavior that was undeniable. How did you feel about this case and Robert taking the backseat to his daughter?

Tina: After Robert lost it opposite the slimy Arthur Kittridge, Rachel had to take over. And I loved how Robert let her. I’m not sure if this is going to come out right. But it felt like Rachel was as close to Jessica Pearson fierceness as she”s ever been. When they zigged, she zagged. She never gave up. She was always thinking strategically.

Robert met up with his nemesis while Rachel targeted his board and got them to sign the settlement AND remove Kittridge as CEO. Um, how many suits has PSL (or SL) removed from companies this season? Pretty impressive.

Seeing Team Zane work together on this case made me want to see them work together all the time. I don’t want Rachel to leave her firm and go work for her dad. But I’m torn here. I want them collaborating more. Although, at the same time, Rachel doesn’t need to rely on her father for anything. She’s a powerhouse in her own right. And with Jessica gone, and her name off those doors, Rachel and Mike can both step up to try and fill the monster-sized hole Jessica left behind. Because, face it, Jessica’s absence has been felt.

I don’t have a good transition for my Harvey/Paula observation so I’m just going to jump right into it. I do love how Paula’s evolved enough as a person not to be bothered by Donna’s presence in Harvey’s life. She shouldn’t. Donna’s been a part of Harvey’s life forever.

Photo Credit: Shane Mahood/USA Network

Harvey and Paula’s conversation at the beginning of the episode got a little weird for me. Harvey’s clearly nervous about the mock trial business. She tells him how she’s not threatened that he cares for another woman in his life. She says she admires his loyalty. And then she says:

You’ve felt betrayed at one time or another by almost every person that you’ve cared about and in spite of that you protect them when they’re threatened.

She says not everybody would do that and that Donna and everybody in his life are lucky to have him. On one hand, I love that Paula’s able to recognize Harvey’s strengths. I always feel like he’s getting torn down by the millions of people who are always coming after him. But the problem for me is that this information wasn’t gleaned from simple conversation between boyfriend and girlfriend (or whatever other more mature terms we should call them). She knows all of this about him because they were doctor and patient. I don’t know. It feels weird to me. And just reminded me of how much I loved their previous relationship. Did this bother you at all? Or is it just me?

Cortney: This absolutely bothered me. To me there is a definite line there and this is crossing it. She would only date Harvey if they were no longer therapist and patient, and yet she is using that relationship in their personal one. However, I will say, it’s not just what she said, because in truth, that’s something someone could recognize in him without having been his therapist, but it’s rather how she delivered it….in a very “therapist-esque” way, if that makes sense? I have friends who are therapists and even though I’ve never been their patients, they sometimes can’t help but put on their therapist hat when talking to me too, so I get it, but it still just didn’t feel right.

I also have to say that while she admitted not being bothered by his relationship with Donna, something about that didn’t feel 100% genuine either. And it’s a bit ironic for her to say considering what happened at the end of the episode…up until then she had no reason to feel threatened, but now, well, we’ll have to wait and see. And with the tie thing, it felt like she was trying too hard to read in to it…again, putting on her therapist hat. I get it, that’s how her brain works and she may not be able to help it, but I still feel like this may not necessarily play well for their relationship down the line. Or maybe it’ll be exactly what Harvey needs? Who knows. Either way, I agree, it does make me miss their previous relationship since that felt like a more appropriate place for all these observations.

Photo Credit: Shane Mahood/USA Network

But all that may be a moot point now that Donna made a move. I honestly don’t even know how to guess where things will go once the show returns. Will they change? Will they stay the same? I guess it all boils down to what Donna needed to know and whether she got her answer. It’s going to feel like a long wait until we get OUR answer, but knowing this show, it’ll be worth it.

Suits returns to USA Network in 2018.

Dean Lewis “Waves” — acoustic version

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