Columns / Recaps

Two Takes: Suits “Bad Man”

Photo Credit: Christos Kalohoridis/USA Network

Records. Relationships. And flashbacks galore. Last week’s Suits saw Harvey and Louis lose the battle when it came to protecting Jessica, but this week made it clear that the carnage was far from over when Jessica named her price to play scapegoat.

Meanwhile, Louis came face to face with a personal dilemma of his own as Sheila made her interests and intentions clear. And Mike, also making decisions based on the past, was forced to decide between work and friendship.

Cortney: Tina, this episode was so full of work/relationship dilemmas that I hardly even know where to start!

Obviously, you know my gut is telling me to start with the flashbacks, since those are always my favorite, especially when they go back to the teenage years, but I feel like we have to tackle the Harvey/Jessica situation first since that carried over from last week’s shattering defeat.

As we discussed, Harvey had to throw Jessica under the bus and make some pretty harsh comments about her character, which weighed on him heavily, and as we could’ve anticipated, he would do whatever was needed to assuage that guilt.

Luckily for him, that opportunity arose this week when Jessica insisted he deposit $2 million of their agreed upon sum in an untraceable account (for an undisclosed need that I’m sure will come to light in her new spin-off!) to be the scapegoat and let Harvey off the hook for saving his ass “not once, but twice.”

Does this feel a little blackmail-ish? You betcha. But she’s also right and even though what she’s asking Harvey to do is about the $10,000 legal threshold (at least until the money is declared), she’s definitely bent the law more than a few times for him so he can hardly call her out.

Obviously, $2 million of “off the books” money that can’t be traced isn’t something you just pull out of your back pocket any ol’ time, which means coming up with the money puts Harvey between a rock and a hard place.

However, thanks to some sage advice from Donna, he eventually accepts the fact that in order to protect Jessica’s legacy and the firm, he has to sacrifice the legacy of the other person who means the world to him — his father. Ultimately, this leads him to call in a decade-long chit owed to him by Vic, the producer who put his father’s records on the radio.

Harvey: You once came to me for a favor and I let it slide, now I’m coming to you for a favor.
Vic: What do you mean a favor?
Harvey: I mean you’re not just gonna sell your company. You’re gonna pay me the money you owe me to a numbered account and you’re never gonna tell anyone.
Vic: Let me get this straight, you’re not just asking me to sell my company but you’re asking you to cross some sort of line while I do it?
Harvey: You crossed that line when you needed me to keep your bills off the books for 10 years.
Vic: I did it so I could keep fighting the good fight. Is that what this is about, Harvey?

Tina, I gave the cliff-notes version of this situation, as we both know there’s much more to anything that includes Harvey’s father, but I’m curious to hear your thoughts first.

Photo Credit: Steve Wilkie/USA Network

Tina: Harvey needed to do whatever Jessica told him to do. It’s because he brought Mike into the firm that they’re in this mess today. It’s a bit of a shady request, yes. But whatever Jessica wants and needs this for, she’ll never let it blow back on Harvey. She’s on the up and up. I trust her.

Although I don’t mind saying that I’m hella curious to know what she wants with this two mil in an untraceable account. I really want to know. Hopefully Jessica will be back before the end of season seven to let us know what’s what with this money.

How good was it to see her, by the way? In that phone conversation with Donna she looked as boss as ever. I miss Jessica. So much.

I did feel bad for Harvey. Not only is he dealing with relationship angst since Paula’s processing is taking longer than he had hoped. He has to make a choice between his dad’s legacy and Jessica’s. It’s a difficult choice but he knows it’s one he has to make. He did Jessica wrong and he has to correct it. I don’t know about you but I’m not quite used to Harvey angsting so much. About everything. He’s all super clenched all the time and even boxing isn’t helping him destress.

By the way, Vic is played by the great Glynn Turman, known for so many small screen credits including A Different World, The Wire and more recently OWN’s Queen Sugar. His character’s death in the series premiere devastated me. I love this actor.

What’s cool is how Vic is someone who adored Harvey’s dad. You could tell how much he appreciated the man and his music. And it’s utterly sad to know that with this development, Harvey’s dad’s music isn’t going to be heard anymore. When the Doogie executive guy said the music isn’t even worth much anymore, that hurt me almost as much as it hurt Harvey.

Cortney: Here here, I loved seeing Jessica! And honestly, I’m glad they didn’t show her last week, but instead waited until this week so she could really take center stage. And I loved Pearson’s conversation with Donna….or should I say Paulsen 🙂

And yes, knowing Harvey’s dad’s music won’t see the light of day anymore is sad, but the fact that it gave us a young Harvey flashback made it worth it. Seeing the way Harvey adored his dad and the way his dad in kind adored Harvey — priceless.

Tina: I know we’ve seen Harvey’s dad in flashbacks a million times before but I have to say I always love seeing James McCaffrey pop up. Much like Glynn Turman, I just adore McCaffrey.

Photo Credit: Nigel Parry/USA Network

Cortney: Speaking of flashbacks, can we please discuss Louis’ flashbacks?! Not only were they HIGHLY amusing, but they were also highly insightful. Louis is facing some major “relationship” issues with Sheila, which Dr Lipschitz is determine to get to the bottom of.

Dr Lipschitz: Something happened that you makes you go for women who aren’t 100% available because you don’t feel you deserve true love.
Louis: True is for fairytales, it sure as shit isn’t for me.

Tina, you know I always love when Louis battles it out with Dr L in therapy! But this time, he actually took the good doc’s words to heart and we got a chance to see what made Louis the man that he is today. What did you think about these flashbacks? And about the decision he ultimately made to turn from the “good boy” to the “bad man”?

Tina: I don’t know if I’m on board with Louis being a “bad boy” or “bad man” but those flashbacks truly were insightful.

First of all, Teen!Louis is so frickin’ adorable! Casting Esteban Dager was a great move. Back in the day, Louis was what a friend of mine and I call a “goodie goodie.” He’s all light and a little bit of a kiss ass. I love the way he interacted with Mitzi’s parents. When he looked at his girlfriend you just know he saw hearts and stars.

Is it bad that I was so surprised to see her treat him so nicely? I think she genuinely liked him…in a friend zone way. And Louis learned this the hard way. His sister Esther warned him. And he showed up to that party and saw it for himself.

Ultimately, Mitzi used Louis. And he let her. She kissed him and he let her. I think he broke a little bit there. And then again when he was under the rafters and he overheard Mitzi and the bad boy talking. She said she liked Louis but she prefers bad boys. It’s probably there Louis started to let the light fade and let the anger in.

It was so sad but I loved seeing this Louis backstory. It explains so much about him and it let us know why he’d be willing to compromise his ideals and enter into an affair with Sheila. It was sad to see him accept less than he deserves, just so he can get the girl this time. Hmmm…wonder if he’ll tell Dr. L about his decision.

I also loved the use of Spandau Ballet’s “True” in the flashback ’80s scene when Mitzi walked down the steps. Such a good song! Did you have more thoughts on Louis? How about the return of Oliver?

Cortney: As heartbreaking as it was, I loved everything you mentioned about the Louis flashbacks and more (Teen!Louis twirling! Priceless!). I agree that Mitzi liked him in a friend zone way and I, too, was surprised but glad to see that she treated him kindly.

But he definitely compromised his ideals for the sake of the girl last time, they even went out 17 more times after he found out that he was the “guy [Mitzi’s] parents’ approve of” which made him her go-to excuse for all the times she was really out with Drake “the Snake.”

I also don’t want to skip over the fact that it was his sister, Esther, who told him the truth. Despite the fact that it seemed like she was just breaking his heart at first, it became clear that she really was just looking out for him and I actually enjoyed seeing the two of them bounce down the stairs and head out for a “soda” after he found out the truth. Seeing he had someone who cared about and respected him, even when he didn’t respect himself, was nice.

Tina: I hope Esther’s presence in the flashbacks means we’ll get an actual visit from Adult!Ester. I know Amy Acker‘s been busy with FOX’s Gifted, but surely she can spare some time to hop a plane to Toronto where Suits films?

Cortney: As far as current time and his relationship with Sheila (Lucifer‘s Rachael Harris), I don’t even know what to say. That mud scene was beyond uncomfortable to watch (how dare she mess with Louis’ mud!) but I did appreciate that it at least brought us a moment of wisdom from Gretchen, who never fails to both entertain and put Louis in his place.

Nevertheless, Louis decided not to blackmail the fiancee or expose Sheila, but rather become part of the game. We know this won’t end well…and truly Louis deserves better, but considering his track record with women and the fact that he shattered Sheila’s heart before, I’m not entirely surprised he went this route.

Now on to Oliver (Jordan Johnson-Hinds). I have to say, while I wasn’t thrilled by how the case played out, it was nice to see Oliver again, especially since it all worked out in the end. However, similarly to last week, it wasn’t so much the case that I enjoyed, but rather the fact that Mike and Rachel got a chance to work together again. After hearing what Oliver offered, Rachel didn’t hesitate one bit before jumping in to help.

Rachel: I am gonna help you kick that Mike Ross wannabe’s ass six ways to Sunday.

Photo Credit: Steve Wilkie/USA Network

This may have been my favorite line of the whole episode. Rachel is so badass and really coming in to her own, which I love. I also appreciate that she provided Mike the inspiration and balance he needed to stand up for himself after Oliver pulled a fast one.

What did you think about Mike, Rachel and Oliver? And while we’re on the subject of Mike, what did you think about him letting Harvey know he doesn’t want to be senior partner because he’s focusing on spending time with Rachel?

Tina: I also wrote down that “six ways from Sunday” line. I enjoyed it so much. Actually the whole conversation was fun. Oliver took on the Mike Ross role while Mike, naturally, became Harvey in this scenario.

I really don’t want to get into the minutiae of this case, but it was a whole back and forth thing over the charitable contribution of some protein packs. To me it felt like Oliver tried to put on his big boy pants to do battle with Mike. Ultimately, MIke had to teach him a lesson. But good.

Sometimes I don’t understand the way these Type-A lawyers think. Mike ended up being proud of Oliver trying to screw him over. And he had to teach him a lesson to which Oliver said he was happy Mike didn’t take it easy on him. He finally felt like they were equals. Which is all well and good. But I’m gonna need Oliver to stop looking like a newbie lawyer all the time.

I’m with you, though. Rachel once again gets my MVP vote. I would like it more if she were the one driving story but I love her presence. She’s so sure of herself. She’s so sure of her love for Mike. She seems at peace with everything.

Photo Credit: Steve Wilkie/USA Network

As for the senior partner conversation, I am grateful Mike wasn’t pissed off at Harvey, Louis and Donna thinking he’s not ready. He acted maturely. I like this Mike Ross.

Photo Credit: Nigel Parry/USA Network

I have a question for you. And this is an observation. I mean the show’s only been back for two episodes. But do you think the show has reduced the amount of Mike/Harvey scenes? And not only that but have they reduced the banter? I mean, Harvey’s even calling Oliver Mike’s best friend. I think the show is starting to prepare us for Mike and Rachel leaving. I don’t mind telling you that I miss my Mike and Harvey banter.

Does it feel this way to you or is it just me being premature and an idiot?

Cortney: Ha! While it’s hard to say with only two episodes under our belt so far, I definitely wouldn’t call you an idiot! The Mike/Harvey scenes have been few and far between; however, I think I felt this way in the first half of the season as well so maybe that’s why I didn’t notice it as much here.

When Mike was in prison, we hardly saw them together at all. That being said, now that they’re back together, they should be making up for lost time! Especially knowing that they don’t have that much time left. And yet, it feels like they’re really focusing on Mike and Rachel and building that relationship so they can ride off into the sunset together (or at least I hope they get a good send-off, but knowing Suits, you can never be too sure), as well as Harvey and his personal relationships.

But like you, I love the banter and movie quotes and am hoping we get a bit more before Mike says au revoir. After all, that’s how their relationship started and that’s how I feel it should go out. I’m not saying I already have their final scene together mapped out in my head. But I’m also not saying I don’t 🙂

Is there anything else we forgot to tackle? Did you have any thoughts on Harvey’s non-apology to Paula?

Tina: Yes, Paula’s the last thing we still need to touch on. She’s told Harvey she’s processing. It takes longer than he hopes.

Photo Credit: Steve Wilkie/USA Network

And in the meantime, he and Donna share a great scene where they’re talking about Harvey’s dad and she says something about sharing a drink and listening to his music. Harvey says maybe it’s better they don’t considering Paula just learned about their one night a million years ago. It’s a cute scene that shows off the chemistry with the two.

Donna even gives him some advice with his relationship. That maybe he needs to let Paula in and let her know what he’s been going through with his dad and the music. He does explain things to Paula and she seems to understand although she does admit to being threatened by Donna.

I wonder if we’ll see just how threatened Paula is next week.

Suits airs Wednesday nights at 9/8c on USA Network.

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