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Suits Preview: “The Painting” 

Suits Preview: “The Painting”
Photo Credit: Shane Mahood/USA Network
Photo Credit: Shane Mahood/USA Network

WARNING: Suits spoilers

I don’t know about you Suits fans, but I’m still processing a couple of painful moments from last week’s mid-season premiere.

Let’s start with Louis. He pulled a smooth move by enlisting Katrina to poach ten associates from Robert Zane’s law firm. This was an ingenious plan that Zane allowed to happen. Rachel’s dad waived their non-compete clauses because he wanted to ensure PSL’s success because that’s where his daughter is employed. She needs to be working for a viable firm so that when she faces the Ethics Review Board in her quest to become a lawyer, they won’t reject her based on the fact she’s in bed with a man who was convicted for his fraudulent ways.

But then Louis went above and beyond. It wasn’t enough for him to poach those associates. In some perceived wronging — he felt Zane let him know he wasn’t good enough to be Managing Partner at PSL — he decided to poach a bigger fish, Zane’s biggest client. With Donna’s help, he ultimately realized the error of his ways, but it was too late. And when Harvey found out about Louis’ schemes, he let loose on him. It didn’t help that Harvey’s own mindset was precarious at best. Harvey didn’t hold back. He ripped into his partner and told him in supremely hurtful terms how unqualified he was to be managing partner.

While Harvey’s tactics took on bulldozer tendencies, he wasn’t wrong. But the way he conveyed his message was completely uncalled for. Completely. What else was uncalled for was why Harvey was in such a bad place when he screamed all holy hell at Louis.

Mike Ross.

Things weren’t going well for the ex-con. His job search was going abysmally at best. It didn’t help that his resume included a prison stint. No legal firm or clinic would ever think of having him. He lied about being a lawyer. He paid the price. Ethically, it would be ludicrous to hire him, right? But guess what? His priest mentor/friend threw him a lifeline. He hired him to teach at Mike’s old school. The kids knew about him being fresh out of jail. They gave him a hard time, but Mike started to connect with them when he found out a kid’s parents objected to his presence at the school. That left Mike unemployed once again.

Meanwhile, Harvey’s abandonment issues were triggered with Jessica’s exit and Mike wanting to do his own thing and refusing to take the job Harvey offered up to him. The man was standing in front of Jessica’s office staring at it. It was kind of pathetic (but didn’t you just want to comfort him?)

Donna talked Harvey into trying to help Mike. Now, in Harvey’s universe aka SpecterVision, this means trying to enlist his old Harvard ethics professor (Gabriel Macht’s real life dad, Stephen Macht) to help Mike out. When that didn’t work, he actually turned to Anita Gibbs (Leslie Hope), the woman who helped send Mike to jail.

Really wish Harvey hadn’t done that because, instead of it doing some good, Harvey’s move put Mike back onto Gibbs’ radar. She visited Mike to tell him as much and said that if he chooses to do good in the legal field, she’ll make damn sure to put a stop to him. It wasn’t a pleasant exchange. It led Mike to visit his former boss. And, boy, his words were lethal.

Mike: What the hell did you do?
Harvey: Mike. Not now. I’m not in the mood.
Mike: Well, I wasn’t in the mood when I got home to find Anita Gibbs waiting for me.
Harvey: Mike, I’m sorry.
Mike: You’re sorry? She came to my house to tell me that if I even so much as try to get a job at a legal clinic, she’s going to make it her life’s mission to stop me.
Harvey: She can’t do that.
Mike: Did you hear me? I wasn’t even on her radar. I had one thing I wanted to do and you ruined it for me just because you can’t accept the fact that I don’t want to come back here.
Harvey: I wasn’t trying to get you back. I was trying to help you.
Mike: I don’t believe you.
Harvey: Mike.
Mike: Are you telling me you don’t want me to come back here?
Harvey: Of course I do and you can come back at any time but that doesn’t mean that I…
Mike: I don’t care what it means. And just to make it absolutely clear, in case there is any doubt, if by some miracle the Hand of God touches me and I’m somehow able to practice law again, this is the last place that I am ever coming back to.
Harvey: Mike…
Mike: Stop messing with my life!!!!

Just writing those words hurts me emotionally. How did Mike and Harvey’s relationship disintegrate so completely? Harvey worked tirelessly to try to get Mike out of prison. A term he wouldn’t have had to serve in the first place, if he had just had faith and waited for the verdict.

On the other hand, I totally understand why Mike’s trying to do something good with his legal life. Right now the healthiest thing he can do is not work at Pearson Specter Litt. It was the scene of his crime, after all.

Overall, everything’s a mess, one I didn’t see coming after Mike got out of jail. I thought we would finally have these two on the same side again, even if that meant they didn’t work together. But now they’re more distant than they’ve ever been in the six seasons this show has been on air.

Photo Credit: Shane Mahood/USA Network

Where to next for Harvey and Mike? Well, in tonight’s episode, something good happens for Mr. Ross. Will this situation last? Can Harvey and Louis work things out? Right now, Mr. Specter looks to the past to help him lead a more emotionally stable present. Get ready for some flashbacks featuring Harvey’s mother and brother. Will Harvey get the closure he needs? Will exploring the pain and anguish he’s held on to for decades be just the thing that heals him?

Synopsis of “The Painting”

Photo Credit: Pana Pantazidis/USA Network

Harvey tries to repair a broken relationship – leaving Louis, Donna and Rachel to manage Pearson Specter Litt in his absence.

Photo Credit: Shane Mahood/USA Network

Meanwhile, Mike gets a helping hand from an unexpected place.

There’s some Guest Star Goodness to look forward to including Peter Cambor from Grace and Frankie, NCIS: LA and TBS’ Wedding Band (I LOVED that show!), who is involved in Mike’s story. This is his second guest star appearance on Suits. And since there are flashbacks to Harvey’s past, General Hospital‘s Billy Miller is back as Harvey’s brother, Marcus. And, hallelujah, the show has recast the role of Harvey’s mother.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I love Laura Allen, who played Annabelle in a couple of Season 5 episodes. But she felt too young to me.

Photo Credit: Pana Pantazidis/USA Network

In “The Painting,” Brynn Thayer takes over as Harvey’s mom and it’s a much better fit. The One Life to Live alum played Jenny Wolek back in the ’70s and ’80s. Fun Fact: Who played her sister Karen Wolek on OLTL back then? None other than Judith Light.

Photo Credit: Shane Mahood/USA Network

Suits airs tonight at 10/9c on USA Network.

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