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Two Takes: Suits “100” 

Two Takes: Suits “100”
Photo Credit: Ian Watson/USA Network
Photo Credit: Ian Watson/USA Network

We’re not the only ones that can’t believe Suits celebrated its 100th episode, right? This is huge considering cable TV shows mostly have shorter seasons.

Suits resurrected our love of legal dramas. It features a cast we instantly fell in love with. And the show arguably has the best dressed characters on all of television.

Harvey and Mike are at odds right now after Mike rebelled against the agreement he signed to stay away from the prison corruption case. Then there’s the fact Harvey responsible for the predicament Alex found himself in in his last job. Louis’ breakup with Tara has messed him up this season. He’s taken it out on the associates. On Donna. On Harvey. On his shrink. On everybody within a ten mile vicinity.

The ladies are as fierce as ever but not without their own issues. Donna is now COO of PSL. She wanted more. She got more. In last week’s episode, we learned more about her relationship with Mark, her ex. Who was in the middle of that relationship without even realizing it? You guessed it. Harvey.

Photo Credit: Shane Mahood/USA Network

As for Rachel, she’s continued to stand by Mike even as he jumped right back into another lie. She doesn’t want to have to lie to her boss. She also doesn’t want to be treated like a damsel in distress. The men in her life don’t seem to get that.

Let’s talk the 100th episode, shall we?

Tina: Hey Cortney! It’s my birthday week and so I’m choosing to start with what I liked about this very special episode that Patrick J. Adams — Mike Ross himself — directed. (He did a solid job, by the way). I feel like since this was the 100th episode, we got a lot of quality conversations featuring my favorite pairings. There was Mike and Harvey talking Batman. And then later they teamed up to defeat the evil corporate dude and Alex’s old boss. I’ve been missing Harvey and Mike working together to topple the establishment. Now I feel like Harvey at the beginning of the season when he drummed up a case simply for him and Mike to work together.

Photo Credit: Ian Watson/USA Network

Gretchen was in this episode. Louis shared scenes with both Donna AND Rachel. Plus Sheila Sazs returned. The great Robert Zane showed up in scenes with Mike and Harvey and he got to exercise some serious badassness in the process. We even got some Donna and Rachel goodness.

Cortney: First off, happy birthday!! I won’t ask how old you are because that’s uncool, but I hope you are having an amazing day and that all this Suits goodness only made it better!

Photo Credit: Ian Watson/USA Network

Let’s jump right into it, I could not agree more as far as Patrick J Adams knocking it out of the park. I don’t know if this episode really had a great deal more gravitas from the writing to the acting to the directing, but something about it just felt powerful and some of the scenes seemed to deliver on a whole new level. Especially the parallel Donna/Louis walking in the hotels to their own personal will-they-won’t-they moments of moral dilemma. Of course, one crossed the line (or so we are meant to assume) and one did not, but we’ll get to that later.

I, too, LOVED the Mike and Harvey Batman scene. It feels like these two have either been at odds or separated for so long that it was nice to see them back on the same page (more or less) and back into their own unique rhythm. That being said, there were a lot of places this could’ve gone off the rails.

Photo Credit: Shane Mahood/USA Network

First involving Robert Zane, then leaving out then involving Rachel, then Robert throwing a wrench in the plan, then Frank being killed in prison and on and on. This episode had so many ups and downs that I was on the edge of my seat and unsure where it was going from beginning to end, which I kind of love. Since we’re talking about the case, what did you think about involving Robert? About Rachel throwing herself into the mix to use against Robert? And about how it all played out in the end?

Tina: First of all, even if you asked my age, I wouldn’t tell. Uh uh. No way.

Second, I loved Robert Zane being a part of the action. I always love his presence even when he goes up against Mike and/or Harvey. When there was that talk about a merger with Zane’s firm, I kind of wanted it to happen. Is that bad of me?

Photo Credit: Shane Mahood/USA Network

He was very up front with Harvey. If Harvey brought this case to him, he was going to deal with it the Robert Zane way. And, of course, in this universe, that meant it would screw with every plan Harvey and Mike had. It took a lot for everyone to get on the same page. And in the end they got the bad guys.

Oh and I’m sorry but Frank Gallo dying — no matter how much they tried to humanize him with him wanting the best for his daughter — I was okay with it. Mike having compassion for the guy was nice and all. But I wasn’t feeling it. Especially after what Gallo put Mike through in prison and his vendetta against Harvey.

One of my favorite moments of the entire episode was when Harvey and Mike know they need to find dirt on Rachel’s dad so their whole plan of attack doesn’t go off the rails. This is where they underestimate Rachel, of course. She steps up to the plate even though this could mean bad things for her dad’s case.

Rachel: You don’t have to find dirt on my father because I know how to stop Frank Gallo from testifying. But my dad isn’t going to be the only one who doesn’t like it. You two aren’t going to like it either.
Harvey: Why not?
Rachel: Because it involves impugning his integrity. And doing it through me.
Mike: You’re saying what I think you’re saying? That’s playing with fire.
Rachel: And I already told you I don’t have a problem playing with fire. My problem is being left out of the game. So if my dad has an issue tell him to take it up with me.

That’s some Jessica Pearson-level fierceness right there. I was so proud of Rachel. Like I said, hands down one of my favorite moments of this episode.

Cortney: I agree! Rachel was in this episode very little, but her two main actions (the one above and the other we’ll get to later) were both game changers this episode. I’m also glad that in an episode where we felt Donna’s “strong empowered woman-ness” floundering a bit, Rachel was in full on don’t-mess-with-me mode.

This show does such a good job of creating strong female characters — Jessica, Donna, Gretchen, Rachel and even Paula — which I love.

Photo Credit: Shane Mahood/USA Network

Speaking of, is it just me or do we not get enough Gretchen? Every time she shows up — the cool, calm collected to Louis’ frenetic frenzy — I find myself wanting more! This week she was the bearer of bad news, having to tell Louis that Columbia University chose not to send an applicant for junior associate.

Louis: God dammit, Gretchen, I asked you for those applications to replace Stephanie days ago, where the hell…
Gretchen: I have them right here.
Louis; Well, why didn’t you give them to me?
Gretchen: Because there was a problem….
Louis: {Flips through them} This doesn’t feel right….
Gretchen: How can you know that?
Louis: When it comes to applications, I’m like Rain Man and this pile feels one applicant light.
Gretchen: That’s because Columbia University chose not to send an applicant.
Louis: Well why the hell didn’t you tell me
Gretchen: Because it’s on position, we have applications from 19 of the top 20 schools. You fool.
Louis: Did you just call me a fool?
Gretchen: I call ‘em like I see ‘em.

Her delivery. Her demeanor. Her words. Spot on. We never met Norma (may she rest in peace), but I can’t imagine her being half the woman that Gretchen is.

Sorry, got a little sidetracked with the ladies, but back to the case. I completely agree about Frank Gallo. Good riddance. As Robert said, he was a monster and even though they tried to make him human in the end, it wasn’t working for me. He did too many awful things and we were primed to dislike him from the beginning for what he did to Mike in prison so giving him a daughter to care about, while nice, wasn’t enough to justify it.

Okay, now that we’ve tackled the case, I feel like it’s time to move on to the personal stuff and there is oh-so-much good personal stuff to talk about. Where do you want to start? The good, the bad or the incredibly uncomfortable? And I have no doubt you know exactly what I’m referring to with the last one. Lol

Tina: Well, before we move on from the case I do want to say that I’m glad it’s over. It was too divisive for me — and I’m talking within the confines of PSL. But it’s good that Mike ultimately didn’t have to give it up.

Photo Credit: Shane Mahood/USA Network

It’s also awesome they were able to extract Alex from his predicament with his old boss. A case like this has possibly solidified the team dynamics even further. I’m curious to see what case or cases are going to take us through the next couple of episodes.

Okay, moving on the stories of a more personal nature. This means talking about three PSL individuals: Harvey, Louis and Donna. Who should we start with? I’m going to say Harvey since his personal stuff wasn’t involved as the other two. Apparently, Harvey’s been neglecting his relationship. Work has been super intense and super busy, which I mean, when isn’t it? Paula’s really nice about it, however. She ends up taking him to dinner at Carbone, which we learn from Donna, is his favorite restaurant. She gives him a gift for their two-month anniversary which I guess is a big deal in a relationship? Harvey being Harvey tries to lie his ass out of not remembering the anniversary and presents her with a key to his apartment.

I don’t know, Cortney. As much as I love Paula — and I’m going to sound like a broken record here — I preferred her as Harvey’s therapist and only his therapist. I feel like the storyline that was started way back in Season 5 has now gone to Louis here in Season 7. We’ve been seeing Louis work his issues out with his awesome and very patient shrink. And I’ve been really enjoying those scenes. Like a lot. And Louis really does need to figure his shit out. But this is something I wanted for Harvey. And we did get some of that. But then it was dropped for all the Mike secret/jail stint business.

So unfortunately I’m not that invested in a Harvey/Paula romance, especially since it really doesn’t feel like enough time has gone by since they were patient/doctor, no matter what they say.

At this point, for me it’s Harvey/Donna or remember when Gabriel Macht’s real life wife, Jacinda Barrett, guest starred as his former love interest? They had some mad chemistry I wouldn’t mind seeing the show revisit.

Cortney: I agree. Good place to start. And is it just me or is two months like the blink of an eye and WAY too soon for a key? Especially when Harvey has hardly seen Paula in that time. It feels like Harvey is jumping in and committing for a reason OTHER than his feelings for Paula. Maybe because she’s easygoing and not asking a lot of him? Maybe because she’s understanding? Maybe because he feels she “gets” him since she was his therapist? Either way, I totally agree, I much preferred her as his therapist. Something about her as his “girlfriend” rubbed me the wrong way this week. I don’t know why…but something didn’t feel right to me. To me, the Harvey/Donna chemistry can’t be beat.

As far as the therapy storyline, I totally see your point. Harvey started this storyline strong but then to me, it pattered out. He was dealing with his past issues, which I loved. Then they were over. As far as Louis, I again get what you’re saying, but I really do love these scenes since his therapist is off-the-charts! The flashback scenes of their first meeting last week was easily one of my favorites – Louis going off the rails at him being German and then he turned out to be Jewish – loved it! So as much as I don’t love the storyline splitting, because we get moments like this, I’m willing to accept it.

Photo Credit: Ian Watson/USA Network

Speaking of Louis, I have no doubt what happened this week will give him lots of fodder for his next therapy session. As we both know, Sheila Sazs, his former equally-freaky love interest, returned. She withheld a Columbia applicant because she supposedly still has feelings for him…but the kicker, she’s engaged! Oh and let’s not forget that she wants one last Louis fling before she walks down the aisle. But before we get to that phone call that left Louis chair-bound, can we discuss his reaction to her wedding news…that scene on the rooftop between him and Donna – pure gold.

Photo Credit: Shane Mahood/USA Network

Tina: That rooftop scene was another one of my favorite moments from this 100th episode. Sarah Rafferty and Rick Hoffman scenes FTW. I love how Donna and Louis are always there for each other. Here’s a little bit of the conversation that I adored. It happened at the end just as Donna was about to go back inside:

Donna: Louis, I’m not sure I’m comfortable leaving you up here all alone.
Louis: It’s okay, Donna, I’m not gonna jump. Unless you can guarantee me I can land on Sheila’s fiance.
Donna; Okay, you’re gonna be all right. But I’m still not leaving you up here all alone.

Photo Credit: Shane Mahood/USA Network

She stayed right there by his side. But before we can really get into the nitty gritty of whether Louis goes for Sheila’s one-nighter of a proposition, we need to talk about Donna’s predicament.

Last week, we saw flashbacks of her doomed relationship with her hot ex, Mark, who’s played by the very awesome Jay Harrington.

Guest Star Goodness: Harrington was in the short-lived U.S. version of Coupling. He was in Better off Ted, an underrated comedy that lasted two seasons on ABC. And this fall, he’s starring alongside Shemar Moore on CBS’ Swat. I’m pulling for this guy to get a series that lasts.

Anyway, this week, Donna reconnects with Mark. It felt to me like it was a reaction to seeing Harvey happy with his own relationship. What do you think compelled Donna to reach out to her ex?

Cortney: I have no doubt that Donna calling Mark was 100% based on her realization that this Harvey/Paula thing may be the real deal. That being said, I actually really like Mark. For all we’ve heard about him over the years, he was far more charming and handsome and considerate than I could’ve imagined. Stellar casting.

Of course, we both know that Donna calling up an ex based not on her feelings for him but rather her feelings for Harvey is a bad idea with a capital B. That being said, he answered and they bantered and they were kind of adorable. They even meet up and he continued to charm…until he dropped a bombshell of his own — he’s married. Whoa whoa. And not separated, but married married. Of course, he claims that things with his wife aren’t good and he’s never stopped thinking about Donna, but still, not cool.

And kudos to Donna for putting the kibosh on it. But we both know that was only temporary. As soon as she realized that Paula beat her to the punch and already knew Harvey’s favorite restaurant….game changer. She considered crossing the line. And it was a big line. So are we ready to talk about THAT scene now?

Tina: Do you mean the dual hotel walks of potential shame set to Michael Kiwanuka’s “Love & Hate?” Yes. We’re finally to this point. And I’m impressed they’re ending the special episode with Donna and Louis and not Harvey and Mike. I think I’m also going to have to buy the song. I really like it. It sounds like a tune I would have heard on HBO’s Big Little Lies. So I’m all about it now.

We see both Donna and Louis entering a hotel and walking to their respective rooms. It took so long my mind kept thinking things like, what if they end up at the same room? My mind’s so damn weird sometimes.

It didn’t shock me at all to see that Donna gets to Mark’s door and…pretty much turns right back around. She’s The Donna. She has standards for herself and sleeping with a married man doesn’t fall in line with those standards. On top of that, she’s still in love with Harvey. She will always be in love with him for better or worse. She looked so vulnerable though. We’re not used to seeing her like that.

Cortney: We definitely are not. Power and confidence are her middle names and this was a Donna we’ve never seen before. That being said, this brings me to Rachel’s second big action of the episode. While I have no doubt Donna was always on the verge of turning around and sticking to her standards, I have to admit that without Rachel’s text, I’m not sure what she would’ve done. Like we said, this is a different Donna than we’ve ever seen before. But fortunately, Rachel did text and that snapped her back to the Donna that we know and love. But watching her get there, it was painful.

That being said, the dual struts of potential shame (because yes, they were more struts than walks), the music, the seamless transitions back and forth – beyond amazing. So much so that I’m not even going to go where your mind went. lol. But where Donna stuck to her standards, it appears that Louis did not. How do you feel about this?

Tina: To be fair, Donna’s was a walk. Louis’ was a strut.

Louis’ decision didn’t come as a shock to me. I just don’t know where it’s going to go from here. Will he be satisfied with the one night? Does he think that all he needs is one night and he can change her mind about getting married? He followed up her, “I didn’t know if you’d come” with a “How could I not?” and I was pretty much like, yeah, that’s what I thought would happen. You?

Cortney: Yes, as much as I would’ve liked to think Louis would take the moral high ground, deep down, I always knew he would go for it with reckless abandon. After all, it’s Louis. But like you said, I think the consequences of his actions and the feelings he feels as a result will continue to resonate as the season continues. When he falls, he falls hard and considering he’s still broken over Tara, adding another loss to that is not going to end well. Dr Lipschitz better be ready!

I am eager to see where all these story lines go. Just because Donna didn’t go through with it doesn’t mean she won’t have some soul-searching and inner turmoil as well. Her feelings for Harvey aren’t going anywhere anytime soon and now without another hot guy to distract her and make her feel like she has her own relationship, those will be front and center and she can’t pretend they don’t exist.

Photo Credit: Ian Watson/USA Network

As you mentioned earlier, I’m also eager to see where things go now that Team PSL seem to finally be back on the same page and with a newly vindicated member. What case will carry them through the rest of the season? How will Alex affect the dynamic? Will Donna throw herself more into her role as COO to avoid her feelings? Will Mike continue to feel guilty or is he ready to move forward? So many questions. I think it’ll be hard for upcoming episodes to top the big 100, but I’m ready to give it a shot!

Photo Credit: Shane Mahood/USA Network

Only two episodes left in this part of the seventh season. Suits airs Wednesdays at 9/8c on USA Network.

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