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Two Takes: Suits “Shame” 

Two Takes: Suits “Shame”
SUITS -- "Shame" Episode 709 -- Pictured: (l-r) Wendell Pierce as Robert Zane, Meghan Markle as Rachel Zane -- (Photo by: Ian Watson/USA Network)
Photo Credit: Ian Watson/USA Network

After last week’s big drama-filled 100th episode, it came as no surprise that the team at Pearson Specter Litt would be dealing with some personal backlash.

However, what we at TV Goodness didn’t expect was that everyone, both in and out of the firm, seemed to be ignoring the age-old adage to “keep it professional” in favor of bringing their personal issues to work with them in the most unprofessional possible way. While this isn’t completely out of the norm for Suits, in this episode it was taken to a whole new level.

Louis suffered hallucinations, delusions and straight up transference of guilt from his one-night stand with Sheila. A ghost from Harvey’s past (almost literally since Harvey didn’t even remember him) returned dead-set on exacting revenge. Robert Zane lost his cool in a deposition as he tried to go after a potentially racist CEO who once fired his sister. And associate Brian’s feelings of inferiority as a father nearly resulted in losing the firm a major client.

By the end of the episode, most of the characters were able to recognize their issues, but unfortunately for most, the damage was already done and will inevitably result in more professional backlash as we approach next week’s midseason finale.

Cortney: Tina, first off, I have to say that I totally called it that Louis’ “how could I not” at the end of last week’s episode would come back to haunt him. I mean, I think we both saw it coming, but the way it revealed itself and seeped into every corner of his subconscious: genius.

From the walk of SHAME SHAME SHAME in the hallways of Pearson Specter Litt to the mishearing of the client as Sheila’s fiancee and the “you snuck around behind their back and you ruined their life” speech to Brian, his guilt was coming through with a capital G.

Don’t get me wrong, I recognize that yelling at associates and going off the rails is nothing new in the world of Louis Litt, but this week felt somehow more vulnerable to me, which is also why I loved how this episode ended. But we’ll get to that in a minute, first I want to hear your thoughts.

Tina: I need to talk about the scene where Louis did his walk of atonement through the offices of PSL. It was something straight out of Game of Thrones. I don’t even watch that show and I immediately knew that’s what Suits was echoing, even before Louis told Gretchen to “take Game of Thrones off his to-do list for the rest of its run.” To be honest, I don’t think they needed to even include that line of dialogue.

For much of “Shame” (such an appropriate name for this episode), Louis was being his typical self, lashing out to those around him because of what was going on with him personally. Actually, it wasn’t just lashing. Some of his actions caused some serious whiplash. At first, he bonded with Associate!Brian over the nipple pacifier product thingy. Of course he loved Brian going OFF on that corporate lawyer douche guy. I was actually as proud of him as Louis was.

Louis: It was like watching a fierce manly butterfly emerge from its pussy little cocoon. Where the hell did that Brian come from?

Unfortunately when Mufasa!Brian let his rage get in the way, he made a huge blunder that caused Louis to obliterate him. Can’t any of the males at PSL express their anger and/or disappointment in a nice, calm voice?

Cortney: Apparently not. But fortunately for us, the women of PSL can and Guilt wasn’t the only thing with a capital G in Louis’ life. As per usual, Gretchen (Aloma Wright) came to the rescue, setting both Louis and Brian straight and mending the fence between the two of them in the process.

Gretchen: You had no business treating that boy like that.
Louis: Well, you know what? If all you’re gonna do is judge me then as far as I’m concerned, Brian isn’t the only one lucky enough not to be fired.
Gretchen: What did you say to me?
Louis: You heard me, back off or you’re gone.
Gretchen: Then you better hear this. You say those kids are your children, well, a father doesn’t treat his children that way.
Louis: You don’t know what you’re talking about
Gretchen: The hell I don’t! You were nasty and abusive and if he were your son, I’d be calling child services right now.
Louis: Well, he’s not my son!! He’s a lawyer and this is none of your god damn business.
Gretchen: None of my biz-ness?! Watching your back is my god damn business! I don’t know what the hell is going on with you that you don’t want to talk to Lipschitz about but you better get a handle on it. Because if you treat another associate like that, I will knock you the hell out!

Last week I said I wanted more Gretchen and this week, we got it! I love that she is so direct and no nonsense, it’s just what the men of PSL need. And most importantly, it works. She made both Brian and Louis face their issues and get their shit together and it all worked out.

Tina: I didn’t mind Gretchen defending Louis to Brian either. She wasn’t taking any shit from anyone.

Cortney: She was not and thanks to her calling in Dr Lipschitz (Ray Proscia) for a “house call,” Louis got to the heart of the matter and we got a chance to see a side of Louis we haven’t seen before — baby coddling Louis! In an attempt to give Brian a night off after he pulled an all-nighter to save the case, Louis went over to Brian’s and offered to take over baby duty.

I’ll be honest, I don’t know that I’d just hand my baby over to Louis Litt without some serious supervision (who knows what he may say to that kid!) but I guess sleep deprivation will make you do crazy things! That being said, we know Louis has long wanted kids — after all, it is the reason he broke up with Sheila — and it doesn’t appear he’ll be having any of his own any time soon, so I suppose this Uncle Louis role will have to do for the time being!

Tina: What should we talk about next? How about my other favorite story of the hour? Namely Robert showing up at Rachel’s office so he could deal with some of the demons from his past AND work side by side with his daughter.

Photo Credit: Ian Watson/USA Network

At first this Robert move seemed out of the blue but eventually it became clear. I am super happy the two could work together and bond in a way we haven’t seen them ever bond. Zane and Zane made a great team, although the case isn’t what’d you call a slam dunk. It also became clear that Robert had some sort of vendetta against this alleged predatory lending douche. Robert claimed this man discriminated against people of color and was giving them higher mortgage rates. But it feels like it’s going to be difficult to prove especially when the corporate lawyer woman brought out a black woman who refused to cry racism at this particular company.

Photo Credit: Ian Watson/USA Network

Cortney, the yelling continued with Robert giving the bank lady some hell. We found out it was because of his late sister. She worked for this guy and he made her life hell because she was beautiful — not because she was black. And when she didn’t return his affection and threatened to do something about it, he fired her and her life fell apart. And at some point she died. I loved getting Robert Zane backstory here. I’m all about backstory. Wendell Pierce was SO good in this scene, don’t you think?

Photo Credit: Ian Watson/USA Network

Cortney: He was exceptional! We’ve seen many sides to Robert Zane so far and yet, somehow this one felt different. I loved him wanting to work with Rachel again and even the way he suggested that Mike inspired him to fight for the “underdog.” He rarely compliments Mike, so that was nice to hear. I honestly have no clue how or where this case will go, it seems like a bit of a shot in the dark now that corporate lawyer woman has what feels like pretty solid evidence against their claim. That being said, knowing both Rachel and Robert, they aren’t going to back down without a fight. And truth be told, I’m okay with that, especially if it means we get a bit more backstory in the process.

Speaking of backstories, we got some more Harvey backstory too. It wasn’t totally new to us, but it did come to us from a different perspective…and one that was deadset on revenge. The thing I thought was most interesting about this case is that Mike actually initiated it and brought it to Harvey as an olive branch of sorts to give him a slam dunk after all they’d been through…but boy oh boy did that backfire! Harvey’s former colleague, current Assistant Attorney General Andrew Malik (Usman Ally), was clearly still holding a grudge against Harvey for the good ol’ days when Harvey was schmoozing with Cameron Dennis while Malik was working hard to put “real criminals away.”

And now that Mike has literally delivered Harvey to his doorstep, Malik is ready to take Harvey down and attempts to do so by accusing him of suppressing evidence, something of which he’s been accused of before. Nothing good can come of this. Especially after we learn that he’s subpoenaed Donna to testify. Can we say uh oh?

Tina: When I realized yet another piece of Harvey’s legal past was going to come back and bite him in his cute butt, the first thing I thought was: again? How many times do we have to go through this?

But, as you say, this time it was from a different perspective. Andrew really has it out for Harvey and might do anything to get one up on him. I’m shaky on the fact Mike was the one to initiate this. But I was happy the two were able to work side by side. Mike even brought up how the prison system case practically tore them apart and he was hoping this would mean better things for their relationship. Too bad everything went all FUBAR.

I was also happy to see Mike and Donna be kind of protective of Harvey when they realized the shit hit the fan with this AG guy. Cameron Dennis was the one to break the law not Harvey. But that means nothing when there’s someone out for blood. By the way, his jealousy over Harvey being Cameron’s favorite was understandable but slightly annoying.

Donna knew instantly Malik was bad news. We saw a bit of the past via flashback. So him enlisting her to testify against Harvey isn’t a shock. What is a bit of a shock is that we’re suddenly in for another one of the show’s famous mock trials. Here’s the thing. In order to get Donna sufficiently prepped for facing Andrew and his revengenda, she realizes this is a job for Louis.

Photo Credit: Ian Watson/USA Network

Problem is there was that time Louis interrogated Donna at a mock trial. It was BRUTAL. Donna’s well aware he’ll have to do the same thing again. He balks at first but comes around when she gives him her approval to take it as brutal as he wants to. I’m a little scared for next week’s midseason finale. It’s called “Donna”, Cortney. “DONNA”.

Photo Credit: Ian Watson/USA Network

Cortney: I’m more than a little scared! Louis’ last interrogation of Donna was beyond brutal and not just because he went full-out Litt on her, but because he went to the one place that this show has been tip-toeing around since the beginning — her and Harvey. Yes, we all know there are feelings between them, something that Donna has been confronted with this season more than ever before, but no one has ever REALLY addressed what that could mean for these two. And yet, according to the promo, it looks like that time may finally be coming. I can’t imagine what will happen if the she has to put her cards on the table and admit the thing she’s been suppressing all these years. It’s one thing to know it in your head (and have everyone else know it), but it’s another thing to admit it out loud. Tina, I don’t know if I’m ready for this.

Photo Credit: Ian Watson/USA Network

Tina: I mean, she did already admit to Rachel in “Shame” that she maybe regrets having chosen Harvey over her. What revelations are we going to find out next week? Yeah, I agree with you. My heart may not be able to take this.

5 Random Thoughts

-Louis said. “It’s always been Sheila.” Have I mentioned I love his therapy sessions with Dr Lipschitz? I mean, he was avoiding the man and he should know by now the good doctor’s not going to judge him.

-I loved Louis’ line to Brian: “I know what it’s like to let your insecurities get in the way of your work.” He does know. Everybody at PSL knows. And everybody needs to learn from their mistakes. Hopefully Louis finally gets it.

-By the way, I love Jake Epstein as Brian. Have I said that before? Well, I do. The Degrassi alum can stay as far as I’m concerned. (I also saw him perform in the Green Day musical American Idiot tour here in LA a couple years ago)

-Mike and Harvey engaged in some classic Michael Jordan banter. I appreciated it. It was very season one of them.

-Part of me wants to rewatch the other mock trial episode where Louis interrogated Donna. I feel like it’s appropriate homework before watching the midseason finale.

The Suits midseason finale — “Donna” — airs Wednesday, Sept. 13 at 9/8c on USA Network.

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