Suits Season 2 Finale Review: Mixing Business With Pleasure

By MaryAnn Sleasman

Feb 22, 2013

Suits S02E16: “War”

Not gonna lie, I was a little underwhelmed with this finale. The first half of Suits’ second season was SO GOOD and while the second half was still generally good, the last six episodes, as a unit, fell near the less-awesome end of the spectrum. The mid-season finale could have very easily worked as a season finale, with Hardman ousted but still somewhat of a threat, and Mike’s grandma dying and throwing him into suck-spiral. I’m willing to consider that the ultimate conclusions to those storylines would have worked better if they’d been given time to evolve more organically over an entirely separate season, rather than being crammed into the six episodes tacked on to the end of Season 2 like a sloppy fanfic epilogue. It’s not that the Season 2 finale was necessarily bad—I’m definitely anticipating Season 3, which is exactly what the finale was supposed to accomplish—but maybe if we'd had more time to tackle this merger storyline and explore Harvey’s fanatical opposition to Jessica and Edward’s “union,” Harvey wouldn’t have come off as a freaking child for most of it.

Personally, I hate the real-world “business is business” argument because I think it excuses people and corporations that have the power to do horrible things. However, there’s definitely a place for it outside of supervillainy, and given Pearson-Whatever’s current position, I’d say the impending merger between it and Dana Scott’s U.K.-based firm is a pretty good time to whip it out given that Harvey’s motivations for derailing the deal were almost entirely personal. Maybe not even ALMOST—it was all fueled by feelings of betrayal toward Scottie and frustration that he couldn’t just hit-it-and-quit-it with the more financially stable and more esteemed U.K. firm. No, you don’t have to marry the dude who knocks you up, but Harvey basically asked the nice girl in class on a date, made her pay for everything, and then wanted to go back to pretending they didn’t actually know each other.

So, I’m delighted that despite Harvey’s best borderline illegal efforts, the merger went through. I don’t even mind that Jessica had to blackmail Mike with his big secret to make it happen. I spent the entire episode wondering why she didn’t just put her foot down and point out that she’s the boss and it’s her firm and she DOES WHAT SHE WANTS. I know, I know, she wanted to try things Harvey’s way with the competition because he’s a child who needs to be eased into situations he doesn’t like. He’s an enormously talented and brilliant child, but a child nonetheless. He put up a good fight and threw an impressive tantrum, but Mommy stuck him on time out and now he has to prove to her that he deserves to have his name on the door like a big boy.

Fortunately, Harvey’s redemption has already started. This season, more than the first, suffered from loose lips with regard to expanding Harvey’s character. Characters were full of stories about what an amazing, generous, caring dude Harvey Specter is, but his actions on the screen didn’t usually back those claims up. Even in “War” as Harvey waged his campaign against the merger, Scottie told Mike about the time that Harvey’s brother was ill and hard-up for cash and Harvey forked over his Harvard tuition money to take care of him. Awesome. Touching stuff. Really. But c’mon, Darth Vader loved Padme at one time and that doesn’t make the time he dismembered his son’s hand any less of a bad thing. Not that Harvey is Darth Vader, but the point is, people change. Wonderful, generous people can turn into douchebags under the right circumstances.

But when we last saw Harvey in the finale, he seemed to be working on being less of a dickhead. After Scottie was fired for her part in sabotaging the merger (more on that in a sec) Harvey defended her and even, apparently, managed to talk her boss into giving her the job back.

Let’s talk about Scottie’s change of heart, though, because initially it bothered me, but I think I’ve talked myself into a theory that doesn’t make the implications gross—that the only way to Harvey’s heart was through imploding her own successful career, and not only was that the logical choice to make, it was the moral one, too. That the idea and the encouragement came from My Precious, Donna, was alarming, but considering what we’ve learned about her relationship with Harvey and, despite her protestations, the nature of her feelings toward him, Donna’s conversation with Scottie became less about Scottie and Harvey and more about DONNA and Harvey. Donna has used her perfect professionalism to quash anything resembling an intimate relationship with Harvey for, it’s been implied, years. Her relationships with other men have fizzled because Harvey always comes first on her list of priorities. Donna has seen those feelings exploited and violated and it’s certainly not a stretch to consider that on some level, she might regret how things have ended up. I mean, she’s not a lovesick teenager who goes home and cries herself to sleep every night, but she’s wiser now than she was before Hardman’s meddling.

And with all that said, if-you-love-him-you’ll-destroy-everything-you’ve-worked-for-your-entire-life was still hard to swallow—but, eh, it worked out in the end. For now.

Onto Mike and I guess Rachel by extension because with the truth about her Harvard rejection coming out and snuffing out what little hope Rachel was clinging to that the decision might be reversed, she’s back to existing solely so Mike has someone to woo/bang in the copy room. I hope those shelves were, like, bolted to the floor or something.

Mike was firmly on Team Harvey during the merger debacle, doing whatever was asked of him with minimal protest. Honestly, outside of his lulzy Downton Abbey geekfest with Edward and the plot-altering position Jessica stuck him in, Mike really didn’t get a lot of action in this finale. I mean, aside from the action in the copy room, if you know what I mean which I’m sure you do. The season’s big developments seemed to skew toward Harvey, with Mike rehashing his sad-orphaned-past issues, and his sleeping-with-other-peoples-wives/girlfriends issues, and his Puff-the-Magic-Dragon issues. We’ve had two seasons of his professional peers alluding to how much he resembles a bright-eyed young Harvey, with Scottie even referring to him as “Baby Harvey” this week, and I think going forward, I’d like to see that explored more. The cycle of being a responsible adult > being a fuck-up > being a responsible adult again can really only go on for so long. So, more Lawyer Mike in the future, please.

Also, let’s finally address his non-existent law degree once and for all. It keeps popping up at the worst possible times. People keep blackmailing him with it. Let’s just figure something out. For as big of an issue as it is, Mike’s secret tends to be relatively unimportant on a weekly basis. Suits has proven itself capable of telling broader Mike stories beyond that of his professional subterfuge. It took two seasons, but Mike has grown beyond the brainy-pothead-out-of-his-depth he was introduced as. They killed off Sassy Grandma and forced Mike to stand on his own feet and, despite some early stumbles, he’s been successful. I say Suits should just pull the trigger on that story. Given that Mike’s final scene had him telling Rachel the big Secret, I’d say that maybe the show already has.



CASE NOTES


– Louis vs. Nigel: I loved their truce, but I was worried that Nigel would be the one to stick Louis on his list. With that in mind, I can’t really be mad at Louis for sticking Nigel on HIS list based on that same belief. It was just unfortunate. Louis just can’t win. It’s hardwired into his DNA or something.

– Donna Paulsen sass concerning the endless inquiries into her feelings for Harvey, “I am so frickin' tired of people asking me that!” Me too, lady. Me too.

– No Katrina sighting this week. She truly serves no purpose in the story. Here’s to fixing that in Season 3.

– What did you think of the finale?

– What did you think of the season as a whole?

– What are your hopes and dreams for Season 3?

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  • ElisaDiaz May 26, 2013

    For me this episode was a bit of a mess - always like this show, though, and I hope next season will be as good as this one. The merger thing reminded me of Mad Men, so I guess we might have a similar season now that could eventually end up with the few good ones leaving to open a new firm?! :-D Well, that's in the landscape! I would love to see more "in court" situations, although Harvey doesn't really like that, so it's not easy. But sometimes I wish there was a bit more of lawyer cases action and less office war action...

  • novelty4 Mar 01, 2013

    As a Brit I was getting a bit annoyed by the constant Brit bashing that was going on. Here we go again I thought, making us Brits to be the bad guys and in one of my favourite shows. AARRGGGGGG. But then it didnt happen. Instead, Louis was the bad guy and so too was Harvey. Wow....that was very novel and surprising for an American show to do that. Thats why I love this show so much as you dont know what is going to happen next. Cant wait for season 3 where im sure the Americans will think "why did we do that" and make the Brits to be the stereotypical bad guys again. Cest La Vie

  • othsmallsuplost Mar 01, 2013

    I thought this season was as great as the first one. I don't really have expectations for the next one except that i'd like to see a lil bit more or Jessica's personnal life.

  • CharlieClayto Feb 26, 2013

    I thought the episode overall was great, and in particular the way that so many of the characters had to deal with significant conflicts of loyalty. The only two downsides were the sheer amount of off-the-cuff traded insults which were too long and too frequent to be believable, and secondly the two-dimensional and lazy stereotypes of the British characters. Us Brits don't all use 'one' as a habit of speech, and we certainly don't behave that pompously in general.

  • abdulay31 Feb 26, 2013

    The final was good in most aspects as per its title war but a bit slow paced, The best thing that happened is seeing Harvey's invincibility crippled by his loss. Scotties admission was a big leap to throw away her career for someone she is not sure will be with her and unrealistic. Enjoyed British Louis and their battle and i hope we see him again next summer. Agreed with the reviewer on how Mike has been demoted to personal and irrelevant stuff this season to create more space for King Harvey and i for one was relieved with the way the finale ended with Mike on his own next season so that the show will develop his character and how he becomes the best lawyer as teased earlier.

    The season as a whole is great with a strong 1st part that was entertaining from the get go with divided camps, drama and so much more during the Daniel Hardman saga. 2nd part was a bit on the decline with some filler and standalone episodes but the finale did justice to the entire seasons and their is so much to look forward to in the summer.

  • asenova Feb 26, 2013

    I really don't need to tear apart this final episode like everyone else did. It was great for me, I wouldn't change a thing about it. I loved every character and I don't understand all this bitching about Rachel and Mike. I enjoy every moment they have together, the struggle she's having in her career and in her relationship with Mike, and in her life for that matter. I regret that they don't pay enough attention to Harvey's personal life but that's just because he doesn't have one like Donna suggested. I don't want them to stop paying attention to Mike and Rachel...Maybe I am too much of a romantic...I don't know :) This Show is great and it's getting better for me with every episode. Luis is just my favourite character, he makes me laugh especially during his interactions with Donna. "Great stuff". Keep doing the same good work with the third season and I'll be more than happy to enjoy it.

  • EllynWest Feb 26, 2013

    I think it's a sure bet that Mike is gonna be in trouble for lying again, since his lack of a Harvard degree is hardly the extent of his secret. He better not be in the file room when Rachel finds out that he's still hiding things...

  • albeagreco Feb 26, 2013

    Unfinished, puzzling

  • fangtasiaforev Feb 25, 2013

    For a show that has had so many amazing episodes this finale was terrible. This show does a great of explaining character motivation and showing that the core group really cares about each other above all else, but that was thrown out the window here. The reasons behind everyone's (expect Scottie) actions were never shown. Why did Harvey not want the merger? Why did Jessica want it so bad, she turned down everyone else's offers all season only to say yes to man we've never even seen before. The whole Jessica is more powerful than Harvey thing played out poorly. We know so little about their relationship and now Jessica has undermined the person she's closest to just to prove a point, while also giving away half of her precious company to some random British guy.

    The other characters had very little do this episode. Louis' storyline only served to show us from the very beginning of the episode that the merger would go through, this undermined Harvey's wager by extension. Rachel and Donna did nothing. Thank heavens Katrina wasn't even in the episode, she has turned out to be miserable character, who is just their to be a constant foe. I honestly hope she doesn't return next season but I know she will. I don't care at all about Scottie and Harvey's relationship, this has never been a show about love and romance (expect for Mike and Rachel) and it'd be great if it stayed that way. Scottie is a minor character who doesn't need to be turned into the love of Harvey's life just to create a storyline, I hope she stays in London.

  • wwt0112 Feb 26, 2013

    Harvey didn't want the merger because it would basically ruin his chances of getting his name on the door. Jessica wants the merger so she doesn't have to worry about another firm taking them down like the rest of this half of the season. I didn't like Louis' storyline other than his hilarious dialogue. We all knew Rachel wouldn't get into Harvard, because she had to stay in New York, as a character, so naturally we don't give a crap about her. Scottie brings nothing to the table, which means Donna brought nothing to the table (this episode). The last few minutes of the episode was probably Patrick J. Adam's best performance yet. The expression on his face combined with his tone of voice, and the surprisingly passionate sex had after words. It's not very often you see that kind of passion put into a cable show's sex scene.

  • CarolineHylto Feb 25, 2013

    I'm s sad british Louis isn't sticking around. There. I said it.

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