Suits "Know When to Fold 'Em" Review: Guilt Trip

By MaryAnn Sleasman

Apr 04, 2014

Suits S03E15: "Know When to Fold 'Em"

After a string of really great episodes following its return from hiatus, Suits was bound to hit this wall eventually. The good news is that it's only a cardboard wall—which, phew, because next week is the Season 3 finale—and while "Know When to Fold 'Em" wasn't the strongest episode in Suits' most recent string of awesome, it wasn't bad. It was just... my feelings are really complicated right now. So let's just rip that Band-Aid off and get right down to the WTF, most of which revolves around everybody on the show suddenly being stupid. I mean, the fine people of Pearson-Specter have all occasionally gone batty over the course of the series, but for everyone to do it at once was just spectacular and infuriating. 

Donna, in particular, had a strange week. Her single-minded quest to keep Harvey and Scottie together at all costs reeked of denial from the get-go. We know how Donna feels/felt (feels) about Harvey and we know that their reasons for staying away from one another were born of uber-professionalism that seemingly went out the window when Harvey decided to chase his other subordinate. (It doesn't look any better just because she's not your secretary, dude.)

"Know When to Fold 'Em" was the week where it got weird, though. After all the pushing and the prodding and playing matchmaker, Donna decided that Harvey can't trust Scottie with the truth about Mike—which is probably true—and even though the entirety of Harvey and Scottie's latest clash was all about Mike, she advised Harvey to keep his cake hole shut. That's kind of gross, given how every other conversation Harvey has had with Scottie has been about their endless trust issues. If Harvey and Scottie are meant to be a thing, then at some point, he's going to have to stop leaning so heavily on Donna and maintain the relationship on his own, and since I'm still firmly in the Donna-and-Harvey-are-the-endgame camp, I just don't think that's going to happen and if it does, it's not going to last long. I guess we can just chalk this one up to love making smart people act like morons? 

But then Donna got on Mike's case, too, guilting him into staying at Pearson-Specter despite his promising—and liberating—job offer elsewhere, because Mike owes Harvey and Harvey took such a huge risk hiring Mike (and put his own career and those of everyone at the firm in jeopardy but whatever, Donna isn't crushing on them) and OMG MIKE HOW COULD YOU DO THAT TO HARVEY OMG???? 

I never thought I'd say this because Donna is my favorite and Donna is the bestest but Donna, shut up. Donna may not have been the final nail in the coffin of Mike's future—that distinction goes to rival-lawyer-of-the-week James, who begged Mike not to destroy his career by reporting his bribes because being a lawyer is all he has and it's who he is. In response, Mike decided not to report James' illegal activity while engaging in some super-illegal activity of his own by having Lola the Super Hot Computer Hacker add his name to the New York bar. And now I hate everyone, but like I said last week, Mike was never going to take that job. 

Then there's Managing Partner Jessica Pearson. I've been a big Jessica defender in the past. During the first half of this season, when the Harvey-versus-Jessica storyline was a thing, I was firmly Team Jessica and I excused a lot of the nasty crap she pulled but okay, fine, you win: Jessica is kind of horrible. When a former partner—one who was run out of the firm literally days after Jessica's promotion—returned with claims that Pearson-Specter was hiding profits and screwing him out of dividends, Jessica found herself on the defensive... except that it seemed like she was hiding profits and screwing Van Dyke over. 

I don't know how to feel about the reveal that Van Dyke hired Jessica for diversity brownie points and she basically still holds it against him. As a woman, I could very well be an asterisk somewhere myself but as a white woman, there's some privilege-checking that has to happen and even if I was to find out that I am an asterisk, I don't know how I'd feel about it because I'm not really in a position to get mad about why I was hired somewhere; I still have to pay my rent, you know? I'm not going to say Jessica was wrong to still be upset about the circumstances of her hiring years later, because that's not my call to make. However: Her habit of holding grudges and insta-firing anyone who gets in her way is growing alarming. When Suits first debuted, the firm formerly known as Pearson-Hardman looked like an energetic, challenging-in-a-good-way, glamorous place to work, but as the series progresses, I'm really starting reconsider that stance. I really don't think that I would want to work there... unless I was really desperate to pay my rent. 

Now the good: 

Louis's post-Sheila bender was amazing and perfect, and so was the Katrina action. I love that Louis has an associate who is basically a female mini-Louis, who gets him and who cares about him. Even though they didn't quite save the day, I'm glad that Rachel and Katrina almost helped, and that Rachel helped Katrina. 

Any Suits episode that does right by Louis tends to look better than it maybe actually is, simply due to the weightiness of Litt-points. It was also good to see someone in the firm enter the room triumphantly, knowing that he was awesome, that he was back, given the fact that everyone else this week was basically forced to reflect on his or her own shittiness as a person. After last week, I'm glad Louis got to "win" this week. 

With one more episode left in the season, Mike and Harvey are a team again—and they're about to get dragged through the mud. Donna's devotion to the Harvey/Scottie ship has finally cracked. Everyone sucked this week, and I hate when everyone sucks, but through their suckiness, we've arrived at an intense place to lead into the finale and I do so love some intensity. I won't spoil the episode promo for those of you who don't stick around to watch them, but let me just say, me gusta


– Rachel was pro whatever Mike wanted to do, except she really clearly wasn't. What does Mike's decision to stay mean for their relationship?

– Can Harvey trust Scottie with Mike's secret?

– Louis's glee at the thought of forcing his associates to rewrite every single contract Pearson-Specter holds was presh. 

– Pearson-Specter is kind of a sketchy firm though, isn't it? 

What'd you think of "Know When to Fold 'Em"?

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  • loyallylost Apr 08, 2014

    Ok. FIRST of all...does no one realize that this show is about Mike? Without him, it's just another lawyer show. Good grief, people! Secondly...what was up with the bleeping of S#@$! They can say GD, A*#hole, yet not the 's' word?! SERIOUSLY!? They did this once before & it drove me NUTS! This is cable, for goodness sake! I just would like to know why. With that said, I thought it was a great episode! What did Harvey once tell Mike?...'I have emotions, I just don't show them'. Hmmm...could Harvey be showing us he has a soft spot for Mike?

  • Ridira Apr 07, 2014

    I was extremely disappointed that Mike didn't take the job as an investment banker. To me, it just seems that somebody in Mike's position would JUMP at the ability to not only protect himself, but also protect the people he cares about (Harvey, Rachel, Louis, Donna, and to a lesser extent Jessica) while simultaneously lifting the enormous black cloud that has been hanging over his life and being able to continue playing in the big leagues of corporate transactions.

    The ending of him going to Lola is a cheap deux ex machina. While he is now a "member" of the bar, it still doesn't change the fact that he did not go to Harvard and eventually someone is probably going to put two and two together (and how has nobody figured it out yet, I mean Jessica figured it out in 0.2 seconds by searching for Mike's college transcripts and finding out he hadn't graduated from any college. Did Mike get Lola to hack a college for him too?) which means everything comes crumbling down and Mike ends up in jail anyway, away from Rachel, Harvey, Louis etc.

    I think the show could have taken a big leap and evolved in to something new and fresh with Mike as a Harvey Spectre tempered investment banking machine that can see all the legal angles and keep him in the show by having him bring deals to Harvey to look at.

    Which leads me to my other problem with this episode, Donna has always been a care taker, someone who dispenses sound counsel to the people she cares about, and she REALLY cares about Mike. So why guilt trip him in to passing up such an amazingly liberating offer? I can only imagine that this is meant to reflect that Donna cares about Harvey more than she cares about Mike and knows that losing Mike would kill Harvey (this still ignores the fact that Mike leaving would protect everyone).

    Overall, it was a decent episode. However, I think the show could have done something really original by having Mike branch out and I think it would have been phenomenal. I guess we won't find out.

  • awaryfool Apr 07, 2014

    Can Harvey trust Scottie with Mike's secret?

    If they write an episode where Harvey tells her the "secret", you can bet your ass he is going to regret he told her. So no, he cannot trust her. She is too petulant.

    I really don't understand why Scottie thinks there should be no privileged or personal information that Harvey cannot share with her.

    I find the story line too contrived. Obviously designed to create this tension of will he tell her or will he not. It is none of her damn business.

    They are working in a large law firm; and Harvey is a named partner. I would think Scottie would understand that there would some going-ons that Harvey would not, because he should not, discuss them with her -- no matter what her relationship is with Harvey. There trust issues are supposed to be about their relationship.

  • AG13 Apr 08, 2014

    The problem is.. he didn't say what it was about. First, Louis. Second, Mike. But Harvey said it's because Quelling came after them for Hessington oil. So, Scottie is entitled to be confused and suspicious of Harvey. She doesn't know that the centre of the problem is one, Mike Ross. My 2 cents :D

  • AkiraHideyo Apr 07, 2014

    Mike getting another job would have had been a win win for ALL. He could always assist Harvey as consult whenever possible but now everyone, including the firm will be in deep shit and rightly so. Getting boring every time the story has to tip toe around Mike getting exposed. Geez! Climax already will you all?-it's really bad for us all swimmies to keep it in all the time.

  • awaryfool Apr 08, 2014

    I would like to see them give the "secret" issue a rest for at least a season.

    I actually enjoy this show a lot more when the Pearson Specter law firm is in conflict with other firms, organizations, and/or individuals. I just enjoy seeing the characters pulling together to win. I have had enough of all the infighting.

    I guess I'm trying to say that I really enjoy seeing the main characters bounding and their friendships deepening. I want them to demonstrate that they care for each other -- even if they don't always say it.

    And I would like to see Scottie and Harvey just getting along -- enough of their conflict. Either that or end their relationship and write Scottie out of the show.

  • vampman87 Apr 06, 2014

    Wow, this episode really put everyone in a bad light, didn't it?

    It seems that Harvey is in the exact place Mike was in "The Choice." The only difference is their love interest's character. Rachel was pretty much infatuated with Mike since they played husband and wife and I correctly predicted that she would keep Mike's secret safe. She had ambitions, yes, but she also had lots of compassion and once Mike explained everything, Rachel saw thing through his eyes. Scottie, on the other hand, is almost solely focused on ambition. She's not quite honest about it like Katrina is (who's using Louis as a stepping stone and openly admitted it.) but she desperately wants to look tough, and if Harvey opens up about Mike I KNOW Scottie will report it. Scottie is already part of the "cool crowd" and can't be manipulated like Louis can when he was given the chance to expose Mike. Scottie wants to be known as something other than "Harvey's girlfriend" so "the woman who brought down Pearson Specter" would look REALLY good for her... especially if she learns that Jessica knew and uses it to make Jessica resign to prevent her from being arrested.

    Speaking of Jess, I REALLY didn't like that her whole grudge against Van Wick, her former boss, was simply because he hired her because she was black. After all Hardman did to her (stole money to pay for his mistress, framed Harvey and Donna, used Louis to wrest control from the company, mocked her for being single and without kids) she STILL prefers him to Van Wick? What did the other partners do? Eat her lunch in the fridge? (Also, poor Jamie Sheridan. The years have not been kind to you.)

    Mike, Mike, Mike... you had an OUT and you didn't take it! I was expecting some sort of technical thing to get in the way of Mike leaving, such as Jessica stepping in or the Lawyer-of-the-week forcing him to stay, but Mike singlehandedly beat the lawyer of the week, then chose to stay WHY? Was it due to Donna guilting him to stay? I highly doubt it, since deep down Donna knows that the best way of paying Harvey back for everything he's done to keep his secret is to leave and take the target away from his back. I said earlier that Harvey rage firing Mike at the end of season 2 and Jessica stepping in and overriding him was a big mistake on Jessica's part because she was given a way out of keeping a secret she felt could destroy the firm and didn't take it, but here Mike was given a reasonable way out that would make everyone look good and again, he didn't take it. If it's really because of Donna I swear... Donna is awesome about 90% of the time but she's far from perfect. She's made mistakes in the past (tearing up Hardman's memo and lying about it, falling for Stephen Huntly, supporting Harvey's grudge against Mike when Jessica was to blame for Harvey losing against Darby.) No one's perfect, even Donna, who is the closest thing to a goddess this show has.

    I think Donna is trying so hard to make Scottie and Harvey's relationship work so much so she can date Harvey vicariously through Scottie. However, even though Harvey is Lawyer Jesus, he is an absolute idiot in terms of long-term relationships and it's frustrating Donna to no end. She also knows that Harvey wanting to commit to Scottie by telling her Mike's secret is an INCREDIBLY bad idea, because Scottie is just as hungry for power as Jessica is and cannot be blackmailed or manipulated like Jess or Louis, respectively.

    As always, it's great to see Katrina again, and it was really nice to see her and Rachel together and NOT talk about Mike. But I think Katrina is being wasted this season... I want her to be a regular since this episode showed how loyal she is to her boss, Louis.

    7.5 out of 10. I'm glad that Louis got his groove back and Rachel was a key part of it, but everyone else REALLY carried Idiot Balls this episode.

  • awaryfool Apr 08, 2014

    Keep in mind that Louis didn't expose the fact that Mike never attended Harvard.
    Louis does not know that Mike is not a lawyer. That is another shoe to drop,

    I agree, Scottie cannot be trusted -- that's why they wrote her character into the show. Can't stand her (the character) myself.

  • ruby25 Apr 05, 2014

    Why did they start the whole Scottie and Harvey work together-relationship only to have them fight every episode? Such a missed opportunity IMO. I seem to be one of the few who like them together and want to see where they can go. She said she would never betray Harvey again and hasn't so why are Donna and everyone so ready to assume that? Scottie is no dummy and knows that Harvey is being weirdly cagey so why shouldn't she be upset? He offers her a job, starts a relationship and then won't talk to her about anything. I'd be upset too. At the same time, he shouldn't tell her because it would create potential liability for her and that's not fair. I hope they resolve all this in the finale and see where this relationship can go in S4.

  • awaryfool Apr 08, 2014

    When this show ends (assuming it ends on its own terms), Harvey will be engaged to, or marrying Donna.

    Scottie is there to provide conflict.

  • AG13 Apr 09, 2014

    Although I like Donna so much, but I think if at the end of the show, Harvey-Donna will end up being together is sooo cliche.

  • AG13 Apr 08, 2014

    Second that!

  • JT_Kirk Apr 05, 2014

    Jesus, you start with DONNA? Honestly, Donna's fangirl army aside, this was hardly a Donna episode, her problems were really 4th or 5th string at best. And in no way should Harvey and Donna hook up again, that is a recipe for ugh. That said, Donna was entirely right about not telling Scottie, she's not that level of trustworthy yet in comparison to the massive amount of damage it could bring.

    Suits keeping Mike around proved that the show is shallow and narrow-minded. The Good Wife was able to split characters and keep the show compelling, why not move Mike off to somewhere safer? Because the drama wouldn't be there? We've explored that option to death, Mike voiced that succinctly in the episode.

  • borgsblueyes Apr 06, 2014

    Can't agree more. Donna was spot on when she said he can't tell Scottie, and Harvey knew that, he just wanted Donna to justify it for him. Harvey doesn't love Scottie anyway so what would be the point in giving her that info for when they do break up. The only way I am okay with Donna and Harvey being together is if they hook up at the end of the very last episode of the show. Donna can get into his car and they disappear and I can believe they have a fairytale perfect relationship, because seeing them deal with everyday relationship crap would ruin their characters, especially Donna. As for Mike I wish he would take a job somewhere else preferably on another show, because he is insufferable. Poor Mike can't be content with his job at one of New Yorks top lawfirms, his amazing apartment and way too hot for him girlfriend. Ugh!

  • dxnlkiguert9o743t098 Apr 05, 2014

    This show would be better if the writer from (Vikings, Spartacus, GoT, Black Sails etc etc ) did it.

    With so many newer and better shows each yeah, Suits better get with it and add some T&A; or next year its off my list of shows to watch!!!

  • awaryfool Apr 08, 2014

    You got to be kidding.

  • DavideBertolini Apr 07, 2014

    Why not Star Trek? Let's say the Borg assimilate Jessica. Then Godzilla shows up and levels the building. Oh yeah, a female Godzilla version, for your T&A; fix.

  • Crispie Apr 05, 2014

    Probably should check out now. Suits will never be one of your period piece shows.

  • borgsblueyes Apr 06, 2014

    And not everyone needs to see T&A; to enjoy a show.

  • Ca3naki Apr 05, 2014

    I loved the episode!! Everyone sucked, but they all did in a very human way. Harvey was sad about Mike leaving and he was snapping at people. Donna might have been pro Harvey/Scottie, but she was definitely right about pointing out that Scottie spends a lot of time being pissed at Harvey. And sharing such a secret with someone like that is not a good idea. Also we have to take into account that Donna always thinks of what's best for Harvey, if the secret was revealed Harvey would get disbarred if not in prison, and what would Harvey prefer, being a lawyer, or being with Scottie? I also really enjoyed the scene because the actors interact great with each other, so it was nice to see one of these scenes. And yeah, I was thinking of WHAT IS DONNA SAYING? to Mike but then she said that he had to be the best accountant or whatever and it got better. I think Rachel's behaviour was as it was supposed to be. Telling Mike that she would stand next to him whatever his decision might be. Louis was littamazing!!!!!!!! Mike's decision was wrong, but necessary for the development of the story.

  • Grumpyclown Apr 04, 2014

    Not a great episode. but a necessary one - with Sheila getting moved out of the picture in the last episode and Mike finally getting his name added to the New York Bar, Mikes background should now be pretty solid against scrutiny and now that threat has been removed we can FINALLY move on from that plot (hopefully, anyway).

    If they have moved away from the "Mikes a fake and could be discovered", then the promo for the next episode is probably about a case Mike and Harvey worked together on:

    And if they are being investigated, isn't it a lucky thing that Mike got his hacker buddy to put him on the New York Bar - really, really convienient timing!

  • docspector Apr 05, 2014

    "And if they are being investigated, isn't it a lucky thing that Mike got his hacker buddy to put him on the New York Bar"

    Unless, of course, someone asks to paper file. Or asks any of his professors for a reference. Or anyone thinks to check to see if Mike's name was published as passing the bar.

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