Suits "Moot Point" Review: The Friend Zone

By MaryAnn Sleasman

Mar 21, 2014

Suits S03E13: "Moot Point"


There was quite a lot of gift-giving and friendship-declaring in "Moot Point," but the strings and asterisks attached to many of the prezzies made the love a little hard to spot. That's not to say that it wasn't there: Suits has long revolved around the notion that deep down inside, the employees of Pearson-Specter are GOOD people, and while the competition may get heated, at the end of the day, Harvey, Louis, Scottie, and everyone else plays for the same team and usually wants the same thing. 

Except sometimes they don't. Or sometimes they let petty, ego-driven stuff get in the way of "the greater good." Or they realize that dating your co-worker is hard, especially when you can't tell her that your associate never actually went to law school and you've been helping him hide it for like three years and taking a huge personal and professional risk because reasons. This is particularly unfortunate if you just had the honesty talk a mere two episodes ago. 

Oops.


So Scottie/Harvey was eye-roll-inducing, though not unexpected (and probably eye-roll-inducing because it was so expected) but the Scottie/Louis battle was pretty glorious until it got nasty. Louis's own draconian bylaws bit him in the ass when he arrived late to a partners' meeting due to circumstances beyond his control and learned that Scottie stole his merger project. Scottie did it on purpose, picking a fight with the meanest partner at the firm in order to prove her worth and dispel all that chatter about how she's only there because she's Harvey's girlfriend even though she's totally only there because she's Harvey's girlfriend. It was so spiteful and the antics were so childish and so them that I was more upset about Louis playing the Mike card against Harvey because it marked the end of the conflict, not because it was a terrible low point for a character who has slowly but surely been evolving beyond his usual villain status. 

Okay, I was sad for Louis too. It totally killed him to go to Harvey. Despite his default "IDGAF" operational status, the truth is that Louis does care very much about how he's perceived, and he's been desperate to sit at the popular kids' table since the start of the series. The problem is, as Harvey pointed out, he can't have it both ways, and there's a part of Louis that has come to embrace his outsider status. He likes being a hardass. He likes being hated and feared because in his mind, that equates respect. Harvey and Louis are two sides of the same coin and Louis has long accepted that he can't be worshiped like Harvey, the firm's golden boy, but he can fill a different role—an important role—and be valued for that. After all, it's not like Louis isn't a good lawyer. Louis is valued, he just isn't beloved. 


Despite his protestations, Louis wants very badly to be liked... just not at the cost of what respect he's managed to achieve for himself. Louis doesn't trust friendship (and with good reason) and he can't bring himself to compromise what he sees as a sure thing (his reputation) just to help Harvey, and to be fair, it's not like Harvey hasn't screwed Louis over in the past, justifying it with, "Of course we're friends, of course I see you as my equal, of course I like you." 

I don't doubt that Harvey sees/saw Louis as a friend and despite his usual dismissive-on-the-surface attitude. In fact, I'd bet that Harvey thinks of Louis as an asset and maybe even fears him a little—but actions speak louder than words and all that.


Since Harvey is the guy who has everything and just goes out and buys what he wants, Mike decided to show his appreciation for Harvey's deepening of the pit of lies and scandal by setting up an opportunity for Harvey to finally beat the lawyer who bested him all through college, a period that Donna referred to as Harvey's "shameful losses." <3 her. 

Elliott Stemple (Patrick Fischler of Mad Men, Lost, Southland, aaaand Californication) wiped the floor with Harvey all throughout college and did a pretty solid job of shaming him into a panic this time around, too. It was kind of delightful watching Stemple—a slimy, pathological liar—constantly out-think Mike and Harvey. It was also pretty great watching Harvey grovel before Jessica for help because Harvey doesn't grovel nearly enough these days and I think it's good for him to be humbled from time to time. 

In the end, the Pearson-Hardman dream team came through and exposed Stemple's case for the corporate espionage that it was, a feat so impressive that a magazine called Jessica to arrange an interview with the brilliant lawyers at her firm... except when you're a fake lawyer with a fake Harvard pedigree, any publicity is bad publicity and while I get why Mike was disappointed when Jessica asked him to take his name off the case, I'm not looking forward to the fallout. Because you know that disappointment is going to fester and gradually become resentment and it's going to be awful and I just want everyone to to get along like they did in middle school and bake a cake filled with rainbows and smiles that everyone can eat and be happy. I'd also appreciate it if Suits would slip some Mean Girls quotes into Mike, Harvey (and now Louis's!) vernacular. You know Louis would watch the hell out of Mean Girls


Ugh, "Moot Point" was so good and this part of the season has been so good and I'm so nervous because the first half was so awful and even though Suits isn't even on the end-times radar, Mike's current predicament has gotten me thinking about the future of Suits. It will only get more frustrating if, throughout his career, Mike can't enjoy any recognition for the good that he does. He can't stay an associate forever, but can he be promoted without forcing someone, anyone, to take a closer look at his credentials? Won't someone eventually find it odd that Jessica keeps the firm's mini-Harvey wunderkind so far from the spotlight? It's not even like Mike can just go to law school now without compromising every case he's ever worked on at Pearson-Specter. But either way, I'm really excited that we're back to focusing on this story again. 



CASE NOTES

– "The bigger person? You should have known that wasn't me." True.

– "What happened to the skirt-chasing degenerate I knew back at Harvard?" Man, college Harvey sounds so awesome

– "I'm Moby-god-damned-Dick!" <3

– Benjamin the Tech Guy is so precious. He needs to show up more. 


What'd you think of "Moot Point"?


  • Comments (80)
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  • theresafleming123 Apr 04, 2014

    It's so sad that this show keeps using God's name in vain! Great acting, but just can't watch a show that keeps offending our Lord on purpose...

  • al2sf Mar 23, 2014

    "I'm Moby "God damn" Dick and you just swimmed in my waters."
    Classic Louis.
    Thank God for this episode, Suits scared me with all those feelings few episodes ago...

  • peterspoor33 Mar 26, 2014

    Scotty got Litt up! Broke my heart with the everyone saying "pick a fight with the biggest guy thing" and Louise was all "You know what happens to that guy?"

    More Elliot Stemple, he bounced between pitiful and machiavellian genius.

    A sweet Maryann review, I remember how you indicated that you would so watch Da Vinci's Demons where Leonardo Da Vinci would get into some kwazy whacked out South American adventures, well your feverish psychadelic dreams look to have been answered if season two episode one hasn't told lies.

  • MisterKez Mar 23, 2014

    Suits needs to recapture the magic. The whole we gotta keep Mike's secret is getting old. They have too many that know. Three can keep a secret if two of them are dead. Suits has four. Somebody needs to try to figure out a way to get in front of it and either make Mike legit or something. I know that hacker girl forged him some credentials, but they only survive a superficial glance. Louis found the A+. Maybe Benjamin the tech guy could make them iron clad. That's how he could show up more. I know Donna could do it.

    According to the rules and regulations people have stated previously, they are past the point of no return and Mike has no chance, but this is TV. We watch to be entertained for 40 minutes. Law, medical, shows that use computers (CSI, or NCIS for example) should have a disclaimer stating "do not try this at home or in court."

    Jessica said that he has to stay out of the limelight, but aren't the other lawyers going to talk? Stemple just got his ass handed to him, not by Harvey, but by Mike. Mike took his name off, but the other lawyers and judges will remember the wunderkind, not to mention the stenographers and court reporters. It is all a matter of public record and gossip. Especially gossip and water cooler talk. Who you up against? Harvey? Well watch out for Mike Ross. If Jessica wants Mike to stay out of the spotlight, then she needs to put him in the basement and never let him step inside a courtroom.

    How long before Scottie finds out? I am saddened that Louis went back to his old ways so soon. I like his character. The Louis/Scottie match was good. Scottie needs to prove that she is there because she is a lawyer and not Harvey's girlfriend, even though technically she is. Louis should have asked as a friend after giving Harvey that speech just last week. Harvey should have told Scottie something like "It's not my secret to tell".

  • Kallenprice97 Mar 22, 2014

    I'm really loving hating Litt.

    His thing where he gives a nice gift, declares they're friends, so "now you have to give me what I want. Because we're friends." That's so bizarre -- and SO Louis. The man has zero social skills. I love it.

    I don't get how a senior partner can get away with sabotaging their own client just to get one over on another partner. Seems that would be crossing a really big line and should be a fire-able offense. That's something it seems you could take to Pearson without looking like you're crying to mommy.

    I hate that Louis might continue to hold his knowledge of Mike's "cheating" over them forever. And, he's just the kind of guy that would continue drawing from that well, over and over again -- whenever he needs to win.

    I hate that Harvey gave in to Louis, though I'm not sure what choice he had. And, I'm curious to see what Scottie does. And, I really don't get the logic that Louis can't survive it. Stupid. (Not the writers -- they're telling a great story -- I’m upset with the characters.)

    I really want Louis to suffer the consequences of his own stupidity. And, frankly, he just might see whining to Harvey as a just a "strategy" he used to win. He may not even think of it as going to Harvey with his tail between his legs. Anything to "win", right? So, he just plays his cards. Sort of like what Stemple tried with Mike and then again with Harvey -- play the pity card, while lying through your teeth.

    But, Louis is the one who made a scene. Louis is the one who threw down the gauntlet. Louis is the one who called names and made it personal. And, I really don't want to see him look like the winner when Scottie truly bested him at his own game.

    As for Stemple, it WAS fun to see him try to get out of the confrontation. And, his protestations, aside, it really did look like he was ducking Harvey.

    Some great maneuvering, but it sure seemed obvious to me that Stemple was setting them up with his "admission" after the deposition. They have to know he wasn't stupid enough to really do that. But, I guess not.

    I totally agree with you about the festering. This can't sit well with Mike. He knows he's brilliant. He knows he's valuable. And, to have it really hit home that none of that matters because he's going to have to work in the shadows for his entire career is just heartbreaking. He's in a no win situation. I'm sad for him. Truly sad. And, I'm very curious to see where this leads.

    Sadly, the premise of the show, which makes it so very interesting, is the very thing that precludes a long run of several seasons. At some point, as you suggested in your review, credibility is stretched beyond repair. Mike can't stay as he is for 3 more seasons and he can't be promoted for the reasons you suggested. I wonder how the show runners are going to handle that.

  • Kallenprice97 Mar 22, 2014

    As for the heart attack, it clearly was not Harvey. While the face was obscured, the patient was clearly rotund. The body shape matched Louis, but it could be anybody -- maybe not even someone from the firm.

  • vampman87 Mar 25, 2014

    Then why was Donna upset?

  • Kallenprice97 Mar 25, 2014

    Yep, that's a good question. They clearly included that clip to make us think it was Harvey. But, it's definitely not.

    I suppose it's possible Donna was emotional for Stuart. But, hard to believe.

    So, could it be someone outside the firm that is important to multiple characters? A father? Mentor?

  • onionringlets Mar 22, 2014

    "In the end, the Pearson-Hardman dream team came through"

    HEY
    It's Pearson-Specter

  • current Mar 22, 2014

    Scotty is too much of a mixed bag of contradictions atm. One minute she's pissed Harvey isn't committing enough but then it's too much. Then he's her lover to spill all but then she's ok with him as a boss. And then she's not ok, ad nauseum. She looks like an entitled poodle.
    It's a shame they've reverted back to having Louis as an underhand jellyfish running to Harvey.
    The case was lame. I think I need a coke, but which brand?

  • ben45tpy Mar 22, 2014

    I liked that Scotty finally got some scenes apart from Harvey and seeing her in attacking mode was a nice changeup. There'll be plenty of time for me to see her as an amoral narcissist like the rest of the firm later on.

    Two weeks in a row of Harvey pretending to moral superiority over Louis. You're my friend, I never do stuff to my friends, etc. Please enough with this BS. Does he ever reflect and realise how much of a hypocrite he is saying these sorts of things to manipulate Louis. He's the worst. But hey I liked this episode.

  • docspector Mar 21, 2014

    This episode had a double whammy for me. I have a legal education, so I can see all the times the writers demonstrate that they don't (in other words, they make glaring mistakes for people who know how the law, and law firms, work.)

    Before I went to law school, I worked in IT for a couple of decades. TV writers rarely accurately portray how computers work, either. This episode had BOTH glaring legal errors, AND glaring technical errors. Ouch.

    If a tech company had good evidence that another company was using rather bald-faced antitrust techniques to freeze them out of markets, you would not rush to sue. Instead, you'd go the FTC, hand over your evidence, and let THEM sue, on the government's dime, instead of your own. THEN you sue, after the federal government's dug up all the dirt.

    Semiconductor manufacturing techniques are valuable trade secrets, but they wouldn't be revealed in discovery because (surprise!) they're valuable trade secrets. The way to tell if a semiconductor design is exactly the same as another is to look at both under an electron microscope. Either they are the same, or they aren't. Analogy: If publisher A is accused of putting out copies of publisher B's copyrighted books, you'd look to see if the words were the same... you wouldn't take apart the books to see what kind of glue they used to put them together.

    But wait! They're standing in the wrong courtroom. Patent law is exclusively federal, and can't be litigated in a state court at all. Oops. Funny that not one of the highly-qualified lawyers in the room remembered that.

  • ben45tpy Mar 22, 2014

    Thanks for the insight.

  • TVcom_editorial Mar 22, 2014

    You might find this story interesting!

    7 Things TV Gets Really Wrong About Being an Attourney

  • docspector Mar 22, 2014

    One thing television has done well is teaching every American over about the age of 8 what their Miranda rights are. Most of the rest of the criminal procedure shown is... um... altered for dramatic purpose.

    However, it's not just law that gets butchered for television... everything does. I can't tell you how many laugh out loud (literally) moments I've had watching people do stuff with computers that, well, you can't do. At least when they do it in Star Trek, they have the excuse that several hundred years of advances are supposed to have taken place. CSI has no such excuse.

  • Kerkesh Mar 22, 2014

    The basic fact is that writers are not really interested to get things right and have either not caught up to that the audiences are much smarter and educated than ever before or probably just don't care. One of my hobbies is forensic science which I have read about extensively and even was lucky to visit some places where I shouldn't have been due to a friendship with an ME and we often discuss what BS forensics, criminology and basic police work is lacking in TV shows. At the same time,writers are expected to solve stories within 42 minutes and no matter how much you stretch it, it will always demand shitty shortcuts for narrative purposes.

  • Kerkesh Mar 22, 2014

    I just read it and agree because I also have a very fleeting but real legal education.Except on point seven: lawyers do rule the world. Most politicians, elected representatives, presidents of most countries, leaders of NGOs and world organizations as the UN, World Bank, etc.. are lawyers. Most of those lawyers were corporate lawyers and almost none were criminal, general legal or other specialty in law. 26 over the 44 POTUS were lawyers, the present one included and the proportion is probably the same in most modern nations of the world today.

  • Kerkesh Mar 22, 2014

    spelling Attorneys right is the 8th. :-)

  • docspector Mar 21, 2014

    Anyone who gets mad at a lawyer for keeping secrets from them doesn't understand legal ethics. Since the character doing so is allegedly a highly-qualified lawyer herself...

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