Suits "Asterisk" Review: The (Ongoing) Importance of Being Louis

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Suits S02E09: “Asterisk”

Getting Donna back ended up being the easiest of Harvey’s missions in Suits’ almost-finale, but it’s a forgivable transgression considering all the turmoil Team Donna has been forced to wallow in over the past few weeks. Donna protested the implication of Louis’s unfortunate line of questioning and claimed that she only loves Harvey as a “brother or cousin.” Harvey handed her a bonus check and let her “fire” the floating temp, Cameron, and his color-coded abomination of a filing system.

What I am certain Harvey chalked up as a major victory at the time was unfortunately minor in comparison to the bigger war at hand. Hardman’s latest move in his campaign against Jessica was to promote Louis to senior partner, essentially buying his vote in the ongoing Pearson-Hardman popularity contest. He followed the promotion up with the not-at-all-suspicious stipulation that Louis keep the good news to himself until after the upcoming partners meeting—the very meeting where the votes for either his or Jessica’s superiority would be cast. The stipulation served possibly two purposes: The first was the episode’s major concern, that Louis’s allegiance could be bought, and the second was to give Hardman a means to punish Louis severely if he didn’t come through with a vote in Hardman’s favor. I won’t be surprised if, despite all indications to the contrary, Louis ultimately votes for Jessica only to see Hardman take his promotion away.

Luckily, Donna was around to read between the lines and, based almost entirely on what kind of suit Louis was wearing, sussed out his pending promotion and what that meant for Jessica’s chance to beat Hardman. Immediately following Louis’s sweet and sincere apology for his offensive questioning during the mock trial weeks ago, Donna went to Jessica who, in turn, ordered Harvey to ensure that Louis voted in her favor. Harvey’s answer to “Woo Louis” included giving his frenemy the number of his awesome tailor and treating him to a fancy dinner where he whipped out the paperwork from five years ago that Louis used to uncover Hardman’s embezzlement...except this time, Harvey left the names uncensored. While Louis was hurt and outraged that Hardman had set him up to be the fall guy all those years ago, he was equally, if not more, disturbed by Harvey’s actions and the realization that while Hardman had used him then, Jessica was using him now.

There’s a member of my viewing party who just started watching Suits with me this season. It was at this point in “Asterisk” that he turned to me and asked, “So why am I supposed to cheer for Harvey and Jessica?”

“Because they’re the good guys.”

“They don’t seem like the good guys.”

The best defense of Harvey and Jessica that I could come up with was, “Satch the first season.” I wouldn’t say that I’m disappointed in them. I realize that they are in attack mode and a great deal of this season has revolved around the idea of the greater good and how moral people occasionally find themselves in positions where they have to do immoral or unpleasant things to benefit that greater idea.

However, their continued bewilderment whenever Louis is hesitant to jump on the Jessica bandwagon is starting to try my patience. They just aren’t nice to him. They’ve never BEEN nice, respectful, or inclusive toward him. At best, Jessica can be counted on to force Harvey into something resembling civil interaction, but it's always followed up by a scene between the two of them later, lamenting Louis’s personality, his very nature, and how they have no choice but to work with him because, well, he works hard, or he has powerful connections, or special skills, or an unwavering loyalty to his company that could easily be exploited.

While the right choice for the greater good of Pearson-Hardman is for Louis to vote for Jessica, it’s not, at first glance, a good choice for Louis, and I don’t fault him a bit for considering Hardman. Harvey and Jessica mistreated the odd, but loyal, dog for years and now question his aversion to them. Their inability to understand that makes them look alternately stupid and shallow.

When tossing dinner, suits, and even Harvey’s office didn’t seem to sway Louis’s decision, Jessica fell back on her old standby: threats. Louis appeared un-phased. After all, if she was so certain of her victory, why bother courting Louis at all?

And yet, I’m not entirely convinced that Louis has sworn himself to Hardman. Despite Louis’s outraged response to it, Harvey’s information about Hardman’s original fraud seemed to strike a nerve. Louis confronted Hardman, who promptly pulled out that old “I’m a changed man” defense.

Louis’s vote is still very much on the fence. Which side of it do you think he’ll land on?

"Asterisk" Photos


Case Notes


– Donna said that Harvey had only ever visited her apartment twice, “That God-awful dinner and the other time.” Please Donna, tell us more about “the other time.”

– FINALLY! Rachel scored a 172, which means she can go to law school. High five, girlfriend!

– Speaking of Rachel, I changed my mind and decided that she and Mike make a delightful couple, mostly because I feel like Suits’ writers have worked hard to give her a personality outside of “nagging girlfriend” and actually made her awesome. So uh, have at it, kids.

– When he wasn’t handling his case o’ the week, Mike was shopping for a nice apartment for his grandma because thanks to his bonus from Harvey, he could afford to look for places close enough to the office that Sassy Grandma could maybe leave the nursing home. With Rachel’s help, he found a beautiful place in his price range and left work early to make it absolutely perfect for his grandmother’s arrival, only to answer the door to find a tearful Rachel explaining that the nursing home had called the office, that it was the only emergency number they had, and that Mike’s grandma had passed away. I’m sure we’ll see the full extent of the fallout next week, but in the meantime, who else was absolutely crushed by Mike’s comment that she never even got to see the new apartment? And what do you think the death of Sassy Grandma, Mike’s primary motivation for lying his way into Pearson-Hardman’s ranks, means for Mike’s future at the firm? Are we going to see some motivation problems in the future?

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