Suits "He's Back" Review: Pearson Hardman vs. the World

Suits S02E14: “He’s Back”

Hardman is like a mosquito in that he’s just begging for someone—probably Harvey—to throw him into a bug zapper, but he’s also like a mosquito in that he’s carrying West Nile and infecting EVERYONE, including the audience, with uncertainty. I like it. So far, the simplest solution has always won out. Hardman has never failed to be the bad guy we always knew him to be, but he’s also done an amazing job at making our heroes look pretty unheroic themselves, planting the seeds of doubt, and generally just making the storyline for Season 2 seem far more complex than it actually is because Suits is fancy like that.

Lawyer Bunk, Rachel Zane’s daddy at a rival firm farmed out his Folsom Foods cases to Daniel Hardman, who in turn, jumped on the opportunity to make this all about him while simultaneously destroying Pearson Hardman because REVENGE and stuff. Mwahahaha. There was a lot of revenge talk this week, both from Hardman and from those he wronged. Donna with the bitchslap FTW! Harvey was so proud. We were all so proud.

Hardman was smarmy as ever, teaming up with Monica, that chick he was banging, to sue Pearson Hardman for a cool $10 mil in a wrongful termination suit. They aimed to make the wrongful termination look like some good ol’ fashioned gender discrimination so that Pearson Hardman would lose credibility while representing those bazillion cases from Folsom Foods that they weren’t equipped to handle anyway, subsequently losing them all and collapsing in on itself while Hardman and Monica danced around the ashes—and probably eventually peed on them.

The entire case would have been thrown out with the knowledge that Hardman and Monica were having an affair during her time at Pearson Hardman, but unfortunately, Hardman suckered Jessica into signing a confidentiality agreement when he was kicked to the curb, which meant Pearson Hardman was screwed. The thing is, even after outsmarting Hardman with a technicality in the confidentiality agreement and convincing Monica to be a decent human being for once in her life, Pearson Hardman is still screwed. Their big, wonderful, world-saving victory ultimately didn’t matter very much—kinda like Return of the Jedi when you take the expanded universe into account. The fight dragged on for another twenty years? How depressing. And awesome, if you were a dork in the '90s (Hello, friends!). But still depressing.

Everyone wants a piece of Pearson Hardman and it appears that their rivals would rather just wait to perfect their vulture routines than actually work with anyone associated with the firm (slackers!). Jessica reached out to Robert Zane, pushing the limits of what she could legally say concerning Hardman’s history with the firm, but he was bitter and grumpy and out for blood. Also he was BFFs with Hardman back in college and we all know that people NEVER change after college, right? Right. I’m so torn because I don’t want Lawyer Bunk to get screwed over, mostly because I like the characterization Suits has finally given his daughter and I don’t want anything to even vaguely threaten that, but I also love being able to say “I told you so” and so does Jessica. So fine, go play with your pal, Hardman. I hope you enjoy your time together!

Still, some of Hardman’s words resonate when it comes to his former partner, Jessica. At this point, knowing everything that we know about him, everything he says should be taken with an entire carton of salt. He’s out for Jessica, so he certainly isn’t going to have anything flattering to say about her, but we as an audience don’t really know much about Jessica to counter his accusations. She’s a career woman and she’s competitive, neither of which are bad traits. But she’s also ruthless, which can be a problem, and this week, I think we got a glimpse of how petty she can be: She was unwilling to make an agreement with Monica, even if it would win her this latest battle in the war against Hardman, purely because it was Monica and screw Monica. Harvey called Jessica out on being “out of control”—and when HARVEY SPECTER is the one calling you out on that, you should know you’re in trouble—but she countered by pointing out that HER name is the one on the door, which is her go-to argument these days, and a pretty tired one at that. I also giggled at Hardman reminiscing about “When Jessica and I instigated our own coup...” because it’s amusing that Jessica has led more than one coup in her life. How many coups does one need, really? At what point do we begin to entertain the idea that maybe the problem isn’t ALWAYS them? Maybe SOMETIMES the problem is Jessica?

I’m not there yet myself, but I can see that path opening up.

She gave Harvey her blessing to take down Hardman’s name, though, so there’s a flaw in Hardman’s “Jessica doesn’t REALLY trust Harvey” argument. Pearson Specter? Is that going to be a thing now? I bet that’s going to be a thing now.

What did you think of Daniel Hardman’s return?

Case Notes

– Donna Paulsen sass of the episode: “It took awhile to feng shui the evil out.” And then she slapped Hardman. BOOM.

– “Success is the best revenge.” “Bullshit. Revenge is the best revenge.” I hate to say it, Donna, my precious, but I think I have to side with Louis on this one.

– So pumped that Rachel filled out her Harvard app and wrote a kickass essay all by herself and HAS A ROLE OUTSIDE OF BEING MIKE’S LOVE INTEREST! Does she even qualify as a love interest anymore? They’ve been giving off awesome friend vibes since this show came back from hiatus and I’m really, really okay with it.

– Harvey and Louis talked to each other like human beings and it was touching and sincere and awesome.

– I like how Mike’s approach to almost every situation is to guilt his adversary into being a good person. Ninety-nine percent of the time, it works every time.

– Don’t make Louis angry, Hardman. You won’t like him when he’s angry.

– Why does EVERYONE throw Louis under the bus? Or rather, which came first—the bitter, angry Louis who everyone tries to screw over, or is he angry and bitter BECAUSE everyone tries to screw him over?

– How long until Rachel goes to Harvard and realizes Mike never went to Harvard? Because that’s where that story is going to go, right? Probably?

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