Suits: Poker Face

Suits S02E06: "All In"

A week later, how was Harvey handling Donna’s absence? About as well as you’d expect, maybe even marginally better than that. I was expecting more drunken loss of control, honestly, especially considering the picture that last week’s promo for “All In” tried to paint. It tried so hard, didn’t it? I was actually worried—not about Harvey, but about Suits itself. This season has been awesome episode after awesome episode, week after week, and frankly, I thought the promo for “All In” looked kind of ridiculous. I thought that maybe the ball had finally been dropped.

I was wrong. While “All In” didn’t quite stand up to the epic goodness that preceded it, it wasn’t the hour of crazy that the promo led me to fear that it would be either.

We opened with Harvey answering—and immediately hanging up—his own phone, Donna’s desk still empty and sad... though it was soon to be manned by an overeager temp, at Jessica’s urging. “You haven’t replaced Donna,” Jessica pointed out later, when she and Harvey were having one of their Fine/Not Fine conversations. Harvey succinctly explained that Donna is irreplaceable. Aww.

A phone call from an old friend had Harvey showing up on Mike’s door in the middle of the night, dressed in his best and destined for Atlantic City. I wonder if any of the writers have actually BEEN to Atlantic City? I have. I’ve been there many times. I grew up an hour away from “America’s Favorite Playground” and let me assure you, it is not that classy. It’s more like a festering cesspool covered with glitter. Wipe the thin veneer of shiny away (read: walk across the street from your neon palace of a casino) and you’re going to need a pretty big can of mace.

Anyway, Mike WOULD get banned from a casino for counting cards.

It turned out that Harvey was on a rescue mission: His friend Keith, after five years on the no-gambling-no-drinking wagon, had taken a bit of a fall and in his drunken haze, lost his company in a poker game. What Harvey thought would be a simple matter of pointing out that contracts written by drunk men on cocktail napkins typically don’t hold up in legal proceedings turned into a legitimate court battle when Thomas Walsh, the new owner of Keith’s green energy company, revealed that drunk though Keith may have been when drafting the contract, he still managed to include the three things that make a contract legal: an offer, an acceptance, and a consideration. With those three things, a contract becomes binding, even if it’s scribbled on a scrap of paper by an inebriated individual. Methinks somebody may want to, um, take a hard look at that law and fix it. Just a thought.

Meanwhile, Rachel and Louis teamed up for one of the most awkward and amazing partnerships on Suits to date. After bumping into each other at the New York City Ballet, the duo discovered their mutual appreciation for the art, and when Louis took on a case from Sergei, the master of the ballet (and one of Louis’s childhood idols), he turned to Rachel to do the “associate work” for the case after hapless Harold proved to be useless. Sometimes I wonder how Harold keeps his job.

Rachel was thrilled to be given work above her usual station and quickly discovered all sorts of flaws in the ballet’s rehearsal space that pointed to neglect from the landlord. When confronted by the allegations, the landlord in turn pointed out that the funds the ballet was obligated to pay him for maintenance of the space hadn’t been paid in over a year. Sergei was embezzling the funds and Louis was crushed.

Luckily, Rachel was there to remind him that he was Louis. He was mean. When people screwed him over, he screwed them back.

I thought that Rachel and Louis made a great team and I actually found their storyline to be more interesting than Harvey’s poker-themed meltdown (blasphemy, I know). It was great to see Rachel being awesome and brainy and content without Mike and I’m still holding out for the results of her law school exam. Did we forget about it, writers? Here’s a friendly refresher: Remember that time Rachel Zane took her law school entrance exam? We’re all sitting here patiently waiting for the results, but this is getting ridiculous.

I found myself entertaining delusions of the fabulous Rachel/Louis team-up before Mike showed up and ruined the delicate fantasy land I had constructed for myself in the span of 42 minutes. He applauded Rachel being awesome, but warned her that BFF time with Louis Litt never lasts. SHUT UP, MIKE.

Sadly, however, Mike is probably right. Rachel borrowed Louis’s Dictaphone and Mike replayed some of the greatest hits of Louis Litt’s headspace for laughs... and then he stumbled upon the recorded conversation between himself and Harvey about the Coastal Motors situation. He realized that Louis had deliberately left the recorder in Harvey’s office and later, sold them out to Hardman. Mike, in turn, handed the damning evidence over to Harvey who, fresh off of his poker victory and a tongue-lashing from Jessica, went full Godfather on Louis with the old, “There will come a time when I will call upon you to perform a service...” spiel, capping it off with “You owe me.”

As Mike pointed out earlier in this episode, who DOESN’T “owe” Harvey?

Whatever, while I lament the end of the brief joy that was Rachel and Louis (since Louis will surely work out how Harvey got his hands on the Dictaphone and cast Rachel back down into paralegal hell), I’m pretty excited to find out when and how Harvey ends up calling in his chip. You know it’s going to be awesome.

Case Notes

– I miss Donna. When do we get to have Donna back?

– No Hardman this episode either. It was kind of weird.

– I loved Harvey’s judgment of Mike’s apartment. “Nice panda.” “It was a grandma Christmas thing.” Those are the BEST things.

– I know that one of my favorite things to do is rage about Rachel’s sole existence relying on being a love interest but—and this freaks me out—I think I’d be okay with Rachel and Louis as a thing. Maybe. "Do I contradict myself? Very well then, I contract myself." —Name the poet for an internet cupcake.

– I don’t know how I feel about Jessica’s storyline this week. I get that we were supposed to see how ruthless and tough she is, but I fail to see anything admirable about getting a classmate blackout drunk and then leaving her naked and confused in a classroom. It would have been a disturbing revelation had Jessica left the explanation at “COLLEGE. LOL.” But the fact that she actually did it to land herself a job makes it worse. I love me some Gina Torres, but I’m having a hard time loving me some Jessica Pearson this season. Harvey peeing in Louis’s office and blaming his cat, however, is always acceptable.

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