Suits Season 2 Finale Review: Mixing Business With Pleasure

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Suits S02E16: “War”

Not gonna lie, I was a little underwhelmed with this finale. The first half of Suits’ second season was SO GOOD and while the second half was still generally good, the last six episodes, as a unit, fell near the less-awesome end of the spectrum. The mid-season finale could have very easily worked as a season finale, with Hardman ousted but still somewhat of a threat, and Mike’s grandma dying and throwing him into suck-spiral. I’m willing to consider that the ultimate conclusions to those storylines would have worked better if they’d been given time to evolve more organically over an entirely separate season, rather than being crammed into the six episodes tacked on to the end of Season 2 like a sloppy fanfic epilogue. It’s not that the Season 2 finale was necessarily bad—I’m definitely anticipating Season 3, which is exactly what the finale was supposed to accomplish—but maybe if we'd had more time to tackle this merger storyline and explore Harvey’s fanatical opposition to Jessica and Edward’s “union,” Harvey wouldn’t have come off as a freaking child for most of it.

Personally, I hate the real-world “business is business” argument because I think it excuses people and corporations that have the power to do horrible things. However, there’s definitely a place for it outside of supervillainy, and given Pearson-Whatever’s current position, I’d say the impending merger between it and Dana Scott’s U.K.-based firm is a pretty good time to whip it out given that Harvey’s motivations for derailing the deal were almost entirely personal. Maybe not even ALMOST—it was all fueled by feelings of betrayal toward Scottie and frustration that he couldn’t just hit-it-and-quit-it with the more financially stable and more esteemed U.K. firm. No, you don’t have to marry the dude who knocks you up, but Harvey basically asked the nice girl in class on a date, made her pay for everything, and then wanted to go back to pretending they didn’t actually know each other.

So, I’m delighted that despite Harvey’s best borderline illegal efforts, the merger went through. I don’t even mind that Jessica had to blackmail Mike with his big secret to make it happen. I spent the entire episode wondering why she didn’t just put her foot down and point out that she’s the boss and it’s her firm and she DOES WHAT SHE WANTS. I know, I know, she wanted to try things Harvey’s way with the competition because he’s a child who needs to be eased into situations he doesn’t like. He’s an enormously talented and brilliant child, but a child nonetheless. He put up a good fight and threw an impressive tantrum, but Mommy stuck him on time out and now he has to prove to her that he deserves to have his name on the door like a big boy.

Fortunately, Harvey’s redemption has already started. This season, more than the first, suffered from loose lips with regard to expanding Harvey’s character. Characters were full of stories about what an amazing, generous, caring dude Harvey Specter is, but his actions on the screen didn’t usually back those claims up. Even in “War” as Harvey waged his campaign against the merger, Scottie told Mike about the time that Harvey’s brother was ill and hard-up for cash and Harvey forked over his Harvard tuition money to take care of him. Awesome. Touching stuff. Really. But c’mon, Darth Vader loved Padme at one time and that doesn’t make the time he dismembered his son’s hand any less of a bad thing. Not that Harvey is Darth Vader, but the point is, people change. Wonderful, generous people can turn into douchebags under the right circumstances.

But when we last saw Harvey in the finale, he seemed to be working on being less of a dickhead. After Scottie was fired for her part in sabotaging the merger (more on that in a sec) Harvey defended her and even, apparently, managed to talk her boss into giving her the job back.

Let’s talk about Scottie’s change of heart, though, because initially it bothered me, but I think I’ve talked myself into a theory that doesn’t make the implications gross—that the only way to Harvey’s heart was through imploding her own successful career, and not only was that the logical choice to make, it was the moral one, too. That the idea and the encouragement came from My Precious, Donna, was alarming, but considering what we’ve learned about her relationship with Harvey and, despite her protestations, the nature of her feelings toward him, Donna’s conversation with Scottie became less about Scottie and Harvey and more about DONNA and Harvey. Donna has used her perfect professionalism to quash anything resembling an intimate relationship with Harvey for, it’s been implied, years. Her relationships with other men have fizzled because Harvey always comes first on her list of priorities. Donna has seen those feelings exploited and violated and it’s certainly not a stretch to consider that on some level, she might regret how things have ended up. I mean, she’s not a lovesick teenager who goes home and cries herself to sleep every night, but she’s wiser now than she was before Hardman’s meddling.

And with all that said, if-you-love-him-you’ll-destroy-everything-you’ve-worked-for-your-entire-life was still hard to swallow—but, eh, it worked out in the end. For now.

Onto Mike and I guess Rachel by extension because with the truth about her Harvard rejection coming out and snuffing out what little hope Rachel was clinging to that the decision might be reversed, she’s back to existing solely so Mike has someone to woo/bang in the copy room. I hope those shelves were, like, bolted to the floor or something.

Mike was firmly on Team Harvey during the merger debacle, doing whatever was asked of him with minimal protest. Honestly, outside of his lulzy Downton Abbey geekfest with Edward and the plot-altering position Jessica stuck him in, Mike really didn’t get a lot of action in this finale. I mean, aside from the action in the copy room, if you know what I mean which I’m sure you do. The season’s big developments seemed to skew toward Harvey, with Mike rehashing his sad-orphaned-past issues, and his sleeping-with-other-peoples-wives/girlfriends issues, and his Puff-the-Magic-Dragon issues. We’ve had two seasons of his professional peers alluding to how much he resembles a bright-eyed young Harvey, with Scottie even referring to him as “Baby Harvey” this week, and I think going forward, I’d like to see that explored more. The cycle of being a responsible adult > being a fuck-up > being a responsible adult again can really only go on for so long. So, more Lawyer Mike in the future, please.

Also, let’s finally address his non-existent law degree once and for all. It keeps popping up at the worst possible times. People keep blackmailing him with it. Let’s just figure something out. For as big of an issue as it is, Mike’s secret tends to be relatively unimportant on a weekly basis. Suits has proven itself capable of telling broader Mike stories beyond that of his professional subterfuge. It took two seasons, but Mike has grown beyond the brainy-pothead-out-of-his-depth he was introduced as. They killed off Sassy Grandma and forced Mike to stand on his own feet and, despite some early stumbles, he’s been successful. I say Suits should just pull the trigger on that story. Given that Mike’s final scene had him telling Rachel the big Secret, I’d say that maybe the show already has.



CASE NOTES


– Louis vs. Nigel: I loved their truce, but I was worried that Nigel would be the one to stick Louis on his list. With that in mind, I can’t really be mad at Louis for sticking Nigel on HIS list based on that same belief. It was just unfortunate. Louis just can’t win. It’s hardwired into his DNA or something.

– Donna Paulsen sass concerning the endless inquiries into her feelings for Harvey, “I am so frickin' tired of people asking me that!” Me too, lady. Me too.

– No Katrina sighting this week. She truly serves no purpose in the story. Here’s to fixing that in Season 3.

– What did you think of the finale?

– What did you think of the season as a whole?

– What are your hopes and dreams for Season 3?

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