Suits: The Importance of Being Louis

Suits S02E04: "Discovery"

An old case that Harvey won four years ago was reopened when the delightfully nefarious Travis Tanner got his hands on an office memo that basically tossed Harvey’s driver-error defense in the toilet. The case in question was a lawsuit between Coastal Motors and the family of a man who died when the hood of his car killed him in an accident. The family claimed that the hood was defective, but without any sort of smoking gun to implicate Coastal Motors beyond a shadow of a doubt, Harvey’s defense, a smear campaign alleging that the family member in question was a known alcoholic, triumphed.

Harvey stood by his old defense and firmly believed in the story he had told in court years earlier. Tanner announced plans to reopen the case, sue Coastal Motors for the previous faulty hood allegation, and this time, sue the pants off of Pearson-Hardman for initially defending the company. Yikes. I had a brief flirtation with the pre-law track in undergrad and episodes like this always serve to remind me why I ditched it.

Harvey initially believed that Travis Tanner was screwing with him because it’s not like Tanner has other aspirations in life, outside of making Harvey’s suck. Harvey was confident that the memo was a forgery, though after Coastal Motors fired Pearson-Hardman in the most awkward break-up ever, Harvey was willing to at least entertain the notion that the memo was real, and The Powers That Be conveniently forgot to give it to him during the original lawsuit because they were evil corporate overlords, or something. He certainly didn’t think that the memo was in his files all along and that our beloved Donna SIMPLY FORGOT TO SHOW IT TO HIM.

Poor Donna. Sarah Rafferty rocked the facial expression spectrum when, after spending literally the entire episode poring over old case files, Donna found the infamous memo with her own signature confirming that Harvey’s office had received it. We’ve never seen Donna screw up before. I don’t like it. It’s like living on Bizzaro World. But it’s the sort of thing that happens in real life, and the fact that Harvey had so thoroughly convinced himself that there had to be some sort of underhanded reason why he didn’t have the memo during the original trial made the reveal that his most trusted team member had simply had an off day absolutely devastating. If anyone stuck around to see the previews for next week, you know that Donna looked absolutely wrecked. It’s going to be hard to watch. Donna’s my homegirl.

On a lighter note (at least for the first half of the episode) the epic bromance between Harvey and Mike took a backseat to the budding relationship between Mike and Louis. Mike was essentially wrapped up in a big ribbon and gifted to Louis after he insulted Harvey’s vinyl collection. Never insult the vinyl, Mike, you idiot. Louis was delighted to have Harvey’s associate on call for as long as he wanted and the entire scene between the two rivals setting the terms was hilarious. “What do you want to do to him?” “THINGS.”

Despite initial apprehension, Mike and Louis actually worked really well together, defending a beverage company accused of false advertisement by a rival. Louis got to show off his own awesome lawyer skills by bonding with a low-ranking executive from the rival company over the frustration of being continually passed up for promotion, despite being capable and loyal to their respective employers. On one hand, the scene blatantly laid the goings-on in Louis Litt’s head out in the open, finally explaining himself to Mike while avoiding the sort of mushy heart-to-heart with an associate that would make Louis gag. It also served to successfully persuade the overlooked rival employee to jump ship and testify that the entire lawsuit was orchestrated to stir up publicity and sales for his own failing company. But most importantly, it was foreshadowing of what was to come. The rival employee was a mirror image of Louis, which is why Louis’s words worked so well to motivate him to turn his back on his employer. Louis understood how it felt to be ignored all too well.

But, unlike the dude from the rival company, Louis had hope. He had been commended by Jessica for his solution to the Harvard problem in “Meet the New Boss,” earned the respect of the associates, and, most importantly, a handful of praise from Harvey himself. Having worked well with Mike to win the false advertising case, the two often antagonistic individuals were actually getting along. However, having been the butt of Pearson-Hardman’s jokes for so long, it was understandable that Louis was apprehensive about his newly accepted position in the firm. It only took a few cutting words from those he admired, the “popular” kids, so to speak, to tear all of that progress down.

Harvey and Jessica were adamant that the Coastal Motors lawsuit had to be kept away from Hardman. He would use the fact that the memo was lost under Jessica’s watch to overthrow her reign as Managing Partner in the firm. Louis realized that Harvey was in trouble and rather than be a dick about it, actually offered to help. While I understood Harvey’s rationale in rejecting the offer, I was also disappointed. I mean, it’s fairly obvious why Louis is the way he is and frankly, a good chunk of it can be traced back to Harvey. I love the guy, but he has the tendency to come off as a bully, and he’s certainly more reactionary than anyone realizes (though after “Meet the New Boss” I think Jessica is starting to take a hint.)

After being unceremoniously tossed on his ass, a hurt, insulted Louis pulled out his handy dandy digital recorder that was conveniently left in Harvey’s office after he was kicked out. Despite Mike’s defense of his actions and plea to Harvey to reconsider leaving Louis out in the cold, Louis was only concerned with Harvey’s rejection, his assertion that Louis could not be trusted. It only took a few aptly timed kind words from Daniel Hardman to get Louis to tell him everything.

However, rather than jump on the opportunity to dethrone Jessica, Hardman expressed his disappointment that she and Harvey kept such an important thing from him. He pointed out that he was a founding partner too and that an attack on the firm is an attack on him as well as on Jessica. He asserted that he would do everything in his power to save the firm, even team up with Jessica and Harvey, despite their hatred of him.

Don’t worry, I’m sure he’s just saving his coup for a more opportune time.

Case Notes

– Well, Rachel got to be awesome for at least a little while, right? This week it was right back to storylines that revolve around nothing more than being the office love interest. And no, changing things up and having dorky Harold be the one pursuing her instead of Mike did not make it better.

– This season of Suits is doing a good job of making Jessica and Harvey look like douchebags. I mean, right now, Hardman is doing the saint act, and while it’s all clearly bull, I can’t help but think it might be in their best interest to at least outwardly play along. Even Mike has started to turn on them, especially after Harvey’s treatment of Louis this week.

– Mike was less of a brat this episode. Yay.

– I’m still holding out hope that Louis will be the Severus Snape to Mike’s Harry Potter. How about you?

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