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Suits S03E16: “Heartburn”

I will admit that I was skeptical when I realized that "Heartburn" was going to become an emergency-inspired Louis Litt love fest, mostly because Suits is kind of horrible to Louis on a regular basis and I wasn't thrilled with the idea of watching everyone weep at his bedside only to turn around and screw him over one episode later. In actuality, however, "Heartburn" was a surprisingly self-aware episode and the weeping felt sincere, and once Suits decided to go with the Pearson-Specter "family" angle, well, that explained a lot. Families are weird and tend to be full of people who certainly love each other, but don't necessarily like each other. 

Louis Litt's awesome morning devolved into a crappy morning and then a really crappy morning when he keeled over during closing arguments during some rando case that, like so many of the cases on Suits, didn't really matter. "Heartburn," more than any other episode of Suits to date, was exceptional at highlighting that aspect of the series. The best episodes, the most interesting stories, are those that remain within the firm itself and revolve around the core players at Pearson-Specter. 

And where is everyone as of the conclusion of "Heartburn"? Oh, they're all over the place. Rachel panicked when she saw the bazillion-dollar bill for her law school tuition, and then she panicked some more when Jessica revealed that Louis hadn't included the tuition coverage in Rachel's rehire. What was initially painted as a huge defeat for Rachel ultimately ended up being an impressive victory and a promising start to her future as an attourney when, with a little help from the usual suspects, she managed to persuade Jessica to honor the verbal agreement Louis made by arguing that making an investment in Harvey—Jessica paid for his Harvard education back in the day—has served the firm well. Cracks about the accuracy of that sentiment aside, Rachel's point was made, though I totally agree with Donna that if Rachel had been honest with Louis about what she was asking for, instead of tip-toeing around with that "my friend made a verbal agreement" crap, she probably could have saved herself a lot of anguish. Whatever, it all worked out. 

Mike also landed a victory—but his put him in an uncomfortable position when it resulted in a promising job offer away from the ticking time bomb that is his law career. A gig as an investment banker would allow Mike to maintain his swanky New York lifestyle, but would smash the pesky glass ceiling that's been blocking his way at Pearson-Specter because his (lack of) law school credentials theoretically wouldn't matter anymore. The decision seems obvious, but there's really no Suits without the Mike-and-Harvey dream team, so I think Mike's answer seems obvious, especially in the wake of all this "family" brouhaha. 

I can't help but question the wisdom of keeping Mike at Pearson-Specter, though. Even if Mike decides that he doesn't mind working hard while knowing that he will never be promoted or publicized for fear of revealing the truth about his employment, wouldn't someone, anyone, internally at the firm eventually start to find it odd that the best and brightest associate is never rewarded for his awesomeness? He's Harvey Specter's righthand man and heir apparent. Sidwell noted that given Mike's brilliance, Mike would probably be running the firm before he turned 40, and Sidwell can't be the only person to harbor such observations. The firm is in a rough position: Promote Mike and garner unwanted attention. Don't promote Mike, and eventually garner unwanted attention. Mike (probably) isn't going anywhere, however, so I'm curious to see how the situation plays out. I don't think it's a conflict that can be wrapped up in the two remaining episodes of Season 3, but it's certainly a strong-enough story to carry us into Season 4. 

But let's finally address the center around which the whole of "Heartburn" revolved: Louis's brush with death inspired him to be proactive about his relationship with Sheila, and he proposed! And she accepted! And then, as tends to happen when proposals are rushed in the heat of the moment, the pair fought about the logistics of their marriage: She's based in Boston and he's in New York. Neither one had any intention of leaving a thriving career to start over again, but Sheila came around to ditching Harvard for Louis. She couldn't, however, abandon her no-kids stance, and Louis refused to budge on his own desire to be a dad. I totally refuse to take sides here. Sheila's willingness to give up Harvard was huge, but asking Louis to abandon his dreams of fatherhood is a totally different argument, and relationships that rely on quid pro quo to function generally aren't the happiest or healthiest. I think there's certainly still hope for Louis and Lady Louis. They need to talk. I need them to talk because I love them. They certainly love each other, but when it comes to envisioning an ideal solution for them, I'm stumped. 

Donna took the opportunity to tell Harvey to call Scottie and apologize in the wake of Louis and Sheila's break-up. I'm still trying to understand that angle—Donna seems so, so eager to make Harvey/Scottie work that I suspect she might be trying to overcompensate for her own feelings. But I might also be delusional. What do you think?

As for what I think about "Heartburn" as a whole: Even though I was initially skeptical about the premise, the execution completely won me over. I'll admit that I'm a sucker for Louis and I tend to be a little sensitive to the casual abuse he's dealt at the hands of his co-workers, but the presentation of the Pearson-Specter dynamics as those of a family repaint the members of the firm in a different, more sympathetic light. Suits needed this episode, and it needed it at this time, in the wake of all the trauma and misery of the first half of the season, and I am so excited as we move forward. So excited.


– "I know, I'm an asshole." So meta, Harvey. 

– Donna: "You let the associates raise your blood pressure." Louis: "Because they're stupid." <3

– Is there still hope for Sheila and Louis? (SAY YES.)

What'd you think of "Heartburn"?

Previously Aired Episode

AIRED ON 7/22/2015

Season 5 : Episode 5

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