Louis the villain is back and I couldn't be happier because Louis is awesome and frankly, Jessica and the gang kind of deserve what they're getting now that Louis has figured out Mike's big secret and knows what kind of influence that secret has had in personally screwing Louis over during the last few seasons. I need it to be winter right now, which is saying a lot about how much I dig the direction Suits has decided to go in, because I haaaaate winter. That's the kind of sacrifice I'm willing to make if it means we get to watch Louis being a BAMF.
"This is Rome" was a twisty road that led to Louis's realization that he had nothing to lose. While Louis should've been a highly desirable candidate in the wake of his exit from Pearson Specter, the secrecy surrounding his departure and the fact that the by-laws he himself penned prohibited former employees from taking any client with them conspired to make Louis practically untouchable in the circles he sought to stay in. A guilty Harvey helped him land a gig in Cincinnati, but who wants to go to Cincinnati? Donna convinced Harvey to pull some strings in Boston so that Louis could be near Sheila, but Sheila, sensing that she was merely a consolation prize following Louis's career implosion, rejected his advances. Things looked increasingly bleak. And then Mike had to open his big dumb mouth.
It was really only a matter of time before Louis discovered Mike's secret, and while I rallied for awhile behind the notion that everyone should just tell Louis the truth and let him into the clubhouse, this particular turn of events is much more appropriate and plausible. Mike may have a crazy photographic memory, but Harvard is an old school, steeped in tradition and nuance, and there are just some things you can't learn about a culture without experiencing it for yourself. As it happened, Mike badgered Louis about the meaning of a key that Mike found in Louis's box of office stuff—a key that, if Mike had really gone to Harvard and gotten the kinds of grades he claimed to have gotten, he would have absolutely known the meaning of.
Mike's slip with the key gave Louis the leverage he needed to confront Jessica, but it also brought Suits' cracked foundation back to the forefront in a manner that is much more satisfying than a mere paperwork snafu. The end of Season 3 danced around the issue of Mike's future and ultimately had him leave the firm for a career where advancement and acknowledgement were much more attainable realities than his sham over at Pearson Specter could offer. While this season saw Mike return to the firm with a shiny new title and a shiny new office, the fact remains that Mike's situation currently isn't any different than what it was before his ill-fated banking job.
By rehiring Mike, Pearson Specter put itself back in the line of fire—and the fact that Louis was the one to spearhead that effort, only to turn around and be the one doing the shooting, is so delicious. That Mike was ultimately the one to betray himself highlights the flaw in the great facade that has been a threat from the very beginning: You can only lie for so long before the truth catches up to you. The important thing to remember here, as Louis wages war on his former friends and family, is that Louis didn't seek out proof of Mike's charade until Mike himself made a mistake. This isn't a case of badly forged paperwork or an outside force looking to attack. This is the weak spot in the defense finally collapsing, all on its own.
Louis on the offense is exciting and it's been a long time coming, but watching him still burn all those bridges was painful—and however Suits manages to rebuild them when we return in a few months will be the highlight of the final six episodes of the season, particularly concerning how Louis-in-charge deals with Mike now that he knows the truth (and knows, deep down, that the solution isn't as simple as firing him).
"This is Rome" is one of the best mid-season finales in the Suits canon: Jessica was ruthless, Harvey was human, Mike and Rachel kept their interactions to a minimum. It highlighted the best of Suits' storytelling habits, focusing on the show's characters and their all too-human flaws rather than relying on yet another outside attack to foster conflict.
Rome is burning, and the citizens of Rome have only themselves to blame.
– BUNK! HI BUNK!
– Katrina really grew on me and I was NOT okay when she was fired. You think Louis will use his leverage to save her?
– Like ouch, Sheila.
– Donna was so fine in this episode. What a badass in the shooting range.
– PEARSON SPECTER LITT. Yesssss.
– Thanks for reading, kids! Catch you when I'm seven feet beneath a snowdrift and haven't seen the sun in weeks! <3
What did you think of the finale? What do you hope to see when we return?
AIRED ON 3/2/2016
Season 5 : Episode 16