What we have here is an episode of Suits that was refreshingly not a suckfest paired with a promo for next week's episode that looks positively divine—guys, I'm so excited. I mean, Harvey is still a total child and Jessica is like the lesser of the two evils, but Donna is awesome, Nigel and Louis are BFFs again, and Mike and Rachel are actually having adult conversations about adult things and working through their adult fights like adults so I actually don't loathe their relationship right now. How delightful.
"Shadow of a Doubt" had a higher number decidedly kookier moments than most of its preceding episodes, which were more of a mindless march toward Harvey Specter world domination—mostly with Nigel, Louis, and their kitty-love, but for all of the OH NOES DONNA HAS A LIFE AWAY FROM HARVEY WHO KNEW? surrounding Donna and British Harvey, when they aren't bickering about Original Flavor Harvey, they're really quite fun. I have zero confidence that Stephen will be around much past the end of the season, flinging Donna back into pining-silently-and-secretly-for-her-boss territory, but in the meantime, I'm enjoying those two crazy kids and I hope Steve isn't trying to use Donna against Harvey or something with his whole "I love you for reals" shtick. (I WILL CUT YOU, STEVE-O.)
The Ava Hessington case is still underway, but the woman herself wasn't much of a featured player this week and it was awesome. That has nothing to do with Michelle Fairley not being awesome (because she is) and everything to do with Ava being an awful and impressively unsympathetic character. Jessica convinced Ava to sell her shares of Hessington Oil to save the company from the nefarious corporate raider, Tony Giannopoulos, and promised to try—the key word here being "try"—to get her out of the deal later. The implication that this miserable case is going to keep going and going like the Energizer bunny of old is unfortunate, but the moment between Jessica and Ava as two women who are completely aware not only of how similar they are but also of how they can work together to get what they want/need without particularly liking one another was a nice touch. If Ava simply must open her mouth in the future, I want her to be more like this and less like the spoiled little rich lady who conveniently doesn't understand how warlords operate, please!
The problem with much of the story that came before "Shadow of a Doubt" is that, for whatever reason, intentional or not, the characters that we've invested so much time in and so much attention to suddenly stopped being fully-realized "people" on the TV screen. They simply became plastic figures for the writers to use to tell their story—without giving much thought to whether that story made sense, not to mention whether it was a story that anyone actually wanted to see. Harvey has always had a petty streak, but rarely has he been presented in such an infantile light; it's infuriating to watch because in the past, I've actually rather liked Harvey. His apparent remorse/second-guessing/concern/whatevs at Jessica seemingly giving him what he was conspiring with Darby to get returned Harvey's missing complexity and fortunately, it's early enough in the season that much of the damage of the last few episodes can still be undone. Harvey probably isn't going to just drop everything with Darby and go crawling back to Jessica, but at least now he has to actually consider the effects of his actions beyond of how quickly they will get his name on the door.
Mike and Rachel also managed to come a long way in a short amount of time. Only slightly daunted by her Harvard rejection, Rachel put on her big girl pants and applied to other schools, scoring an interview at Stanford and deciding not to tell Mike about it because of reasons. He was grumpy about this. He was also grumpy about Rachel's reluctance to introduce him to the 'rents (HI BUNK!) and as much as I ever hate to admit that Mike is right about anything, he had a point about how he'd have to meet them eventually if he and Rachel were going to continue to be a "thing." Anyway, they bickered, but anyone who's done the long-distance relationship thing knows that it wasn't a stupid argument to have. Plus, they handled it like adults and didn't break up and it was great. Yay.
This episode was wonderful, guys. More of this, Suits, and less of what ya'll were doing before. I feel like I finally got my show back.
– More rich people problems: Must be nice to just have $10,000 sitting around that you can piss away on a petty office bet, or a $50,000 bond that you can torch just to prove how awful you actually are. Gross.
– It's been mentioned before in the comments, but this was the first episode where I really noticed for myself how awful Mike's haircut is. Ouch.
– I would display my "Louis Litt blew me" abstract paperweight sculpture thing with pride. PRIDE.
– Gotta love how Mike tried to reassure Rachel that no one would find out his secret, and then immediately followed up by listing everyone who knows, which was like half the office.
– Do you think Jessica's gesture was sincere? How will it influence Harvey, if at all?
– Is British Harvey REALLY into Donna or just using her?
– Is Stanford just a convenient excuse to make the generally pointless-outside-of-being-a-love-interest Rachel disappear for awhile?
AIRED ON 9/17/2013
Season 3 : Episode 10