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Suits S03E06: "The Other Time"


If there was one weakness to Suits' latest romp down memory lane that I have to highlight—and I do, because I'm a total meanie killjoy—it was that the characters running around New York ten years ago were so much more likable than their current incarnations. Pothead Mike, Sucky Trevor, and Sassy Grandma returned to show us Mike's fabled fall from law school grace while an impossibly youthful-looking Harvey and always-fabulous Donna suffered under the corrupt rule of DA Cameron Dennis, ultimately leaving to fight the good fight over at Jessica's shiny new(ish) firm. Really, the only player in this history who suffered from her time in the spotlight was Jessica, who—DAMMIT, WOMAN, I'VE BEEN DEFENDING YOU FOR WEEKS! So Jessica is horrible and Harvey is basically giving her a taste of her own medicine with his quest to be the new managing partner. Given Harvey's decision to suddenly start regretting his betrayal now that he has his name on the door—or I guess it could be out of some deeper sense of loyalty—it would appear that Suits is gearing up for another round of Harvey and Jessica versus the world. 


Every ten years or so, Harvey skirts so close to becoming the exact opposite of what he always wanted to be when he grew up that he can smell the stench of dishonor following him, no matter how many times Donna gets his jacket dry cleaned. Ten years ago, he walked away from Cameron's unethical—but alarmingly successful—office to avoid following in his former mentor's footsteps. The decision completely altered the ultimate look of his career, the former Gordon Schmidt and Van Dyke offices, and even the lives of his "lowly" secretary and some brilliant stoner living with his loser BFF he wouldn't even meet for another several years. A decade after cutting ties with Cameron, Harvey is in a similar position, aiming to usurp Jessica using her very own methodology. 

We don't have the entire story about why Jessica and Hardman staged their original coup, but knowing Hardman (and, sadly, Jessica), and given Harvey's vague disapproval when Jessica let him in on the plan, it's not terribly outlandish to assume that their intentions were possibly less than noble, or at the very least, no more noble than Harvey's rationale for his own recent almost-coup. I'll readily admit that I'm often bored with and tired of the relentless "Harvey is always right and perfect and better than everyone" sentiments that comprise the status quo on a show so enamored with its main character, but this week, the Harvey love managed to not feel shoehorned in. Harvey wants to be an honorable guy. He's stumbled in the past. His beef with Jessica is just the latest setback in his struggle, but now that he's come clean to her, the ball is in her court. 

Jessica can be ruthless, petty, and manipulative, and maybe, considering what we've seen of her this season, and especially in this episode, some of her current misfortune is a case of "she had it coming." Harvey cut her some slack, though, and honestly, I was surprised that he did. He's been having a rough time lately, but at his core, Harvey wants to be a good, honorable person. Jessica said that there was no such thing as honor among lawyers, using the quip as cynical justification for her own betrayal of former superiors. Harvey believes the opposite, and though he strayed, he ultimately returned. We know that Jessica has the capacity to be a good person, too—she gave Harvey his big chance and financed his education, she's genuinely kind to Louis on occasion, and there was that episode with her sick ex-husband way back in Season 1. It's not too late for her to return to the fold, either.


And then there's Mike. It was a slow week for present-day Mike, whose time was split between arguing with Rachel about Stanford and playing attack dog for Harvey. But in flashbacks, we saw the whole life-ruining test-taking scam explode, destroying Mike's legitimately Harvard-educated future, too. I don't know that we necessarily needed to see the whole thing play out. We already generally knew the story. The details of Mike's past didn't completely alter our perception of him the way Donna and Harvey's sweet/sad/silly history changed them. 

They did it! With whipped cream! And Donna was totally into him and she actually looked kind of disappointed when his big surprise was a job rather than a date! And then present-day Harvey met Donna at their diner and said that her relationship with British Harvey bothered him! And it was sad and honest and heartfelt! Donna is so awesome. I'm glad that it's been established that historically, Donna has always been awesome. 


British Harvey, a.k.a. "Steve," however, is apparently every bit the slimeball he was assumed to be. Great. Watching Donna be all heartbroken and humiliated was so much fun last season. Can't wait to do it again. Meanwhile, the crumbs have been laid to lead the way back to Donna/Harvey for reals. But do we even want that? What do  you think? And what did you think of "The Other Time?"



CASE NOTES

– Mike dropped the F-bomb. So proud. 

– Someone in Suits' writers room really likes The Wire. Who doesn't? But really, why are we referencing it every week? Every. Single. Week. 

– I like Bertha. Let's get Bertha a job at Pearson Darby Specter. 

– Mike and Rachel returned to acting like children. I've revoked their relationship privileges. 

– Can opener!

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