If there’s one thing to take away from Suits‘ summer finale, it’s that there’s always another war coming around the river bend. As one war ends, another one begins at the end of the episode. And, I’m kind of excited to see where it goes, because I didn’t see that ending coming, although it makes sense in hindsight.
The theme of this season—family and all the responsibilities that come with being a part of one—came to a head in Suits‘ summer finale. There are some parts of this flashback heavy hour that don’t necessarily work, but it’s easy to understand and appreciate what Suits was trying to do.
This recap will be structured slightly differently. We’re going to start with a dive into the character work done on Mike and Harvey, and then, we’ll move onto the plot stuff/power struggle.
Tonight’s episode finds Mike trying to make a decision about his future because now he not only has to think about himself, but also Rachel, his fiancée. For most of this season, the price of keeping his secret has been weighing on Mike, and being promoted to junior partner and Claire and Trevor’s counsel are only magnifying Mike’s worry. Through flashbacks to his childhood (which don’t exactly work), Suits is trying to show everything that’s informing his decision-making.
Last week’s episode ended with Trevor telling Mike he needed to go talk to someone; well it turns out that someone is Mike’s childhood priest, Father Parker. Via flashbacks, we find out that Father Parker knew Mike when he was a little boy and when he was a moody teenager. Let’s just say, Mike was a pain even back then. So, not much has changed.
Like this episode, Mike has family on his mind. Through Mike’s conversation with Father Parker, we learn that he’s still scarred by losing his parents at such a young age. He’s not scared of giving up this fraudulent life because he likes the money, he’s scared that Rachel will leave him, because so far everyone he has ever loved has done just that. It’s a fear that makes sense and is in line with what we’ve seen before. Losing his parents informs a lot of the decision he’s made throughout the series. However, Father Parker urges Mike to have faith that Rachel loves him and will stay by his side.
Harvey turns to Dr. Agard for help in deciding whether or not he should leave the firm to save Jessica. It’s a tough decision for him to make because not only is being part of the firm important to him, but he also views the firm as his family. He’s worried that by quitting, he’s tearing this second family apart, just as he did his first family.
Through flashbacks, we learn that Harvey, when he is in the middle of his clerkship and living at home, caught his mother cheating again. Unlike the first time, he refused to keep her secret and was determined to tell his father. At first he doesn’t as his father, a jazz musician, seems happy because he’s decided to come off the road and return to his family. This is a good thing that Harvey doesn’t want to ruin by telling him, but his father notices something is up and confronts him in a boxing ring. Their boxing match is a well-done and emotionally heightened sequence that eventually ends with Harvey, not being able to hold in much longer, revealing to his father what his mom did as he’s wailing on him. The reveal leads to the Specter family disintegrating as his mother leaves the home, his father locks himself in his room, Harvey’s brother is left without anyone, and Harvey moves to the city because he’s ashamed of breaking up his family.
Dr. Agard, who kind of looks like Harvey’s mother, talks Harvey through his decision and helps him realize that making this sacrifice for Jessica won’t tear the family apart. It will keep it together. She’s confident that Jessica will manage without him because of the way he has described Jessica to her.
NEXT: A very Sorkin-esque ending
While Harvey and Mike are working through their issues and undergoing some *character development*, Jessica, Louis, and Donna are on the frontlines of the battle against the Axis of Douchebaggery, a.k.a. Jack Soloff, Daniel Hardman, and Charles Forstman. Surprising no one, Jack doesn’t accept Jessica’s offer to resign and instead moves to call an emergency partner vote of no-confidence. Louis, acting like an obedient soldier, is tasked with uncovering whatever Daniel is holding over Jack, again.
I don’t think we’ve ever seen Jessica this desperate. Through her own set of flashbacks, we understand how much this firm means to her and what she has sacrificed to get to where she is. At one point, Harvey asked to move in with her to avoid having to tell his father about his mother’s infidelity. Naturally, Jessica said no, but reassured him that if he loses his biological family, he’ll have one at the firm when he eventually comes to work for her. And, she tells him that the same night her husband, tired of being second to her work, announces he wants to be divorced.
Throughout the season, Jessica, and other characters, at some point or another have called the firm a family. And, at times, I’ve been rather skeptical of this assessment because it’s hard for the show to argue Pearson Specter Litt is a family when it has spent the past four season making the case it was some Game of Thrones-esque kingdom. But, tonight, the writers gave Gina Torres enough material to make me cast aside my skepticism.
Louis pays Daniel Hardman a visit and demands to know what he has on Jack. Daniel pays Louis very little attention and steps up the battle even more by giving Louis an ultimatum: Either Louis votes with Jack at the partner’s meeting, or Daniel’s huge client will take over and dismantle Esther’s muffin company. Now, Louis is put in the position of having to choose between his biological family and his work family, both of which are almost of equal importance. Jessica knows how important real family is and lets Louis know that it’s okay to do what he has to do to save Esther.
“Whatever happens, I want you to know Pearson will always consider Litt her partner,” Jessica says tearfully to an equally tearful Louis. And now, I have tears. Curse you, Suits, for moving my cold heart!
Jessica’s last hope is Harvey, who has been M.I.A. When Gretchen fails to find him, Jessica turns to Donna—who is the only person in the episode wearing white, because symbolism—for help. Donna pays Dr. Agard a visit, and the two of them have a standard “Donna knows what you’re thinking without saying it” kind of conversation. They acknowledge that the one good thing to come out of Donna leaving is that it pushed Harvey to deal with his issues.
The day of the vote arrives, and Jack is confident he’s going to win. But, Harvey, sporting a power double windsor knot, shows up with a letter signed by Forstman that says he has dropped Hardman as his lawyer. In a very Sorkin-esque speech, Harvey pleads Jessica’s case. At the end, Louis demands they all vote by a raise of hands, and everyone votes to keep Jessica, which is also a very Sorkin-esque way to end such a conflict. Jessica tries to talk Harvey out of leaving the firm, but Harvey is set on making this sacrifice for her, because she’s made so many sacrifices for him and the firm already.
Meanwhile, Mike returns home, puts on his oldest suit and all of his attire from when he first started and heads to the firm to hand Harvey his resignation—which Harvey accepts. The two brothers hug it out, and we know all will be right in the world. Well, all’s right until police show up at the firm and arrest Mike for conspiracy to commit fraud…
Did you see that coming? How did the police find out? Who turned him in? We’ll have to wait until January to find out how Jessica and Harvey will get Mike out of this one. If there’s one thing, he’s not going to jail because Suits has at least one more season.
The first half of this season was a mixed bag. It’s easy to appreciate that Suits was trying to actually deal with Harvey’s problems with his mom and Mike’s secret. And, for the most part, that stuff worked. However, Hardman’s return was a weak link because his and Forstman’s war against the firm was based on revenge, which is a rather boring motivation for a character. By the end, it’s clear that Hardman and Forstman were just being evil to be evil.
- Who turned Mike in? The options are: Hardman/Forstman/Jack, Trevor, or Father Parker. I could see a case being made for #1 or #3.
- Case of the Axis: One of those three finding out Mike’s secret doesn’t seem out of the question and feels like something they could easily do. Maybe that’s why Jack called Mike’s promotion.
- Case for Father Parker: When Mike was younger, he stole about $900 from the church, and Father Parker tells Mike that he wonders if he should’ve turned him in all those years ago. Turns out, Mike didn’t spend any of it and he returns it tonight. The only argument against Father Parker doing this is that technically Mike told him his secret under the protection of confession.
- It could probably be someone else.
- That moment between Louis and Jessica was incredibly necessary for their relationship. Louis often feels mistreated on this show.