“Toe to Toe” is the latest addition to the period we’re calling Suits‘ “blue period.” Like preceding episodes, it had the potential to be a fun and banter-heavy episode, but it gets bogged down with a lot of moody material that it’s simply not capable of handling. Picking up a dangling thread from last week’s outing, tonight’s episode starts to dig further into Harvey’s issues with his mother. If there’s one thing Suits is doing well, it’s convincingly showing much Donna’s departure has rocked his life.
Tonight’s Suits finds Harvey back in therapy with Dr. Paula Agard (no relation, I think). He’s been having nightmares about Donna snuggling with Travis Tanner, who returns this week to face off with Harvey and Mike, in his bed. When he doesn’t admit that Donna is the woman in his dream, Dr. Agard asks him to tell her instead about the case. Like the premiere, most of the episode is told mainly through flashbacks. This structural device isn’t nearly as effective as it was in the premiere.
The dynamic duo is back together! If there’s one good thing to come from Travis’ return, it’s that Harvey and Mike are finally working a case together after weeks apart. Mike’s worried going up against Travis will cause another panic attack, but Harvey says he needs this fight. Sublimation is so cliché and Harvey should know he’s better than this, but alas he doesn’t.
Like points on Whose Line Is It Anyway, the details of the case don’t matter. All you need to know is that the boys are ready for Travis to pull some “underhanded sh–“ (to borrow Jessica’s words) like he normally does and thus take preemptive action. Ready for war, they confidently go to the first meeting, but find Travis waving a white flag, i.e. a settlement, and claiming he’s a changed man. From where Dr. Agard’s sitting, Harvey seems like the villain of the story because he’s the one crossing lines by waging war on a man trying to surrender. Maybe that other Harvey was right and you either die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become the villain…
Across the office, Louis has his hands full this week. Not only is he searching for a new mudding partner, he’s also trying to reverse the compensation vote. He tries to do so by underhandedly creating a new bylaw that would negate the vote, but Jessica is tired of the shadiness. The only way he’ll make it right with Harvey and her is to bring up for another vote. Now, Louis must find a way to convince Jack and the senior partners to support the motion. Seeing no other option and because he never learns, Louis does exactly what Jessica told him not to and does some underhanded sh– —tricking Jack into believing he signed a major client that would benefit from them returning to the old compensation rules. This goes about as well you’d expect.
Things don’t go well for Harvey and Mike in court, and the judge denies several of their unimportant motions. To make matters worse, Travis also says his client has drafted a sexual harassment complaint against their client. Neither of them believe it’s real and their married client insists that it isn’t true. This complaint has the potential to ruin their client’s family, which enrages Harvey even more because family is something sacred that you never mess with. Dr. Agard finds Harvey’s defense of family puzzling as he’s never been married and points out that he obviously picked this fight to avoid dealing with his issues. Real talk: If Harvey and Jessica had shared any scenes together, she probably would have said the same thing and saved Harvey money.
On orders to blow Travis’ client out of the water, Mike casually runs into her at a coffee bar and warns her that filing a false sexual harassment accusation is a criminal offense. But, the woman doesn’t care because Travis already warned her when she came up with the idea. We’re all surprised, and Mike starts to think they should take the settlement. Harvey refuses and decides to launch a more serious attack on the client.
NEXT: Dr. Agard and Harvey play poker