'Suits' recap: 'Privilege'
Last week’s episode ended with Harvey storming out of Dr. Paula Agard’s office after she brought up his mother issues. Tonight’s Suits opens the next day, and Harvey’s still reeling from that session. As he’s getting dressed, her comments about his mother issues ring in his head, and Suits cuts back and forth between the present and the end of the previous episode. Dr. Agard opened a door in Harvey’s mind that can’t be closed again, but with each piece of clothing he puts on, it seems as though he’s trying to force these feelings further away from the surface. We already know this will fail and he’ll blow-up again before the hour is over.
But, there’s a lot standing in between us and Harvey getting his breakthrough. All of our characters are busy this week. On orders from Jessica, Louis is trying his hardest to not be Louis, a.k.a, petty, which ends up going better than you’d expect, and he’s working a case with Mike. Meanwhile, Harvey and Rachel reluctantly take the case of a Sam (J.R. Bourne), someone we met in season 1’s “Tricks of the Trade.” (Thanks, Google!) The last time we saw Sam, he was accusing an innocent woman of inside trading, who Mike and Harvey were defending. Irony alert: This time around his bosses are accusing him of doing something he didn’t do and he might go to jail.
Louis’ pettiness is tested immediately when Mike comes to him with a case. The CEO of McKernan Motors, the client Harvey gave them last season, called Mike to schedule a meeting, which you know annoys Louis who is obsessed with hierarchy. But, Louis tries to fight his baser instincts and to rise above the pettiness. They meet with the client, who needs them to help him make some deal. Short story shorter: Louis offends the client and now he and Mike have to work twice as hard to keep him at the firm.
Defending Sam, Harvey files a lawsuit against his bosses to strong-arm them into just paying the SEC’s fine to keep Sam out of jail. That doesn’t work because it’s too early in the episode and the case’s thematic purpose still hasn’t been explained and because Sam’s bosses claim to have proof of his alleged crime: Sam spoke to a company-provided therapist about the trade in question and signed a waiver giving up doctor-patient confidentiality. Who was Sam’s therapist, you asked, well it was none other than Dr. Agard.
Naturally, Harvey is pissed when he’s blindsided with this information in the meeting. And is even more so when his client admits that he told Dr. Agard he felt guilty about the trade that went bad. This leads to some of the most heavy-handed dialogue ever:
Harvey: How could you be so stupid to confide your feelings in a stranger?
Sam: Because I needed help, and if you’re not going to talk about your feelings, you might as well not see a therapist at all.
Like, Suits, we get it! We didn’t need you to spell it out for us like that, but it’s cool. Harvey was already looking for another reason to feel be angry at Dr. Agard, and now he has it.
Meanwhile, there’s a problem with McKiernan Motor’s prospective deal. Wishing not to worry their client, Mike and Louis decide to find him a better deal in the time given. Unfortunately, that means turning to Jack Soloft for help because they need to use one of his clients. This gives Louis the perfect opportunity to follow Jessica’s instructions and try to turn Jack into an ally. Hoping to increase their chances, Louis sends Mike to negotiate on his own, but that doesn’t help because Jack demands 100 percent of the earnings for his help. It’s not about business, it’s about payback. Louis acquiesces.
While Mike, Louis, and Harvey are dealing with their cases, Donna is tasked with helping Mike secure Rachel’s dream wedding location: The Plaza on her birthday. During her C-plot, she meets Gretchen for the time and things are a bit awkward and tense. But, Donna is impressed when Gretchen quotes Lethal Weapon back at her. Because it’s Donna, she’s able to book The Plaza. Who needs Jared when you have Donna, right?
NEXT: Mike goes to Donna instead of Jared’s
Harvey tries to convince Dr. Agard to lie in the upcoming deposition, but she refuses. In the deposition, she tells the truth—that Sam said he felt guilty for the trade—but then Harvey blindsides her with the story she told him last week about her patient who died to show that she’s susceptible to pressure from outside forces. It’s a cold-hearted move, which leads to another shouting match wherein Dr. Agard calls Harvey out for making this about his issues with her and using this as an opportunity to permanently damage their relationship. When things get too real and too personal, Harvey’s first instinct is to push people away.
Things aren’t going well for Mike and Louis either. Louis is able to win over Jack’s client by catering to his culture, but then Jack ruins everything because he doesn’t want Louis to have any nice things. When both deals fall through, McKernan Motors fire Pearson Specter Litt. Working in sync, Mike and Louis are able to lure them back, but then Jessica informs them that they have to drop the client because Jack signed one of their bigger competitors. Her first instinct is to blame them losing a client that was important to Harvey on Louis’ pettiness, but Mike has his back and affirms that this was Jack and that Louis was on his best behavior.
Sam Tull ends up being arrested when his bosses fail to pay the fine. With Rachel’s help, he realizes that if Sam talked to Dr. Agard, other traders must have to. Initially, Dr. Agard refuses to help him because he humiliated her and still hasn’t apologized. However, he wins her over when he assures her that while what he did made him sick, he would do it again because it was about keeping an innocent man out of jail.
Everything works out in the end: Donna apologizes to Gretchen for being standoffish, and now they’re on their way to becoming besties. Mike and Louis get to keep their client because Jessica orders Jack to drop his new one. Initially, Jack tries to blackmail Jessica by threatening to tell the entire firm that she gave up a lucrative client because of her connection to Harvey, but Jessica doesn’t play that game. If Jack doesn’t do what he’s told, she says he can go work for Daniel Hardman because she knows that’s where he got the idea in the first place. Ugh, please don’t let this mean Hardman is returning.
We’ve been over this before, but this is Suits, so the details of Harvey’s cases don’t matter. However, this week, they’re so inconsequential that the show doesn’t spend any time on celebrating Harvey’s win—there are more important things to handle. That night, Harvey shows up to Dr. Agard’s office with two thank you gifts: flowers from Sam and, more significantly, promising her that he’s ready to open up about his mother. Let the shrinking finally begin!
The fifth season of Suits appears to be mainly concerned with change: both changing as a person and adapting to changes in your surroundings. With Travis Tanner last week, Suits made it clear that it believed people can change, and this week it followed through on that by allowing Louis and Harvey to grow and stop making the same mistakes. But, we know these two have a long way to go. Now, if only the show could find something interesting for Mike and Rachel to do.
- Donna convinces the couple who has The Plaza booked to give up their reservation by threatening to reveal the husband-to-be’s affair to his fiancée.
- There wasn’t enough Jessica this week.
- Rachel lets slip to Harvey that she knows about his panic attacks, so Harvey and Mike will probably talk about that next week.
- “You arrogant piece of s—” is one of several nicknames Dr. Agard gives Harvey this week.
- Again, Rachel and Mike are drama-free this season, which is great because Rachel-Mike drama is kind of boring. Jessica even points out that they aren’t arguing. However, this probably also means that we’re heading for something big toward the end of the season.