Suits recap: 'The Statue'
Jessica Pearson is in the house! Dulé Hill makes his Suits debut! What’s not to love about “The Statue”? Honestly, not much. Picking on day one of Harvey Specter’s regime, this episode does a nice job following through on some of the promise of the season premiere. I wish it had done a bit more with that potential energy, but I enjoyed how it explored Harvey’s adjustment to being the man in charge. Let’s dive in.
The day after hooking up with Paula, Harvey decides to take a page out of Jessica’s playbook in order to solidify his reign to the outside world: tearing down her metaphorical statue. As Jessica told him 13 years ago when she got rid of the old partners’ names — which we see in a flashback featuring the Queen herself — “When you overthrow a dictator, you don’t leave their statue up in the square. You tear it the hell down.” Damn right! So Harvey does just that and decides to drop Jessica’s oldest client, Jim Reynolds, in favor of bringing Pfizer over to the firm. However, in order to do that, he has to make his old friend Alex Williams (Dulé Hill), a senior partner at another firm, a named partner as PSL. Like Harvey, Alex likes his poker metaphors, but we don’t learn much else about him in this episode. But Hill is charming as always, so I’m looking forward to seeing how Alex gets on with the rest of the characters.
Harvey agrees to make Alex a named partner, which is easier said than done given that he needs both Louis and Jessica to say yes. Louis, who is still working through his issues with his therapist, immediately says no when Harvey meets with him and Donna to talk about it, and the meeting devolves into Louis and Harvey arguing back and forth while Donna sits there silently, like she’s not even there.
To be fair, Louis has a point about how they shouldn’t just make any Tom, Dick, or Harry a named partner, but it’s obvious to everyone else that he’s also worried about what that will mean for his friendship with Harvey and his position at the firm. Louis tries to net Pfizer’s business without having to bring Alex over, which pisses Harvey off even more. When Harvey tries to pull rank, Louis reminds him that he needs both his and Jessica’s vote.
So, Harvey hops on a plane to Chicago to see Jessica in the episode’s best scene. Jessica understands what Harvey is trying to do, but she thinks this is the wrong way of going about it because it’s clear he’s not seeing the big picture: If he gives being a named partner away so easily, what’s going to happen the next time he wants to bring someone over? Most likely, PSL will start looking like the firm Diane Lockhart left at the beginning of The Good Fight (Lockhart, Decker, Gussman, Lee, Lyman, Gilbert-Lurie, Kagan, Tannenbaum & Associates). Alas, Harvey doesn’t take this constructive criticism particularly well and tells Jessica to stop messing with his firm, to which she says he should just take her name off of it. Raise your hand if you hate it when mom and dad fight!
Maybe it’s therapy from two seasons ago or the fact that he’s dating Paula now, but it doesn’t take Harvey too long to realize he screwed up. Sure, a call to Paula helps, but so does a chat with Katrina, who warns him that making Donna a partner conveys to other lawyers on the senior partner track that partnership might not mean what it used to. Basically, this episode is about Harvey realizing that his decisions not only affect him but the entire firm, and he has to take that into account with everything he does now. While I find this interesting, I kind of wish the show had found a way to dramatize this development in a more interesting manner, as opposed to several scenes of people yelling at each other. (Recap continues on page 2)
So, Harvey informs Alex that he can’t make him named partner but he’s still welcome to join the firm as a senior partner. As it turns out, Alex is fine with that because he knows his current job was never going to put his name on the wall, so that’s settled. Next, Harvey informs Donna that he can’t make her partner because “partner means something.” What does it mean apart from more money? I’m not entirely sure. (Suits, can we get a refresher?) Harvey and Donna settle on Donna becoming COO, a compromise she expected since she knew Harvey wouldn’t make her partner. Short story shorter: Donna gets to keep her fancy new office! #MovinOnUp
Harvey achieves another victory of sorts in the episode when it comes to dealing with Mike. His old partner in crime takes on a pro-bono case in which an insurance company refuses to pay out a client’s deceased wife’s life insurance policy because they found evidence she smoked but she didn’t declare it on her form. It was a one-time thing, but now it’s screwing over her family. Mike goes to bat for his client, but the opposing lawyer, a Mr. Ackerman, uses Mike’s shady past as a fraudulent lawyer to discredit him with the judge.
Realizing regaining the judge’s trust won’t be an option, Mike decides to have Rachel handle the case. Because she still technically reports to Harvey, she asks him for permission before agreeing to help Mike out. Harvey says no because the last thing he wants is Mike backing down from someone weaponizing his past. He tells Mike that he needs to step up and handle this so it never happens again, which is to say that he needs to tell his side of the story to a reporter.
Mike doesn’t exactly have the time to sit down with a reporter now, so he and Rachel find another way to win: the corporate espionage woman Rachel and Harvey dealt with last season. She reluctantly helps them find evidence that the insurance company actively looks for reasons to not honor policies, which is all they need to get the company to settle. Mike forgoes an admission of guilt in the settlement because he wants something better; he wants Ackerman to tell any future reporters that Mike wiped the floor with him. He’s doing this so no one can ever use his past against him.
Meanwhile, Louis apologizes to Harvey. The scene is actually fairly cute because Louis spent the night researching sports so he could arm himself with the perfect basketball analogy. Harvey tells him that Alex won’t be a named partner because they can’t water down the firm like that. So, all’s well in at PSL.
As the episode ends, Mike gives a New York Times reporter a tour of the offices as he tells him his story. Hopefully this is the last time we have to deal with Mike’s secret, but it probably isn’t. At the same time, Harvey calls Jessica to apologize and says he’d like her metaphorical statue to stay — but he’s still planning on dropping Jim.