Suits recap: 'Shame'
It’s team-up week on Suits. Not only do Harvey and Mike take on a corporate case together, but Rachel joins forces with her father on a pro bono that heads into personal territory, and Louis works a case with Brian, a.k.a. the associate he can’t help but lash out at. But before we get there, we have to deal with the elephant in the room: Sheila Sazs.
Louis and Brian:
“Shame” opens with an unshaven Louis walking into the office the next morning and imagining everyone shaming him Game of Thrones-style because Suits is obsessed with Game of Thrones. Once the show is done with its recreation of Cersei’s walk of shame, Louis decides to cancel his appointment with Dr. Lipschitz because he doesn’t want to talk about any of this right now. Gretchen thinks that’s a bad idea, but Louis ignores her.
Thankfully, he has something to take his mind off what’s going on inside his head: a case involving a client who makes pacifiers. As always, the particulars of the case don’t necessarily matter. All you need to know is that this serves as a learning opportunity for both Brian and Louis. Brian, who lets his emotions cloud his judgment after the opposing lawyer picks at his insecurities, makes a fatal mistake in a legal document he files and puts the firm’s client in jeopardy.
When Louis, who is still reeling from the Sheila of it all, learns what Brian did, he goes on yet another emotionally abusive tirade. Gretchen witnesses his outburst and calls him out on it, but he is in no mood to listen and threatens to fire her if she doesn’t back down. Thank god she doesn’t, and she warns him that she’ll knock him out if he ever talks to an associate like that again.
This episode does a good job at reminding me how much I love Gretchen. No matter how mad she is with Louis, she’s loyal to the end. Brian tries to resign and implies that he’s thinking of suing Louis, but Gretchen shuts down that stupid idea in a minute and tells him to do his job and fix his mistake like a man. And he does. He stays up all night and comes up with save.
Louis, realizing he screwed up, apologizes to Brian and Gretchen for the way he acted and finally agrees to see Dr. Lipschitz. In their session, Louis opens up about how Sheila is still the one and how he’s willing to give up having kids just to be with her — to have someone. But Dr. Lipschitz ignores that silly notion and says it’s time for them to find a way to stop Louis from lashing out at those closest to him. To that I say: What has Louis been paying him for all these years?
But all’s well that ends well, I guess. To make up for his actions, Louis offers to give Brian a reprieve by watching his baby for a few hours so Brian can get some sleep. Watching Louis hold that baby might be the cutest thing I’ve seen this week.
Mike and Harvey
In the wake of their brief conflict over the prison case, Mike makes an attempt to get back on the same page as Harvey by bringing him a corporate case: Mike suggests he go after this new hotshot attorney general as a way to prove to the city that he’s not Jessica and to make a bigger name for himself. Only on Suits would this plan make any sense or be something that someone would actually consider. But, alas, Harvey likes the idea, and it turns out Mike has already signed a client who is being targeted by this up-and-comer. (Recap continues on the next page).
The case also ends up being a personal one when the attorney general turns out to be Andy Malik, someone Harvey used to work with at the DA’s office. Well, Harvey doesn’t remember working with him, which is classic Harvey, but Andy definitely remembers Harvey — and dislikes him a lot. Mike is worried about them taking on such a personal case because Andy is basically Louis Litt and Elliot Stemple rolled into one, but Harvey can’t back down now. He forges ahead.
I’ll be honest: This is one of those instances when the lack of details about the case makes it hard to invest in what’s going on. We don’t need the show to go into The Good Wife-level detail on shipping fraud or whatever, but we do need to have a clear idea of what Harvey and Mike’s client did and why it’s illegal. All we know is that Andy is targeting their client, a woman I don’t believe even gets a name, for defrauding her shareholders by selling off some division of her company…or something. I don’t really know.
Andy is playing dirty and wants to take Harvey down. A news article about Harvey and Mike’s client makes him believe there’s some memo out there that will nail the client; however, he can’t find it himself, so he goes with the next best tactic: Arguing that Harvey buried it. The judge allows Andy to present evidence that Harvey has done this in the past as a way of showing that it could have happened again here.
Mike and Harvey realize Andy is probably coming after Harvey on the Clifford Danner case, which is confirmed when he subpoenas Donna. Mike says they need to do a mock trial to prepare Donna and that Louis is the only one who can do it. Louis refuses because of what happened in season 2’s “Sucker Punch,” but Donna eventually changes his mind. Full disclosure: I rolled my eyes the moment they brought up the prospect of another mock trial, a device that becomes less effective each time Suits returns to it.
Rachel and Robert
Meanwhile, Robert, who is still licking his wounds from last week’s courtroom mishap, approaches Rachel about teaming up to work together on a pro bono case. As is the case with everything else going on in the episode, this case is more personal than it initially seems. Robert and Rachel go after a bank for predatory lending that specifically targets people of color; however, Robert has an outburst during depositions, which makes Rachel realize there’s something he’s not telling her.
Later on, she confronts him about what happened in the deposition, and he admits that he’s really going after this bank because its CEO sexually harassed his sister 20 years ago. At the time, Robert didn’t do anything to protect her or get her justice after the CEO fired her, because Robert was a young lawyer and was afraid of getting fired himself, but seeing Mike risk his job for those prisoners inspired him to finally take on a case that means something to him. I really loved this part of the episode because I like when the show pulls back the curtain to reveal what these high-powered lawyers care about apart from winning and power. This move deepens Robert Zane as a character, and it adds a nice dynamic to his relationship with Rachel. Robert admits that he’s glad she decided to postpone her wedding to focus on work because it meant that he would get to work with her.
As the episode ends, Donna shows up at Rachel’s apartment with a bottle of wine, ready to talk about what happened with Mark in the last episode. A few glasses later, Donna has a breakthrough and realizes she regrets putting Harvey above herself. What will she do with that breakthrough? We’ll just have to wait and see.