**This post contains spoilers for 4.01 of Suits, “One-Two-Three Go…”**
Suits came back… and everything still kind of sucks.
I can’t help but feel like there’s a severe disconnect between me and the people who write and create the show. Sometimes I think I’m watching a completely different show from what everyone else is watching, and then I remember that I have a Twitter timeline of people who normally have vastly different tastes from me, but for one hour every Wednesday night, we’re all united in our bewilderment over the state of Suits for the past couple of seasons. That makes me think that maybe the problem isn’t with me… it’s with the writers and showrunners.
The show has evolved from a fun little drama (bordering on dramedy at times) into one that takes itself entirely too seriously. It’s like watching Law & Order but all of the characters are from your favorite comedies, and they’re awkwardly playing against type — like if Chandler Bing and Leslie Knope were walking around growling about lawsuits and mergers, nary a sarcastic remark or enthusiastic pep talk in sight. It’s like these characters have been warped and twisted to be more stoic and less interesting.
Last night’s season 4 premiere was more of the same pattern. Mike now works for one of Pearson Specter’s clients, and predictably, he and Harvey find themselves at loggerheads over something called Gilles Industries by the end of the episode; this will definitely be the new Hessington Oil/overwrought half-season story arc that will end with with a fizzle rather than a bang.
Rachel the Magical Unicorn, after getting her Super Special Exception from Jessica for going to Not Harvard, has managed to not only strongarm Jessica into letting her be some kind of dual-enrolled student-and-unicorn-lawyer, she is also Harvey’s new pseudo-mentee. Leaving aside the fact that Rachel I-Don’t-Use-My-Dad’s-Name-to-Get-Things Zane managed to make this entire law firm bow to her every whim through tears and tantrums, I’d like to know what it is about her that is supposed to make us believe that Harvey finds her an acceptable mentee. Harvey, who pitched a fit to Donna in the pilot episode that all of the prospective associates were so boring — they were so terrible that he went and hired a kid with no law degree just because he found Mike fascinating. Other than the fact that she’s dating his old mentee, what is Harvey supposed to see in Rachel? Because the viewers aren’t buying it.
Anyway, Rachel insists on not being used by Harvey to send messages to Mike unless she knows she’s being used, because that makes it better somehow. She whines to Harvey, then whines to Mike, then literally fails at being cute (Harvey: “Instead of failing to be charming, why don’t you do something useful”) before finding out that she’s going to be Special Unicorn Associate Lawyering for one Logan Sanders, which appears to horrify her. We don’t find out the big reveal until the end of the episode, where she tells Mike, “Do you remember when I told you that I once had an affair with a married man? It was him.”
Simple solution: take yourself off the case. Super Special Unicorn Columbia Law Student Associate solution: something infinitely more convoluted and whiny.
The Louis-Katrina alliance is a much more dynamic relationship to watch, because Katrina does everything with purpose; she’s serving Louis with simpers and compliments and while you get the impression that she genuinely likes him, you’re also acutely aware that Katrina is a schemer. But she’s loyal to Louis for the time being, and Louis is constantly proving himself too smart for this law firm. Nearly every episode starts with him about to make a good decision, then he’s waylaid by some harebrained advice or gossip from Harvey, and Louis proceeds to spend the rest of the episode (or season) being woefully misinformed, even though his initial instincts were right.
Last night’s episode was no exception, as Louis and Katrina quickly sussed out the week’s Big Bad Threat, a man named Jeff Mallone who happens to be the man Jessica is seeing. Louis spends the entire episode sitting on this information, waiting for Jessica and Harvey to come to him for help because Harvey had given him dumb advice early on. It’s frustrating that this show relies on its same old tropes even as they try to present them as New! and Fresh! because honestly, we’ve seen this same song and dance for three seasons now.
Jessica Pearson continues to kick ass, because no one writes weak stuff for Gina Torres. The only thing that bothered me about her storyline is the way people (namely Jeff and Harvey) kept insisting that she had to choose between her business and her relationship, but since she’s Jessica, I’m pretty sure she’ll be okay. The scene in Harvey’s apartment, where she cooked and confided in Harvey about her relationship with Jeff, was a particularly great scene… until Harvey awkwardly turned into a twelve-year-old boy and literally asked Jessica if that means Jeff had seen her naked. This is what I’m talking about — this kind of banter is stilted and forced, but early in the show’s run, it happened organically.
The other theme du jour was Treating Donna Like Crap, and almost everyone did it. Donna is the everyman on this show, the person through which the average viewer tends to watch the show (this is another thing I think the writers fail to realize — they write as if we relate to Rachel the most, or Mike, but no: it’s Donna, it’s always Donna) and to watch her be dismissed and belittled separately by Harvey and Mike, it makes the viewer feel oddly alienated. If we aren’t going to have the reliable Harvey/Mike alliance to fall back on, we at least need to know that Donna’s still appreciated.
So to recap: Mike vs. Harvey, with Rachel having slept with Harvey’s married client, and Jessica is hiring her boyfriend Jeff as a partner I guess? These all sound like really good plotlines that will no doubt pan out perfectly for everyone.
Tune in next week for more shenanigans! Or don’t, I don’t really care. I’ll still write about it.