**This post contains spoilers for 4.04 of Suits, “Leveraged.”**
This episode of Suits started out strong, with Donna busting into Mike’s see-through office like a wrecking ball to yell at him about privacy, friendship, and designer handbags. She leaves mollified, because she’s the only person on this show that knows how to walk a line between work and personal (except for Jessica, who is admittedly struggling with that at the moment). She compliments Mike’s assistant, Amy, for her shoes, and pretty much that’s the only scene that’s entirely on point in this episode. I won’t say it’s all downhill from here, but there’s definitely a decline.
The SEC storyline seems to fizzle before it really starts, with Jessica and Jeff teaming up to take down Sean Cahill of the SEC. Unfortunately, it backfires because I guess everyone on this show gets outmaneuvered at the last minute.
Mike, meanwhile, leverages (ha! Get it? The theme tonight is “leverage,” and if you manage to get it on a triple word score, you win a set of bickering lawyers-slash-ex-boyfriends!) a Photoshopped picture of Sheila to throw Louis off of his game, and Louis, predictably, falls for it. This is too much for Harvey, who righteously rages at Louis with an appropriate amount of disappointment and anger in the moment; he doesn’t treat Louis any differently than he would treat Mike or Donna, but the problem this time is that dealing with Louis always means lasting ramifications. Louis is the pond that people throw pebbles into, and by the time the ripples reach the shore, they’re tsunamis.
Louis heads off Mike with Tony Gionopolus (who is still relevant I guess) and manages to cut all ties with Mike. He warns him that people hold grudges, which somehow magically gives Mike the idea to go to someone named Forstman, who likes to control people, exact revenge, and brood in diners about lost Aston Martins. This is bad news for Harvey’s case, and Louis fesses up immediately to the role he played in it, which results in one of the most devastating scenes on this show.
It’s not an entirely earned scene; Louis has done much worse than inadvertently remind someone of an old grudge (and that’s on Harvey for not taking into account how much personal information Mike has on him in the first place) and this tiny faux pas doesn’t warrant this deep disappointment Harvey exhibits. The scene barely works only because the actors are great and because Harvey’s outburst earlier in the episode was so effective. This is another case of the show leaning too hard on the drama and not enough on the actual plot; all of the back-and-forth actually undercuts the emotional punches. Imagine if this scene had happened without Harvey’s pseudo-apology — if he had just cooled off, then went into Louis’ office and started with “You know what? I’m done.” Devastating! And earned.
(The entire thing was ruined by odd shaky camera work. I swear, sometimes the creative decisions on this show…) Still, the scene works, and it’s gonna drive Louis through the next couple of episodes I’m sure. Harvey, in turn, needs to learn not to come down so hard on people when they fail him. Those are the sorts of outbursts that have garnered him so many enemies.
Mike continues down his road to perdition, choosing all of the worst solutions to his growing Gillis Industries problem. He starts with the Louis thing, then teaming up with Forstman and denying Harvey’s dire warning about Forstman’s motives. When Forstman then tells Mike that his one caveat is for Mike to cut his boss, Sidwell, out of the final deal, Mike yells at Amy that he doesn’t have a choice. Harvey, in his sober farewell to his former protegee, tells Mike that he always has a choice. Mike doesn’t listen; he shakes hands with Forstman and accepts Sidwell’s congratulations like there’s nothing amiss. (No wonder Patrick Adams got a lot of hate tweets after this episode.)
True to form, Rachel fails to leave work stuff at work, bringing home the Louis stuff to pick a fight with Mike. Sure, Mike was wrong to do what he did to someone he claimed was a friend, but he’s focused on the bigger picture, which is exactly what he told Rachel he would be doing. If you’re keeping track, that makes this the 48th episode in a row where Rachel insists she can handle a complicated, multi-layered situation and fails miserably.
But if you started this episode thinking “Hey! Maybe Rachel learned from her past mistakes with Logan Sanders!” then please allow me to laugh in your face. She learned nothing. He contrives some kind of investment deal (I wasn’t totally paying attention) in order to spend some alone time with her, which she completely recognizes but lets him deny. They argue a bit, I think there was supposed to be heat there but the stunning lack of chemistry makes me wonder if anyone screen tests anymore. Then at the end of the episode, Logan leans in for a kiss and Rachel allllmost lets it land. She’s flustered when she leaves, which again, I don’t totally understand because there’s exactly zero sexual tension in their scenes. Have I emphasized that enough?
There was another good Donna scene where she bluntly reminded Harvey that Louis considers him to be his best friend — he’d even asked Harvey to be his best man. Other than that, there’s a deplorable lack of Donna again and I’m starting to lose hope that she’ll get a meaty storyline this season.
The relationship between Mike and Amy is compelling because she’s every bit as confident and qualified as Donna, and she plays off Mike the same way Donna plays off Harvey. If they’re smart, they’ll play that out as a parallel, especially if Mike and Rachel continue to be pulled in opposite directions. They may not be long for this world, though; Amy looks disappointed in Mike after he makes his dirty deal.
Finally, after getting caught lying about the way he left the SEC (meaning, he was about to be fired for not going after Pearson Specter) Jeff tells Jessica that he will never lie to her, man to woman. She shows up on his doorstep with All About Eve and Raging Bulls, it’s a really sweet scene.
Next episode: Probably more of the same. Hopefully more Jessica this time.