We’re now halfway through this initial run of season 8 of Suits and every week (well, bar 8.02) takes the series from strength to strength. I had high hopes for 8.05 from everything we’d already heard about it and it didn’t disappoint.
There’s a lot to unpack this week, but the key theme was not professional, but personal, as the domestic lives of multiple characters were explored, with one theme binding them all – the question of how to be a good parent and how hard that is. Although I love the office game playing on this show, most of my favourite episodes revolve around the characters’ personal lives and this week was another shining example of how good that can be.
So, let’s break it down, shall we?
Has Harvey Specter’s emotional growth ever been clearer? I don’t think so!
First point on the list is to say bravo to Gabriel Macht, who was excellent this week. Any opportunity to show a more emotional side of Harvey that he’s given, he takes and runs with and this week was no exception. Knowing we were getting more of the Specter family was what I’d been most excited to see in 8.05 and it was a treat.
Not only did we have some lovely moments between Harvey and his brother (more Billy Miller please), giving us even more insight in to how their family’s problems have at times strained their relationship, but it was also lovely to meet Harvey’s sister-in-law and see her interact with the Specter brothers. One question though, did Marcus not cheat? Was that just a cover as he was too afraid to tell Harvey that what he’d actually done was gamble and ask his daughter to keep it a secret? Surely he didn’t do all three?!
As well as Marcus’s issues with parenting, we also saw the return of Lily, who was actually able to get through to Harvey in a meaningful way, without an argument, in order to help both her sons. A few years ago such a scene would have been unimaginable and that’s the key point here. It’s been clear recently how much Harvey has developed on an emotional level; he’s been openly kinder to people and more willing to express himself and all of that progress was on display in 8.05. We saw him explode at his brother, only to come to understand that life isn’t black and white and even manage to convey the importance of forgiveness to his sister-in-law about lies and deception. This truly is a changed man and to cap it off, he was able to admit how difficult the situation had been for him. Hearing him tell Donna that it had taken a piece of him stunned me at his readiness to share such vulnerability with her.
I’m more excited than ever to see what these leaps forward will mean for his relationship with everyone in his life, but especially with a certain red-head……..(more on them later)!
Good Mudding No More For Louis
He may not have a family yet, but this week, it was time for Louis to face the harsh reality that having children requires sacrifice. We knew someone gave up something significant in 8.05 and suspected it would be Louis, but I admit, I expected it to be something more serious than mudding! The again, mudding is pretty damn serious if you’re Louis Litt!
With the Specter storyline brining the more emotional scenes this week and after last week being so tough for him, 8.05 saw Louis’s plot bringing back the comedy that Suits is always so good at (and which was greatly lacking in season 7) through Louis’s very real struggle to let go of what has always been his best stress reliever. Mind you, he really can rejoin the mud club in a few weeks / months, so it’s not that big a deal really. Oh and Louis being turned on by property prices? Brilliant!
I’ve not been a big fan of Sheila recently (in fact, I’ve grown to dislike her and her messing with Louis’s emotions) but, to my surprise, I found myself agreeing with her this week. We all know having children was not something she wanted and now she’s come around to the idea, it really is understandable that she’d be annoyed by Louis’s inability to give up one thing, when she has to sacrifice A LOT. Do I think these two actually having a child is the best idea? Not at the moment, as I’m still not sold on their relationship, but if that’s the path, then they both need to make sacrifices and Louis had to hear that, although she could have been more honest about it, rather than manipulating him behind his back to set him up.
Most of Louis’s scenes may have been comedic this week, but my favourite and one that brought a tear to my eye was Donna giving him that mug. It was so sweet. What a gorgeous friendship they have.
Yet again, I loved Samatha Wheeler
In what I assume will continue to be a recurring theme this season, Good Mudding also saw conflict arising between Alex and Samantha, this time on a personal level, with Alex struggling as a parent and seeking Samantha’s help with his teenage daughter. True, the example she was setting wasn’t fluffy and was a little shady, but what was he expecting?! He really is appalling at understanding people’s personalities isn’t he? Having said that, I didn’t think what she did was that terrible!
We were also given yet another glimpse in to her past. We already know she was assaulted and now we know her childhood wasn’t an easy one. I’m curious to see how these two puzzle pieces fit together as we continue to get to know the enigmatic Ms. Wheeler. Mind you, it also highlights to me that soon we’ll know more about Samantha’s past than we do about Donna’s, which is quite frustrating!
I’ve missed Suits being this fun!
As I said earlier, in recent seasons Suits seemed to lose a lot of its humour and this week reminded me of how, in years gone by, the show used to make me laugh more than it has recently. So, thank you Sharyn Rothstein for writing an episode full of so much fun! Who’d have thought we’d have ever seen Harvey and Louis actually discussing what turns them on and Gabriel and Rick had me laughing out loud! Tomatoes, Harvey? You couldn’t think of anything better?! Then, in one of the best scenes of the week, we were treated to some A+ punning from Donna at Louis’s expense. You could see how much fun Sarah Rafferty was having! Even a lot of Samatha’s interplay with Alex’s daughter was fun. Please, writers, let’s keep up the humour and fun in the show from now on!
Harvey & Donna – freely talking about their kinky past, but sure, they’re just friends……..
Ahhh Darvey, you continue to make me laugh and cry (in frustration) in equal measure! Season 7 was rocky and, as I’ve already mentioned in previous reviews for this season, these last few episodes have seen them more comfortable than ever with one another. So comfortable in fact that it seems they now not only have no problem brining up The Other Time (you know, the night they were never to talk about again), but can freely joke about the intimate, kinky details of it too…..right there in the office…….the professional place that was the main reason for Donna’s rule……..but you know, they’re just friends everyone! Nothing to see here!
Plus, on top of this exchange, we also had the all too short phone call, where Harvey had been through the emotional wringer and wanted to share that with one person – Donna. Could that conversation have been any more like a married couple?! Seriously, can we just lock them in a room together to work this out, or better yet, in an elevator, which after all the scenes that have taken place this season by the elevators would be the ideal tie-in! They have to be endgame. How on earth can they go anywhere else at this point?!
It was written and directed by women!
It’s the icing on the cake that such an enjoyable episode was not only written by a woman, but was also directed by one too. Sharyn Rothstein is quickly becoming one of my favourite writers on the series, already behind one of my favourites (season 6’s The Painting), as well as acting as story editor for many episodes over the last couple of years and Valerie Weiss has given us some beautifully shot scenes in the past (the end of 7.06 standing out) and this week added more scenes to that list (my favourite perhaps being Donna and Louis at the end). I’m already looking forward to their next contributions to the show.
A couple of cons
Although, overall, I thoroughly enjoyed Good Mudding, there were a couple of cons for me. First, as much as I love Donna acting as everyone’s fixer, she really needs a personal life of her own. I really hope we get to see this soon. Oh and I’m still disappointed in how much I’ve changed my mind on Louis and Sheila. I used to love them together. Katrina was also absent, but in light of the fact we’ve already had a couple of episodes with a decent storyline for her, I can accept missing out on seeing her this week. Oh, and I’m a little disappointed we didn’t get Harvey at Donna’s door. That would have been glorious.
And looking ahead………..
We don’t know much about 8.06. but we suspect it includes Donna in a gorgeous ballgown and the title, Cats, Ballet, Harvey Specter suggests Louis will be the focus, but what we do know for sure is that the episode will see Harvey and Louis going to therapy…..together! Group therapy with these two? Good luck Dr. Lipschitz!
Suits continues next week with 8.06 Cats, Ballet, Harvey Specter on Wednesday night on the USA Network in the USA and on Thursday in the UK via Netflix. You can watch the promo here: https://youtu.be/16nMRv-QpUk
All screen shots / photos courtesy of USA Network