Looking ahead to a new era – My wish list for Suits Season 8

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It’s only been a few months since the season seven finale of Suits, which, if you read my review, you’ll know left me feeling rather disappointed. I’ll always think that opportunities were missed to truly make the departure of Meghan Markle and Patrick J Adams and indeed their characters, special, especially now that the spin-off show, which used that finale as a springboard and took up so much time, isn’t even reaching our screens until 2019.

Those views aside, this week sees the return of the series, in what is undoubtably a whole new era, with the arrival of new character Samatha Wheeler (played by Katherine Heigl) and the promotion of Dule Hill’s Alex Williams and Amanda Schull’s Katrina Bennett to series regulars. The show won’t be the same without half of the original cast (although I assume Jessica Pearson will be back the closer we get to the start of her show, Second City) and I’ll especially miss the special bond between Harvey and Mike, but I’m also excited to see whether the show really is able to reboot itself which, if successful, could mean it’s around for a bit longer.

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Therefore, before the show returns this week (Wednesday night in the USA and Thursday on Netflix here in the UK), I’ve been considering exactly what I’m hoping for in Suits season eight. I’m realistic in knowing that it’s unlikely I’ll get all of the points on this wishlist, but hopefully my demands aren’t too unreasonable!!

So, diving right in!

1. A narrative that makes sense and doesn’t come out of nowhere!

I won’t ramble on about how much the season seven premiere irritated me (you can read it here, if you haven’t already!), but I still need any show I enjoy and invest in, to have a logical story narrative for its characters. That isn’t to say things will always go the way I want them to, but as long as I can see the logic for the story decisions, I’ll stick with it to the bitter end!

2. Strong female characters supporting each other, not pitted against each other

Suits has always impressed me for its inclusion of strong female characters and although nothing will compare to Donna and Rachel’s friendship, or Jessica’s presence at the top, season eight has the opportunity to again have three main female characters supporting each other. I don’t want to see Samantha and Donna pitted against each other, or threatened by each other and I hope the writers won’t be as stereotypical as other shows have been when portraying women on screen. Having Donna, Katrina and Samantha (and indeed with Gretchen and Sheila too) in the series, I’m excited to see them supporting and respecting each other’s strengths.

3. More Donna backstory please!

Although she’s been here since the beginning, Donna is the character we still know the least about. Season seven showed us Louis’s past and what made him who he is and yes, we’ve seen a glimpse of young Donna, but there’s still so much we don’t know about her and I’d love to dig further in to that. Plus, who doesn’t want to meet her mother and see her talking about Harvey at that dinner party, or Donna during her theatre years?!

4. More Lily and her meeting a certain someone special

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I know many many people hated Paula Agard getting to meet Harvey’s mother before Donna, but I see why, from a story perspective, it made sense, allowing all the events of “Inevitable” to unfold. Darvey fans are forever grateful to you, Lily! Personally, I love seeing the more emotional side of Harvey (and Gabriel Macht getting a chance to channel his emotions more) and there is so much that could be explored through his relatively new connection with his mother, who is surely wondering who exactly that someone special is, if it wasn’t Paula! Stop by the office Lily and pop in to see the COO. Maybe Gordon mentioned her? I can but hope! Plus, if Harvey’s brother is going through a difficult time, then Lily is bound to appear at some point.

5. Mike and Rachel remaining a presence, despite their absence

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Yes, Patrick and Meghan may have left (although I still hope Patrick comes back one day, even if just for the last ever episode), but Mike and Rachel are still only in Seattle and so I hope they’ll continue to be referred to, from time to time. With Robert Zane joining the firm, I imagine this will be much easier to achieve and any little mention will go down very well with longstanding fans.

6. DARVEY PROGRESS! It’s been seven seasons for heaven’s sake!

It’s hard to say exactly how much progress I want to see by the end of season eight without knowing if this will be the final season of the show or not. Plus, I’m realistic when it comes to Donna and Harvey’s relationship. It remains one of the most interesting dynamics on television and chemistry between actors of this kind is rare, but I also understand why the writers have held off, as a slow burn is fun to watch. Plus, there is more to Suits than Darvey. However, I think Suits is at risk of dragging the slow burn out for too long unless clear progress continues to be made, especially as I can’t imagine this couple not being endgame by the time Suits does eventually finish.

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Season six seemed to be heading towards something happening, with both characters more emotionally open, especially after Harvey finally reconciling with his mother and then 7.01 suddenly had Harvey declaring the only person he wanted to share his life with was her ex therapist?! Personally, I didn’t have a problem with Harvey having a relationship with someone else, as I’d hoped that would wake him or Donna up (which is exactly what this did, for Donna at least), but having it be Paula Agard was just nuts (although, full marks to Christina Cole for her work).

Therefore, surely this season needs to push Donna and Harvey’s feelings forwards, whether in the right direction for a ninth season, or to the finish line, if this is the last year of the show. Will Donna admit she did feel lots of things when they kissed? Will that be to Harvey or a third party like Louis? Will Alex or Marcus take on the role of Mike to give his old friend shit for not making a move on a woman he clearly cares for? Is this where Lily or one of Donna’s family play a role? There needs to be steps forward. Before a lot of fans lose their minds!

7. A deepening of the friendship between Harvey and Louis

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With the arrival in the firm of Robert Zane, who it seems is going to take on the managing partner role, Louis and Harvey will once again be on level pegging as named partners and I hope this allows for their friendship to only grow on screen. Over the last season and a half, we’ve seen much less of their in-fighting and much more of these two men being friends as well as colleagues. I loved their chat in 6.13 about Louis’s love life and the moment Harvey called Louis “My friend” in 7.14 was a highlight of 7B. I’m hopeful we see more of this in season eight and not a return to the more juvenile bickering of past years.

8. Samatha Wheeler kicking Harvey’s ass professionally, but staying away from him romantically!

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I know there’s been mixed reactions to Katherine Heigl joining the cast of Suits. What’s important to me is what she and her character bring to the show and that she fit in with the family that the cast and crew have created around the series. Everyone deserves a second chance after all. That being said, I really hope the writing team don’t go down the obvious route of having Samantha Wheeler dating Harvey. PLEASE NO! I think they won’t be that silly, but it’ll remain a concern until I see on screen that she has a partner or shows absolutely no interest in him whatsoever! Plus, it’ll be fun to see a strong woman kick his ass professionally.

9. Lots of Dr Lipschitz! 

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It seems crazy that Ray Proscia’s Dr. Lipschitz only arrived on Suits in 7.02, as it feels as though he’s been around forever! Fingers crossed he continues to help Louis on his emotional journey and if he has a spare slot in his schedule, can he fit Harvey in too? He really needs a therapist who takes their job seriously! Plus, if he’s having to deal with his brother’s marriage falling apart, maybe he’ll need someone to talk him through exactly how that’s affecting his own feelings on relationships.

10. Louis Litt being happy for a whole season (well, fine I’ll take half a season if a full one is too much to ask for)!

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It’s been a rocky road for Louis in the last few seasons, so I’m hoping to see him find a level of personal stability and happiness this year. Sheila has always been the best match for him (thank god Tara didn’t last long) and I’d love to see them both happy with their relationship. Maybe it’ll inspire Harvey and Donna to follow their example! And if a little baby Litt is on the cards, well, if it’s what both Louis and Sheila are happy about, then that’ll certainly add another dynamic to the show. Louis setting up a firm creche with Brian anyone?!

11. A few familiar faces popping up would be fab too!

Suits is a show that has a brilliant set of recurring characters to draw from and there are a few I’m hoping turn up in season 8. Top of the list are Gretchen and Brian, who both have brilliant dynamics with Louis. Then there’s Benjamin, who has a lovely connection with Donna, as well as Stu (but his return in season 7 perhaps rules this out) and I’m pleased we’ll be seeing more of Harvey’s brother too.

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So, those are my hopes for this new era of Suits. It has the potential to be an exciting season. I really hope it delivers. All my fingers are crossed.

Suits season 8 begins on Wednesday 18th July in the USA and on Thursday 19th July on Netflix in the UK. Here’s a glimpse at the new credits sequence too: https://youtu.be/HHEzkbnmKRs

 

 

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Television Review – Suits 7×15 / 7×16 – Season seven comes to an unexpectedly unsatisyfing end

After only four weeks of new episodes, on Wednesday night we reached the end of season seven, with a double bill of episodes 7×15 (“Tiny Violin”) and 7×16 (“Goodbye”). The show had a fair amount to cover in the two hours and sadly, my overwhelming feeling on finishing the episodes (especially the second hour), was one of disappointment, caused by a number of factors (no, not just Darvey).

As they aired together, this review will dive in to both episodes, so forgive me for making this a little longer than usual. Thanks to @lovedarvey for the photo collages! Here goes………………

Specter Litt under attack yet again 

Specter Litt faced yet another attack as 7×15 began, with the former partners banding together to try and reclaim their buy-in money, lost in 6×01. Their whole argument – working at the firm jeopardised their future professional careers, as they were tainted by association (can I make a claim for it jeopardising my sanity too?).

With three big story elements already needing to be covered (Mike/Rachel wedding & leaving; the spin-off; and capping off all the Darvey build-up), this story wasn’t really needed, except to set up the expanded firm for season eight, most importantly including Robert Zane. I did enjoy seeing Louis stand beside his new partner against the enemy, which was far more satisfying than other aspects we were promised would be.

A merger of the two firms has been floated before and it’s a little odd that this is finally happening now that Rachel won’t be in the show. I understand that we needed to see Harvey stepping up in to that managing partner role, but having more time to see Rachel working and perhaps clashing with her dad would have been fun, but I’ll move along, as this isn’t really the biggest missed opportunity we need to talk about! I wish it was.

To be fair to the writers (and this will be the only time I say that in this review), 7×15 on its own was a decent episode, which is tainted by the hour that followed it and this storyline did at least give us Harvey and Louis working as a true team – no yelling, no mud slinging, no blaming one another; they just got on with working together to protect their home. I particularly liked Louis standing up for Harvey the moment Alex suggested exactly what Louis once suggested to Jessica, that he take over in charge for a while. I like you Alex (and more Dule Hill will be welcome next season), but I don’t like you that much! The scene with everyone together from the firm at Harvey’s was also nice to see, highlighting the bond they share, which I dearly wish had been carried through in to 7×16 (I’m getting to that).

With the groundwork laid for a bigger firm filled with rivalries and game playing next season, it’s good we ended the year with Louis and Harvey, at long last, working as a team. I just hope this lasts longer than five minutes in to 8×01! Oh and will it be ZSL next year? The fact that acronym is the same as London Zoo will, I know, amuse only me.

One last clinic case for Mike

Not only did we have the firm under attack, but we also saw the clinic under threat due to its latest class action involving children with lead poisoning, covered up by the company responsible. So, right up Mike’s street.

As the horrifying reality of the harm caused was discovered by him, we had one last opportunity to see just how supportive of each other Mike and Rachel are, as they discussed the case at home, with Rachel providing encouragement, love and support to the man she was going to spend her life with. I never tire of seeing these two on screen together and 7B has really highlighted their bond and their maturity as a couple (unlike others in this show).

Having the clinic case yet again highlight to Mike the impossible position he is in, straddling the corporate and clinic lines, was a logical way of underpinning why he would be willing to leave the life he had. As he says to Harvey, it’s time (albeit giving him more than half a second to say it would have been nice, writers!); time for him to go out and be the type of lawyer he was always meant to be (well, assuming he passes the Washington State bar – no cheating now Mike). Plus, thanks to Louis, in one of my favourite scenes of the two episodes, the clinic can live on without him, at least for a while.

Even Scottie knows the Darvey truth of it all!

We’d seen the news that the lovely Abigail Spencer was returning for an episode and I had my fingers crossed this would be to show Harvey that she’d moved on and to give him some Donna-related truths. At least half of this came to pass when, after being drawn yet again in to the firm’s mess and sensibly refusing to taint her reputation for Harvey, she was back to play what I hope is a vital role for Darvey.

On effectively asking Harvey if he wanted to date (couldn’t she be settled and happy by now?), he admits to dating his therapist who he went to to “fix himself” as she puts it. I assume this was the writers’s way  of acknowledging that that relationship choice was a giant mess, by the awkward / embarrassed way he admitted it. Yes, Harvey, that was a stupid decision.

Showing more emotional intelligence than Paula Agard did in 13 episodes, despite her so-called medical degree, Scottie zeros in on the biggest obstacle to having a romantic relationship with Harvey – Donna and his feelings for Donna and on seeing her guess is correct, by his cagey answer and face, she’s out. Getting in the middle of that would be crazy, right? No one would choose to do that knowingly would they? Oh…….wait……

This was a superb scene and Gabriel’s silent emotional acting yet again was on point. He gives so much without words, it’s incredible. You actually see, for the first time, the look of realisation and shock pass over Harvey’s face. Was this a lightbulb moment? Is now the only thing standing between him and Donna his false understanding of her feelings? Will the writers even acknowledge this next season? Who knows. Surely bringing Scottie back for this and then not following through would be pointless, but after their writing decisions for the finale, I’m no longer sure of anything.

And talking of Darvey………..

Donna & Harvey – back to normal! Wonderful…….

Season seven has undoubtably been the heaviest Darvey-filled season so far and the further through the episodes we got, the more I started to wonder whether I’d been too cynical, whether there may be real progress by the end of 7×16. Am I disappointed with where their relationship has been left? Of course. Am I surprised? Not really.

As those who’ve read my earlier reviews know, I get most annoyed when the plot doesn’t make sense of the pre-existing narrative (yes, I’m talking about you, 7×01) and if you step back and look at the season as a whole, it was certainly heading in a romantic direction. We all knew Paula would never stay in the picture. It was an unethical relationship from the outset and she was never going to replace Donna in Harvey’s life, because no one can, which Scottie highlighted in mere seconds.

Yet, after 14 episodes of watching the pieces move on the board, from seeing Harvey become a man ready and willing to have a real relationship and be on good terms with his mother, to them openly addressing their blurred lines, Harvey choosing Donna and even after Mike spelling out his view that the two of them being together was something he thought was a great idea (listen to your son, Harvey), there was no conclusion to the season’s heavily- featured Darvey narrative. Aaron Korsh and the writers have done a fantastic job this year, weaving in references, subtle and not so subtle, to the importance of the other in both their lives and yet this season’s chess game (as Gabriel called it) didn’t lead to a checkmate.

Instead, we had the “we drank a whole bottle of scotch and talked all night and now we’re back to normal” scene, which was sweet, but ridiculous in the wider context of the season. Back to normal, guys? Really?! Oh, come on! This is getting old now. The fact they are using scotch as a sex substitute at this point is bonkers. Unless of course they mean they spent all night drinking scotch in bed. If so, then please carry on!

Then there was the wedding, from which we’d already seen those photos weeks ago. With hindsight, I wish we hadn’t now, seeing as it only raised my expectations for us finally getting the elusive “more” we have been waiting for. Did I love the dancing and the gazing across the aisle (you know, in that way all friends do……….)? Obviously.  Was it lovely to see them arm in arm walking down the aisle? Of course! The problem is, I’m starting to get frustrated with the crumbs, which only ever seem to lead the narrative so far and then pull back. Clearly the editing of Mike’s vows over the top of Harvey and Donna was deliberate and teasing the audience, but don’t be so blatant if it’s never going to happen.

I’m not an advocate of the giving any one set of fans the storyline they think they deserve in a show. It’s being written for more than just one fan base after all, but Suits is reaching the point of taking the slow burn tease too far and fans who feel frustrated will only stick around so long. As I said in my review of 7×14, the Darvey drag is starting to feel repetitive and could risk becoming as boring to watch as the perceived boredom the writers fear happening by putting them romantically together on screen. They’re lucky we all love Gabriel Macht and Sarah Rafferty so much to keep watching.

Season seven, more than any other, felt as though it was going somewhere for their relationship. They were acknowledging it in a way they never had before and in my view, there needed to be a climax to all of that. It didn’t need to be much – I’m not unrealistic. I understand how television works. A conversation about having a conversation would have been enough; a nod towards the fact they’d both perhaps not admitted the truth, possibly fuelled by Harvey’s need to act on that moment of seeming realisation with Scottie; an acknowledgment that there was something between them they can’t ignore anymore.

Yet, now, the way the season was left, they can, and knowing these writers, I suspect will, ignore it. With new main characters (did we really need that?) and new threats bound to arise, this would have been the time to really take this somewhere and now they haven’t, I have reverted to my old, cynical view, that I’ve had since the early days of watching Suits – that it won’t happen until the very end. I just hope Aaron Korsh is given warning of when that will be, as before this week’s finale, I’d have said with confidence that they’d never rush a key element of this show, but now…….all bets are off.

………which leads me to the biggest and most unexpected disappointment of the finale and the entire season, if not the series to date…………

A 5 minute farewell to two central characters who deserved more


We’ve all known Mike and Rachel we’re leaving for a while. Even before the official announcements, it was obvious that both Meghan Markle and Patrick J. Adams were ready to move on and the show’s creator made clear that they’d been planning for it for some time.

Wonderful! Lots of time then to create a thoroughly deserving farewell to two of the show’s characters after seven seasons! Right……..?

Or not.

I still cannot believe how rushed the Mike / Rachel departure was in this finale. Yes, they needed to give time to bedding in the foundations of the new Jessica spin-off, but the focus, especially in the back half of the finale, should have been on these two characters, who needed to marry and depart in a satisfying way.

The Chicago thread could have been wrapped up in less time (some of those scenes could have been in episode one of that show), leaving us to focus on what has always been at the heart of Suits – family. It wasn’t an accident Mike soon had none, meaning the firm became his family and that theme has always been a strong one.

Instead, the promo had effectively shown us the whole wedding. I’m not denying that what we did see wasn’t lovely. It was heart warming to see Mike and Rachel commit to each other for life, full of smiles, before dancing in each other’s arms with their friends, but how was doing that in under 5 minutes seen as an acceptable way to handle this vital storyline?!


Yes, we saw Mike say goodbye to Harvey. We had two lovely scenes for them, the one before the wedding, with all the banter we’ve all grown to love and then the emotional scene at the bar, in which Mike tells Harvey he isn’t coming back. It was a beautiful scene, the one that made me the most emotional, thanks to these two actors highlighting yet again how integral to the show their relationship is (and Gabriel’s expression of Harvey’s silent grief at the loss was quite something to watch). However, having Mike literally drop the news on his friend out of nowhere was utterly out of character, but then we’d already seen him seemingly fine to get married without his best man, so out of character was a theme of this finale. These people are a family (apparently Mike mentioned that in his vows, not that we had time to hear them), so surely such monumental news deserved a group scene?! The episode was called Goodbye, yet no one really said it! Their decision could have been made in 7×15 and woven in to the scene at Harvey’s apartment with everyone there to acknowledge that this would be their last fight together. It would have added depth to the moment!

As it stands, we didn’t see anyone say goodbye to Rachel, who clearly will never be back (I hold out hope we’ll at least see Patrick in the very last one). The news could have been included in her scene with Donna. Yes, we had a lovely moment where the two said how much they loved each other and Sarah Rafferty and Markle made the emotion clear, but why not tell Donna why the wedding was being moved up? Why didn’t Donna ask? Yet another strange writing choice if there was to be no big group farewell scene. Plus, we did get two lovely Mike / Louis moments across the two episodes, but that wasn’t the same as goodbye and Louis and Rachel’s bond has been a gem on the show, which again saw no closure.


Did the writers forget that although, the audience knew the actors were leaving, their characters didn’t know?!

It’s fair to say fans often want more than can be aired, due to time, but it’s not unreasonable to expect a goodbye scene when two integral members of the series are leaving and may never be seen again (please come back Patrick, we need it now, more than ever). Jessica had more of a farewell in 6×10 and she was back every 5 minutes! Ironically, after preparing for Darvey disappointment, I was not prepared to be let down in how this Goodbye was handled and it makes me question whether the writers and creator will ever be able to give the show a truly satisfying ending, whenever that is.

Dirty, yet dull, dealings in Chicago

The main reason why Mike and Rachel were so short changed was clear – the need to introduce Jessica’s spin-off. Ironically, 7×16 should have been called Chicago, rather than Goodbye, seeing as the focus was on the spin-off, rather than the end of an era of Suits itself.

I’ve always loved Jessica and Gina Torres and having missed her in the show regularly, had been looking forward to seeing her back and yet I find myself saying something I didn’t expect to say – there was too much Jessica Pearson in this finale.

Yes, they needed to set the scene for a new show, but they didn’t need to dedicate as much time to it as they did, or the Chicago plot line could have been woven more firmly in to the existing world of the show. Look at how Arrow introduced Barry Allen ready for The Flash. Hell, Angel simply said he was off and disappeared through the smoke in Buffy in to his spin-off! There was just too much here. I enjoyed seeing the different tone being set (this will clearly be slightly darker than Suits) and I loved having Harvey and a Jessica side by side again, but the balance of the episode was wrong, taking vital time from the main storyline.

Not only that, but the cutting back and forth to Jessica during the wedding was criminal in my opinion. It was already a blink and you’ll miss it wedding, so chopping it up more was crazy. I yelled at the screen when that gorgeous Mike / Harvey hug was cut off for a full Jessica / Jeff row. It took away from a key moment in a way that is unforgivable, only made worse by the decision to end the episode, not on the happy, celebratory family we love, but Jessica staring out of a window! Seriously?! What were they thinking?!

Ironically, the result of this is to have the opposite effect on me to the one they were no doubt hoping for. Instead of the spin-off being something I am excited to see, it’s now something I might catch up with if I get round to it. The fact it was used to spoil Mike and Rachel’s departure has already tainted it for me and it will take some time for me to be able to forgive the writers for that.

Who edited this finale?!

I don’t remember ever feeling irritated by Suits when it comes to the edit and recently the episodes have been strong, from a pacing and visual perspective (7×11 stands out for me). Yet, the finale felt as if it was edited by a new team altogether. The pacing was poor, which is more the fault of the episode’s content imbalance, but some of the cuts chosen here were, frankly, dreadful.

I’ve already mentioned the wedding/spin-off editing. With this sequence already so short, you’d have expected it to at least be uninterrupted, or cut from say, Harvey and Mike to Rachel and Donna, but no, we all really wanted to see those Jessica scenes, right?

Then there was the blatant use of material from last week. Was so much time spent on the Chicago plot, that in the edit room they realised they didn’t have enough other material? I would have liked Donna overhearing Louis and Alex argue, before hurrying to fetch Mike home to help, were it not for the glaringly obvious fact that this was recycled from 7×14! Fashion is always noticed in Suits, even by casual viewers (my mum being a prime example) and having Donna in last week’s outfit in one scene and then suddenly in another minutes later stood out a mile! Come on Suits, please do better. Your audience pays attention.

Looking ahead to season 8………

I admit, after the disappointments of the finale, I’m not quite ready to think about next season, but it’s how I always end these reviews and I have three months to find my enthusiasm. So, here’s my wish list.

1. Donna, or Louis, watching a recording of the wedding to give me all the bits I feel cheated out of (yes, I know this is unrealistic, but it’s my wish list, okay?)

2. Katherine Heigl’s character NOT dating Harvey! Just don’t do it, Mr Korsh. I beg you.

3. More backstory for Donna, as she is still the most underdeveloped series regular in terms of her life away from the firm.

4. Mentions of Mike and Rachel – gone but never forgotten.

5. Harvey’s mother back and meeting Donna.

6. Lots more Dr Lipchitz – hard to believe he’s only been here a year!

7. More Gretchen & Katrina (we really didn’t need new characters with so many ones already in the show).

8. Donna kicking ass in her job. No more digs at her qualifications. Let her shine.

9. More progress for Donna & Harvey’s relationship! It’s time! Otherwise, what was the point of everything that happened this season?!

10. If this ends up being the last season, Patrick in the last episode. It can be by phone, or in person, but the show can’t end without Mike Ross!

Will any of these happen, who knows, but I have to keep some hope! Until next season, thanks for reading Suitors!

Television Review – Suits 7×14 “Pulling The Goalie”

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After last week’s episode, in which there were some significant leaps forward in terms of character development (I’m looking at you, Harvey) and relationships (you know who I’m talking about), the big question was what lay in store this week in the unusually titled “Pulling The Goalie.”

Overall impressions, this was a decent episode of Suits, which reminded me of all the various elements of the series that made me start watching it when it first aired. Practically all the pairings and duos you love on the show had scenes together this week, which was both wonderful to see, but also a little bittersweet, as it only reminded me that in a week’s time so many of these relationships and friendships will come to an end (on screen anyway). Also, ironically, with so many enjoyable storylines this week, I realised my least favourite scenes in 7×14 were the Darvey ones (don’t all gasp at once!) for reasons I’ll explain a little later.

So, as we dig in to the detail a little more, there’s only one person to start with……

Is this the beginning of real happiness for Louis Litt? I’m still not certain, but I sure as hell hope so!

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Louis’s storyline in this episode was probably my favourite and unsurprisingly, Rick Hoffman was on fine form, filling his performance with all the passion, determination and emotion that makes Louis such a memorable character.

I wasn’t a huge fan of Louis’s choices last week and watching him sneaking around with Sheila did not sit well with me, as it was clear it would all end in tears. It also made me start to dislike Sheila, a character I’d always enjoyed being part of the show before. I hoped this episode would turn things around somehow and by the end, it had, maybe not totally where Sheila is involved (her treatment of Louis seemed very unfair for most of this episode), but there is hope of happiness again for Mr. Litt and who doesn’t want that for him?

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Sacrifice was a hot topic this week and Louis continued to show remarkable growth by realising it was time to let Sheila go; to sacrifice their unhealthy relationship so that he could find some peace after all the misery his actions were causing him. With the help of Dr. Lipschitz (he gets a special mention later), we watched Louis act not like himself. Instead of humiliating Sheila’s fiancé, both professionally (through the case he was ready to destroy him with) and personally (by telling him about his affair), he was the bigger man. He sacrificed the satisfaction he’d feel at sticking it to Xander F*ckface, for Sheila, because her happiness mattered more to him. Wow! Louis Litt, I’m impressed. It really must be love for you. I just hope it’s reciprocated.

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If Sheila doesn’t work out, I could get behind this! 

It certainly seems to be for now, with Sheila realising that the person who excited her, went to battle for her and was willing to sacrifice something for her was the person she truly loved. Harvey and Donna could really learn from these two with a simple concept – honesty.  Louis and Sheila were honest with each other. He was honest about his feelings for her. She was honest about not wanting commitment and he thought he could accept that. On realising he couldn’t, he was again honest. The scene in which he expresses his need to regain his honour because he knows he doesn’t get the girl or get to be happy, was incredibly moving. Then, on realising the truth of her feelings, she told him the truth. Radical, I know, for this show!

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Louis happy at long last! 

As Louis struggled with his feelings and his decisions, we were also treated to seeing him turn to two friends. The first was Katrina, played brilliantly as usual by Amanda Schull (who will step up to be a regular next season), who supported Louis in his mission to win back his professional honour (even though it wouldn’t heal his heartache). Hoffman and Schull have superb chemistry and I admit, were I willing to invest in another ship for this show, I’d be tempted to back these two. Sheila, watch how you treat our Louis, there could be another choice!

The second was Harvey. The scene in 6×13 where he asked for Harvey’s advice was lovely and this week we were treated to something similar and even more heartfelt. The moment Harvey said “Then, my friend,” brought a lump to my throat. Seeing these two as a strong team, but also good friends too, gives me hope for season 8. More of this please.

Dr.Lipshitz – therapist of the year (not that he had much competition)! 

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Another big part of Louis’s storyline this week was his loyal and supportive therapist and I think he needs a big round of applause (and one for the wonderful Ray Proscia too) ! Bravo to a therapist who speaks about his oath to his profession being greater than his words to his patient, not to mention this gem: “Louis, I don’t say it lightly, but I have taken an oath to do no harm and lately, I have been feeling that our relationship is doing harm………” Are you there, Dr. Agard?! Can you hear that? I’m not sure if the writers are deliberately paralleling two very different therapist relationships, but this little speech made me laugh at the irony!

Donna and Rachel – the fabulous team we should have seen much more of in seven seasons 

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Don’t mess with the women of Specter Litt!

I’ve commented before that Donna and Rachel don’t have nearly enough scenes together. Their friendship has been such a lovely element of this series, but it’s not had that much screen time when you really think about it (plus, the DVD deleted scenes highlight this too). This week it was as though the writers were making up for lost time with four scenes between Sarah Rafferty and Meghan Markle in one episode!

We’ve seen Harvey and Mike teaming up to kick ass for years, but this week we were able to see how awesome the team of Paulsen and Zane are, as Rachel helped Donna out of a sticky situation she’d landed herself in, which could have cost the firm its offices. Their final scene in 7×14 as they show Specter Litt’s landlord who’s boss, before sauntering out side by side was glorious. We should have had so much more of this! Sure, I’m not convinced air rights work quite that way, but it’s Suits. None of us actually watch this for accurate legal detail, do we?!

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Also, although I agree that the show had to comment on Donna’s inexperience at her new role (it would have been silly if they hadn’t), I’m ready to see her shining in the role now. She could have found a way to thank Harvey that didn’t start with her making a mistake and being made a fool of. I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to move on! Season eight better have some meaty stories for Specter Litt’s COO.

Even more of TV’s greatest bromance! 

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Why on earth have we not had more of this?!

A highlight of last week was a return to one of the show’s fundamental foundations – the Mike and Harvey bromance and this week saw even more of it. There was banter, arguments, confessions, apologies and batting practice. Yes, I admit, I enjoyed the batting practice scene. I’m only human after all!

As with Donna and Rachel’s scenes, having so many to enjoy this week again highlighted to me how much I (and indeed the show) will miss Marvey. Mike has always managed to help Harvey be a better version of himself when it comes to his career and I do wonder if that will change once he’s gone. I also enjoyed the added insight in to Anita Gibbs. Tapping their phones is so something I can see her doing! Plus, it was about time, Mike used the “I went to prison for you” line on Harvey. I’m amazed it hasn’t happened earlier!

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Mike – both thrilled and terrified by what he helped cause! 

The promo last week had us all wondering how Mike was going to move forward with his mission to get his “parents” together and it was fantastic to see him admit to Harvey his part in Donna’s actions and press his friend on whether Donna was “the One”. Harvey still says no. But, Harvey, you just said that Donna kissing you ultimately led to you realising Paula wasn’t the One. I think you may need to go away and think about that some more. I’d expected Harvey to be angrier than he seemed at Mike, so their later argument was another episode highlight, quickly turning from the case to Harvey blaming Mike for Donna kissing him and with sacrifice the theme of the week, we had Harvey declare, incredibly passionately, that he’d sacrificed everything that week, which I assume, in his mind at the moment, is Paula, who he saw as his chance at a real relationship and a possible future. Ouch! We wouldn’t want Donna to overhear that…….oh……never mind…….

Yet, by the end they were best friends again, with Harvey even allowing Mike to officially declare his allegiance to Team Darvey. Welcome aboard Mike.

Which leads me to my least favourite element of Pulling the Goalie………

Darvey – Have I actually reached my limit? Not quite, but I’m getting close.

Look, I love this couple and I still think they are meant to be together. There have been too many markers along the way for the narrative to not eventually be heading there. Yet, it seems that this won’t be happening any time soon if 7×14 is anything to go by.

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So, after all the emotional trauma of Inevitable, it was to be expected (or, indeed inevitable) that the focus would shift and these two confused souls would have time to regroup. My biggest moan about their relationship this week was that it just felt repetitive. If the writers aren’t wanting to put them together for fear the audience will get bored and switch off, well, newsflash, having yet another Donna and Harvey have drinks together and ignore the feelings swirling around them (which are now more obvious than ever before) scene is boring too. We’ve seen this so many times now. As Donna said, they drink, they flirt. Wake up already! Go and borrow some honesty from Louis and Sheila!

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I haven’t seen this before! Oh…wait….

We also had the amusing declaration by Harvey that he doesn’t want to be with anyone romantically right now. That makes sense. He did just break up with someone and I probably wouldn’t have wanted these two to be cheapened by leaping in to bed immediately, but what’s the next scene – Harvey heading to spend time with Donna, so they can gaze at one another across the rims of their scotch tumblers. I could actually strangle both of them at this point. Oh, and I may be in the minority, but having Donna refer to herself as something Harvey had decided to keep really didn’t do it for me either.

Does Harvey honestly still think the kiss meant nothing to her? Is he really this dumb, or was Agard right and he, on some level, enjoys being the focus of Donna’s attention and affection and doesn’t want it to stop and furthermore cannot face what he really feels? We need to see some acknowledgment from him soon, even if it’s not to her yet, before this gets even more infuriating. Will we get it this season? I’m not convinced, but there’s only a week to wait.

Speaking of the finale…..

Next week – A final goodbye (I’ll have my tissues ready)

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So, with 7×15 and 7×16 being shown back to back, we only have one week left of Suits season 7. From the tidbits we’ve learnt so far, it seems there is a lot to pack in to 90 minutes. There’s the introduction of Jessica’s spin-off in Chicago, the return of Scottie (let’s face it, that could go anywhere. I’m not even going to try and guess), the beginnings of Louis and Sheila’s romance, a clinic case involving Oliver and a certain wedding, which will no doubt be an emotional affair.

I’m making my prediction that, with Rachel and Mike heading off in to the sunset and Louis now happy (for the moment at least) with Sheila, any progress of the Darvey train will be slow. We know there are glances and dancing, but is that going to be it, with the hint of possibly more to come in season eight? Knowing this show, I’m going to guess yes. At least there isn’t long to wait!

Suits continues next Wednesday night on USA Network in the U.S and next Thursday on Netflix in the UK, with 7×15 “Tiny Violin” and 7×16 “Goodbye.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Television Review – Suits 7×13 – It was Inevitable (and Emotional)!!

So, the third episode of Suits season 7B has been one that fans of the show (okay, mainly Darvey fans) have been anticipating for a few weeks now. As the airdate neared, there was talk this episode would be a game changer for the series. Having finally seen the episode, it may not have provided the explosions I had started to imagine were coming, but Inevitable was nevertheless a brilliant hour of the show and continues this incredibly strong run, as we reach 7B’s halfway mark.

Let’s get stuck in shall we?

The exquisite pain of Donna and Harvey’s relationship on full display

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The fact that, although it took half the episode to even touch on Donna and Harvey’s complicated, nuanced and utterly compelling relationship, this will be what stays with you by the end, says a great deal about the writing and acting on display this week. It was never going to be straightforward with these two and I for one am glad about that. It makes the narrative and the emotional centre of the show so much richer this way. There’s a lot to unpack here, so here goes! (Thanks to @lovedarvey for the collage picture above).

Sarah Rafferty’s Powerhouse Performance

Sarah Rafferty is always fantastic and has helped shape her character so much over the last seven years and Inevitable is one of her finest performances to date. We saw Donna at her most vulnerable and yet also at her bravest too.

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After displaying yet again her strengths in her role at the firm, combined with some flirtatious banter with Stu (I do love Stu – more of him please), Donna was faced with a truly heartbreaking experience; the betrayal of a friendship she had treasured and indeed held above all else for 13 years. You couldn’t fail to ache for her, as she stood before her friend (and let’s face it, the man she now knows she loves) and asked him to stand by her, stand by their bond and their history. Rafferty squeezed every drop of emotion out of that scene and had me wanting to simultaneously hug her and slap Harvey in the face (more on him shortly).

We then had to watch her plead with Paula to not force her to give up the career she loves. I really really felt so much anger towards Paula here, but I’ll save that for later. I’ll also put aside for the moment that it was ludicrous that Harvey firing Donna for this reason was a possibility from an employment law perspective (Suits isn’t legally realistic anyway, right?). It was another powerful moment in a very heavy, emotionally charged episode, where we also saw Donna’s inability to hide the fact that she has feelings for Harvey. Literally everyone knows that now other than him!

Yet, after thinking of herself for once by kissing him, she returned to her usual state of being this week – putting Harvey and his happiness above her own. Do I wish she didn’t always do this? Of course, but humans are complicated creatures, especially when feelings (whether acknowledged or not) are involved. Under the clearly false impression that Harvey doesn’t want more with her, she took the only route she could see to try to give them both a chance at moving on. Seeing her leave and hearing her resignation letter was beautifully handled by Rafferty and director Christopher Misiano and will stand out as one of my favourite sequences in Suits (top marks on the song choices too). She hadn’t counted on the unexpected though – Harvey’s emotional growth!

Harvey Specter’s emotional development is almost complete (and about time too)!

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True, I spent most of season 7A wanting to run Harvey over with his car, but 7B is shaping up to be the crowning glory of his growth as a man. Think back to the person we met in the pilot and compare him to the man we see at the end of Inevitable. It’s quite a transformation and the writers and Gabriel Macht should be very proud of what they have achieved with his character.

Was Harvey an ass for initially choosing Paula? Of course! He hurt the closest person he’s ever had in his life and I hope that will be acknowledged in the coming weeks. However, I don’t think he found it easy to do it; it clearly hurt him to be faced with the choice.

It also needs to be put in to context. This is a man, who, after years of casual sex and failed relationships due to his inability to open up for fear of getting hurt like his father, is finally ready to love someone and be loved. A large section of the audience may well be yelling “Wake up Harvey! It’s Donna!” at their screens (yes, including me), but he hasn’t been ready to see it. Add to that Donna’s recent lie – that she felt nothing when she kissed him and he is left with one horrible option – try and hold on to Paula and the stability she brings to his life, at the expense of his one constant. That would mess you up and let’s face it, he’s already a mess. Should he have said no immediately to her awful ultimatum? YES! But then we’d have no drama/story. Going behind Donna’s back to Stu was cowardly, but he was trying to ensure she had a future, which may result in him never having to choose at all and would still give her a positive professional life.

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Yet, by the end, choose he must and on being faced with the reality of a Donna-less existence, his action and his choice was clear immediately.

He chose Donna.

He chose to end a relationship he thinks is his best chance for love in order to hold on to his friend and show how important she is to him. There was no guarantee she’d come back to the firm and he has no expectation of anything more. Yet, finally, he truly fought for her and it was glorious to watch! Those closing moments were superbly brought to life by Rafferty and Macht and I truly felt all the emotion they poured in to it.

And thanks Suits writers for not choosing the obvious ending. Harvey could have easily gone inside Donna’s apartment; the old Harvey Specter would have. The new Harvey Specter knows he needs to process the pain, confusion and guilt that he feels (regarding both how he has treated Donna and Paula) and it was absolutely the right decision to have him walk away. I don’t want a cheap resolution to this complicated relationship and by ending Inevitable the way they did, both characters have time to heal and face the truth of their feelings (hopefully with some help from a certain couple), before taking a step towards one another. Speaking of that couple…….

The future looks golden for Mike and Rachel

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This week proved to be another fantastic episode for the future Mr and Mrs Ross. While Donna and Harvey continue to flounder in fear and miscommunication and Louis continues down the road to disaster (more on him later), Mike and Rachel prove to be Suits’ shining example of how to make a relationship work.

Everything they have been through has only made them stronger and despite a small stumble in this episode on the road to their future, by the end of the hour, they had demonstrated yet again that they are the couple in the show with a mature, grounded relationship. Will it be San Diego? Iceland (was anyone else waiting for Rachel to use Game of Thrones to convince Mike to consider it?!) or somewhere else? We don’t have long until we find out, but as I’ll truly miss them both, I’m going to enjoy every scene we get before we have to say goodbye to them.

Oh, and Aaron Korsh, you’ve shown us that you can write a strong couple in your show, who work together and love each other, without being boring. Remember that for season eight. You can absolutely do it again! You know who I’m talking about!

A return of the best bromance on TV!

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When Suits began, its cornerstone was Mike and Harvey’s relationship and this week we were treated to a return to the fun, light, comedic banter of earlier seasons. I particularly enjoyed the superhero moment. Nothing lasts forever, Harvey told Mike and the audience are aware that this is more true than ever with Mike’s impending departure. I’m still not sure I can imagine the show without Patrick J. Adams and the witty, affectionate, brotherly scenes we had this week are one of the biggest elements that I’ll miss.

Lily beginning to redeem herself by dropping the “Someone Special” bomb!

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All is forgiven Lily! Well, okay, maybe not quite yet after all the pain you caused your son, but I’m starting to like you after the most awkward dinner conversation imaginable! No, Lily, your son’s girlfriend is not the someone very special he told you about. Confused? Welcome to our world. It’s incredibly satisfying to see the writers pulling together story strands from the past with the present and having Harvey’s conversation with his mother from 6×12 come back to haunt him was inspired. How Paula didn’t end it right there and then, I have no idea!

That revelation aside, it was lovely to see Harvey more at ease with his mother after so many years of her shadow hanging over his life, even able to reminisce with her about his father. I was truly happy for both of them. Now, we just need Lily to meet the woman she really has to thank, because she needs to be educated about who the real “keeper” is in Harvey’s life!

Bye, Bye Paula. I can’t say it’s been a pleasure! 

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The re-introduction of Paula Agard in 7×01 will forever grate on me. The fact she was Harvey’s therapist meant I would never have agreed with such a narrative, one only made worse by the lack of any reference to her in season six, before that stupid first scene of the season seven premiere. Has her inclusion this season mainly driven me crazy? You bet, but at least these last few episodes have given a purpose to her existence – helping Harvey realise what really matters in his life. Hey Paula, you could have avoided a lot of pain if you’d simply stuck to being his therapist. For that reason, I have little sympathy for the inevitable heartbreak that hit her this week.

Taking a step back, can I understand Paula’s actions? To some extent, yes. She has clearly had a terrible romantic past, which has deeply affected her and needs help of her own to deal with that pain. I also understand her feeling threatened by Donna following that kiss. She is only human after all and although this ultimatum in the context of the show was farfetched and ludicrous, I’ve certainly heard of women telling their partners to have nothing to do with women in their lives because of their insecurities.

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Was Donna wrong to kiss him? Yes. I love her and it was right for her, but it was hurtful to Paula (forgetting for a moment her past professional role in Harvey’s life). Was Donna right to apologise to Paula? Again, I’d have to say yes and by doing so, Donna showed how her actions weren’t intended to hurt anyone. Was Paula’s demand right taking all of this in to account? OF COURSE NOT! She was expecting a man with issues she was well aware of due to her former role in his life (as his therapist, who was meant to help him), to separate himself from one of the most important relationships in his life! On reaching that point, she should have bowed out. If there is no trust, what do you have?

Christina Cole however, did a fantastic job with the material she had, meaning I couldn’t totally hate Paula and her scene with Rafferty was so painful to watch, but superbly handled by both actresses, as was her final scene with Macht, in which Harvey was finally honest with Paula – he really had wanted it to work, but he could never choose her over Donna.

I was worried she may still be around in 7×14, but I think we’re all safe now. You can mail the apartment key back Paula. No need to drop it off in person.

Being the bad boy does NOT suit you Louis! STOP! NOW!

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While Donna and Rachel have been pre-occupied in recent weeks, they haven’t been on hand to stop Louis from heading down the path to pain and disaster. Turn back now Louis! Before it’s too late!

Yes, I love Rachael Harris and Rick Hoffman together, as the result is always a joy to behold, but this storyline is anything but joyous, as they sneak around days before Sheila marries another man. Louis may have told Rachel he now feels like a king, but I have a feeling the crown is about to slip, as Louis realises that he really isn’t a bad boy. Listen to your therapist Louis and Gretchen. They really do know what’s best for you. It was strange watching these scenes in Inevitable, starting to laugh at the lunacy of their role-play, before remembering the context in which it was taking place and feeling annoyed.

I want better for Louis and I don’t like the fact I’m now really starting to dislike Sheila. Come on Suits writers, make this right!

Coming next week – The Parent Trap (the Suits version)! 

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We don’t know as much about what’s coming next week as we’d deduced before this week. We only have the short synopsis, which tells us Mike is trying to distract Harvey with a case. I assume that’s distracting him from the emotional turmoil he is now in, post break-up and post-betraying Donna. We also know Louis is struggling to keep up his affair with Sheila and we all know things never end well when Louis is unstable. The promo showed Katrina is back by his side in court, so hopefully she provides some support. It seems next week will also see Donna finally confide in Rachel about what has been happening with Harvey (about time!).

Then there is the main promo moment – Mike Ross finally speaking aloud to Harvey and not as a joke, the possibility that Donna is “the One”! Does he know Donna was lying to his friend at this point? Are him and Rachel trying to give their friends a wedding gift of their own? We can but hope! This is the brilliance of season 7B – every episode makes me excited for the next!

Suits continues next week with 7×14 “Pulling the Goalie” on Wednesday night on USA Network in the USA and next Thursday on Netflix in the UK. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Television Review – Suits 7×12 “Bad Man”

 

 

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After the superb start to Suits’ back six episodes last week, my excitement to see what happened next was incredibly high and Bad Man, although not as strong an hour as Hard Truths, was still a decent episode of the series and, crucially, continued to move the narrative forward down a path I understood (even if I didn’t enjoy some of it). Provided the show and the characters’ actions make sense, I’m going to try and enjoy the ride.

Louis Litt – can he ever really be a bad man?

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Throughout my frustrations with 7A, the shining performance across all ten episodes for me, was Rick Hoffman and so far, we are continuing to see Louis on a positive, mature, named-partner worthy professional trajectory in 7B. His personal life however is more complex and 7×12’s main focus was on Louis and how his past has shaped him in to the man he is and the decisions he makes when it comes to affairs of the heart.

This episode saw the return of Sheila Sazs, played brilliantly as always by Rachael Harris. I loved their dynamic in the past and was sad when they parted, each wanting different things from life. Sheila has always seemed to be a better match for Louis, compared to others, especially Tara (I really couldn’t warm to her) and seeing these two actors playing off one another is always a joy.

However, Sheila’s reappearance in Louis’s life may not necessarily bring happiness for him and I really think he’s had enough heartache. Would I love to see them work out? Absolutely. Yet, they both still want different things and so, I’m not clear how this could work, unless we are honestly going to see Louis happy with simply being something on the side. She’s currently leading Louis down a emotionally dangerous path and I admit, even though I cheered his assertiveness at the end, Sheila is still causing him to behave in a way I expect he’ll regret.

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As part of Louis’s story this week, we were also treated to young Louis (if he’s 17ish in 1986, that makes Louis a lot older than I thought he was, but I’ll let that go). The casting director did a great job finding a young actor to play teenage Louis, who is cruelly taken advantage of by his first infatuation, just as Sheila is doing to him now. It was also lovely to see young Esther sticking up for her brother too.

Helping Louis navigate his past, his present and his emotions in Bad Man was Dr. Lipschitz, who I honestly feel has been around for years, due to how wonderfully Ray Proscia plays him. His mudding relaxation tape was wonderful. Suits marketing team, you really should release one of these for all of us! In the meantime, Ray Proscia kindly provided me with my own Lipschitz meditation session via twitter! Thanks Ray!

Seeing Louis’s therapist truly help him through his issues and confusion only highlighted all that is wrong with the other therapist’s role in this show.

Bad Man – the episode where I finally can’t stand Paula. At all!

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Let’s be clear, I cannot stand how Paula Agard has been used as the plot device in season 7, but I’ve not been fully on board the “She’s evil” train that has many passionate supporters online. Yes, she’s a disgrace to her profession, dating a former patient, admitting to fantasising about a patient and pretending Harvey’s issues no longer exist, but I have been trying to see her as human and capable of making a mistake.

Bad Man however, was the hour where I finally gave up trying to have any understanding for her behaviour. How on earth can she be surprised that Donna and Harvey have a sexual history? How can she be surprised that he hid that from her, knowing all she learnt about their unusual relationship in his therapy sessions – which he only needed because of the effect Donna has on him. Come on now, Paula. You really aren’t this stupid, are you? Why are you still with this man? He was an emotional mess and he clearly still is. You cannot therefore be mad that he is not functioning the way you want the fantasy Harvey you have in your head to act! She did at least finally admit she’s threatened by Donna. What a shocker!

I just hope that this mess dies a death very soon (although, Christina Cole is doing a great job driving me nuts in the role)!

Harvey Specter – annoying, but I at least understand him again!

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My biggest complaint with early season seven was how out of character Harvey was. It made liking him or caring about him extremely difficult. Yet, so far in 7B, I understand him again. I certainly don’t enjoy seeing him still blind to the obvious, but I can understand what is going on in his head again. After all, Donna said she felt nothing during that kiss and he has always been emotionally dumb, so I can believe that he thinks she’s telling the truth and is therefore focussing on trying to make his relationship a success, for fear of never having that connection with someone in his life, which he does finally seem ready for.

As for the final scene with Paula – Harvey, who really helped you make up with your mother? Do you really think it was Paula? We all saw The Painting where you were pretty clear who the special someone in your life was, who helped get you to Boston and it wasn’t Paula Agard. I hope realisation, on this point at least, dawns next week (more on that below).

It was also lovely to see another glimpse in to his past with his dad, as it’s always such a rich emotional aspect of his character and it was a relief that his relationship with Jessica seems to have survived the damning statement we saw him sign last week. One niggle though – Harvey has his father’s master tapes after tracking them down in season 4, so is that different music to the records that will now never see the light of day? I guess that isn’t really important.

Pearson & Paulsen – I need more of that!

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Gina Torres and Sarah Rafferty never had enough scenes together in the series and so the call between these two strong women was a fantastic addition to this week’s episode. We know we’ll see more of Jessica as her spin off is set out, but this was a nice nod to how important she remains to the PSL family (it’ll always be PSL to me). I also liked the foreshadowing of Donna mentioning it being time to move on, seeing as I think that’s what she decides to do next week.

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Sarah Rafferty also had some wonderful moments this week, albeit not as powerful as 7×11.

Donna and Harvey are still keeping some distance following last week’s events, which is understandable, but we still saw Donna doing what she has always done – being there to support Harvey professionally and personally. It’s Donna who makes him face the fact he has to give up his father’s legacy for Jessica. It’s also Donna who tries to support him with his relationship, by encouraging him to reach out to Paula, while respecting his decision to not have a drink with her. The fact it is Harvey who changes his mind in this scene was very interesting to me. He can see the danger of spending such intimate time with Donna and yet he can’t stop himself. I’m looking forward to seeing if this emotional push/pull continues next week.

Mike Ross – working within the law for the second time in two episodes! 

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He may have done a lot of questionable things during the show so far and has certainly acted as though he was entitled to do so on more than one occasion, but I’ve enjoyed seeing Mike grow up this season. There was a good part of 7A where he was the only decent male character when Louis and Harvey were acting like idiots and as we near the end of his time in the show, we are now getting to see Mike use that brilliance of his to be successful within the bounds of the law.

That’s two weeks now where he has not resorted to shady behaviour to succeed. Well done Mike! Having him also “pull a Harvey” on Oliver (who I find so irritating!) and bring him down a peg or two was also fun and he clearly learnt a valuable lesson. Will he ultimately choose the clinic, or something similar as a reason for leaving? Possibly and seeing him act in a more legitimate way gives me hope he’ll make a success of whatever awaits him, especially with Rachel to guide him (as she did again this week). I really will miss these two.

Next week – It’s “Inevitable” and I’m very very excited!

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To say I’m desperate to see 7.13 is an understatement. From all the rumours and vague comments from those who have seen it already, I’m preparing myself for a pivotal episode. The title is exciting in itself – Is it inevitable that something happens again between Donna and Harvey? Inevitable that Donna has to leave? Inevitable that Paula Agard realises she is kidding herself? The possibilities are endless.

There is much we don’t know, but what we do know already has me guessing and second guessing. We know Harvey’s mother is in the episode in some capacity. Whether that’s meeting Harvey and reminding him about who his someone special was, who knows, but I really hope so! We know Paula is going to try and guilt Harvey in to not working with Donna anymore and that Donna is going to feel Harvey has failed to be there for her in some way. Does she resign and go to work for Stu (who appears in the promo photos)? Does Harvey go after her? Does he go inside her apartment and if so, does something happen?

I honestly haven’t been this impatient for the next episode of a show since the early days of The X-Files! Roll on next week!

Suits season seven continues on USA Network next Wednesday night in the USA and next Thursday via Netflix in the UK. 

 

 

Television Review – Hard Truths all round as Suits returns!

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When it comes to my favourite television shows I have been facing my own hard truths this week, after finally watching the very-likely end to The X-Files (watch this space if you want to know my thoughts about that, but be warned, it ain’t pretty). With that in mind, I took a deep breath before pressing play on Netflix today to watch the brand new episode of my current favourite series, having waited over six months to see the consequences of the mid-season finale.

Unlike the overwhelming sense of frustration and disappointment I felt with The X-Files, episode 7.11 of Suits left me feeling excited for this all too brief run of six episodes, that will close out season seven! There was so much great material in “Hard Truths” it’s difficult to know where to start…..okay….maybe it’s obvious where to start……

A kiss with LOTS of consequences!

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So, many of us have been waiting anxiously for months to find out the aftermath of Donna’s impulsive, but inevitable, kiss and it seems Harvey has been standing frozen to the spot for the last six months too, with 7.11 starting right where it left off, with him standing in Donna’s office in shock.

Seeing Harvey’s emotional side develop has always been one of my biggest wishes for the series and 7A was very frustrating watching him seemingly go backwards in that department. Now, Donna’s actions are forcing him to face some of his own hard truths, which will likely play out over the next few weeks – how that kiss made him feel about Donna; what those feelings say about his relationship with Paula; how he feels about Donna saying she actually didn’t feel anything after all (yeah, right) and that’s just the headliners!

Gabriel Macht and Sarah Rafferty are always superb together (they are the only pair to ever excite me the way David and Gillian did on The X-Files) and they had so many fantastic scenes in this hour – arguments; pettiness; an actual conversation about their history and blurred lines and the fragile re-setting of their friendship. The fact that the lovely little hug they shared was only shown from a distance gives me hope that we’ll get a juicier close up of something later down the 7B road. Their storyline had logical, realistic progress and that’s very exciting to see. Long may this continue.

Mike & Rachel – a great team, professionally and personally

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I’ll miss Patrick J. Adams and Meghan Markle when they leave the show, as their relationship has always been one of the loveliest constants of this series. No matter what has been thrown at them, their relationship has survived and seems stronger than ever.

This week gave Mike and Rachel the chance to realise the importance of the other in their lives. They know each other so well and when they work together, they’re a strong team (sound like another pair on the show…). Will they leave to set up their own clinic, travel the world to help important causes? Who knows, but with both actors leaving, a happy ending is clearly the only choice and the scene is being set for them to go off as a united force to be reckoned with, which is fine with me!

Louis Litt – the voice of reason…..(how long will this last?!)

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Rick Hoffman had by far the strongest run of episodes in 7A, with Louis having quite an emotional time across the ten episodes. It was refreshing to see him as the voice of reason this week, first wanting to talk calmly and clearly with Harvey about Jessica the moment he heard, then trying to do all he could to help secure a dignified exit for a woman he has always admired, before presenting the hard truth to Harvey that there was no easy solution. He even had time to give Donna some sensible advice about her situation with Harvey. Clearly his therapist is good for him. Perhaps that’s because he’s providing him therapy and not adding to the reasons why he needs therapy, unlike his fellow named partner! Bravo Louis! Now, you just need to go and get Sheila so we can see you basking in happiness.

Paula Agard facing her own hard truth – professional codes of conduct are there for good reason! 

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Oh, Paula, I really do want to feel sympathy for you and maybe I do a little. I mean, we’re all human and fallible and you’ve clearly had some tough times with guys in the past. I understand you wanting to meet a decent guy, who treats you with respect. The big problem – it should never have been your former patient, Harvey Specter!

This episode had Paula yet again acknowledging Harvey and Donna have feelings for one another and that’s BEFORE she learns about their history! It was interesting to see Harvey do exactly the same thing in 7.11 as he did in 7.01; make a knee-jerk decision involving Agard as a result of Donna’s actions. In the former it was randomly turning up at her house, saying she’s all he wanted in life (please, that scene is still the most ridiculous in seven seasons) after Donna said she wanted more. Now, it’s asking her to move in, after two months, after Donna kisses (and confuses him). I get it Harvey, you don’t want a relationship like your parents, one that fails, causing hurt and pain, so you are terrified of trusting your feelings.

I just hope he faces another hard truth soon – that being with someone for the wrong reasons will only lead to heartbreak later, which is exactly what happened with his parents. Hey! Maybe I could be his therapist!

The hardest truth of all – Harvey & Jessica will never be the same again 

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I may have tuned in to this episode expecting all the emotional weight to come in the Darvey scenes and there was certainly rich material there, but, by far, the biggest emotional punch for me this week was what happened to Jessica. Not only did she take the bullet for Harvey at Mike’s hearing, only to have Mike and Harvey’s testosterone-fuelled game with Malik cost her her license in NYC, but now, we have to see her friend throw her under the bus in such a brutal way.

Yes, there perhaps was no other way to solve their immediate problems, but I’m not sure I could ever do to a friend, especially one who was as important to me as Jessica was to Harvey, what Harvey did here. The wording of that press statement was damning – (“selfish,” “reckless,” “unethical,” “disgraceful chapter,”) and as Harvey admits, is describing him and his actions, not the woman who gave him his big chance and has been closer than family for years.

Gabriel Macht was superb in the final scene with Rick Hoffman, as he signs his name to ruin the reputation of his mentor. His voice cracking slightly in the voiceover was a lovely touch too. Good luck getting over that guilt Harvey! We were all worried about how Harvey and Donna would move past the kiss. The bigger question now for me, is how Jessica will be able to forgive Harvey for this. Yes, she can use it as leverage, but I can’t see their friendship (always a Suits highlight) coming through this without some serious cracks.

Bad Man next week……

I assume this is referring to Louis and his involvement with Sheila, but it could be a reference to Harvey’s decision this week, resulting in Jessica demanding some shady request for money (if she’s getting in to the political world, shady dealings makes sense). What really matters though, is that Hard Truths was one of the strongest mid-season openers the series has had and I’m incredibly optimistic about what lies ahead. Maybe the creator and writers really do have a master plan after all (unlike the guy running the show I mentioned at the beginning of this review)! Is it next Thursday yet?!

Suits season 7 continues next week with Bad Man on Wednesday night in the USA and Thursday via Netflix in the UK.

 

Victoria’s Suits Awards 2017!

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So, as it’s the Emmy Awards tonight, I thought I’d mark the day by creating my very own set of awards for a show that has deserved recognition over the years, but always seems to slip under the radar at awards season.

Therefore, I bring you my first Suits Awards 2017, recognising some of the greatest achievements in the first half of season seven! I’ll start with a big thank you to those of you who have provided suggestions for categories and award titles. You know who you are and it is greatly appreciated!

…….So on to the Awards……!

Do let me know in the comments any categories you’d add!

1. Favourite Performance – Rick Hoffman as Louis Litt!

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Season seven has so far been an emotional rollercoaster for Louis Litt. I’ve been frustrated with him, angry with him, sad for him and laughed aloud at his comedic antics. Rick Hoffman should have been nominated for his performance so many times (This Is Rome immediately comes to mind) and I have loved every minute of him so far this season. We’ve had his emotional near breakdown, his nastiness, the lovely rooftop scene and that utterly heartbreaking final scene in Donna’s office, not to mention his delight at meeting Brian’s baby, his hilarious GoT walk of Shame and his mud mare! A masterclass. Bravo Rick Hoffman. I look forward to many more years of getting Litt the hell up!

2. Favourite Returning Guest Star – Wendell Pierce as Robert Zane

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Wendell Pierce always adds gravitas to any Suits episode and season 7A has been no different. We’ve seen him step up in the prison case, almost punch Harvey (a missed opportunity Robert) and then grow so much closer to his daughter, bringing us the force that is Zane & Zane. You can come back as often as you like Mr Pierce!

3. Best Character Development – Sarah Rafferty’s mighty Donna Paulsen

IMG_7321Season seven has brought a much deserved spotlight on to Sarah Rafferty’s Donna and we’ve learnt so much more about her in such a short space of time. We’ve seen Donna step up and ask for greater recognition and respect, navigate her new role, face humiliation in court and face the biggest unknown in her life – how she truly feels about Harvey. Rafferty is superb in the role and she’s taken it up a level so far this season, whether the heartbreaking moment she learnt about Paula and pretended she knew, to her conflicted walk through that hotel to her ex, to that final brave act, it’s been an emotional viewing experience. I hope she is here for years to come.

4. Favourite one-liner – Gretchen putting Louis firmly in his place!

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All hail the mighty Gretchen! She’s been a joy in the series ever since she first arrived in season five and questioned Harvey’s manliness! Aloma Wright is superb in the role and her dynamic with Rick Hoffman never disappoints. Hearing her warn Louis to change his behaviour or suffer the consequences was brilliant. There was no doubt she was totally serious!

5. Favourite Shot – the shot of two people alone in their offices, so near & yet so far, in “Home To Roost”

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This was a tough decision, as I did have a shortlist due to the fact that the directors and director of photography on Suits always make the show look visually lovely. However, the closing shot from “Home to Roost”, directed by Valerie Weiss, as we see Donna and Harvey, each at their desks; so near and yet so far, with the skyline behind them, was just beautiful. Runner-up mention to Patrick J. Adams’s lovely rooftop shot from behind Donna and Louis in “100”.

6. Favourite New Character – Ray Proscia as Dr Lipschitz

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We’ve seen a few new faces so far this season, but the winner has to be the much talked of Dr Lipschitz, played by Ray Proscia, whose therapy sessions with Louis have been on our radar for years. It’s a testament to how good Proscia is in the role, that I already feel as though he’s been around for ages. I hope he continues to guide Louis in season 7B. Maybe he can also recommend a new therapist for Harvey too?!

7. Favourite Location – the office of the COO

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Yes, the final scenes cemented the winner of this award, but it was on track to take the prize anyway. First, it’s a gorgeous office (I want that marble desk!); nicer than any corporate office I’ve ever seen and fits the personality of its occupant perfectly. Full marks to the set decorators and props team. Then there’s the fact Donna now has an office, which is such a fantastic development and yes, we now have those gorgeous final few minutes with Donna, Louis and Harvey in that location.

8. Favourite New Team – Louis and Brian 

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I already love Brian. He’s a decent guy, who has started to form a wonderful dynamic with Louis Litt. I loved his outburst in “Shame” when his parenting skills were questioned and him passing Louis his son was too cute for words! I hope for much more of Jake Epstein in the show. It’s about time Louis had a Mike of his own!

9. Best Friend – Rachel Zane

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I have always loved Rachel, played wonderfully by Meghan Markle and one of her finest qualities is how wonderful and supportive she is as a friend. I’ve missed her and Donna’s scenes and it was lovely to see them open up to each other again this season. They helped  one another find their way in their new roles in the firm, but Rachel was also the best friend every woman wants too – reminding Donna that she deserved the best, thereby averting her friend making a huge mistake, not to mention listening to her when she needed a friend and making clear that she is no fan of Paula Agard! We’d all be lucky to have a friend like Rachel.

10. Favourite Montage – the close of the 100th episode

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Patrick J. Adams did a stunning directorial job on the 100th episode and I loved the closing montage, as we watched both Louis and Donna head towards making what could be a huge mistake. It’s so well crafted and truly highlights what a great eye for the visual look of the show Adams has.

11. Favourite Song – Waves by Dean Lewis

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Suits always manages to choose superb songs to compliment its narrative and there were so many fantastic additions to my Suits playlist from season 7A. Special mentions to Love & Hate by Michael Kiwanuka from “100” and The One I Love by Mirror Fury from “Shame”. However, there could only really be one winner and that’s Dean Lewis’s beautifully, emotional acoustic version of Waves, which played over the final three scenes of the finale, adding even more emotion to Harvey’s talk with Jessica, Louis’s heartbreaking monolgue about love and that kiss. I hope all Suits fans have bought this song immediately (his album is also excellent too)!

12. Funniest moment – Louis’s mudmare! 

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Suits has always been able to balance drama and humour brilliantly and a lot of the comedic moments usually belong to the mighty Louis Litt and season seven has been no different so far. The winner has to be Louis’s hilarious mudmare from “Mudmare”! Seeing him and Harvey mudding, before his fantasy is ruined by the appearance of Alex Williams, had me laughing out loud! Runner-up mention to Louis’s Game of Thrones-inspired walk of shame through the corridors of PSL!

13. Most emotional scene – Louis’s heartfelt speech and THAT kiss!

IMG_7498.JPGThere have been a few contenders for emotional scene, but it had to be these last few minutes of “Donna”. Let’s face it, it was an emotional moment for both the characters and  the audience! I’m not sure we’ve recovered yet, so god help Harvey! Beautifully acted and directed, it was a mixture of a joyous payoff for the Darvey fans, but was also undeniably a little sad, as we see Louis in so much pain and then Donna and Harvey just as lost as he is. There will be troubled waters ahead, as that kiss will clearly have ramifications for their lives from now on. I could also have awarded it Biggest Shock, as cynical me never dreamt we’d see such an intimate moment at this point in the series. I’m so pleased I was wrong!

14. Best Matchmaker – Mike Ross

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Yes, Louis Litt may have been the trigger man in the end, but he had no idea what he was stirring up. Mike Ross on the other hand had a set goal – try and bring two people he cares about, the chance of happiness. Seeing him try and bring his “parents” together was so sweet. Now he just needs to have the talk with Harvey. Do it for all of us Mike!

15. Finest Achievement in Non-Verbal, Emotional Acting

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Not every actor can convincingly convey an emotional depth without words, but we are all very lucky as Suits fans that Gabriel Macht is superb at expressing a range of emotions without saying a word. This was never more evident than in those closing seconds of the mid-season finale, as Harvey was rendered speechless by Donna’s kiss. The palette of emotions you see flow through him is extraordinary – confusion, shock, a little anger and then that lovely slight hint of the beginnings of a smile, which disappears just as quickly as he stops himself, all the while his eyes convey just what a mess he is now in. Nuanced, emotional brilliance at its best. Bravo Gabriel Macht!

16. Guardian Angel Award – Gina Torres as Jessica Pearson

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We all miss Jessica, but she’s still been around in season seven so far and she has to be recognised for continuing to pull the strings in the background to keep the PSL ship upright! While Harvey was doing a super job of making everyone want to kill him, Jessica’s actions meant that soon the team was all back supporting the greater good of the firm. Not only that, but in the mid-season finale, she gave up her New York licence without a fight for the good of the firm and her friend Harvey. It’ll always be Pearson Specter Litt to me, even when he name comes down.

17. Special Recognition Award for winding up fans – Aaron Korsh!

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I admit Aaron Korsh’s tweets always make me laugh, as he navigates the potential minefield of audience reaction. It’s a fine balance. Yes, he winds some of us up sometimes, but when he does it in such a witty way, I have to give credit where credit is due!

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So, those are the worthy winners of my first Suits Awards 2017! Who needs the Emmys right?! If any winners would like their trophy, just let me know and I’ll happily send them to you!