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!

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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.

 

Television Review – Suits 7.10 “Donna” – a stunning mid-season finale that will keep us speculating for months!

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I’ve needed a few days to digest (well, get over the shock, if I’m being honest!) of the mid-season finale of Suits, before committing my thoughts to the page. It’s been a bumpy road over the last ten weeks for me. There have been some wonderful moments, performances and ideas, but there have also been some questionable narrative choices, which had me feeling incredibly irritated (if you haven’t read my review of 7.01, that will give you an idea).

Thankfully however, this mid-season finale more than lived up to my hopes and astonishingly, exceeded them! Typical – just when I start to enjoy the series again, it’s time for yet another hiatus!

So, let’s delve in to episode 7.10, with the wonderfully tantalising title of “Donna”!………….

More screen time for Rachel Zane (about time too)

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The last couple of episodes of season 7A have seen Rachel Zane step more in to the spotlight, as she works on a case with her father. Other than her pro bono case with Jessica last season, Rachel tends to stay in the background, a support in the storylines of other characters and so it’s lovely when Meghan Markle is given more material of her own. Rachel’s difficult relationship with her father has been there throughout the series and it has been incredibly satisfying to see the two grow closer together recently, culminating in this storyline in which Zane and Zane (it’s always fab to have Wendell Pierce back) take down the man who hurt her aunt. The scene with Rachel laying down the law to a boardroom of old, white men was pretty darn fantastic.

Oh, and one more thing before we move on, bravo to Rachel for continuing to be a fabulous friend. Her reaction to Mike helping Paula was spot on; she is Team Donna and it was great to see that so clearly!

Welcome to the family Alex Williams (it took me a while)

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First, I love Dule Hill. He’s a wonderful actor, but I haven’t really connected with Alex Williams so far during his time in Suits. This mid-season finale though was when I finally joined the team and realised I liked this character and I hope this grows in 7B. Watching him kick some ass was fun and I loved the way he marched straight in to his old boss’s office. Suits has so many great actors to give material to, but maybe we’ll see more of Dule Hill, now that Alex William has finally settled in.

Jessica Pearson reminding me how much I miss her!

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I knew Jessica was coming back in the finale, but I’m sad it had to be as the person taking a hit because of the choices of Harvey and Mike! There’s something else for you to be seriously guilty about Mr Specter! Gina Torres and Gabriel Macht have always had a fantastic chemistry in the show and this emotional moment was another one, as we see Harvey’s fear at stepping up without her supportive presence come to the fore again. He misses Jessica and quite frankly so do I!

The scene reminded me how Jessica often helped us see better side of Harvey (and probably helped him be better too); the kinder, more vulnerable side and it was nice to see that once again, after finding him so irritating for most of this season. It’ll always be PSL to me, even when her name comes down.

Mike Ross just wants his parents to be happy (time to talk to Dad though Mike)!

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Mike Ross has joked about Harvey and Donna’s relationship to his friend and mentor on and off since the show began, but I’ve always thought he was only half joking. Just like Rachel (and to a lesser extent Jessica and Louis), Mike seems all to aware that his two “parents” have deeper feelings than simple friendship. Watch his face in Intent when Harvey says that Donna is different; you see him acknowledge the truth of Harvey’s feelings, even if Harvey won’t.

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So, it was lovely to see his attempt to bring happiness to the lives of two people who he really cares about. He goes from helping Paula Agard get Harvey a gift (didn’t she just do that, what on earth does he need another gift for Paula? Feeling worried?), to encouraging Donna to express her feelings. That’s a really thoughtful gift Mike – a break-up! As a fan, I applaud you! My only problem with this tactic is that he targeted the wrong parent. It’s Harvey that needs this conversation Mike. Get right on that in 7B please. Off you go!

Yet another stunning episode for Louis Litt / Rick Hoffman (Give him an award already)!

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I may have had my issues with 7A, especially the early episodes, but there has been one constant from start to finish and that is Louis Litt and Rick Hoffman’s superb performance of such a multi-faceted character. We’ve seen every emotion run through Louis so far this season and 7.10 provided a beautiful end note for him until the show returns. I loved the fact he finally used that dictaphone for good, not evil, to help Alex.

However, more importantly, it was his friendship with Donna and his own heartache that resulted in Hoffman bringing tears to my eyes in his final scene. After feeling he let Donna down, he unwittingly helped her by opening up about his feelings. That last monologue about losing his soulmate is one of the most moving scenes I have seen on television in a long time (beautifully written by Genevieve Sparling). Whether you’ve experienced something similar or not, you can imagine that feeling and I wanted to give him a big hug. It’s not too late Louis – go and get your soulmate! The fact this beautiful scene only acted as the catalyst for that ending, is the icing on the cake!

……. and so we come to the ending…..and what an ending it was…..I’m still in shock…..!

Donna & Harvey – one of television’s greatest romances (whether they are ready to face it yet or not)

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It’s been a rollercoaster of a half season in the Donna and Harvey storyline. I haven’t liked where Harvey’s character was taken in the early episodes (and no, that’s not just because he is dating Agard; I hate that for other more substantial reasons), but he’s started to soften again in the last couple of weeks and I’m hoping the fall-out of that ending doesn’t propel him back down the path of being a douchebag! Resist Harvey, please!

Season 7A has also given us a greater exploration of Donna’s character, feelings and life and it’s about time too! We’ve seen her stand up for what she wanted and take on a position that, although you wouldn’t immediately consider for her, is one she can handle and thrive in. We’ve also seen her finally face the reality of her possible feelings for Harvey. It’s been the unspoken truth in the series and we’ve now had Donna acknowledge the frightening thought for her that Harvey may be her soulmate; the only one she wants to share her life with; frightening because he is seemingly happy with someone else.

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All of those feelings of fear, uncertainty and love bubbled up as 7.10 progressed and on re-watching it, I realised that the ending was inevitable. Although I was stunned the first time, never expecting Donna to make such a bold, brave move, it was where the episode had always been heading….and it was a superb minute of television, propelling this couple further up any list of television’s great romances, even though they still aren’t even there yet! Those closing seconds were an acting masterclass by Sarah Rafferty and Gabriel Macht (only made more emotional by yet another spot-on song choice in the acoustic version of Dean Lewis’s Waves).

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Rafferty was superb throughout the episode, as Donna was emotionally ripped apart by Malik, her integrity called in to question because of her relationship with Harvey, but watching her react to Louis’s pain was heartbreaking. She is putting herself in his shoes, knowing that she could be potentially heading towards the exact same position and it terrifies her; the confusion, the fear, the pain – it’s all there in Rafferty’s expression and eyes, as she stumbles back on to that window ledge and her knee-jerk response on seeing Harvey before her felt very true to the moment. She needed to know how she really felt and maybe try and feel how he felt too. Does she have her answer now? I guess we’ll see in 7B.

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The episode may have been called Donna and she may have been the instigator of that intimate kiss, but Gabriel Macht’s performance should not be underplayed in this episode. Yes, I’ve felt Harvey’s character has changed this year, but we saw his gentler side return recently and his need to protect Donna has always been admirable and in that final moment we saw a thousand different emotions flow through Harvey and all thanks to an actor able to convey immense depths of emotion without saying a word! You see the conflict in Harvey; the shock of Donna’s actions, the fact he cannot quite process it and the confusion it stirs up for him, which will no doubt be a huge part of 7B.

He may not speak, but it’s in his eyes, his face and my personal favourite subtle touch, his lips – there is the tiniest quirk of an upward smile to them, as he stands there in shock, before he pulls it back. It’s as if the realisation that Donna maybe does love him, just as Paula said, hits him, makes him happy for just a split-second, before the reality of everything else (the fact he is seeing someone else, meaning Donna has put him in a position he hates more than anything else, being the main one issue now). Beautiful, nuanced acting at its best Mr Macht!

Looking ahead – only 4 months to wait………

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Well, credit where credit is due to Aaron Korsh and his writing team. They have managed to give a stunning moment for the Darvey fans, but also one that only leads to more questions.

Harvey and Donna were never simply going to fall happily in to each other’s arms easily. It wouldn’t be realistic. Now we are facing a much juicier narrative path, summarised by one of my favourite words for television drama – Angst!! I foresee arguments, angry words, angry, confused Harvey, all of which, I hope, helps us build to a satisfying resolution. I fully accept the writers may not bring these two together until nearer to the show’s end, but at least now there is a rich canvas of material for the series, centring around this dynamic, which I hope will eventually bring them together.

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Harvey and Donna’s relationship aside – what else do I hope for in season 7’s back six episodes?

Well, happiness for Louis List. I mean, come on, the man deserves it! Whether it’s him winning back Sheila or meeting someone new, I really want to see that for him. I’d also quite like to see the long-overdue Rachel / Mike wedding, especially as I have a sinking feeling that Meghan Markle’s time on the show could be drawing to a close. Plus that wedding would bring even more angst for the best man and maid of honour!

We know we’ll be seeing more of Gina, as 7.16 will act as the pilot of what could be her new show (if it gets picked up) and I also look forward to more of lovely Brian, kick ass Gretchen and Katrina too. I also think Harvey’s mother will need to make an appearance, in light of the position he now finds himself in and I think this may help him see her in a new light. We really are lucky Suits has so many wonderful characters to draw on.

So, here’s to four months of speculation, analysis and online discussion. I’m just so pleased that my reaction to 7.10 was so different from my reaction to 7.01! Oh, and all fingers crossed for renewal news. I really would like a season 8, but the longer the silence on that subject goes on, the more worried I become.

Right….I’m off to rewatch those last two scenes again…..for the millionth time…..!

Suits will return to USA Network in the USA and Netflix in the UK in January 2018.

 

 

 

Television Review – Suits back at its best in episode 7.09 “Shame”

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I’m a little later than usual this week with my Suits review, but wanted to post my thoughts on episode 7.09 anyway, seeing as this was probably my favourite episode so far of this less satisfying season seven. There wasn’t actually much I didn’t like about it! It was so much more satisfying than the 100th in terms of storylines. We had strong plots for everyone this week, with Louis dealing with the shame of his actions, Rachel working with her dad, Mike trying to have fun with Harvey, which goes slightly differently to what he had planned, Gretchen kicking ass, Donna dealing with the choices she’s made in her life and all of PSL gearing up for another excruciatingly personal mock trial. Throw in some fabulous song choices and this was the type of episode you’d expect for a milestone hour.

So, as usual, let’s delve a little deeper in to the episode……….

Louis Litt walking the walk of Shame (insert bell ringing) & lashing out again!

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I have to start by saluting the writers’ homage to Game of Thrones with the brilliant scene in which poor Louis Litt starts to have regrets about his night with Sheila, visualised through him following in Cersei Lannister’s footsteps. These types of scenes are always some of my favourites in Suits, where it doesn’t take itself too seriously and it ensured an amusing start to the hour. We also saw, yet again, the consequences of Louis’s choices impacting on those around him, as he lays in to Brian, a character I already like quite a lot, only to realise how out of line he has been by the end of the episode! I really do hope we see much more of Jake Epstein in this role, especially with Louis, as they have the potential to be a lovely duo.

Zane & Zane take on the world!

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Rachel has always had a difficult relationship with her father and one of the few enjoyable aspects of season seven for me has been seeing the two of them become closer, culminating in them taking on this case together this week.

The fact it is personal for Robert Zane adds an extra layer of depth and I’m looking forward to seeing whether this experience causes Rachel to consider moving firms permanently. Wendell Pierce is fantastic in the role and seeing Robert proud of Rachel was genuinely lovely. Not enough credit is given to Meghan Markle for her role as Rachel, who yet again this week, was not only a great lawyer, but also a wonderfully supportive friend for Donna, in what was one of the best scenes of the episode.

Let’s have a round of applause for Gretchen! 

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Who doesn’t love Gretchen? She has been an asset to the show ever since she first breezed in to the office to put Harvey in line and let him know he wasn’t manly enough for her! We haven’t had nearly enough screen time for her this year, but Aloma Wright was superb this week, as Gretchen had to put Louis down for his terrible behaviour and then still have his back, ensuring that by the end of Shame, Louis and Brian (his very own Mike) are closer than ever.

Introducing Andy Malik, the new troublemaker

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I already quite like Deputy Attorney General Andy Malik (played brilliantly by Usman Ally), possibly because his storyline opens the door to the progression of the Donna / Harvey storyline (more on that below), but it was also nice to see someone not intimidated by Harvey and more than able to play dirty to try and get what he wants. My only complaint was the way this story was introduced, with Mike deciding Harvey needs to pick a fight with a big bully in order to look macho in the legal world. That was pretty lame in my opinion, but I’m looking forward to seeing just what the PSL family have to do to beat this opponent.

The setting up of the oncoming Harvey / Donna storm……..!

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Well, it’s been a strange year so far on the Donna and Harvey path. After the out of the blue parachuting in to the story of Paula Agard, they have been much more distant this year, with not just their potential relationship, but also their close friendship taking a nosedive. It’s not been particularly enjoyable seeing them this way, especially seeing Donna so unhappy at a time when she should be enjoying the higher status she has achieved.

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Shame provided some vital signposts on the potential Darvey path (I still think they will end up together, even if it isn’t until the last episode). We’ve seen Donna recognise and make peace with her feelings for Harvey and accept he is seemingly happy with someone else. This week we saw her make the crucial admission that she had put him above herself and that this is something she now regrets. This was a brave statement from Donna and suggests that she is perhaps ready to take her life in a new direction, possibly one without Harvey.

Then came the key to the episode – Andy Malik’s goal to discredit Harvey and use Donna to achieve it. Both of them acknowledged this week that any such cross examination of Donna will be brutal, with her personal relationship with Harvey, a bomb waiting to explode. Sucker Punch has always been my favourite episode of Suits, so the fact we saw them referencing that episode and the last mock trial, intimating Louis is about to do this for a second time, is incredibly exciting. A storm is brewing and I can’t wait to see it unfold, as it is sure to have serious implications for these two characters.

Looking ahead – this mid-season finale is going to be tough..!

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First things first, how brilliant is it that the mid-season finale is entitled Donna?! That title sets the tone before we’ve even seen the episode. Donna has been through so much this season and 7.10 now presents the possibility of her facing the humiliation of another mock trial, in which her sleeping with Harvey must come out (Louis does know this information after all) and her possibly taking the stand in court (although I still think it’s unlikely both of these scenes will happen in one hour).

Throw in the promo’s tantalising clip of Mike telling Donna to tell Harvey how she feels, the stunned, upset look on Harvey’s face in the promo and still photos and Agard in the mix and this is looking set to be a gut-wrencher of an episode, which I’m assuming will end on an angst-ridden cliffhanger. Will Donna walk away? Will she admit to Harvey she loved him, but has let him go? Will he finally wake up to the truth of his feelings, ready to address them in the back six?

There’s also the inclusion of Jessica (as creator Aaron Korsh has suggested in interviews that Gina Torres would be in episode 9 or 10). Will she offer Donna a job, or at the very least a short-term position to help her in Chicago? I actually have no idea, which makes it very exciting indeed. I just hope we are not disappointed. My fingers are very firmly crossed!

The Suits season seven mid-season finale, episode 7.10 “Donna” airs on Wednesday at 9/8C on USA Network in the USA and via Netflix in the UK on Thursday.