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Suits - Donna - Review: "Two People Have to Want to Be Together to Be Happy"




Previously on Suits: Rachel’s working with her dad on a predatory lending case that's really just an excuse for Daddy Zane to carry out a decades-old vendetta, Andrew Malick the deputy Attorney General is causing some problems for his old buddy Harvey by claiming he’s a liar, Donna gets subpoenaed by the AG’s office, and Donna may have some lingering feelings for Harvey.

Time for the summer finale, which is ominously named “Donna”…

Harvey is anxious while he’s getting ready for the day, and his girlfriend/therapist Paula sees right through that. She knows he’s worried about Donna, but doesn’t feel threatened about it, claiming that Harvey’s loyalty is one of the things she admires most about him. She gives him a quick pep talk that sounds a lot like a therapy session, and Harvey heads for the office.

As he gets off the elevator, Harvey runs into guest star Dule Hill as Alex, who is off to save his own skin, yet again. They failed to mention his old company was called Bratton Gould, since all of the previous episodes were about taking Bratton down. Now that Bratton is out of the picture, Gould has decided that he wants to take Alex's #1 client, Pfizer.

Flashback time! To… 25 years ago?!? Good grief. There’s a little girl named Elizabeth talking to her aunt, who then starts talking to a guy who WOW looks a lot like a young Daddy Zane. That’s insanely good casting. Okay, so young Robert Zane is talking to his sister Jasmine about a guy who is bothering her at work. Jasmine doesn’t want to leave her job because she’s just as stubborn as she is beautiful.


Back in the present, Rachel tells her dad that the company’s CEO (the one they’re trying to take down for what he did to Jasmine 25 years ago) has a history of sexual harassment, which can be interpreted as repeated discriminatory behavior towards a specific group of people. Good thinking, Rachel. I wish they focused more on her on this show, she may be the smartest, cleanest lawyer out of all of them.

Donna is pacing and Louis interrupts her to say he’s not going to do the mock trial because Donna doesn’t have to go against Malick. Harvey walks in and is thrilled at the solution presented: Donna can’t be asked to testify because her work history would mean she’s covered under privilege. They’re not going to do the mock trial because Donna won’t be put on the stand, but they do need to prep Louis and Mike since Malick is making the trial personal about Harvey.

After the commercial break, Harvey tells Mike the mock trial is off because of the loophole Louis found. There’s a name for this loophole, but Harvey has garbled it every time he’s said it so I have no idea what he’s saying. Mike is excited, but still thinks the mock trial’s being cancelled so they can save Donna the embarrassment. He also dares to openly remind Harvey that Donna is special to him, which makes Harvey throw out a couple threats to get Mike to start preparing to shut Malick down ASAP.

Across town, Alex shows up to attack Gould about poaching Pfizer. Gould simply says he helped Pfizer make the correct decision about their representation. After Gould spits out some legalese about how he’s in the clear, Alex reminds him that Bratton no longer has a job and Alex could do the same to him.

In court, Rachel is talking to a woman on the stand who was sexually harassed by Arthur, the CEO Robert is going after. Arthur’s lawyer says the charges are outrageous and asks what this has to do with predatory lending. Rachel chimes in that there’s a pattern here and the judge says it’s reasonable to get the CEO to show up in court. Thank you, another reasonable person in the courtroom.


In a different courtroom, Malick calls Donna to the stand which Mike immediately argues against since Donna’s work is covered under privilege. Malick basically argues his way out of that one and Donna is forced to take the stand. Which, combined with the “do something!” she mouths at Harvey, is guaranteed to drive Harvey up the wall.

Malick approaches Donna on the stand, asking her employment history and pointing out her almost unbelievably ascent from starving actress to six-figure COO. Hey, man. This is New York City. Anything can happen. Then he asks her about shredding a document from a few seasons ago that Harvey had to essentially do cartwheels to get her out of. He tries to object Donna’s way out of this line of questioning, but the judge allows it. Donna admits to shredding the file, then Malick points out that she was fired and rehired a week later. And then she was promoted to COO overnight. He gets all up in her face about how a legal secretary with no qualifications and a BA in theater became COO of a law firm, implying that the easiest way for her to get that position was by... Being in another position with Harvey, let's just say.

Malick then makes the excellent point that everyone at this law firm does whatever they want and lies about very illegal stuff (ahem, hi Mike,) which the judge sees as good enough evidence to move the trial forward. Also, the document Malick went after last week that Harvey says no longer exists can now be counted as evidence. But Malick says it doesn’t exist because Donna destroyed it, too.

Flashback time! Young Daddy Zane is arguing with his sister, who wants to pursue action against Arthur for harassment. Zane basically explains that he can’t - he’s lucky enough as a black man to be accepted into Harvard Law and have the job that he has as it is. He can’t go after this guy and expect to come out a victor. It is at this point that I have to do the math - 25 years ago is 1992. I have serious trouble with in this scene is that the way Jasmine is dressed and the lighting feels very, very dated. It takes me a second to remember that this was early 90’s, and not early 70’s. Anyway, moving on.

BTW: Here’s the two things I Googled to help me mentally establish where the U.S. was in 1992: Who was President (A: Clinton was elected in ’92, which I could’ve figured out if I had just thought about it for two seconds instead of instantly defaulting to the internet), and When did Friends premiere (A: 1994).

After court, Harvey and Mike are talking on the street and their client from Ellmont Investments is furious at her lawyers for not defending her. They figure out that the document in question must exist, just the client herself didn’t write it.

At the office, Alex tells Louis that Gould is going after Pfizer. Louis says that Alex can use all the associates he needs to win he case because Alex is family. That’s sweet. Later, Louis suggests they make up a buyer for Pfizer to rock the boat. I feel like USA should do a web miniseries of Louis and Alex just going out to lunch and talking cats.

Mike and Harvey visit the writer of that newspaper article that accused his client of writing that memo. They want his source and Harvey leans into him. The writer says the source isn’t from Ellmont, it’s from someone who had a working relationship with both Harvey and Mike.

Rachel presents her dad with a settlement offer that could make their entire case go away, and he’s ticked because the whole point of this is to get the CEO in the courtroom. Turns out, Rachel negotiated a deal with them because she’s worried about how it’s going to go once her dad’s face-to-face with the man who ruined his sister’s life. He insists that he has to see this through, and she finally agrees to it, but only if she’s the one who cross-examines the CEO.

Louis asks Donna how things went in court, and she’s not interested in talking about it at all. She lashes out at Louis for not putting her through a mock trial because Malick rattled and humiliated her. He implied ugly things about her and Harvey, because it’s always about her and Harvey. She blames all of this on Louis for leaving her high and dry, which isn’t exactly fair.

Dr. Lippschitz time!! Louis is upset that Donna went off on him and his therapist explains that she’s just venting. Lippschitz doesn’t tell Louis what he wants to hear, saying that if this is weighing on Louis so much, it must be because he feels some sort of guilt. So Louis storms out. I’m assuming he still has to pay for the rest of his hour, which is just a waste of money.

Mike, Harvey and Donna are trying to figure out who they’ve worked with would turn them over to the reporter. Donna suggests Holly Cromwell, then Mike points out that Malick is a genius since he never actually entered the newspaper into evidence. Donna decides she’s going to go after Malick herself. She approaches Holly Cromwell and wants to know what Malick has on her. She says if she could help Donna she would, but she can’t.

At home, Rachel and Mike are chit-chatting about their relative cases. They end up, as couples often do, gossiping about another couple. Mike says something about Paula, Rachel in turn says something snarky about her, and then basically spills the beans to her fiancé about Donna still having a thing for Harvey.

Rachel is deposing CEO Kittridge and goes after him on every sexual harassment charge she can. Has he ever tried to sleep with an employee, has he ever retaliated when an employee turned him down, do attractive women intimidate him, etc. He flips the script and starts hitting on Rachel, and hitting on her hard. It's aggressive. This gets Daddy Zane all riled up to which Kittridge rests his case, saying he can’t be discriminatory toward people of color if he’s always personally preferred women on color. “I find them exotic,” he says. Rachel rolls her eyes since she faces losers like this a million times a day, but Robert is already off the rails. Kittridge brings up his sister, just adding fuel to the fire, and Robert admits that it doesn’t matter what happens with this case, he’s going to bring him down.

Kittridge and his attorney sit back and smile, satisfied. They just got Zane on record saying the lawsuit was a trumped up excuse to go after him for personal reasons. Rachel simply sits there, now thoroughly frustrated with both men in the room.

After the commercial break, we finally get a scene in which Harvey and Donna actually speak to one another directly. Donna explains that Cromwell admitted that she was the source, but won't testify, so Donna will have to be the one to do it. Harvey says that’s not good enough because Malick implying that Donna slept her way to the top essentially destroyed her credibility at the stand, and both he and Donna are half furious/half heartbroken at that fact. Donna’s devastated. She wanted to be the one to bring him down. Harvey says she is, because she realized Cromwell was the source. Harvey and Mike are going to use Donna’s intel to take him down.

Flashback! Jasmine has just died and Robert is crying because he didn’t do enough to support her when she asked for help. Kittridge ruined her life and he could’ve helped her before it was too late. I would like a little clarification - they have said repeatedly that Kittridge "ruined her life," and said she died because "she got sick." The audience can certainly make some fairly accurate assumptions about what all of that means, but I'd like some clarification on just how bad things got with Kittridge so I can properly adjust how much I'm supposed to hate him.

Present day: Robert is banking on Rachel to solve this thing since he lost his temper. She suggests they use his the CEO's weakness against him.

Mike stops by for a quick chat with Donna, and then jumps straight into the point of his visit. “Tell Harvey how you feel.” Oh. Well, that’s direct. Donna is a little blindsided, but Mike explains that Donna has been a fundamental part of why his relationship with Rachel has been successful, and he wants to encourage Donna to find her happiness too. Donna carefully explains that “two people have to want to be together to be happy, and Harvey and I don’t want to be together.” Mike is surprised and asks if she’s sure, and she assures him that she is.

Louis is on the phone with Stan Lippschitz and trying to convince him to play the role of the head of a German pharmaceutical company. Stan isn’t cool with this, but Louis lawyers his way into explaining that if he does this, he’ll be a good friend to Donna and make up for his past failures. Stan gives it a hard pass. This disappoints Alex.

Mike and Harvey show up at Malick’s office to lay out the entire fake evidence chain of events that they’ve just figured out. Harvey’s going to put Malick on the stand because if Harvey’s character is an issue, then so is Malick’s. So does Malick want to drop the case now or be embarrassed on the stand? Malick opts out of embarrassment, but you just know he's not going to let his vendetta against Harvey drop.

The next day, Robert goes directly to Arthur for a settlement. Man, Arthur is a piece of trash. Meanwhile, Rachel is talking with Arthur’s entire board, presenting them with a settlement that is three times higher than the original settlement. Which Rachel explains is because they’ve proven their CEO’s repeated sexual harassment behavior, so if he does it again, it's on them. They have two choices: take the settlement and remove the CEO, or take their chance in front of a jury. Robert gets Arthur to take the settlement and Rachel gets the board to sign, too. Hooray!

Harvey and Mike are making nice about the case, when Mike opens his big mouth. Did Harvey talk to Donna, he asks. When Harvey seems blissfully unaware of Mike’s underlying question, the Junior Partner looks grim. This isn’t going to end well.

Alex goes to see Gould to directly ask that he not take Pfizer and back off his firm. Gould says fine, Pearson Spector List can take Pfizer. But Alex has to come back and bring all of his other clients with him, which has been the point of this whole campaign from day one - he was angry Alex left. Alex decides he’s staying exactly where he is, because he was recording Gould’s entire confession and now has leverage. Consider the case closed, and now he has blackmail on Gould anytime he needs it.

“Andy,” as Harvey calls him, is waiting for Harvey in the lobby. Malick says Harvey won the case but he still wants to take him down, so he decided to go after Harvey’s mentor: Jessica. Malick remembers how Jessica admitted to Mike’s little fraud cover-up in court and has officially filed a motion to get her disbarred.

Harvey is in full panic mode when he arrives at his apartment, and who’s waiting for him but Jessica herself. She calmly explains that it’s happening, let it happen, no one in Chicago will care about her being disbarred in New York. And it’s time to take her name off the wall. Harvey looks potentially the most lost he’s ever looked at that comment and immediately refuses. “It’s not my firm anymore, it's yours,” Jessica says, insisting that Harvey’s ready, despite his argument. I miss her calming presence on this show. This little twist is going to make the Jessica-centered spinoff very interesting.

Louis apologizes to Donna that he didn't prepare her for Malick - he didn’t do it because he couldn’t handle the idea of putting his life on trial, post-sleeping with engaged Sheila. Donna understands and accepts the apology. Then Louis delivers a beautifully romantic monologue about how he has been forced to count down the days until his soulmate marries someone else, while he just wants to scream at her that the man she’s supposed to be with is standing right in front of her face. He should’ve told her while he had the chance, which is obviously exactly what Donna needed to hear about Harvey.


Louis leaves and Donna stares blankly into the distance, thinking hard about what Louis just said. And then, look who just walks in. Harvey himself. Whom Donna just walks up to, puts her arms around his neck, and kisses. WAIT, WHAT. OH. MY. GOSH. I really, truly thought they would never actually do that. She kisses him, says, “I’m sorry, Harvey. I just had to know,” and then walks away, leaving a confused Harvey in her wake.

Fade to black. See you in a few months...

What did everyone think of this episode? Did you know Darvey was eventually going to happen or did you, like me, think they were destined to ride the will they/won't they rollercoaster forever? Who's the more awful villain: Malick or Kittridge?

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