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Suits - The Statue - Review: "Making Partner Means Something"

Hello, Suits fans! We've got a bit of a double-header in recaps today - both recaps for episodes 1 and 2 were posted today, so make sure you're reading the right one! This one covers episode 2. Okay, let's do this.

Previously on Suits:

Mike gets Harvey's office, and Harvey takes control of the firm, Donna wants to be a partner and that somehow immediately happens, Rachel is in charge of the associate, Louis is looking for closure, and Harvey acts out his therapist's fantasies with a ‘72 Chevy.

Yeah, that's right, we came out of the gate SWINGIN' this season. Here we go:

The episode starts with Harvey and Paula, his former therapist, in bed, which just seems inappropriate on 100 different levels. Harvey calls her "something pretty special,” leading Paula to point out why this won't work out because of the dozens of observations she’d made about him when she was, you know, his therapist. He smiles and she forgets what she was saying. A+ therapist, that one.

Speaking of therapy, that's where Louis is right now - workshopping his groveling to Tara. Unlike Harvey's' therapist, this one seems actually worth their degree in that he is able to get to the heart of the matter - Louis is scared he'll never have children. But a simple reminder that his idol Tony Randall didn't have children till he was 77 (whoa!) sets Louis back on track. Also, there's another f-bomb narrowly avoided.

Mike is talking to a mourning husband and father whose wife passed away in a car accident. Her insurance company is relying on a loophole to not pay up - she claims she quit smoking 5 years ago, they found a picture taken of her having one cigarette posted on her Facebook page 8 months ago - to deny her coverage. (This seems extreme, but I'll admit I don't know enough about insurance to be sure. I understand that if the insurance company sees a picture, they really can’t completely believer her when she says she quit smoking. But why were they on her Facebook page to begin with? Is that normal? But either way, then couldn't they just offer the sam insurance they offer smokers? It won't be as much coverage, but it certainly wouldn't be a complete lack of coverage, right? Or am I completely overthinking what is obviously just a plot device to get Mike's compassionate side worked up? Someone let me know in the comments.)

Back at the firm, Donna is moving into her new senior partner office, and I'm realizing that I'm in the wrong line of work if an executive assistant makes enough that she can live in an amazing Manhattan apartment and just write off a $500k check like it's just lunch at Sardi's. Katrina congratulates her and is very supportive to her face, then turns around and has a WTF expression that's not entirely unfounded.

Time for a flashback to 13 years ago, and look who it is: Jessica! She and Harvey are watching workers tear down the old firm's names and she’s giving him a legit lesson in the realities of corporate takeover.

Back in the present, Donna presents Harvey with a press release regarding her promotion. They have a quick chit-chat in which she reminds him that she's no longer his secretary, and last time that happened, he had panic attacks and had to go see his therapist. Who is now his girlfriend. I have a feeling Donna would find that glaringly inappropriate too, if she knew. He assures her that he's fine and it’s all good. (Spoiler alert: It’s not all good.)

Elsewhere, Mike goes storming into the insurance company asking for his client’s money. Oh, so we are going to address this. The insurance representative says she's sorry, but her hands are tied. Mike goes for the sympathy angle, "I get it. Your policy is to give people the runaround so they get demoralized and drop their case." Insurance lady goes for the business angle, "No, Mr. Ross, our policy is to follow the letter of our contracts. And if we let one person who lied on their application get away with it, we wouldn't have a business anymore." He pulls rank, saying he's not just a personal injury attorney, and he's going to wipe the floor with her. She smirks and says, whatever dude, not my problem. Because he won't face her in court, he'll face their attorney, Ackerman. Oh goodie.

GUS! GUS IS FINALLY HERE! Harvey goes to visit Dule Hill at his office and I miss Psych every single day of my life. They exchange some back and forth in which it is established that they’re old friends, and as the camera pans around Gus' swanky office, I'm holding my breath that Shawn Spencer is just around the corner, about to jump out and demand that Gus shave off that goatee and come solve crimes.

Harvey says now that Jessica's gone, he wants to hire his old buddy, who is named Alex. Heads up: It's going to be very hard for me to call him Alex and not Gus, but I'll do my absolute best. Alex sees through that line of BS and says no, this is about getting his client that Jessica wouldn't mess with. Harvey laughs and calls it a "win-win," which means Alex is right.

Alex wants to be a name partner because he's about to be name partner at his current firm within the year. Fair enough. He ultimatums Harvey - get me on your letterhead, or both me and my client Pfizer stay here.

Harvey looks like he's thinking really hard, which means Donna's about to get stomped all over again.

Meanwhile, Mike is in court arguing with the insurance. There’s some good back-and-forth going on, right up until Ackerman straight up pulls out Mike's Harvard diploma for a little show-and-tell about Mike's prison time. The judge thinks Mike's history is relevant to the case, which means Ackerman can bring it up in court in front of the jury. Now, I’m no attorney, but I believe this basically sets the precedent that every attorney Mike ever argues can bring this up. Welp. There goes his career, forever.

Harvey has a meeting with Louis and Donna - in which Donna makes a point to remind everyone that she’s a senior partner now - and says that he’d like to bring on Pfizer as a client. Louis argues that would require dropping Jim Reynolds, which Jessica was insistent they never do. Harvey is happy, because that means he’s different than Jessica, then mentions that he’ll need to make Alex a named partner.

Louis puts up a fight due to the fact that he doesn’t know the guy, but too bad because Harvey steamrolls his legitimate argument. Donna, whom you’ll remember is a partner now, says nothing.

So Louis runs off and interrupts Gretchen’s lunch break to get his secretary to dig up dirt on Alex. She reminds him that’s unnecessary because he could just surpass Alex altogether and go after Pfizer. Then there’s some conversation about skinning vs. stuffing cats and both Gretchen and I lose our appetite.

Back at the client’s house, Mike is explaining that this thing is going to trial and oh by the way, he used to be a fraud. The client (Barry, apparently) rightly gets pretty angry about a liar representing his wife who’s been accused of being a liar. Mike offers to bow out, and the client says he’s his last hope. Then Mike promises that he won’t lose the case, which is like the first thing Harvey taught him never to say. Or was that what McDreamy taught George in season one of Grey’s Anatomy… Either way, don’t make promises you can’t keep.

Back at the law firm where apparently anyone can get their name on the door these days, Donna struts into Harvey’s office to discuss Jim Reynolds. She thinks Harvey should tell Jessica they’re dropping him and Harvey says no, the point is I can do what I want now, I’m a big boy. Donna makes the valid point that if they just up and drop one of their oldest clients, that won’t necessarily send the best signal to all their other clients.

Harvey gets angry in the face of all of this logic and says none of her legitimate points are worth listening to because a) they already had a meeting about this and she didn’t say anything, and b) he doesn’t like it when people disagree with him. Then he yells at her like she’s just another attorney he’s destroying in the courtroom, and I’m gonna be honest, I don’t like this change in their relationship.

We’re now at Mike and Rachel’s place, where Rachel is giving her fiancé a pep talk. Right when I’m about to complain that all Rachel’s done lately is support Mike and not really do anything herself, Mike flips the script by asking her to take the case for him, and this is a relationship I definitely approve of.

Harvey calls Alex and he reveals that Louis is trying to poach Pfizer, and that won’t fly. He wants to be name partner, and he wants to be name partner now. I don’t particularly care for angry Gus.

This provides Harvey with all the ammo he needs to do the weekly scene where he storms angrily into Louis’ office. Louis only cowers for a moment before saying if all Harvey cares about is the client, he was trying to make that happen. Harvey says he cares about his oldest friend, whom we’re just now hearing about, and this is happening. They yell at each other for a while about what it takes to name someone partner, then Louis drops a little reminder that in order for someone to be a name partner, Harvey has to get either Louis’ or Jessica’s vote and since Harvey wants to drop Jim Reynolds, that’s never going to happen.

All of this makes me wonder - did Louis just kinda nod at some point last week and that was his affirmation for Donna being a partner? Or did he not get a vote because she’s not a letterhead partner, just a senior partner?

An angry Harvey heads back to the office and Rachel asks if she can cover Mike’s pro bono case. He’s irate and says no, then a definite no when she explains the situation further. And then he actually uses the “Because I said so” excuse when she asks what’s up. Before Rachel can ask what’s going on, he runs off to jump on a plane.

There are 9 voicemails and 14 text messages from Mike waiting for Harvey when he gets off that plane. When Harvey returns Mike’s call, he gives the kid a pep talk to explain that if he backs down now, this will happen for every case for the rest of his life. And now it’s time for a quick PR spin: Mike needs to “take control of the narrative” and get a reporter to paint him as a redemption story in the public eye so the jury finds him sympathetic.

Mike doesn’t have time for this fairly decent plan, and Harvey lets him know he’s fed up with no one listening to him. And, oh wait! Surprise! It’s Jessica again! She’s already briefed on the situation due to a phone call from Louis. Not surprisingly, she’s not on board with what Harvey’s doing and basically says doing stuff to prove you’re in charge doesn’t make you in charge. Then she dispenses this truth bomb: “You can’t go around handing out name partner like it’s Halloween candy.”

Harvey gets flustered and literally says he’s not a child. She points out that if he names Alex a partner, everyone who ever comes to the firm will make demands. They get in a fight where Harvey lashes out because once again he doesn’t like being disagreed with. So Jessica says if you hate me so much, take my name off your bleeping wall. P.S. They don't address it, but what does Jessica think about Donna suddenly being a senior partner? You just know Louis told her.

Harvey and Paula have a quick chat to reschedule their date and their phone call turns into a quick pro bono therapy session.

Back at the office, Mike and Rachel figure out a new way to go after the insurance company. And that new way involves Rachel going to visit Ms. Cromwell, a former corporate spy who clearly dislikes Rachel. She’s now a legitimate headhunter. Mike tries to appeal to her softer side and Rachel boosts her ego and Cromwell says cool, gimme $50k.

Mike agrees to pay it, which seems like an instantly illegal thing, but what do I know, I’m not a lawyer who’s served time in prison.

Louis is back with his therapist and confesses he’s jealous Harvey wants to make his friend name partner. Because he had expected with Jessica gone that Harvey would finally turn to him as a partner and friend, and if this Alex guy shows up, he’ll get friend zoned again. The therapist says if Louis keeps letting his emotions run his behavior, he’ll drive Harvey away all on his own.

Katrina goes to talk to Harvey, which is in and of itself a brave act these days. She very professionally says she is on track to become Senior Partner at the firm and makes the most legitimate case that we’ve heard so far, “Making partner means something. And I’m concerned that making partner here won’t mean what it used to.”

Harvey appears able to listen to reason and when she says that if she’s thinking it, others will too, he leans back and seems to suddenly realize what he’s been doing for the last 2 episodes. As a result, he goes to visit his BFF Alex and literally repeats what Katrina just told him and retracts the deal. Either he comes to Harvey’s firm with Pfizer and is just a normal old attorney or he stays with his old firm.

Alex takes the deal and says he was bluffing anyway about getting name partner at his firm within a year - if ever - and Harvey says he knows. Huh. Didn’t expect that. So Alex is joining the team and everyone’s happy now. Way to go, Katrina. Now that Donna’s a senior partner, is Katrina the new Donna?

Mike - a lawyer who just got out of prison for fraud - visits Ackerman at a hotdog stand and presents him with the smoking gun Magical Document that Changes Everything that he just bought from a corporate spy for $50k. In exchange for not destroying the man in court, Mike says the guy needs to tell the closet reporter how he’s a good guy and not a fraud. Interesting way to go about doing this, but okay. it works.

Louis is waiting in Harvey’s office and apologizes for being jealous and confesses their friendship is important, and he accepts Alex as name partner. Top to bottom a great apology, even though I don’t really think the one who needed to apologize here. Harvey tries to interject, but then Louis recites a parable involving Dwayne Wade and LeBron James and he honestly looks so proud of himself when he says he stayed up all night to find the perfect sports analogy, it might be my favorite Louis moment. But then that moment is immediately topped when he very confidently claims that the Miami Heat when on to win back-to-back Super Bowls. Harvey agrees and Louis smiles, and it’s great.

Harvey shows that he’s finally listening to reason by completely agreeing with everything Louis said. Alex is going to come on board, but he won’t be a name partner, because he doesn’t want to water down the firm. Yay, they’re friends again. So now it’s just Donna with the new role and everyone’s hap… Oh wait, Harvey just walks in and tells Donna she can’t be a partner.

Well that was fast.

She gets angry, you can’t take that away from her, she paid $500,000.00. He says he’ll refund it and continues to be blunt, “You can’t be partner. You aren’t a lawyer.”

DUDE. You couldn’t say that to her last week? This is really bad, what you’re doing here. I agree she can’t be partner, but dangling it in front of her just to rip it away? After all the issues y’all have had in the last few years? This is bad, Harvey.

He says she can be Chief of Personnel or some such glorified secretary nonsense, and she says she refuses to continue to be superwoman behind closed doors. She wants a seat at the table. Partner is off the table, Harvey says again. He made a mistake. Fine, Donna says. She wants COO, then rattles off some firms who have COOs that aren’t lawyers.

He’s mildly surprised until Donna explains that she never expected him to name her partner to begin with. They smile flirtatiously at one another, and the gang is back together. Dang, Donna is good. You always forget how good she is. She would make a fantastic con artist with all these long cons she’s got running all the time.

Ending montage time! A reporter - who may actually be a real NYT reporter - shows up and Mike offers him a tour of the office. Harvey calls to apologize to Jessica and she apologizes to him and they agree that her name stays on the wall. Oh and by the way, they’re still dropping Jim Reynolds because they're still bringing Pfizer on. She smiles and tells him to take his feet off her desk, and we all collectively miss Jessica.

What did everyone think of this episode? Do I need to brush up on the realities of insurance claims, or was this exaggerated for TV? Do you miss Jessica, too? Are you happy with Donna as COO, or did you want her to stay as partner? Leave a comment below!

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