‘Suits’ Cuts New Storylines in New Episodes
As Suits reopens its second season on the USA Network, the devious and divisive Daniel Hardman (David Costabile) has departed from Manhattan’s Pearson Hardman law firm, but demons in differing disguises endanger our loved (and occasionally, loathed) legal eagles.
The episode, “Blind-Sided” opens with an establishing shot of the skyline of New York City, the series’ silent character and gloriously-used set. From the aspirational structures of the skyline, a sharply contrasting view of the danky apartment of Mike Ross (Patrick J. Adams) is shown, symbolically informing the audience of the dumps in which one of our leading men wallows. Mike, the ‘beautiful mind’ pretend lawyer, has strayed from his road to recovery to one of perdition. He has reverted to drug-use and traded in Trevor (the sort of ‘friend’ we all hope to avoid) for another negative influence playmate, Mike’s former flame, Tess (a now married woman, with whom he has begun a casual affair). Much to Mike’s misfortune, the affair into which he foolishly fell, only hours after another attempt at starting a romance with paralegal Rachel Zane (Meghan Markle), has become another barricade separating Rachel and Mike.
To Mike, Rachel harshly expresses a contempt of the whole situation and his choices, surprising him with the revelation that she once pursued a married man and warning him that such affairs “only end one way,” but to the audience, Rachel’s concern and confusion about Mike is exhibited. Although Rachel has yet to learn of it, the episode would end with Mike ending his affair with Tess.
Meanwhile, the spectacular Mr. Harvey Specter (Gabriel Macht), one of the city’s top attorneys and most seemingly confident individuals, is back at the top of his game, and he has his own plans for romance with the firm’s former consultant, Zoe Lawford (Jacinda Barrett).
The character of Zoe was introduced in earlier episodes as the series’ means to utilize Macht’s off-screen spouse, Barrett, and in this episode, the show upped the ‘let’s be cute’ factor by showing Havey and Zoe caring for Zoe’s niece (Macht and Barrett have a young daughter of their own). The character of Zoe always seemed somewhat contrived and uninteresting (the sort of character we viewers come to look upon as simply taking away screen-time from our beloved weekly regulars, such as Donna, played by Sarah Rafferty). The show seems to struggle in scripting entertaining love interests for Harvey because the series falls into the trap of simply attempting to create some sort of female-version of Harvey as his match, but Harvey is such a complex character to script and play, it is improbable that a similar minor character can be introduced to the same effect. In last night’s episode, when Barrett was permitted to play Zoe as more of a character in her own right, we were treated to seeing her potential likeability, but by the end of the episode, Zoe bids farewell to Harvey due to family obligations prompting her to move away.
While our two leading men were being thwarted in matters of the heart, their rival (and arguable enemy), the long-suffering Louis Litt (Rick Hoffman) began a sexual relationship with the creepy and domineering Shelia Sazs (Rachael Harris), who was turned-on by Louis’ new position of power as a senior partner, but she became disinterested once it became apparent that Louis’ authority was still limited. The ever-losing Louis had intended to hire an associate, whose abilities would overshadow Mike, but in a conversation with Donna Paulson, Harvey’s loyal and trusted assistant, the candidate unknowingly revealed that she had the potential knowledge to uncover Mike’s secret lack of qualifications. The managing partner, Jessica Pearson (Gina Torres), having learned of this danger via Donna and Harvey, sought to protect the firm by informing Louis that a lean is being placed on hiring. Yet, this opens future risks for office relations because Harvey, also to protect Mike, has hired a different new associate, the ADA Katrina Bennett, who knows Mike to have compromised his professional integrity by attempting to inform her of information about his client.
The case the episode used as the vehicle for reflecting the emotional states of our regular cast involved the son of a wealthy long-term client of the firm having hit (eventually causing the death of) a young man and run from the scene. The situation conjures reminiscences of the deaths of Mike’s parents, who were killed in a car accident caused by a drunk driver when Mike was eleven, leaving him to be raised by his grandmother, with whose own recent death he is still failing to cope. Harvey wants to allow Mike to step away from the case, but Mike insists on helping because the client assures them that he was not drinking the night of the accident. Since the victim was fleeing after having committed a crime, Harvey and Mike are able to arrange a deal with the district attorney’s office, and the victim’s family asks for only minor damages. However, Mike, remembering his childhood experience of the financial settlement offered for the lives of his parents, offers the family the maximum compensation in an attempt to respect their dignity. Feeling good about the done deal, Mike is horrified to learn too late that the client, although not drinking, was high at the time of the accident, leading Mike to unsuccessfully attempt to tip off the assistant district attorney.
Harvey reminds Mike not to take such risks and tells him to pull himself together, but many problems seem to have only started for our characters and their relationships, professional and personal, with each other.