By: Liz Hannah, Contributor
This is what we were waiting for. We knew it was coming – the tension, distrust had been building all season and, yet, I’m still devastated. The loss of Louis Litt (Rick Hoffman), by his own misguided yet well intentioned hands, is going to be difficult to recover from. His farewell note was heartbreaking and I absolutely got a little teary eyed. To be fair, I get teary eyed thinking about a good song, but that shouldn’t discredit this moment in the slightest. It was inevitable, as Jessica (Gina Torres) explained to Harvey (Gabriel Macht). Her logic and reaction wasn’t wrong and I applaud the writers for making his firing palatable and earned. As I mentioned a few weeks ago, Louis’ arc this season has been eerily reminiscent of a similar storyline for Lane Pryce a few years ago on “Mad Men.” Thankfully, Louis’ story didn’t end in a similar fashion as I had secretly feared it might. He better not be off the show, though. I quite honestly don’t know if I’m interested in SUITS without Louis; there is no Pearson/Specter without Litt. They are a family, but now they’re a broken one.
I’m also going to take a moment to spotlight Rick Hoffman’s performance – not just in this episode but all season long. Frankly, I could do a highlight reel of Louis Litt throughout the series and it’s Hoffman’s earnest and intricately leveled performance that gives this character such rich dimension. Of course he’s well written, but it’s the way in which Hoffman chooses the subtlest of moments to narrow his eyes, throw a side eye, or react to a one-liner. He’s a pro and doesn’t get nearly enough credit for the work he’s done here. Louis is the most human of them all: nuanced, riddled with insecurities, and right on the edge of his emotions. A farewell to Louis would be a farewell to Hoffman and this isn’t something I’m ready to do yet. I can’t imagine this is the avenue the show will go down but, you never know.
Amidst all the Litt upheaval was the final (is it?) showdown with Sean Cahill (Neal McDonough), Eric Woodall (Zeljko Ivanek) and the SEC – there was a lot going on. Finally we got some more Zeljko Ivanek and I sincerely hope he’ll be back. There was an off-the-cuff mention of Daniel Hardman (David Costabile) by Louis that couldn’t have been by mistake. Please put Ivanek and Costabile in a room together so that we’ll have as close to a “Damages” reunion as we’re ever going to get. Is it too soon to guess that Hardman might have a hand in Louis’ redemption? I can’t remember how the pair left it – I know Louis had been Hardman’s man for a while but vaguely remember Louis choosing Jessica. What’s Louis going to do now? This is clearly all I can think about.
At the same time, Mike (Patrick J. Adams) and Rachel (Meghan Markle) are still battling their trust issues; this still feels off to me. While prepping her to be deposed by Cahill, Mike uses this opportunity to grill her about her relationship with Logan (Brendan Hines)…again. It’s a very aggressive scene, especially coming right off them shacking back up again and her sucking up to him to beg for forgiveness. His anger is still a big stretch for me. Also, what’s up with the photos of his parents? Where are we going with that storyline? Was it just meant to parallel Louis’ remarks about the firm being a family? If so, that’s a super long play. It seems as if there’s something more here and I hope I’m wrong about an unexpected pregnancy.
Though Louis’ impending departure was the driving force, there were a few other mentions (like Hardman and the photo) throughout that gave me pause. The most interesting of which was the reveal that Harvey and Forstman (Eric Roberts) colluded in some way twelve years ago. Harvey has some kind of illegal dirt on Forstman that he can’t use because it would get him in trouble, too. Though it’s Forstman’s MO, it can’t be that he bribed our hero – that would’ve come out during the Louis of it all. Clearly, this is something that is going to come back up. If there’s anyone that holds a grudge longer than Eric Woodall, it’s Harvey Specter. Now, he’s got an even stronger one against Forstman for what he did to Louis. This is going to get a lot uglier before it gets better.
Only one more episode left of this season. It’s been incredibly slow going at times, meandering in others, but the past few weeks have begun to redeem it all. Tonight alone stood apart for me as one of the best in the series. If for nothing else than seeing Hoffman’s exact vulnerability and transparency. I can’t believe he’s gone, but he better be back.
Liz is a writer based in Los Angeles who has a binge-watching ability that should be studied by Nate Silver and often still wonders whether Ross and Rachel really were on a break.