By: Liz Hannah, Contributor
The secret is out. I’m sure there’s some pun to be used here involving the key, but I’m still blackout terrified of Louis Litt (Rick Hoffman) to think clearly. In many ways, this season has been very Louis-centric: his many defeats, his returning of Mike Ross (Patrick J. Adams) to the firm, and his echoing misguided choice that forced him out of his home. The build up didn’t disappoint and, now, next season seems amped to have a number of things we’ve been waiting for become a reality. Pearson/Specter will probably now be known as Pearson/Specter/Litt and, most importantly, Louis knows the truth of Mike’s fraud.
I spent most of last week’s article talking about the much forgotten Rick Hoffman so it feels repetitive to continue that here but, it’s a disservice to the episode not to do so. This show simply wouldn’t work without the Hoffman’s ability to toe the line between caricature and character; tonight wasn’t much different. Though I felt his outburst in the final moments was possibly more fitted to a Disney villain (Jafar comes to mind), the constant belittling of Louis’ character forced it into an earned moment. Also, I’m constantly reminded of never wanting to be alone in a room with an angry Gina Torres. As Jessica, she is intimidating, villainous, but, usually, not wrong. Again, another thing SUITS doesn’t get enough credit for; with so much being talked about these days regarding lack of interesting female characters – she’s right there. Not only is Jessica a strong woman but she is also, at all times, wildly intricate and conflicted.
As much as last week was about tying off the loose ends of a, in many way, convoluted/too plot driven season, tonight was all about looking ahead. I always love when Robert Zane (Wendell Pierce) comes back into the picture; Louis had it right that he is a male version of Jessica. Hopefully this means we’ll see more of him in the second half of the season – it’s nice seeing someone who can genuinely match wits with Harvey (Gabriel Macht). Yes, I made it almost halfway through this review without talking about the co-lead of the show but, to be fair, he had very little to do this episode. While we’re at it, he had little to do for most of the season. Without Scottie (Abigail Spencer), Mike, or another paramour around, his character took a backseat to everyone else. Let’s all go ahead and thank the writers for Mike’s fantastic Donna/Harvey line this evening, though. We all know it’s brewing.
Also in the backdrop this week was one of the central characters of the season, Rachel (Meghan Markle); I’m not too sad about that. Her character has become desperate every since the Logan Sanders (Brendan Hines) of it all. It feels like there were some missed opportunities with her and Mike in this scenario, though, there were a lot of balls already in the air. Her father didn’t mind mentioning the proposal idea to Mike and it doesn’t feel like this is too far-fetched. Also, we said goodbye to one of the most unnecessary characters: Katrina (Amanda Schull). I loved “Center Stage,” too, but aside from being an unlikely foil to Louis a few times, she was mostly underutilized or filler when another character was too busy. Schull is also headed “12 Monkeys” on SyFy so this isn’t too big of a surprise.
I’m glad that one of my early predictions of the season paid off: Louis is now a name partner; it was the long play and it worked. However, his reaction is going to shatter some real friendships that have grown over the years. It was heartbreaking to watch him berate Donna (Sarah Rafferty), one of his only constant allies at the firm. Rafferty also deserves some credit for this scene – it’s not easy to be the one standing opposite a screaming mad man and she pulled it off with compassion. I think it’s also a good thing that they saved Mike and Louis’, not to mention Harvey and Louis’, confrontation until next season. This one of the only things that makes me think we’re not going to see a time jump. In many ways, it would be interesting to see a bit of time pass before diving back in to this newly named firm, but we need to see how Mike and Harvey deal with the secret being out. Especially with Louis on the warpath.
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.