So far this season, Suits has delivered a great episode every week — even if it’s only been two episodes. Last week, we were introduced to Alex Williams (Dule Hill) for the first time, and to go along with that further, Donna got the job that she wanted all along: COO. She’s now in the position to make real change at the firm, and preserve some sort of larger legacy there in the process.
It took little to no time for us to understand why the title for the episode was “Mudmare,” given that in the early going, we paid witness to Louis Litt’s nightmare of Alex interrupting his mud bath with Harvey. He’s afraid of losing his friend, which is why he was told that he really should find a new one. That, in turn, led to him trying to befriend Alex in one of the most hilarious ways possible — bringing him a honeysuckle and inviting him to lunch while getting super excited about cats. One thing never seems to change for Louis: He’s so desperate to be loved by people that he’s willing to not be himself.
Here’s the bad news: After making the lunch appointment with Alex, his new pal had to cancel for work reasons. However, Louis saw Alex and Harvey together getting in an elevator (heading off to do some work/not lunch), and of course assumed the worse and started to get ALL LITT UP. It took a call to his therapist to call him down and realize that this slight may not be intentional.
Well, let’s just say that there were some slights coming, but they had more to do with Harvey than Alex, and it led to one of the most heartbreaking Louis moments we’ve seen. (More on that later.)
Mike takes on a pro bono case … again
He’s already doing more work for himself than he is for Harvey, but this one is personal since it revolved around a man who died in prison. The deceased’s father saw his Times piece and wanted him to come in and help, and he promised that he would do everything he could in order to make thing turn around.
The more that Mike dug into what happened in this case, the more that he realized that death wasn’t personally motivated so much as it was the failure of an institution. People get attacked in prison, and it’s the responsibility of the guards to go in and stop it. The guards weren’t there, and the man died as a result of that. The prison was understaffed.
Mike was starting to get close to some answers, but here’s the problem: Alex had a conflict because of one of his high-profile clients, who is responsible for building said prison. Harvey told Mike to drop it, and that led to all-out war in the firm. Pretty much everyone other than Harvey and Alex were on Mike’s side, but that didn’t matter — and Harvey threw Louis’ friend-jealousy in his face as the reason for his discontent. Very good drama.
The good news is Mike, smart as he is, eventually found a solution. He handed the case off to Oliver, who was reluctant at first to take it on but eventually relented. He had to give Harvey his word that he’d distance himself from the case, and that he did. Mike and Alex came to terms with their situation at the end of the episode, and realized that despite their differences, they have quite a bit in common.
Harvey’s trouble in paradise
While there hasn’t been much in the way of direct conflict between Harvey and his former therapist Paula Agard, there was a different sort of pressure put upon the two of them: Her own profession. She was embarrassed about the fact that she was dating a former client, and she needed to sleep on things to figure out where she wants to go with it.
After all of the drama with his case and Mike, Harvey went to Paula’s office and eventually talked her down. She mentioned that she was scared, and he delivered on her a hell of a line: “Let’s be scared together.”
Rachel’s leadership struggle
Let’s face it: Louis is not the best when it comes to being a team leader. Yet, he was great when it comes to striking fear into heart of his associates. Stephanie wasn’t doing what she was asked, and she wasn’t listening when she was told. Rachel went to battle her, but Donna stepped in and gave her the hammer. That infuriated Rachel, who felt like she was undermined.
Eventually, Donna did apologize for her actions after getting into a tiff with Harvey, saying that she got a bit to gung-ho and wanted to assert her power in her new position. Rachel, in turn, realized that she may not be ready, either, and handed off the associates over to Donna. When Stephanie dropped the ball again Donna fired her, but did it her own way — quietly and without a storm.
The heartbreaking ending
This was painful. Is Louis having an emotional break? He spoke to his therapist as though it was Harvey; where this goes remains to be seen, but this scene was a further reminder of just how great Rick Hoffman truly is.
Suits season 7 episode 3 was yet again, great. The storylines were well-wove, and more than that we’re building towards a new normal at the firm — whatever that may be. So far, Hill is proving to be a good addition to the group — and Suits isn’t losing a step in the process. Grade: A-.