There are some things that we expected to see on Suits season 7. Harvey entering a romantic relationship with his therapist wasn’t one. In the opening minutes of the episode, a newly-empowered Harvey, ready on some level to be Managing Partner, went back to Dr. Paula Agard and told her that he wanted to ask her out. It didn’t go so well at first, but by the end of the episode signs pointed to the two being an item.
What does this relationship represent? It’s complicated, but the biggest thing seems to be Harvey trying to check off happiness at every place he possibly can. It’s probably deliberate that he chose someone as a partner who is separated from his partners at work; there are fewer strings attached, and if it doesn’t work, he can move on. He also has some of the emotional legwork out of the way here given that he’s already been vulnerable with Paula. (For the record, we do think that this sudden relationship also says a lot about who she is and how she feels about him.)
As for where this idea came from, that is something that show creator Aaron Korsh touched on in a postmortem for the premiere in TVLine:
“…”I don’t even remember how the idea was posited, but we just thought, ‘What the hell…! Harvey’s gotten over his mom. He’s open… Maybe that cleared up a little emotional space for a new relationship.’ We felt like the fans would be expecting and wanting it to be with Donna, and obviously we understand that. I’m sure some people will feel this way, some people won’t, but maybe deep down inside, the person he should be doing this with is Donna. But for whatever reason, he had this intimate relationship with a beautiful woman that sat there and listened to his problems and helped him get over issues with his mom. Now maybe he also had that relationship with another beautiful woman that did the same thing. But in his mind, he’s associating [Paula] with positivity and support.
“We were thinking about it, and we were like, “Listen, he’s just taken over the firm,” and in his brain, she pops into his head, and he’s like, ‘I want to do something to mark my ascendancy to Jessica’s position in taking over the firm,’ and he’s asking her out. Now whether in the long run that will prove to be the right move or not remains to be seen, but that’s what’s going on, and we felt like it would give, like, a good new flavor to the season.”
One major risk Harvey is taking here in dating Paula is that if this relationship crumbles (and most do), he’s suddenly taken away from him something that was valuable in him understanding more of his feelings towards the rest of his family. He wouldn’t be able to go to her for advice anymore; that relationship is severed, and he’s left to scramble and find someone else.
Do we think that Harvey’s meant to be with Donna? Our heart likes to imagine so, but we’ll admit that we’re curious to see where this is going. Hopefully, it does eventually make him realize that he’s had the right person in front of him for years but was too afraid to make a move. There may not be any better time than the present, since if he waits too long, he could lose her given that Donna is going to be very much pursued elsewhere.
If you missed our review of the Suits premiere…
We suggest that you do head over here and take a look at it! We’re going to be back with some further coverage of the show throughout the season. (Photo: USA.)