Masterful and exquisite. That's what "Heartburn," tonight's Suits episode was. Resplendent with glossy-eyed unspoken familial affirmations, courage and chutzpa, Suits outdid itself with everything from heart attacks and marriage proposals to a heartbreaking (possible) break-up and divergent life choices about the struggle for freedom and legitimacy.
The writing in "Heartburn" is sharp, the character portrayals are intense, and the dialog is frugal and poignant... and loads happened tonight to boot. Louis has a heart attack during the trial of his life, then proposes to Sheila. Jessica, Harvey, and Donna demonstrate unadulterated affection for Louis. Rachel fights to execute Louis' verbal agreement to fund her legal degree. Mike confronts Harvey with a desire to become a legitimate, degreed lawyer, then receives a job offer that sounds attractive enough for him to take seriously. What, oh, what, will happen next?
Last week's divisive, albeit somewhat affirming internal and external confrontations, were left in the dust as litigation took a back seat to the emotional drama of the hard-won close-knit family at Pearson Specter. Louis Litt's nearly catastrophic courtroom collapse snapped into focus the core of what Suits is about: the pursuit of justice, loyalty and, dare I say it, a deep abiding affection for one's family.
Trouble, then Bliss, then Trouble Again in Paradise
To begin with, Scottie remains in absentia and the relationship with Harvey remains on the rocks, or so we assume, since no communication between the two occurs during "Heartburn."
More importantly, however, is the goose bump-inducing mid ass-chewing marriage proposal to Sheila from Louis following his near-death experience (not to mention the unforgettable, yet pricelessly hilarious hospital gown mooning that concluded it). Sheila tearfully accepts and all is well and good between these two through three quarters of the episode until the topic of where to live rears its ugly head. Neither appears willing to budge. Oh, no. They were so close!
In a touching scene turned tragic, Sheila proves to be the more adaptable on the topic of setting up house, but immoveable on the topic of having kids. She doesn't like kids, and they don't like her. Louis is non-negotiable on procreation and it just might be the pair's undoing. We never hear the couple actually breakup, but it's implied ... and heart breaking.
Hopefully this isn't the end for these two. Over the years, Louis has grown on our hearts and we want him happy. He and Sheila are adorkable together, hands down.
The Non-compete Meets the Street
As Harvey and Mike manage a non-compete case for a phenomenally douchey client who bullies his employees into compliance, they face what's really at the heart of their current mutual malcontent: Mike's desire to go legit to avoid a lifetime of living in fear of being discovered for his fraud in regard to the lies he's told about his Harvard degree. Harvey vehemently argues for maintaining the status quo and continuing to live the big life in the city with his family at Pearson Specter; however, Mike wants an honest life with Rachel. A house, a picket fence, a cat, maybe some tiny people in diapers one day. You know the drill.
When Mike offers off-the-books counseling to the client's disgruntled employee, so he can worm his way out of a stifling non compete, he finds himself on the receiving end of a job offer. For the first time, Mike sees a plausible alternative to perpetuating the lie he's living. Of course, in TV land the main characters usually stay unless the show is certain to be in its last season, so we can assume going forward that Mike will turn this offer down. However, Suits has surprised us before ... so who knows what will happen?
Rachel Goes Head to Head with Jessica
Harsh reality strikes for Rachel when she realizes law school will cost $200,000. Louis verbally agreed to pay for her degree when he coaxed her back to the firm after wrongfully accusing her of disloyalty. The bill is coming due and Rachel shrinks at the prospect of demanding the payout from Louis. This is further complicated when Louis has a heart attack, forcing Rachel to go straight to Jessica with her request for educational funding.
Rachel is woefully unprepared upon approaching Jessica, who refuses to honor the verbal agreement over the 10% raise agreed to in writing. Mike advises Rachel approach the healing of Louis non-emotionally and from a legal standpoint. She does so, not telling Louis she's talking about herself, and ends up feeling like a chump for believing Louis would keep his word.
In the end, Rachel confidently approaches Jessica with an agreeable proposal, citing Harvey as an example of how Jessica has broken precedence in the past by paying for Harvey's law degree. Jessica agrees and all is good in the world.
Louis is Loved and We are Moved
Worthy of praise are several highly emotional scenes between Louis and his compadres. Donna just barely holds it together at Louis' bedside immediately following his heart attack. You can feel the ball of dough in her throat as she attempts to keep herself from flying apart at the prospect of losing this man whom she has come to love and respect enormously.
Also heartwarming is Harvey's patience with Louis' bear hug upon returning from the hospital. The hug is warm and honest and we see Louis' naked heart which is so big it can barely fit inside his awkward stocky little body. Precious! I found myself smiling from ear to ear as the hug lingered and Harvey mouthed a protest but didn't shrink from the affection. Even sweeter still was Harvey's ready acceptance of the role as best man for Louis' wedding. Le sigh!
Also wonderful was Jessica's touching delivery of a sentimental gift to Louis: a photo of the team together at the Pearson Hardman retreat years previously. Isn't it amazing how far this whole group has come in the three short years they've been gracing our screens?
Rachel Threatens Mike (In a Good Way)
One of the scenes that got to me was Rachel's tearful insistence to Mike that he is not allowed to have a heart attack. What else can we say about that scene except that it was amazing?
Memorable Quotes Abound
- "The bedroom is a no mom-talk zone." ~ Sheila to Louis while in bed
- "I'm going to sue you for sucking." ~ Louis to woman stealing his cab
- "What are you the apology police?" ~ Harvey to Donna
- "If anything happened to you, Harvey would be a total mess." ~ Donna, actually talking about herself
- "I don't know why I had a heart attack but I promise I won't do it again." ~ Louis to Sheila
- "The genius of Donna is every day." ~Donna to Rachel
Once again, Suits gave us an outstanding performance with "Heartburn." One can only imagine what it has in store for us next week with "Know When to Fold 'Em?"
Suits airs on Thursdays at 8 pm ET on USA.
(Images courtesy of USA.)