Everything is going wrong for our heroes. And then, by the end, things are fine.
After a close voting call, Hardman eclipses Jessica as Managing Partner. Jessica and Harvey have lost to Hardman as Louis has switched sides. Meanwhile, Mike is simply a mess, dealing with the loss of his grandmother in predictably unstable ways including but not limited to: weed, sexy times and antagonizing other kids at the playground.
As much as I enjoy this show and its characters, I wish they would have stayed miserable. Now hold up! Let met explain. What happened in this episode wrapped up storylines too neatly and left very little anticipation for returning episodes in January. This summer finale, for me, dully wrapped an otherwise very promising sophomore season.And the Winner Is ...
Not Harvey or Jessica, obviously. Hardman has won the seat for Managing Partner after Louis betrayed his team (Donna's words and opinions, not mine). Hardman has all the power and is using his spiteful bishop Louis, who will gladly pay off his debts because he is a Lannister (nerdy-nerd shoutout to Game of Thrones).
The first task for Hardman is to reward those who are loyal to him -- and by extension punish those who are not. Harvey moves down four floors (which is incredibly insulting), works on menial grunt work he usually makes Mike do, and cannot leave the firm because there is a one year Non-Compete Clause. Basically, the kiss of death for Manhattan lawyers.
"You don't make major life decisions when you're reeling from a loss."
Jessica says this about the firm, after Hardman eclipses her as Managing
Partner. But it's sort of advice for the whole episode, isn't
it? Advice that is seldom taken, I might add.
Mike is just a mess, devastated over the death of his Grammy. He chooses to go to work, but remains on edge and volatile, finally exploding at Harvey, who sends him home. It's an interesting parallel Harvey's grief, and it only highlights how much Mike has changed since joining the firm, but how he still remains emotional.
His emotional overdrive, however, does not lead to good decision making. Like, at all. Immediately, Mike scores weed and gets incredibly high (and probably drunk). Rachel hurries in to clean Mike up for the funeral.
I've always wondered why funerals have the word 'fun' in them, because they are anything but. This one is especially sad because Mike is right; no one's really left who knew Grammy. Finally, he feels like the orphan he's been since he was 11. So Mike speaks at the funeral for himself and for his Grammy. Patrick J. Adams is especially terrific here with his performance.
Now up until this point of the episode, I felt like I had reconnected with Mike as a character. He had sort of been lost in the shuffle as we learned more about Harvey and Louis and Donna. But now, Mike is in hardcore grief mode, making major life decisions after a significant loss. Harvey and Mike Go To White Castle
They don't go to White Castle, actually. They just get high. In one of my all time favorite Suits scenes, Harvey arrives at Mike's place to find Mike stoned and in despair. Mike wants Harvey to leave, but Harvey won't. He knew about Mike's grandmother passing earlier, but wanted to let him vent. So instead of lectures and criticisms on smoking weed for dealing with the pain (and being harmful for the job) he smokes weed too.
Harvey and Mike are high, laughing so hard they can't breathe. They bond again, like two bros after one is broken up with. But this mentor relationship is always deeper than it appears. Harvey gets high for a purpose.
Harvey laments that his father was a
saxophone player, one who believed in love at first sight. His mom cheated,
Harvey caught her but never told his dad. Harvey tries to relate to being alone for a while, even if it isn't quite the same thing the sentiment is there.
Anyway, these two stoned fools venture to the offices to piss in Hardman's
office as retribution. Harvey is going to show Mike what he does with the can opener and we never learn what it does because this is...
Where The Episode Goes South
While Harvey and Mike are going to the offices high, we watch Louis try to break into Harvey's computer. Harvey's inhibitions are gone and he almost attacks Louis. The two are still pretty stoned when they talk trash about Hardman, enough trash to lead to speculation that Hardman set Donna up for the memo. The infamous memo that got Donna fired (among other things).
After some legwork, Harvey and Mike (who are a great team, of course) discover that Hardman manipulated the entire situation from the beginning, including advising the client to bury the memo and later using Tanner to bring the suit against Harvey.
Tanner admits that the memo that got Donna fired and Harvey sued was a fraud. Mike and Rachel find the paper trail and have a heated moment before Rachel is responsible enough to stop it (because of Mike's state of mind).
Speaking of Mike, this little kiss would have been fine if he was just still grieving for his grandmother, but the writers also decided to throw in a totally stupid new love triangle. Enter Tess, Mike's first love who we never knew about (they could have at least had Jenny there). She is sort of like earlier versions of Jenny and Rachel and less awesome/bordering on unlikable. After being rejected, he hooks up with Tess even after learning that she's married. So this is the downward spiral he's in? Moral Mike's morality is gone after sleeping with a married woman. Why, oh, why must he have gone down this road?
Predictably, at a hearing for Harvey in which he refuses to be drug tested (a new policy via Hardman and Louis), Hardman is the one who is ousted and fired. Harvey and Jessica are pleased, while Hardman is one Terminator line away from full villainry. Though, interestingly Hardman suggests that one day Harvey will have to do the same thing to Jessica (and perhaps after a Jessica vs. Harvey showdown there will be a Mike vs. Harvey one?).
Everything is right for our heroes, with the exception of one or two things. And instead of leaving me happy, it leaves me sad that the show didn't dare to have some loose ends for the remainder of the season. It makes me sad that Mike is always caught up in love triangles no one cares about. It makes me sad that it was so easy to dispatch Hardman, who was two notes away from twirling his goatee and wearing mandals (a clear sign of evilness). Everything is right for our heroes but in all the wrong ways.
What do you think? Is everything tied up too neatly? Did you enjoy this mid-season finale?
Emily E. Steck
Contributing Writer(Image courtesy of USA)