Along with the slowly unfolding Curious Case of Harvey Specter, the season has built this war between Team Hardman and Team Jessica/Harvey/Mike. Of course, Louis Litt is going to be the deciding factor in all of this. If only Jessica could understand and appreciate Louis Litt.
If last week’s episode was Harvey’s, this one is definitely Louis’ (until that sucker punch at the end). His drive to be valued and appreciated only makes him more sympathetic to us viewers, which in turn must make us more frustrated at Jessica for not seeing it.
A Game of Chess
Louis, for the first time ever, is the man. Hardman has offered Louis senior partnership, a great honor and opportunity that is merely a masked power play. Sure, Louis recognizes this but he is finally being seen and appreciated. This drive to be the man and never be seen makes the character sympathetic and now we can rejoice because Louis is on top of the world, alongside his equals and friends at the firm.
Except Harvey and Jessica are playing a game of chess and they are doing poorly. Sure, with every move Hardman makes they counterattack (excuse this long-winded chess metaphor), but Hardman has more votes than Jessica and he recognizes the value of Louis for the game. Jessica hasn’t.
Jessica, like the other well-written characters on this show, is flawed. Mostly, she is a strong woman and strategic lawyer who likes power. So far, her greatest flaw in the firm is Harvey. Harvey may be the best closer in New York, but he has also brought her a liability in Mike (a ticking time bomb the series can fall back on when it has no other drama going on). This week, her measured respect for Harvey certainly hinders anything she can have with Louis.
In her first confrontation with Hardman this episode, Hardman has legitimate claims against one aspect of her leadership: she should have promoted Louis years ago. Harvey, who is all flash and charisma while he screws over some guy, is not Louis Litt, the hard-working, sniveling unlikable co-worker who does not get nearly any appreciation for the blood bled.
Hardman correctly deduces that Jessica doesn’t have the votes. So, Jessica’s plan to use Harvey as a first line is a little puzzling since she seems to recognize that Louis wants to be the man.
Seeing Louis tell his parents the good news at being made senior partner while they scold him for not having grandkids really makes him stand out to the audience, because we see how much he needs this. When Harvey offers Louis the address of Harvey’s tailor and to take him to lunch, Louis is perkily pleased at being an equal and being a friend.
Five Years Ago, Hardman set Louis up for his own embezzling of the firm, making Louis the greatest schmuck since that terrible movie with Steve Carell and Paul Rudd. Finally, our tragic little sidekick Louis catches on — he is still the schmuck for listening to Harvey and Jessica.
Jessica’s ‘Master Plan’ makes more sense now that Harvey has failed; he was supposed to fail, harden Louis up so it means more when she comes to him. Rightly so, Harvey advises against this because Louis is angry enough for retribution and he holds the power to do so. Something Jessica is failing to grasp. Epicly.
When there is a big scandal, the great PR people make their clients apologize preemptively. It’s a master move in manipulating the public and in getting ahead. Just look at the whole Twilight scandal that people are caring about for some reason. Apologize now, admit doing a great wrong and all will be forgiven.
Jessica is not one to apologize, unfortunately, She’s afforded too much power not to have to apologize, but Hardman can because he is in a position of trying to grab power. Clever it is for Hardman to use his ‘changed man’ spiel to win Louis over. Yes, Hardman was a terrible man who was going to set him up but he is being frank about his intentions now and admits to the wrongs in the past. Hardman that he sees Louis’ merit and wants to do him justice. I think we’ve all been underestimating Mr. Hardman, no? He can still be a good Big Bad if he’s manipulative enough.
Louis Litt, our generation’s Pete Campbell, has a decision to make: Jessica/Harvey or Hardman. Since Jessica’s made him wait 5 years, he’ll make her wait 24 hours. But then he makes us wait, like, a week and that isn’t fair because we’re Team Louis! Tsk.
Mike hasn’t really done much this season, has he? Not like in the first season, when we saw all of the complications of becoming a lawyer. Season 2 is very much Louis Litt and Harvey Specter, but in retrospect there was an undercurrent to what would happen to Mike Ross that has been building for two seasons.
Yes, I’m referring to the timely departure of Mike’s beloved Grammy. I’m sad to see Grammy go, I really am. She had some cute moments this episode, like embarrassing Mike in front of Rachel and wanting to meet Harold. A woman after my own heart!
Grammy passes away.Though this was coming in retrospect, no? Mike is finally wealthy enough to give her a new apartment with some sexually charged help from Rachel. Rachel passed her LSATs with a 172. From seeing Legally Blonde two thousand times, I know this is a good score. Everything is looking up for this guy. As it goes, now his world is rocked.
When I saw Grammy meeting everyone at the office I immediately assumed this was her last appearance. Maybe because my own grandmother is going on 95 (that’s not an exaggeration) but more so because this is the next step for Mike Ross as a character. If Grammy’s his Good Man Anchor, then who will he be if she’s gone? If this season is ‘Who is Harvey Specter?’ then next season must certainly be ‘Who is Mike Ross now?’
Emily E. Steck
(Image courtesy of USA)