Suits 3×01 – The Arrangement

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I recently discovered the brilliance of Suits.

The show has been steadily gaining steam over the last two years and I finally decided to give it a shot. I was ridiculously impressed, and consequently binge-watched the show’s entire two-season run in record time. Now that Suits‘ third season has arrived, I can finally take the time to properly immerse myself in the show’s intricacies week in, week out. Because let’s be honest, Harvey and the gang are more nuanced than 90% of television on the air. So let’s get cracking…

I really love Mike and Rachel. The chemistry between Markle and Adams is off the charts, and they’re both immensely likeable to boot. They’re obviously the show’s endgame couple (or is that Harvey and Donna?), but the writers have done a great job of injecting genuine drama into their relationship. After discovering the truth about Mike, Rachel doesn’t feel he’s earned his post – which is entirely justified seeing how hard she’s tried to reach his stature. It’s really compelling material, and it’s the kind of complication that feels organic while staying true to the characters (instead of dumping a random love triangle on the twosome).

Words can’t express how I much I adore Gina Torres. With every glance and nuance, she imbues so much into Jessica’s steely demeanor. Her sneaky machinations know no bounds, and I loved how she tried to manipulate Harvey this week out of genuine affection. However, her scheming ultimately culminates in one of the show’s biggest turning points yet: Harvey now wants to take his Managing Partner down. It’s a tragic and unfortunate development (I do love their dynamic) but it effectively supplies the season with a sturdy narrative thrust going forward.

Speaking of Mr. Specter, I loved watching Harvey pour his heart out to Mike, genuinely hurt that his protege didn’t come to him after Jessica’s threats. Their relationship is going to take some healing, and I have no doubt it’s going to be engaging to watch. Gabriel Macht has to be one of the most underrated actors working today, and I do hope he gets his due as the show grows.

I think I laughed out loud when I realized that Game of Throne’s very own Caitlin Stark was the defendant (perhaps I’m too used to seeing her in rags?). While this season’s case of the year isn’t terribly engrossing yet, I have high hopes the narrative will continue to twist and turn as our lawyers face the usual myriad of ethical dilemmas and backstabbings.

Pearson Points

– Am I the only one who doesn’t like the show’s theme song? It just never grew on me.

– Some people bribe with cheques, Jessica prefers offices.

– Donna tricking Louis into painting a Hitler-stache along with the hand gesture was awesome.

– I love Abigail Spencer (Scotty), and part of me really wishes she’d stayed in New York. If the airport scene with Harvey was her last, it was surprisingly wonderful.

– It’s worth noting that I have the most enormous crush on Megan Markle (Rachel). My God that woman’s gorgeous. Why isn’t she a bigger star already?

– Louis’ evil moment of the week: ruthlessly kicking the poor lady out of the cafeteria. I also loved him trying to seduce Darby with his favorite tart, a Montblanc, and “the most expensive tea in the world”. His rivalry with Nigel however, I can do without. It’s just tedious.

– Rachel using Code 2 (Richard Gere is in the lobby) to distract Donna was epic.

– Donna didn’t have as many funny lines as she usually does this, but she did get an exceptionally revelatory scene in which she told Mike how betrayed she felt. Dramatic much?

– So I take it, Darby’s gay?

– Mike’s sure got cohones I’ll give him that. He was pretty badass blackmailing Jessica while bringing up her parent’s divorce story. I half expected her to punch through his chest. (Maybe I just have fond memories of Torres on Alias).

– Hardman once told Jessica that Harvey would eventually turn on her. I guess that day has finally come.

Firm Quips

Donna: He signed it. He said it was great.
Harvey: I’m not interested in great. I want it to know who its daddy is.

Rachel: (walking into Mike’s new office) I know it’s not my place but you really suck at quitting.

Donna: Is this the story from that The Breakfast Club?
Louis: I’m not familiar with that song.

Harvey: You grew the mustache back. I’ll let you in on a little secret: it wasn’t a success the first time around.

Must Download Tunes
Sacrilege by Yeah Yeah Yeahs

Conclusion
While The Arrangement isn’t a particularly fantastic episode of Suits, it’s a nonetheless effective and entertaining season premiere.

 Nad Rating
B-

2 comments

  1. I really enjoyed this opened to Suits' third season. From the shift in dynamics to the attempted integration of a slew of new characters, it was all quite fascinating and promises a fresh chapter for our favorite law firm (oh wait, maybe that's Lockhart Gardner or Florrick Agos… never mind).

    Harvey has his game back, and he's a joy to watch when he's in top form. While necessary, it wasn't fun to see him epically humbled in last season's finale. In The Arrangement, he's two steps ahead, unapologetic and ruthless as he uses his betrayers to win Darby's favor. All of this is nudged along delicately by Donna's expert maneuvers. One of the episode's highlights was seeing our main duo (while some might argue that's Mike and Harvey, I like to believe it's Donna and Harvey) thick as thieves again, showing the audience just how valuable Donna's presence is to Harvey's career.

    The monumental change in Harvey and Jessica's relationship is the single most engaging thing about the whole premiere. I love how they are attempting to navigate the minefield that is now their relationship, trying to make-up while undercutting each other and piling more betrayals onto their already tenuous footing. It makes for delicious television! They've traded their conference room for a boxing ring and are dealing almost exclusively in sucker punches. How Darby factors into all of this while avoiding getting sacked is something I look forward to seeing unfold. He might manage – this one's sneaky.

    Louis and Donna's scenes while usually the highlight of any Suits episodes felt tired and forced this week. I didn't feel the usual cackle. Louis' whole storyline with Nigel is unbecoming for the show (and for partners at a law firm). It's too kids-in-the-sandbox for such a professional high-stakes setting. It felt like he was extremely underutilized and given his own distraction of a plot-line while all the cool kids were caught up in the crossfire of Harvey and Jessica's first battle in what looks like it's going to be a season-long war (likely with no victors).

    As for Harvey and Scottie, I actually immensely disliked their one scene at the airport. Scottie is a smart, gorgeous lawyer with the world at her fingertips – much like Harvey. Her “I need something” was much too desperate. Harvey's empty response of “you mean something to me” was supremely unsatisfying. No one was expecting an undying declaration of love. But really? Peanut butter means something to me. It means sugary, gooey goodness that I will regret in the morning. Could Scottie really be that easy? That whole incident undermined the character for me. And it's a sad portrayal of a driven, career woman who just got sent back to London by the man she laid everything on the line for.

    And this leads me straight into Mike and Rachel. I'm not sure I like how things unfolded between them, although they do have enough chemistry to make it okay. I felt cheated when we weren't shown what Mike perceives to be the necessary “roughness” that brought him to this point in his fraudulent career and why that suddenly made it okay for Rachel that he had cheated his way into what she's spent the better part of her adult life failing to achieve. Then again maybe it was a spur of the moment I-really-want-to-sleep-with-you-so-I'll-ignore-this-ultimate-betrayal romp. I hope the next few episodes reveal how Rachel is reeling from the aftershocks of this discovery. Like you said, it's one of TV's more organic relationship dramas.

    Overall, it was a great start to the season. I can't wait to see how alliances change and what trials shake up the newly minted Pearson Darby.

  2. What a thorough review 😉 I can see you're quite the passionate Suits fan!
    I think you sort of convinced me concerning Scotty letting Harvey walk all over her again, but I'm most shocked by Rachel going back to Mike after he freakin' plastered his fake “degree” up on his office wall. This is going to be awesome to watch, and I do hope they let Rachel struggle with the relationship while balancing her own aspirations and insecurities.
    Thanks for stopping by!

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