But if you're like me and you're in the show for smart, engaging drama, characters being faced with difficult choices that involve them risking the things they care about most, really good acting, and a frank, mature and challenging approach to romance, then you won’t hate this episode.
It's probably my least favourite of the season, because it's short on humour, and it lacks a Harvey who's anything other than pissed off or sad, and because Mike is struggling so much it’s kind of hard to watch, but I think it moved the season’s story along in the right direction. Because more than ever we’re starting to see that Mike can’t function without Harvey, or without his Pearson Specter support system. I have no idea whether the ultimate plan is to bring Mike back to PS as a fake lawyer, but the show is strongly suggesting that he’s not cut out for this Investment Banking malarkey, and that without Harvey there to protect and guide him he’s headed for an implosion.
He's just way out of his depth right now - I'm not getting any sense that he likes the work he does, or that he's comfortable doing it, or that he could settle into it long term. There's a marked contrast between Investment Banker Mike and Lawyer Mike. He enjoyed being a lawyer (largely because of his partnership with Harvey but also because the work itself was satisfying and not solely about making money) but he doesn't enjoy this. Jonathan Sidwell is no mentor, all he does is threaten him. Amy's loyalty is conditional. Mike’s betraying all his friends, and making an enemy of Louis, all in the name of winning. He claims it's for the greater good, but I think he's scared, he's scared of losing, and so he's playing dirty with people who care so much about him they can't get their heads around his methods - even if they're the ones who taught him those methods. Everyone in this episode is disappointed in Mike - Louis, Donna, Rachel, Harvey and Amy - and he just betrayed the man who gave him his job. He is skating on wafer thin ice and I have a suspicion things are going to get worse for him before they get better. *hugs him*
And poor Harvey - he can only look on helplessly as Mike makes mistakes, and it kills him. He even tried to mentor him again, he tried to help him, but Mike doesn’t trust Harvey at the moment because he assumes whatever Harvey says to him is just another move to ensure Mike loses. But we know that Harvey is truly worried about Mike, and his instinct to protect him remains fully intact.
And then there’s Rachel and Logan. Not a simple situation at all. I’m sure a lot of fans are mad at the writers, or at Rachel for nearly betraying Mike, but this is not about Rachel being tempted away from Mike by some fly-by-night charmer. This is the only other man Rachel has ever loved. They have a complex history and they still mean a lot to each other. He still loves her. Logan's love for Rachel is well established, and while I don't think she's the reason he came to PS, because he was surprised when he first saw her there and that surprise seemed authentic, he does want to start something back up with her.
I love that this show contains so much complicated romance, and that it tackles those stories with intelligence and guts. Rachel's private life is now smack bang in the middle of her work. She's faced with the choice between her past and her present, and the past has an intense pull on her because it was never resolved. She broke up with Logan while she still loved him. He chose to return to his wife. They still care enough for each other to exchange favours. They still enjoy each other's company. And she brings out a very human side of Logan - when he's with her he relaxes, he allows himself to be vulnerable, he's himself with her. There's chemistry between them, and trust, and they know each other. This was my favourite of all the storylines, because the show did a great job of showing us what these two had, why they fell in love, why it got serious, and why their feelings for one another continue to linger.
Plus Rachel is disillusioned with Mike right now. She doesn't agree with the choices he's making – yes, his choices come from a place of nobility (saving the company and the jobs of thousands of people) but she can't abide the cost of those choices: he keeps hurting the people closest to him – almost irreparably so – and Rachel can't condone that, nor does she understand how Mike can, and their scene in this episode reflected the growing tension between them. She's ripe for the picking basically. The further she drifts from Mike the more appealing Logan becomes.
Delighted that Jessica gave into temptation so quickly and made the decision to let herself be happy with Jeff. They're bats about each other and they should be together.
Harvey's more of a background player in this episode, reacting with annoyance to everything going on around him - but I always enjoy seeing him lose his temper with Louis (because angry!Harvey is sexy). I mean, don't get me wrong, I feel bad for poor Louis (and he really was dragged through the wringer here) but at the same time he's such a fool and he fucks up so often that I can't blame Harvey for being frustrated with the man. I mean, seriously, my first thought when Mike brought up Sheila's engagement was that it was bullshit, and yet Louis doesn't even for a second consider the possibility that Mike's making the whole thing up just to rattle him?
But Louis is an emotional, naturally trusting person. He wants so badly to believe in the people he cares about that he trusts them even when it's obvious to everyone else paying attention that they're fucking with him. The reason Mike was able to play Louis so expertly was because he knew that about him. What Mike didn't bargain for was quite how much he would end up hurting Louis. I think he assumed Louis would take it in the spirit it was intended, but in fact this was a line he shouldn't have crossed and his 'but i'm doing it for the workers!' excuse doesn't really cut it when that means breaking a friend's heart.
OH GOD EVERYONE IS IN SUCH A DARK PLACE AT THE MOMENT. Here, have a Harvey smile to cheer you up:
- My interpretation of the irritable/incredulous look on Harvey's face when he says to Louis, "You know The Karate Kid?" is that in that moment he's pining for Mike something fierce. He can't banter with Louis about movies and the subject only serves to remind Harvey how good it used to be when he had Mike by his side. *sob*
- Always a pleasure to see the fantastic, and fantastically funny, Neil McDonough.
- I love that Harvey doesn't have a problem with the way Mike chose to fuck with Louis (and that he figured out his strategy instantly because he knows how Mike thinks, and he would've done exactly the same thing in Mike's shoes), he's only got a problem with Louis falling for it.
- When Harvey gets angry all I want to do is calm him down with a blowjob.
- One theme of this episode is the allure of past loves: Rachel's attraction to Logan, Louis's devotion to Sheila, Jessica's inability to keep Jeff at arm's length.
- It hurts me a little to hear Louis call Harvey his best friend, because the feeling is really not mutual. *cuddles Louis*
- The casting of Eric Roberts = another great choice. Charles Forstman is terrifying.
- Mike is in such a difficult position but I understand his reasons for the choices he's making, and that's why this is good drama.