This episode didn't have quite the emotional punch of last week's but it still has a lot of things to recommend it, not least Rachel finally getting her own storyline, and one that had nothing to do with Mike. We find out a little bit about Rachel's past, about her relationship with her father, Robert Zane (played by the great Wendell Pierce, of The Wire and Treme), and we finally finally finally get a couple of Harvey/Rachel scenes because this show loves me. Louis's storyline grabbed me less, but I did enjoy aspects of it, his final scene in particular.
I love with the fire of a thousand suns that we open the episode with Harvey and Mike playing a game they invented together (dunking rolled up sheets of paper into the wastebasket) and that Mike is terrible at it and Harvey is awesome at it and totally kicks Mike's ass but that doesn't stop Mike enjoying himself, and it's kind of exactly like the fic I just wrote except they don't end up having sex because Jessica interrupts them (DAMN HER). My point is, I nailed the characterisation, which means it's only a matter of time before they make out onscreen. O.O
It's Rachel's birthday and she's out for lunch with her dad and we learn that he's taking on a gender discrimination case against Pearson Hardman and he gives Rachel the heads up so she can get off the case, should she happen to be on it. Already this stinks of gender discrimination, and the fragility of Rachel and Dad's relationship is soon revealed to us when we find out that he doesn't think Rachel has what it takes to be a lawyer and that he thinks of her as a "beautiful woman" rather than a smart woman, and it *kills* Rachel because she wants to be respected and admired for her brains and her abilities, not because she's insanely hot. Which she is, but let's not dwell on that. He's kind of a dick, her father, let's be honest, and I think one of the problems with this episode is that I never actually warmed to him. I'm going to blame the writers here rather than the actor (who we know can be incredibly appealing), because it's difficult to like a character who's basically the antagonist throughout, fighting on the side of a company that discriminates against women, who clearly has his own prejudices against women (including his own daughter), and who was only very briefly sweet - in his last scene with her. Which also didn't quite work for me because he said foie gras tasted like ass. Uh, no. There are plenty of reasons to hate foie gras (related to the ethics of how it's made) but not because of the way it tastes - it's fucking delicious okay, like pâté but a million times better and richer and more fabulous and you don't have to be a foodie to appreciate it. It does not taste like ass and clearly whoever wrote this episode has never eaten foie gras. Unless it was meant to be a joke but if it was it was a bad joke because there's no truth in it. /end food lover rant
"I know you keep a low profile at work."
"That was supposed to be between me and Mom."
So we learn that she has a good relationship with her mother and her parents are (presumably) still together.
The Louis/Katrina story... most of the humour didn't land for me (I think maybe because Amanda Schull isn't very funny? She didn't spark off Rick Hoffman very well, not the way the rest of the cast do - or Rachael Harris, for that matter - so I'm not yet convinced she's a great fit for the show, but I'll keep an open mind) but the emotional beats did. I'm a bit weary of Louis bullying people, but at least there's a good reason for his anger/bitterness - not just because Katrina got a job that should have gone to someone else, but because he's depressed over his fractured relationship with Harvey. Poor smitten Louis. He will always love Harvey more than Harvey loves him. :'(
Rachel wants on the case so she can prove something to her dad, and Mike's shocked reaction to finding out that Rachel's dad is Robert Zane leads to this conversation:
Rachel: Is it so hard to believe that my father's black?
Mike: Robert Zane is black?!
Rachel: You think this is a year round tan?
Lol very meta. I get the distinct impression that this line was meant for more than just Mike's ears, and I particularly enjoyed Markle's unimpressed delivery - like, a lot of people (and fans of the show) probably don't know that Markle is biracial; hell, a lot of shows would just ignore this fact and cast white actors as her parents (*glares at Smallville*) so not only is it refreshing to see the show choose not to whitewash her heritage but to actively call out people's ignorance... Kudos.
Harvey's appalled looks towards Mike when he's being all deferent to Robert Zane = priceless. (b/c obvs Harvey is the only one Mike should be calling 'sir')
Harvey: This better not end up with you in bed with her telling her your secret.
Mike: Not a problem, we'll do it on the couch *points at Harvey's couch* Wow. That was not respectful to you, me or her.
Harvey: Or her father.
Mike: Or your couch.
Harvey: Not my couch.
kim47 and bewarethesmirk have already demanded H/M/R porn based on this conversation, because yes. I feel strongly that Mike's "we'll do it on the couch" involved Harvey as well as Rachel, especially because he then included Harvey in the list of people he was disrespecting. GOD. I really want them all to disrespect each other and that couch all night long.
Donna looks fab in the beautiful rose coloured dress, and I liked Katrina winning her over with cookies.
Rachel/Harvey scene #1
Okay so this was interesting. Harvey tests Rachel by making her explain to him what he wants from her. Which, fuck me that's horny. He's so dominant Rachel just slips naturally into the role of doing exactly what he says, and pleasing him with her correct answers/brain power. But more importantly Harvey needs to know that Rachel is aware of what she's getting herself into, that she's going in there with her eyes wide open, that he's NOT coercing her in any way, shape or form, and he needs to make sure that she knows how and why Harvey is going to use her. There's a fair bit of deference in her body language/the way she responds to Harvey but he is absolutely respectful of her throughout (unlike the way her father treats her) and I love him for that. Of course, then he watches her leave. Which I don't think he'd do if she weren't a super hot woman with a great ass. Just saying.
Rachel joins the deposition in order to rattle Robert Zane. Mike is disapproving ("Harvey, what did you do?" "My job") and then kind of a dick to Rachel afterwards, although I guess kind of right about the fact that she's making the case about her rather than the client. it's just...this is one of those clumsy procedural plot devices wherein the case our heroes are working on is a reflection of the what's happening in the characters' personal lives, which Suits does as much as any show (and which Gabriel seems to think is an original approach. lol no honey) but is it particularly sledgehammery this week or do I just normally choose not to notice it??
OH GODDDD HARVEY AND MIKE. so perfectly perfect. Harvey readies himself for another lecture from Mike:
Harvey: Here it comes, speech number 162, fourteen reasons why I'm an asshole.
Mike: No this is gonna be 216.
Harvey: That's unchartered territory.
LOL. Harvey's actually quite excited by the prospect of a fresh list of reasons but when he finds out it's about Rachel he says, "You promised unchartered territory, we've been here before."
*SCREAMING* Is it just me or is this scene extremely erotic? Harvey's not only willing to listen to Mike telling him off, he enjoys it. They're so flirtatious with each other I can't handle it at all. And then Mike taps him on the chest when he accuses Harvey of making things personal and excuse me while I have an orgasm
Rachel/Harvey scene #2
Rachel accosts Harvey during his coffee and bagel "me time" and starts walking with him down the street, demanding to know what she needs to do to help him win the case and beat her father. Harvey is charmed by her and shows it the only way he knows how: with sarcasm.
Harvey: Now I get it.
Rachel: No no no this isn't about me and my father, this is about the client.
Harvey: No I meant, why Donna likes you so much
Rache: Oh, thank you. I like her too. (lol, Markle is AMAZING here, she and Gabriel have awesome chemistry I'm so fucking happy)
"Would you like to eat my bagel now too?"
And then Rachel, who is nervous and not thinking straight (because Harvey makes her nervous), actually for a split second thinks he's serious, takes the bagel out of his hand, says "thank you" with a delighted smile, before realising what a complete idiot she's being. Funniest moment in the episode, and if you don't ship these two by now I don't know if we can be friends, because UGH. Perfection. Also INTERESTING. Their dynamic is just RIFE with potential. I cannot tell you how much I want the show to develop this relationship - it's going to be amazing.
Rachel talking to Mike about her relationship with her dad made me tear up.
I'm not crazy about the way Mike talks to Rachel in this episode. There's a doucheyness to it that rubs me up the wrong way - like, he's just a bit too condescending and if I were in Rachel's shoes I'd probably want to slap him. That said, I think...it is okay from a writing/characterisation pov, because after everything they've gone through it makes sense that Mike would be a touch brittle around her (even while he's trying to impress her father behind her back, because he's still in love with her).
Donna should never wear maroon. Bring back the rose.
The chemistry between Louis and Donna is so good it kind of highlights how flat it is between Louis and Katrina.
I LOVE that Mike interrupts Harvey's me time exactly the same way Rachel did. For the sole reason that it's terribly amusing. Harvey's all, "you're not getting my bagel" because that's a memory he won't be letting go of any time soon (but he doesn't explain what he means to Mike, because it's private).
How much do we love that Harvey and Mike are on the right side of this gender discrimination suit and are planning on turning it into a class action suit, because more than a hundred women were denied promotions because they're women, and that's unacceptable? OUR BOYS, FIGHTING FOR OUR RIGHTS. ♥
Jessica is phenomenal. I love the way she responds to threats - by making much scarier threats of her own. You do not fuck with Jessica Pearson. Also, hotdayum she's well dressed.
See, the final Louis scene was awesome and that's because it wasn't about his weird beef with Katrina, but because it was all about Harvey (and by extension Donna). The posters all over the office were just SO Harvey, I love it. I love that Donna told Harvey that Louis was missing how things used to be; he was missing being PRANKED, he was missing Harvey and Donna talking to him even if the talking was just them giving him shit, and Harvey responded to that with the most puerile practical joke in the WORLD (Louis brings out the frat boy douche in Harvey <3) because he actually does want things to be cool between them, and here are all the poster slogans I could make out:
LITT, LOUIS: ABRAHAM LOSER
LITT, LOUIS: ARRESTED FOR BEING A DICK
DANGEROUS WITH PERFECTLY SCULPTED CUTICLES
LITT, LOUIS: NORMA'S BITCH
LITT, LOUIS: SENIOR ASSHOLE
EDIT: Here are all the posters, including the one I wasn't able to make out (LITT, LOUIS: NAIL SCISSOR ASSASSIN)
Have to agree with Donna, he does look *kind of* hot as a bad boy. It's a great photo of him.
I think I like Jessica and Harvey quoting movies at each other just as much as I like it when Harvey and Mike do it. Because it's always a bit of a (funny/awesome/cool) surprise when Jessica plays along, and she and Harvey have such a good relationship and they're all really just family at this point and and and *sobs*
HARDMAN'S COMING BACK WOOOOHOOOOO.
That's right, I'm psyched. He's such an awesome antagonist because there's something disarmingly likeable about him. *boogies*