Suits goes deep into the question of who exactly Harvey, Samantha and even Louis are, as “Scenic Route” moves the show along the path to a conclusion we’re not exactly sure we want anymore. But then again, they always say that’s the perfect time to leave: when no one wants you to.
A few years ago, I would have said it was time to end this show. Now, with Suits seemingly clicking on all cylinders, it’s become harder for me to consider letting go. To think of a time where I won’t have these people in my life. Funny, how a TV show can sometimes become so intertwined with your life, with your friendships, that letting go feels a little like mourning.
But it’s not time to mourn yet, no. It’s time to celebrate the people we’ve known for so long, and the journey we’ve seen them take. So, let’s do that as we discuss “Scenic Route” and Samantha’s issues, Louis’s deception, as well as the Darvey of it all.
THE DARVEY OF IT ALL
There’s a lot to unpack here, and some of it seems super obvious, but allow me to go into it anyway, because growth is important and must be not just pointed out, but recognized.
Harvey and Donna have always loved each other – even when they were far from being a couple, even when they were just partners in crime, I think it was clear from the beginning there was real affection between them. More importantly than that, I think the show has always made it clear that Donna has always been the person who understood Harvey the most, that their bond went well beyond co-workers.
This episode, this very short separation, is the catalyst for, I think, the next step of Harvey and Donna’s relationship. They’ve been together for so long, physically together, even when they haven’t been emotionally together, that sometimes all it takes is a little break from that for you to realize …that you don’t want a break. You never want to be apart from the other person again.
For Donna, the outwardly more emotionally open half of this couple, and yet the person who repressed her feelings for Harvey so deep for so many years that she didn’t even know what she felt at one point, this new stage of their relationship means that she not only feels comfortable getting Harvey a gift of this magnitude, but asking for favors from those closest to her to do it – and more importantly, not lying about her reasons.
Donna Paulsen is in love with Harvey Specter, and she doesn’t care who knows it.
That’s huge, because Donna’s entire position inside the office has always sorta hinged – at least in her mind – on people thinking she was loyal to Harvey, yes, but not that loyal, if you know what I mean. And now Donna is in a position where she doesn’t feel like she’s there just because of Harvey, but also where she feels confident enough in what they have together to be bold and loud about it.
It’s beautiful to see.
As for Harvey, well, accessing so many of his emotions has been difficult for the poor man, and we must give him credit for all the growth he’s done. Not just accepting Donna into his life, but loving her openly, even coming as far as sharing with Samantha how long he’s had feelings for Donna, feelings he repressed because of issues that had nothing to do with her or him.
Harvey, of course, has done more than that. He’s also reconciled with his mom, he volunteered to take Sam on this trip to find her real father, and he offered some real, important advice about how to move forward. And all this while, I keep on wondering …how does Harvey move forward?
With Donna, of course, always, but what else? Because that throwaway line about Harvey’s admiration for Mike doing the right thing is just reinforcing this idea I’ve had since the beginning of the season that Harvey doesn’t really want to be the best closer in town, not anymore. It seems absurd, but it seemed absurd for Jessica once, and we know how that ended.
If happiness is the goal …what does that look for Harvey Specter? He’s got Donna, and he’s got his work family, no matter what he decides. But I get the feeling his decision goes a little beyond that, and that we might finally get the Harvey Specter Mike Ross always thought he was.
And wouldn’t that be an amazing way to come full circle?
I’D RATHER BE ME
I know this was the comic relief part of the episode, and Rick Hoffman is …well, amazing at making this stupid storyline that we’ve seen about 47 times before work, but seriously …we’ve seen this about 47 times before. How many times does Louis have to learn the lesson that he doesn’t have to be Harvey to be good?
Sometimes characterization suffers in the way of plot, and that’s one of my issues with using this as the comic relief. Louis has grown a lot, and though he’s never been the most confident dude in this firm, he’s come a long way from the days of Harvey is the best and I’m just here trying to keep up. He’s Harvey’s partner now, and there hasn’t been a time in the past few seasons when Harvey has treated him as less than an equal.
Which is why the show should do Louis the courtesy of treating him just like that …an equal. Sure, he can fuck around and pretend to be Harvey, but the reasons for it should be more about playing a prank on Harvey, or legitimately being caught off guard, than any deep emotional insecurity. Louis, at this point, should know who he is and what he can do.
Because we, the viewers, do.
LET IT GO
Samantha has never been my favorite character. I’ve never disliked her, but I’ve felt it hard to connect with her at times, because she’s too strong and she’s too brash and I’ve met so many people like her in my line of work, so she just rubs me the wrong way. That being said, I think part of my issues with her also have to do with the fact that I understand what she’s coming from. I understand that it’s all a front she feels she needs to put up.
When you graduate from law school, as a woman, you have to choose one of two fronts, the one Katrina uses or the one Samantha uses. I chose Katrina’s. Doesn’t mean I understand the choice Sam made.
Especially considering what we learn about her this episode: Samantha is the kind of person to take it all upon herself, every thing that’s wrong with the world, even – or especially – the things that are outside of her control.
This has to do with the way she was raised, yes, but a lot of it is also …who she is. She wants to win, yes, because she feels like she’s lost enough, and like absolutely owes her something, but she also wants to never feel like she isn’t in control anymore. Like she isn’t the best.
We can all sorta relate to that.
For Sam, though, the important thing about this episode, about the discovery that the anger she’s been holding on all her life has been misplaced, isn’t that she must change the foundations of who she is for others …she must change for herself. Because carrying all that rage is not just destroying her relationships, it’s destroying her.
Sometimes – a lot of the times – bad shit happens. Doesn’t mean it’s the end of the road, doesn’t mean things will never turn around. Doesn’t mean everyone will let you down. And it absolutely doesn’t mean you can never be happy. You can. You just gotta take one step forward, and then another, and another.
Little by little. And the good thing for Sam is that she doesn’t have to take this journey alone. She has a family, one that she chose and that chose her. One that will always have her back.
Things I think I think:
- If you want me to be hyped about what the fuck Harvey and Mike might have planned that you still have Mike in the “Previously On,” then let me tell you, Suits, IT’S WORKING.
- SHE PACKED HIM BREAKFAST.
- What does Harvey even eat for breakfast on the regular?
- These are all questions that could be answered in a 40-minute special of Suits where “Harvey and Donna do domestic.” It’d be a hit, I promise.
- Oh, so cute, Harvey, you think Donna is gonna be concerned?
- “Their man”? LOL.
- You said it.
- “As far as I’m concerned, you’re the best man for any job.”
- “And I love you.”
- This show is coming for my bacon.
- No need to hide the “me too” behind that cough, Harvey.
- God, Louis. God.
- I know you’re gonna be the comic relief in this episode, but COME ONE. Haven’t we learned this lesson already?
- How do I erase the Harvey wig from my brain?
- Why Donna? Why did you say yes? Just, why?
- I mean, other than plot dictated it.
- “I don’t just admire him, Samantha. He went to prison for me.”
- SAY YOU LOVE MIKE, COWARD.
- Finally, she apologizes.
- Now we’re good Sam. Now we’re good.
- “How do you eat so much and stay so thin?”
- Newsflash, Louis, we don’t.
- “Thinking like Louis got me into this, thinking like Harvey is gonna get me out of this.”
- Is that a recipe for disaster or what?
- SHE WAS WILLING TO TRADE TWO FAVORS FOR THIS.
- Donna “No one ever gets two favors” Paulsen.
- I’M LIVING.
- “You know who Gandalf is?”/”I know who everybody is.”
- It sounds like she and Gandalf are intimate and everything.
- But, like, HOW in the world did he get Harvey’s number?
- Harvey finding this whole Louis thing funny is GROWTH.
- And Harvey giving sound advice …growth times 50.
- “You never heard of Gandalf?”/”You know I’m not a sports fan.”
- This legitimately hurt me, Katrina. PAIN.
- Nothing Harvey is doing in this episode makes sense, from the car to the scenic route thing. Harvey doing shit because the plot dictates is my least favorite Harvey.
- Samantha literally blames herself for everything.
- “Deep down, for years, I knew I wanted to be with Donna. I just couldn’t access it.”
- Now there’s the tea.
- “You know I don’t like to be held accountable for my actions.”
- MORE TEA.
- Answers are good, but having no one to blame is probably disorienting for Samantha.
- Harvey-with-the-good-advice is right, though. Letting go is the best thing for her.
- Donna missing Harvey, Donna getting Harvey not a gift, but THE gift, and Donna just …being open about all those things, are some of my favorite things in this freaking season, wait, show.
- “I’d rather be me.”
- THANK YOU, LOUIS. I’m glad you learned that lesson again.
- I’m crying at that ugly ass painting again. How many times does that make?
- “I Thomas Crowne Affaired that shit”
- Legit never getting over that.
- She’s said I love you twice, and she’s so soft, and he’s so soft and has so many feelings except now he can process them better, and he isn’t alone, and I’m making myself feel things.
- “I love you mom.”
- AND HE’S CRYING.
- SO I’M CRYING.
- Damn you, show. Why are you leaving me?
Agree? Disagree? What did you think of “Scenic Route”? Share with us in the comments below!
Suits airs Wednesdays at 9/8c on USA Network.