“Thunder Away” isn’t really a stand-alone episode, so it’s hard to think of it as such, or review it as if it were just one story-line with a clear beginning, middle, and end. “Thunder Away” is the beginning of the end, and yet the table has been set in such a way that, well …we can’t help but have a pretty good idea of what’s coming.
A win. One for the firm, and one for Harvey, even if the win doesn’t look like they’ve always looked for him. Life has changed.
It’s not just about Lily, though in a moment like this, a moment of grief, it would be easy to assume it is. Harvey has been changing for a while, he’s been growing for a while. Lily wasn’t – isn’t his reason for everything – she’s just another reminder that life is short, and that we should absolutely not wait to do what we want.
To live the life we’ve always dreamed of.
Except the thing is, Harvey has already been living the life he’d always dreamed of. Or he was, for the first few seasons of this show. Not so much lately. Not so much since Mike left, since he and Donna got together, since he lost his mom.
No, it isn’t one thing. But sometimes, loss has a way of reminding you of all you have, all you didn’t let yourself want. Loss has a way of realigning your priorities. Because loss – grief – doesn’t actually change you, but it does reveal who you are, deep inside, or at least, who you want to be.
We’ve known for a while Harvey doesn’t want to be this hot shot lawyer, living in a penthouse, working till the wee hours of the morning, stealing moments with Donna here and there. We’ve known for a while that he wants a life with Donna, a real life, not one of stolen moments. And we’ve known for a while that he wants to use his talents for good, real good, not just helping out a client or another, whoever can pay him more.
And wouldn’t that be the full circle moment this show needs? What’s more beautiful than to sit back and look at the Harvey we met in the Pilot and the Harvey we have now. Sure, there were some detours I wouldn’t have taken (I’m looking at you, Paula), but in the end I gotta say, I’m still pretty darn proud of this Harvey, the one we’ve gone on this Suits journey with.
(You ain’t fooling me with that last scene, Mr. Korsh. I’ve got you figured out.)
So let us talk about grief, family, and what forever looks like for these characters as we discuss “Thunder Away”:
Back when episode five aired I was adamant that couldn’t be the end of the Mike story-line in season nine. It just made no sense that they were going to end this show with Mike and Harvey at odds, or resolve it off-screen. But of course, since the show was trying to keep Patrick’s appearance in more than one episode hidden, we all had our moment of wondering if they were really going to leave it like that.
Thankfully, they didn’t. And as much as I would have liked to see Rachel, it’s Mike who had to be here, it’s Mike Harvey needed, and more importantly, it’s Mike the firm needed. Because jokes aside, he has always been the Robin to Harvey’s Batman, a Robin that one day grew up, moved away and became Nightwing, but one who still always had Robin’s back.
I’m not even sorry for that comic book reference, Mike did it first.
But the point is, this was always how this show was supposed to end – just the way it started – with Mike and Harvey fighting side by side. In that respect “Thunder Away” sets the stage perfectly, and leaves us with the future of the firm, and these people’s relationships, hanging in the balance.
Except, with just one episode to do, there’s little drama – at least for me. This isn’t going to end badly, it couldn’t. That’s not the final episode this show deserves, and that’s not why you bring Mike back. No, I’m sure that we’ll find out that, right down to the end, Harvey was being Harvey, Mike being Mike and Donna …well, she’s always been Donna.
Just what we wanted.
DONNA, FOREVER DONNA
Lily knew it, we knew it, and it’s bad writing that Harvey took so long to figure out that Donna was his forever, but we’re going to forget about the bad writing for a moment and just talk about the fact that Donna is Harvey’s forever. And it’s not like Harvey needed his mom’s approval, and not like he wouldn’t have done it without her quasi blessing, but the fact that he had that, well, it just adds a little extra.
Harvey is a complicated man, a deeply emotional mess of contradictions, and it’s taken seasons and mistakes and a hell of a lot of love to try to unravel those. But here we are, faced with a man who knows himself better than he ever has, a man who accepts the love he knows he deserves, and also a man who’s finally, finally, able to return that love in full.
Not just brotherly love, because he was always better at showing Mike he cared (I said better, not good), than he was at showing Donna he cared, and boy, his relationships with Louis, and his mom, not to mention Marcus, have come a long way. But like I said before, it all comes back to Donna. It had to. In fact, it took way too long to get there.
But here we are, because from the first episode, we’ve known that as much as Mike helped Harvey along the road towards becoming a better person, his guiding light, his port in a storm has always been Donna. And that’s not to say that Donna is just that and she gets nothing in return, no. She gets Harvey, fully, completely, and we know – she knows – that he’d literally jump in front of a train for her. He’s proven that again, and again, even before they were a thing.
This is a relationship of equals – we’ve just been on this journey from Harvey’s point of view, more often than not. And now that this journey is about to end, it’s important to reflect back on his change, because this is, after all, his story.
I wish it had also been Donna’s. At times, I would have traded 90% of the characters in this show for more of her. I still have a lot of issues with timing, and screen time (rant to come), but in the end, I want to take a moment to be glad for Harvey Specter. For the man he grew to be. It’s been a pleasure, Harvey. It truly has.
BUT WHAT WAS THE POINT OF FAYE AGAIN?
This is the final season, and silly me, when Faye showed up, I thought there was a bigger reason to her being around, that there was a lesson these characters had to learn, and the lesson came in the form of Faye. And yet, with only one episode to go, one I really, really hope she isn’t very much involved in, the one question on my mind is this: what was the point?
Why did we waste precious screen time on this story-line? Why did “Thunder Away” need to happen the way it did? What did Faye bring to the show that we could have gotten no other way? What lesson did these characters learn by having her around?
Yeah, I can’t think of anything either.
These are all loyal people willing to fall on the metaphorical sword for each other. Check. We already knew that one. The Team with Rotating Names is a family and they will never stop fighting for one another? Oh yeah, we knew. Harvey is a good guy deep down, not a cutthroat robot?
WE BEEN KNEW.
So why, in the final season, did we get so much of Faye? I don’t have an answer to that, other than there was a desire to re-establish all that we knew, and Faye seemed to be the easiest way to do it. And I get that, on paper, I do, but in reality, I would have taken more time with the people I actually care about. I really, really would have.
Things I think I think:
- Did you really have to flash back THERE?
- “I’m doing the best I can. None of us are perfect.”
- Thank God Mike is there.
- Donna’s face at Harvey’s pain.
- “You being here now says everything.”
- THANK GOD WE GET A MIKE/DONNA SCENE.
- Donna always has the best ideas, it is canon.
- We deserve that Harvey/Marcus hug.
- I really love Mike this episode.
- A ROBIN REFERENCE.
- Kill me now.
- Of course he’s there to help Harvey.
- OMG THE THREE OF THEM TOGETHER AGAIN.
- It was too soon. But hey, it was also the best joke this show has done in weeks.
- Samantha’s dress in that scene in Faye’s office, HOT DAMN.
- Also Faye stole whose office again? How was that office available for her?
- This is actually really smart, it’s not like Faye has ANY proof. And Mike being there actually makes it seem like she did nothing wrong.
- It’s kinda cute Harvey knew what they were doing beforehand.
- Win and I go, says Faye.
- Hmm, I’d take it.
- “If you think I’m going to keep this from Donna, you’re out of your mind.”
- YES, LOUIS, I DON’T KEEP THINGS FROM DONNA.
- Even like, criminal things.
- Like hiring a dude without a law degree as my associate and sending him out there into the world to practice law.
- Things like that.
- And hey, it’s apparently not too soon to joke about that!
- I actually like Donna going to Alex.
- Donna looking out for Harvey is my favorite thing ever. Not that this has changed since season 1.
- They had to know Mike would know every inch of those bylaws,right?
- Mike’s like I know you better than this, Harvey.
- Wait, Donna reading Faye the riot act IS my favorite.
- “And if you hurt Harvey more than he’s already been hurt, mark my words, I’ll be the one coming for you next.”
- DANG, DONNA.
- I LOVE IT.
- “Maybe you really are as good as they say.”
- You think, Sam?
- Louis face at the mock trial lol
- “Don’t you say another word about my partner.”
- “You come back after someone I love, you’re gonna get it back like you’ve never seen before.”
- Mike’s like IN CASE YOU FORGOT YOU’RE ACTUALLY GUILTY.
- Awww Harvey and Louis.
- This is THEIR moment.
- “Thanks, my friend.”
- She left a letter and a ring. A LETTER AND A RING.
- KILL ME NOW.
- It’s so cliché.
- And guess what?
- I don’t care ONE BIT.
- GIVE IT TO ME.
- “I’ll tell you, Donna, but not today.”
- Come on, Mike knows. He knooooows.
- He doesn’t know what he knows, but he knoooows.
- OMG LOUIS.
- There’s taking it a step too far, and then there’s THAT.
- This is the first time in the history of this show that I think everyone’s doing what’s best and they’re still all in deep shit because of what the others are doing.
- Miracles never cease.
- Faye is the most ineffectual character ever. I don’t even know what she wants, and I DO NOT CARE.
- You’re not controlling the narrative, though, Louis.
- “I’m not putting Mike through that ringer.”
- Oh, Katrina.
- Awwww, Harvey just wants Mike.
- Also, you ARE putting Mike through that ringer.
- Mike will get it. Mike always gets you, Harvey. It might take a bit, but he will.
- And aw, Louis, too.
- “You mean someone who’s lost both parents.”
- And HIS BEST FRIEND, Mike.
- She fired Katrina too?
- At this point she might as well close the firm.
- That final scene with Harvey and Mike.
- And the heartbreak at the end.
- You get it, Mike. I know you do.
- I haven’t watched nine seasons of this show to believe you don’t.
- “Because more than anyone else, she gets me.”
- Yes, move to Seattle to be a couple next to Rachel and Mike.
- That actually sounds like a fic ending and you know those are my favorite kind of endings.
Agree? Disagree? Did you enjoy “Thunder Away”? Share with us in the comments below!
Suits airs Wednesdays at 9/8c on USA Network.