‘Suits’ 2.11 Recap: “Bring Coconut Oil, a Ski Mask and Duct Tape”

Even though it’s been off the air since August, the USA network officially considers last week’s return of ‘Suits’ to still be part of the show’s second season. Most series on USA have seasons of about 12 to 13 episodes, but this one is apparently popular enough to merit an extension. I’m glad to hear it. This is one of my favorite cable dramas.

As we last left things, the conniving Daniel Hardman had been ousted, and Louis was promoted to senior partner. Mike screwed things up badly with Rachel (again), and is having an affair with a married woman named Tess. Harvey has also begun to get serious with jury consultant Zoe (Gabriel Macht’s real wife, Jacinda Barrett).

In the winter premiere ‘Blind-Sided’, Harvey takes a case to defend a rich kid who hit-and-run a graffiti vandal on the street at night. The kid, Liam, insists that he wasn’t drunk, and that he feels enormous guilt about the way he panicked and fled. Harvey intends to plea him down to community service and a fine so long as he turns himself in. However, the sexy D.A. named Katrina (Amanda Schull) is a ball-buster who threatens to prosecute after the victim dies. It turns out that Katrina really wants to go to the private sector and is angling for a position at Pearson Hardman.

Harvey worries that this case may hit too close to home for Mike, whose parents were killed by a hit-and-run driver. Indeed, Mike offers the victim’s family a much larger settlement than they asked for, and then attempts to pass Katrina privileged information when he finds out that Liam was actually high at the time of the accident. Katrina doesn’t act on it. Mike gets indignant when he learns that Harvey offered her a position at the firm, and believes that this was quid pro quo. Harvey has to remind him of the danger of Mike being discovered if he were caught violating the attorney code of ethics by betraying privilege. Mike has let his emotions cloud his judgment. Harvey tells him to get his shit together.

In an amusing side story, Louis has a new girlfriend (Rachael Harris) who’s basically the female version of himself. He also finds himself intimidated by hyper-competent first-year associate Maria (Aarti Mann from ‘The Big Bang Theory’). The girl poses a threat to Mike, in that she was Secretary of the Harvard class that Mike allegedly attended and doesn’t remember him. To protect Mike’s secret, Jessica forces Louis to rescind his job offer to Maria under the excuse of a hiring freeze. When Louis learns that Harvey hired Katrina and realizes that there is no freeze, Jessica lets him believe that this is a punitive action against him for previously siding with Hardman.

Like every episode of the show, this one features plenty of compelling moral dilemmas, strong writing and great performances. Considering how stale the legal drama genre has gotten, it’s amazing that a series like this can still feel so fresh and relevant.

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