‘Suits’ 3.01 Recap: “You Really Suck at Quitting”

Apropos of Friday’s Roundtable post about favorite lawyer movies, last week also saw the return of my current favorite TV series about lawyers, ‘Suits’ on the USA Network. As excited as I was for the show’s return, I found myself very confused when I didn’t recognize any of the clips in the “Previously on” recap at the beginning. It would appear that, with all of the hustle and bustle of my house-buying and moving earlier this year, I missed most of the back half of Season 2 without even realizing it. I hate when things like this happen. Now I have to struggle to keep up with all the storylines in the new season.

The last thing I remember watching, our heroes Harvey (Gabriel Macht) and Mike (Patrick J. Adams) had successfully ousted corrupt partner Daniel Hardman from control of the firm that bore his name. It the meantime, it would seem that the company has merged with a British firm owned by Edward Darby (Conleth Hill, who plays Varys on ‘Game of Thrones’). Darby has 51% control of the new entity, called Pearson-Darby. From what I gather, Harvey opposed the merger, and feels betrayed by both his mentor Jessica (Gina Torres) and Mike for conspiring behind his back to push it through. Mike argues that he had no choice because he was ordered by Jessica, but Harvey, who values loyalty above all else, won’t hear it.

Harvey wants out, but a Non-Compete clause in his contract prohibits him from leaving to join another firm or start his own. To get around this, he strikes a deal with Darby to take on an incredibly difficult case involving an oil company CEO (Michelle Fairley, also from ‘Game of Thrones’) accused of bribery. Darby has close, personal ties to this client that make winning at all costs essential. If (when) Harvey proves victorious, Darby must strike down the Non-Compete clause and let him go.

Mike feels terrible and tries to get back in Harvey’s good graces by surreptitiously helping with the case, but to no effect so far. Mike is also burdened by guilt over having lied to Rachel (now officially his girlfriend) for so long about not really having a law degree. He has repeated nightmares about her exposing him to the firm. Rachel tells him that the only way to clear his conscience is to quit, but before he can try, Jessica rewards him with a new office. Later, Mike decides to stay with the firm, but gives back the office in the hope that it will help patch up his relationship with Harvey.

In a very funny side story, anal-retentive Louis gets into a petty feud with the firm’s new Quartermaster named Nigel (Adam Godley from ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’) over a lack of Raspberry fiber bars and Uniball pens. Louis connives to have himself appointed Quartermaster to get the upper hand, but in doing so, Nigel uses an obscure Darby company bylaw to take away Louis’ control over the associates, essentially stabbing Louis right in the heart.

By episode’s end, Harvey returns to Darby with an updated proposal. He no longer wishes to be let out of his contract. When he wins the case, he wants Darby’s backing to become new Managing Partner, in a coup that will force out Jessica.

The great thing about this show is that, even though I’d missed a big chunk of episodes, the writing is so good that I feel pretty well caught up by the end of the premiere. Judging by this episode, the series is still hitting the same high standards for quality. I’ve programmed my new DVR to make sure that I don’t miss it again.

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