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Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The "Secrets" of SUITS

Article first published as The "Secrets" of SUITS on TheTVKing.

Some episodes of USA's Suits are more intense than others, with a lot at stake and emotions running higher. And then there are the more typical installments, like this week's mid-season premiere, "Buried Secrets." It may not be a memorable episode that will rank among the show's best, but it's a solid entry with terrific character development, and that's what's most important to keeping a series engaging week after week.

"Buried Secrets" finds the cast segregated, each dealing with their own things. First up is Harvey (Gabriel Macht), who has told Scottie (Abigail Spencer) that he wants to spend his life with her. Step one on that journey is finding her gainful employment in the city before she takes a job elsewhere. Harvey has his eye on bringing Scottie into his own firm, but managing partner Jessica (Gina Torres), wary of Harvey's messy personal life, resists, forcing Scottie into an abnormal contract to cover the firm's butt.

It's not surprising that Jessica goes to these lengths. I will refrain from calling her heartless, but she does have good business sense, and taking Scottie on poses a risk to the long-term security of the company. Having just been through rocky times, Jessica is likely more protective than usual of the organization she has poured her entire life into, and wanting to ensure its continued survival just makes sense to her. She's not a bad guy, and she raises good, logical points when negotiating Scottie's hiring.

That Harvey is the emotional one in "Buried Secrets" says a lot. In the past, Harvey has hurt those he cares about by putting the firm or himself first, so for him to fight so hard for Scottie either shows emotional maturation on his part or a deep love we've never seen from Harvey before. Either way, this is a great development for his character, and whether it lasts or not (I'm guessing not), it will be interesting to watch him go through it.

Scottie and Harvey are almost done before they begin when Harvey makes a move behind Scottie's back. The result is her taking the job and moving to New York, but she's not happy with the way he did it. Thankfully, Harvey is in an apologetic and honest mood, allowing them to work through their differences, rather than sabotaging the relationship. Their banter, including Scottie landing the client that Harvey couldn't, show how they are equals, making her worthy of him and vice versa. Both will have to make sacrifices and it won't be easy, but for now at least, the couple has a real shot at working.

Mike (Patrick J. Adams) and Rachel (Meghan Markle) are much more solid this week. Discussing moving in together, their biggest obstacle is furniture negotiation. Now that Mike's secrets are out and they have both committed to one another, they should have smooth sailing, romantically speaking, for the near future.

Which doesn't make them boring. "Buried Secrets" finds Mike facing the lawyer that handled his parents' death case. Mike has always hated the guy and convinces Harvey to let Mike on the case, which Harvey probably shouldn't do, but the elder lawyer is feeling soft because of the aforementioned plot. The result is a very enlightening story about Mike's past and his view of his family, and on the fringes, Rachel shows the type of support most people only dream about receiving from a partner. It's a good, rich story for Mike, made better by Rachel's presence in it. Rachel is Mike's family now, so this has to last.

The thing that might bring Mike down is his lie about having attended Harvard and actually being a lawyer. For awhile, it's been a stable situation, with all of the main cast knowing except for Louis (Rick Hoffman). Unfortunately, Louis is the one who can't be trusted with that information, and he really begins to get on the scent in "Buried Secrets."

I don't like when Louis is cast as the villain on Suits because he's such a great, layered individual, brilliantly acted. This premiere avoids labeling Louis so simply. He does bad things sometimes, but usually his heart is in the right place. Louis likely thinks he will be protecting the firm by exposing Mike, so as much as fans may not want Louis to uncover the full truth, it's hard to blame him for following the clues. And, of course, it shows much intelligence and persistence to piece together the bread crumbs as Louis does, showcasing some of Louis' best qualities.

Louis' story, which includes a look at his weird, wonderful relationship with Sheila (Rachael Harris) and some amusing exchanges with Donna (Sarah Rafferty), is probably the major arc this half of the season will deal with. It's also a fine example of great storytelling, with no right side or wrong side, a number of intricate, moving parts, and delicate balances which may fall apart. I look forward to how this will unfold, even while dreading Louis figuring out Mike once and for all.

Suits airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET on USA.

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