Since the series’ inception, Suits has milked Mike’s secret for every drop of drama and tension it was worth, for better or for worse. The looming threat of Mike’s exposure had already worn out its welcome by the time he was convicted. Did that pay off in a satisfying way? Probably not. This season has been bookended by two strong, character-driven episodes, but the eight in between were severely lacking. Suits didn’t need to be Wentworth or Oz, but the show’s version of a white-collar prison was as flat as it was unrealistic ““ Mike’s five-hour bust-out from prison was implausible, even for Suits. While the premiere painted the main six (excluding Mike) as a family, their storylines have rarely intercepted this season, and the quality of the show has suffered from the divide. Donna sums it up best this week when she points out that while Harvey had been focused on getting Mike out of prison, Jessica was busy defending her death-row client and Louis had been preoccupied with his love life.
‘PSL’ reunites the cast and acts as a lovely swan song for Jessica. With Mike now out of prison, Harvey redirects his focus to the firm’s interests, but the damage has been done now that other law firms and existing clients have caught wind of his misrepresentation of William Sutter. Jessica’s oldest client (referenced back in the premiere) is days away from firing Pearson Specter Litt and with Jessica committed to Leonard Bailey’s re-trial, it leaves Harvey and Louis scrambling to hold onto one of their few remaining clients.
Rachel is given the opportunity to command a court room when she is permitted to question Leonard Bailey herself. After talking about becoming a lawyer for so long, it’s a real treat to watch Rachel finally get a taste of the real thing. Of course, shes a long way from actually becoming one. Not only does she have to pass the bar, she then needs to learn about all of the other aspects involved in becoming a successful lawyer. Things like marketing, for instance. Aspiring lawyers often forget about things like this, focusing instead on their role in the courtroom – but the truth is that you’ll never get in the courtroom if you can’t attract clients. SEO for bankruptcy lawyers is so important, in particular. Hopefully, Rachel can achieve this long-standing dream of hers, as there is no doubt between viewers that she will make a good lawyer. Mike is used only sparingly in the finale, acting as support to Rachel and Jessica throughout the trial. Harvey predictably offers Mike a job at the firm as a consultant but his decision is saved for the second half of the season. It’s a weak cliffhanger given that Mike will definitely be back at the firm in some capacity, but Mike and Harvey’s admission that they miss working together is a lovely, understated moment for the two.
Louis’ subplot with Tara continues to move into ludicrous territory. Not only is she pregnant with another man’s child, but Louis proposes to her anyway, determined to raise the baby. It’s the weakest development of the episode; that’s all I have to say on the matter.
Throughout the rockier moments of this season, Jessica has remained the single most consistently written character on the series. We haven’t ever truly seen Jessica as a practicing lawyer, rather someone who resembles a business tycoon. Although she has spent a good portion of the season trying to salvage the firm yet again, we’ve also seen her mentor Rachel and fight for the life of a client. There have been hints since the season premiere that Jessica had grown weary of being a corporate lawyer and her arc this season has culminated in a deeply satisfying send off for her character. She says goodbye to the firm on her own terms, handing the reigns over to Harvey and Louis as she plans to leave with Jeff for Chicago. Louis is enraged by the news, but Harvey’s reaction is much more tempered and he shares a beautiful moment of vulnerability with Donna as contemplates the firm without his mentor.
Jessica’s exit arguably marks a more significant change for the series than Mike’s arrest, which could never realistically be permanent. There will definitely be a giant Gina Torres-shaped hole in Suits when it returns next year, but her absence has the potential to invite more storytelling opportunities for a series approaching the end of its run. There go my dreams for an all-female firm with Pearson and Zane at the helm. Jessica Pearson, you will be missed.
THE REEL SCORE: 8/10