Everybody loves a good dream sequence. Oh wait, no they don’t, because it’s a lazy plot device. Unfortunately this week’s episode of Suits opens with Mike’s nightmare that Harvey has come to tell him that Kevin killed Rachel in a car accident. For a minute there it almost seems like a strategic move on Harvey’s part, particularly given his recent reckless behaviour, except the spinning camera movements are a dead giveaway.
This dream sequence quickly proves to be a moot point because Mike spends the majority of the episode reminding everybody that his parents were killed by a drunk driver, the very crime Kevin was convicted for, sans actual murder. Sure, it creates a strained dynamic between the new friends and cell mates, but (and forgive me for this) the ‘dead parents’ card has been played one too many times on this show that it feels trite.
Thankfully, ‘Spain’ is far less convoluted than the episode that preceded it. Harvey continues to conspire with Sean Cahill to expose William Sutter for insider trading in exchange for Mike’s early release. Cahill reveals that Kevin (Sutter’s son-in law, for those still playing catch up from last week) created an algorithm that is supposedly responsible for so much of Sutter’s successful trades. Harvey then uses Mike as the driving force to get Kevin to turn on his father-in-law, even though it seems he went to prison protecting him. After a tense, well-acted scene between Harvey, Mike, Kevin and Sutter, Mike finally manages to draw the truth out of Kevin. This trading program Kevin created was simply used as a cover for the fact that Sutter was always practicing insider trading and Kevin’s wife was abetting him all along.
While Jessica has little to do with the plan to get Mike out of jail, she does involve herself with William Sutter, determined to sign his firm before Harvey secretly tanks his defence. Although Jessica and Harvey are technically on the same side, Harvey’s interests are purely aligned with Mike, while Jessica is once again the only name partner trying to rebuild their business. This continuity is one of the few aspects of season six that Suits is really nailing and the scene in which Jessica crashes Sutter’s lunch is purely delightful. “So are we actually going to talk business or am I just going to bill you for the pleasure of my company?”
Rachel’s subplot with Leonard Bailey moves along nicely as she attempts to locate a missing alibi from twelve years ago. Rachel is really getting the chance to get her feet wet as a lawyer, perhaps even more so than when she was understudying Harvey or working alongside Mike as a paralegal. Here, Rachel is the superstar leading the case. While this season has been a disservice to certain characters – more on that in a moment – season six is quickly proving to be Rachel’s year. Plus, this may be literally the first episode ever where she doesn’t utter Mike’s name.
This brings us to Louis and Donna’s storyline, the most problematic of the episode. As ludicrous as it is to buy an entire house simply to hang out with a woman, it is very typical Louis behaviour. Though it is a relief that this didn’t drag out for several episodes, I have to disagree with Tara – there is nothing remotely romantic about Louis’ actions, and it’s a little appalling that the writers don’t understand this is creepy, underhanded behaviour. Surprisingly, this is not my biggest contention with the episode.
The treatment of Donna this entire season is, frankly, a little staggering. Louis spends the entire episode berating Donna and ordering her around as if she’s the help, and the worst part is that Donna just takes it. Every episode Rachel’s characterisation is getting sharper, while Donna is relegated to a verbal punching bag by Harvey or Louis, or both, depending on what week it is. It’s sickening and completely out of touch with what audiences have come to know about her tenacity and take-no-bullshit attitude.
For somebody who was once a fan favourite, Donna’s characterisation is the weakest link of season six. It’s the one glaring flaw that even die-hard Suits fans won’t be able to overlook.
THE REEL SCORE: 6/10