Suits Season 3, Episode 5 “Shadow of a Doubt” Review

Rating: 9.8

“You’d better shut up and eat your potatoes!”  Don’t mind if I do, Mr. Zane.  Don’t mind if I do.  While I’m at it, I’ll review a spectacular episode of Suits that was all about developing relationships between characters.

I remember seeing spoilers for the current season of Suits that mentioned a meet the parents dinner with Mike and the Zanes.  Color me surprised with the way that turned out.  I figured the dinner would be horribly awkward and involve some sort of predictably awkward moment with Mike being judged by Rachel’s parents as unworthy.  Instead, what we got was a chance for some great character development for Rachel, some Mike Ross/Daddy Zane bonding time, and a nice setup for some future relationship issues between our favorite (non-bro) couple.

Rachel is becoming a real character, rather than that girl who constantly whines about not getting into Harvard.  Not only did we get to see where she comes from and how much of a carbon copy of her mother she is (great comedic moment with the perfectly in sync Lady Zanes, by the way), but we also saw real progress in her dream to finally become a lawyer, rather than “just” a paralegal.  It’s great to finally see this character have an actual path in front of her, and I’m even more impressed with the way Rachel played lawyer with Mike tonight.  Meghan Markle really showed her talent as an actress in the way that she just dove into new territory for her character and made it absolutely believable.  I didn’t think “wow, this is out of character,” as I easily could have done because Markle has been subtly showing us this side of her all along, and then she brought it out with a bang tonight.

Speaking of ladies that brought it tonight, Sarah Rafferty is the best.  No, really.  THE. BEST.  I love everything about Donna.  Sure, we can give credit to the writing and directing, but at least for me, a character’s likability has always come from the actor or actress in charge, and I absolutely adore Rafferty as Donna.  I really do.  She’s great comic relief, and that is one hundred (and a bonus ten, even though that’s mathematically impossible) percent because of the way that Rafferty delivers every single one of her lines.  Donna is not your stereotypically meek secretary-type.  It’s not something that I expected for even a brief moment because Rafferty does not leave it as a possibility.  Ever.  Donna is a superhero.  My girl was off having her “lunch break” at the “dentist” but managed to have everything Harvey needed ready for him before she left and anticipate exactly what he was going to tell her over the phone.  Best character ever.

And THAT SCENE where Donna reveals her love affair with British Harvey to Actual Harvey.  Shot to the heart.  Seriously.  There’s a vulnerability in from both characters that is not remotely there on a regular basis, but much like with the growth in Rachel, it was realistic because Rafferty and Macht did their jobs and did them damned well.  My notes say “utterly heartbreaking, painful, and a tad bit awkward.”  Yes.  That.  Also, Harvey might SAY the issue isn’t personal, but I’m going to go out on a limb and say that it is.  That was not the face of a guy who wasn’t hurt.  Kudos go to Macht, of course:  for the end of Donna/Harvey scene, to Harvey on the verge of snapping while still trying to play it cool when British Harvey threw Donna in his face, to his reaction to Jessica’s gift at the end.

As far as the end of tonight’s episode goes, I’m going to steal Mike Ross’s standard reaction to big/shocking/exciting/enlightening news and give it a “holy shit.”  Harvey just got everything he’s always wanted.  He got it in a beautiful, quiet scene in which Jessica was about as vulnerable and heartfelt as we’ve ever seen her but in which Harvey himself was still wary of her motivations.  He got it right at the end of the episode because that’s what the Suits writers do beautifully.  They absolutely, a million percent (more abuse of Mathematics!), know how to leave viewers wanting more.

Is this how a writers’ room conversation at Suits goes?  Because I think it is…“Oh, it’s an episode about relationships between characters!  We’ll give them some development on the Mike/Rachel front, sprinkle in some issues for Donna and Harvey, show Harvey actually going to Jessica for help on a case so that people THINK that’s the Specter/Pearson element, show interactions between characters and their British counterparts, and then BOOM!  THERE’S your Specter/Pearson moment!  HARVEY’S NAME ON THE M-FING DOOR!!!”

Extra notes that can’t be ignored but also don’t fit with my relationship theme:

  • Louis Litt continues to be one of the best written, and best played, characters on television.  The argument with British Louis in the mudding scene, the bonding over cats with British Louis, and the actually believing Donna’s glow was about yoga and not sex were all flawless.  It was kind of despicable that he was so upset about the “Louis Litt blew me” trophy from Nigel after the way he took on blonde chick as his partner after the way she humiliated Mike.  Come on, dude.  Don’t be Harvey Hypocrite.
  • Rachel asked to be the Mike to Mike’s Harvey.  AWKWARD.  I was so, SO glad she mentioned something about Harvey and Mike not having sex at the end of that little scene.  Then again, I’m sure there was already plenty of M-rated Harvey/Mike fanfiction out there anyway, so.
  • Michelle Fairley and Gina Torres were together in the same scene.  They were utterly flawless.  There is nothing that I love more than two strong female characters going toe to toe and coming to an understanding over common issues.  These two are the best.  I think I’ve said that about pretty much everyone tonight, but it’s really because it has to be said about everyone on this show.
  • My only real complaint is that the Mike/Rachel argument over Mike going to the Zanes’ for dinner was short-lived in true Suits fashion (although at least there wasn’t any expensive food this time), and the line from Mike about being white or whatever was not remotely funny.

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  1. Great review! Agree with everything you said except the last part, I did think Mike’s line was funny. 😉

    • Thank you! It did not give me a funny, but it’s cool to disagree. :)

  2. Greay summary Of An awesome Ep! Totally Agree About Donna! She Is The Best And I Can’t Wait To See The FlashbacK Next Week And See More BackStory Btw Her And Harvey.

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