The merger with Darby may have saved Pearson from a slow demise, but it didn't save the relationships of our favorite associates from crossing irrevocable lines.
The desperate attempts of our favorite legal eagles to salvage, and in some cases further damage, those relationships dominated the Suits Season 3 premiere, "The Arrangement."
Perhaps the most obvious struggle took place between the two most important people in Mike's life, Rachel and Harvey. At the end of Suits Season 2, Mike was forced to leave Harvey out in the cold and finalize the merger. While it saved Mike' secret, it caused a deep rift between him and Harvey, clearly a driving plot point for the season.
Mike, determined to make sure that Harvey got what he needed to help him sign Ava Hessington as his client, met resistance from Harvey's most ardent supporter, Donna. We don't typically get to see the two of them interact directly very often, but when we do ("Break Point," anyone?) it's not pretty. If one need know just how far out of Harvey's graces Mike has fallen, one need look no further than that confrontation.
And the hits didn't stop coming, either. Mike struggled with telling Rachel the whole truth or keeping the new office Jessica gifted him after the merger. While it seems Mike chose the former over the latter, the former seemed to actually yield more benefits. Despite the dream that awoke Mike in a cold sweat, it seems telling Rachel wasn't the worst thing in the world, at least for now. If their romp was any indication, these two will be doing their best to work it out.
That doesn't mean the fact Mike possesses a fake degree from Harvard won't cause tension between them on account of the fact that Rachel didn't get accepted there, effectively blocking her from becoming an attorney. There's plenty of room for that in the cards too. Do you think Rachel is the forgiving type, or could this be a hidden relationship hangup?
Yet Mike isn't the only one looking to play his hand. Estranged from Mike and now forced to live under the terms Jessica set for Harvey at the firm - including an extended non-compete clause and the continued absence of his name on the door - he's now enlisted Darby in a quest to take down Jessica.
We all knew this had to be coming. There really isn't anything new under the sun, as last season's "Rewind" taught us. The mentee always wants to become the mentor, and the assumption of that role always comes at a very steep and potentially life-changing cost. Like Gina Torres revealed in our set visit interview, Harvey acts out of emotion more than logic in more cases then he'd care to realize.
Clearly, he's starting to wish he had a time machine. At least then he might have had the chance to salvage the opportunity to keep his name on the door with a few different choices.
Louis was another associate wishing he had made a few different choices in the past, chief among them placing Nigel on his efficiency list, especially after discovering that Nigel had been omitted from his. The costs are staggering and becoming increasingly painful. I'm sure Louis would have gladly sacrificed his bran bars and Uniballs to retain his beloved associates. They were one of the only things over which Louis possessed any control.
However, what I was most depressed about was the fact that Louis no longer has a mudding buddy. I was really rooting for their budding bromance at the end of last season. Then again, might we have the opportunity to see some bromance bud between Mike and Louis? All the good things on this show take place either in the bathroom or the file room. I really loved the moment between Louis and Mike and the advice Louis gave him about helping Harvey. We'll see where this relationship might go, especially since Louis has no associates and Mike had no mentor right now.
One thing about this episode that really struck - and quite frankly disturbed - me had to do with the whole Hessington case that will likely dominate the season. There's a lot in play, and Darby's deep interest in it has me wondering how much we'll be able to trust this guy. I'm guessing about as far as we can throw him. And did anyone think it was creepy how they kept referring to Darby's "relationship" with Ava's father? Yeah, definitely not sure how I feel about that.
Then there's the whole mater of Cameron Dennis returning to apparently go head to head with Harvey. It seems he keeps butting heads with all the people who have helped make him who he is today. Only time will tell what the interactions will yield.
Despite all the drama, there were several moments that did much to break the tension:
- Donna tricking Louis into imitating Hitler. That moment will go down in Suits history as one of the best pranks.
- Mike tricking Benjamin in IT into revealing the fact he'd hacked his personal computer. Way to put one in the pocket, Mike.
- Barbara L. Tottingham. I will never look at BLT's the same way again. Or bran bars. Or Uniballs.
- And, of course, this review wouldn't be complete without a warm welcome to Game of Thrones alum Michelle Fairley. We look forward to all you'll bring to this A-list cast!
So much in store for Suits Season 3! What are you looking forward to most, Suitors?
C. Charles is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.