Suits Round Table: Donna The Partner

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Donna Paulsen is rising up the ranks at Pearson Specter Litt. 

On Suits Season 7 Episode 1, she managed to get her hands on something most lawyers could only dream of. The odd thing about it is that she is not actually a lawyer. 

Below, TV Fanatics Jasmine Blu, Christine Hinton and Stacy Glanzman discuss Donna's new role, Harvey's new crush and what's coming next for Louis. 

Suits Round Table 660px

Are you shipping Harvey and the therapist?

Jasmine: I don't feel strongly about it either way. I actually forgot that there were implications of romantic chemistry. I am glad that she brought up countertransference and extended the offer for therapist recommendations.

It would have bothered me if the controversy over his dating his therapist went unaddressed.

Christine: I’m not a fan. I liked her as his therapist but I never felt any chemistry between them, and I still don’t. This pairing seems like just another way to keep Harvey and Donna apart. 

Now as for the car that Harvey was driving…of that, I’m a fan!

Stacy: I'm not shipping them, but I like the idea of Harvey dating someone. I was getting really tired of the "will they/won't they" with Donna, so if this means they're moving on from that (at least for awhile), then I'm all for it. 

What did you think of Donna becoming partner?

Jasmine: I find it absurd and bordering on offensive. Yes, the premise of this show is that a guy with no law degree becomes a lawyer, but even Mike wasn't handed, Senior partner.

The path to becoming a lawyer, let alone partner at a firm, is long, arduous, soul sucking work from Law School forward. I am not a fan, and this rubbed me the wrong way.

It's bad enough Mike cut corners and Rachel (who graduated in 10 minutes) is already calling shots like a veteran. Now, Donna, an executive assistant with no law degree nor corporate/business clout, is handed a title that people like Jessica and Louis (who was screwed at every conceivable turn) worked their butts off for years to get.

She didn't even think to fork over half a million from her rainy day fund until Gretchen reminded her.

Donna could have been promoted or given any number of titles with power without becoming a Senior partner. I would have loved it if the show played off of her "Donna knows all" bit, and she led the firm's private investigations or something to that effect.

That would have been within her wheelhouse. 

Christine: I didn’t hate it as much as Jasmine, sometimes non-attorneys with other skill sets do become partners in a firm, but this was a serious stretch. 

I’d gladly accept Donna with more responsibility and power at the firm, but Senior Partner really felt like it came out of nowhere. 

Stacy: As Christine said, it felt really out of the blue. She's never expressed any interest in being a partner before, and I'm not sure she really gave it the right amount of thought (especially since the money part didn't even occur to her).

It's not a direction I would have guessed the show would go in, but now that it has, I'm willing to see how it plays out. 

Mesmerized by the City - Suits Season 7 Episode 1

Does Louis need to take a break from the firm?

Jasmine: Yes, that or real closure. He lost Tara, the chance of being a father, and his mentor/friend all at once. He needs to process it without taking it out on everyone around him. It's frustrating that he always has to regress.

He's not the show's antagonist anymore, so why keep putting him in that type of position over and over again? The worst part is, I can almost understand much of his irritation. He always gets screwed.

Christine: Louis needs therapy even more than Harvey. With the way he abused not only the associates but Donna and Rachel, I suddenly felt like Tara was right to leave him. 

As Jasmine said, I’m tired of watching Louis seem to make some progress only to revert back to the same bad behavior. It’s both boring and disappointing, and I wish the show would do something different with Louis. 

Stacy: Yes, he needs some time to get back in the right head space. He's no help to the firm right now. Therapy would be a great start. I agree with the above that it's tiring constantly watching Louis take one step forward and two steps back.

We want to watch characters continue to grow, not grow a little bit and then revert back. 

Searching for Something - Suits Season 7 Episode 1

Did you agree with Harvey's way of dealing with Neil at the end of the episode?

Jasmine: I agree with Harvey finding his own way, which ironically is a not as subtle but similar way as Jessica. Hey, it worked. Classic Specter.

Christine: Yes. He both didn’t allow the client to bully him and yet found a creative solution. It was good to see Harvey find his footing once again. 

Stacy: I wouldn't say I personally agreed with it, but for Harvey it made sense. He found a solution and didn't take crap from the client, so it was a win for him. 

Is Oliver Back? - Suits

Should Mike have told Oliver about his departure sooner?

Jasmine: Yes! He spent all that time trying to prove that he wasn't "that guy" and ended up coming across as precisely that when he bolted and didn't communicate. It's going to be interesting when Oliver joins him though. That has to be coming up, right?

Christine: Yes. How difficult would it have been to pick up a phone and talk to the guy? It just showed that Oliver was low on Mike’s list of priorities. 

On the flip side, Mike was right that he could help the law clinic, and Oliver, far more now that he’s back at the firm, and I look forward to seeing how that plays out.

Stacy: Yes, telling him sooner on his own terms instead of being ambushed would have made that conversation go a whole lot better. I am looking forward to seeing them work it out though. I like watching them work together. They make a good team. 

Settling In - Suits Season 7 Episode 1

Which storyline are you finding the most exciting?

Jasmine: Definitely the gang trying to figure out how to run the firm without Jessica. I love that her absence was felt and that Harvey had to work through his feelings and learn how to take the reins.

It's going to be interesting watching him pave his own path with the help of everyone around him. I want to see what this new firm looks like with all these different influences.

Christine: With Jessica gone, this is almost like a reboot of the show. Everyone is moving up and taking on different roles, and it’s exciting to watch. But as for my favorite story, as much as I'm not sure about Donna becoming partner, I do look forward to seeing her in this new role.

Stacy: I'm looking forward to seeing Rachel take on the associates. That's always been Louis' job, so it'll be interesting to see what she does differently. 

What's Next? - Suits Season 7 Episode 1

Grade the Season 7 premiere. 

Jasmine: B-. I appreciate them setting the season up for a new chapter. It feels like a new series in a way.

Christine: B- sounds about right. I like the forward momentum but Louis was regressing, and Harvey and his therapist are just weird. But I suppose that just means there’s plenty of room for improvement as the season continues. 

Stacy: I'll give it a B. I'm taking points off for Louis' bad behavior, but it was a promising start to the season. I think they've set us up for some interesting stories. 

Over to you, Suits Fanatics. Hit the comments with your take on the questions. 

Remember you can watch Suits online right here via TV Fanatic. Get caught up now!

Note: Suits Season 7 Episode 2 airs Wednesday on USA Network. 

Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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Suits Season 7 Episode 1 Quotes

Therapist: Harvey... what you doing here?
Harvey: Nothing, I was just driving this baby around and remembered how much street parking I had.
Therapist: Is that supposed to impress me?
Harvey: Well, I hope so. It sure as hell impresses me.

Nathan: Good. You're here early. I need you to take point in a consumer fraud hearing.
Mike: Nathan, I need to talk to you.
Nathan: Look, I know things got heated between us the other night, but as far as I'm concerned, it's water under the bridge. So, if you're wondering if I'm still upset at you, I'm not.