‘Suits’ Season 6.5 Review: Characters in Retro

March 5, 2017 at 12:03 PM | Posted in TV | Leave a comment
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SPOILER WARNING: This TV review contains major spoilers of the back half of Suits season 6. Read at your own risk!

The back half of Suits season 6 just ended its run last week. Considering that the first 10 episodes of the season was a major disappointment for me (read my previous review here), I wasn’t expecting much from episodes 11 to 16. And true enough, Suits 6.5 was really underwhelming for me.

While episodes 11 and 12 came out strong, the rest of the episodes fell flat. First of all, most of its main characters seemed to have gone back to their old ways. Harvey went back to being the selfish a**hole that he was in season 1. Rachel went back to being Mike’s supportive girlfriend instead of being the promising lawyer that we saw in the “P.S.L.” episode. Mike still felt self-entitled and didn’t seem to learn from his mistakes. And while Donna had her own storyline, she remained as Harvey’s loyal secretary. Louis seemed to be the only one who showed growth in the back half of this season.

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

I would have thought Harvey has grown as a character after “The Painting” episode when he dealt with his issues with his mother. I really enjoyed that episode because the viewers got to see more of Harvey’s vulnerable side after what felt like for so long when he had to deal with his panic attacks in season 5. But it seemed like he’s back to being the selfish, arrogant lawyer we saw in season 1 and 2. He still thinks that every problem can be solved by intimidation and blackmail. He thinks that every person has a dirty little secret waiting to be uncovered. He still operates in shady terms – and he has dragged Mike and Rachel into it.

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Photo credit: cybervillager.net

The show’s writers seemed to like explaining this away by introducing another shady character who would strong-arm Harvey into making shady deals. I mean, really? We’ve seen this before in previous seasons. It’s getting tiring already. I’m really disappointed with Harvey this season. Watching him stubbornly trying to get Mike into the Bar despite Mike telling him he’s not coming back to the firm was so frustrating. I wanted to scream at him and smack him in the head! At this point, I don’t think he is fit to be the managing partner of the firm.

The Fraud Doth Protest

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Photo credit: recapguide.com

At the start of season 6.5, I was beginning to like Mike again and started rooting for him when he kept turning down Harvey’s offer to come back to the firm. I actually prefer him to stay working at the legal clinic and be a good mentor for Oliver. They have a good dynamic going on between them. But then, despite his protests and claims that he’s never coming back to the firm, and that he wanted to do good and help people, he eventually partnered with Harvey and lied and deceived people along the way. All because he wanted to be a lawyer again. For me, that just came off as pretentious and selfish. It seems like Harvey is not a good influence for him.

More Than Just Harvey’s Legal Secretary

When I first learned that Donna would be having her own storyline in the back half of season 6, I got excited. I was really looking forward to it. As I mentioned before in my previous posts about Suits, Donna remained as an underdeveloped character. I wanted to know more about her background and see her grow as a character. But the show’s writers unfortunately gave her a ridiculous storyline this season. It was so silly that it’s cringe-worthy.  I could only shake my head in disappointment.

I imagined the writers would at least give her a storyline that’s very close to her interests and passion, or at least something to do with her family. Donna’s passion is obviously in performing arts. She was a promising pianist when she was a teenager and wanted to become a stage actor. The writers could have worked around this story. But what did they do instead? They made her as a digital assistant! They probably thought that it’s cute and funny to have a digital assistant called “The Donna,” but to me, it was just ridiculous! Like I said in my previous Twitter post, Suits and artificial intelligence don’t mix.

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Photo credit: recapguide.com

The sad fact of this was that Donna had to share screen time with a minor character – Benjamin, the IT guy. The digital assistant concept wasn’t even hers, it was Benjamin’s. And let’s not ignore the fact that Benjamin recording Donna for two years without her knowledge was an outright violation of privacy. How creepy and stalker-ish was that?!

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Photo credit: twitter.com/Suits_USA

The only good that came out of her storyline was the fact that Donna finally realizes that she could be more than just Harvey’s legal secretary. And I love it that we finally had a glimpse of her vulnerable side as well, although it’s not enough. We mostly see her as the strong, dependable support of the other characters – from Harvey, Rachel, to Louis and Mike. And it’s refreshing to see that she has vulnerabilities as well. To echo what Donna said in the season finale, “I want something more” for her. I want to see her pursue her own dreams away from the firm even if she has to leave Harvey. I think it would be good for her if she leaves him and be successful on her own. And I really hope the writers don’t mess up with her storyline again when season 7 rolls in.

A Disaster Waiting to Happen

I think it’s safe to say that everybody saw it coming that Louis would eventually break up with Tara. Louis and Tara’s love story felt forced right from the start. I didn’t see or feel any chemistry between them. They didn’t even look in love at all. So it’s not surprising that they fought and eventually broke up. To recap, it was Tara’s decision to break up with Louis after a huge fight. Louis got dumped via voicemail, and it’s rather sad to see him get heartbroken again.

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Photo credit: mic.com

I really admired at how Louis has grown in the back half of this season. He managed to control his temper when dealing with Donna’s case. With Rachel and Katrina’s help, he put the firm first instead of his personal life unlike what he did before. I can’t say the same with Harvey who practically abandoned the firm to deal with Mike – again.

In the Shadows

Rachel seemed to have backtracked in the back half of this season. Instead of seeing her more as a promising lawyer, we mostly got to see her playing the part of the supportive girlfriend again. Although in the beginning of season 6.5, we saw her struggle with decision to either stay at the firm or leave and work for her father, her story quickly retreated into the shadows to focus on Mike. When will Rachel ever get her own story as well that doesn’t involve Mike?

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Photo credit: spoilersguide.com

I feel bad for Meghan Markle that she had to work with this limited material given to her. I’m sure she could do more as an actress aside from just acting as Mike’s girlfriend. I’d like to see Rachel kick ass in the court more without Mike. She shines without Mike in the picture.

And on that note, I really hope the Suits spin-off about Jessica Pearson pushes through and would include Rachel and Donna in it. The women of Suits deserve a better storyline.

Side Notes

  • Jessica came back briefly to save the day. The “Character and Fitness” episode was saved from being a total mess when Jessica appeared. I liked her better as the firm’s managing partner.
  • It’s incredulous that Mike will remain working for the legal clinic but will have an office at PSL. That’s a stretch already.
  • Mike and Rachel’s wedding hasn’t happened yet. How long will the writers have to drag this?
  • Harvey’s dream in the “She’s Gone” episode was pretty telling. You don’t dream about kissing and being in bed with your secretary and still consider your relationship platonic. A note to Aaron Korsh: stop dragging Darvey and get them together already!
  • So good to see Katrina Bennett back again.

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