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SUITS 2.09 ‘Asterisk’

Louis gets caught in the crossfire between Jessica and Hardman as the two fight to secure his vote.

Episode Title: "Asterisk"

Director: Jennifer Getzinger

Writer: Justin Peacock

Previously on 'Suits:'

Episode 2.08 "Rewind"

Story:

Harvey (Gabriel Macht) approaches Donna (Sarah Rafferty) outside of her apartment and hands over her bonus. She immediately rips it up and tells Harvey how upset she is with him over what happened at the trial. When the topic of her feelings for him comes up, Donna says she loves Harvey like a brother, not a lover. Harvey tells Donna he needs her to come back to Pearson Hardman, as he can't be who is without her and she finally agrees, on the condition that she get a bigger bonus. He immediately hands her another, larger check.

At the office, Hardman (David Costabile) calls Louis (Rick Hoffman) into his office and asks where his check is. Louis thinks he's talking about his bonus, but Hardman explains that he is talking about a buy-in check as he is naming Louis the newest senior partner. Louis is clearly elated by the news, but Hardman tells him to wait until the partner meeting where he will make the announcement.

Harvey goes to court to try and stop a libel lawsuit against an opinionated sportscaster, who claims a baseball player who has hit a sudden hot streak is on steroids. The judge rules that the case will go to trial and the ball player's lawyer tells Harvey he wants his client to make an on-air apology to the player.

At the office, Louis apologizes to Donna for what he put her through at the mock trial. Seeing how happy he is and that he's wearing an expensive new suit, she deduces that Hardman has made him a senior partner. She brings the news to Jessica (Gina Torres) who confronts Hardman about trying to buy Louis' vote. She offers to let Hardman leave the firm and take a few of the lawyers with him, but he sees the move as a lack of confidence on her part.

Jessica tells Harvey what happened and asks him to make nice with Louis in order to secure his vote. Harvey invites Louis out to dinner that night to celebrate his promotion. There, he tells Louis that Hardman set him up to take the fall for his embezzlement, but Louis sees through the tactic and accuses Harvey and Jessica of using him.

After their client refuses to issue an apology to the baseball player, Mike (Patrick J. Adams) comes up with a way to get the suit dropped. Meanwhile, Harvey takes another crack at Louis. He admits to trying to use him and tells Louis that no matter what he thinks of he and Jessica, if he takes Hardman's offer it will look like a quid pro quo deal.

Mike tells Harvey he found footage that reveals the sportscaster's source: an up and coming catcher who stood in for the ballplayer when he took his drug test. Mike confronts the player outside the ballpark and threatens to expose the scheme if he doesn't drop the suit and retire.

With Louis unwilling to budge, Jessica tells him she had every intention of making him senior partner when the time is right. When he makes a veiled threat not to support her, she warns him that if he's on the wrong side after the vote, there won't be any coming back. Afterwards, Louis confronts Hardman about framing him. Hardman says he's a changed man and tries to appeal to Louis' ego.

Harvey tells the sportscaster that the suit has been dropped, but he won't back off the story. Harvey then brings in the catcher and threatens to expose their relationship, which would hurt both their careers. The sportscaster agrees to drop the story.

Louis gives Jessica his buy-in check, as he's agreed to accept her senior partner offer. Elsewhere, Rachel (Meghan Markle) stops by the apartment Mike just bought for his grandmother and lets him know that she's passed away.

Breakdown:

This week's episode of "Suits" asked Louis Litt the question "who do you wanna be, Roger Maris or Babe Ruth?" While we know Louis will never be Babe Ruth so long as he's at the same firm as Harvey, he can at least hold his head high knowing he made senior partner on his own merits and not by selling out to Hardman.

That's not to say the timing of Jessica's offer is purely coincidental, but can you blame her for using a little leverage in her campaign against Hardman, whose tactics are equally if not more sleazy? As Louis' head is spinning over who to align himself with while he prematurely celebrates his promotion with expensive suits and pricey opera tickets, the build-up to Jessica and Hardman's showdown promises a down and dirty dogfight in next week's mid-season finale.

In the meantime, "Asterisk" asked a number of interesting questions, all of which will probably burn even hotter after the finale:

- We know Donna loves Harvey (like an annoying family member she claims) but does she love him? And even more intriguing, how does Harvey feel about Donna?

- What exactly happened "that other time" Harvey was at Donna's apartment?

- Will Louis vote for Jessica now that he's accepted her senior partner offer and will Harvey really vacate his office for Louis?

- How will Mike handle his grandmother's death? And will it bring him closer to Rachel? Seems like kind of a no-brainer, but still worth asking.

- What will the loser in Jessica and Daniel's power struggle do next? Neither of these two is bound to give up that easily.

"Asterisk" turned up the heat as Jessica and Daniel made some final plays before their meeting with the firm's partners. Though Jessica is slightly more likable than Daniel, she's employed plenty of backstabbing and under-the-table tactics to get where she is at Pearson Hardman, which is part of what makes "Suits" so good. No one's truly infallible. Except for maybe Mike and Rachel. Oh wait, Mike's a fake lawyer so I guess that just leaves Rachel.

On that note, the death of Mike's grandmother came as a big surprise to the dutiful grandson and to me as well. Just a day or so earlier, grandma made her way to the office for an impromptu visit. Her sudden death felt a bit melodramatic and is obviously a telegraphed plot device to get Rachel and Mike together and throw him off his game, at a time when Harvey and Jessica need him the most.

That aside, it was great fun watching Jessica and Hardman's tug-of-war over Louis, a character whose need for validation and respect calls up Jon Lovitz' old Harvey Fierstein 'SNL' bit. Louis Litt just wants to be loved, is that so wrong? That might depend on who's showing the love. We'll have to wait until next week to find out.