Episode Title: "Blind-Sided"
Writer: Ethan Drogin
Director: David Platt
Previously on "Suits:"
In "Suits'" excellent mid-season return, Harvey Specter (Gabriel Macht) pointedly tells his associate he’s "not like other lawyers" when Mike (Patrick J. Adams) protests the handling of a case in which a young man was killed in a hit-and run. But the crux of the issue isn’t what kind of lawyer Mike is, but rather that he isn’t a lawyer, at all.
"Blind-Sided" picks up right where "Suits'" summer finale left off; Mike is still bedding his married childhood friend, Rachel (Meghan Markle) is still mad about it and of course, Harvey and Louis (Rick Hoffman) still hate each other. Despite operating within the firm’s rules, Louis is denied a top-notch Harvard-pedigree associate because, unbeknownst to him, she would be able to sniff out Mike’s phony credentials.
One of the great things about "Suits" is how you can hate a character in one scene and feel empathy for him in the next. Louis is the most obvious example, especially in this episode. After Jessica’s (Gina Torres) coup uprooted Hardman, Louis seems to be keeping his head low and trying to play by the rules. But once Jessica agreed to keep Mike on at the firm, the "rules" as anyone understood them, went into an industrial-grade paper shredder.
And so once again, Louis has a bone to pick with Harvey, now that he knows, thanks to recruiter/dominatrix, Sheila, that Jessica allowed Harvey to hire an associate while he was under the impression the firm was in a hiring freeze. No matter what you think about Louis, that’s pretty screwed up. But Louis’ problem isn’t so much his motive as his method. We see him sneaking around the office (yet again) at the end of the hour and we just know he isn’t going to get justice this way. Such is the tragicomedy that is Louis Litt’s life at Pearson Hardman.
Meanwhile, Mike Ross continues to act as the firm’s moral barometer, at just about everyone’s expense. This time around, it’s a case of hit-and-run in which a young man killed a graffiti artist who was fleeing the scene. Though he wasn’t drunk, Mike learns his client was high, after the fact. With a plea already submitted and a costly settlement offered to the family, Harvey isn’t interested in Mike’s ethics lecture. And neither is the prosecutor, Katrina Bennett. Like most people, she either wants to take Harvey down or work with him. When Mike tells her about his client’s state at the time of the accident, she uses it to get Harvey to hire her. And with that, Harvey slips further down the slippery slope of sleazy deals and career-threatening secrets. First, Mike and now, Katrina. Donna (Sarah Rafferty) warns Harvey about his decision, but he tells her "did what I had to do." Mike would beg to differ, but he plays under a completely different set of rules.
Which goes back to my point about the underlying state of chaos at the firm. Too busy waving his finger at Harvey, Mike has a blind spot for his own questionable relationship with the married, Tess. After getting an earful from Rachel (in the most appropriate of places, the file room, which apparently no one is ever in) and having a minor breakdown over the hit-and-run case, he finally comes to terms with what he’s doing and how wrong it is.
While Mike is busy kicking Tess out of his apartment, Harvey bids a bittersweet farewell to Zoey (Jacinda Barrett), who's leaving to town to care for her niece and dying brother. This leaves the ever desirable "special someone" spot in Harvey’s life open for a woman who will perhaps cause a lot more trouble than Zoey did. Because that’s what Harvey needs in his life.
For a mid-season premiere, "Blind-Sided" smartly played it tight with last summer’s finale, making "Suits'" return an easy one to jump back into. The episode reestablished the bristling relationship between Harvey and Mike in a way that leaves you feeling almost torn between the two. The Rachel/Mike drama is also one of the least annoying work romances on TV. I find myself actually looking forward to scenes between these two. And Louis, well it just wouldn’t be "Suits" if we didn’t have Louis Litt to remind us that "safe words are for p***ies."