“Suits” returned Wednesday night (Jan. 15) with its highly-anticipated Season 6b premiere. What started out as little more than a filler summer series has turned into the USA Network’s little engine that could.
The show’s cult following seems to grow exponentially each year. Nobody just likes this show — people love it. With such a unique premise, it’s also quick, witty, and never takes its audience for dummies… That is, until now.
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To open up with a dream sequence, tricking viewers into thinking Harvey (Gabriel Macht) and Donna (Sarah Rafferty) are finally together — that timing and circumstances finally reached a moment of synchronicity with their true feelings — well, it was everything! Until it wasn’t.
Harvey wakes up from a this terrible nightmare, and we see his subconscious is still embroiled with unaddressed mommy issues.
A fake-out dream sequence is the cheapest trick in the book — especially since producer Aaron Korsh and the writers know how much fans ship Darvey. Bummed out feelings aside, from a critical standpoint there’s no reason for “Suits” to be relying on such lame ploys to make things exciting.
Now, our guard will be up: Any moment which seems to good to be true, we’ll be waiting for the show to say “Gotcha!” That’s not much fun to watch.
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Don’t get us wrong — overall, the series returns in excellent form. And we’re willing to forgive this brief lapse in storytelling judgement, in hopes that it never happens again. There’s enough real drama going on to sort out and remedy.
Like figuring out what Mike (Patrick J. Adams) is going to do now that he’s out jail. Picking up on the morning after where we left off, Mike humbly turns down Harvey’s offer to re-join the firm, and heads off in what shakes up to be the most depressing job hunt. Turns out a criminal record — and a DA hellbent on making sure Mike continues to suffer — is not great interview fodder.
Rachel (Meghan Markle), who’s still sticking by as Mike’s fiancée, reminds him, “It’s only been one day. One. Day.” She’s confident he will soon find a job, but Mike is less confident. Even though it has seriously only been one day, Mike’s already uncomfortably antsy, frustrated, and feeling useless.
Not knowing what to do with himself, Mike heads to church. As luck would have it, the priest needs someone to immediately fill in for a teacher that has recently fell ill. Never seeing himself as the teaching type — this is the guy that used to make a living helping people cheat on tests — the publicly shunned lawyer is desperate for vocational purpose. In a move of desperation, or maybe out of nostalgia for his former beloved instructor, maybe both, Mike step ups to his new role as Teach.
Before you can say “Oh Captain my Captain,” the entire “Dead Poets Society” scenario quickly evaporates, after a parent discovers their kid’s new teacher is fresh out of prison. And when Harvey tries to help Mike out by speaking to the DA himself, he unintentionally makes things worse.
Mike, however, thinks Harvey meddled purposely so he wouldn’t be able to find a job anywhere else, ensuring his return to the firm, and lashes out. Emotionally charged up from his hellish first week out of prison, he swears he’ll never work for Harvey, or Specter Litt, under any circumstances, ever again.
…Ah, yes. “Specter Litt.”
This is the first episode without our beloved and much-missed name partner Jessica Pearson (Gina Torres), and oh, the nostalgia. Just imagining her back again, waltzing into the room in a stunningly tailored panstuit… At least the writers didn’t fake us out with a surprise Jessica return! But if only she hadn’t
joined Shondaland’s “The Catch,” quit the firm and move to Chicago: One day without Jessica’s supervision, and Harvey and Louis Litt (Rick Hoffman) are already at each other’s throats.
Oh, boys. Such handsome silly men focusing on all the wrong things, while the badass ladies of the series clean up their mess. Donna, much to our chagrin, is not with Harvey — but remains the most valuable and quick witted secretary on the planet. Gretchen (Aloma Wright),who’s no dud herself, is finally getting some more screen time, and Rachel is on her way to coming truly into her own.
Soaking in all she learned watching Jessica over the years, nearly finished with law school, Rachel boldly turned down her father’s offer to join his powerful firm after passing the bar. Why? She’s sticking with the currently flailing disaster that is Specter Litt!
And so are we. Fakeout aside, we’re just like Rachel: Too emotionally connected to “Suits” to even think about taking off. And there’s a lot of ground to cover in these next episodes! We still can’t wait to see where Mike ends up, if Darvey will ever happen, Louis Litt becoming a father… And whether Rachel can really stick out with her criminal fiancé.
“Suits” airs on Wednesday nights at 10 p.m. ET/PT on USA.