Special Master Richardson’s intervention comes to a head in this episode when Samantha is fired for forging evidence.
(To be fair, it’s really Harvey’s (Gabriel Macht) fault for arguing with Sam (Katherine Heigl) in her office, but we’ll get to that later.)
Opening with a phone call between Donna (Sarah Rafferty) and Richardson (Denise Crosby) speaking about Sam’s departure, tensions are high as the COO claims the special master’s firing of Sam is “bullshit.” Of course, Donna along with the others cannot stand by when one of their own is under attack, so the name partners orchestrate an emergency meeting on the rooftop. They make a game plan and everyone, save for Donna, agrees to do “whatever it takes” to get Sam’s job back.
I couldn’t help but laugh as everyone went around and said “whatever it takes,” reminding me of Avengers: Endgame. You wish the Avengers could compare—the firm’s loyalty and love for each other makes the Avengers look like dust.
Immediately after the meeting, Harvey (Gabriel Macht) and Louis (Rick Hoffman) dig into Faye’s past—their typical strategy to take someone down. They meet her ex-husband and learn that she’s crossed a line in the past.
Note: a singular line.
Regardless, that one line is enough for Harvey and Louis. The two decide to capitalize on this line and delve into her past, where they learn she took all of her ex-husband’s money. Despite this information, Louis is suspicious, but Harvey reminds Louis that they have to do “whatever it takes” to get Sam her job back. Reluctant, Louis follows through, but his suspicions are confirmed as Faye uses her special master magic—finding out that the firm is trying to oust her.
Being the ethical woman that she is, Faye confronts Harvey, asking him to reconsider. He ignores her, saying she needs to get out of his firm; he’ll do anything he can to make her leave. However, she activates his soft spot, telling the truth about the whole situation, revealing that she has a daughter and did what she had to in order to protect her. He proposes a trade-off: protecting her daughter’s innocence in exchange for having Samantha back. Of course, despite the fact it would protect her family, Faye rejects this because it’s wrong. She tells him that what she did was different from Samantha—she crossed the line once in order to save her daughter while Sam crossed the line thousands of times to win.
This causes Harvey to spiral—he doesn’t want to oust Faye using these tactics, but he promised that he would do whatever it takes. After being told by Mike that he was no longer a man of his word in episode five, he’s confused and doesn’t want to be accused of such a thing again. As much as I’m hurt by Harvey’s uncertainty, it leads to one of my favorite Suits set ups—a bathroom scene. Harvey leans against the bathroom counter and appears distressed. Louis walks in, ready to take down Faye, but Harvey confesses that the other man was right; Faye didn’t do something unethical for self-serving purposes. She had a good reason to. Louis understands, saying that they can hold the cavalry off. The two decide to wait on Alex (Dulé Hill) and Samantha, who are working on a plan on the other side of Midtown.
Samantha, reeling from the loss of her job, seeks help from a former contact in the FBI seen previously in season eight. They make a deal: Samantha will expose Gavin Andrews in exchange for information on Faye Richardson. Alex catches wind of the situation and helps her, much to the dismay of Robert Zane (Wendell Pierce), who intervenes. When the plan goes awry, Robert keeps Samantha calm in a conversation offscreen.
Of course, knowing that Louis and Harvey were waiting on them, Samantha tells Donna that the plan didn’t work, and the COO goes to report that to Harvey. Clearly afflicted that the plan didn’t work, Harvey and Donna have an argument. Donna stops Harvey, saying that she is not comfortable ruining a woman’s family. Angered, Harvey reminds her what she did to their firm—their family—but because he is so heated, he reveals that it was his fault that Faye found out. It becomes clear that he feels guilty, and cannot bear the burden of knowing it is his fault. Donna immediately softens, talking to Harvey about his mother and comparing it to the situation now. He understands and does not go after Faye, which leads to Faye later thanking Donna.
The episode ends with Harvey confessing to Samantha that he failed to get her job back because he wasn’t willing to pull the trigger, and Samantha forgives him. However, she admits that this works out in the end because she wanted to find her biological father in Pittsburgh. Harvey offers to take her, and the scene fades to black, alluding to the next episode: road trip.
I was pleasantly impressed by this episode—for once, thrown off guard. Usually, the firm does “whatever it takes” to accomplish its goals, but now, with the developed characters, they have time to listen to reason. It’s refreshing to see the characters have heads on their shoulders. I especially loved the final scene between Donna and Harvey; I know it wasn’t the Darvey scene that Suitors wanted, but it was a good show of the progress that Harvey has made through these nine years. The parallels between Harvey’s guilt from his mother’s affair, illustrated by the quick cuts between the duck painting and Darvey, and Harvey’s guilt about causing Samantha to lose her job were stellar; I thoroughly enjoyed it. Looking back at 8×16: ‘Harvey,’ it seems like Suits has regained its cinematic touch.
Overall, the dynamics that the writers played with this episode—loyalty, guilt, and mercy—were nothing new to Suits fans, but the way that the situations ended were drastically different compared to the past eight seasons. We now see the characters capitulating to reason, understanding the other side, and, most importantly, admitting their faults. Love that for them.