Jul 03 2015

Suits – “Compensation” Retrospective. Caught in the Middle.


Season 5, Episode 2

Air Date: Wednesday, July 1, 2015, 9/8c on USA


Will Louis ever work things out with Harvey?

Will Louis ever work things out with Harvey?

The tension between Harvey (Gabriel Macht) and Louis (Rick Hoffman) over Donna (Sarah Rafferty) reaches a new level when Louis’ plan to win Harvey’s trust backfires. Will the two ever see eye to eye or will the hostility cause a ripple effect throughout the rest of the firm?

The ongoing bickering between Harvey and Louis is beginning to get old. The war between the two continues season after season; the only difference is the reason behind it. At this point, the constant arguing feels repetitive, making me wonder whether either side remembers the cause of their initial dislike. I’m exhausted from watching them constantly go at it and wonder whether Harvey and Louis will ever find peace.

Harold Gunderson (Max Topplin) may be a bumbling fool, but he’s Suits’ bumbling fool. I couldn’t be happier to see “Compensation” mark the return of Harold and his gee whiz approach to life. It’s been far too long since we last saw him during the season three finale, “No Way Out.” I wish the writers would find a way to bring him back as a series regular. Dare I say, maybe a bachelor party for Mike (Patrick J. Adams) organized by Harold?

Wendell Pierce also returns as Rachel’s (Meghan Markle) father Robert. Robert may be a shark when it comes to legal matters but “Compensation” makes it clear he truly cares for his daughter. Pierce’s portrayal of Robert is enjoyable to watch; he comes across as the kind of guy you would want to have a burger with, or date his daughter. Hopefully, with Rachel and Mike engaged, we’ll be seeing more of Rachel’s father.

Will Robert ever learn Mike's secret?

Will Robert ever learn Mike’s secret?

As much as I enjoy the father/daughter relationship between Robert and Rachel, the prenup scene is way too obvious. It’s a story line we’ve seen on various shows countless times so it would’ve been nice had the writers found a more creative way to put their own twist on this.

I truly thought Donna could never be replaced; that is, until Harvey hires Gretchen (Aloma Wright). At first glance, Gretchen is the opposite of Donna in every single way, proof that Harvey is doing everything in his power not to be reminded of her. I doubt I’m the only one who was shocked by how well Gretchen holds her own with Harvey. I truly enjoyed the scenes between the two, which, for the briefest moment, made me forget all about Donna. Wright is another wonderful guest star and while she may not be there long, she will definitely leave a lasting impression. Unless, of course, the powers that be find a way to make Wright a permanent cast member (hint hint).

The witty banter and high-powered cases are always enjoyable but what makes Suits special is Mike’s humanity and desire to help others. Despite Mike being a great lawyer, the writers do a wonderful job creating a David versus Goliath feel when Mike takes on a case of tremendous magnitude against an insurance company. Unfortunately, it isn’t just the opposition he is taking on but Jessica and Harvey as well, who often see cases like these as not worth the time, energy, and money necessary to win.

While taking on such a heartwarming underdog project is something Mike likes to do, the case quickly gets lost in everything going on between Harvey and Louis. I never connected with the lawsuit other than what happens at the end between Robert and Mike. As things progress, I am hopeful the fans will be able to better understand why Mike tries so hard to represent this particular group of clients.

Will either end up with Donna?

Will either end up with Donna?

Robert and Mike are wonderful to watch as they try to size up one another. Pierce and Adams have great chemistry so when Robert proposes they team up to work the case together, I wasn’t very surprised. I can only imagine what Rachel will say, not to mention Jessica and Harvey. This also opens the door to the possibility of Robert learning Mike’s secret, although given Robert’s thoroughness, chances are he’s already deeply vetted his future son-in-law. Could Robert already know the truth about Mike?

As both a fan and a critic, I appreciate that the Suits writers respect the audience enough not to spoon feed them with details when Mike’s former boss, Jonathan Sidwell (Brandon Firla), suddenly reappears. Despite Sidwell’s absence since the season four premiere, “One-Two-Three Go…,” the writers instead count on fans to simply remember Sidwell and Mike’s past.

It’s fascinating how the main story line in “Compensation” shifts from jealousy to a competition over which attorney Donna will end up working for. Given what a strong woman Donna is, I doubt she’ll appreciate being seen as a piece of property to be won. It’s hard not to feel for Donna with her loyalty being pulled in both directions. Rafferty does a great job portraying Donna’s struggle to remain neutral in the personal conflict between Louis and Harvey. Rafferty’s expression and demeanor perfectly convey the emotional toll this ordeal is taking on Donna. This has the makings of some interesting story lines, and makes you wonder if both could end up losing her? Maybe it’s about time Mike had a secretary.

Tweet me @staffaroadtrip or leave a comment below to let me know what you think about “Compensation.”

Tune in to Suits Wednesdays at 9/8c, only on USA Network.

For more on the show, go to http://www.usanetwork.com/series/suits/.

Follow Suits on Twitter, as well as some of the cast: <Mike> Patrick J Adams, <Harvey> Gabriel Macht, <Rachel> Meghan Markle, and <Louis> Rick Hoffman.


Like Suits on Facebook.

Photos: © 2015 USA Network, LLC, a division of NBC Universal, Inc. All Rights Reserved.


© 2015, Greg Staffa. All rights reserved.

Greg Staffa

I provide testosterone to the site. You won’t be reading about how nice a actress looks in a dress or how much of a hunk Matt Bomer is in my reviews. I describe colors using words like brown, not taupe. My twitter name is @staffaroadtrip because I love road trips and have done two different 48-state road trips since 2008. My favorite show is White Collar.

1 comment

    • Bec on July 3, 2015 at 4:47 am
    • Reply

    I too am thrilled that Harold is back! He and his character make the audience laugh with such ease.

    I don’t find the Harvey/Louis fights as getting old because that’s just how they’re drawn. Right from the beginning they have been friends & enemies and that’s how it’s always going to be. I know people in my own office who are like this, friends with somebody one day, then talking crap about them the next.

    Gretchen was great! I look forward to her meeting the others 🙂

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