As the season 3 premiere of Suits kicks off, two days have passed since the Jessica/Darby vs Harvey smackdown from last seasons finale, and after a brief “too good to be true” dream sequence for Mike, we quickly catch up with all the main players. Harvey is still closing deals while sparring passive-aggressively with Jessica and not talking to Mike at all. Mike and Rachel are still at odds after he came clean about his big secret and their subsequent moment of passion. And Louis and Donna? Well they’re still delightful to watch.
It’s pretty obvious that we’re going to have a couple of different storyline’s running throughout the year, chief among them Harvey’s case involving the wealthy oil entrepreneur Ava Hessington ( played by Lady Stark herself, Michelle Fairley). Hessington appears like she’ll be a good foil for Harvey this season. She’s cold, calculating and cuts straight to the point, and we quickly find out she’s guilty of the bribery she has been accused of. The close personal connection Darby has to the case adds another layer of drama to proceedings as we learn he may have had a rather intimate relationship with Hessington’s father. At first I was a little worried to see Harvey make another deal/wager with Darby in this episode, as Darby agreed to let Harvey leave the firm if he wins the case, but it all got flipped around by the end of the episode which I’ll talk about a little later.
Another story sure to take up a lot of screen time this year is Mikes quest to repair his friendship with Harvey. After his forced betrayal last year, Harvey wants nothing to do with him and we see in this episode that Mike isn’t going to give up that easy. After some sage advice from Louis (seriously), Mike endeavours to get involved in the Hessington case and provide Harvey with any information he can. He does this with the help of Benjamin, the computer genius Mike bested in an earlier episode during his attempt to get Rachel’s job back. While their first encounter in this episode featured a lot of bickering and some blackmail from Mike, by the end of the episode they appeared on friendlier terms, and Mike might just have a new ally at Pearson Darby. One person who definitely will be by his side this season is Rachel. After a few moments early in the episode where I was worried another obstacle would be thrown in their way to extend the “drama”, they end up officially becoming a couple after Mike tells her everything. I’m sure there will be a few bumps ahead for them, but I’m glad we can properly move passed the “will they, won’t they” phase.
Donna and Louis often provide some of the more light-hearted moments on Suits, and they certainly delivered here. Our first scene of the season involving the pair was chock full of uniball pens, Hitler moustache’s and Nazi salutes, classic Louis Litt. While most of Donna’s other scenes intersected with Harvey’s story, including a great dressing down of Mike, Louis has his own little storyline brewing which has the potential to be incredibly entertaining. After discovering that the new quartermaster was in fact Nigel Nesbitt (Adam Godley), the man that Louis had screwed over at the end of last season, the two instantly resume their delightful bickering. While I thought this was going to be a story mainly played for laughs, things took a turn when Nigel managed to trick Louis into giving up his job as head of the associates. The following moments where Nigel revealed just how hurt he had been by Louis’ betrayal last season were actually rather touching, and I’m looking forward to seeing how this story will unfold.
The two most interesting parts of the episode came in the form of a couple of twists towards the end of the episode. The one with the most potential for high drama involved Harvey changing the titular arrangement he made with Darby earlier in the episode. Now instead of walking away from the firm if he wins, he now wants Darby to back him in a battle with Jessica for the role of Managing Partner. After being slightly let down by the promised war of last season, it seems like we might get another swing at it. The other twist will surely prove to be an entertaining addition to the Hessington case as after Harvey gets the original prosecutor to step down from the case, he learns that he will now be coming up against his former mentor, Cameron Dennis (played by the always great Gary Cole). We met Cameron back in season 1 and I felt there was still a lot of legs in that story, so I’m looking forward to watching Harvey face off against him throughout the rest of the season.
So all in all “The Arrangement” was a solid episode of Suits which sets this third season up quite well. The potential power struggle between Harvey and Jessica alone could fill a season but when you throw in the Hessington case, Mike trying to regain Harvey’s trust and Louis vs Nigel, I think it’s safe to say we’re in for a very interesting, and dramatic season indeed.
Rating out of 10:
Posted by Michael H. Spring