Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Suits 4x06 "Litt the Hell Up" (Some Men Just Want to Watch the World Burn)

"Litt the Hell Up"
Original Airdate: July 23, 2014

The theme of “Litt the Hell Up” is really just that: sparks. There are spark flying like crazy in this episode – romantic sparks and angry sparks and sparks of betrayal mingled with regret (those are totally a thing, right?). The first few episodes of this season have been building toward a fire. Slowly but surely, the kindling has been placed and the flint has been struck. Harvey and Mike have clashed on multiple occasions and every sign pointed to a forest fire as the end result, not a fizzle. What’s so interesting about the resolution of this storyline is that the fire rages and burns in the most unexpected way. And when we back away from the flames, we see that Louis Litt is holding the match.

I admit that I was surprised by this resolution as I presumed there would be a final confrontation between Harvey and Mike – that those two would have a final duel and one (or both) would emerge covered in soot but somehow restored in their relationship. What happens instead in “Litt the Hell Up” is that Mike emerges, covered from head to toe in ashes, Harvey roasts marshmallows over an open flame, and Louis watches the flames erupt around him with feelings of remorse. So let’s discuss how this episode managed to connect everyone emotionally.


Here’s what I truly enjoyed about “Litt the Hell Up”: it subverted an easy trope. I anticipated a huge blow-out between the friends and former colleagues. I presumed that Pearson Specter would win because let’s be honest, they’re the big and strong kid on the playground. I knew that Mike would fight back, but in the end, I figured his fight was futile. He and Harvey would probably argue and bicker and play dirty for forty minutes before the conflict was resolved. But that didn’t happen. No, a confrontation occurred early in the episode in which Mike emerged victorious. Pearson Specter no longer had the shares they needed in order to win the buyout. Mike DID so he was going to propose that he buy them out.

I admit: it was delightful to see Mike manage to one-up Harvey. I enjoy rooting for Mike and I enjoy rooting for Harvey, but the first few episodes of this season have allowed me to root for neither. Both have acted selfishly and foolishly but this episode actually reminded me why I loved both characters in the first place. You see, when it came down to it – when it really came down to a moment where Harvey had to make a decision – Harvey chose Mike over Logan. When Mike presented their buyout offer and insisted on one more addendum at Rachel’s selfish (#sorrynotsorry) suggestion, it was this: Harvey had to choose between either representing Mike or representing Logan. And in spite of their issues and the fact that they have been at each others’ throats for weeks on end, Harvey chose Mike. The fact of the matter is that Harvey will do anything to win, but he will also do everything in his power not to lose. That statement may seem like redundancy, but it’s actually not. Winning isn’t the same as not losing; and to Harvey, losing Mike wouldn’t be winning at all. It was a beautiful moment that reminded me of the friendship these two once had and how they genuinely wanted to restore it. Mike’s smile in that moment was wonderful because it wasn’t overkill; he was genuinely happy to not just win the buyout but also to know that he still meant as much to Harvey as he once had. It meant that they could return to some semblance of normalcy.

It almost meant that, but it didn’t. You see, Logan vehemently protested and Harvey backtracked, trying to find a way that they could close the deal and not commit to cutting Logan off right away. Mike was having none of that nonsense (good for him) and returned to his happy little investment banking bubble that wouldn’t last much longer. Mike loses his buyout because Forseman decides to sell the shares he just purchased back to Logan Sanders (and subsequently, Pearson Specter). Furthermore, Forseman decides to tell Mike’s boss that had the deal actually stuck, the young man would have cut him out of all the money. Obviously, Sidwell doesn’t take that news very well and rightfully so. The episode ends with Mike Ross losing his job and… well, it’s not like I couldn’t have predicted that.

Mike may have acted selfishly in these first few episodes and he may have lied in order to get what he wanted, but the one thing that I can say about him as a character is that this arc made me realize how much fight Mike Ross had in him. I never doubted that Mike was smart (he has a photographic memory that is really never mentioned anymore). I never doubted that Mike cared about being a lawyer and cared about his job. But I think that I never realized how far he was willing to go in order to WIN. Mike Ross fought hard and valiantly, but – much like Rachel in the episode – his undoing was due to his own indiscretion. Had he approached Sidwell about Forseman’s deal earlier, his job could have been secured. Instead, Mike’s ego and his pride and his defiance got the better of him and he did what he often does best: he hid. Unfortunately for our characters in “Litt the Hell Up,” hiding only leads to more trouble than could have ever been imagined.


The Logan/Rachel story this week could be summed up in the wise words of Ron Burgundy: “Boy, that escalated quickly.” I’m not sure how I feel about Rachel being the person to re-initiate the relationship with Logan, but it certainly lends itself to parallelism (she is the one who initiated the affair the first time around). It’s not surprising that I’m not a huge fan of Rachel; I used to like her character, actually, back when she seemed to have a backbone and morals and didn’t spend the majority of episodes whining and/or pining. The problem with Rachel is that she has unrealistically high expectations of other people and all of the problems in her life seem to exist because she created them. The mess that she is in with Logan? That was her fault. She – as Donna points out – made the decision to go to Logan’s condo. She knew nothing good could happen from that, given the near-kiss that occurred there the last time. And yet, she went. She and Logan make out briefly and then Rachel feels horrible about it. That’s all well and good but… well, she could have prevented that from happening in the first place.

But because Rachel was weak and didn’t think about her actions, we find that her one indiscretion and hasty attempts to cover her tracks ends up causing nearly everyone in both firms to blow up. Rachel reveals Logan’s business to Harvey so that the buyout will be put to an end and she won’t have to work with her former-current flame; then she tries to bury her tracks further by suggesting that when Mike presents his buyout offer to Harvey and Logan, he also make Harvey choose between representing Logan or representing Mike in the future. (That goes terribly awry.)

Rachel is pretty selfish throughout the remainder of the episode, to be quite frank. She’s concerned with preserving her secret, no matter the cost. And it’s ironic because as she points out later in the episode, Mike is the one who kept a secret from HER. Rachel had a difficult time trusting Mike and I think that the fact that he lied to her for so long has buried itself within her subconscious and hasn’t left. Still, Rachel made a mistake and rather than admitting that mistake, or even preventing it from occurring, she tries to cover it up. It’s deceitful and can only blow up in her face. And it will likely do just that next week.


Harvey and Louis’ relationship has always been something of interest to me on Suits. It’s one of the most interesting ones because the two men are so fundamentally different. They both value loyalty and their jobs, but that’s about where the comparisons end. Louis is emotional; Harvey is stoic. Louis wants to be adored; Harvey wants to be feared. Amazingly, these two characters have known and worked together for so long that you would think they would be more accustomed to each others’ habits and quirks, but Louis’ desire to do right and to do good always seems to surprise Harvey. In spite of the fact that Harvey has blown up at Louis multiple times in the past, Louis still aims to please his friend. Harvey is like… he’s like the popular kid in school. And Louis, poor Louis, is the outcast who just wants that kid to ask for his notes during class.

I haven’t always loved Louis, but I’ve loved him a lot lately. I love his scenes with Donna. I love how vulnerable and open he is, but I also love that he’s beginning to find his backbone when it comes to dealing with Harvey. When Jessica asks Louis to look into the work that Jeff did for them (to cover up the parking on the shares of stock that Pearson Specter may or may not have done), Louis finds a “blessing in disguise,” as he calls it, and is asked by his boss to discuss it with Harvey before he proceeds with anything further. And Louis tries to contact Harvey, but when the man cannot be reached, Louis makes a decision that lands the buyout into the losing side of the war. The shares return to the market and are immediately snatched up by Forseman. The buyout is over. Mike has won.

When Louis is confronted by Harvey about this, the latter is irate and actually, the former is, too. Louis is irate that he can never do right by Harvey; he’s upset that he was forced to make a judgment call because Harvey wouldn’t answer his phone. And Harvey blows up at Louis, noting that any time that a big decision has to be made and it’s left up to Louis… he chooses wrong. What’s so great about Louis as a character is that his flaws are evident but they’re so easy to empathize with. All he wants is to prove his worth to the people around him, but no one take him seriously and no one trusts that he is capable. Furthermore, Louis allows his anger to fuel him (how many of us allow moments of anger and determination and the Rocky theme to dictate our actions?) and fuel it does: Louis uses his hatred of how Harvey treats him to confront Forseman and land Pearson Specter the buyout-winning shares.

Harvey’s face when he reads the deal? It’s priceless. He is proud of Louis. He’s about as proud as any person could possibly be. He even uses Louis’ trademark phrase to express how proud he is. It’s the best feeling in the world to Louis, most likely, because it’ so genuine. Finally, the man has done something right that is being acknowledged by everyone. Louis Litt FINALLY has a win. This victory makes the final few moments of the episode even more heartbreaking when we learn that Louis is breaking a law in order to protect the firm but also to protect his new relationship with Harvey. It’s not really pride that drives Louis to do what he does. I think that Harvey and Mike tend to be driven by pride and ego. No, Louis is driven by a desire for respect – a desire to be treated like a contributing member of the team. He wants to be seen as the outfielder, not the equipment manager. And it’s so utterly painful to watch Louis’ heartbreak over his decision to break the law because we know that the law means EVERYTHING to Louis. It is everything he stands for. But now? Now, Louis is so deeply hurt that he can’t bear to let anyone down again. He can’t bear to let Harvey down again. And so, as the employees of Pearson Specter celebrate around him, Louis watches his entire world – everything he ever believed about himself – go up in flames.

And now, bonus points:
  • MVP of the episode is a tie between Patrick J. Adams for his wonderful work with Mike Ross, especially in those moments of desperation and Rick Hoffman for continuing to astound me with his portrayal of Louis Litt. Bravo, men.
  • Louis buying Donna that necklace was probably one of his best moments ever.
  • “In other words, end this thing.” “Not in other words. In those exact words.”
  • “That’s another ‘you’ problem.”
  • “I’m going with Mike. Mike’s my guy.”
  • Remember how last week I said that I missed Katrina? SHE WAS BACK THIS WEEK.
  • “I told your secretary that I was George Clooney’s brother.”
  • “One more thing: Charles Forseman got Litt the hell up.”
Well, thank you all for reading this week! I’ll be gallivanting around the new Diagon Alley expansion at Universal Studios next week for LeakyCon, so my Suits review will be a bit delayed. Have a great week, folks, and I’ll see you around! :)


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