Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Suits 5x04 "No Puedo Hacerlo" (Ohana Means Family)

"No Puedo Hacerlo"
Original Airdate: July 15, 2015

We all have our pressure points. You know what they are -- those things that elevate your heart rate and blood pressure, cause you to sweat and squirm. When someone presses on one of them, we instantly react and it's usually to lash out. Take a joke too far and we'll snap. Threaten our little sisters and we'll curl our fingers into fists. Pressure points are sensitive and honestly, they often involve the people close to us: our friends and our loved ones. In this week's episode of Suits titled "No Puedo Hacerlo," we get to see a few different pressure points and focus on a similar theme involving family and how far we will go to protect them and care for them.

My mom comes from a dysfunctional Italian family that is tangled in co-dependency and addiction, in bitterness and in emotional messes. But she loves them. She honestly and truly does. Why? Because they're her FAMILY. My sister and I fight sometimes, but I would do anything to protect her because I love her that much. No amount of arguing will change the fact that we're bonded forever. The family of Pearson Specter Litt has been through... a lot. They've betrayed each other. They've yelled at each other. They've abandoned each other. But they're a team. And if someone comes after one of their own, they fight to protect each other whether they're on the best of terms or the worst of terms. If there's one thing Harvey Specter understands the value of, Donna tells Louis early on in the episode, it's the concept of family sticking together and protecting their own.

So let's talk more about how this idea factored into our stories during "No Puedo Hacerlo."


Before we delve too deeply into things, let's get this off the table right now: it was only implied and not confirmed that Harvey slept with Esther so I'm choosing to plug my ears and hum showtunes and live in a world of denial. You're welcome to join me. I'll bring the chocolate.

That decision aside (because it doesn't make sense considering a few episodes ago, Harvey decided to hire a replacement secretary who wasn't young and beautiful so he would not be tempted to hook up with her, BUT WHAT DO I KNOW ABOUT HARVEY'S CHARACTERIZATION, I JUST WATCH THE SHOW WEEKLY AND WRITE ABOUT IT), "No Puedo Hacerlo" focuses on the sibling relationship between Louis and Esther and Harvey/Louis' fractured friendship. What I think is so beautiful about Suits as a show, despite its faults, is that the firm really is a family. So when Louis asks Harvey to take his sister on as a client in her divorce, Harvey agrees because Louis expresses how much it would mean to him as her brother. Louis... well, Louis was never the cool one. Esther is gorgeous and witty and when they were younger, everyone wanted to be friends with him to get close to her. No one ever genuinely cared about him; they used him. So it's understandable, then, that those feelings of insecurity carried over into Louis' adulthood and his other relationships.

I love the scenes between Harvey and Louis in this episode, honestly, especially the one at the end. These are two men who have a lot of baggage from their childhoods and being family doesn't mean you're without baggage or differences. But I think in this episode and in that moment, the two realized that they have more similarities than they usually fixate on. That was enough for them.

Harvey and Louis have always had a messy, complex relationship because Louis idolizes Harvey (as Esther so astutely points out), and Harvey sees Louis as nothing but an annoying problem. But the times where Harvey and Louis get along are the times where they stop treating each other like enemies and start treating each other like what they are: family. They may fight and bicker but Harvey never wants anything bad to happen to Louis and vice versa. Family is so important to Harvey because his was so messed up (again: it still scars him to this day). He fights for family. He loves his family. He protects his family. And he agrees to fight for Esther wholeheartedly once he realizes that she was cheated on and that there are children involved.

There's a moment toward the end of the episode where Harvey is unguarded in telling Esther this. He confides that he never was a divorce lawyer not because he thought it was beneath him but because he could never stand to see children placed in the middle -- to see parents and families put money above the protection and welfare of their children. It's a touching moment and one that clearly strikes something in Esther, too, because she's been more concerned with her company lately (it seems) than protecting the interests and feelings of her children. (Again: this doesn't stop Harvey from presumably sleeping with Esther although I'm still in denial.)

Another really important moment happens in this episode when Harvey, Esther, and Esther's ex-husband are in a deposition. And it's really important because it relates to Harvey/Donna. So we'll talk about them now, shall we?


In the deposition, Esther and her ex-husband are yelling at each other about their marriage. There's a lot of resentment there and it's very clear from the conversation -- and the directing choice for Harvey to look out and fixate on Donna in that moment before closing his eyes in defeat and sadness -- that the bitterness and resentment stems from the idea of "putting yourself first." It's an idea vocalized by Donna earlier in the episode when Harvey snaps at her and directs her out of his office because she comes to him with something regarding Louis.

Harvey and Donna's scenes in Suits lately are cold. We're talking, like, next-level arctic stuff up in here. And it is absolutely perfectly paralleled in this episode with the divorce case because Harvey immediately recognizes the fact that if he does not start telling Donna what she means to him, they will keep harboring anger and will end up hating one another. Harvey doesn't want that. He's angry right now and Donna is angry right now but dealing with her loss temporarily is agonizing for him. He's been sent into panic attacks. He's talking to a therapist. Could you imagine what he would be like if he lost her permanently? He'd be inconsolable and rash and... well, I don't even know what else he would be. When he listens to the yelling and the blaming and the anger in the divorce deposition, I think he realizes that he could very easily end up exactly like Esther -- focused on the things that aren't as important -- and Donna could end up like the ex-husband: embittered, feeling like years of his life were wasted.

Donna confronts Harvey earlier in the episode with this AMAZING display of strength and honesty. That's what defines Donna, constantly. Harvey mocks her (ugh, Harvey, sometimes you make it hard for me to love you) by telling her that he informed her a long time ago that he doesn't give hugs or coddle people. And Donna, quite brilliantly, turns and is about to leave the office like he instructs her to. Except... she doesn't. She turns back around and she faces Harvey and she tells him EXACTLY what he has been thinking for weeks she feels.

Because this is the first time, you know, that Donna has uttered words about how Harvey hurt her. It's the first time she's expressed her anger and frustration and sadness about their situation to his face. Every other time, Harvey has been the one imagining the conversation. And now, the Donna he faced in therapy last week is the Donna who's really standing in his office: the one who is telling him how hurt she is that he's not treating her like an enemy; he's treating her like a STRANGER. She's begging him to think about how that makes her feel -- how twelve years with him is dismissed and stomped on. Donna leaving wasn't an easy choice for her to make. It wasn't. But it WAS necessary.

Harvey realizes through this conversation and the deposition that he needs to communicate. He has to or else he'll lose her someday and it won't be to Louis, just down the hall. It will be to another firm in the city or another state or halfway around the world. It may even  be to another man. And so he almost (I love that in this episode, both Harvey and Donna almost walk away from each other two separate times but don't) walks away but he doesn't. Instead, he turns to walk toward Donna's desk where she's still a bit icy toward him. And he... thanks her. He thanks her for twelve years and I think it's the first time in recent memory that he's done that. The ice is beginning to crack just a bit to let in the warmth.

... And the Coldplay, because then a beautiful cover of "The Scientist" plays over the scene and, well, maybe the warmth REALLY works because I think I melted into a puddle, how about you all?


There's another family dynamic at play in "No Puedo Hacerlo" and it's the dynamic of soon-to-be family members Robert Zane and Mike Ross. Robert and Mike don't see eye-to-eye and haven't for weeks while they've worked on this case. I'll be honest here: sometimes Mike-centric stories bore me because I just find him more engaging when he's with Harvey. But honestly, the story between Robert and Mike has been executed really well. The writers have navigated the complexities in their relationship and haven't been afraid to magnify harsh truths like the fact that Mike doesn't really trust Robert and that Rachel has a problem because if he doesn't trust her father or think her father has solid judgement, what does that say about how he feels regarding her?

Jessica interjects into this story and honestly, I wasn't following the specifics enough to recall how big her role was, but all I know is that Jessica Pearson is unafraid to speak harsh truths to people. She does to Mike in this episode, putting him in his place and reminding him that she is the one in control of the firm and in control of the decisions, whether he agrees or not. She also puts Robert Zane in his place when she realizes Mike was right. That's the thing about Jessica: even when she's reprimanding you, she's always on your side as long as you're playing for her team.

Robert and Mike eventually learn how to come to a sort of respect for each other in the episode, rather than Mike's constant seeking for approval and Robert's constant need to be the one in charge. I think both learned how to work better together and strengthen their relationship through conflict and arguing. Rachel and Robert inadvertently grew closer when Rachel jumped rather dramatically to her father's defense. I think Mike learned how to pick his battles, though. I think he learned that family means not immediately jumping to conclusions and going to war. Mike has never really HAD a family before so a lot of this is new to him. He had his grandmother, of course, but now he has a father figure and I think a part of him is still trying to navigate how that relationship works.

"No Puedo Hacerlo" reminded us that there are things more important than money: relationships. Family. Love. It's a good thing Pearson Specter Litt is trying to do right in all of those areas by building bridges, mending fences, and opening lines of communication back up again. Stay strong, firm. You can do this.

And now, bonus points:
  • I haven't done a Suits MVP in a little while so MVP of this episode goes to the amazing Sarah Rafferty. I've loved Donna Paulsen from the moment she stepped onto screen because she was quick-witted and sassy and absolutely amazing. But what I've grown to love about her as a character in the fifth season is that Donna is broken, but healing. She's got a lot of anger within her and fire and passion that I didn't know existed. And that passion and anger and PAIN is so palpable in the way Sarah Rafferty plays her. Re-watch that confrontation between her and Harvey in this episode. Notice how Sarah gives purpose to every meaning and every line, especially spitting out the last few before she exits. It's great. I love it, even if the dissolution of the Harvey/Donna relationship is painful.
  • Is it just me or was Rachel's weird look when Mike mentioned kids supposed to be poignant? Does she not want kids? Can she not HAVE kids? Hopefully we get a solid follow-up to that look, otherwise I'll be bummed.
  • KATRINA WAS BACK. I used to loathe this character and now she's one of the best part of the show.
  • Speaking of Katrina, DANG that white dress she had on was a stunner. As was Jessica's ensemble when she confronts Robert toward the end of the episode. Honestly, I just want all of the clothes from this show without having to pay the small country's worth of treasury it would take to purchase them.
  • "Okay, you SWORE you never read my diary."
  • "Yeah, the resemblance is uncanny."
  • Harvey/Rachel had a lot of great banter this episode. I appreciate this, show. Keep it up.
  • "You know it would be easier for both of us if you were wrong every once in a while."
  • "You might just turn out to be a half-decent name partner after all." "I doubt it." "So do I."
  • "You're... welcome?"
  • "I wanted to thank you." "For what?" "Twelve years."
  • Additional note: thank you SO much to Jen, who wonderfully covered my Suits review last week while I was on a plane to San Diego.
Well, folks, there you have it! What did you think of this episode? Are you as wrecked as I am by that Coldplay cover, too? Are you excited to see more of Louis and Harvey's friendship unravel this season? Are you as utterly bummed as I am that we have to sit through an entire episode with Tanner (AGAIN) next week? Hit up the comments below and let me know your thoughts! Until then. :)


  1. I really agree with every single word you wrote. brilliant episode. using "the scientist" after harvey's (unusually) warm words towards Donna was perfection.
    I also wanna know what Rachel's weird look in her scene with Mike meant. is she pregnant? is she afraid of having kids because of Mike's secret? I want that adressed ASAP.
    also I hope we're gonna see a nice build up from now on between Harvey and Donna. I want them to slowly find solid ground with each other and an acknowledgment of their true feelings while we're at it. ;)
    thanks for the brilliant review! :)

    1. Hello there lovely anon! Thank you so much for your kind words about the review. :D I absolutely cannot EVEN with the fact that they used "The Scientist" over Donna and Harvey's final scene together. I, too, hope that we're going to see a reparation in their relationship. She has to return to him eventually, right?

      I really hope that Rachel thing wasn't just a one-off mystery that we'll take another two years to solve.

      Thanks for your comment and for reading!

  2. Hello there!
    Well, I have to admit I was initially very happy with this episode and the last exchange between Harvey and Donna of course (obviously I am a shipper ^^)
    The soundtrack that evolves around the intimate scenes of Harvey and Donna just keeps astonishing me, and I love it! :) I have chosen to believe that it is a strong hint about the outcome of their relationship (or am I just daydreaming??)
    Anyway, I read your review (it is the first one I always read), and then I searched a bit online and I became a bit disappointed with what I read. Most articles say that the "thank you" part of the speech means that Harvey is finally able to move on from the Donna issues. And maybe start dating (like Louis' sister) again. I mean seriously, what is your take on this? Things will go back to normal, Harvey will accept the "Donna leaving" part and vice versa, or there is still hope for something more? I truly need your opinion on! :)

    //Btw, just saw the Harvey punch in the promo of next week - I keep my thumbs up that the next episode will be rewarding :D


    1. Sadly I have to say, based on what Sarah Rafferty has said in interviews regarding season 5 thus far, I believe they are following the 'moving on' path at the moment. In fact in an interview about 2 weeks ago, she was point blank asked about that and she said Donna is not waiting around for him because she knows he's not the right fit for her due to his inability to articulate emotions, in her mind it has been 12 years and thats that. I was so sad reading that considering the interview was 2 isn weeks ago and i know at that point they filmed up to episode 7. So we won't be getting any Darvey progress in the direction we want, their ship is just learning to float again its going to be a while before we start heading north ( no pun intended to reference that northern hemisphere song playing in 4x16 lol). Anyhow, on the optimistic side I can say that Suits treats darvey like shock therapy they stay static for a while and out of no where the writers throw a scence regarding their romance at us. Like honestly last season with ep 15 & 16 like they came out up to the surface like a rocket even though we know the energy is there. With that said i think that its possible they will do it again this season. probably not in the season finale because that would feel like they are playing the same hook, so my guess will be that either mid season finale of the summer we will get a glimpse of something progressive and then maybe a bit in the middle of the last six eps. I desperately need them to make a decision this season though, if its not happening and Aaron K wants to move back to the work team dynamic which i know he was found of then i'd really like to see Donna have a love interest !...last part of my rant lol i think if they are moving back to the work/team dynamic its possible that this 'pregnancy' ploy that Aaaron has hinted may be coming Donna's way, we can only hope its a Specter baby! I feel its too predictable for it to be Rachel, although they seem to love opportunity for her to wine and be annoying as hell.

    2. yeah i really agree with you...i really don't think they will resolve this harvey/donna issue this season. and what sucks is that the seasons are very long in the sense that we have to wait forever for an episode and one year for the season to finish. this american tv system is incredibly annoying! So im guessing that we have at least one year and a half or two years of waiting (2 seasons) before Donna and Harvey will actually be together, if that ever happens. Aaron Korsh, the creator, is obviously not a shipper and this whole thing is becoming annoying. I'm not talking just about Harvey/Donna.
      The Mike-Rachel-Robert storyline is kind of meh, I am sure Robert Zane is the next one to find out about Mike's secret...kind of predictable and we all can imagine what his reaction will be.
      If Rachel is pregnant i'm just gonna roll my eyes until they fall out of my head because I feel like Rachel and Mike are getting all the good and happy couple moments while Donna and Harvey are not.
      I think i'm just gonna stop watching Suits for a while and read reviews and after a while I will just binge watch it on Netflix or something. I'm such an impatient person and the way the plot has been going this season doesn't really make me excited :( Sucks, it used to be my favourite show but since I started reading the reviews, the cast and crew interviews and I started following Aaron Korsh on Twitter, I realized he is kind of rude and a di*k so that turned me off a bit regarding Suits.

    3. Hello there ninet!

      First off, thank you for your comments regarding the review. I'm seriously flattered that I'm the first review you read. :) And you're totally right -- the soundtrack over the Harvey and Donna scenes has just been exceptional. It really has.

      As for your question: I honestly don't think it's as simple as people are making it out to be. Reviewers have thought for seasons that Harvey or Donna saying something was them "walking away" from their feelings for good. There's still a LOT to explore there and a lot to mine from the relationship. I saw promo photos with Harvey and his therapist so clearly he still feels the need to see her. A twelve year relationship doesn't end with a simple "thank you." And though their relationship has softened, I feel like Harvey and Donna haven't EARNED a resolution yet, you know? They haven't actually, totally talked about their relationship.

      I always hate being a part of fandoms where the EP or writers don't respect shipping or understand particular ships on shows. Aaron Korsh is totally one of those people and I had a LOT of experience with that with Dan Harmon, which took years off my life. I hope that Korsh realizes that shipping is much more than wanting two characters to be together and that it's about their story, their growth and development... but I may be holding my breath waiting for him to do anything about it. Dan Harmon didn't do anything with his couple until the VERY last episode and then it didn't feel earned (and that's often what happens when showrunners do things like that because they're afraid to commit and pull the trigger on anything.)

      ANYWAY, all of this to say that I don't think Harvey and Donna have necessarily moved on from each other. I think they're trying to adjust to a new normal, but within that new normal, they're still struggling with how to interact with each other and their feelings for one another are still a barrier in their relationship.

      Hopefully that makes sense! Thanks so much for reading and your comments. :)

    4. Hi Jen, just answering to your comment...I totally agree with you on the ''very end'' thing. I am scared that Aaron Korsh does not want to commit to bringing them together. And honestly I would love to see Harvey and Donna together before the end, just to see how it is and how they can grow together. If the writers bring them together in the very last episode it will be a huge disappointment from my point of view because i would love to see how they are together on the show. So i hope for the love of God that they dont do that.
      And you saying Korsh is not able to commit to the Darvey relationship I also agree because he probably says that some viewers want them together (80% of the fans for sure) and other don't want them together (20%). I get this from all the comments I read about Suits and Darvey. He should know how to do the math you know haha :P

    5. I agree with Jen, I don't think Harvey and Donna have really moved on from each other entirely, I think they're still just trying to acclimate to this new normal. As in move on from their work relationship. Next step is a good solid friendship, I think =)

      Donna might be consciously telling herself that this is her way of moving on from Harvey because he's not a good fit for her, but I think she's unconsciously (or maybe even consciously!) hoping he'll rise to the occasion.

      Also agree with Anon. If Harvey and Donna don't get together till the last episode of the show I will feel very, very, very cheated. And if it really takes that long then the show will doubtless ruin Darvey and their dynamic by the time it happens.

  3. Great review as always! One question though for all you readers....maybe I am just slow but I didn't get it : what happened in the end between Harvey and Louis' sister Esther? Did they actually sleep together?

    1. Hello there lovely anon! Thanks so much for your comment. :D

      So here's the thing: it's never explicitly stated that they sleep together. It's heavily implied and it's really likely that they do, but it's definitely not shown. All Esther says is a thank-you for Harvey reminding her about what's important in life. You can definitely read the scene as the fact that "take me home," meant he actually took her HOME to see her kids... or that they spent the night together. It's unclear and though I hope for the former, it's probably the latter, haha.

  4. How clever are the people who make this show?!

    I love that the viewer was left not knowing if Harvey and Esther did sleep together.
    I think yes, that they shared a 'special moment' with the way she went back to the office and the way they spoke seemed to suggest a new intimacy.

    Interesting that she is scheduled to come back!

    I was disappointed to hear today that Rick Hoffman and Gabriel Macht still haven't got any Emmy nominations. How is that possible?!

    1. Hello there anon!

      I'm definitely intrigued because that scene CAN be read in the way that you and I interpreted it. Nothing was shown and the conversation right before Esther signed the papers was less sexual tension and more... honesty about family. So who knows. I suppose we will in the coming weeks though. And that IS interesting that she's slated to return. I liked her well enough. Definitely 1000% more than Scottie, haha.

      UGH. RICK AND GABRIEL DESERVE EMMY NOMINATIONS. The Emmys are really dumb and unfair most of the time and they constantly overlook a lot of great performances on TV in favor of the same ones over and over. Such is the life of a fan during awards seasons.

      Thanks again for your thoughtful comment!

  5. so should someone contact him regarding the Darvey prophecy .... lol, Maybe.

  6. Gret reviews! I just miss Harvey/Mike interactions! I love theeeeeem

    1. Sorry that I'm JUST now responding to these but thank you so much! I seriously love me some Harvey/Mike too. :)

  7. I know I'm a little late to the party, but I just wanted to say I've been reading your reviews every week Jen and I'm loving all of them! Definitely a big reason why I was looking forward to the new season =)

    You've already said everything I was thinking (AND YES I REFUSE TO BELIEVE HARVEY SLEPT WITH ESTHER WITHOUT CONCLUSIVE PROOF). I loved Donna in this episode. SO FIERCE. Harvey has made the first step in repairing his relationship with Donna and I'm actually really proud of him because I had been mentally preparing myself for it to take a lot longer =P

    I'm sorry, this is probably nothing but...did anyone else smile when Harvey agreed to help Louis's sister on two conditions? Like Donna's standard two conditions? I don't know if this means Harvey has learned well or if it's a subconscious thing telling us he misses her. Either way I like it and I will choose to believe it wasn't just a coincidence in the writing =P

    1. AWWW, welcome to the party! We don't care if you're late -- you're always welcome to join! ;)

      I'm sorry, this is probably nothing but...did anyone else smile when Harvey agreed to help Louis's sister on two conditions? Like Donna's standard two conditions? I don't know if this means Harvey has learned well or if it's a subconscious thing telling us he misses her. Either way I like it and I will choose to believe it wasn't just a coincidence in the writing =P

      I totally didn't notice that, but it makes sense! Those two have habits and phrases that must have rubbed off on each other over twelve years. :)

  8. Hey so I happen to be a Coldplay addict and when I heard The Scientist playing I INTERNALLY SCREAMED WOOHOOOO