Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Suits 6x13 Review: "Teeth, Nose, Teeth" (Progress)


"Teeth, Nose, Teeth"
Original Airdate: February 8, 2017

Whenever a new year rolls around, everyone makes resolutions and promises to themselves. They'll go to the gym more. They'll stop complaining. They'll give up that really bad habit they've tried to break for the last few years. The beauty is that sometimes we actually stick to our resolutions. Yes, occasionally we fail. But when we commit to something wholeheartedly, it's amazing to see what can be accomplished. In the case of Suits, we often hear characters make promises to each other and themselves. They'll be more honest. They'll take the moral high ground. They will share responsibilities. And maybe after six seasons, I've grown cynical, but I'll be honest — I don't really expect characters to commit to these resolutions. Enter: "Teeth, Nose, Teeth" in which a few character really do stick to their promises and continue to become better people because of that. (And then there's Mike, but we'll get to him later.) This week's episode definitely wasn't as emotional as "The Painting," but I still really enjoyed it and the plot progress.

HARVEY AND LOUIS TEAM UP ... FOR REAL THIS TIME


When Harvey and Louis proposed the idea that they BOTH run Pearson Specter Litt, I audibly groaned. It's a trainwreck waiting to happen, right? Well "Teeth, Nose, Teeth" sees both characters in very agreeable places — Harvey has recently moved past a difficult emotional stage in his life by forgiving his mom, and Louis is prepping for Tara's baby to arrive. So in this episode, there is no yelling between them. Louis doesn't go rogue and try to fix a problem. Instead, when Rachel approaches him about her rejection from the Bar, Louis goes straight to Louis. It's an incredible moment of growth because the two men sit down together and talk through a plan. They've realized that communication is key to their relationship as partners and friends, and so Louis tells Harvey to go see the head of the ethics board because he's better at handling situations than he is.

Later on in the episode, when Harvey realizes that he's being blackmailed by aforementioned ethics board member, he turns to Louis for assistance in figuring out exactly what's behind the blackmail. Louis is much better with financials than Harvey is, and he readily admits this. Again, it's a moment of sheer character growth as both men respect that the other is an expert in his field at something. This is how they're building their partnership — occasional conflict, but recognizing that each has strengths and weaknesses. Harvey's job is to fix problems, and Louis' job is to fill in the gaps that Harvey cannot. Together, they can run Pearson Specter Litt. And with them together, the firm will succeed.

Furthermore, Harvey and Louis' professional relationship has a bit of a reprieve in the episode when Louis asks the former for advice on how to handle Tara's pregnancy. The father of Tara's baby, Joshua, wants to be in the baby's life. And when Tara gets her first sonogram that week, Joshua has vowed to be present. Louis doesn't know how he's going to handle that — how he'll be in the same room as that man without exploding in rage. And how we see Harvey handle this situation is indicative of the character growth he made in last week's episode: he tells Louis that it's a tough situation, but that Joshua is the baby's dad. And Louis is going to be in the kid's life, too. If he wants that child to be able to grow up happy, that means Louis needs to have a good relationship with Joshua... starting now. Because, as Harvey says, there's nothing more important than family. This seems to genuinely strike a chord in Louis and he makes things right with Tara by the end of the episode.

Overall, I was really impressed with the A-story this week because we got to see some much-needed camaraderie between Harvey and Louis, who both wanted to protect Rachel. But Harvey also does something in the episode that brings Mike back to the firm's office...


MIKE IS STILL NOT A LAWYER


As you'll recall from last week's episode, Mike is now working at a legal clinic as the supervisor of lawyers and law students. He was hired with full knowledge of his fraud and things seemed to be going decently well for Mike. Until this episode, that is. Basically what his story boils down to is the fact that he's trying to be a teacher and a mentor to people — green, nervous lawyers like Oliver — and prep them for court. But again, in this episode, Oliver fails. And his failure costs a woman (our tenant from last week's episode) and her child their home. (It also likely costs many other tenants their homes, too, in the future because the whole point of the case was that Mike and Oliver thought they could prove that the landlord was not just evicting for rent control purposes but so that construction could continue on the building itself while tenants were still occupying it. Or something like that. Honestly I don't much pay attention to the cases.)

The real big thing that happens in this episode is that Mike learns his place in the new legal clinic. His boss essentially tells him that Mike's job is to deal with the problems — sometimes that means their clients lose their homes or lose in court. But Mike's job is to make his boss' life as easy as possible. That's the real reason he was hired in the first place. Obviously this infuriates Mike, and he's stuck between the place of wanting to do what he's done for years, and not being able to do it because everyone knows he's a fraud. Mike's desperate to help Oliver out in court — to feed him the answers — but Oliver, even after a night of practicing for court with Mike, still flounders in the end.

It's this failure that leads Mike back onto the Pearson Specter Litt doorstep. Because you see, Harvey didn't just leave his meeting with the head of the ethics board for the Bar with an appointment in the books for Rachel. He left with something better: the potential for Mike to take the Bar. Initially, Mike rejects Harvey's offer. He's trying to do good, and he doesn't even remotely have time to think about getting back into the life he once had.

But by the end of the episode, Mike is all in with whatever Harvey wants him to do. 

It's definitely an interesting shift, since it will bring these two characters back together again (even though I've kind of enjoyed seeing Mike do his own thing, apart from Harvey) and we'll probably see some repercussions from this arrangement soon.

"DONNA" IS SYNONYMOUS WITH "AWESOME"


If there was ever a meta story to happen in Suits, this is the meta story. This is the story Arrow should just do with Felicity Smoak at this point, because it'd lead to the exact same conclusion. Benjamin, our friendly IT guy, and Donna have a fun banter. She discovers, however, that this is not all they have in common. Benjamin is working on "The Donna": a prototype of an external program that essentially acts as a Donna Paulsen one-liner, quip factory. I'm not exactly sure what the purpose is, apart from preserving Donna's awesomeness via technology forever, but Benjamin seems to think that there's real potential to make something out of this little hobby. He admires her, as do most people, and Donna admires "The Donna."

But it's only later, when Donna tries to use this new technology out on Rachel, that the woman realizes its fatal flaw — it isn't really a substitute for her. She tells Benjamin something pretty crucial (and here is where the meta part kicks in): she's more than just zingers and jokes and one-liners. She's more than just flirty phrases or monologues, too. She is who she is because of her empathy and her heart and her compassion for other people. That's what makes her Donna. So the device he built isn't really her. It's just a part of her personality, not the whole package.

It's a pretty incredible little story because it does remind us that Donna is who she is — as revered and beloved as she is — because of the fact that she is both funny and compassionate. It's her heart that makes her the character all of us love so much. Donna is a well-rounded character, amazing in all ways, and I'm so glad we got another character affirming that in "Teeth, Nose, Teeth."

This episode focused on moving forward — with professional and personal lives — and it'll be interesting to see where Suits takes the characters in the next episode.

Additional bits and pieces:
  • There was a C-story involving Louis and Annoying Reporter Chick. ... Wait, sorry. Wrong show. Basically all you need to know is that Louis and Tara fought because he was being a bit obsessive over Joshua, but then made up because Tara realized — shocker! — that she and Louis don't know one another well at all, and are trying to amend that.
  • I think that any episode opening with Mike/Harvey and Rachel/Donna is a great one. In this case, it was even better because the pairs were discussing Mike and Rachel's upcoming nuptials and how they decided they want to get married at Harvey's apartment. (Why? I have no idea. There are nice windows but it's low on my "places to get married" list, personally.)
  • Mike remains, of course, the #1 shipper of Harvey and Donna. And I love it.
  • "I finally put my foot down with Mike." "You told him to finally pick a hairstyle and stick with it?" I cackled.
  • Harvey and Donna have some great little flirty banter in this episode. And Harvey can't remember Benjamin's name.
  • "Sorry, Louis. Gotta go be better at something." I loved Harvey in this episode. He was tough when he needed to be, but there was an obvious shift to a more lighthearted version of him, and I appreciate that.
  • "You are the one woman in the universe who says the right thing, every time."
  •  "Louis, I don't speak for all handsome men."
  • Watching this episode, I was confused by the title. But then Louis asked the first three things that come to mind when Harvey looks at him, and Harvey's response was: "Teeth, nose, teeth." PERFECT.
What did you all think of this week's episode? Sound off in the comments below!

1 comment:

  1. I was happy this was a funny episode finally!

    One thing that has been bothering me is that Harvey and Rachel never work together. I know they can only do so much with the screen time they have but the workplace seems disconnected to me.

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