Is it possible for one act of betrayal to destroy a one promising friendship? That’s part of the premise behind the third season of USA’s “Suits,” which showcased how two unexpected betrayals from last season still impacted everyone on the show. Sure, some elements of the show may be familiar, but the execution has kept it interesting each week for viewers.
“Suits” followed how Harvey Specter (Gabriel Macht) was still struggling under the weight of two shocking acts of betrayal from his mentor/boss Jessica Pearson (Gina Torres) and his associate Mike Ross (Patrick J. Adams). Jessica went against Harvey’s wishes and pulled out all of the stops to secure a merger with a British firm. She even managed to blackmail Mike with exposing his secret that he wasn’t actually a real lawyer. Mike’s fear of exposure led him to hide evidence that could help Harvey win a case, which cost Harvey to lose complete faith in Mike. On the surface, Harvey seemed to be accepting that those closest to him chose to further their own personal gains, but he had an ulterior motive. He was developing a plan of stealing the firm out from under Jessica when her guard was completely down. The only person who knew Harvey’s true intentions was his assistant Donna Paulsen (Sarah Rafferty) who would still willingly go to battle for her boss. Harvey’s plans for Mike remained a mystery for the time being, but he kept him at a distance until he showed an interest in working with Louis Litt (Rick Hoffman) instead. Mike, on the other hand, had a blossoming relationship with the firm’s paralegal Rachel Zane (Meghan Markle) after all of his secrets were revealed. What will happen once every secret has been revealed? Who will stay at the firm and who will be left out in the cold?
In terms of questions, “Suits” posed a few new ones that involved the right amount of legal work and office drama without going too far over the top for either. It was nice to see some of the show’s once solid relationships get shaken up for all the right reasons, especially when the reasons were realistic ones. Harvey and Jessica had a once solid relationship that was forever changed over greed and dishonesty. Macht and Torres showcased how their characters had a complex relationship almost had an “All About Eve” quality where the former protege ultimately stabbed their mentor in the back. Macht’s Harvey had all the makings of an over confident lawyer, but there was something lurking that the show hasn’t fully explored yet. Torres’ Jessica was mostly a background player in past seasons, but she now has a chance to explore her character’s more questionable qualities. This season’s only weakness has been developing solid enough legal cases to balance all of the personal drama that has gone on in the first two episodes. The show’s first case involved a morally ambiguous oil tycoon (Michelle Fairley) being betrayed by a once loyal employee. It was nice to see Fairley in a role outside of “Game of Thrones,” but the part was rather minor and ended far too quickly. Hopefully, Fairley’s character will need Harvey’s assistance again down the line. Only time will tell if that’s the case.
As for breakout performances, Macht and Adams led the pack as their characters established a unique buddy rapport that allowed them to insult and support each other at the same time. Macht brought a unique mix of Gordon Gecko and Captain America without overdoing either persona. He demonstrated Harvey’s sadness as he realized that he was more alone than he expected. Hopefully, the show will give Macht a potential on-screen love interest or just the right sparring partner to keep him on his toes to give his character a little extra depth. Another potential alternative would be to examine Harvey’s past by unveiling a family member that no one knew about or something along those lines. Without taking the action away from the firm, the relative could be tied into one of Harvey’s cases. In the meantime, Adams had a chance to work with other cast members, including Markle and Hoffman. It’s just a shame that Mike’s newfound relationship with Louis was nipped in the bud far too soon. The show could’ve devoted the third episode to Harvey trying to get Mike to work with him, instead of resolving their differences in one rushed scene. Let’s hope that Adams will get a chance to work with other characters as a way to give the rest of the cast a chance to shine just as much as Macht and Adams stealing the show. Fingers crossed that will happen sooner rather than later.
“Suits” premiered on July 16th and airs Tuesdays at 10:00 PM on USA.
Verdict: The show has succeeded in establishing a solid rapport between Macht and Adams, but their on-screen rift was resolved far too soon. It could’ve gone on for at least two more episodes.
TV Score: 4 out of 5 stars
1 Star (Mediocre)
2 Stars (Averagely Entertaining)
3 Stars (Decent Enough to Pass Muster)
4 Stars (Near Perfect)
5 Stars (Gold Standard)