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First thoughts: Suits third season opener is about loyalty

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Written by : published Wednesday 17th July 2013

First thoughts: Suits third season opener is about loyalty main image

The hit USA Network show Suits returned to the airwaves with a fun romp of an episode entitled “The Arrangement”.  Picking up very closely after the completion of the merger with another firm, Jessica Pearson’s (Gina Torres) new partnership with Edward Darby (Conleth Hill) is tested when he assigns Harvey (Gabriel Macht) a high-profile client named Ava Hessington (Michelle Fairley) who faces the loss of her company Hessington Oil.  Mike (Patrick J. Adams) works to reconcile with Harvey and to manage the fallout from his revelation to Rachel (Meghan Markle) that he didn’t really go to Harvard Law. Will Rachel really turn Mike in for lying about Harvard law? Will Mike and Harvey kiss and make up, or is that just a question for those sordid fan-fiction writers out there to answer in a different way?

Well, the fan-fiction thing was more of a joke, though let’s be honest, it exists out there.



Suits is one of those rare USA Network series to really delve into the drama, letting the characters, not necessarily the cases, drive the series. While the first season had similar instincts, it still catered to the case of the week structure that USA Network shows thrive on. In fact, it have very similar blood pumping through its veins that Royal Pains did; it had an on-going storyline moving episode to episode but still retained the case of the week format. Then came season two and oh how Suits changed. No longer were the cases taking up twenty to twenty-five minutes of the episode. Now, unless they furthered the plot along, took up less than ten minutes.

And if season two was considered the ‘Civil War’ within Pearson Hardman, then let’s be clear: season two was really the lead-up to the Civil War. Season two will be known as the Battle of Fort Sumter, with Jessica Pearson fighting off opposition with Harvey.  But this season is really driving the point home about loyalty. At least, in concept, this episode should have just been called Loyalty instead of “The Arrangement” as everyone is going to war due to the lack thereof regarding loyalty.

And the ‘opening shots’ of the whole loyalty debat really started in the finale of last season between Nigel Nesbitt (Adam Godley) and Louis Litt (Rick Hoffman), which spills over to the general theme of not just “The Arrangement” but possibly the entire season. Examples? Let’s see:

  • Nigel betrayed Louis last season.
  • Nigel now is betrayed by Louis is then betrayed again. (Nigel used him the entire time….)
  • Harvey is upset that Mike wasn’t loyal.
  • Jessica is upset that Harvey wasn’t loyal.
  • Dana (Abigail Spencer) was upset that Harvey wasn’t loyal.
  • Rachel is upset that Mike wasn’t honest.


What is more interesting is that Darby, the new senior partner of the firm, the one Jessica recently let buy the firm, is letting the Civil War continue.  Harvey is quick to take on the case of Hessington Oil as long as Darby promises to fire him and void his non-compete clause.  Mike though is quick to prove his loyalty to Harvey, and his bad dreams of Rachel coming in and proving he is a fraud to everyone isn’t helping matters either. Luckily, Rachel and Mike seem to work it out, but Mike is determined. And while Harvey by the end of “The Arrangement” will probably let him work with him on this case, Harvey seemingly takes it as a ‘I will crush EVERYONE who wronged me’ stance. His deal with Darby to be fired with the non-compete changes completely to something that puts Harvey, if he wins to take over as the head of the US side of Pearson Darby, thus firing Jessica, and firing Mike, thus, being able to firmly remove all of those he fines disloyal. Heck, could Louis be considered part of that?

It is an interesting idea to be sure, but one remembers that a show like this also thrives on characters working together for a greater good. It was enthralling to see Jessica, Mike, Rachel, Harvey and Louis (and anyone else I might have missed) going after Hardman like they did.  But to see the band ‘tearing apart at the seams’ is a bit awkward. It would be interesting to see if perhaps this whole season is also going towards a ‘getting what you want isn’t what it is cracked up to be’ scenario. 

I also really dig the performances but again, I heavily praised this actor last year and this year, one scene in particular made the whole episode of “The Arrangement” for me, and that is Hoffman’s turn as Louis Litt. While rat-like in nature, with our proposed disposition towards Litt as the antithesis of Harvey, aka the baddie, the foil, etc, Hoffman provides such brevity, such human depths to such a character (that is needed) to really make him three-dimensional.  The scene in question is the scene between Mike and Louis.  While I don’t remember them being on solid ground at seasons two’s end yet, it was a scene that sparked to me, Louis’ own struggles to get close to Harvey, and his never-ending quest to just be loved, and be a part of something.  And Hoffman delivers across the board on delivering such a performance, that really, for me, while I enjoy Torres, Macht, Markle and Adams’ performances as well, it is Hoffman that really shines, and adds Soul to Macht and Adam’s Heart as Suits plunges deep into season three.

Overall, “The Arrangement” is a solid bow for the USA Network show that premiered tonight, and quite nicely sets up the arc for the season, though I am still wondering that Darby’s real play for the firm is.  He is allowing the back-biting between Harvey and Jessica, which begs the question: why? If Harvey is the firm’s star player, and Jessica has run the company swimmingly minus a hiccup from Hardman, why let these two go at it? Something is a bit fishy here deep down, and I’m sure Harvey and Jessica will kiss and make-up by season’s end or mid-season’s end to get them to band together but for now, I’ll gladly watch the drama escalate.

About the author goodbadgeeky


Nick ‘Nitro’ Arganbright has an extreme love for a good story, whether it be in film, tv, video games, comic books, music or more and it shows in each article and podcast he produced. The titular podcast he produces is called The Good The Bad & The Geeky with co-hosts Jon Bettin and Nathan ‘DJ Meat’ Haley. The podcast has helped him make a few contacts within in the industry which he hopes to use to entertain and inform readers of his reviews on Examiner.com and The TV King, offering an average joe opinion that is often overlooked in major print and online publications. If you’d like to e-mail him, please do so at [email protected] or you can tweet him on twitter at @goodbadgeeky.

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