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An episode of revealing “Choices”, Episode 2 of ‘Suits’ Season 2′s very appropriate title kicks off the war between returning firm co-founder, Daniel Hardman, played by David Costabile and co-founder, Jessica Pearson, played by Gina Torres. As we now know Mike Ross, played by Patrick J. Adams, gets to keep his job because Harvey Specter, played by Gabriel Macht, bargained them both in a heart stopping gamble with Jessica in Episode One. Now, episode two opens with Mike wanting to see Rachel, but running unexpectedly into Jessica. Will the hard-nosed co-founder indulge in Mike’s apology, or will she steam-roll Mike’s apology with a scathing rebuke of her own?
The feeling of the episode is hopeful from the start but does nothing to hide the growing tension that is ramping up at the Pearson and Hardman firm. Lines will be drawn in this episode and so far the cards will fall predictably until the appropriate build up for the coming third episode. A lull in dramatic tension this is not, as the episode starts off rather steamy.
Revealed in the first episode of this new exciting season, Rachel, played by Meghan Markle, left Mike that rather revealing voice message that lingered as one of the cliffhangers from season One. Fans eager for a resolution certainly get what they want, just not how they want it. As the episode is about choice, Mike decides to make his feelings known to Rachel in a rather well executed, if ill timed, kiss. If fans think this is enough to drive the story forward, they’d only be partially right.
The next aspect of this episode features the repercussions from episode one. Fans will recall that Harvey gambled both his and Mike’s job on a bluff to Jessica, mostly because Jessica needed every key player in her corner and couldn’t afford to lose Harvey just when she needs to fight her hardest against Daniel Hardman. Thus, Mike keeps his job because of Harvey, but now Mike wants to tell his deep dark secret to Rachel because he can’t stand to lie to her. This is an excellent catch-22 scenario where Mike is stuck between two equally damning consequences.
Yet in the end Mike does lie to her, an ironic twist of his own because in order to keep his job he can’t tell Rachel that he’s not a real lawyer and gives the reason that he can’t be with her is because he loves his job too much to jeopardize things. This isn’t a full untruth but is accurate enough to placate fans. Still, this part of the story is brittle at best and teases fans with a Mike and Rachel relationship for all of one episode before yanking viewers in another direction. This does heighten drama to a degree, but doesn’t feel as organic because Mike and Rachel haven’t had time to fully understand their relationship at the start of the new, previously uncomplicated, season.
On the other side of the war, Mr. Hardman himself isn’t actually in the episode but makes his presence felt like a dark shadow, casting doubt and dissent amongst the employee’s at Pearson Hardman. Everything about this episode permeates Hardman’s goal of winning over Associates and partners alike, from something as simple as a fruit plate for the Associates to show his appreciation, all the way to unilaterally making changes to the firms’ structural layout.
Harvey is given an assignment by Jessica and he completes the task in his usual fashion, by steamrolling everyone in his way. The consequences of his actions, though, worry Jessica since Harvey’s one hammer to every nail approach isn’t the most subtle of gestures and earns Harvey plenty of enemies left and right.
Deserving of amazing praise is the role of Louis Litt, played by Rick Hoffman. It cannot be said enough that Hoffman is a talented actor, providing the slightly evil overlord feeling as he controls the Associates with an iron fist. In this episode his loyalties are divided as he overcomes confusion in the chain of command. Now that Hardman is back, Louis needed confirmation that he was still a valued asset to Jessica. Having sought her praises earlier in the first season, he finds himself with the considerable task of securing his job at Pearson Hardman. The tension in this character stems from his insecurities and his need to be valued, a feeling where many viewers will sympathize with Louis’s character.
In the past, Louis may have willingly followed Jessica, but now he grudgingly seems to do so, having come into a confidence that he didn’t have earlier in the series. His insecurities done with, Louis Litt seems to be on the rise within the Suits universe as he takes on the role of becoming Daniel Hardman’s right hand man. There is little known about Louis’ past, but merely that there are some skeletons in his closet just like anyone else.
This season of Suits so far seems to be a soaring rollercoaster of events that transpire quickly and in unexpected ways. As many second seasons of a great show proceed, more back-story on some of the more popular secondary characters comes to light. In this episode alone, something is revealed about Donna that adds a great deal of depth and history to her character. It is these little morsels of information that bring the characters to life, making fans all the more involved in the show through the knowledge of intimate secrets.
Rating: 4/5 for great drama that felt only a tad rushed
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