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The first season of USANetwork’s Suits ended on a cliffhanger. Having started with 12 amazing episodes, the first season was conservative in length, preferring to pack each episode with as much drama, suspense and witty banter as possible. The first season set up mentor Harvey Specter and associate Mike Ross in the Pearson Hardman lawfirm, both as lawyers. Specter’s character, played by Gabriel Macht, is one of the city’s best lawyers while Mike Ross, played by Patrick Adams, gains the unlikely position of associate in the law firm thanks to a photographic memory. The only catch? Mike Ross isn’t a real lawyer and eventually someone was bound to find out.
Season 2 picks up where the first ended, with Mike’s former best friend, Trevor, casting suspicion upon Mike’s good reputation to Jessica Pearson, the managing partner and founder of Pearson Hardman. Mike’s current girlfriend, Jenny, used to go out with Trevor and as revenge, Trevor went to Jessica Pearson. If that were not enough, Trevor also made sure Mike never got the messages from his real love interest, Rachel.
In this case however, information comes to light for everyone except Rachel and all cards are face up on the table. Mike finds out about Trevor’s betrayals, Jenny finds out Mike’s real feelings. Mike threatens Trevor with his financial stability and Rachel spurns Mike’s company. This specific aspect of the show could have been done with more suspense, but this legal drama focuses on a much more controversial topic-Mike’s status within Pearson Hardman.
The discoveries of Mike’s real credentials by Jessica as well as the return of firm co-founder Daniel Hardman, played by David Costabile, are the two focal points of this episode. While all of the legal proceedings take place for Mike, as his mentor and boss Harvey gives him a special multimillion dollar case to handle on top of the huge caseload he has as a regular Associate. The commander of these Associates is the unpleasant Louis Litt, fantastically acted by Rick Hoffman.
Mike himself doubts Harvey’s support at Pearson Hardman, but both come to the realization that they need each other, though Harvey never says those actual words. Mike and Harvey, the two stars of the show, still have their consistently witty banter, but this season makes things more serious. This is a pleasant aspect of the show that was also seen during the first season but this time the stakes are higher, more real. Fans will catch onto this quickly as tempers flare in the show, with strong facades coming to the fore.
Harvey risked a lot to keep Mike with him as an Associate during the first season and the same can be said for this season as well, putting not only his partnership at Pearson Hardman on the line but his entire career as well. He brilliantly shows his loyalty to Mike and to Jessica in a lesser extent, gathering them in a unified, fully informed defense against their common enemy as he comes to play ball after being exiled for a number of years from the firm.
The return of Daniel Hardman, much like his name attributes, is anything but soft and smooth for Co-founder Jessica and Senior Partner Harvey. While no other partners were featured in the show in this episode or last season very often, more may come up in the future. This will leave some fans wondering if there are outside players that are yet to be revealed, adding to the sense of mystery in this episode.
In the meantime, Daniel Hardman’s dastardly return will cause a much anticipated civil war between all the key players in the firm. Known for his unscrupulous dealings in the past and apparently turning a new leaf ‘for the good of the firm’, Hardman’s return spells disaster. Harvey and Jessica were the ones who blackmailed him into exile ‘for the good of the firm’ as well.
Beyond the morale challenges and the civil war, the writers of the show are smart to tie in back story created from Season One to further the storyline in the Season Two premier. Case in point, Mike’s digital fingerprint inside the Harvard Law database is squeaky clean and 100% falsified. A hacker from one of Mike’s cases in Season One set up his entry in the database.
The bad news, though, is the hacker didn’t go into the undergraduate degrees and do the same. This saves Mike on the surface just like it did in the first season, but now with Jessica digging into his past, she knows about Mike’s missing credentials and is on the warpath. Including the Harvard Law Alumni database was a stroke of genius as far as credentials goes and their existence says more to Jessica than their absence does. This clues her into the fact that Harvey himself may have known all along that Mike Ross wasn’t a real lawyer. The writing for this part of the show was seamlessly integrated with the rest and intelligent to boot too.
Confronting Mike at the end of the episode, fans are wondering if Jessica Pearson, who is much younger than co-founder Daniel Hartman, has a photographic memory just like Mike does. Could that have been the secret to her success? She starts quizzing Mike about how he impressed Harvey. This is an excellent tie in with Jessica’s past and opens doors for more character exploration. Her conversations with Mike reveal more of his past as well, an excellent way to frame both histories.
An excellent beginning for the second season of a great show, Suits appears to be heating up more than ever with lines in the sand being drawn in the near future. Who will fall on the side of Daniel Hardman vs Jessica and Harvey? The answers will surprise us all, with at least one anticipated surprise addition to Hardman’s team that no one will see coming. Suits airs on USA Network on Thursdays at 10 pm Eastern Time.
Rating: 4.5- Excellent but lacking a few expanded elements