New ‘Suits’ season plays to its strengths

By Debashine Thangevelo | IOL |

Suits is back for a seventh instalment. The verdict? It’s slowly reclaiming what initially made the show great. One of those strengths was the bromance between Harvey Specter (Gabriel Macht) and Mike Ross (Patrick J Adams).

Aside from their witty banter and fierce loyalty, which was impenetrable until the writers decided to upset the balance, they were a tour de force – both working and playing hard.And they were the perfect tag team when negotiating those high-profile deals in the boardroom. The writers conceived wonderful story arcs and threats while also underpinning the cases with moral conundrums.

Of course, with Jessica Pearson (Gina Torres) running a tight ship – her ball-busting prowess notwithstanding – everyone knew their place. She was able to put out fires with commendable grace. Even Louis Litt (Rick Hoffman) bowed to her when he was on the receiving end of her ferocity.

Much has changed though. Jessica is no longer there and Harvey has his sidekick back. But there’s much to be done. Louis is a walking time bomb after his break-up with Tara. He’s lashing out at everything and everyone. Rachel’s offer to take over the junior associates is met with brutal hostility. Donna, in her attempt to mediate, got caught in the crossfire.

To add insult to injury, he let her know where she sat in the pecking order in the company. Unbeknown to him, Donna bought a seat at the big boys’ table.

Meanwhile, Harvey and Mike did what they do best: play hardball with a deceptive client. Everyone won in the end, of course.

Harvey, after dragging his heels, finally stepped up to assert himself as the head of the company. He was trying to find a way to fill Jessica’s shoes, so Mike dished out the tough love he’s been on the receiving end of so many times in the past.

In this season, the writers really drive home the fact that Harvey is a changed man. Especially with him driving a muscle car instead of being chauffeured around. His taste in women has evolved too. He’s looking for more depth now that he’s put his emotional demons to bed.

Gretchen (Aloma Wright) is one of my favourite characters. She tells it like it is and has a nurturing presence that’s a breath of fresh air in such a cut-throat world.

The writers are trying really hard, but there’s much work ahead of them. The dynamics are still not on an even keel and I’m hoping the arrival of Dulé Hill’s character will help in that regard.

The show needs some truly sophisticated badasses to add gravitas to the storytelling. There also needs to be more credibility in how situations unfold; the way Donna ambushed Harvey to be made partner lacked finesse.

And can wardrobe please address Rachel’s 2011 look? She looks a royal mess.

* Suits airs on M-Net (DStv Channel 101) at 8.30pm.