Ready for the briefest review of all reviews? Knowing me, I'll probably get to typing and find out I have more to say than I thought, but for the moment I'm trying to keep this brief. Bottom line? I liked this episode. It brought out a lot of these character relationships and shined some light on some very interesting dynamics. However, there were a few things that got swept under the carpet a little too quickly, which makes me upset that we don't get to see these dynamics stretch out even further. Also, Rachel got the shaft to the subplot again this week, which sort of upset me.
The plot of this episode took so many turns that I'm actually not going to give a detailed summary. I'll just say this: everyone at Pearson Darby Specter knows that Stephen is guilty (Darby has known for a while) but they have no real way to prove it. They try a lot of different tricks, but ultimately it boils down to getting Cameron on their side. Darby agrees to turn himself in to save Ava, and Cameron eventually takes the deal. Stephen is sold down the river. In a nice little twist, Darby is forced out of the picture by Jessica and the gang, with Cameron's assistance. Along with giving up Stephen, he also gives up his right to practice law in the country, which makes the Pearson-Darby merger a thing of the past.
In subplot news, it's Louis vs. Harold in one of the most pointless plots of the season. Harold is trying to sue Louis, Louis is brutal about it, and Rachel counsels him to let up on Harold. We learn that the reason why Louis has always been so harsh to Harold was that he reminds Louis of his failures, since he couldn't find a way to teach him. While this plot thread had a few nice ideas, it ultimately just distracted from the main plot. Rachel did nothing but act as Louis' conscience, and we still haven't seen Mike react to Rachel's big news about Colombia Law School. In addition, Harold is a character from the past, and it felt really out of place to have him poking his head in again. It was fun to see him in Louis' trial, but it was awkward to see them drag out his reappearance just to give us a moment of insight into Louis' tortured past.
But. That being said, what about all those awesome character moments I was talking about earlier? Well, here's a list of some of the best moments in this episode:
Donna and Stephen. Donna gets to come to Stephen with the news he's been fired, and then later with the news he's being arrested. I really love how every other character understood that she needed to be the one to take him down. It was awesome to see Donna get her revenge in this way.
Donna and Harvey. Along the same vein, it was interesting to watch Harvey grapple between his personal dislike of Stephen Huntley and his professional need to prove his guilt. It all came to a head when Harvey puts Stephen on the stand and gets nothing out of him, thus actually harming his cause. Donna wants to see Stephen pay on a personal level, and Harvey wants to make sure that happens.
Jessica and Harvey. When Jessica told Harvey that he was family to her, I had the biggest grin on my face. Jessica didn't have a lot of great moments in the earlier parts of this season, but in the past few episodes she's really turned around. Seeing her be the bigger man and forgive Harvey was exactly what the doctor ordered. I am ecstatic that she managed to best Darby, and I'm happy to know that Jessica and Harvey are working together once more.
Harvey and Mike. Just a few cute moments throughout that continue to show how much these two men rely upon each other. Harvey knows that Mike is concerned about his altercation with Stephen, but he wants to keep things all business. Mike knows when to push and when to let things go. He even supports Harvey to Ava after Harvey mistakenly puts Stephen on the stand. Even though Mike doesn't know exactly what's going on, he's placed his allegiance to Harvey, and it's not going anywhere. The scene where Harvey comes over to Mike's apartment and gets them beers was really adorable. I just have this idea that Harvey and Mike do that all the time now - just drop by unannounced and invade each other's homes and fridges, and without ever outwardly saying that they're friends, they end up spending a lot of their free time together. And then of course there was the fantastic joke at the end... Harvey tells Mike to go celebrate, and Mike is confused - "Don't you mean let's go celebrate?" Ultimately, Harvey takes off on his own and lets Mike go celebrate with Rachel, making an 'I had sex with your girlfriend' joke along the way. These boys are just too cute.
Harvey, Mike, and Jessica. I can't really specify what I like about this dynamic, but there's something so interesting about the three of them working together. You've got Jessica, who knows Mike's secret and probably should hate him for it, but instead she seems to respect his genius and his loyalty to Harvey. Then there's Harvey and Jessica's only recently patched up relationship, and Harvey and Mike's bromance... when the three of them are all on the same side and taking down the bad guys, it really warms my heart.
Ava and Darby. Kind of a strange one to throw in there, especially since I haven't been too fond of Ava's character growth thus far. But hearing the back story about Darby's relationship with Ava's father... wow. Suddenly a lot more depth was added into this relationship. Oddly, instead of making me sympathize with Darby, it made me dislike him even more. He knew what Stephen had done, and yet he kept it from Ava, a person he owed so much to. However, his noble sacrifice at the end does somewhat redeem him. (Promos for next week's episode show he doesn't give up on the merger quite so easily - that should be interesting to see).
To close off, I'll just say that I still don't love the whole Stephen plot twist. It did some interesting things for the characters, but ultimately I feel as if it came out of nowhere, and it's all wrapped up a little too nicely now. Darby being kicked out of the merger is also a bit sudden, but I have hope that the show will handle this well, given that Darby is sure to put up a fight before leaving. As we advance to these last two episodes before hiatus, I hope to see Rachel and Louis pull themselves out of subplot-land and get a real role in the culminating events. I also want, as always, more Harvey and Mike bromance.