Suits wrapped up its third season last night with what were supposed to be three major moments: One, Louis seems to have discovered that Mike Ross didn’t go to Harvard like everyone thinks. Two, Rachel decided to go to Columbia so she could stay with Mike. And three, Harvey kinda-sorta confessed his uptight version of love to Scottie. And in these developments, we can see how Suits sees itself, and it makes me wonder: Does Suits know what Suits is good at?
Because at this point in the show’s run, it’s impossible to care about Mike’s “secret,” that he never went to Harvard Law School, never passed the bar, and is just a charming and handsome autodidact. Every few episodes, Suits makes a point of how big a deal this is, and what will everyone do when they find out his big secret, and oh God, the affidavits, and if anyone found out we’d all be in big trouble. Message received, Suits! If this were the one secret on the show, maybe it would carry more weight, but an average of once per episode, two people say to each other, “Why didn’t you tell me before?” “I’m telling you now!” Everyone has secrets on this show. It’s okay. Too many people now know that Mike is a fraud, which means it’s got to come out at some point. Embrace the Scandal model and just go for it already. Keeping secrets is not super interesting. It’s the telling of the secrets that’s a story.
Suits is a very sexy and very sexually charged show. So much flirting! So much “I hate to see you leave, but I love to watch you walk away.” So very many longing glances. But Suits doesn’t know when to deploy romantic stumbling blocks — like, for example, where Rachel would go to law school. Would she leave her boyfriend Mike and move across the country? Uh, no. I’ve seen television before. It never occurred to anyone watching this show that she’d actually move, so why the drawn-out decision-making process? Fans waited what felt like forever for those crazy kids to just get together already, and teasing the idea that they’d break up just felt phony and arbitrary.
Which brings us to the Harvey-Scottie showdown as an example of what Suits actually does pretty damn well, combining good secret-keeping and good sexytimes. Every conversation is a negotiation with these two. (Hey, it’s a lawyer show.) How much do I like you, and how much do you like me, and is there information I can reveal to change that balance to be in my favor? Scottie and Harvey are both full of secrets — that’s why their clothes are so tightly tailored, to hold their secrets in — and are both very hot for each other. Great! Do it, Suits! Spill secrets, have sexy, sexy secret-spilling sex! Harvey and Scottie’s secrets are still interesting, unlike Mike’s boring secret, and there are plenty of reasons to think they’re a good match and plenty of reasons they’re a terrible match. (Donna is one of those terrible-match reasons. Team Donna.)
Suits is a very lovable series, which was enough to carry it almost all the way through three seasons. But moving into season four, if it’s going to live up to its reputation as a great show, then it’s time for more sure-handed storytelling. And more Louis. Every episode of this show needs more Louis.