It's baaack! One of my favorite shows ever. All the sexy outfits and sexy slow-mo walking and snappy, snarky, sexy dialogue... uh. Sexy. This show is sexy. Maybe I should talk about the plot of this Season Four premiere!
Mike has an idea to take over a company owned by Walter Gillis. His boss, Sidwell, thinks the plan is too soft, and so does Harvey. Harvey doesn't want to help Mike with it, because he doesn't think it's ruthless enough. Mike, angry, puts Pearson Specter under review, trying to force Harvey to get a better attitude and help him. Just as Harvey decides to help Mike, whatever the cost, another client of Harvey's, Logan Sanders, pitches an idea to take over Gillis' company. Because Mike put the firm under review, Harvey is obligated to help Sanders instead of Mike. Harvey tries to get Mike to back down so that he can still help him, but Mike does not. It looks like Harvey will have to support Logan Sanders against Mike, even though he doesn't want to.
Meanwhile, Jeff Malone, a litigator for the SEC, comes to Harvey and Jessica and announces that Woodall is going to use him, Malone, against Pearson Specter's clients. He wants Harvey and Jessica to hire him, so that he can work for them, instead of against them. Harvey wants to do it, but Jessica has a complication... she has been in a personal relationship with Malone. She decides to hire him, but declares that their personal relationship must end. While this is happening, Louis is waiting for Jessica and Harvey to come and ask him to help get rid of the SEC problem, but his coy game doesn't work out, to his and Katrina's disappointment.
Rachel is working for Harvey at the firm and also going to law school. As things get underway between Harvey and Mike, Rachel assures Harvey that her professional concerns are not connected to her personal ones. She's with the firm, and she'll do whatever it takes, even though it means working with Harvey and against Mike. Rachel also tells Mike that she once had an affair with Logan Sanders.
After the wonderful stuff they did with Louis at the end of last season, it was disappointing to see him back in the fool's seat again. Every time he and Katrina start plotting together to earn Harvey and Jessica's respect, it seems like a backslide into the same thing we've already seen tons of times. Louis already has their respect, and we've seen that. So why bother?
I don't mind the introduction of the Logan Sanders element in Mike and Rachel's relationship, but here's the thing: we already went the love triangle route with Mike and Rachel. We did that. Now they're together, and they've already set up a delicious and intriguing way to bring some conflict into their relationship, since Rachel will have to be professionally loyal to Pearson Specter, even if it means working against Mike. Why even bother with the love triangle element? It's old, it's cliche, it's hardly ever interesting, and there's a much better setup for conflict already in place!
Then there's Mike's new secretary... is it just me, or is she exactly like Donna? I might be judging prematurely, though. I'll give her a chance.
But let's not be negative. I think, over all, this was an extremely strong episode. I'll briefly discuss some of the elements I really enjoyed.
Jessica has a boyyyyfriend. Or a casual hookup arrangement. Whatever. Either way, it's nice to see her with something of a love interest. They set it up really well, too. Those two are hot together. They have good chemistry, and this Malone guy seems like a very charismatic guy. It will be interesting to see what happens when you toss another big fish into the Pearson Specter pond.
One of the strongest parts of this episode was the attention given to Harvey and Jessica's relationship. I love that Jessica tells Harvey about Malone, and that Harvey is totally respectful about it. Their friendship is quite amazing. I mean... there's certainly some sexual chemistry between them, but at their core they respect each other greatly. I'm really interested in Malone as a new addition to the show, and in how he will shape things moving forward.
Rachel. While I'm not thrilled about her past connection to Logan Sanders, I am thrilled with her loyalty to the firm, and how that's already managing to put her at odds with Mike. She's a strong and successful woman, and she's juggling a lot right now. She's going to be a professional in this situation, but that's going to cause all sorts of problems moving forward. Another favorite moment for me was Harvey and Rachel's interaction, where Harvey actually apologized sincerely for using Rachel as a means to pass a message to Mike, without telling her what was going on. She really stood up for herself, and Harvey treated her with the respect she's earned.
Donna didn't have a ton to do, but I did like that Harvey admitted she was right, and that we saw continued evidence of Donna's fondness for Mike. How will she end up tangled in this new mess between Harvey and Mike? I can't wait to find out!
Of course I saved our two leading guys for last. Their relationship in this episode was actually quite complex. A lot of intricate and complicated dynamics were explored, here, and I'm thrilled with the risks the show is taking in this regard. At first, I was a bit miffed that we jumped so quickly into conflict between Harvey and Mike. I was looking forward to seeing some cute banter between the two of them, as Mike flaunts his new status as Harvey's "boss," and Harvey gives him a bad time about his new job. And we did get that here, but it just so quickly became serious. However, after giving it some thought, I'm really glad that we're pushing forward into some conflicts so quickly. This show is never complacent. It always pushes forward. I love that.
We see Harvey and Mike go on quite a roller coaster. First, they're friends. Then, Mike is pissed at Harvey and Harvey is realizing that he has to stop treating Mike like his incompetent little brother. Then, Mike is even more pissed at Harvey. But as the chips fall into place and they both realize what's going to happen, their argument becomes entirely professional. The very last exchange between them in this episode involved jokes and quippy banter, which actually made the conflict all the more poignant. Their personal relationship is very strong, and they're obviously both hoping that it won't shatter because of this new professional conflict between them. But, inevitably, the strain will start to show very soon.
Harvey's journey in this episode with regards to Mike was actually sort of sad. He started off by treating Mike like his subordinate, but in the affectionate sort of way that he always did when Mike worked for him. Then, when he sees how serious Mike is, he decides to be loyal to him, even though he doesn't like Mike's idea. It's heartbreaking when Logan starts pitching him an idea to take over the same company, because in that moment Harvey knows that he's going to lose Mike as a client. I think it was really hard for him when Mike left Pearson Specter, but he was able to move on by assuring himself that their friendship could remain intact. Now, so soon after Mike left, their professional and personal relationship is in serious jeopardy. I think that really scares Harvey.
For now, I think I'll leave it there. As we move forward, what I'd love to see is Mike and Harvey fighting tooth and nail professionally, but trying to keep their personal relationship on good footing. I want to see them struggle as they're forced to do things to hurt one another, and I want to see the fallout and eventual re-connection of these two wonderful characters.