Thursday, September 8, 2011

Season Finale: Suits-"Dogfight"

The Cast of "Suits"
Credit: USA

Some thoughts on the finale of Suits, and the season as a whole, are after the jump.

Suits is a show that has two sides to it. On one hand, there's a fun little show that has interesting characters and procedural cases that get better with each week. On the other, it's a show that could become stagnant in the growth of its characters and its story arc. This show has potential, and the finale showed that, but it also showed the major vulnerability of the show.

The idea of the vulnerability of the story arc didn't make itself clear to me (at least in the last two episodes) until the last moment of the season. When Trevor introduced himself to Jessica, I didn't find myself looking forward to the next season as intended. Instead the question "Can this show actually follow through on the cliffhanger if it wanted to do that?" rose in my head. It didn't work because not a direction in which I see the show going. I don't see it throwing its premise away and having Mike be fired from the firm. Although, an arc with Mike going to law school and trying to earn his spot back in the firm would make a great two or three seasons of the show, it won't happen. USA is not the type of network that would allow a show to throw away its premise. They like consistency.

This is a major problem because it essentially makes the cliffhanger obsolete. They will probably stop Trevor in some way from telling Jessica and return to business-as-usual as quickly as possible. This makes me more then a little upset. I generally want my shows to have some stakes behind the story arcs. I would have preferred no cliffhanger compared to what we got as a cliffhanger.

 The cliffhanger was the only thing that is worthy of intense scrutiny in the finale. The rest was actually very good. The procedural storyline (which was a continuation of the previous week's story) was one of the strongest storylines that the show has done. I tend to like self-contained stories where the characters have personal involvement, and this week was the most emotion that we have seen from Harvey. This was what made me actually care about the story. It helps that Chi McBride (*) made a (relatively) great opponent for Harvey to fight. He was able to match wits with Harvey for half an episode, which is better then all of his opponents have been this season. It did all that I wanted from a procedural plotline, which is a remarkable improvement from earlier episodes.

(*) McBride was used a lot better in this appearance then he was in his HIMYM appearance. He is a great actor, and we actually were able to see that here.

Overall this season, the procedural stories have not been working, but what has been working are the dynamics between all of the characters in and around the office. The workplace on the show has been something that has grown successfully over the course of the season, creating a place that is fun to watch. It allows supporting characters like Donna, Louis, and Jessica to get their share of the screentime and shining moments.  The ensemble on this show has grown into one that isn't anywhere near the best, but is serviceable and very enjoyable.

Some other thoughts:

  • I don't want to dwell on the love triangle for very long because I don't think that it's something worth dwelling upon. Jenny is clearly a way to keep Rachel and Mike from getting together. It will resolve itself eventually, so hopefully it will resolve itself soon.
  • As I said in my initial review, I really like the dynamic between Patrick J. Adams and Gabriel Macht as Mike and Harvey. The two of them are good actors who work very well together. I can't wait to see this relationship evolve even further in future seasons.
  • Rick Hoffman's Louis has been one of the characters that has turned around a lot in my mind. I was less then kind to him in my initial review, so I was happy to see the way the show has used him improve. I was glad to see him change from a pretentious caricature into an actual character. He has been a lot of fun to watch in these past few episodes.
  • I still feel like Gina Torres is not getting material with which she can show her very deep range, but she has done great work with what she was given. She is my favorite actress on the show (and not just because of her Firefly heritage). She nails the mix of imposing and (the slight amount of) caring behind Jessica. 
  • Sarah Rafferty is a lot of fun as Donna. She is able to deliver very dialogue in a very sharp manner.
  • I like Meghan Markle a lot as Rachel, I just don't like the only way they are using her character right now. She is only a love target for Mike at the moment. That must change in the future. 
  • The Trevor arc hasn't done very much for me up until the cliffhanger. He's only hsown up on occasion, and never made a huge impact when he did appear.
While this finale left me with a bad taste in my mouth with a pretty horrible cliffhanger, the moments before it were good enough to almost outweigh the cliffhanger. The procedural story and the ensemble moments were pretty damn good. This show is already showing signs of potential, and I am interested in where this show will go next season.

What did everyone else think? 

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