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Suits ‘Asterisk’ Review: Louis Litt Holds the Power

By on August 17, 2012

Rick Hoffman as Louis Litt in Suits. Image © USA Network.

Baseball bats, bribery and porn (for research)… it’s all in a day’s work at Pearson Hardman. The office is a little brighter this week as fan favourite Donna returns. We also see Harvey and Jessica battle Daniel for Louis’s swing vote, and Mike as he apartment hunts for his grandmother. ‘Asterisk’ is another great episode for Suits, with some exploration into Louis’s complicated character.

First we see Harvey pay the charming Donna a visit. He offers her a bonus, which she promptly rips up. They bicker for a minute while Donna expresses her disdain for Harvey’s previous errors in judgment. She thinks that by stepping in to defend her, he made it look like she loves him. Harvey’s responding head-tilt and wide eyes make Donna even more indignant, in the cutest way possible. When he emphatically states that he needs her because he can’t be himself without her, she caves. Can you blame her? In return she wants that ripped up bonus back, as well as permission to fire the temp that replaced her. It turns out Donna doesn’t like her filing system being messed with.

Since Jessica and Daniel are both aiming to be managing partner of the firm, Daniel decides to promote Louis. Louis looks like a little kid on Christmas as he excitedly talks about telling his parents that he made senior partner. Daniel suggests that Louis keep the news to himself, but nothing gets past Donna. She notices Louis’s unusually chipper attitude and fancy suit when he comes to apologize for his previous behaviour.

When Jessica hears the news and confronts Daniel about bribing Louis for his vote, Daniel argues that Louis earned that promotion years ago. He questions Jessica’s judgment that she hadn’t made the same decision earlier. He also rejects the deal she offers him and makes it very clear that he is confident in his position.

Harvey is enlisted to try and win Louis over. Considering the tumultuous past that Louis and Harvey share, it is not surprising when the planned evening goes poorly. Doing his best to swallow his pride, Harvey takes Louis out for a congratulatory dinner. Louis talks about how nice it is to finally be equals. He even states that they are friends, which is when Harvey decides to spill his dirt on Daniel. Harvey tells Louis about how Daniel tried to frame Louis for the embezzled money five years earlier. Far from grateful, Louis is angry that Harvey has waited till now to tell him. He knows he is being used and storms out of the restaurant in a huff.

Harvey’s second attempt at winning Louis over also fails. Knowing how much Louis has looked forward to being a senior partner, Harvey suggests that because of the timing, people will wonder if Louis received the promotion as a bribe. He tells Louis not to let Daniel do this to him. In a burst of emotion, Louis claims that he does not see an alternative. He tells Harvey to get out after venomously adding that, “Harvey Specter, the great closer, couldn’t close me.”

Gabriel Macht as Harvey Specter and Sarah Rafferty as Donna Paulsen in Suits. Photo: Christos Kalohoridis © USA

Jessica, however, is unruffled by Harvey’s lack of success. She goes to Louis herself, something that she had planned to do all along. As Harvey put it, Jessica is playing chess while everyone else is playing checkers. Despite this, the meeting with Louis does not work out as planned. She seems to underestimate Louis’s anger about the situation, something she learns when he vents about the way he has been treated.

Whether or not you are a Louis fan, it does become obvious that Louis has some good points. Louis has been “on the outside, looking in” for years, with very little acknowledgment of his hard work. He points out that Jessica has strung him along, happy to keep him firmly in Harvey’s shadow. Jessica does not take kindly to Louis’s attitude. She warns him that if he votes against her, there will be no coming back.

While Louis did put on an aggressive front with Jessica and Harvey, he does the same with Daniel. When confronted about his attempt at framing Louis, Daniel does not deny it. His only argument is that he has changed since then. Yes, we have heard that before. He claims that Louis’s promotion is not conditional to Daniel receiving Louis’s vote. In a patronizing tone that Louis just may fall victim to, Daniel adds, “Louis, don’t doubt yourself.”

Meanwhile, Mike and Rachel look for an apartment for Mike’s grandma. Grandma Ross comes to the office earlier in the episode, telling Mike that Rachel is even more lovely than he said she was. She also shakes hands with Harvey. Mike barely manages to whisk her away before she can tell Harvey what Mike calls him (hint: it’s worse than ‘hardass’).

Mike and Rachel do find a nice apartment, as well as several romantic moments with each other in the process. One of those moments occurs when Mike opens Rachel’s test results and informs her that she scored a 172 on her LSATs. They also argue like an old married couple about what furniture should be placed where in the new apartment.

Thanks to all of that flirtatious fun, it is especially jarring when Rachel brings Mike some horrible news. His grandmother passed away. The two stand in the brand new apartment and embrace each other as Mike grieves. His grandmother was a loyal source of support, so it will be interesting to see how he copes without her. She will be a much missed character.

With all of that drama going on, the featured case is not given much time in the episode. Harvey and Mike deal with a TV sportscaster who claims that a popular athlete is doping and getting away with it. The client refuses to give up his source and provide proof, so Mike does a little digging and finds out for himself. Harvey and Mike work it out so that their client must either agree to their settlement arrangement or give up his source. He takes the deal.

Harvey and Mike talking out their latest predicament. Photo: Christos Kalohoridis © USA

Since Louis finishes discussion on the voting matter by telling Jessica, “You kept me waiting five years, you can wait another twenty-four hours”, we don’t yet know which way Louis will swing. Harvey and Jessica look worried, and they should be. Louis has been undervalued and mocked for a long time. That treatment may come back to haunt both Jessica and Harvey.

Who do you think will get Louis’s sought-after vote? How cute is it to have Harvey and Donna back together? Judging by the wink and smile that Harvey tossed in Donna’s direction, the writers of the show seem to know their audience. We may also see more development between Mike and Rachel as he overcomes the loss of his beloved grandmother. Tune in Thursday, August 23 on USA to catch the undoubtedly action-packed series summer finale of Suits.

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