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TV Review: ‘Suits’ – ‘No Way Out’

USA's best series, Suits, wrapped up its third season last week with "No Way Out." Mike (Patrick J. Adams) decides to stay with the firm, much to Rachel's (Meghan Markle) dismay, since this leaving for a new career is Mike's way out from under his fraud. But then Eric Woodall (Zeljko Ivanek, Damages, Argo) of the Justice Department hauls Mike in for questioning on illegal collusion, and the whole situation becomes unpredictable and tense. Although unrelated to Mike's lie about being a lawyer, this twist really makes Mike evaluate his current path. He's a great lawyer and he loves working…

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Summary : The Suits season finale is full of excellent character moments in a very tense situation.

User Rating: 3.86 ( 7 votes)
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S1USA’s best series, Suits, wrapped up its third season last week with “No Way Out.” Mike (Patrick J. Adams) decides to stay with the firm, much to Rachel’s (Meghan Markle) dismay, since this leaving for a new career is Mike’s way out from under his fraud. But then Eric Woodall (Zeljko Ivanek, Damages, Argo) of the Justice Department hauls Mike in for questioning on illegal collusion, and the whole situation becomes unpredictable and tense.

Although unrelated to Mike’s lie about being a lawyer, this twist really makes Mike evaluate his current path. He’s a great lawyer and he loves working for Harvey (Gabriel Macht), his best friend, but does he really want the threat of hard time hanging over his head forever? Not only that, but Mike’s actions could get Harvey and others he cares about in trouble. Woodall seems to be a wake-up call, a chance for Mike to take stock of himself.

Rachel’s frustration with Mike for wanting to stay is justifiable, but taking his decision personally is not. She tries to paint it as Mike choosing Harvey over her, but that’s not it at all. Mike loves the family he’s finally got and doesn’t want to throw that away. These are natural feelings. He solicits Rachel’s advice because he really does take her seriously, but in the end, he has to do what is right for himself. I hope she can forgive him for it.

Had Mike gone through with leaving early in “No Way Out,” before the Justice Department gets to him, Harvey would feel betrayed. Harvey tells Mike he should leave the firm, but he doesn’t want Mike to go. Their relationship could have been severely damaged, Harvey feeling like Mike is ungrateful for everything Harvey has done for him. Because of the events of the season finale, though, Harvey understands why Mike has to go, and their bond is stronger than ever, both having demonstrated their unconditional loyalty. Very clever story structure, Suits staff.

Could Mike ever go back to Pearson Specter? It doesn’t seem likely. It’s a huge shame that one of the leads, arguably one of the two most important people on the series, has to be away from the main group. He still has connections, living with Rachel, palling around with Harvey, and his new company being a client of his old. But it won’t be the same. The problem is, if Mike gets his law degree now, he risks exposing his past wrongdoings. And once he gets away from the guillotine, it’s hard to imagine he’ll want to stick his head back in. So he’s probably gone for good, unless there’s a non-lawyer job opening.

Jessica (Gina Torres) has to be relived that Mike quits. She and Harvey have an engrossing conversation about how they are becoming the man they both hate. They don’t want their firm to be one of lies and corruption. Jessica goes along with Mike for Harvey and because it’s too late to avoid exposure herself once she finds out. But not being close with Mike, this will be seen as a win for her, a chance to take control again.

Unfortunately, Harvey won’t see it that way. Losing Mike and his girlfriend, Dana (Abigail Spencer), in the same day is rough, compounded when the woman he trusts most, Donna (Sarah Rafferty), clearly doesn’t trust Dana. Harvey likely will think Donna is glad that Dana is gone, which could cause serious tension in their working relationship. The scene between Donna and Harvey early in “No Way Out” in which Donna asserts she just wants Harvey to be happy is stressful, not reassuring, and they are not on the same page here.

There’s still the question of if Dana is trustworthy. She pulls away from Harvey just when Harvey is being a good man, finally, though he does lie to her about Mike for awhile. Still, coming clean about the secret to her may not be wise. Harvey trusts that Dana won’t tell, but I’m not so sure. Their relationships has been rocky as of late. If she continues to date Harvey after leaving the firm, I will consider them fixed and Mike safe. If she moves on, as appears to be where Suits is heading, Dana could easily grow angry and bitter and want to get even with Harvey later.

The way Suits brings things back around when viewers least expect it is part of what makes the show so great. This season finale finds Mike arrested for something he did some time ago, not anything recent events have brought up.  Mike gets away with it, yet again, but there’s always a plethora of other shoes just waiting to drop from the things the characters think they’ve left behind.

It’s gratifying to see Harold (Max Topplin) not only return, but stick by Mike as a friend. Harold may be wavering in his resolve, but he is reigned in, and his first instinct is to toe the line. Part of me holds out hope Harold can come back to Pearson Specter, since he is unemployed again now, but another part doesn’t think the show will go that way, choosing a more realistic approach to situations over serving fans’ desire. Yet, this little taste of Harold makes me miss him greatly.

Louis (Rick Hoffman) also shines in the small parts of the episode he’s in, as he always does for Suits. Harvey asking Louis for help with the Justice Department is a meaningful, and Louis terrorizing Harold again is even better. Louis is the most interesting personality in a show chock full of interesting personalities, and I love that Suits keeps giving Hoffman the material to chew through, as the performer does such a stellar job of it.

“No Way Out” is full of character moments in a tense situation. It serves the plot well, but more importantly, it gives the players all chances to not only shine, but grow. This is actually quite typical for Suits, just ratcheted up a little for a season finale. It’s why I can’t wait until it returns again.

Suits will be back on USA this coming June.

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About JeromeWetzelTV

Jerome writes TV reviews for BlogCritics.org and Seat42F.com, as well as fiction. He is a frequent guest on two podcasts, Let's Talk TV with Barbara Barnett and The Good, the Bad, & the Geeky. All of his work can be found on his website, jeromewetzel.com