Farewell, Suits. Season 3 Finale, ‘Stay.’

Previously on Suits: Bad Faith.

This is me saying goodbye to Suits. I haven’t even watched the final episode, and I doubt I ever will. Instead, I’ve read an interview that Aaron Korsh, head writer and creator of the show, gave TV Line, and I gotta say, I’m done.

If you’ve read last week’s review, you can likely guess that this is about Rachel and Mike.

TVLINE | What’s driving Rachel’s decision: Her desire to be a lawyer at the firm even though she didn’t go to Harvard or to stay with Mike?  
That’s a great question. That’s something I wish we were more clear on.  I think she would have chosen to stay at Columbia and stay with Mike no matter what. But it’s possible that she might have chosen Stanford had Jessica not stuck her finger in. But when someone says to you, “I’m forcing you to break up with your boyfriend,” or, “I’m forcing you to go to Stanford,” it really made Rachel realize, “Oh, my God. I love Mike. I don’t want to go to Stanford. I don’t care. I want to say here. I want to be with Mike.” Rachel’s decision is completely being driven by her feelings towards Mike. She used it all to get it all. She’s turning the challenge that Jessica’s thrown her way into an opportunity, and it shows Rachel’s growth as a lawyer. Jessica seeing that Rachel was smart enough to do that, she’s impressed by it. She’s like, “Yeah, I’ll waive the rule for you.”

TVLINE | And how open is Rachel going to be with Mike about this agreement that she made with Jessica?
I don’t even think we cover it. We just assume, of course, she’s done that. We didn’t write a scene where she tells Mike that. I just assume they’re in love, that she shared that with him.

Two things: one, never assume anything about your own characters, because that means that you don’t know them at all. Two, Mike also forced her to stay, he bullied her into wanting to stay by threatening to end their relationship if she went to Stanford. This ‘turning a challenge into an opportunity’ is only the writers’ piss-weak attempt at justifying a plot decision that amounts to one thing only:

It’s ok to treat your equal partner like shit because they’ll love you no matter what. It’s ok to then deny a character growth, independence, and autonomy by basing their entire decision-making on that person who’s been pushing them around for two and a half seasons. It’s ok because, boo hoo, Jessica stuck her finger into it. The above emphasis is what really gets me about this: “Rachel’s decision is completely being driven by her feelings towards Mike.” What about her ambition? She loved the idea of going to Stanford, and Mike promised to be fucking supportive. And then, guess what, he broke that promise because he’s a selfish, arrogant prick. Being a lawyer is what she’s been dreaming about her entire life, and I bet that if the writers hadn’t at least written in Columbia, they’d have made her stay anyway, without ever becoming a lawyer. What about the anger that every woman I know would feel at being blackmailed into a decision by anyone, at being treated as she’s been treated by Mike. Mike, who just used her to get to her father, something she was angry enough about to rethink their relationship, and then he comes and says, ‘I love you,’ and everything’s fine?

And then, this assuming business: he doesn’t care, does he? As long as Rachel is there to provide plot foil for Mike, Aaron Korsh doesn’t care about the inner workings of her character, and the dynamics of her relationship with Mike. He just assumes they talked about it? Every single serious subject being discussed between them has ended in a fight that threatened their relationship to the point of breaking up. They haven’t properly, objectively, talked about anything. Mike seems incapable of it, and Rachel lets him get away with it every damn time. So what I want to know, as Inkie rightly said earlier, is: how are we supposed to believe that they’re capable of talking about something like this now? Without it being on-screen, without it being resolved? Their relationship is based on a pack of lies, a slap in the face, and the godawful decision to have sex in the file room after a disastrous day. Gee whiz, assuming is really making an ass out of someone today.

I don’t care that Rachel gets to be a lawyer anyway, and that she gets to work at the firm even though she didn’t go to Harvard. That’s a necessity of the plot, not an indication of character development or narrative integrity. It completely undermines her agency as a woman and as a representation of female characters on television. In the end, what it comes down to is, it’s ok, she’s a woman, she doesn’t have ambition when she’s in love with an asshole, she doesn’t need to; woman always chose love when faced with the choice. Who needs emancipation, anyway?

And that is how I broke up with this show over breakfast. I will not be coming back to it on this blog, I will not be watching Season 4, I will not be buying any DVDs, and I’ll think twice about watching anything created by Aaron Korsh again. Because, in the end, ‘Stay,’ was a command given to a dog.

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2 thoughts on “Farewell, Suits. Season 3 Finale, ‘Stay.’

  1. “I haven’t even watched the final episode” seriously? i mean seriously? i mean SERIOUSLY? (oh looks funny in capitals)

    OMG, watch it already! (and no that’s not a command in the bad way!)
    please!

    You are kind of wrong about the Mike and Rachel story… dont want to spoiler* anything!

    And what about the Aaron Korsh and assuming business? Of cause he is assuming because he has to speak for a bunch of people or do you think he is the only one writing for/on that show (i would have used seriously here anywhere but im already out of them)? Like he (that poor guy you kinda called an ass) is always talking about WE in the interview. (“I don’t even think WE cover it. WE just assume, of course, she’s done that. WE didn’t write a scene where she tells Mike that.”)

    Well i hope you decide to watch it! personally speaking, i would miss your reviews and i guess some others would too.

    So if you really dont want to watch it do it for us anyways!

    *thats why i dont watch promos ever (well sometimes ;))

    Like

    1. No, I won’t watch something that I know is gonna make me mad. I took the head writer’s own statements about this as a basis of criticism, and I reserve the option to stop there. I know from the interview what precisely happened with Jessica, and I’ve seen enough gifsets on tumblr to know that I don’t want to watch it.

      As for the assuming: I know exactly who’s been writing the episodes this season. I know that the same writer (Ethan Drogin) was responsible for both of the sex kitten!Rachel scenes that I got so furious about. Still, Aaron Korsh is the head writer, and it doesn’t matter whether he’s writing it on his own (he does use the first person, by the way, in the very next sentence after the passage you quoted, “I just assume they’re in love, that she shared that with him.”) or whether it’s a team: they cannot assume anything. They are the people who have to know what they’re doing, and what their characters are doing, even if it ends up not being shot. Also, what he’s assuming here is that the audience will be able to follow this warped logic, but I wager that they won’t. As I wrote, after clearly demonstrating that a serious discussion about these issues is nigh impossible, I don’t buy that, suddenly, they just go and share their love and discuss this rationally. There are so many bumps in their way of communicating, those don’t just disappear because one of them’s had an epiphany, not if Rachel doesn’t just want to say Yes to everything Mike says. If the writers aren’t aware of these things, doing other things for a specific reason rooted in their characters’ interiority doesn’t make any sense.

      And, yes, for basically fridging a female character’s ambition for love, for a guy like Mike, I choose to call the odd writer an ass. He’s not a poor guy in my eyes, he’s someone who created a wonderful female character and then undermined her agency by using a trope that reduces women to plot devices the world over. I don’t recognise Rachel from the Pilot anymore. She took Mike for one of those arrogant suits who think they can flatter their way into her pants. And at the beginning of Season 1, Mike wasn’t one of those guys, he was an earnest young man. But I don’t recognise him anymore, either. And that is my problem.

      I’ve posted an explanation as to why I don’t want to review this show anymore on my tumblr. Thanks for the appreciation of my writing, and thank you for reading! Suits is just not my show anymore. I loved it to bits in Season 1, but what with Harvey’s ridiculous story line and the million things they’ve done to Louis, I don’t really know it anymore.

      Like

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