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.