Previously on Suits: Shadow of a Doubt.
The One Where We Go Back in Time to See How Everything Began, So That It May Teach Us All a Lesson.
A lot of the time, flashback episodes happen to make characters aware of what they’re doing, to open their eyes to something, to history repeating itself. That’s why, often enough, there are visual clues employed to, one, make the viewer aware that the narrative is jumping back, and two, to bind the flashback to the present by making the character conscious of the jump as well. Like that, it’s like the characters are delving back into their past to connect it to the present, to actively draw conclusions. That’s not what happens in this episode. The flashbacks don’t get reaction shots in the present, we don’t see anyone getting lost in thought, we don’t get pre-flashback close-ups. We get tracking shots, clever transformation of images. We slip from present into past and right back. This subverts both the narrative trope and the actual use that comes out of these flashbacks. It’s not the characters doing the work, it’s us.