Ross and Rachel and… Claire?

For those of you who were alive during the late nineties, or have access to a television which airs sitcoms, or have access to the Internet, the words Ross and Rachel will instantly trigger the memory of an on-and-off meant to be couple from the insanely famous sitcom which made five actors insanely famous, and also starred Matthew Perry. Then, four years ago, the words Ross and Rachel were once again thrown across American television, but in somewhat more subtle tones. Maybe.

The copycat romance was featured in USA Network’s instant crowd-puller, Suits, which took the lead from John Grisham in delivering legal fiction to the masses, causing every second person to think that they know more about the law than they actually do. Suits saw some excellent initial writing and production and the first season of the legal drama series put the TV show on the map.

On the twelfth of August, four days ago (my time), Suits released yet another episode. This post, for those who may not have yet guessed, is a review of that episode, assuming people want to read the review of that episode at all. Why specifically this episode, you may ask? Well, believe it or not, even after years of having my expectations turned down by the show, I had my hopes raised for what promised to be a very thrilling episode; needless to say, the tone that this review sets isn’t as positive as I’d hope.

Imagine a little box, if you will, under the possession of the producers of Suits. That box contains a single piece of paper, and on that piece of paper is a single line of text. That box is accessed whenever the show runs out of a substantial plot, the line is read, inspiration is derived, and the box is forgotten about once more. I do not know what exactly that piece of paper says, but I suppose it is something to the effect of: “Mike Ross never went to law school”.

This amusing plot element which formed the basis of the show in the first place has become little more than a toy with which the show’s creators decide to occasionally have fun. Every once in a while, the creators remember that Mike is not supposed to have gone to law school, and they bring up this convenient ghost from Mike’s past just to remind us that Patrick J. Adams has problems in his life too. Of course, before the episode even starts we know that Mike is going to get off somehow (face it, if they can bring him back after changing his job, they can do anything to keep him at Pearson Specter Litt), but it’s cute that the producers think that they have us on edge once again.

The last episode, called something to the effect of “My fault”, missed its mark for the obvious reason that it once again dumped onto a saturated audience the sob story of Mike’s lack of legal education. Coupled with the unbearable melodrama of Rachel Zane and the needless upbringing of events of Mike’s past, the episode was earmarked for failure before it even hit the TV screens (or, more commonly, the Internet). Almost as though to remind us that we were still watching a show that was not supposed to be a bad rip-off of Boston Legal, the show took us back four seasons and forced us to see more of Meghan Markle’s unnecessary drama.

The saving grace of season five, and frankly the entire show, came to the rescue once more. The cutthroat competition between Louis and Harvey, which had taken a nasty, personal turn in the previous episode, followed through and showed that there was something in the show still worthwhile after all. The well placed interventions by Donna and Jessica beautifully highlighted the seriousness of the feud between the two ace lawyers, and we got to see some more great acting on the parts of Gabriel Macht and Rick Hoffman.

What really got my goat in the last episode of Suits, though, wasn’t the cheap reusing of an exhausted plot, but the side story which centred around Rachel Zane holding the reins in her beloved fiance’s stead. The random introduction of Claire into the story seemed to serve only one purpose; to show us that Rachel really and so dearly loves Mike, a reminder which was not needed in the first place, considering she has been covering for him since season… never mind.

The annoying habit that Suits has of going in loops was seen clearly in the last episode where even the very interesting story involving Harvey started to get monotonous, with Harvey’s therapist included in the episode just to remind us that the poor dear is seeking help. The little game of cat and mouse taking place between Rachel and Claire seemed to hint at the fact that when you place two parts of a love triangle in one room, the deal on the table doesn’t mean anything.

Oh, and there was cake. And Troian Bellisario. I’ll let you decide which is better.