Sunday, March 1, 2020

TV Show Review: Suits - Season 9

Stars: 3 out of 5
Pros: Entertaining moments, mostly good wrap up
Cons: Too many character relationships not allowed to grow
The Bottom Line:
Last lawyer season
Too many retread moments
Only for the fans

“I Call It Bringing a Violin to a Gun Fight.”

It’s always a fine line figuring out when a show should bow out.  You want to tell the story, and if you have fans, you want to keep them happy.  However, it is easy to overstay your welcome, as well.  Sadly, as I was watching season 9 of Suits, I felt the show had definitely stayed on the air a little longer than it should have.

The season opens the morning after season 8 ended.  That means that our first glimpses of Harvey Specter (Gabriel Macht) and Donna Paulsen (Sarah Rafferty) are of them happy together having just spent the night together for the first time.  When Louis Litt (Rick Hoffman) shows up, he is so upset about the news he’s gotten he’s hardly noticed.  In light of what went down in the previous season, they’ve been assigned an overseer, Faye Richardson (Denise Crosby).  She will be in complete control of every aspect of the firm, and if she doesn’t like what she sees, she will be able to shut it down and make sure none of them work as lawyers again.

Naturally, no one greets this as good news.  Harvey, Donna, and Louis huddle with Katrina Bennet (Amanda Schull), Alex Williams (Dule Hill), and Samantha Wheeler (Katherine Heigl) in an attempt to get Faye out of their firm.  Will it work?  Or will their usual antics get the firm shut down?

Honestly, this is a good storyline for the show.  They have crossed so many lines over the course of the show, starting with Harvey hiring Mike Ross in the pilot, that it is about time someone tried to hold them accountable for their reckless actions.  And yes, their actions always have good motives (or what they consider good motives), but their ethics have always been questionable.  Honestly, when I started thinking about it, I was surprised I enjoyed the show as much as I did.  Anyway, if the show had been the characters trying to work together to get rid of Faye, I probably would have enjoyed the final season.

However, my problem came from the fact that the characters are still as likely to undercut each other as they are to go after Faye.  This especially bothered me when it came to Harvey and Louis.  Yes, they have been frenemies since the show started, but at some point, they should have matured to the point that they could work together.  And, with a common enemy, wouldn’t the rest of the characters have worked together as well?  I felt like we were having a greatest hits of fights as the season went on, and not in a conscious call back to classics moments from the show way, but in a the writers don’t know what else to do with the characters kind of way.

Then there’s Harvey and Donna.  I never really found myself rooting for them to get together.  I didn’t mind their relationship this season, but I did feel that they moved their relationship forward way too quickly to give us a satisfactory ending for them.  It was so rushed I felt a little whiplash watching them in the final couple of episodes and didn’t feel the ending was earned.  And yes, I do recognize the irony of commenting on Donna and Harvey’s new relationship while also complaining that character relationships hadn’t changed.  In this case, both are definitely true.

On the other hand, I was happy with Louis’s ending.  That’s funny since he’s been such an antagonist for much of the series.  But I’ve grown to like him, so I was very happy with how everything ended for him.

And, let’s face it, I never quite got over Mike and Rachel Zane leaving the show at the end of season 7.  Patrick J. Adams did come back as Mike for a few episodes this season, and it was a thrill to see him again.  Anyway, even though Katrina has recurred on the show off and on for years, I never really did connect with the characters brought in full time for seasons 8 and 9 (Katrina, Alex, and Samantha) as I did with the original cast.

Let me be clear, I’m not blaming any of the actors for any of this.  They were all great in each episode, ably handling everything the writers threw at them.  It was the writers who didn’t grow the characters.  And yes, me, for not warming up to the replacements for the original cast who had left.

And there were parts of each episode I did enjoy.  I just didn’t look forward to the show each week like I once did.  This is one of those cases where the flaws are easy to see and comment on, but doing so makes the season sound worse than it was. 

Season 9 wrapped up the show with ten episodes.  In addition to them, the set has deleted scenes from the finale, a gag reel, and a series montage.

Fans will definitely want to see season 9 of Suits to see how the show goes out.  Personally, however, I think when I rewatch the series, I’ll stop at season 7.

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