Monday, May 30, 2016

TV on DVD Review: Suits - Season 5

Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Compelling storytelling at its best
Cons: None at all
The Bottom Line:
Drama at law firm
TV you can’t stop watching
Binge this set today

“It Was a Piece of Cake.”  “You Went to Donna, Didn’t You?”  “That’s Why It Was a Piece of Cake.”

I always forget how much I love Suits until the new season starts.  At that point, I am once again captured by the high drama high stakes soap opera the show has become.  Oh, let’s not pretend any differently, that’s what it is.  We may not have bed hopping, but the power struggle inside the law firm of Pearson, Spector, Litt plays out much the same way, and I can’t look away.

This season picks up with a monumental change.  Harvey Spector (Gabriel Macht) has lost his long time secretary Donna Paulsen (Sarah Rafferty) to his frenemy Louis Litt (Rick Hoffman).  Harvey doesn’t take his defeat well.  In fact, the resulting panic attacks send him to therapy where he must face some of who he is.

Meanwhile, the firm’s old partner Daniel Hardman (guest star David Costabile) is making a play for the firm again, and his new plan to take the firm from her takes up Jessica Pearson’s (Gina Torres) attention.  Caught in the crosshairs is Mike Ross (Patrick J. Adams), Harvey’s protégée, and Mike’s fiancée Rachel Zane (Meghan Markle), a paralegal in the firm who is finally following her dream of going to law school to become a full-fledged lawyer.

However, before the season is over, the thing that our characters have been dreading for years comes upon them.  Will anyone be left standing when the dust clears?

You’ll notice the one thing I haven’t mentioned – court cases.  While the main characters are lawyers, the court cases are often irrelevant.  Yes, in the past, we’ve usually had one big case that the majority of the characters are working on as they fight each other for power, but this season it’s all internal struggle with any court cases just something for them to fight over.  Well, that changes in the second half, but that’s just an outgrowth of everything else happening.  Since we know the characters, it’s easy to get caught up in the story.  I do sometimes wonder about their billable hours as I watch the show, but that’s a minor issue; I’m just having too much fun.

Then comes the winter episodes.  The first 10 episodes aired during the summer of 2015, and they left us with quite the cliffhanger.  The episodes that picked up in the winter of 2016 were ten times as compelling as normal for this show.  Normally, I can’t take my eyes off the screen when this show is on, but I felt like I couldn’t move when these episodes were airing.

Obviously, the writing is still sharp.  They keep giving these characters twists and turns that would leave me wondering how the characters would get out of their latest predicament.  I do wish the characters were given fewer expletives to say, but it’s something that’s been going on the entire run of the show, so I can’t complain too loudly about it.

And the acting is just as sharp as ever.  The actors take the words they are given and bring them to life with passion.    Their performances are another reason I can’t turn away from the screen.

As I hinted earlier, season 5 consisted of sixteen episodes.  They are preserved here on four discs with their native widescreen and full surround.  In the way of extras, we get deleted scenes, a gag reel, and a couple of behind the scenes featurettes. 

I’m not sure that season 5 would make the best place to jump into Suits.  Part of the drama comes because we already know and love these characters.  But go back to the beginning.  You’ll be binge watching and caught up on this show before you know it.

Season 5 Episodes:
1. Denial
2. Compensation
3. No Refills
4. No Puedo Hacerio
5. Toe to Toe
6. Privilege
7. Hitting Home
8. Mea Culpa
9. Uninvited Guests
10. Faith
11. Blowback
12. Live to Fight
13. God’s Green Earth
14. Self Defense
15. Tick Tock
16. 25th Hour

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