This is the episode that will shock and surprise many “Suits” fans. Each episode of “Suits” thus far has featured a surprise reveal or two to keep the pacing fresh and exciting. Episode nine features movement across the board for everybody in the entire cast. Much anticipated is Donna’s return as well as the continued battle between Jessica and Daniel for control of the firm. Mike and Rachel make their impact strongly felt in this episode as the lingering heat between them builds with storybook romance.

It may come as a surprise to many viewers that Mike’s grandmother is well enough to leave her nursing home, since she is rarely seen elsewhere in the show. She is suitably sweet and sassy in that old-time gal kind of way. Her visit  at the office to bring Mike his lunch is both welcome and unexpectedIt makes sense for her to visit the firm and see Mike; after all, isn’t it a grandmother’s prerogative to dote on her grandchildren?

Like a cheetah, Rachel pounces all over Mike and says how nice it is that his grandmother brought him lunch. Their interaction continues to stroke a simmering heat that threatens to boil over in the next episode. Fans are left with a deep and abiding hope that they will get together again. Whatever else can be said of them, these two are coming to know each other almost as well as Harvey and Donna know each other.

Speaking of Donna, fans will be glad to know of her return since she walks with a style and grace all her own. There is a bounce in her step, and her cheerful mood greets viewers like a warm comfort in a cold winter. She is a vital cast member, and her absence has been felt by many at the firm, even Jessica. Still, her return was contrived and too easily achieved. What should have been a much more notable return is quickly overshadowed by the giant elephant in the room that is Louis Litt.

For two seasons now, Louis has felt undervalued and in Harvey’s shadow. In the last five years, he has watched an associate go from beneath him to above him in the hierarchy at Pearson Hardman, and it has rankled him on a desperate level. Starved for acknowledgement in this episode of “Suits,” he gains the necessary fortitude and trust, both in himself and in the managing partners at the firm, to make a decisive impact on its future as the partners start voting in the next episode.

The psychology has its own twists and turns, most of it centering on Louis, Jessica, Daniel, and Harvey. Jessica makes her play when she can, first with the carrot and then with the stick. She needs Louis, but refuses the notion of buying him off; even the very idea repulses her. In her eyes, she will win, and Louis will regret it if she votes against him. This side of Jessica is what got her name on the door and the letterhead at the firm, so she is going full throttle against Hardman and his condescending attitude.

Everything is going to come down to the season finale. Every partner at Pearson Hardman must vote on who shall be the Managing Partner, choosing between Jessica and Daniel. In many ways, Jessica has changed the firm in the last five years in her capacity as Managing Partner; only a vote will tell which of the two is more wanted. Daniel’s honesty could indeed be false, but David Costabile’s acting brings his character a new dimension of ominous sympathy that succeeds where Jessica’s carrot and stick approach does not.

Episode nine has many highlights, such as Donna’s return and Louis’s celebration dinner. Mike’s grandmother is one of the best scenes of the episode, showcasing that even Harvey is a few years too young in a battle of wits with her. Her battle is with something a lot more lethal, and her presence is felt even when not on screen. Losing his way in this episode, it seems Harvey is again served his fair share of humble pie. Despite all attempts and speeches, Harvey fails at convincing Louis to vote for Jessica, and she now questions Harvey’s skills at every turn before stepping in herself.

The heat between Rachel and Mike will continue to simmer, and fans can expect an explosion of events in the season finale. Jessica and Daniel’s battle will reveal itself, as well, since episode nine pulled out a ton of psychological tricks. The one question that needs answering will be addressed next week in the showdown to end the season. What fans will expect and what they will get is likely going to be two vastly different things.

Rating: 4.5/5, For a great episode in a season full of exceptional drama that is uplifting and heartbreaking


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