'Suits' summer finale review plus a new love interest on the way

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suits-harvey-mike-home-patrick-adams-gabriel-macht.jpgHere's the bad news: The "Suits" summer finale wasn't its best episode ever. The good news? It was still a fantastic end to a spectacular summer run that bumped "Suits" up to the top spot on our must-watch summer shows list. (More good news -- we don't have to wait until Season 3 to get more Mike and Harvey. The second half of Season 2 is expected to begin this winter.)

At the top of the episode Jessica lost the vote, meaning that control of the firm went to the nefarious Daniel Hardman. The split vote would have been far more believable had Hardman not immediately started abusing his power.

His history of lying, stealing, and cheating should have clued us in to the fact that he'd cooked the books, but we appreciate that it took Mike and Harvey getting stoned together to reach that revelation. In the end, the heart of the show is in the waxing and waning relationship between those two guys, and it was sort of a relief to see them kick back and actually act like the friends they've become.

suits-donna-harvey-sucker-punch.jpgWe particularly liked the role reversal, calling back to the pilot. As Harvey found himself facing the possibility of failing a drug test, Mike used Harvey's signature move from one of the very first scenes in the show in order to catch Hardman in the act. It's that kind of deft storytelling that made the episode satisfying to the viewer. Even more satisfying was the realization that Donna was still the best legal assistant in the city -- she hadn't screwed up at all. We can't say we were remotely sympathetic as Hardman was sent packing. Anyone who lets our Donna take the fall for him deserves to be shown the door. Good riddance!

There's bound to be some conversation as to whether the resolution was an easy fix, and an argument could certainly be made that the planted memo made some major character moments less powerful. After all, our heroes can't be completely infallible. That's definitely a credible angle to take -- but since we're still basking in that triumphant feeling, we're going to give them a pass. We just really like to see our heroes win, okay?

The episode's weakest moments were in the romance department. We can't deny it -- we've been gunning for Harvey and Donna to hook up from day one, and after that explosive in-house trial scene a few episodes back in which she refused to say whether she loved him or not, we need more closure. The "I love you like a cousin" thing doesn't really fly for us after that scene -- this is television. Nobody loves anybody like a cousin unless they're cousins. For them to just fit right back into their usual routine feels disingenuous, somehow, and we're hoping to see their feelings for each other reexamined in the second half of the season.

suits-elisabeth-hower-tess.jpgIntroducing Mike's old girlfriend, Tess, in the finale also felt like lazy storytelling. While we understood that Mike was in a very dark place after his grandmother's death, it wasn't quite believable that he'd sunk low enough to jeopardize the relationship with Rachel that had been beautifully rebuilt over the last few weeks.

If we'd heard more about Tess before now, or if it had been Jenny who showed up at the funeral, it would have felt far more realistic. Instead, Mike turning to his married ex in a moment of weakness felt out of character and way too cliche given the intelligent storytelling we've come to expect from the show.

Frankly, we're not interested in watching Mike win Rachel over again next season. She forgave him and was unconditionally there for him after he inexplicably dumped her at the beginning of the season -- and she trusted him so completely that she didn't even think to be jealous of Tess when they met. At this point, she deserves to move on, especially because Tess isn't going anywhere any time soon.

Oh, and by the way -- we may see even more love triangles forming in the second part of the season. In the winter premiere, we'll meet Assistant District Attorney Katrina Bennett, who will play a very significant role in the second half of the season. She's an ambitious, extremely intelligent lawyer who sets a goal to surpass Harvey's win-loss record from his own time in the Manhattan District Attorney's office. She's so ambitious, in fact, that she may be willing to settle a case in exchange for a foot in the door at Pearson-Hardman.

Let's just say that if Harvey doesn't develop an interest in this woman, we'll be disappointed in him. Donna had better figure out those cousin-feelings quick.
Photo/Video credit: USA