A scene from Suits where Harvey Specter talks to Lewis, Donna, Mike and Rachel.

Damn! Am I the only one who needs counselling before I can even begin to come to terms with the idea of watching Suits series eight with the gaping absence of Meghan Markle, now the Duchess of Sussex, and Patrick J Adams, as the fearless, gloriously idealistic, us against the world, husband and wife lawyers Mike Ross and Rachel Zane?

Suits Looks at the Important Issues of Our Times

Suits is a triumph. It’s the hit, can’t live without legal eagle show that became our family, and essential viewing, because it tackles all the big and pressing issues of our times – power and the misuse of power, a passion for learning and education, gender equality, race, inequality, corruption and the importance of having dreams and self-belief, no matter how bleak the outlook.  Sure, Suits is presented in a beguiling, high octane package of daily corporate battles at the top of the food chain, but Suits is really about people, about fairness, about the importance of friendships and family and following our goals, no matter how crazy and out of reach they might seem in the beginning. Mike Ross’s story is one of hope, of second chances, and an extraordinary zeal to help others. It is also about the importance of forgiveness and redemption for stupid, youthful mistakes.

Fake News

In fact, given the rise of fake news and authoritarian ideas once again becoming more mainstream, it has never been more important to use film and television to counter these arguments and keep democratic debate fiercely open for business.

Jessica Pearson, A Woman in a Man’s World

So, it isn’t just Megahan Markle and Patrick J Adams who have moved on. How will we all cope without Gina Torres, who as managing partner, Jessica Pearson, is the boss you want on your team in a crisis. The male suits are mewing pussycats next to Jessica. Jessica is the uber-lawyer who rules with a velvet fist. She is the daughter of a Harlem surgeon who tore down prejudice to become the boss of an ivy league law firm and now she luxuriates in her status, wealth and power with the personality of a male peacock. She will do almost anything to stay on top. She also just happened to own the best wardrobe on any tv show on earth.  Did you marvel at the Jessica power walk sashay? Wasn’t it dazzling and terrifying in equal measure; and hot as hell too?  Torres has made her point, and now she is off filming her own Suits spinoff as she takes on the dark, dangerous world of Chicago politics and power. Bravo Jessica, we can’t wait to see how you dress to outwit your new political adversaries.

From Para Legal to Legal Eagle

But let’s get back to Meghan Markle. I liked you so much as an actress. Over seven series, we were privileged to see you blossom as an actor, to step out of the shadows into the spotlight and do so with verve and grace and those adorable freckles!  As Rachel, the paralegal who secretly wanted to be a lawyer, you were just the right side of aloof and cynical as you put up a protective shell around the hotshots who barely knew you existed. Then, you became a butterfly, as your confidence grew with Mike’s encouragement until the day you were able to outwit your lawyer father. That was a very good day!

Love and that Roast Chicken Supper!

So that’s how you could you fall for Prince Harry over a roast chicken supper at Kensington Palace?  Okay, don’t answer that. Together with Mike, we wanted you to go on forever, slaying corporate dragons, greedy bankers and corrupt lawyers in the DA’s office with the aid of a spouse with a forensic, photographic memory, super brain; a grand, scholarly love affair with the law; and the finely wrought illusion that work can also be family; one’s everything.

Oh how we all fell head over heels for that idea in a lonely, dislocated world. Suits is our family!

Thank god we still have Harvey, the gentleman lawyer with the animal, rock star magnetism of Steve McQueen in Bullit. He wins, he breaks hearts, he boxes, he wins more, he races legendary, beautiful, iconic cars and all the while he is a shadow of a human being, emotionally frozen, closed off, as the result of his mother’s messy, careless, heartbreaking affairs.

Donna, the Woman Who Makes Harvey’s Day

Suits - The Violin Episode, with Sarah Rafferty as Donna, Rick Hoffman as Lewis Litt and Gabriel Macht as Harvey Specter

Then there is the woman who makes his day every day – beautiful, stoic, Titian-haired Donna clothed in goddess dresses, or should I say form-fitting suits of fashion armour no real PA could ever afford to flaunt. All because the lady has sacrificed her entire existence to Harvey, the lawyer Prince of Manhattan, who can only ever be in love with one thing, WINNING. Harvey Specter has sacrificed everything else, including the thing that is most precious, his family. And now he indulges his frozen heart with the fleeting pleasures of high-octane wealth – a glass of Macallan 18, roaring through the Big Apple at night in a vintage Mustang or Aston Martin, discarding smart, adorable women, (especially poor Scottie)  and spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on his own hand-tailored suits of armour.

All Litt-up by Louis and Rick Hoffman’s Genius Man-baby

And let’s not get started on the genius performance of Rick Hoffman as man-baby Louis Litt. I’ve come to love his remarkable facial dexterity and his Litticisms offer a master class in peerless, come-tragic acting that breaks our hearts to smithereens each time he spectacularly crashes and burns, again and again. The battle over Mikado was fur flying, childish, ridiculous, indulgent, unmissable television. Only a spoiled, over-paid, over intelligent man-baby would stay up all night to win a clever legal argument to take possession of a cat!  Can I please have a mug or better still a LITT- UP teacup? Yes, I am very British.

Each time I watch Louis screw up, I start to see a grown man in diapers, with a dummy in his mouth, who is needy because his pushy, annoying in the extreme parents clearly just didn’t praise, reward and adore him enough during his formative years. I’ve met people like this. One is a brilliant cancer scientist who delights in making his parents pay for his shrink with a platinum credit card. He tells me, ‘they messed me up, so they should pay for the clean up’.

Suits Season 7 - The Tiny Violin Episode with Gabriel Macht as Harvey Specter and Rick Hoffman as Lewis Litt.

Of course, this is only the warm-up for the petulant, snarling, vindictive one-up-man-ship he unleashes on Mike and Rachel when he finds out their dirty big secret.

I appreciated it all as dangerously binge-worthy essential, small screen viewing.

Suits Has It All

Suits has it all. A script that leaves us utterly mesmerized and ensnared in the headlights of car crash drama, $10,000 suits, very clever, very messed up beautiful, sexy on the outside people; cars I want I want to steal for a real road trip, fashion I can lust after and real estate to die for. Legal dramas are a gift for the scriptwriter with bon mots flung about like strings of pearls. What’s your favourite line in Suits? I have so many, but Harvey is so right when he says, ” Anyone can do my job, but no one can be me.”

Suits is crazy, mad, bad, intoxicating, addictive television. I’ve found the script helpful for giving me the steely confidence to deal with difficult people and the rollercoaster life of a journalist and entrepreneur.  I just imagine myself as any of the leads, depending on the situation.

Failure is not an option. As Harvey says, ” Just break down the goddam wall.”

I loved you, Mike, Rachel, Harvey, Jessica, Louis, for deploying your first class Harvard, Columbia, and university of life minds, with the constant push and pull between greed and humanity, between self-interest and justice, and all the while to enchant us with a love that is inviolable and that broken dreams can be fixed. It’s what great television drama is supposed to deliver.

Batman and Robin

Katherine Heigl in Suits Series 8 Episode 801.

And who could possibly dare to take Mike’s place and become Harvey’s (Gabriel Macht’s) wingman, his faithful Robin to Batman, his moral compass, in every dirty story of corporate war and twisted, a delicious game of legal eagle chess yet to come? Patrick is a wonderful actor to watch on screen. He is so very appealing. When we first meet his character, he is like an unruly puppy let loose amongst the grown-ups. It was a joy to watch his transformation, and to see him grasp his second chance.  He has a raw charisma and authenticity that burns up the screen.

The Mike and Louis Bromance

Remember the scene where Harvey takes Mike and Lewis for a road trip to McKernon Motors and Lewis finally, believably, forgives Mike and declares, ‘ you are a lawyer, you just didn’t go to law school’. During the intimacy and bonding of the road trip, he comes to understand and accept that Mike isn’t a fraud. That he is a human being, with flaws and messy f..k ups. A man who was born to be a lawyer, whose life was blown off course by the rage he felt at the loss of his parents in a car crash when he was just nine years old. As we know, Lewis’s sweet spot is his deeply emotional nature. The Mike and Lewis bromance is back on! Expect more muddy mudd-ins!

But let’s get back to the real problem in hand. What a headache Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have delivered to director Aaron Korsh. No one in their wildest dreams could have predicted the royal love match. Of course, it is an opportunity too, as Mike Ross is now a bona fide lawyer, and the epic battle is won.

Job Done

I get that Patrick J Adams says his job on Suits is done. That he wanted to leave on an absolute high. Now that is smart. But who could possibly take his place? Enter Grey’s Anatomy alumni, Katherine Heigl.

As for Meghan, wouldn’t it be adorable, if she came back for special guest appearances? I know Princess Grace gave up her glittering A-list Hollywood career to marry Prince Rainier of Monaco. But this is the 21st century. Meghan, couldn’t you continue with your career and help fund the British monarchy and maybe Britain Plc too? We need all the help we can get, in case there is a no Brexit deal.

Rachel’s Finest Moments

So reader, what is your favourite Meghan Markle aka Rachel Zane moment? It is hard to choose, isn’t it? Of course, the make-out scene in the file room is electric and manages to be steamily classy in a Body Heat way, while leaving plenty to the imagination. That’s what great film and television should always do. There should be enough room for us to let our own imaginations run wild. I also love the scenes where Rachel finally finds her wings and stands up to her difficult, arrogant, chauvinistic father, and demonstrates to him that she has a talent for the law, just like her daddy.

Meghan’s Greatest Role is Just Unfolding

These steely skills should come in awfully handy in her new role as the Duchess of Sussex and as a humanitarian ambassador and champion for women’s rights. I guess her greatest role is just about to unfold.

And as for Patrick, I am so excited to see what you do next. As Mike Ross, you crawled under my skin and stayed there. I cared about your every move, every threat, every cruel blow to your self-esteem, every triumph, every moment of mortal danger because you made it believable. You and Harvey were the ‘Untouchables’ – I raise a glass of Macallan 18 single malt to you and the thrill of what is yet to come.

Alison Jane Reid/Ethical Hedonist Magazine Copyright August 2018. All Rights Reserved.

Images Courtesy of Netflix. These images are copyright. No reproduction without permission.

Watch the Entire Series including Suits Series 8 live streaming on NetflixNew Episodes added Each Wednesday in the US and Thursday in the UK.

A review of Series 8 so far will follow soon.