This legal drama has put its lawyers through the biggest career rollercoaster possible. Can it adapt to losing its lead character and primary love story?
The main story of Suits season eight revolves around the aftermath of the merger between Harvey, Louis and Robert Zane. The three of them attempt to navigate their new firm as they butt heads over who is managing partner while dealing with equally stressful situations in their personal lives. The firm deals with further tension when Zane’s old firm comes for blood after he left them high and dry.
Things are equally tense between the other partners in the firm as Harvey’s friend Alex is constantly at ends with Zane’s right-hand Samantha Wheeler (Katherine Heigl). And Katrina is promoted to junior partner, but finds it increasingly difficult to work with her associate Brian. Eventually, a huge deal that could jeopardize the firm causes the partners and Donna to come together and work to defeat a common foe.
After the departures of Gina Torres, Patrick J. Adams and Megan Markle, Suits was at a crossroads. It lost three of its principal actors including the character the premise revolved around. After these key departures, it lost a lot of the heart at its centre, but it luckily still has a lot more going for it. Suits must adapt to become more of a legal drama in order to survive.
What results isn’t necessarily a legal drama, but more of the interpersonal character drama of the previous seven seasons disguised as a legal drama. It has the typical tropes of partner versus partner and ambitious lawyers fighting for promotions. However, it still doesn’t focus on the cases as much as it could and instead of the characters at the heart of the series. Lucky for this soft reboot, it has years of backstory built into it.
The biggest pieces missing from this season are definitely the bromance of Harvey and Mike as well as the romantic relationship of Mike and Rachel. Both of these storylines were the heart and soul of this series bringing much needed drama to the personal lives of these lawyers. While these relationships are not replaced by any means, the show simply adapted by adding new elements instead.
Replacing the bromance of Harvey and Mike is a variety of relationships with Robert, Louis, Alex and Samantha. Each of these serve a different purpose bringing back the dynamic that Harvey had not only with Mike, but Jessica as well. These may not fill the void left by the fun banter of seasons past, but it still makes for some great dialogue-heavy discussions.
Meanwhile, the romantic aspect was replaced by a subplot involving Katrina and her subordinate Brian. These characters have chemistry and a weird will-they-won’t-they, but it just never hits the emotional high it hopes for. Katrina has been around for a while as a character in the background so it’s great to see her get time in the spotlight. Unfortunately, her storyline feels slow, contrived and cliched to fill the void and give some romance to the show.
The rest of the cast continues to be great with some layered, flawed characters. The addition of Alex and Samantha adds a dynamic not previously seen on the show and both actors excel in their roles. Meanwhile, Louis, Harvey and Robert all get a bit more to do here allowing for some further character development that makes sure that they don’t become stale. However, the decisions made in the season finale may ruffle some feathers as it will change the dynamic again. It saw another prominent, likable character depart the series, but with one season remaining more drama needed to be found somewhere.
This season of Suits is an admirable and semi-successful attempt at revamping the series after two consecutive departures from the cast. While it loses a bit of heart and the bromance at the center of its story, the additions to the cast, new storylines and continued style and character-centric stories make for a familiar, but fresh look at this ever-evolving law firm. From its more ensemble-heavy story to its charismatic cast, this season proves a show is the sum of the whole and not one particular person so it’s still worth the watch.
What did you think of the penultimate season of Suits? Let me know in the comments!
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