Does 'Suits' still fit after third season?

Bill Harris, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:57 AM ET

It has been a season of alterations for Suits. No, they haven't switched to casual attire. But styles have changed.

Lead character Harvey Specter, a high-end lawyer played by Gabriel Macht, actually got into a fist-fight in a bathroom this season.

How undignified.

The third season of Suits wraps up Tuesday across Canada on Bravo. The Toronto-shot series, which originates on the USA Network, had to rethink its mission this year, to avoid being painted into plot corners.

The jury is out on how well things have worked.

I'll point out again that Suits is well-acted, it's slick and it looks great. I can't honestly say all the characters are compelling, but most of them are.

The original premise was that Harvey had hired the young and brilliant Mike Ross (played by Patrick J. Adams), even though Mike isn't really a lawyer and his qualifications are fake. Initially Suits largely was about their Batman-and-Robin act.

Through the bulk of the first two seasons, the truth about Mike was the unexploded grenade. But the makers of Suits wisely understood there was an expiry date on that premise, at least in terms of it being the driving force of the show.

Mike's current girlfriend, another firm employee named Rachel Zane (Meghan Markle), eventually learned about Mike's past. At some point Harvey's secretary Donna Paulsen (Sarah Rafferty) got up to speed, too. So the grenade was half-exploded. That took the focus off the Harvey-Mike relationship, accentuated the Mike-Rachel relationship, and opened up Suits to new possibilities.

Filling the gap in season three has been a battle at the executive level of the law firm, which at the end of season two had been taken over by a British company. As we've seen, there was more to that acquisition that initially met the eye.

But inherently, firms aren't as interesting as people. As a viewer, I'm not all that invested in who's controlling the law firm, except in the very specific way that it impacts the characters and the dilemmas facing them on a week-to-week basis.

Season three hasn't been "Harvey and Mike against the world" any more, and I understand the story had to move.

But overall, Suits has become more corporate. In last week's episode alone, there were so many legal double-crossings that I barely could keep track.

And there have been conscious efforts to counteract the corporate coldness with out-of-character bursts, such as Harvey's fist-fight.

One devoted fan of the show told me that the fight really was bothersome, because they didn't believe someone of Harvey's stature would descend into that, especially so close to toilets.

By the way, Harvey's nemesis in the early days of Suits, colleague Lewis Litt (Rick Hoffman), tonally is in a separate show now.

The always interesting Hoffman does a nice job with the role, but the situations Lewis finds himself in are getting increasingly cartoon-ish.

Suits has been to the tailor. It still presents itself fairly well. But Season 3 has experimented with new looks, and I'm not sure if it has nailed one yet.

 


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