So far in "Suits" winter season two, fans haven't seen much of Rachel (Meghan Markle), as she's distanced herself from Mike (Patrick J .Adams) after she learned of his tryst with a married woman. But in "Zane vs. Zane," which aired Jan. 31, she showed up in a big way.
Katrina Bennett (Amanda Schull) also finally made an appearance, considering she was hired a couple weeks ago by Harvey (Gabriel Macht) as a fifth-year associate on "Suits." She's finding her footing within the office of Pearson Hardman and part of that is navigating the tricky relationship with quirky Louis Litt (Rick Hoffman). Louis's gold plated nail scissors wins him no points with Katrina, nor does his hacking into her computer. And Katrina isn't one to stand idly by.
After some advice from Donna (Sarah Rafferty), Katrina proves what kind of formidable force she is by tricking Louis into missing a hearing and thereby receiving a fine. The games have begun, and Louis fights back. But when Louis ends up in jail for bringing his nail scissors into a courthouse, they finally have a truce. So who is it that plasters Louis's office with his mug shot? It wasn't Katrina, nor was it Donna. It was Harvey, and that thrills Louis; that means the practical jokes are back and -- gasp -- Harvey and Louis may just be "friends" again, maybe.
While Louis and Katrina had their moments, "Suits" "Zane vs. Zane" really belonged to Rachel. Her relationship to her dad (Wendell Pierce) is fraught with animosity and pain; "Hey Rachel, how was your birthday? Great... my dad told me to aim lower," Rachel recounts to herself. And that difficult relationship is exactly what Harvey is counting on when he agrees to let her be a paralegal on their latest case: a gender-discrimination lawsuit.
Pearson Hardman needs this win since the sharks continue to circle, but they have their limits, like not negotiating with Robert Zane, who continues to hit them below the belt. "Cut them off at the knees," Jessica (Gina Torres) tells Harvey. That's what Harvey does when he invites Rachel to the deposition of Sloane, the heart of the gender-discrimination case. Harvey wants Rachel to witness how cutthroat her dad can be, as if she didn’t already know.
On "Suits," Robert Zane has told his daughter time and time again that she doesn't have the talent or fortitude in her chosen field. But for some reason, Rachel hasn't told him about her LSAT score nor the fact that she's going to law school. Mike, ever the encourager, says that she needs to show her dad another side of herself. And finally, just like that, she does. "Tough it up," she tells her dad, "because I'm not your little girl anymore."
Things aren't fixed between father and daughter, but they are improving. After Jessica refuses to back down when Robert divides their class action into 45 cases, Robert ends up backing down, but only slightly. He's dropping the case, and his old colleague is picking it back up: it now belongs to none other than Daniel Hardman (David Costabile). That promises to be a showdown like no other on this USA Network dramedy.
As for "Zane vs. Zane," it definitely had its moments, even if Rachel's issues sometimes felt a bit forced (she didn't tell him about her LSAT score, because he'd "joke" about it?). One such pitch perfect moment was the last between Mike and Rachel. They may be a long ways from getting together, but they're making baby steps, ones that don't involve disrespecting Harvey's couch.
"Suits" airs on USA Network Thursdays at 10 p.m. EST.
© Elizabeth SanFilippo 2013