Suits Season 5 Episode 1 Review: Denial

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After so many months of waiting and agonizing and dreaming of the day that Suits would return, the premiere is finally here! And it's extra juicy!

If the personal drama of the office doesn't suit you – see what I did there? – then brace yourself for Suits Season 5 Episode 1, because this episode was all about picking up the pieces with our favorite inter-office relationships.

Donna Resigns - Suits Season 5 Episode 1

First up, the most obvious: Harvey and Donna.

After Donna's huge decision to leave Harvey for Louis at the end of Suits Season 4, there was no telling where we'd find our favorite characters this season, or how they'd be coping. Unsurprisingly, Donna was sailing through relatively fine, while Harvey was... not.

His opening dream sequence, where a serious lack of Donna led to him blowing a big case, is pretty indicative of where his head is at right now. But that's not even the worst of it. The panic attacks he's been having every time he's confronted with the truth that Donna is gone for good are nearly doing him in.

Are panic attacks a little dramatic for the loss of a secretary? Probably. But we have to remember that Donna is anything but just a secretary to Harvey. She's been with him for 12 years as his secretary, his friend, his confidant, his support system, his everything! 

I thought Jessica's interlude on the topic was especially poignant. 

I know you and Donna aren't me and Jeff, but you are as close as two people can be without being that.


Jessica isn't typically one to broach the Donna/Harvey subject. No one on the show really is, but to hear it straight from her lips, so openly, was definitely a big moment. She knows Harvey better than just about anyone, and I especially liked that she mentioned how losing Scotti didn't throw him off his game as much as losing Donna. 

It just goes to how important Donna is to him, and subsequently how crippling her move could be to Harvey's life.

On the Louis front, we see another predictable outcome.

The flashback to Mike's short time with Louis was a fitting parallel between then and now. It also really informed Louis' anxiety about Donna returning to Harvey at the drop of a hat. Kind of a 'fool me once, shame on me' sort of thing. It's not a fear I see Louis getting over very quickly, but hopefully their new cake ritual helped to smooth things over.

It's still too soon to tell if this new partnership will work out, though.

Donna is an excellent secretary, obviously, but Louis is an incredibly demanding boss. She worked seamlessly with Harvey because they fit each others' needs and had a long history together. Louis' mood swings and irritability might not be as conducive to an easy work environment as Donna expects. 

I'm eager to see if Donna might feel some growing pains in other areas, too. As much as she was Harvey's support system, he was also the most important person in her life.

Donna: Do you know how hard it is for me to say no to you?
Harvey: Then don't.

That moment between them, where she refuses to return to him and holds her ground, was as intense as it was game-changing. Donna's willingness to go above and beyond for Harvey – even when it's the wrong thing to do – was what got them into this mess in the first place, so watching her say no to him, no matter how painful, was a big step for her.


With all the heavy relationship drama surrounding this premiere, Rachel and Mike were the one shining beacon of happiness.

After all the trials and tribulations they went through last season, it was a nice reprieve to see this couple so in love and happy with their lot in life. It will likely last about two seconds because this is TV, but still. Let's enjoy it while it lasts.

Rachel, you just agreed to spend the rest of your life with me. Right now, I'm pretty okay with everything.


The other highlights of the episode were of course the quote-off between Harvey, Mike, and their latest adversary. Any time you can work in a Silence of the Lambs montage, you absolutely have to do it. Though it's more bittersweet now with recent news that Hannibal has gotten the ax.

Not to mention, Donna and Rachel's engagement gift exchange at the end of the night.

One thing Suits has done so well is establish the friendly womant-to-woman relationship between Rachel and Donna. They are friends first and coworkers second. The fact that out of an hour of television, the writers of this show took the time to let Donna appreciate all the hard work Rachel put in for her is truly a wonderful thing to see as a female viewer.

More female friendships and friends appreciating friends please!

Now that Harvey has flushed his anti-anxiety meds down the toilet, will his panic attacks become a problem? How long will this separation with Donna last? Is it a good thing for both of their characters?

Sounds off in comments below!

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Denial Review

Editor Rating: 4.6 / 5.0
  • 4.6 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.6 / 5.0 (55 Votes)
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Suits Season 5 Episode 1 Quotes

Mike: What about the bubble? There's no Donna in the bubble.
Rachel: Come on, there's room for Donna in the bubble.
Mike: You realize I get to sleep with whoever's in the bubble, right?
Rachel: So long as you realize that my dad's in the bubble.
Mike: Donna it is.

Rachel, you just agreed to spend the rest of your life with me. Right now, I'm pretty okay with everything.