I apologize for not exactly keeping up with the “daily” part of these posts. I have some great choices lined up for the next bunch of these, though, so I hope they prove to be worth the wait!
Today is a big day for Suits fans! We’re only a few hours away from a flashback episode that promises to reveal some great stuff about Donna and Harvey’s past—and hopefully their present, too. In honor of this flashback episode, I want to take some time today to talk about last season’s fantastic flashback episode, “Rewind,” and one of my favorite moments between Donna and Harvey.
Harvey Specter hates vulnerability. It’s weakness, and the one thing he never wants to be seen as is weak. But when his father dies, he’s vulnerable in a way we’ve never seen him be before—and it’s not a coincidence that the person in the room with him in that moment is Donna. He never kicks her out of the room; he never asks her to give him privacy. He simply turns his back to give himself time to process the horrible news she just told him as she stands with him, never prying or trying to push him to talk. At the end of that scene, as Donna turns to the camera while Harvey remains hidden in his grief, you can see her taking on her role as his protector. She’ll face the world while he gathers his emotions because she knows that’s what he needs. There are so many complicated emotions that flicker across Sarah Rafferty’s face in that one moment, and they’re all beautiful.
And speaking of emotions flickering across an actor’s face…This scene would not be anywhere near as powerful as it is without the talent of Gabriel Macht. When I talk about the emotional power of watching someone try not to cry, this is what I mean. Harvey always wants to appear strong, but sometimes you simply can’t be strong. Watching that internal struggle as his eyes fill with tears and his jaw muscles tremble is astounding. It’s some of the best nonverbal acting I’ve ever seen; it makes you ache for this character because you can see how much he’s hurting but trying to fight that pain.
The way Macht mouths “Oh my God” near the end of this scene is like an emotional sucker punch. For two seasons, we watched Harvey be nothing but in-control and confident. But here, he’s lost. He has no idea what to do, and that’s such a profoundly strange feeling for both the character and the audience.
And through it all, Donna is there. She’s the only person Harvey would ever allow himself to be this vulnerable in front of. She’s the only one he would want to deliver that news and to stand in that room with him while he processes it. This is such a pivotal moment for them and for their relationship. Harvey has such a pathological fear of vulnerability that it hurts nearly every relationship he’s ever had. But Donna is different. She was there for one of the most vulnerable moments of his life, and he didn’t run away from her after that. Instead, she became the person he trusts the most.
This scene is so tense, so heavy, and so brutally honest in how it treats the way we are so often blindsided by tragedy. But it’s also such a beautiful testament to the people who are with us through those tragedies, letting us grieve in our own ways and facing the world for us when we’re not quite ready to turn back around.