This week in television began with an episode of The Bachelorette on Monday that featured hometown dates as well as the tragic revelation of former contestant Eric Hill’s death. Tuesday’s season finale of The People’s Couch was as entertaining as ever. Wednesday’s episode of So You Think You Can Dance didn’t quite live up to the standard set by the first week of live competition, but Suits had quite possibly its strongest episode of the season later that night. World Cup soccer action came to a riveting conclusion this week, and no mention of TV’s best can go by without a mention of a Harry Potter Weekend on ABC Family when it occurs.
I watch a lot of reality TV during the summer, so I’m always thankful for Suits, which allows me to keep one foot in the world of smart, scripted drama. This week’s episode featured stellar performances from every member of the show’s talented ensemble, but I have to single out Rick Hoffman’s work as the best of the best. Louis Litt has had some of the best character development on television in the last couple of seasons of Suits, and this week’s episode made me love this character more than ever before. Louis could have been the antagonist or the bumbling office idiot, but the writing and Hoffman himself have given this character such relatable humanity that it’s impossible not to feel for him.
When Louis told Harvey that he didn’t understand how Harvey could be so cold yet so loved while he’s so emotional but so hated, my heart broke. Hoffman was brilliant in that moment—I found myself moved to tears by his vulnerability. Louis and Harvey are such brilliant foils for one another. Louis is driven by emotion, while Harvey closes himself off from emotion as much as he can. Both are extremists in their own ways—too open and too closed. Louis’s emotions sometimes get in the way of his professional life, while Harvey’s lack of emotions (or at least lack of understanding about how to display them) gets in the way of him ever forming healthy relationships outside of his professional circles. They need each other to balance each other, and all I want is for Harvey to see that without any help from Donna. Louis deserves it, and the fact that Hoffman’s performance moved me enough to want this so badly for a fictional character is proof of just how good he is.
What was the best thing you saw on TV this week?
I was about to say 24 until I saw last night’s episode so I will save my Kiefer love for next week! 😉
Instead I will co-sign gloriously onto your take of Suits and Louis. It was by far the strongest episode of the show in quite some time and was running on all cylinders. The scene between Harvey and Louis in his office broke my heart because it was so visceral for the characters. Especially given the prior scene we watched between Mike and Louis about friendship. Louis let being betrayed take over through impulsiveness and in the process he betrayed the one person he was trying to protect. It is in many ways the story of Louis who for all his intellect and cut throat tactics is undermined by an inherent goodness that blinds him. Harvey compartmentalizes that empathy in order to stay clear and focused on what is in front of him. It was a terrific display of the yin-yang of this pair of characters and like you, the best thing I saw on television this week.
I’ll be looking forward to next week’s Kiefer love fest! 😉
I love what you said about Louis and Harvey having a yin-yang relationship. They may be the best example of one on television right now. I never thought when I started Suits that I would come to love Louis as much as I do now, but, as you said, he has an inherent goodness about him that we have all gotten to see and see in really creative ways. I’ve always been someone driven by emotion (big surprise, right?)—for better or worse—so there’s a sort of protectiveness I feel over Louis. Clarity, which Harvey has, is so important in the world these characters inhabit, but I love that nothing is ever as simple as Louis or Harvey being 100% in the wrong. While Mike and Harvey was once the soul of the show for me, I’ve found this season draining as someone who loved their dynamic. Now, it’s Louis and Harvey whose interactions I crave the most (along with Donna and anyone, of course).
The best thing on my TV last week was from Rectify. It’s been three days and I’m still a little in awe of the episode. It should absolutely be Adan Young’s Emmy submission episode next year for the wonder that filled his interactions with Peggy in the museum and the emotion that filled his interactions with Kerwin’s mom and brother. The episode had little plot but invoked such an emotional response in me.
I love when episodes can stay with me long after they’re over, and I love that this episode has stayed with you. And you know I’m always a fan of episodes that are big on emotion—even if there’s little plot. 😉
Pingback: The Best Thing I Saw on TV This Week (7/13 – 7/20) | Nerdy Girl Notes