{First Published in The Hindu Metroplus}

The premise of Suits lies in a secret. Mike Ross, a brilliant young man who practices law in one of New York’s top law firms, is no qualified lawyer. He’s a genius, yes, and is relentless with his arguments in the courtroom, but he never appeared for the bar exam, or even went to law school. Harvey Spectre, the managing partner who hired Mike is fully aware of this, but hires him anyway because he is convinced that Mike’s smarts, his interest in the law, and most importantly, his flawless photographic memory compensate for his lack of formal qualifications. These are the events which transpire in the first episode of the first season of Suits. Over the course of the five seasons that have followed, Mike and Harvey have formed an everlasting friendship, won dozens of cases, and have battled against all odds to protect Mike’s secret.

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The show thrives on a delicious irony – here’s a man who knows the law, and knows how to apply the law as well as, if not better than most qualified professional lawyers, but he’s a fraud by all standards. A few of the previous seasons saw Mike come very close to having his secret busted wide open and going to jail, but the show’s creators would always place a twist at the very end and pull him out of the situation. It started getting predictable in the third and fourth season, but in a way, it was hard to entirely place blame on the show’s writers, after all, what was the show without the secret?

The fifth season of Suits, which concluded recently, blew the storyline wide open. Mike’s secret is out, and it doesn’t matter who outed him because he’s now facing serious charges for fraud and must go through trial in front a jury who could potentially put him away for many years. It doesn’t help that the defence lawyer who has taken the case against Mike, Anita Gibbs, is as unwavering as she is bloodthirsty.

The story arc of the fifth season has been a roller coaster. While the first few episodes seemed like it was going to focus on character development (we saw Harvey going to a psychiatrist to deal with his past, which made for great television), the following episodes saw many dramatic developments take place in a manner which was unlike the light, frothy and mostly unbelievable drama that Suits has perfected the past few years.

The last few episodes leading to the very intense season finale were entirely focused on Mike’s trial, and had an ending which felt more like a sucker punch. Everyone had expected the customary twist – the eleventh hour saviour, the defence lawyer’s hidden agenda being exposed, something, anything that could miraculously save Mike, but the twist ended up being the fact that there was none.

While this felt more like a series finale, I can’t help but wonder if this could be the best thing that has happened to the show in a long time, for it offers a fresh perspective and a new beginning to not just Mike Ross, but Suits as well.

{Suits is presently telecast on Comedy Central}

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