SUITS: DONNA & HARVEY

If you haven’t watched the latest episode of Suits “The Other Time” then stop right now because this post contains spoilers! Again, I fully intend to discuss a revelation from last night’s episode, so don’t read any farther if you don’t what to know what happened! Ok, if you’re still with me then you have either seen the episode or don’t care if you find out in advance what happened.

About Last Night — 10 Years Ago!

“The Other Time” goes back 10 years and we see what happened to some of the key characters that led them to the places where they are now. There were a lot of revelations, but one of the biggest things is that we found out the true extent of Donna and Harvey’s relationship, and I for one was disappointed.

I expressed my feelings on Get Glue at the time and one of my fellow Get Gluers made a comment that had me looking deeper into why I reacted the way I did.

Below is what I wrote on Get Glue immediately following the episode:

OMG, I loved seeing the gang’s past, however it made me lose some respect for Jessica. I was also disappointed to find out the true extent of Donna & Harvey’s relationship. I still think Donna is great and I love her, but I was hoping she and Harvey had really never gone that route because to me that made her even more special. Now she’s kind of a liar because she told Rachel that she had NEVER been with Harvey. I don’t like knowing she will lie to her BFF since I thought of her as the most moral person on the show. Oh well, still a great episode that set up next week’s very well!

The GG person made some valid points about Donna making a promise to Harvey about keeping what happened in the past a secret and that her loyalty and friendship with Harvey trumped the relationship she now has with Rachel. I wanted to respond back to them, but I realized it would take more space than the comment box on Get Glue to express my feelings. So hence this blog post!

First, I will admit I’m not a Harvey/Donna shipper! I think male/female relationships on TV don’t always need to be about romantic love. I have nothing against it, I’m ecstatic Mike and Rachel are finally together, I just wanted more for Donna.

Let me explain!

I’ve watched this show from the beginning and I love the strong female characters! Donna, Jessica and Rachel are fierce, determined, intelligent, and just downright fabulous in different ways. We have seen that Jessica and Rachel have issues, but they are still are great characters. Donna, however, was like a goddess! I think most women who watch Suits would love to be like her in real-life. To me, she was also the moral compass on the show. While the rest played around in the shades of grey and maybe even crossed a line or two, she was always there to remind them in her own special way what was right and what was wrong.

Now here is where things get sticky and I blame some of this on the writers/creator of Suits. When the show first started it was obvious that there was chemistry between Donna & Harvey. There was also chemistry between Harvey & Jessica, so of course, one had to wonder if there had ever been a past romantic relationship between him and these two women. Honesty, I’m still wondering about Jessica!

This is where the writers/creator come into it. Hopefully they did a full and complete backstory on these characters, so they would know the answers to this question from the get go. Now, it’s not their duty to share those answers with the viewers. In fact, great storytelling allows things to build, develop and slowly come to light and the writers of Suits have shown they are indeed fantastic storytellers.

Although, I think they stumbled when it came to Donna & Harvey’s past. I just keep remembering, and I’ll admit perhaps not so clearly, all the instances over the last two seasons where Donna & Harvey’s relationship has been brought up and they have always denied it was ever physical. Now we learn this was a lie and I am a little disappointed that Donna was made to be a liar. Even though it was a white lie so to speak. I blame the writers because if they knew that she and Harvey had sex in the past then they could have written ways for Donna “to be Donna” and maneuver around it without outright lying. I know this isn’t even an issue to some people, but I hate it when characters are made to do something out of character because the writers didn’t plan out their stories.

However, I can get past that because after some soul searching I realized what the real issue is for me about Donna & Harvey having once slept together. It CHANGES the whole dynamic of their relationship. I also found myself feeling sorry for Donna and I didn’t like that at all! Until last night, I’ve only felt admiration for her character.

Here’s what I mean. It goes back to the scene when Donna is at the restaurant and Harvey tells her that he doesn’t want to lose her. Let’s face it, Sarah Rafferty, the actress who plays Donna, is phenomenal! She can convey more with a look or a slight raise of an eyebrow than many actress can with a five-minute monologue.

“The Other Time”

In the scene, Sarah does another amazing acting job and you can see the hope in her eyes that he means losing her on a personal level. But when Harvey goes on to say that he still wants her to work with him, you can also see her heart breaking because they both know that if she works for him then she won’t sleep with him again and that will end any romantic relationship they could ever have. Donna hides her feelings and agrees to work with him, so now here we are 10 years later.

This is what really pissed me off! Now Donna is just another woman in the line of women who have had their hearts broken by Harvey Specter! I wanted MORE for her than that because I think it kind of diminishes her character. It’s hard to explain, but to me a Donna who never slept with Harvey and has this fantastic relationship with him is more powerful than a Donna who once slept with Harvey, had her heartbroken, and has made the best of it. See the difference?

I think a part of me always knew that Donna was once in love with Harvey and that they had probably slept together. I just wish she had been the one who had ended that aspect of their relationship. It would have been so very Donna and so much stronger to have her come to Harvey with the have me as a partner at work or a partner in bed scenario instead of the way it played out last night.

It also makes me want to go back and watch all of the past episodes that bring up their relationship particularly the one when Harvey was on trail internally at the firm. I still think the writers changed the backstory of these characters or just hadn’t planned for this aspect.

Ultimately, I will admit it’s my own feelings about love and how women are portrayed when it comes to love that colored my reaction to this situation between Donna and Harvey. Writing this post has helped resolve a lot of my initial feelings about it and my feelings about Donna as a character. Now, I’ve got to deal with my loss of respect for Jessica after what we learned about her, but that’s another post!

Anyway, I sure there are strong feelings about Donna/Harvey. I’m also sure the shippers are ready to beat me senseless, so sound off below! Just remember that only respectful discussions will be allowed on this blog!

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