[SPOILER heavy – proceed with caution]
Just when Louis thought he was having a super great day (even waking up in Boston with his beloved, Sheila Sazs, before heading off to NYC for closing arguments) and his words are making an impact on the jury, his heart makes an impact on him, in the form of cardiac arrest. Rushed to the hospital, we later learn he’ll be fine but this doesn’t make it any less nerve wracking for the rest of the team at Pearson-Specter. Donna Paulsen, bless her heart, is the first to make a move to visit him bedside, knowing she’s the key member of the firm he’d be willing to see first. And yes, my wonderful new humanist Harvey Specter is still with us this episode (it’s too late for him to turn back, right? Right??). When Jessica Pearson suggests flowers, Harvey promptly shoots it down: Louis is allergic to them, and Harvey knows because he used to send flowers to Louis every day for months. Upon Jessica’s disbelieving look, Harvey admits, without any guise, “I know. I’m an asshole.”
Harvey and Mike Ross get a handful of defiance when they take over one of Louis’ cases (Jessica wants them to just tell his clients he’s away on business): Tony Gionopoulis, a hard headed businessman, doesn’t take kindly to disloyalty and won’t let one of his employees leave the business to work on similar projects since he has a noncompeting clause. He’d rather crush the man with the law. While Mike provides a graceful solution to that problem, Gionopoulis shoots it down, since it comes from a junior member (and not from Harvey himself). Later, Gionopoulis’ counsel, Jonathan Sidwell, approaches Mike as a sympathetic ear: He wants to leave the company, too, but also has a noncompete with Gionopoulis, a bind that he plays up with all but invisible violins to win Mike’s heart and help. Mike does – because he admits to Sidwell that he, too, loves his work but feels boxed in and frustrated — but when it backfires on Sidwell, he comes back yet again to Mike to fix things. To be honest, I’d be more inclined to feel bad for Sidwell, but throughout the episode he comes off as a tad too earnest, and far too dependent on someone else (Mike) to handle his decisions. I never really felt his frustration and to be honest, if I was Mike, I’d tell him to leave me alone already. But, like the title says, this episode is called “Heartburn” for a reason, and in Mike’s case, it’s no doubt due to Mike’s own broken heart, crushed with the knowledge that he’ll never be more than Harvey’s go-to guy at the firm. There can be no promotions, no climbing up a success ladder when anyone on the outside could potentially find that he’s practicing law without a degree. Not knowing Mike’s true reason for his work frustration, Sidwell gives Mike an offer letter for non-legal work at his new business.
And then there’s Louis. You’d think we’d all be on pins and needles with this new development, but in fact, his stay in the hospital is brief, albeit not without some of the expected life-and-death experience soul-searching. With nothing more than his heart on his sleeve – and the open back of a hospital gown – Louis proposes to Sheila, a moment that admittedly made me a little moist eyed. After all this is Louis! But they’re such a great couple and it made me really happy. It made the others at the firm happy too, and even before Louis could convince Harvey to be his best man, Harvey readily accepted. And we had a hug! A very cute hug, with Donna silently prompting Harvey to, you know, hug back! In another favorite moment, Jessica gives Louis a framed photo of the team at a company offsite a few years earlier. She suggest he add it to his office collection of pics – of Louis and his cats – since it represents what they are, his family. When Louis teared up, I did too. I swear it wasn’t the wine I was drinking, it’s just that Rick Hoffman has had such a great run recently with Louis and this just upped the ante even more.
Meanwhile, Rachel Zane has plans. She has plans to go to Law School and become a lawyer and join the ranks of Pearson-Specter. She also planned for the firm to pay the truly mind blowing expense of said law school. She expected this because that’s what Louis verbally agreed to when she got hired back to the firm after her wrongful termination last year. Problem is, Jessica wasn’t aware of it, so it’s not binding. Her solution, after much hair tugging, was pretty clever: She used Harvey as Exhibit A – much to his delight – to remind Jessica that the firm has indeed hired associates in the past, and paid their law school fees up front as advances on their signing bonuses.
Sadly, the elation in Louis’ life doesn’t last through the end of the episode. Although the decision of where to live together was made – with Sheila conceding to leave Boston to move in with him in New York – the subject of children turns the tides. He wants them, she doesn’t. I know this is a touchy subject with many people, but I should mention that I’m a single woman who has no desire to be a mother and have kids. I am not alone in this way of thinking — at all — and as much as I admire and respect women who do want, and have, children, I also expect them to admire and respect my decision not to. Now, I love Louis as a character, and he’s been on such a great run, but I bristled when he actually tried to convince her that she’d change her mind once she had kids of her own. I know this is a fictional series, but that’s never the right thing to say to a woman, and Sheila’s look of sad devastation when he says this was likely very mirrored on my own face. That said, the veil of bliss they shared was lifted and the heartburn of the episode very clearly morphed into utter heartbreak.