Faye Richardson is the latest player to try and put a mark on the firm, but the truth is that while managing partners rise and fall, there has always been one power at the firm. No, it’s not Harvey … it’s Donna. While others have battled for supremacy, Donna has been content to stay above the fray, making a power move when it seems prudent -- but always exerting her influence in the background. Don’t believe us? Let us lay out our case:
She’s the Glue
After Faye fired Sam, she knew she’d only have one shot to keep the firm together. Did she go to Harvey, or Louis, or any of the other partners for help? No. She picked up the phone and called Donna. And she did that because she knows that when the fit hits the shan, Donna’s really the one holding this whole thing together. Need we go on? Yes, let’s…
She Knows Where the Bodies Are Buried
Dirty deals. Secret payouts. Bribery attempts. Yeah, the firm has more than a few black marks on its record, and at this point we have to assume Donna knows about everyone. She listened to all of Harvey’s conversations for years, remember? Anyone with an archive of secrets that deep is definitely someone to be feared.
She Makes Power Moves -- With a Capital ‘P’
We’ve heard stories about some executives -- small-minded, insecure types -- who are obsessed with having the highest seat in the conference room. Donna thinks so much bigger than these petty power games. Take one of her more recent feats of finesse, back when Robert, Harvey, Alex and Sam had squabbles over who was in charge, and whose name was going up on the wall first (it already seems like so long ago!). Instead of getting drawn into the bickering, Donna went over all of their heads and pulled off the votes to put Louis in the managing partner chair, squashing all their sad little beefs at once. Now that’s a POWER move!
She Gets Gifts
Donna gets free stuff, and getting free stuff is the kind of flex that comes with being at the top of the food chain. Think about it! How many times have we seen an associate stop by her desk with a fresh coffee drink, hoping to curry favor? Or an apologetic partner dropping off theater tickets in an attempt to get back in Donna’s good graces? You think they’re doing that just because they like her?! Well, of course they like her, she’s damn delightful! But they’re also lavishing her with gifts to pay homage. All hail the queen!
She’s Basically Bulletproof
Way back in Season 2, Donna was fired due to the machinations of that evil cuss Daniel Hardman. When the Hardman threat had been put on ice, Harvey’s very first act was to bring Donna back -- a testament to her importance to Harvey, and the firm as a whole. What’s more powerful than job security?
She Has Compromising Information on Just About Everybody
Obviously, Donna is loyal to her firm family. Obviously, Donna would never use information revealed in confidence for her own personal gain. Obviously, Donna is ride-or-die until the end. Obviously. BUT … when you’re the person that everyone comes to with their problems (and EVERYONE has come to Donna for a shoulder to cry on at some point), doesn’t that also kind of make you the person that no one wants to cross?
Think about it …