Right-Hand Man
S8 episode 1 Aired on July 18, 2018

As their two firms merge, Harvey and Robert battle for their claim to the Managing Partner’s chair. Meanwhile, Katrina sees an opportunity to grow in her role, but a request from Louis causes problems. It’s all here in the guide to the Season 8 premiere of Suits, “Right-Hand Man.”

Who Will Lead?

Harvey and Robert play at being deferential for the sake of harmony during the transition, but they both know the truth: Managing Partner is on the line, and every move counts. So when a conflict of interest issue comes up, they both keep things light while surreptitiously sending in their right hands to duke it out behind the scenes. It’s Alex Williams versus Samantha Wheeler, and the winner will determine Managing Partner!

A New Role Brings New Headaches for Katrina

The transition is in full swing and some fat must be cut, so Louis tasks Katrina with impartially compiling a list of the 10 least efficient associates. Seeing an opportunity to grow in her role at the firm, Katrina asks that she be the one to do the firing when the time comes. But Louis is not happy when Brian winds up at the top of Katrina’s list, and tempers flare when he orders her to find a way to keep his favorite associate, even if it means Katrina must compromise the objectivity of her list.

Harvey and Zane Butt Heads

Harvey is furious when Sam gets the upper hand, but Zane points out that Harvey is really pissed because he’s sitting on the sidelines while his boy Alex gets his lunch taken; Harvey would rather get in the game than let his player lose, which is why he’s not managing partner material. Harvey gives Zane his word that he’ll stay out of it, but when Sam gets a leg up on Alex once again, Harvey can’t keep from stepping in (even after Donna warns him not to), proving Zane right and demonstrating to the firm that he doesn’t have what it takes to be the one in charge.

Katrina Steps Up (With Donna's Help)

The idea that she must fire someone who gives their all in order to make room for Louis’ teacher’s pet hits close to home for Katrina (being that she feels like she gives her heart and soul to the firm at the expense of her personal life), but Donna helps her see that there is more to assessing an employee than simply crunching numbers. Later, Red convinces Brian to help Katrina reinvent her assessment system to account for intangibles that will help give an accurate picture of who the truly valuable associates are and who is expendable. Of course, in the end, Katrina must do the job she asked for, and though firing her fellow employees isn’t easy, she learns another valuable lesson.

Harvey Accepts the New Status Quo

Harvey goes to Donna and demands to know why she didn’t stop him from going back on his word to Zane (uh, she tried), but Donna convinces him to stop fighting and accept that he’s tired of being a coach and wants back in the game. They are all better off with Zane in the Managing Partner chair and Harvey out there kicking ass. Harvey goes back to Zane and lets him know that he was right. But he has one request: he wants his old office back! 

Alex and Sam Both Look to the Future

Harvey had promised Alex that his name would be the next to go up on the wall but the merger with Zane has Alex worried, especially after his loss to Sam Wheeler. Alex decides to study up on his new opponent in anticipation of their next fight, but Louis encourages Alex to try a different approach; Alex already has Louis and Harvey in his corner, and if he gets Zane on his side, then Sam doesn’t stand a chance. But Sam has her own plans for the future -- as she tells Robert, she wants name partner, and she wants it before the year is out.