Pecking Order
S8 episode 2 Aired on July 25, 2018

Well, Suitors, the transition continued to cause headaches this week, as Sam stepped on Harvey’s toes, Alex horned in on Sam’s old client and Louis felt left out of the power structure. Meanwhile, Donna does some digging into Sam but only comes up with more questions. Check out our guide to Suits episode 802, “Pecking Order,” for the full story.

Robert Sends Sam to Keep an Eye on Harvey

Harvey agrees to help a former client of Mike’s, but Robert fears that the personal connection may cloud Harvey’s judgment -- so he orders Sam to make sure Harvey doesn’t wind up losing the client (and, hey, if Sam can show Harvey her good side while she does it, so much the better). But Sam doesn’t go about things delicately, instead managing to piss off both Harvey and Donna. Harvey angrily tells Sam to stay away from his case, but he changes his tune after Donna suggests he keep Sam close while Red does a little digging into their new mutual headache.

Louis Deals With Respect Issues

Sheila’s expectation that Louis will seize the managing partner’s chair leads to some *ahem* performance issues for Louis, who fears that confessing he has set aside his ambition for the throne will make him look weak in the eyes of his lady love. It’s only when Dr. Lipschitz explains to Sheila that Louis’s love for her has replaced his desire for control of the firm that she begins to see the full picture. But when she apologizes to Louis, she unintentionally wakes a sleeping dragon -- Louis may not want to be managing partner anymore, but he realizes that he’s not getting the respect he deserves from Robert or Harvey, and he lets them know it. Sheila is so thrilled by Louis’s display of power that she tells him she is ready to start actively trying for a baby, much to Louis’s delight.

Donna Digs Into Sam

Donna’s inquiry only leads to more questions -- no one knows anything for sure about Sam Wheeler, which seems to be just the way she likes it. Even Gretchen, the only person with contacts deeper than Donna’s, can’t come up with anything concrete. Katrina assures them that Sam really is as good as she seems -- and a good person to have in your corner. The question is, is she really in their corner?

Alex Courts a New Client

Alex tries to land Starboard Airlines in an effort to impress Robert Zane (the fact that Starboard used to be Sam Wheeler’s client is icing on the cake). Starboard’s CEO, Gavin Andrews, agrees to give Alex his corporate business if Alex handles a matter pertaining to his ongoing divorce settlement. Alex jumps at the chance, but Sam shows up later to warn Alex that Gavin Andrews isn’t someone that he wants to get into bed with -- the man has secrets, apparently. However, Sam won’t give Alex any details, and when she brings up Alex’s own complicated history, she only manages to rub Alex the wrong way.

Sam Goes Behind Harvey’s Back

Sam tries to toe the line and follow Harvey’s lead on the case, but she can’t help making her own play when she starts to feel Harvey is putting the personal above the concerns of the firm. The move infuriates Harvey and leads to a confrontation with Donna, who questions whether Sam can be trusted when it’s clear she doesn’t have Harvey’s back. Even Robert is not pleased -- how is he supposed to put her name on the wall when she’s busy pissing off the other name partners? Realizing she needs to show some team loyalty, Sam comes up with a fix that pleases Harvey. 

A Discussion for Another Day

A conversation about Robert sending Sam to keep an eye on Harvey touches on another sensitive topic when Robert informs Harvey of his promise to put Sam’s name on the wall. However, Louis interrupts and makes it known that he won’t be treated like a third wheel just because his name comes last. Harvey and Robert realize they need to make Louis feel the love, but it effectively tables the name partnership conversation before Harvey says his piece, leaving him to wonder how he’s going to make good on his own name partnership promise to Alex.