The season six premiere of Suits aired last night, and for better or worse, showrunner Aaron Korsh did not cop out and save Mike from prison. For better, because Mike actually belongs in prison for pretending to be a lawyer for five seasons. For worse, perhaps, because it means another cable drama is going to run parallel storylines with one set in prison (see also: The least successful season of Justified, Empire, and The Good Wife, among others).
The storyline can work, but it also keeps a main character like Mike away from the rest of the cast for long stretches at a time, which can be frustrating especially if it means unnecessary will-they/won’t-they drama between Mike and Rachel. In the season premiere, at least, it worked, save for the Shawshank Redemption quotes that were too on-the-nose, per the Suits playbook. The shift allows the series to break out of its formula and explore new territory, although I suspect that Mike’s storyline with his prison counselor is not going to be too dissimilar from Harvey’s with his shrink last season. (Korsh clearly has therapy on his mind.) It also allows for the introduction of Malcolm-Jamal Warner and Nurse Jackie‘s Paul Schulze, who provided the episode with a great twist ending as Mike’s new roommate, Frank.
However, for viewers hoping Mike will get out of prison soon, forget about it. “We’re not going to undo it super fast,” Korsh told TVLine. “He’s not going to be in there for the rest of the series, I don’t think, but he’s not going to get out in the first few episodes of the season,” either.
Meanwhile, back at Pearson Specter Litt, the firm has completely fallen apart. The entire staff — partners, associates, paralegals, and secretaries — left to start their own firm with the idea of using the partners’ buy-in money to bankroll their new venture. Jessica, Harvey and Louis come up with a brilliant plan to settle the class-action lawsuit brought against them by the older partners by using their own buy-in money to settle it. That save, plus the capital they provide personally, gives Pearson Specter some room to rebuild over the course of the season.
But that’s not what I want to talk about here. What I want to talk about is Mike’s fancy prison digs. Has anyone looked more fashionable in prison than Mike Ross? In HBO’s Oz, the prisoners look like this:
On Orange is the New Black, the prisoners look like this:
In Suits, they look like this:
Where’d he get that prison shirt? J. Crew? The stitching is impeccable! As for that humiliating prison haircut designed to make Mike look like all the rest of the inmates?
It totally worked, if the rest of the inmate population is supposed to look like they walked out of Zoolander.
Look at those shoes! Those are probably $150 Vans, but that GQ pose is priceless.
Even the flattering undershirts apparently come from Calvin Klein.
It makes sense for a show like Suits to present even prison inmates as Givenchy models. Patrick J. Adams has been wearing Burberry suits for five seasons. Putting him in oversized nursing scrubs would kill the show’s appeal and leave costume designer Jolie Andreatta without much with which to work. It’s important to look good on this show, but I have no idea how they’re going to work vests and cufflinks into prison outfits. If there’s a way — a prison ball? — Andreatta will figure it out. When it comes to plot, Suits is occasionally derelict in its duties, but where fashion is concerned, the show never misses a detail.