TVLine's Performers of the Week: Suits' Gabriel Macht and Sarah Rafferty

Suits Harvey Donna FlashbackA weekly feature in which we spotlight shining stars

THE PERFORMERS | Gabriel Macht and Sarah Rafferty

THE SHOW | Suits

THE EPISODE | “The Other Time”

THE AIRDATE | Aug. 20, 2013

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THE PERFORMANCE | They flirted, they argued, they did something with a can opener — on this week’s flashback episode of the USA Network series, Harvey and Donna cemented their status as the show’s most winsome, charming and complicated duo. That was in no small part due to Gabriel Macht and Sarah Rafferty’s terrific chemistry and perfectly in-sync timing.

We were so impressed by how well the pair played off each other throughout the hour, we can’t even single out one scene as a shining example. First, there was the infectious back-and-forth in the office and at Donna’s apartment, before the two finally acted on their feelings. Then, their quieter moments in the diner — both in the past (“I don’t want to find out what kind of lawyer I’d be without you”) and present (“You and Stephen… it bothers me”) — which revealed just how deep their bond goes. Always confident and in control — not to mention often quite hilarious — Rafferty sold Donna’s special brand of talent, while Macht layered his cocky lawyer with enough genuine emotion to reveal just how important the secretary is to Harvey. (He even secretly paid her salary out of his pocket!)

With sparks like that, it’s easy to understand why Donna and Harvey couldn’t stay away from each other all those years ago — and why, despite putting the kibosh on any further hanky panky, they still can’t. We can’t stay away from them either.

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HONORABLE MENTION | Breaking Bad‘s Anna Gunn
First, in a nailbiter of a scene, Gunn had us hanging on Skyler’s every unspoken word, as Hank not so much grilled Mrs. “Heisenberg” but beseeched her, as a sister-in-law he loves, to help him exact justice against her meth-king husband. As the diner confrontation unspooled, Gunn’s eyes did much of the acting, making us wonder: Will she snitch? Instead, all Hank culled from her was a steely, almost challenging, “Are you arresting me…?” Later, Gunn let Skyler’s veneer crack some, as her sister Marie made her own run at getting answers. Tears spilled, but the truth, still, did not.

What performance knocked your socks off this week?

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Esaul says:

    Favorite episode by far!

    • Caro says:

      I agree! They ROCK! The show is awesome and I’m really enjoying it. I love Harvey and Donna and because they’re so amazing I’m rooting for them to get together!! I really hope the writers will eventually go there. But I’m glad they don’t rush in to things and don’t make the stories shallow. The whole Ava Hessington story line is very well written, the writers take you on a ride and it’s a great ride! I hope Harvey wins, Steven gets deported back to the UK and Louis and Nigel make peace and will divide responsibilities. Can’t wait for next week!!

    • Joan Lin says:

      Love this !! I love #Suits.. my favorite show on TV ever since it aired the pilot.. love love Gabriel Macht and Sarah G. Rafferty. The natural chemistry between these two and between harvey and Mike are incredible.. Rick is a great actor.. what a cast! plus excellent writing!

  2. Elyse says:

    this is definitely deserved! they are both amazing!

  3. iammusic says:

    But what is the can opener for?!?!

  4. Sonia says:

    I guess the fact that they’ve known each other for 20 years helps with portraying chemistry. I love the way they speak to each other, there’s just this understanding.

    • HAP says:

      I love the two of them and the show in general. What I cannot figure out is how they’ve supposedly known each other for 20 years. That notation is made on Wiki pages and IMDB. But, Rafferty is Connecticut born and raised, attending college in New York, Oxford and Yale. Macht was born in the Bronx, but raised in California since age 5, and attended college in Pittsburgh.

      Anyone know the origins of their connection?

      • isa0511 says:

        They said on a panel during Paley Fest that they knew each other from the Williamstown Theatre Festival 18 or 19 years ago (if I’m not mistaken, english is not my first language… :) ) great panel, it can be found online, but I can’t find the link anymore, sorry…

      • Joan Lin says:

        Early in their career, they were in a traveling theater together ( in California, I think).. they explain all these in Paley Center interview. there is a video out there. a great interview.. you can get a lot of off screen and back story here —>

  5. joey says:

    great episode. both actors have great chemistry on the show.

  6. Jamie says:

    For me it was Callie Thorne and Scott Cohen on necessary roughness. Their portrayal this week was out of this world. Amazing chemistry onscreen.

  7. Miriam says:

    THIS… It was a awsome episode becacuse the insane chemistry this two have, we didn’t need a love scene or even a kiss to see the way they feel about each other. LOVE these two. (And it help that they are frineds in real life too)

  8. Mel says:

    Agree with both – Gabriel and Sarah – WOW, what chemistry. And Anna Gunn. You just couldn’t take your eyes off her for a second. It was 5 minutes of will she or won’t she rat out Walt. You know, some TV actors are better than in the movies! Yay for great acting!

  9. King says:

    Donna: “You have a cat that you love more than it loves you.”Louis: “I need a day.”That exchange was so hilarious!!!

  10. Raizza says:

    LOVE Donna. Harvey’s softer side was shown, its nice to see his bond with his father as well. Btw, where the hell is Sarah Rafferty’s emmy? Her acting is just so spot on as Donna.

  11. jennifer says:

    They were so awesome together! Love Donna and Harvey.

  12. Alex says:

    I haven’t ‘fangirled’ this much over a pairing in years, until Gabriel and Sarah’s Harvey and Donna. Their performances are BRILLIANT, not to mention the dialogues (the writers are geniuses). I don’t know how those two manage to keep their faces straight when saying their lines; if I did it with my best friend, we’d be cracking up on the floor. They’re excellent actors! I muffled a scream when Harvey and Donna closed the door before they kissed, and I kinda liked that they didn’t show it; it only made their relationship appear more unique. (unlike Harvey and Scottie, or Donna and Stephen.) …later I was a soup of tears when they were at the dinner. They basically ripped out my fangirl heart and put it in a blender. lol. At this point, I only want Harvey and Donna to get together…Please writers, pleease?

  13. CJ says:

    They are such a delight to watch together. This week was no exception – they were fabulous. For me, the runner up would have to be Vanessa Ferlito on Graceland. Phenomenal job this week.

  14. Sylvia says:

    In my opinion best episode of Suit this season so far.

    I must admit that I enjoyed more suits it´s first and second season, I am tired of the Merge and the Ava case, I like more when there is a new case in every episode. I have always loved Harvey and Donna but this episode wow. To be honest I am watching the show for them and cause always is a pleasure to watch Louis.

    I want Harvey and Donna to evolve their relationship step by step and not leave it as teasing please.

  15. SK says:

    Totally agree with you. Love Harvey and Donna! They are so good together. Love the witty dialogue and the actors’ delivery. This is definitely one of the fastest hour on tv. Love, love, love Suits!!

  16. redjane12 says:

    It was a cute ep and Harvey and Donna were brilliantly lovely but as for the acting, I think Anna Gunn’s is just in another league…

  17. Tina says:

    Love all the scenes with Donna. Not just when Harvey is around.

  18. abbyhope says:

    after the last two minutes of *this* week’s episode (Tues 8/27), they might deserve PotW honors for a second week in a row. that was incredible.