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In which Donna and Jessica break out some (more) beautiful day dresses, we’re subjected to painful double entendres about Louis’s ‘wood’ and we’re expected to believe that Mike’s cellmate,  Kevin Wiseguy Miller, is a software developer.

better dream

Mike dreams that Harvey tells him Kevin murdered Rachel. Mike dreams this because he’s big-time cold-shouldering Kevin since hearing Kevin is in prison for drunk driving, even though the person Kevin hit had a full recovery. Unlike Mike’s parents, who died in a drunk driving crash also known as the defining event of Mike’s character forever, because this is TV land, where Harvey has lifelong abandonment issues and can’t abide women who cheat because his mother cheated and left.

Harvey had psychotherapy for his problems, so Mike asks Counselor Julius for therapy to help him get over hating Kevin long enough to make him inform on Sutter. Julius warns Mike that all actions have consequences (this season’s theme?). When Mike calls him out as a know-nothing, Julius confesses to his own criminal past.

Harvey finally learns from Cahill what secrets Kevin has to spill, and they concern the proprietary trading algorithm developed by Kevin (hahaha) which governs Sutter’s trades. Cahill wants Kevin to reveal whether the trading software dictates Sutter’s investment returns, or is insider trading going on. Sutter, meanwhile, tells Harvey the software is only one factor in his success, the other is Sutter’s  gut instinct and savant-like knowledge of the markets.

harvey national club

Harvey gets the judge to deny Cahill’s request for the software to be handed over, which makes Sutter command Harvey to move for dismissal. Harvey doesn’t want that, so he meets Cahill outside Toronto’s old, established downtown National Club (standing in for Cahill’s apartment building, I suppose), and tries to surreptitiously pass him the trading software program. Sean insists he won’t risk his career by taking evidence that comes from collusion, but by episode’s end, with the dismissal looming, he asks for the program. Turns out this case is personal – his mom, a humble schoolteacher, always dreamed of going on a trip to Spain when she retired. Too bad her teacher’s pension was lost when she invested it with that Madoff-like Sutter guy, and then she died. Cue the violins.

Harvey and Mike conduct some practice depositions in jail with Kevin and Sutter to stir up the pot, which leads to Kevin and Sutter having a yell off. It’s not until Kevin and Mike are alone in their cell that Kevin admits the trading program is bullshit, and Sutter is guilty – of insider trading and of being a terrible father-in-law. What’s worse is that Kevin’s wife was in on it. Mike brightly suggests that Kevin get back at Sutter by turning on him, and ask for immunity for the wife as part of the deal. Kevin does not agree, and makes Mike promise not to tell anyone what he now knows. Mike gives his word.

jess&rachWhile wearing a serious and flattering ‘fit and flare’ style grey wool dress, Jessica gives Rachel a big ‘not now’ on the Leonard Bailey case. Instead, Rachel convinces her prof, who admires her ‘gumption’ – and I  really hope that’s all he admires about her – to review her  motion for appeal. He suggests she dig deeper into the case and find some undeniable evidence.

Rachel finds out the public defender in Bailey’s original trial never introduced into court an alibi supplied by his friend Maria for his whereabouts at the time of the killings . Turns out Maria was high on meth at the time of the killing, and so was Bailey, a fact he had omitted to mention. Rachel gives Bailey shit for not telling her everything, but she still wants to save him, so when his execution date is set, she makes Jessica help her fight it.

Screen Shot 2016-08-23 at 11.33.36 PM.png

Jessica’s one goal in life is to increase the law firm’s billings and number of clients, so she decides to go after Sutter’s investment business (which he had promised to give only if Harvey gets him off on the criminal charges) on her own. She buttonholes Sutter at Aria restaurant, across from Toronto’s Air Canada Centre (check the Raptors’ We The North banner hanging in the ACC back there) to pitch/blackmail him into giving her the business now. Harvey is not pleased with this move on her part, since things are getting complicated with Sutter, what with defending him while helping Cahill make his case against him and all, but Jessica doesn’t give a shit about that.

donna in white

Louis & Donna – or as I called them in my notes about this episode, Lo & Do – get the comedy scenes this week, all to do with the Hamptons house Louis wanted to buy in order to woo Tara the architect.

donna pink

Donna, wearing a gorgeous Thierry Mugler white dress in one scene and a pretty pink Alexander McQueen one in another – her salary really is high – helps him buy the house. When Louis wants to show it to Tara before it’s actually in his possession, Donna helps make that happen by sending the owners away and staging the place with photos of Louis’s dead cats, etc.

tara&louis

Their plan backfires when the owners come home early. Tara finds out that Louis orchestrated this elaborate deception so he could spend more time with her, but instead of finding that loathsome, she declares it the most romantic thing ever. She might not think that if she’d had to listen to the series of ‘dirty’ wood-related remarks that Louis inadvertently made earlier to Donna, who made faces like she found them amusing, when, come on now – ebony? Or maybe Tara would laugh appreciatively at Louis’s buffoonish tendencies, because so far, she’s being written as his soulmate.

KimMoritsuguTheHungryNovelist

Kim Moritsugu is a Toronto novelist and sometime TV show recapper whose latest novel is a suburban comedy of manners called The Oakdale Dinner Club.

In which Harvey becomes everyone’s attorney, Jessica helps Rachel not give up on fighting injustice, and people lie like mad to get other people to trust them.

potato chip

I blanked out from boredom with legal matters during some conversations between Sean Cahill and Harvey about the smoking gun deal, but I think what’s happening is this:

Mike’s prison cellmate Kevin Miller is the son-in-law of William Sutter, the investment fund guy who is soon to be indicted by Cahill. Harvey thinks Sutter is a dirty criminal, which is why he refused to represent him when Sutter asked a few weeks ago. However, Sutter craftily got Kevin to protect Mike in jail as a way to make Harvey owe him.

Cahill’s deal is still in place to have Mike freed if he can get Kevin to cough up some damning info that will ensure Sutter’s conviction. But for reasons I didn’t quite follow, that plan will only work if Harvey represents both Sutter and Kevin, and defends them to the best of his ability while secretly hoping Mike finds out something from Kevin that will convict Sutter. Otherwise, it will look like Harvey and Cahill colluded, though they’re not colluding! To make the complicated plan more credible, Harvey tells Kevin not to trust anyone in prison, including Mike.

kev&mike

Kevin gets suspicious when he finds out Mike wasn’t in the infirmary the night he got sprung by Harvey to go see Rachel. To allay those suspicions, Mike arranges via Julius the prison counselor to be put in solitary for a night where he meets the warden, who warns him in passing that informing doesn’t always go so well for the informant. The warden then fake-threatens Kevin, so that Kevin will think Mike is trustworthy again.

This ploy makes Kevin open up enough to finally tell Mike why he is in prison (though why couldn’t Harvey or Cahill just tell Mike this?) which is for drunk driving that almost killed someone. Sharp-minded Mike sees immediately that Kevin’s story doesn’t add up – he asks what Kevin was fighting about with his wife before he drove drunk, and why must he keep quiet about his crime to protect his family, but Kevin has confided enough for one day.

harvey & gallo

On the Gallo threat front, Mike’s attempt to file a motion to get Gallo paroled didn’t work, it has to be done in person by an attorney of record (which Mike would totally have known, come on now), so Harvey has to represent Gallo too. A rather swaggery-of-late Harvey tells Gallo he’ll help him out if Gallo protects Mike in jail, and if he doesn’t want to do that, Harvey will claim Gallo poisoned Mike and have him charged with that crime. Gallo’s not happy, but has no choice but to agree. That’s 3 new criminal clients Harvey has picked up in a week, and at least one of them will pay the firm some legal fees, hurray.

donna & louis

In lighter news, Louis asks Donna to find him a Hamptons house to buy ASAP so he can get Tara the comely architect to remodel it for him. Donna suggests, reasonably, that Louis not lie about having a house, and ask Tara out instead. But he can’t do that, because he is a sad sack, lonely heart fuckup. He is also impatient, and when Donna doesn’t find him a house right away, he gets mad, and she gets mad back. She tells him he can’t ask for her help and advice then ignore it, and he admits how much he misses having her work for him.  All is well when she finds what appears to be a perfect-for-his-needs Hamptons house and and makes an offer for it on his behalf (!) because Presumption is her middle name.

rachel & jess

The professor who got Rachel involved in the Innocence Project says Leonard Bailey’s case doesn’t qualify after all because there is no new DNA evidence, so the 3 solid reasons Rachel came up with for an appeal don’t matter. The prof offers to find Rachel a new case, but she wants to work on this one, and turn that frown on Bailey’s mighty disappointed so-now-I-get-to-die? face upside-down She asks Jessica if the firm could do it pro bono, she’d only need one hour of supervision a week. Jessica says no at first because she’s too busy trying to get the firm back on top. Later, after a discouraging day of trying and failing to find new clients (should have tried the prison, Jessica!), the two women have a sleeveless shootout in the hallway of their office building, and Jessica agrees to help out.

jessica stu.png

Somewhere in there, Harvey needed loose-ethics Stu and his merry band of traders to take on Sutter’s two billion dollar investment fund as a subsidiary company (yeah, right) in order to bypass the punitive move that Cahill slapped Sutter with of suspending his company’s trading license. Louis and Jessica pitch in on this endeavour by Louis coming up with the subsidiary idea, and Jessicca making Stu agree to it.  Go, team!

scotch

I’ll close with props (heh) to Neal McDonough, the Irish-named actor who plays the Irish-named Sean Cahill character, for his way with actual props on the Suits sets. In the last few episodes, he has managed to handle all of a baseball, a basketball, and an LP in Harvey’s office, and had fun with a sandwich and some potato chips in his own. Here he enjoys a scotch in Harvey’s office, after they decide they make a good couple of adversaries/allies who are totally not colluding.

KimMoritsuguTheHungryNovelist

Kim Moritsugu is a Toronto novelist and sometime TV show recapper whose latest novel is a suburban comedy of manners called The Oakdale Dinner Club.

In which the annoying Stu Douchebag  character gets more screen time than he deserves, Louis gets a new love interest in Canada’s own Carly Pope, Harvey gets to labour under a contrived 2 day deadline, and Mike and Rachel get to have sex.

mike&kevin

Mike is having a cozy chat in his cell with his bestie Kevin about Kevin’s young kids, when he gets called away to see Harvey, making a late night emergency jail visit to tell him about Cahill’s Who Wants To Be An Stoolie deal.

But Mike doesn’t want to make Kevin inform on his father-in-law! Even without knowing what crimes Kevin or his father-in-law have committed. He tells Harvey no, and lies to Kevin about why Harvey came by, says it was to tell him Gallo can’t be transferred out. Harvey lies in turn to Cahill that there’s no deal unless it’s in writing, but Cahill sees through that (like Rachel saw through Harvey’s lie 2 weeks before – is Harvey so transparent? ). In a flagrant bid to add some episode tension, Cahill says the deal offer is only good for 2 days.

harvy&donna

The next day, Mike calls Donna to say he won’t take the deal so don’t make him. Harvey wants to let Rachel know about the deal in the hope she will pressure Mike, but Donna advises both him and Cahill that if Rachel finds out that Mike gave up a chance to be with her sooner than in 2 years, their relationship will not survive! Cahill doesn’t give a shit about Mike’s love life, but when Harvey comes up with a crazy scheme for Cahill to secretly meet with Mike to convince him, Cahill agrees to it.

mike drugged

The crazy scheme involves getting someone in jail to drug Mike’s prison food, which makes Mike pass out in the cafeteria and be taken “to the infirmary” for 8 hours, except really he’s put into Harvey’s car, with the help of the warden, and taken to Rachel’s apartment. She finally OPENS THE DOOR, they have a bittersweet yet joyous sexual reunion, and he tells her about the deal.

mike&rachelbed

Cahill shows up at the apartment building to talk to Mike, and when he finds out Mike is inside post-coitally trading you’re-beautiful, no-you-are compliments with Rachel, he’s all what-the-hell, where-are-your-priorities-man? to Harvey. Wise Harvey knows that a few hours with his One True Love will turn Mike into a snitch, and sure enough, Mike comes out and announces that he told Rachel everything, and he will take the deal. OR WILL HE?

Gallo, by the way, also wants to take the deal Mike offered him – to try to arrange for Gallo to get out on parole in 6 weeks. Harvey does not like this idea, but Mike says okay fine, and somehow files a motion on Gallo’s behalf from jail. OR DOES HE?

rachel&bailey

Because Rachel is more than just Mike’s moll, she begins work on her Innocence Project death row case. A Mr. Bailey, the convict in question, does not want the help of a mere law student at first, not after he’s been proclaiming his innocence for 10 years and no one would listen, but hey, someone is better than no one. And Rachel confesses to Donna that working on the case keeps her mind off obsessing over Mike in jail, so it’s a Good Thing.

carly

Independent story line #2 finds Louis flirting and clicking with Tara, a pretty architect who shares his interest in opera, ballet and intuitively understands his office space needs too. When Louis confesses to Jessica that he has already fallen in love with Tara, she foresees trouble and forbids him to hire her to remodel the offices. Louis hires her to remodel his Hamptons house into an office instead – anything to spend more time with her doing stupid things like sniffing her neck.

better jess&Stu

Stu Douchebag bought some of Nathan Burns’s company’s shares last week on Harvey’s behalf but is being douchey about them this week, as well as goading Louis into rages for the fun of it, so Jessica elects to put him in his place. She calls him a pissant and orders him to ‘unwind that trade,’ he asks her out (as if), she somehow manipulates a stock he holds – to his disadvantage, and their sparring ends with him hiring PSL as his lawyers. Jessica even gets him to agree to stop harassing Louis. She’s awesome when she lowers her voice an octave and growls out her commands.

Next week: Someone (everyone?) has got trust issues.

KimMoritsuguTheHungryNovelist

Kim Moritsugu is a Toronto novelist and sometime TV show recapper whose latest novel is a suburban comedy of manners called The Oakdale Dinner Club.

In which Harvey works hard to find a new client, Rachel gets her own case outside of the office, and Mike (finally) uses his legal knowledge to try to protect himself in prison.

jessica houndstooth

Jessica, wearing an itchy-looking patterned wool dress and not her best hair , directs Harvey to snag a big-time client in order to start PSL’s comeback. Her suggestion is William Sutter, a cranky old billionaire whom no law firm wants to represent because he is facing an indictment. But Harvey has had enough of getting into bed with criminals after his Forstman dealings. Instead, he goes after Nathan Burns, a ‘dick’ and ‘asshole’ who heads up an energy company but is apparently not a criminal. Burns initially assigns Harvey tasks both demeaning and time-consuming to prove he really wants the business, then backs away under pressure from Sutter, who wants to stick it to Harvey for turning him down. With the help of a New Recurring Character, a douchebag trader named Stu,  Harvey removes the threat to Burns that Sutter represents, and convinces Burns to hire PSL. Sutter, however, is now Harvey’s lifelong enemy, alongside Hardman and Forstman. At least his name doesn’t end in -man.

white dress

Louis has been tasked with finding tenants to sublet the thousands of square feet of PSL offices that the skeleton staff of six don’t need, but his general lack of good sense lead him to heed some but not all of Donna’s sage advice – given in a wrinkled but otherwise nicely draped white dress – to rent to some finance people. Instead of advisors, he gets in a herd of douchebag traders, including the head douchebag, a squinty-eyed, suspender-wearing fellow who says shit a lot, and whose name is Stu. Or maybe Stew.

Stu Douchebag

Louis tries to get rid of the traders on lease technicalities involving Louis’s bran bars and prune juice (cue the toilet jokes), but Harvey intervenes when he wants Stu to trace some financial transactions in a way that might not be strictly legal. Stu complies, gets to stay, and flaunts his Yale law degree in Louis’s crimson Harvard face in the bargain.

debate

Rachel is still attending law school! She participates in a kind of legal debate in front of her practical ethics class against another student who publicly tries to shame Rachel about Mike and his fraud conviction as part of her argument. The sympathetic (male) professor takes Rachel aside and suggests that she drop the  course and instead earn credit by working on an The Innocence Project (an actual real world thing) case, trying to exonerate someone on death row.

rachel&j dark

Rachel doesn’t want to back down from the debate fight, so she seeks advice from Jessica, Seasoned Law Warrior. Jessica counsels Rachel to make the class see her as a bad-ass to be feared, like Jessica has to do every single day. Rachel digs up dirt on her law class opponent, and tells her she won’t reveal it as long as the opponent withdraws from the debate and publicly acknowledges Rachel’s superiority in intellect and ethics. The dirt must be damn dirty because the opponent does what Rachel asks, and Rachel can now drop the course without losing face, and work on The Innocence Project.

bromance

In prison bromance news, Mike and his roomie Kevin decide to stick together at all times to avoid falling prey to Gallo and his goons. Harvey is bugging Cahill to get Gallo transferred out like he said he might, but in the meantime, Mike will have to leave Kevin’s side during the 2 hour a day kitchen job arranged by his counselor, whose  name is not Malcolm Jamal-Warner after all, but Julius.

julius

Mike tries to quit the job before it starts. Julius won’t let him and asks him to file a formal allegation against Gallo instead, but Mike won’t do that, cuz he’s no fool.

kitchen shot

On Mike’s first day half-believably peeling potatoes, Gallo drops by (though doesn’t Mike now have sharp instruments at his disposal?) to request mashed potatoes over “au gratin” ones (I’m not joking, he really says this), and to mention that oh yeah, he just beat up Kevin in the washroom, hah-hah. Mike tends to Kevin, who is bleeding and beaten, but not badly enough to go to the infirmary. They decide it’s safe to attend movie night together, because even Gallo wouldn’t start trouble there – movie night is sacred in prison, would you believe. And Julius arranges for Kevin to start doing  kitchen duty with Mike, so they need never be apart.

cahill 1st time

Cahill finally gets back to Harvey to say Gallo can’t be moved out of Danbury – he is protected because he’s a government informant. Harvey visits Mike and advises him to neutralize Gallo by threatening to reveal to the jail population that Gallo sold his criminal brethren up the river.

mike&gallo yard

Mike has a better idea. He looks up the records on Gallo’s trial, and discovers that Gallo’s lawyer at the time overlooked a loophole that means Gallo could be eligible for parole in as little as 6 weeks. Mike thinks Gallo must now decide what he wants to do more – get out of prison, or continue to get back at Harvey by harassing Mike and Kevin. It seems to me like Gallo now has six weeks to do both.

better celebration

Jessica and Harvey are celebrating being back on the map with regard to the signing of Burns when Cahill returns to say that hey, speaking of informants, he’s found a new way for Mike to get out of prison early. It seems that Kevin is a smoking gun on a federal case who is holding out on ‘family’ secrets. If Mike can get him to turn, he can go free.

Sidenote: last week’s preview of this episode showed Rachel opening her apartment door to a mystery visitor, but that didn’t happen this week. Maybe next time?

KimMoritsuguTheHungryNovelist

Kim Moritsugu is a Toronto novelist and sometime TV show recapper whose latest novel is a suburban comedy of manners called The Oakdale Dinner Club.

In which Mike gets beaten up, Harvey makes and breaks promises, we learn that Jessica and her beautiful hair live in Toronto’s Yorkville neighbourhood, and Jack Soloff returns!

jessica's hair

Prison Blues

Turns out Frank Gallo, tough-guy gangster and this season’s villain, didn’t fool Mike into pouring his heart out last episode in order to collect damning evidence against Harvey. All he needed to know was that Harvey holds Mike dear, so now he can hurt Harvey by hurting Mike.

kevin

Mike no longer trusts anyone, so he scorns his real cellmate, Kevin, who, despite his wise guy face, has a strong belief in staying out of trouble, especially Frank’s brand of it, which is why he let Frank take his place for Confession Night. But Mike is too much of a hothead to be cautious. When Frank threatens to distribute photoshopped nude pics of Rachel to everyone in the jail (a bit of a weak threat, IMO), Mike starts throwing punches.

mike fighting

The altercation lands Mike in Counselor MJW’s a bit too nicely decorated office (that lamp! the model sailboat!), where he’s told he has two options : work on rehabilitating himself by taking on a prison job, or spend a month in solitary the next time he is involved in an incident. And guess what was in the envelope of pics Frank brandished? Blank paper.

mjw

Donna has worked her magic to get Rachel on the approved visitor list at the jail with no waiting period. When Rachel hotfoots out there, she’s turned away because Mike has had his visitors’ privileges suspended for 2 weeks. She tries to get in as his lawyer, but the prison reception desk knows she is not Harvey, so no.

Harvey’s turn to visit Mike. Mike tells him about Gallo and the corrupt guards and Harvey reports that Gallo was jailed somewhere harder and meaner for racketeering when Harvey was the Assistant DA, but he must have been transferred to Danbury for good behaviour. Harvey wants to speak to the warden and get Gallo moved, but Mike makes him promise not to, he will take care of himself (because that’s gone well so far.)

frank fence

On Harvey’s way out, Gallo taunts him from the exercise yard. Harvey wants to fight him real bad, and settles for twisting (breaking?) Gallo’s finger through a link in the fence (would there be that kind of openwork baseball field-type fence at a prison? Just asking.) Harvey tells Gallo to leave Mike alone, under pain of death by paid assassin or by Harvey’s own hands, take his pick.

finger breaking

Back at the office, Harvey lies to Rachel that everything is cool at Danbury, it was some other prisoner named Ross who was in trouble, but she sees through that and tells him he’d better deal with Gallo no matter what he promised Mike, or else (drum roll) she will never forgive him!

lying better

Harvey returns to prison and tells Mike he wants to ask Cahill AKA our old buddy Keyhole of the Justice department to get Gallo moved, and Mike says okay, fine, and he will be sure not to get caught alone with Gallo until then.

post shiv attempt

Naturally, he gets jumped by Gallo and his two goons soon after, in a common area which, on Gallo’s cue, is quickly emptied of other inmates and guards. Gallo is about to stick a shiv in Mike when Cellmate Kevin brings a (temporarily?) non-corrupt guard to ask what’s going on. “Nothing,” says Mike, because he understands how prison works now. Later, in their cell, Mike thanks Kevin and Kevin explains he wanted to make up for having let Gallo into the cell, something he only did because he was afraid. There’s one account paid.

Battle of the Longhairs

avenue road sign

Harvey meets Jessica outside her spiffy Avenue Road apartment building (check the blue street sign in the background) with coffees, and they go into the office to find it bustling with people who look like staff and associates. They’re actually movie extras (played by TV extras, in a meta move) Louis hired to make the company look like it’s not a sinking ship. When Jessica, in her ridiculous bridal-adjacent white peplum jacket, points out they need to look poor because they want to settle the class action lawsuit for 10 cents on the dollar, Louis fires them.

movie extras

That leaves Gretchen and Donna as the only support staff. While chilling in the executive kitchen with Jessica, Gretchen observes how much blacker the firm is now, at 50% (that’s 3 out of 6 employees, including Rachel). This comment earns her a fist bump from Jessica, and a questionable remark from Donna that she is black inside.

donna's black inside

Gretchen later takes exception to this, and Donna shows her cell phone pics of an unseen, unnamed possibly famous recording artist she once dated. I guess he must be black because her past relationship with him is proof of, wait – what, exactly?  I didn’t get it, but Gretchen seems convinced.

jack's hair

Jack Soloff and his amusing pro baseball player hair try to sue Jessica for his partner money, which he needs to buy into Robert Zane’s firm. Jessica tells him she can’t pay him back without paying back all the other partners, and asks Zane to make Jack stop suing her. Zane does call him off, which means Jack is ruined, but at the last minute, Jessica lends money to Zane to lend to Soloff for the buy-in because she’s the one who got Jack into this mess. And that’s a second account paid.

stemple

The settlement of the class action lawsuit is about to be ratified in court when Harvey’s old Harvard nemesis Elliot Stemple holds up the proceedings with an objection that one client (Jack Soloff’s!) was wrongfully excluded from the suit. Harvey offers Stemple money to withdraw, but all Stemple really wants is to get a piece of Harvey in retaliation for Harvey’s past aggressions.

duck painting

His price is $20 million or the cartoonish duck painting Harvey has always kept in his office, which Stemple deduces must be valuable to Harvey. Harvey gives up the painting though it represents the one happy memory he had of his mother. That’s a third account paid.

Next week: Mike works in the prison kitchen, Frank Gallo is still a menace, and Rachel opens her apartment door when she maybe shouldn’t.

KimMoritsuguTheHungryNovelist

Kim Moritsugu is a Toronto novelist and sometime TV show recapper whose latest novel is a suburban comedy of manners called The Oakdale Dinner Club.

shoes

The Suits Season 5 finale ended with Mike entering the Danbury  prison, and his law firm compadres returning to the Pearson Specter Litt office to find the premises abandoned, all partners and staff gone. The season 6 premiere starts minutes later – the series did not flash-forward two years to Mike’s emergence from jail, as a wag of my acquaintance had hoped. But this cleaving of the 6 principals – Mike on the inside, the remaining  5 on the outside – into two separate story lines and settings makes the episode easier to recap, so yay, and here goes.

Mike’s First Day and Night in Prison

haircut

Over a montage of Mike’s pseudo-hipster hairdo being cut down to a more jailhouse-appropriate style, a guard intones the prison rules, which Mike will be resistant to, because he is Trouble (the word is this week’s drinking game prompt) and a nose-thumber at authority, while also being a naif who is so not prepared for even a country club jail, despite Harvey’s efforts at toughening him up by throwing  a crystal glass in his general direction last episode.

mjw

Mike is so unready he thinks that his meeting with new recurring character #1, prison psychologist (or he is a social worker? guidance counselor?), played by Malcolm Jamal-Warner, is about friendly banter and more Shawshank Redemption movie quotes. Not quite. MJW makes Mike wait hours to hear that his psych assessment reveals he has narcissistic tendencies, which he needs to do something about so he can leave prison a better man than he went in.

frank

Mike’s it-looks-like-cotton prison shirt is a pretty shade of blue that brings out his eyes, because TV, and also in the tradition of another blue-eyed Mike, played by my erstwhile TV boyfriend Wentworth Miller in Prison Break, a show soon to make a comeback. (I am dubious about said comeback but I’ll probably try it at least once.)

Suits’ Mike is shown to his clean and modern looking cell (it looks more like a double-size freshman dorm room), the other half of which is decorated with photos and keepsakes. The  guard tells him for no apparent reason that he is confined to his cell for the evening, whereupon new recurring character #2 appears: a bald guy in his forties who strolls in, jokingly yells at Mike for touching his stuff, tells him the first rule of prison is to trust no one, then engages him in an hours long heart-to-heart talk about how they each came to be there.

Bald guy’s name is Frank, and he’s got 5 years left to serve for insider trading, which he committed because he wanted to buy more and more expensive stuff, mainly for his kids, awww. He’s so sympathetic – he even offers Mike the use of a contraband cellphone he keeps under his pillow – that Mike opens up and tells him his story, then uses the phone to text Rachel that he is okay, and his cellmate is a good guy.

Except Frank isn’t so nice. Turns out he’s not Mike’s cellmate, nor is he in for insider trading. He bribed the guard to let him spend the evening there so he could get Mike to spill some dirt on Frank’s arch-nemesis Harvey Specter, the guy who put Frank away 13 years ago. Mike’s story telling was mostly done off-stage, so we’re not sure how much he implicated Harvey in the whole fraud thing, but Frank seems to think he’s acquired valuable information, including Rachel’s cell phone number. Uh-oh.

Meanwhile back at the office

free 5 + ben

The Unjailed Five spend the entire episode (and most of the night) in the office, wandering from empty space to empty space, grouping and regrouping, getting high, doing some smile-worthy comedic bits , alluding to movies (sigh), and reminiscing about dear departed Mike between spats about loyalty and family and Who’s with me? Once more unto the breach type speeches.

rachel hair

And during all this, the hair Rachel and Jessica are wearing looks amazing.

jessica hair

Some cracks show in the we-are-family, united-we-stand-divided-we-fall  singalong sessions when Louis briefly suggests the firm name be changed to Pearson Litt, and Harvey almost leaves in a huff, only to return when Donna reminds him that Mike went to prison to save them all from going there.

joint

But after the name partners get high together (Jessica, in gorgeous shoes – supplies the joints), and bond over Chinese food delivered by a sneaky process server, the team is ready to face the challenges before them, including that PSL has been hit with a $100 million class action suit contesting every case Mike Ross ever worked on.

harvey chinese food

To fight the suit will take money. After some verbal feinting  and sparring, Harvey, Jessica and Louis reveal their net worth to each other. Louis has the most money, natch, and together they have enough to fight another day.

Their first instinct is to try to make the departed partners share in the suit. With the help of Ben, the faithful IT guy, who is still around because someone has to run the firm’s computer systems, they discover that the partners are up to various dirty tricks like giving notice to clients, and trying to bifurcate the firm and get back their buy-ins.

Louis comes up with the brilliant (?) plan of using their pooled financial resources to settle the class action suit for $10 million (good luck with that) which will mean they have nothing left to return the partners’ buy-ins, haha on the partners.

Next week: things get real for Mike in prison.

KimMoritsuguTheHungryNovelist

Kim Moritsugu is a Toronto novelist and sometime TV show recapper whose latest novel is a suburban comedy of manners called The Oakdale Dinner Club.

mike&harv

Did you think the Suits endgame of this season – of the last five seasons, actually – was that Mike Ross would go to jail for the fraud that is the core of the show’s premise?

I didn’t. I thought he would make a deal that would enable him to get out of jail and use his brainpower to help others (he might still do this in jail). And the friend with whom I discuss the show thought Harvey would find a way to get Mike off altogether.

So congrats to the Suits writers/creators for surprising us both, and for dispensing justice and just desserts to Mike – the most honourable and sensitive criminal ever – in a way that keeps us sympathetic to both him and to Harvey. And thanks too, for resolving Mike’s issue. Resolution is good.

On to the recap:

mike & gibbs

Following up from last week’s cliffhanger ending, Mike makes the deal with Gibbs that calls for him to go to jail for 2 years but protects anyone at PSL from prosecution. He’s given 72 hours to report to FCI Danbury (a real-life low security prison in Connecticut, with separate women’s and men’s sections, where Piper Kernan, author of the memoir Orange is the New Black, served her time.)

auto shop

As the 72 hours count down, shit happens. Like that Harvey pleads in court to disallow Mike’s deal, but is overruled by Mike, Gibbs and the judge. Next, he visits the jury foreman in an auto shop (this show and auto shops!) and finds out the verdict would have been not guilty. Though not because any of the jurors believed that Mike had gone to Harvard Law. Because, according to the foreman – who rather implausibly cites the play/movie Twelve Angry Men – Gibbs did not make a good enough case.

dont bug me I'm drinking

Harvey lies to Mike (at first) about what the verdict would have been, looks for evidence of a mistrial, and on Donna’s suggestion, tries to make a deal with Evan whoever (played by Tricia Helfer, who really works her disdain for Harvey in her one scene), the lawyer on the Liberty Rail case – something about a file that contains evidence of corporate-sanctioned murders that he will offer to Gibbs in exchange for setting Mike free. In a plot development that doesn’t make much sense, Evan gives him the file in exchange for letting her ‘shop’ for lawyers (and their clients) and staff at PSL for her law firm.

no deal

Jessica is not pleased with this deal but agrees because the lawyers are going to leave anyway and as Louis points out, if they don’t try to save their family member Mike, who are they? Too bad Gibbs is not interested in the file. She accuses Harvey of being a self-serving, immoral manipulator of people and the law, who can’t even justify his use of dirty tricks in service of justice like she can hers. Nice talk.

rachel upset

Having determined his own future, Mike spends most of the episode trying to set things right with Rachel, who is pretty upset that he broke his promise to wait for the verdict, and ignored her plea to have faith in himself.

couch sex

After Mike passes on to Rachel the lie Harvey told him – that the jury would have found him guilty – she utters the corny line “I want us to be one” (who could say this with a straight face?) meaning “let’s bone” and they have what’s meant to be passionate couch-sitting (and possibly impregnating?) sex. They also decide to go ahead and get married before Mike goes to jail.

rachel & dad arguing

Robert Zane is still raging about Mike, the evil wrecker of his daughter’s life and future. He tells Rachel her law career will be over if she marries him, and he tries to steal some lawyers from PSL with the help of Katrina Bennett (remember her?) who now works for him and has found a hole in the PSL lawyers’ non-compete agreements.

katrina

Louis gets involved with the Zane threat and blackmails (this show and blackmail!) Katrina into not helping Zane steal the lawyers. Though Zane’s firm does get at least one: Jack Soloff, of whom I have somehow become fond (shocking, I know). Maybe he’ll return in some future episode like so many past featured characters have done.

goodbye jack

Mike goes to Rachel’s mom and asks if she can convince Robert to attend the wedding, for Rachel’s sake. The mom is pretty damn sure Zane will never forgive Mike, ever, but says she will try.

R's mom

Jessica applies pressure on Zane too – she visits him to ‘make peace’ and apologizes for not trusting him enough to tell him about Mike before. While she’s at it, she suggests he come to the wedding, because she knows from difficult father-daughter relationships, and this is a now or never situation.

h&Danner

Harvey is angry that Mike didn’t let him take the fall for their joint crime, and feeling guilty besides, because Mrs. Danner, who is a bit of a drama queen and so short that Gabriel Macht and Patrick J. Adams have to bend their heads at odd angles in their scenes with her, keeps overacting at Harvey about how Mike won’t survive in jail, and how everything (including the death of her son) is Harvey’s fault.

Harvey takes a punch

So when Mike comes over to Harvey’s apartment to ask him to be his best man at the wedding ceremony, Harvey asks him instead to let him (Harvey) go to prison. When Mike says no, Harvey goads him into a fist fight (training for prison, don’t you know) in which Mike does the punching and Harvey does the bleeding. Mike is still going to jail, though.

donna in blue

At the church the next morning, Rachel has on a wedding dress, and Donna is in a maid of honor dress that looks like what she’d wear to work, which makes sense since most of her office wear is weirdly bridesmaid-appropriate anyway. And both Zane parents have shown up for the ceremony.

wedding dress mirror

Except Mike calls the wedding off, because Robert Zane is right, and Mike doesn’t want to take away Rachel’s law dreams, and he couldn’t live with himself if he did that any more than he could live with himself if he let Harvey go to jail for the fraud he committed.

tearstained

If he loves her – and he does – he has to not marry her yet, not till he’s served his time and she’s become a lawyer. And he will still love her in 2 years. So in the end, they’re as all good as two heart-broken but committed people can be, if a little tear-stained.

333 bay street

Jessica and Louis return from the not-wedding to the office, the exterior of which is clearly signed as 333 Bay Street in Toronto – an office building that in real life houses a large law firm that employs people I am personally acquainted with! – only to find that everyone (except Donna) has up and gone. In this scene, Jessica wears an amazing coat with fur cuffs that makes her look way regal. But can a queen rule without any subjects?

mike&harv

The last words for the season go to our blood brothers Harvey and Mike, who wax philosophical outside the Danbury prison. Once they’ve got a classic “It was my fault/no it was MY fault” exchange out of the way, Mike says:

  •  he’d do it all again if he had the chance (Harvey says the same),
  • “Donna always said you were looking for another you, I guess you found one,” and
  • “I guess it’s time to get busy living or get busy dying” (a movie quote – from The Shawshank Redemption – that does not feel gratuitous, for once, but apt)

Their bromance thereby signed, sealed and delivered, Harvey tells Mike to watch his back, and Mike enters the prison, in his suit.

Season 6 of Suits begins this summer, without – according to show creator Aaron Korsh – a jump forward in time. Bring on the jailhouse scenes! And see you then.

KimMoritsuguTheHungryNovelist

Kim Moritsugu is a Toronto novelist and sometime TV show recapper whose latest novel is a suburban comedy of manners called The Oakdale Dinner Club.

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