In which the intra-office tension keeps on coming, Charles Barkley stops by for a cameo, Mike uses his memory skills, and Harvey has another panic attack.
Jack Soloff, Season 5 Antagonist, vs. The World
Jessica, looking typically fierce and regal in a peplum power suit and great hair, wants Harvey to kiss (the ass of) and make up with partner Jack Soloff, who despite last week’s victory on the compensation issue, is still out to disempower Harvey further, because Harvey is arrogant.
Harvey makes a conciliatory gesture of arranging a golf date for Jack with former basketball star and current sports commentator Charles Barkley, but Jack literally throws the gift away – he doesn’t give a shit about Charles.
One of Jack’s clients is a Barkley fan though, and when Harvey engineers a meeting between the two, the client leaves Jack for Harvey. Jack complains to Jessica about this client stealing and she tells him she and Harvey are a united front, though she later gives Harvey an angry talking-to for antagonizing the antagonist instead of smoothing things over like she told him to.
Jack demands support from Louis of his new plan to reduce Harvey’s compensation further. Louis wants out of the Harvey fight, partly to appease Donna, who gave back his ballet-themed music box gift because she’s angry at him for putting her in an awkward ethical situation the week before. Jack threatens blackmail unless Louis backs him up with more underhanded shit to make Harvey suffer. And Harvey threatens to bury Louis if he sides with Soloff again. So Louis is now involved in quite the hate-quadrangle.
Harvey vs. Donna
Gretchen proves her worth as Donna’s replacement by a) coming to work early and trying to play a practical joke on Louis; b) saying she did not read the document that revealed Harvey’s income and thinks anyone who did should be fired; c) digging up background info on Jack’s clients that helps Harvey try to steal them, and d) confessing to her own anxiety issues in the past to help him with deal with his.
Gretchen does this last bit because Harvey has still NOT recovered from Donna leaving him. When Donna hears from Louis that Harvey intends to get her back, she waits for Harvey in his office to give him hell. Wearing a lovely blue dress with an asymmetrical hem that would be hella difficult to wrangle while sitting in a desk chair, she assumes a power stance to inform Harvey that she is not a piece of property and they are never ever ever
getting back together going to be boss and secretary again, no matter how badly Louis treats her.
Harvey deals with the issue by displacing his anger onto Soloff and Louis, and by being rude to Robert Zane because he fears Zane is going to take Mike away from him. When Jessica calls him out (more like yells him out) on this, he has another panic attack, this time in front of Mike.
He returns to his comely English psychiatrist looking for more drugs but she still won’t write a prescription until he does some talk therapy. They do a role play exercise, and Harvey admits he feels abandoned AND betrayed by Donna. The doctor-as-Donna points out that she didn’t go to work for Louis to hurt Harvey, but to put herself first for a change, and okay maybe to twist the knife a little, because hey, he rejected her after that awkward I-love-you admission last season, so serves him right kinda.
Mike & Robert Zane vs. the Evil Insurance Company
Jessica is not pleased that her rival Robert Zane has been brought in to “her house” to work with Mike on the insurance company suit, but to avoid looking weak, she plays hardball with Robert about how their firms will split the legal fees if the case is won, and makes him fake-promise to treat Mike like an equal partner.
In service of their case, Robert and Mike take a Town car to a back alley with a view of OCAD University in Toronto – that’s the elevated checkered box in the background of this outdoor set dressed to depict Poorsville, New York, complete with an atmospheric old car up on blocks. The two men clash, albeit politely – Robert criticizes Mike’s office, has no time for movie dialogue banter (thank god), and withholds key bits of info like that he has gotten a wealthy hedge fund to underwrite the lawsuit. The evil-seeming insurance company lawyers threaten to tie up the case for years in court, but Mike makes a speech to a judge about the plaintiffs that shows off his Mr. Memory skills and makes him look compassionate to boot. So the Mike and Robert team wins the first round, and Mike earns some respect from Robert as well.
Jessica and Rachel, Mentor and Mentee
Rachel is a bit too smiley and girly for my taste in this episode. She is huggy and kissy with Mike in the office, then, in a self-described attempt to be charming and delightful, she climbs onto the couch behind Mike when he is trying to work, and drapes herself all over him in a manner that does not irritate him, though it sure would me.
In a minor plotline that doesn’t hold water, Jessica asks Rachel to check a draft speech – to be made by a client who is an important black female surgeon – for potential exposure. Which, huh? What kind of speech could the doctor be making that might be actionable? Rachel is a big fan of this surgeon (more huh) but while checking the speech, she rewrites it (huh x 3) to make it more something – powerful? punchy? Jessica invites Rachel to attend the event at which the speech will be made, which causes the two of them to dress up in evening wear – Jessica in a rather bridal Zac Posen gown, which she pulls off, because Gina Torres can pull off just about anything, and Rachel in a burgundy number that doesn’t do her any favors, and that Jessica insults in a typical Suits we-slam-each-other-because-we-love move.
While mincing out the door in their tight dresses, Jessica reveals that she is the one giving the speech that Rachel rewrote for the doctor (as I have been known to note in the margin of my creative writing students’ manuscript pages – “sense?”) and that she asked Rachel for input on it to cement their mentor-mentee relationship. Rachel reminds Jessica of her younger self and she wants to develop her.
Next week: Louis’s attractive sister flirts with Harvey!