Suits Recap – Season 5, Episode 9: Uninvited Guests

In this penultimate episode of the summer season, the writers tease us with hints that real changes might happen, both to the show’s somewhat tired five-year-old premise that Mike is a fake lawyer, and to the firm of Pearson, Specter, Litt. But will real changes happen?

Trouble in Love Land

Mike, sensitive guy that he is, develops a rash because he can’t help but wonder if former flame Claire was on to something when she said he shouldn’t marry Rachel if he loves her. It’s okay though, because Rachel is all, “I love you SO SO MUCH that you shouldn’t feel bad that you commit fraud daily and I could probably be charged as an accessory to that fraud. Now, let’s neck.”

Mike with rash

However, Rachel gets rattled when her mother starts talking New York Times Style section wedding announcements and a 300-person wedding guest list that includes the dean of Harvard Law School. Rachel lies and says Mike wants a small wedding, and tells her mother to butt out, which is a bit harsh, Tai.

This is not the Plaza Hotel. But where is it?

This is not the Plaza Hotel. But where is it?

Rachel goes to Donna, who is helpfully wearing a pretty purple (pink?) lace bridesmaid’s dress (which is by J Mendel and costs only US$2800, according to, to ask whether she should tell her mother Mike’s secret. Donna helpfully says that is a terrible idea because then the mom would have to keep it from Rachel’s dad, and imagine how that would go.

donna purple dress

When Mike worries aloud that he is ruining Rachel’s life, she admits he IS taking away her dream wedding plans, but she still wants to marry him because she love, love, loves him. So Mike meets his old buddy Trevor for a drink to invite him to the wedding. Trevor is now married to an unseen virtuous woman and has given up drug dealing and dirty tricks like the betraying of best friends. He advises Mike to take a similar high road by quitting his job, and Mike seems to seriously consider this option.

Mike seriously considers quitting his job.

Mike seriously considers quitting his job.

Yes, Mike! Take the advice of this person who did you grievous wrong in previous seasons! Quit and get a quickie law degree from some cheap online university, then practice for real.

The Hardman is Unleashed

A partners’ meeting is held to vote on Harvey’s suspension, and after Harvey makes a speech offering to reduce his compensation (let’s reverse his position on this a few more times, shall we?) after all, no matter what the outcome of the vote, he is NOT suspended, no surprise, though the vote is close.

harvey addresses partnersJack Soloff slips another item onto the meeting agenda and casually suggests that Hardman rejoin the firm. Jessica and Harvey spit fire at this suggestion, and Donna gives Hardman grief when he shows up at the office and trades insults with everyone he meets. He offers to bring a new, unnamed billion-dollar client to PSL if he were to rejoin, and when Jessica says over her dead body, he promises he will instead take away all the firm’s current clients by having his moneybags client acquire them.

Jessica is pissed.

Jessica is pissed.

Jack (whom we can now hate again, whew) tells Mike he recommended him for partner as a bid to buy his loyalty, but Mike is ever true to Harvey, so forget that plan. Louis, meanwhile, realizes he brought on the whole Hardman problem when he started to conspire with Jack to take down Harvey, so he scurries around trying to fix it.

louis & jack

He warns Jack that Hardman is a devil who cannot be trusted, guesses that Hardman has something on Jack, and tries and fails to find out what it is. He suggests to Jessica that they make Jack a name partner to appease him, but Jessica has a better idea: she tells Jack to resign. His counter suggestion: she can resign. And let the partners vote on who they want least.

Mike & Harvey as Batman & Robin with complementary suit & tie combos - nice work, costumers!

Mike & Harvey as Batman & Robin with complementary suit & tie combos – nice work, costumers!

Harvey & Mike decide Hardman will try to steal good old McKiernan Motors first, so they separately go to two money men who hate each other: Sidwell and Giannopoulos, and get them each to agree to offer a generous sum for McKiernan just to spite the other. When Hardman’s client’s counter-offer is even more generous, Harvey realizes that the client must be criminal mastermind Charles Forstman.


Harvey visits Fortsman in a country club type jail and threatens to use his legal superpowers to have him transferred to Rikers Island, but Forstman’s not scared. You want me to call off Hardman, he says? Step down from the firm. All Forstman wants is  to see Harvey laid low. And Harvey seems to seriously consider this option.

Harvey seriously considering the option to quit and looking weirdly like Joseph Gordon-Levitt while doing it.

Harvey seriously considering the option to quit and weirdly looking a bit like Joseph Gordon-Levitt while doing so.

Do it, Harvey, quit! For the sake of changing things up!


  • It’s nice to see Harvey and Mike together again fighting crime, er, waging legal war together, and some of their bro banter entertains, but enough with the movie quotes already
  • Louis refers to Jack having a “pirate beard” (heh)
  • I laughed when Donna suggested she and Louis follow Harvey and Mike’s example of seasons past and smoke pot so they can think up a way to stop Hardman

Next week: Jessica smashes some office furniture, “someone is going down,” and I’m yelling Timber.


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

Suits Recap – Season 5, Episode 8: Mea Culpa

In which Troian Bellisario (Patrick J. Adams’s real-life fiancée) of Pretty Little Liars fame makes a return appearance, Jack Soloff is not totally detestable – for once, and Jessica storms around in Angry Boss with Great Hair mode much of the time.

The Aftermath of the Harvey-Louis Beatdown

donna louis

Louis is in high dudgeon since Harvey attacked him, and wants to hire outside counsel to sue Harvey’s ass. Donna looks aghast at Louis’s injuries, but suggests he keep his grievances within the family/law firm.

Louis wants for Harvey, as punishment, to be suspended from work for three months, unpaid. To prevent that motion from coming up at a partners’ meeting, an angry Jessica orders Harvey to go on vacation.

jessica pissed

Everyone knows Harvey never goes on vacation, but he leaves work anyway and goes to see Dr. Paula wearing casual clothes (OMG moment #1)!

harvey casual

After hearing about the fight, Dr. Paula concludes that both men hide their hurt feelings (Louis about Esther, Harvey about his mother) behind angry words (Louis) or punches (Harvey) rather than expressing them – so they’re exactly the same person (OMG moment #2)!

Harvey takes this insight to heart and goes late to the office in his casual clothes (which does not make all hell break loose, for some inexplicable reason) to apologize to Louis and explain. He admits to the panic attacks, being in therapy, Donna’s departure having hit him hard, and even that he has unresolved family issues.

Louis appears to accept the explanation and apology, and he suggests Harvey attend the partners’ meeting the next day in vote on Mike’s promotion to junior partner. Then Louis pulls a Jack Soloff style double-cross and moves to get Harvey suspended anyway. The actual Jack Soloff points out, reasonably, that according to the bylaws, the vote on that can’t happen for a few days.

donna dicta

After the meeting, Harvey asks Louis what the hell, Angry Jessica calls Louis despicable, and Donna wants to know what Louis said that prompted Harvey to punch him anyway. When she finds out that Louis recorded Harvey talking about therapy etc., apparently with the intent of playing it back to the partners to publicly humiliate Harvey, Donna warns him she will quit working for him if he keeps up the dirty tricks. Thus badgered and cowed, Louis suggests to Jessica that he call off the vote, but a fed-up Jessica says no.

Mike, Rachel & Claire Form a Law/Love Triangle

Jack Soloff would be suspicious if Mike didn’t accept the partnership promotion he suggested, so Jessica reverses her earlier command that Mike must refuse it, and hands him his first case as partner, something about a software company that might be acquired by Google.

rachel mike gooeyAmid gooey expressions of mutual love, Mike asks Rachel to work on it as his associate, but he backs out of the first meeting when the software company’s lawyer turns out to be Claire Bowden, his lost love from last season’s flashback. Claire knows he is a fake, and is played by Troian Bellisario, who is admirably crisp, unsmiling, and no-nonsense in the part.

mike and claire

When Claire asks, Rachel says the Mike Ross at Pearson Specter Litt is not the Mike Ross Claire once knew, he’s some 45 year old dude. Rachel tries to handle the case alone, and makes a tactical error that scuppers the deal and incurs Mike’s irritation, though who is he to talk? She eventually comes up with an alternate plan that works, but she has to take Mike’s name off the paperwork because a background check would be necessary to make the deal happen, which is how Claire figures out that Mike IS the same guy she knew. Rachel admits that she and Mike are engaged, and begs Claire not to expose Mike. Claire agrees, but when Mike approaches her privately to thank her, she tells him that if he really loved Rachel, he wouldn’t drag her down into his fraudulent circle of hell with him by marrying her. She’s just saying.


Jack is being squeezed/blackmailed by Hardman to do something shady, and he doesn’t want to do it! Plus he gives Harvey some decent advice for how to manage the vote about the suspension. Are we supposed to like him now?

The show continues its tradition of making unbridled, detailed Game of Thrones references with a funny scene in which Mike explains to Louis that Harvey is the Jon Snow of the Suits universe, so he shouldn’t be stabbed and left to die.

My thought: Couldn’t Mike just quietly take the bar exam someday without going to law school, pass it, and become a real lawyer that way? Or like, do a quickie law degree from some on-line university? Just so the question of whether Mike’s secret will or will not be exposed doesn’t drive the plot of this show FOREVER?

Next week: The suspension vote happens? And Hardman tries to take the firm away from Jessica.


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

Suits Recap – Season 5, Episode 7: Hitting Home

In which Harvey realizes that hooking up with the beauteous Esther was a mistake, and both Jack Soloff AND Daniel Hardman reappear, sometimes together (face plant).

The return of Esther

Esther is back, dressed in some of the best costumes of the episode, including this great business executive blouse in which she asks Harvey if he will handle a lawsuit brought against her company by some guy with a nut allergy who almost died after eating one of her muffins, which are supposed to be totally nut-free.

esther blouse

In a move Esther later describes as ‘sweet in a dickish way’ but just seemed dickish to me, Harvey accuses Esther of using the lawsuit as an excuse to see him again, and tells her to get Louis to handle it instead, because Louis is a damn good lawyer and Harvey wants to do him a solid.

Sweet but dickish, or just plain dickish?

Sweet but dickish, or just plain dickish?

Louis is touched to be asked, and with Rachel’s help, eventually wins the case, though not without arguing with Esther about doing it his way versus hers. Along the way, Donna divines that Esther and Harvey have had sex, and tells Harvey he must tell Louis about that or she will tell him, because her days of lying to Louis (though not to wedding planners) are done.

Harvey, his mother and his combative shrink


Dr. Paula is proud when Harvey opens up about his mother, who we see in a flashback featuring a dark-haired child actor playing Harvey, who was definitely a blond child, come on. Child Harvey comes home early from school because he’s sick and finds his mother doing post-coital laughing and shirt-buttoning-up with her ‘cousin.’ (I really hope he wasn’t her actual cousin, because ew.) But aside from the cheating with her cousin thing, the mother seemed nice enough to Harvey, didn’t she?

Dr. Paula’s pride turns into recrimination when she finds out Harvey slept with Esther. She accuses him of being as snaky as his mother, what with the sneaking around and breaking of promises. Harvey gets angry about this accusation, as usual, but sees her point.

esther dress

He returns to the office intent on telling Louis and runs into Esther, who is being flirty and wearing an insane but eye-catchingly stylish dress of the sort Donna wears, asymmetrical hem and all. Esther asks if he’d like to take her out sometime, which why couldn’t she just ask to take him out instead (whither equal rights?). Harvey brusquely shuts that down and hurts her feelings. A few minutes later, Louis, who has guessed all and gotten Donna to confirm it, storms into his office and confronts Harvey on the topic.

louis post-punch

Fisticuffs ensue, Louis gets punched in the mouth AND thrown into a glass coffee table which shatters dramatically, and Harvey’s in deep shit now, including with an appalled Jessica.

Jack Soloff & Daniel Hardman: An Unholy Alliance with a Side Dish of Mike


Jack asks Mike to work with him on a case involving a teachers’ pension fund and some derivatives. Everyone’s motives in this story line are twisted: Jack claims he’s trying to make up and make good, but he’s been consorting with Hardman on the sly; Jessica tells Mike he must work with Jack because she said so and also to test Jack’s two-facedness; and Mike manufactures evidence in the case (a big stack of forged emails) as a way to win it, because now everyone’s go-to tactic is to do fraudulent illegal-type stuff and lie. SMH.

Jack and Mike disagree on tactics and don’t get along, until they do, when they impress each other with their respective acts of cagey underhandedness.

jessica & hardman

Working with Mike changes Jack a bit – he informs Hardman he doesn’t want to conspire to overthrow Jessica anymore, and makes a recommendation that Mike be promoted to junior partner. Jessica, who already had a “get away from my house” talk with Hardman on the street, is properly pissed by this development. She tells Mike that while he is the best associate she has ever known, he will turn down the partnership because now is not a good time for his lack of a law degree to come to light – and can I just say how glad I am that his living-a-lie situation has not come up yet this season? Though I guess it makes sense for it to come up now.

jessica mike

Next week: Harvey vs. Louis redux.


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

Suits Recap – Season 5, Episode 6: Privilege

In which the series regular women wear beautiful dresses, Snidely Soloff returns, and so does McKiernan Motors.

Harvey and Dr. Paula Had Better Not be Headed for Romance

harvey pj's

In case you forgot that Harvey and Dr. Paula played true confessions and had a big “we’re done” spat last week, we get replays of their therapy scenes in the previouslies AND in the opening scene flashback, during which Harvey gets out of his big old lonely bed wearing so many pajama-ish clothes that I think Gabriel Macht must have a no-skin-showing clause in his contract.

When Harvey gets to the office, a former adversary named Sam Tull is waiting to see him. Tull’s employer (something about assets) is falsely accusing him of criminal wrongdoing (something about an unauthorized trade) in order to avoid covering a big loss. Tull wants Harvey to defend him despite their past mutual hatred because he knows Harvey will do anything to protect his clients and keep them from going to jail.

Harvey agrees. Could it be that deep-down, like Mike, he might want to help people too? Aww. But he freaks out when the ‘proof’ of wrongdoing that Tull’s bad-guy boss brings to the table is that he can provide testimony from a shrink Tull was seeing on the company dime (and therefore doctor-patient confidentiality does not apply). And that shrink is Dr. Paula.

In a manner Dr. Paula calls arrogant, Harvey orders her not to testify, but she is compelled to by subpoena. When she gives her deposition – saying Tull expressed guilt feelings but did not confess to doing anything wrong – Harvey undermines her testimony by referring to the tragic blunder she told him in confidence last week.

Dr. Paula chews Harvey out for this betrayal, including calling him a narcissist. Harvey sort of apologizes, and when he explains his motivation for the betrayal – he was just trying to help Tull – she softens. I really hope their constant arguing does not later turn into lust.

rachel color block

Rachel has been working the case with Harvey (and keeping an eye on his mental health). While wearing an elegant color-block knit dress (or maybe two piece outfit) that makes her look smarter and more serious (also, way fit) than the frilly stuff she often wears, she suggests Harvey ask Dr. Paula for her files on other patients who work for the bad-guy company, to be used as a bargaining tool. That ploy appears to work off-screen, because Harvey later visits Dr. Paula bearing flowers from an exonerated Tull. And guess what – they’re not ‘done.’ Harvey is ready to talk about his mother.

harvey with flowers
Imagine a world in which engine manufacturers called McKiernan Motors and Fletcher Engines exist

Dominic Barrone of McKiernan Motors meets with Mike and Louis to ask them to quickly firm up a handshake deal he made with an old friend to buy a battery manufacturer. Louis annoys Barrone by wanting to do proper, not-so-quick due diligence and good thing, too, because they discover a problem that makes the deal a no go. As an alternative, Mike and Louis suggest McKiernan look at buying the battery division of a company called Tanaka that happens to be represented by Snidely Jack Soloff.

jessica hair

Jessica, sporting the kind of gorgeous highlights and hair styling that I can only dream (and often do) of having, has urged Louis to put aside his pettiness and get Jack Soloff onside as an ally rather than an adversary. So when Jack, in his usual assholish way, asks for 100% of the fee if the deal goes through, Louis agrees.

louis kimono

Louis sets out to woo the head of Tanaka by decorating the boardroom Japanese-style (check the video of the Japanese flag waving on the wall TV screen) for a meeting. Mike is (rightfully) certain that this is a terrible, offensive, making-all-the-wrong-cultural-assumptions idea, but Mr. Tanaka (who, judging from his accent, appears to have been born and raised in Japan), loves it, which causes Mike to make amusing WTF reaction faces.

mike wtf face

Mike and Louis think they have a deal, but Soloff convinces Tanaka to back out, because he’s a mustache-twirling villain who needs to go away. McKiernan fires Pearson Specter as its law firm, but when Mike and Louis apologize and explain what happened, they are hired back. Meanwhile, Soloff has quickly signed up another bigger engine manufacturer, Fletcher Motors.

jessica + soloff

When Jessica finds out about this, she pays Soloff a visit and tells him to drop Fletcher Motors, because the firm’s first loyalty is to McKiernan Motors. He will, but warns her that when he does, the whole firm will know it’s because Harvey is Jessica’s pet/favorite. Jessica gives him one last chance to work with her, rather than against her, and stalks out of his office. The rather formal satin dress she wears when delivering this ultimatum gives off more of a wedding vibe than a ‘I WILL cut a bitch” one, but her regal bearing makes her message loud and clear.

mike honey

The light comedy portion of the episode revolves around Mike’s request of Donna that she help secure the Plaza Hotel as a wedding venue, and on Rachel’s birthday. After some random coffee room banter about honey, Donna sets about recreationally impersonating and blackmailing people to get what she wants, like she did that time when she got into BIG TROUBLE and almost went to prison. But this is all about making Rachel’s dream wedding happen, so I guess that’s okay. Along the way, she gets to know Gretchen a bit better and she gets to wear this gorgeous green print dress, which might be my favorite of the many expensive dresses Donna has ever worn.

donna green dress

Gretchen made me laugh when she surmised that the reason she and Donna haven’t bonded before now is that Donna wasn’t ready to say goodbye to her metaphorical little girl on the first day of school. You mean Harvey is my little girl? Donna says. But no, the little girl Donna was afraid to leave behind is herself, because Gretchen is WISE.

Next week: Hardman returns (ugh). And so does the beauteous Esther, so that Louis and Harvey can go back to hating each other when Louis finds out Harvey slept with her.


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