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.


3 thoughts on “Suits Recap – Season 5, Episode 8: Mea Culpa

  1. abloggerkid says:

    This post really helped me because I can’t find s05e08 anywhere and I’ve been stuck there for a week but your detailed summary allows me to finally move on to episode 9 without feeling that big a mountain of guilt. I do badly want to see the Jon snow part though.

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