Over an opening montage of Mike getting booked at the police station, and stripped of potential self-harming instruments like shoelaces and his tie – hey, what about the thread in his suit and shirt buttons? – we meet Assistant U.S. Attorney Anita Gibbs, the back six’s low-voiced villain, and we learn that the big fraud Mike is charged with really is about him pretending to be a lawyer, and not about some other illegal thing he did as a fake lawyer. This is a satisfying payoff for the show to make, at long last, on the show’s now years-old premise. So good job, show.
We know Gibbs is a tough cookie, because she doesn’t give a fuck about things like violating Mike’s rights by not letting him see a lawyer for hours, or keeping him in jail overnight to scare him. Also because she has Mom hair, and wears department store-bought clothes.
Mike is tough and cocky too (cookie, cocky, kooky) – he tricks Gibbs into videotaping him talking about that rights violation, and immediately ID’s the federal marshal posing as a cellmate who tries to intimidate/scare him about life in jail.
Mike’s façade cracks when Robert Zane shows up (sent by Rachel) claiming to be Mike’s attorney. Robert wants him to rat on Harvey in exchange for his freedom, and also to never speak to or see Rachel again.
Mike won’t betray Harvey, but he looks pretty rattled when Robert throws him against the wall, and he crumples when Harvey finally shows up. Mike figures the jig is up because of the small matter that he is actually guilty. Harvey, ever the pragmatist, points out that the onus is on Gibbs to prove Mike isn’t a lawyer, which should be difficult thanks to the fraudulent hacking into databases these two have orchestrated in the past – Michael’s credentials are technically in order. You know what would be kind of funny though? If season 6 of suits saw Mike in jail using his Mr. Memory skills to engineer a prison break. Suits could even do some crossover episodes with the coming remake of Prison Break, about which I am extremely dubious, though I was a big Wentworth Miller fan back in the day.
Meanwhile, back at the Pearson Specter Litt ranch, Jessica’s first impulse is for the principal cast members to dissociate from Mike, for fear of being pegged as “unindicted co-conspirators” (this episode’s drinking game prompt), which they basically all are, so good luck with that. She also wants Harvey to tear up the resignation letter he submitted last episode as part of his deal with Forstman, because of the bad optics of his resignation coming on the same day as Mike’s arrest. Except he can’t, because if he does, Forstman will unleash Hardman again in attack dog mode to take Jessica down. So Harvey has to find a way to defend Mike while pretending he did not resign, and hope that Fortsman doesn’t find out he’s pretending.
Harvey negotiates with Gibbs to get Mike released without bail pending trial. She tries to double-cross Harvey in the courtroom and have the judge prohibit him from defending Mike, but Mike plays his you-violated-my-rights card and takes the hand.
Next, the boys try to figure out who leaked their secret to Gibbs. Harvey swallows his pride, eats crow, and pays a visit to his old love Scottie, who has a chic new haircut and a frosty attitude. She bitterly says she didn’t squeal, but can’t promise she won’t in future.
Mike, in turn, ambushes his old buddy Trevor the Turncoat on what’s meant to be a Manhattan sidewalk except there are Toronto streetcars in the background. Trevor also denies having tipped anyone off, but says his only motive for keeping quiet is to protect his own family. Aren’t old friends grand?
Gibbs shows up at Harvey’s gym to tell him that if the reason he’s boxing in the middle of the day like an unemployed person is because he was fired or made to resign by the the firm, that’s evidence he’s a co-conspirator, so haha gotcha, unless, of course, he’ll turn on Jessica. While looking convincingly flushed and sweaty, Harvey reaches into his bag of insults and suggests Gibb take a remedial class in fiction writing (huh?) at NYU.
When our merry band of co-conspirators realize Harvey must return to work at the office to ward off Gibbs and her suspicions, Mike comes up with the solution to Forstman finding out – he threatens Forstman’s inside man at the firm: Jack Soloff. If Jack lets Forstman know Harvey hasn’t quit, Mike will tell Gibbs Jack was the main man at the law firm who knew all about Mike’s fraud. Jack somewhat reasonably protests that he never did anything bad to Mike so why the blackmail? Guess he sealed his fate when he went after Mike’s surrogate parents Jessica and Harvey.
Rachel is mighty fretful this episode. She’s beside herself with worry after Mike is arrested, and goes to her dad for help, only to have him advise her to quit the firm and Mike. When she won’t, because of true love and all, her dad gives her a very cold shoulder and asks Jessica to fire her, which she refuses to do.
Zane senior asks Rachel to convey a message from Gibbs to Mike that he can be free if he turns on Harvey (a message Zane already delivered to Mike in person so why he repeats it to Rachel, I don’t know), and she makes the mistake of considering the idea for one second, thereby incurring Mike’s wrath. By the end of the hour, she and Mike have made up and pledged their love anew, which made their earlier tension seem manufactured for drama’s sake, but whatever, the sweater coat she wears in this hug scene is nice.
Louis warns Donna to avoid any contact with Harvey and Mike (again with the unindicted co-conspirator concern) but, while wearing the hell out of some beautiful figure-flattering dresses, Donna says she just can’t stay away.
When Jessica asks Louis to find something in the bylaws that will stop Jack Soloff from trying to boot her out again – which Jack pledged to do as soon as he found out about Mike’s arrest – Louis instead comes up with a bone-headed suggestion that he take over from Jessica as managing partner at the firm. Jessica accuses him of self-promotion and selfishness and reiterates her demand that he find a loophole in the bylaws.
Louis doesn’t do that, but he does realize that the team player/We Are Family thing to do about this whole mess is to release Donna from his employ so she can help Harvey, even though he will miss her, and he fears what the consequences will be for her. This move earns him Jessica’s sincere thanks via a drop-in at his mudding spa (salon?) during which we get gross close-ups of Louis’s mud-covered nipples, and Jessica wears a heinous black ‘vest’ that looks like a scrunched up satin tablecloth glued onto a white shirt.
Nipples and vest aside, Jessica and Louis have a heartwarming bonding conversation about Lord of the Rings, during which he gets in a good joke about how horrible he would be if he got hold of the One Ring That Rules Them All, since he’s no Frodo. Jessica compares him instead to the ever-loyal Samwise Gamgee, and he opines that he’s always thought LoTR was more about friendship than about power. Sort of like Suits, don’t we all know.
Donna announces her return to Harvey’s side in a work capacity by making a surprise appearance inside his apartment late at night (no mixed messages being sent or received there). And when he hears she’s come back to him, Gabriel Macht as Harvey does that actorly thing where he softens his eye expression, and wins us all over.
Next week: we find out who sold Mike up the river.