It was Sheila Szaz who turned Mike in!
But first, Donna, Donna, Donna:
Donna celebrates her return to Harvey’s desk by wearing a nightclub-ready, cleavage-centric, flamenco-skirted dance dress to work, only to be hauled in for questioning by Gibbs about the whole Mike fraud sitch. Donna says nothing and plays it cool until Gibbs mentions that by the way, she also has Donna’s dad in for questioning. Something about a shady real estate deal he was involved with some years ago? Donna: “You’re a cold heartless bitch.” Gibbs: “I am. Here’s my card. Call me.”
To get the wiggy flashbacks out of the way: when Donna was an earnest piano-playing tween, her dad’s business failed and they had to move out of a nice house into an apartment – goodbye piano! – in Connecticut, where she took up musical theatre instead (as one does). Seven years before the present day, Mr. Paulsen, having become the lowly manager of a real estate brokerage, asked Donna to ask Harvey to invest in a questionable real estate development deal.
Harvey refused because he doesn’t believe in investing with close friends or family, especially if they don’t know what they’re doing, and Donna and Harvey traded angry words about their respective Daddy and Mommy issues. Harvey went one further, secretly met Mr. Paulsen and threatened to make his life hell if he were to take any money from Donna for the investment.
In the present, Harvey promises to get Donna’s dad off the hook, but not before blame is thrown around about Donna being put at risk – Harvey blames the dad for doing the shady deal 7 years ago, the dad blames Harvey for making Donna an accessory to Mike’s fraudulent hiring, and after Donna learns that her father is about to be formally charged, Donna blames Harvey for her troubles too.
Harvey has cleared his schedule for the next two months to deal with the charges against Mike. And now he and Mike (and Louis) have to get Donna and her dad out of trouble too. Their first move is to get Gibbs to hand over the anonymous email that triggered her investigation of Mike. It was sent from a “general faculty Harvard email account” (does this sound plausible? not to me), which makes Mike and Harvey think Professor Gerrard sent it. But Louis recognizes Sheila Szaz’s writing style right away (who else would use the word “besmirch”) so he pays her a visit.
She admits that she sent the email after she saw a magazine article about Mike’s meteoric rise to partner and found no record of him in her files. Louis pleads with her on the basis of their prior soulmate relationship to retract the email. She won’t retract it, but she promises not to identify herself as the sender. She later changes her mind and comes forward, which makes Louis very sad.
It doesn’t help when Gretchen, who has been moved to Louis’s desk, tells Louis it was she who arranged for the article to be written about Mike, in a misguided attempt to get Harvey some credit. And Louis had been so happy that Gretchen’s opening gambit as his secretary had been to promise to get him into the big mah jong game that his former secretary Norma played in for years before she died! The consolation: Gretchen is on the side of the fraud squad, i.e. the principal characters on the show.
Mike goes to see Professor Gerrard at one of his illegal poker games and asks him for help. Gerrard won’t expose Mike, but he won’t lie and say that Mike was his student either. Mike persuades him instead to write a vaguely worded letter praising Mike that Harvey uses as a bargaining chip against Gibbs. Their bluff works and Gibbs agrees to stop persecuting Donna and her dad so as to avoid putting Gerrard on the witness stand. But Harvey and Mike have to withdraw their motion to dismiss the charges. So the trial is still coming.
When Gibbs delivers subpoenas asking for every case file on the books at Pearson Specter Litt, Jessica urges Mike and Rachel to destroy the affidavits she and they signed previously acknowledging their various degrees of complicity in Mike’s fraud. She also seeks outside counsel for herself from her old flame Jeff Malone. Jeff pays Mike a visit and yells at him for ruining his relationship with Jessica – there’s just no end to the collateral damage of what Mike has done! Jeff refuses to be Jessica’s attorney but might speak to her again one day when the whole mess is over. You know, might.
Next week: Gibbs goes after Rachel.