Suits Recap – Season 5, Episode 16: 25th Hour


Did you think the Suits endgame of this season – of the last five seasons, actually – was that Mike Ross would go to jail for the fraud that is the core of the show’s premise?

I didn’t. I thought he would make a deal that would enable him to get out of jail and use his brainpower to help others (he might still do this in jail). And the friend with whom I discuss the show thought Harvey would find a way to get Mike off altogether.

So congrats to the Suits writers/creators for surprising us both, and for dispensing justice and just desserts to Mike – the most honourable and sensitive criminal ever – in a way that keeps us sympathetic to both him and to Harvey. And thanks too, for resolving Mike’s issue. Resolution is good.

On to the recap:

mike & gibbs

Following up from last week’s cliffhanger ending, Mike makes the deal with Gibbs that calls for him to go to jail for 2 years but protects anyone at PSL from prosecution. He’s given 72 hours to report to FCI Danbury (a real-life low security prison in Connecticut, with separate women’s and men’s sections, where Piper Kernan, author of the memoir Orange is the New Black, served her time.)

auto shop

As the 72 hours count down, shit happens. Like that Harvey pleads in court to disallow Mike’s deal, but is overruled by Mike, Gibbs and the judge. Next, he visits the jury foreman in an auto shop (this show and auto shops!) and finds out the verdict would have been not guilty. Though not because any of the jurors believed that Mike had gone to Harvard Law. Because, according to the foreman – who rather implausibly cites the play/movie Twelve Angry Men – Gibbs did not make a good enough case.

dont bug me I'm drinking

Harvey lies to Mike (at first) about what the verdict would have been, looks for evidence of a mistrial, and on Donna’s suggestion, tries to make a deal with Evan whoever (played by Tricia Helfer, who really works her disdain for Harvey in her one scene), the lawyer on the Liberty Rail case – something about a file that contains evidence of corporate-sanctioned murders that he will offer to Gibbs in exchange for setting Mike free. In a plot development that doesn’t make much sense, Evan gives him the file in exchange for letting her ‘shop’ for lawyers (and their clients) and staff at PSL for her law firm.

no deal

Jessica is not pleased with this deal but agrees because the lawyers are going to leave anyway and as Louis points out, if they don’t try to save their family member Mike, who are they? Too bad Gibbs is not interested in the file. She accuses Harvey of being a self-serving, immoral manipulator of people and the law, who can’t even justify his use of dirty tricks in service of justice like she can hers. Nice talk.

rachel upset

Having determined his own future, Mike spends most of the episode trying to set things right with Rachel, who is pretty upset that he broke his promise to wait for the verdict, and ignored her plea to have faith in himself.

couch sex

After Mike passes on to Rachel the lie Harvey told him – that the jury would have found him guilty – she utters the corny line “I want us to be one” (who could say this with a straight face?) meaning “let’s bone” and they have what’s meant to be passionate couch-sitting (and possibly impregnating?) sex. They also decide to go ahead and get married before Mike goes to jail.

rachel & dad arguing

Robert Zane is still raging about Mike, the evil wrecker of his daughter’s life and future. He tells Rachel her law career will be over if she marries him, and he tries to steal some lawyers from PSL with the help of Katrina Bennett (remember her?) who now works for him and has found a hole in the PSL lawyers’ non-compete agreements.


Louis gets involved with the Zane threat and blackmails (this show and blackmail!) Katrina into not helping Zane steal the lawyers. Though Zane’s firm does get at least one: Jack Soloff, of whom I have somehow become fond (shocking, I know). Maybe he’ll return in some future episode like so many past featured characters have done.

goodbye jack

Mike goes to Rachel’s mom and asks if she can convince Robert to attend the wedding, for Rachel’s sake. The mom is pretty damn sure Zane will never forgive Mike, ever, but says she will try.

R's mom

Jessica applies pressure on Zane too – she visits him to ‘make peace’ and apologizes for not trusting him enough to tell him about Mike before. While she’s at it, she suggests he come to the wedding, because she knows from difficult father-daughter relationships, and this is a now or never situation.


Harvey is angry that Mike didn’t let him take the fall for their joint crime, and feeling guilty besides, because Mrs. Danner, who is a bit of a drama queen and so short that Gabriel Macht and Patrick J. Adams have to bend their heads at odd angles in their scenes with her, keeps overacting at Harvey about how Mike won’t survive in jail, and how everything (including the death of her son) is Harvey’s fault.

Harvey takes a punch

So when Mike comes over to Harvey’s apartment to ask him to be his best man at the wedding ceremony, Harvey asks him instead to let him (Harvey) go to prison. When Mike says no, Harvey goads him into a fist fight (training for prison, don’t you know) in which Mike does the punching and Harvey does the bleeding. Mike is still going to jail, though.

donna in blue

At the church the next morning, Rachel has on a wedding dress, and Donna is in a maid of honor dress that looks like what she’d wear to work, which makes sense since most of her office wear is weirdly bridesmaid-appropriate anyway. And both Zane parents have shown up for the ceremony.

wedding dress mirror

Except Mike calls the wedding off, because Robert Zane is right, and Mike doesn’t want to take away Rachel’s law dreams, and he couldn’t live with himself if he did that any more than he could live with himself if he let Harvey go to jail for the fraud he committed.


If he loves her – and he does – he has to not marry her yet, not till he’s served his time and she’s become a lawyer. And he will still love her in 2 years. So in the end, they’re as all good as two heart-broken but committed people can be, if a little tear-stained.

333 bay street

Jessica and Louis return from the not-wedding to the office, the exterior of which is clearly signed as 333 Bay Street in Toronto – an office building that in real life houses a large law firm that employs people I am personally acquainted with! – only to find that everyone (except Donna) has up and gone. In this scene, Jessica wears an amazing coat with fur cuffs that makes her look way regal. But can a queen rule without any subjects?


The last words for the season go to our blood brothers Harvey and Mike, who wax philosophical outside the Danbury prison. Once they’ve got a classic “It was my fault/no it was MY fault” exchange out of the way, Mike says:

  •  he’d do it all again if he had the chance (Harvey says the same),
  • “Donna always said you were looking for another you, I guess you found one,” and
  • “I guess it’s time to get busy living or get busy dying” (a movie quote – from The Shawshank Redemption – that does not feel gratuitous, for once, but apt)

Their bromance thereby signed, sealed and delivered, Harvey tells Mike to watch his back, and Mike enters the prison, in his suit.

Season 6 of Suits begins this summer, without – according to show creator Aaron Korsh – a jump forward in time. Bring on the jailhouse scenes! And see you then.


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