In which Harvey and Mike enact completely separate story lines, we’re subjected to flashbacks shot with an ugly-making filter, a few characters (and artwork) from former seasons return, and new recurring ones are introduced.
Flashbacks to 9 years ago indicate that Suits’s costume department is still committed to that fake looking bangs-hairpiece for Donna, and her habit of wearing beautiful expensive cocktail dresses to work is not new. In the past, Donna urges Harvey to attend his father’s funeral, where he acts like a sulky child who bears a huge grudge against his mother Lily because she cheated on his saintly dad, and once asked him to lie about the cheating. He holds this grudge even though the parents were divorced several years before the father died, and the mother is now in a committed relationship with Bobby, the guy she had an affair with.
At the funeral, where the flashback filter makes everyone looks embalmed, a haggard-looking Lily makes a touching graveside speech – against Harvey’s wishes – about how important Harvey and his brother were to the dad, though he was on the road a lot, and she did the majority of the child-rearing. Even stone-faced Harvey is moved by this speech – only because of the dad part, mind you – but later, at the wake his brother Marcus encourages him to attend, he gets all pissy with Lover Bobby and acts like a dick to Lily, with the result that they do not speak for the next 9 years.
In the present day, Donna shows up at Harvey’s condo to find out why he missed his flight to Boston to reconcile with his mother. An almost alarmingly thin Harvey, dressed in casual clothes that don’t hide Gabriel Macht’s slight frame like his suits do, isn’t sure he’s ready to forgive Lily, but Donna pep talks him into going anyway.
Harvey drops in on a much more vital-looking Lily at the school where she teaches art, and asks her to go for dinner at Marcus’s restaurant. She is happy to see him after all this time and agrees for the next night. On Marcus’s insistence, Harvey stays overnight at his house and bonds with him, his wife and children.
At dinner, Harvey condescendingly announces that he’s ready to forgive Lily for her past transgressions. Lily says she is willing to forgive him too – for treating her and Bobby like dirt at the funeral, for not accepting her many heartfelt apologies for her 25-year-old actions, and for cutting her out of his life lo these many years. This makes Harvey throw another fit, because he is a BIG BABY who thinks he is innocent of all charges. When he starts to storm out of the restaurant, she says to go ahead and leave like he always does. Whereupon a lightbulb goes on over his head. Who’s the abandoner now?
Marcus takes Lily’s side when Harvey complains that she dared accuse him of wrongdoing, and tells him about the time a few years ago when his cancer came back and Lily and Bobby stepped in and helped him out like good family members do and Harvey didn’t, because he is not part of the family anymore.
Harvey returns to the school the next day and finally apologizes for real to Lily, who does the same and they hug and agree to not hate each other anymore. He then asks her for the weirdly huge photo poster she has on her wall of the two of them (Harvey as a child) with shows the duck painting in the background he was forced to give to Elliot Stemple in S16, E2. He brings the poster back to New York, hangs it on his office wall, and he and Donna gaze on it as if it is their dearly beloved child.
Mike, meanwhile, is taking a day off from his unsuccessful job search when Nathan of the Tall Guys’ Legal Aid Clinic drops by. Tall Nathan wants to hire Mike to work for the same salary as the office coffee fetcher – specified as being a paltry $35,000 per annum – to supervise the young lawyers and law students at the clinic. He knows all about Mike’s fraudulent past (they first met when Mike pretended to be a law student in his bike courier days) but Nathan figures that paying a smart ex-con with partner level lawyer experience peanuts to help poor people is nothing but a win.
Mike happily takes the job and starts acting know-it-all-ish in a Harvey-esque manner with Tall Oliver, a young lawyer who likes him, and Medusa-haired Marissa, a law student who resists Mike’s sage advice and guidance because she thinks he’s a corporate fatcat and doesn’t know his back story, only Tall Nathan and Tall Oliver do. These youngsters are too busy fighting for the common man to have read up on Mike in the National Law Journal – they catch up on news via the Huffington Post (which, really?).
Mike calls a meeting of all staff in the clinic and hands out clippings about his storied past. Boom. He’s not hiding anything anymore. Except that when Marissa and Oliver are outfoxed in court by a slum landlord’s experienced lawyer, and it looks like the single mother tenant will be evicted, Mike drops off a cheque to the tenant to cover the rent owed. He claims it comes from the clinic’s emergency fund, but it comes from his personal account because he’s a do-gooder now who will also soon be poor. Just like he always dreamed! And Marissa and Tall Oliver are more willing to hear his advice and keep on fighting for justice for the downtrodden now that he was proven right by them losing. So those two get to recur for at least a few more episodes.
Louis has very little to do this episode except handle, off-stage, with Rachel’s help, a problem/inquiry one of Harvey’s clients has while he is away. When Harvey returns from his family therapy trip full of peacemaking feelings, Louis also gets to accept an apology from him for Harvey’s harsh words about Louis’s abilities of the previous episode.
Together, they decide to become co-managing partners of the firm, and to leave the firm name as is, in case Jessica wants to return. (Which she may do soon, per imdb.)
Next week: Rachel may not get admitted to the bar, and Harvey has an idea for how Mike could be admitted that Mike doesn’t like.