Suits Recap – Season 6, Episode 16: Character and Fitness

In which Harvey falters, Donna has a consciousness awakening, Rachel stands up for her man, Louis’s heart is broken, Mike passes the bar, and Jessica and her killer power wardrobe return!


Mike drops by the legal aid clinic the morning after he and Harvey blackmailed their way to a big settlement from Velocity Technologies or whatever the fuck the mining company is called, and drops off the clinic’s cut for bringing the lawsuit: $50,000. Tall Nathan is happy with this large-for-him sum, which will pay the clinic’s rent, and grants Mike a few days off. Mike doesn’t tell him his character and fitness hearing for the bar is the next day.

Harvey and Mike think the hearing is in the bag until Mike’s arch-nemesis Anita Gibbs shows up to tell them she’s joined the committee, she will NEVER vote for Mike, and the decision must be unanimous, so see ya!

Harvey spends much of the episode trying to find dirt on the committee member who gave up his seat to Gibbs, a guy named Sampson, because Harvey is convinced Gibbs dirty tricked her way onto the committee. He pays Jerry, the thug hacker who keeps office hours in a bar, to dig up some Sampson dirt, and gets Donna on the case, both to no avail. On Donna’s advice, he visits Sampson at a health club, bluffs that he knows he has a secret, and slams him up against the lockers, but Sampson still appears to be squeaky clean.

The hearing begins, with blackmailed-by-Harvey-but-they’re-all-good-now committee chairman Seidel pulling for Mike,  and Gibbs gunning for him. When she questions Mike’s deal for early release prison, he brings in a character witness: Julius, the prison psychologist. Like in every other episode of Suits, the friendly witness is reluctant to testify when initially asked, but shows up in court anyway. He makes a convincing case for Mike being a changed man (changed for the better, that is) since his prison stint. He also does some armchair psychoanalysis of Gibbs, and calls her out on the integrity front, because in his opinion, she has none. Okay, then.

When the hearing takes an overnight break,  Harvey finds Gibbs and hands her an incriminating file on Liberty Rail that he tried to give her earlier this season, so she can nail the bastards in her supposed justice-seeking way. He says the file has no strings attached, but she wants to make a deal: him for Mike, like he once offered, before Mike opted to go to prison instead. Oh no! Is Harvey going to fail Mike AND get nailed himself? Of course he isn’t.

The next morning at the hearing, Gibbs asks Mike, as she promised Harvey she would, if anyone at PSL knew he was a fraud. In a beyond corny, soap operatic moment, the camera pans all the cast members’ anxious faces while Mike takes the longest pause ever. Before he answers, Jessica slides into the room in her magisterial black suit with an asymmetrical neckline, and says she knew. She also tells the room about a time when Gibbs was a young(er) prosecutor and showed compassion to a medical student who stole prescription pads to self-medicate for pain. Gibbs had the charge reduced to a misdemeanour, the medical student became an ER doctor who saves lives daily and everyone won. Jessica suggests that the Mike situation is analogous. Let him pass the bar so he can help people!

To the surprise of very few, Mike passes the hearing and the bar, though it’s not till the gang is back at the office celebrating the victory that Jessica says Harvey summoned her (see, he didn’t fail Mike!), cites Aesop’s Fable The Wind and the Sun  (say what?), and explains why she told the medical student story. Turns out the student was Sampson’s godson, and Jessica was letting Gibbs know, gently, and without slamming her into a locker, that Team Mike was aware that Gibbs had leveraged her long-ago mercy to get Sampson’s committee seat. Rather than demanding that Gibbs be ousted from the committee, Jessica gave Gibbs the option to look graceful in defeat by passing Mike’s application. Which she did, so yay Jessica, she can now go off to star in her Suits spinoff.

And Mike is coming back to the firm, after some tense conversations with Tall Nathan and Tall Oliver about his true motives in pursuing the Velocity case. Tall Nathan was reluctantly ready to have Mike return to the legal aid clinic, as long as he would bring more cases that result in big rent-paying cheques, but when Harvey offers Mike a big salary to stay at PSL, Mike asks him to double it so he can use the extra money to help fund the clinic, and he strikes a deal to bring in the clinic lawyers whenever he wants on PSL cases. Which means Tall Oliver may recur next season? And Mike gets Harvey’s office (though not the signed basketballs and vintage LP’s, come on now) because Harvey is going to take over Jessica’s.

In other story lines, Louis and Tara are having couple trouble, not because Tara can’t handle the truth about Louis’s complicity in Mike’s fraud, but because of the harsh way he spoke to her when she said she needed to think about that confession. With their future together in jeopardy, Louis needs a distraction, so he takes on a software company that is suing Donna, Benjamin and Stu’s company because the software Benjamin wrote for ‘the Donna’ is similar to the other company’s in some significant way. Louis swears he will not fly off the handle with these software guys, and he doesn’t, though he is unable to dismantle or dismiss their suit.

Everyone agrees Donna et al. should take the buyout offered by the other company and give up on the device. Which prompts a disappointed Donna to tell Harvey that it wasn’t money she was after in producing the Donna – she wants something more from her life than to be a legal secretary. Left ambiguous is whether she’s looking for something in the love, marriage, and children line, or something career-related. Maybe she can be admitted to the bar next without having gone to law school.

A kind-hearted Gretchen pops in for one brief scene to tell Louis he is worth loving. Tara breaks up with him by voicemail anyway, in a scene that calls for Rick Hoffman to break down on camera while listening to a message we do not hear, and for Rachel to come around his desk and give him a consolatory hug. What with her standing up at Mike’s hearing to challenge Anita Gibbs and this, Rachel wins the prize for most supportive character of the week.

Suits returns in the summer of 2017 for season 7 (!) with Harvey and Mike reunited at PSL, no threats hanging over anyone’s heads, and Louis and Donna living in Sad Land.


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.

Suits Recap – Season 6, Episode 15: Quid Pro Quo

In which we lowly scrubs who didn’t go to law school figure out what quid pro quo means (it’s Latin for “this for that”), the gang rallies to help Mike, Donna gets a comeuppance, Stu Douchebag completes his redemption arc from earlier in the season, and Jessica still does not return, damn it.

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Mike’s original client in the lawsuit, the miner turned cancer-stricken grill man, asks for an update on the lawsuit, finds out a $100 million offer was made and demands that it be accepted. He doesn’t care that Harvey is negotiating that settlement upwards in what Mike calls a good cop/bad cop approach, which might not be the best way to describe your tactics to a cancer-stricken grill man who’s looking out for his fellow sick miners.

Later that night, Harvey shows up to tell Mike he’s going to pass his bar admission hearing, thanks to Seidel being a dirty crook who is now Harvey’s puppet, hurray! But we gotta drop the lawsuit, okay?

Not okay. Mike would rather give up on his bar application then disappoint the miners, because he’s Mr. Integrity. For today, anyway. In a confessional moment  the next morning, possibly caused by the sight of a pants-less but heavy sweater-wearing Rachel – who in real life dresses like this at home? No one – Mike says that really, he’s fine with not becoming a lawyer, and he kinda wishes Harvey had never brought it up as a possibility.

Back at the legal clinic, Tall Oliver implores Mike to tell Tall Nathan about his ulterior motives re: the lawsuit.  Mike says there’s nothing to tell. He is withdrawing his bar application, and PSL is no longer involved, so there. But when he goes back to Palmer on his own, Palmer is all, you’re nothing without the mighty Harvey Specter. My final offer is 10 million, take it or leave it.

Harvey won’t give up on Mike, and asks Louis to introduce him to Jerry, a thuggish hacker who could get into the Velocity company files and find out who is conducting industrial espionage for them. Jerry points them instead to a female headhunter/spy named Ms. Cromwell who seduces male clients and worms company secrets out of them at Palmer’s behest. Harvey gets  Rachel to dress up in a lace cocktail dress and chat with and threaten Ms. Cromwell at a bar, with Harvey as backup. And this glamourous cop, bad cop approach works!

Mike is not too happy that Harvey went for the dirty tricks when Mike told him not to, and did he have to involve (a willing and supportive) Rachel too? But it’s hard to argue about trivialities like blackmail and dubious quid pro quo exchanges when the prize package consists of a $200 mm deal for the miners, the restoration of Seidel to his old job, and a bar admission hearing for Mike after all.

In non-Mike-centric news, Donna wants to pitch “the Donna” to venture capitalists (VC’s) of her professional acquaintance. She starts by practicing her pitch on Stu Less-and-less-of-a Douchebag, who is not a VC, but is enough of a mensch to take her seriously. He offers to invest his own money to produce the device, in return (this for that, get it?) for 90% of the company. She refuses his offer, and goes instead with a nervous Benjamin (the software ‘genius’ who programmed the device) to see some Actual Douchebag VC’s who know Harvey. They listen to her politely, but when she sneaks back to the conference room afterwards to eavesdrop on their post-pitch chatter, they’re dissing her because she’s – shudder – a lowly legal secretary. She tries to quit the enterprise, and a sweet (on her?) Benjamin recites back her words to him about how they shouldn’t give up on their dream.  A humbled Donna returns to Stu and asks if his offer is still good. It is, on the same terms. Looks like this unlikely trio is in business!

Louis is genuinely willing to help Harvey get Mike into the bar, but he’s stressed about whether he should tell Tara that he used his knowledge of Mike’s fraud to become name partner in seasons past. Especially since the last time he told a woman he loved (Sheila Saz) about his involvement in the whole mess, she broke up with him. When he asks Rachel for advice on the topic of secrets between engaged persons, she advises him to tell Tara, and soon. He follows that advice, but Tara does not take it well – she needs to get away for a bit to think about whether she wants to stay with him – and he is upset. End scene.

Next week: Anita Gibbs and her helmet hair are back, and she would like to trade Harvey’s future for Mike’s.


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.