So that was fucking intense, huh. A totally different vibe from last week - not much comedy, lots of angst, and an ending that was both shocking and unsurprising. Phew. I'm normally more excited about writing my recaps but this week I was feeling really overwhelmed by everything that happened and then I rewatched the episode with Mel so we could scream at each other about how good it was, and then I didn't have the energy to watch it again and do all the transcribing and thinking and whatnot so I looked at porn on tumblr all night instead. And then yesterday I went to a bbq. Which is really just my long-winded way of saying: this is why the recap is so late. Sorry to the five people who actually read them.
LET'S DO THIS.
Slimy ol' Travis Tanner is back and he's deposing Harvey but instead of answering his questions, Harvey's all, "I wasn't objecting to his question, just his tie. I do have to look at it you know." All episodes should open with Harvey being a total bitchface and Tanner's tie really is ugly as fuck. Unfortunately, Travis isn't phased by Harvey's tie jibe and ends up severely rattling Harvey's cage by, wait for it, BRINGING UP HARVEY'S MOMMY ISSUES. It goes like this:
Tanner: Look at that, finishing each other's sentences, how cute. *to Jessica* No wonder you won't throw him under the bus. Good for you, Harvey. I mean, you're *makes obscene gesture* throwing her under the bus. [is that even an expression? Because no matter which way I look at it, being thrown under a bus doesn't sound like a pleasurable sexual experience]
Harvey: Watch yourself, Tanner.
Tanner: Aw, what's the matter Harv? Did I offend your delicate sensibilities? You wanna take your ball and go home?
Harvey: I wanna take my ball and shove it up your--
Tanner: Of course. Your quaffed hair, your pretty nails [it's canon that everyone finds Harvey pretty; also enjoyed Tanner calling Harvey 'Hairdo']. See, she's the man and you're the girl. You know it's funny, I thought she'd prefer someone like-- *points at himself*
Jessica: This deposition is over.
Tanner: What is mommy gonna take you home now? Wait, that's it. You got a thing for mommy.
Travis mentions what we already knew if we were paying attention: that Harvey's mom was a serial cheater and that Harvey is still very upset about this. So Harvey punches Tanner in his weasly fucking face and is entirely pleased with himself about it afterwards.
The moral of the story is: don't ever bring up Harvey's mother in front of him, because he will probably VIOLENTLY ASSAULT YOU. And fangirls worldwide will have a collective orgasm.
Jessica still hates Hardman. I still like him a lot, even though he really is out to screw her over. And his idea to have a mock trial to help prepare Harvey is awesome, because Suits episodes with mock trials in them are always awesome.
Harvey and Jessica cast Louis as Tanner, because they need someone nasty, who will make Harvey want to punch him in the face. Harvey winds Louis up with a bunch of insults but then says that he wants him because "the one thing you have in common with Tanner is your hatred of me." And I LOVE THIS WHOLE SET UP SO MUCH. Because Harvey's gonna get LITT UP. Yessss.
I feel so bad for Harvey's new assistant, because Harvey will never ever be nice to him because he's not Donna. We find out that he's waiting for a call back from Donna and none of the messages are from her and are "all the same shade of I don't give a shit", but seriously dude, I can't believe you didn't call her personally! Bad Harvey, BAD.
Mike arrives at Harvey's office at exactly that moment (was he waiting for him? Or are they somehow spiritually connected so Mike just magically KNOWS when to make his way upstairs) all gleeful about Tanner getting punched by Harvey. "It was awesome wasn't it? Tell me it was awesome." Harvey pretends to be annoyed by Mike's trivialization of the dire situation they are all in, but is secretly pleased that Mike's so impressed by how violent he is, as we shall soon discover.
Ooh, this is not in fact a mock trial (b/c they're for children) but a Trial Run. Potayto potahto indeed, Mike.
Louis: You've been assigned by the judge to help me in Pretty Boy's trial.
Harvey: *delighted* Oh look at that, he thinks I'm pretty.
Mike: Wait, what judge?
Louis: His honor, Daniel Hardman. I'll see you in court, Sweet Tits.
AHAHAHA. First, yes, everyone thinks you're pretty, Harvey. Because you ARE pretty. It is not a matter of opinion. Second, interesting that Mike is drafted by Hardman to help Louis...I think Hardman has basically figured Mike out and is using him as a pawn in his quest for domination? Like, he knows that Mike will ultimately do what's best for the firm, and Hardman's priority is the firm, so it's not like what he's doing is EVIL, it's just...self-serving. Mike is the right person for this job because he's the person who knows Harvey best. <3 But my point is, Hardman is both doing the right thing AND working his own agenda, and I have to respect that.
Mike doesn't WANT to work with Louis on this because it will mean beating Harvey which he has no interest in doing, but Harvey wants Mike on the job because he knows Mike is the only one who will be able to beat him and beating him is actually helping him. SUCH PERFECT BOYFRIENDS. And then Mike quotes the breakfast club at him and Harvey tells him to stop it because this trial is no joke and he needs Mike to take it seriously.
Mike: You want me to help Louis think outside the box.
Harvey: Exactly. Now how would you come after me?
Mike: Well, first of all-
Harvey: *starts walking away* Don't tell me, tell Louis. Because you and I are not discussing this trial during this trial. *turns back to Mike* Oh, and you were right.
Mike: I know. About what?
Harvey: Tanner. *mimes punch* It was awesome.
And then Mike gets that hero-worship look on his face that's only ever for Harvey.
OKAY SO THE JACINDA SCENES.
Right, the first time I watched the episode? I was too uncomfortable about seeing them together onscreen to enjoy them. Because it felt so...intimate and like I was watching husband and wife, as opposed to two fictional characters. I thought it was really obvious how much Gabriel Macht loved working with her, and I thought it was really RISKY that they cast her as a character who had a quasi-romantic history with Harvey - she was a woman he CARED about and who he still wants to bang. I wonder if it was Gabriel's idea that she play a love interest, but either way, it was like getting a small, distorted window into their private, offscreen relationship and that totally freaked me out at first, and then made me feel kind of odd the second time around when I realized they have crazy good chemistry with each other and I really wanted to see them make out and have sex. This is now the third rewatch, and I'm just going to sit back and enjoy the very sexy view of casual!Harvey and his wife sizzling onscreen together.
blah blah she's the lawyer Harvey wants to represent him in the trial blah blah not as interesting as the fact that she's Gabriel's wife blah blah
Rachel catches Mike pretending to be a lawyer. She is wearing hipster glasses that look both strange and sexy on her.
Rachel: Look, I have to ask you - do you think it's at all possible that he actually did it?
Mike: No, I don't.
Rachel: How do you know?
Mike: Because I know Harvey. I mean how do you think he could do it?
Rachel: Because I don't know Harvey.
Which I guess is the theme of the episode right there. Only a very small number of people truly know Harvey (Mike, Jessica and Donna, basically), but the time has come for everyone else to find out what kind of man Harvey really is: damaged yes, but ethical.
Rachel: Mike, what happens to you if Harvey loses?
I've been thinking about this question and the only thing that makes sense to me is that Rachel is asking Mike NOT about his job security (as she doesn't know the truth about him, and so why would she think Harvey leaving would affect Mike's job at PH?), but about what will happen to him ~emotionally~ if he can no longer be Harvey's boy. *nods*
Mike walks in on Louis practicing his opening and tells him it's not good enough because he doesn't understand Harvey like Mike does so Louis should listen to Mike if he really wants to win. And his advice? "Don't play the odds, play the man."
BLESS YOU, SHOW, FOR NOT LETTING THAT MANTRA DIE.
I do find it a little weird that no one thinks Harvey has integrity. Like, Rachel I get, but Louis? He may hate the guy but he knows him well enough to know that Harvey wouldn't ever perjure himself (for instance). But whatever, I'll give it a pass because this episode rules.
Mike calls Louis out on the dictaphone incident and calls him a "devious sonofabitch". All scenes in the bathroom are good scenes.
Harvey seeks out Donna, who is wearing a pretty white sundress and a hostile scowl. She calls him out on having his assistant leave her voicemails instead of actually calling her himself - which yes, Harvey, you ARE an asshole. And then:
Donna: You came to get me to do the trial run [so she still has her finger on the pulse. I wonder who she's been talking to at the firm]
Harvey: Donna, it's important.
Donna: Important for me to get up there and say I screwed up trying to protect you?
Harvey: You did screw up.
Donna: Yeah! To protect you.
Harvey: Which I never asked you to do.
Donna: No, you just expected me to do it. Like I expected you to fight for me.
Harvey: I did.
Donna: Really? Like you fought for Mike? Because that fight you somehow managed to win. Oh, and when you thought he needed to be fired, you respected him enough to do it yourself.
OUCH. Jesus. This is so painful because I can see where both characters are coming from. I mean, Harvey has not handled the Donna situation well at all, let's be real, but Donna DID screw up and even though I understand WHY that doesn't change the fact that she screwed up and it's not Harvey's fault that she was fired, it's hers. But the thing is, Harvey wasn't able to fix it like he did with Mike and now she knows that, despite her long service with him, she and Harvey are not a package deal like Mike and Harvey are. Which must HURT SO MUCH (especially given that she's still in love with him and has been probably since the beginning of their relationship). As for why Harvey was willing to fire Mike but not Donna? Well, first of all, he couldn't go through with it, remember. But mostly I just think Harvey knew he couldn't fire Donna either and that's why he let Jessica do it. Poor babies.
Donna refuses to help and tells Harvey that she's hired a lawyer and will be taking the fifth on the stand. I'm not impressed by this decision because even though I know she's hurt, if she doesn't help Harvey here it could destroy him and that's not acceptable because it was HER MISTAKE.
Zoe tells Jessica and Harvey they need men on the jury and Harvey's all, nah that's stupid because women love me. [yes we do] And then she tells him that women find him arrogant, conceited, cocky, arrogant--
Harvey: What about handsome?
Zoe: Did I mention arrogant?
Harvey: It's not bragging if it's true.
Zoe+Jessica: Yes it is.
Jessica: Zoe, I'm still not convinced I should hire you instead of Ted Philips. After all, Harvey never tried to sleep with Ted Philips.
Harvey: Who says I never tried to sleep with Ted Philips?
LOL. Gay humour. Keep it coming, Suits.
Harvey and Zoe explain to Jessica that it's not just a jury they need to convince, but the partners. If the partners don't think he's innocent, if they don't trust Harvey, they won't trust Jessica and then Hardman will be in a position to oust her.
The trial run begins!
Louis asks Harvey to state his full name: Harvey Reginald Specter.
LOL HIS MOTHER REALLY WAS EVIL.
I love that when he says this he glances over and nods at Mike - who is gaping at him and mouthing "REGINALD?" - because he knows Mike is the only one in the room who will actually react to this revelation. so effing cute I could die.
Louis does well in fake court by bringing up one of Harvey's pranks - the one they bonded over only a few episodes ago! *sob* - and claiming that it's a pattern of behaviour: Harvey does unethical things and moves on because 'what's done is done' and even though Harvey must have been expecting Louis to play dirty he still looks a bit hurt.
Rachel looks stunning in white. She roleplays Donna to help Mike prepare and all I can think about is how much I want them to rip each other's clothes off and have hot monkey sex on the floor. They're both far too attractive not to be having sex with each other right now.
Louis: Okay let's stop playing tiptoe through the tulips around the elephant in the room.
Mike: That's not a thing.
Always mix your metaphors, Louis. ALWAYS. <3
Louis: You know some things about Harvey and I need to know them too. You yourself said, go after the man. What better way to go after the man than to question the boy.
Everyone thinks of Mike as Harvey's 'boy'. Everyone. EVEN MIKE AND HARVEY.
And then Louis makes Mike take a polygraph, which - EEEEP. His fourth question is, of course, 'where did you attend law school?' which Mike can't possibly answer! I'm pretty much on board with the idea that Louis suspects Mike didn't go to Harvard, but I do appreciate that they're keeping things ambiguous. If he does know I don't think he particularly cares, which may be why he let Mike off the hook here. But then Mike figures out a clever way to beat the polygraph by telling the truth: "I'm proud to say that I have a diploma from Harvard Law."
such a clever cutie.
Mike walks out on the polygraph and goes to get Donna. Love these two together.
Mike: You broke your promise.
Donna: Well then I guess I just suck. Because I'm breaking another one right now. I told my attorney that I wouldn't talk to anyone at the firm until after this was over. [then how did she know about the trial run???]
Mike: You hired an attorney?
Donna: Yeah, I'd rather not go to jail. I don't do roommates and I definitely don't do orange.
Mike: Nobody's going to jail, Donna.
Donna: You can't guarantee that.
Mike: You dragged me into Harvey's office once and you schooled me on how much he loves this job. Well if you don't help him prep for Tanner he's gonna lose in court, he's gonna get disbarred and he's never going to be able to do what he loves ever again.
Donna: That's not fair.
Mike: No, what's not fair is Harvey taking the blame for your mistake.
LOVE HARVEY HARDER, MIKE. Oh wait. Not possible. It's perfect how now Mike is the one fighting for Harvey behind his back, because true love (and, yknow, wanting to win).
Louis calls Jessica to the stand! AHAHA. As Mel said to me: "I love how this whole thing is just everyone's grievances being aired" because exactly. that is why this episode RULES THEM ALL. And here, Louis gets to bitch about how undervalued he is at the same time as making it look like the firm cultivates unethical behaviour.
Louis: so win, and you're awarded millions. Win less, and no matter how much hard work, dedication or administrative dominance is displayed, you get nothing. Quite the incentive to do whatever it takes to almost always win.
Zoe: Delicious dinner, fantastic wine. Almost enough to make up for the mediocre company.
Harvey: Don't be too hard on yourself. You're not mediocre. See that's funny because you were talking about me. *GRINS* [Harvey's habit of explaining why things are funny is too adorable]
He then says that "Being fully dressed is overrated."
THE ENTIRE FANDOM AGREES NOW PLEASE REMOVE ALL YOUR CLOTHING IMMEDIATELY.
And then they flirt OUTRAGEOUSLY with each other and my goodness these actors are enjoying themselves. I'm both turned on right now and ashamed of myself. Also, Harvey describing himself as 'hotter than Dustin Hoffman' just really works for me okay. I like that he is happy to describe himself as not only handsome, but hot. Because hot means sexy and he is fucking sexy and it's important that he acknowledges it.
Zoe tells Harvey that the reason she didn't call him back is not because she didn't like him (of course she did) but because he never showed her any vulnerability. He needs to show the partners who he really is or they will assume he's a sociopath who is capable of fraud. She knows he's not, but they don't, because he's terrible at showing emotion.
Oh sweet mother of Christ this scene. Donna turns up for the trial after all because Mike's words got to her and she knows it's the right thing to do. And then Louis throws out the script and goes right for the jugular, demanding to know whether Donna did what she did because she loves Harvey, and she can't say no because she DOES love Harvey and it's completely awful and Harvey puts a stop to it because he can't bear to see her Donna humiliated like that. [My feelings are Mel's feelings on the Donna/Harvey relationship, so just go read her post about it if you haven't already.]
It's just...it's really hard for Harvey to HEAR Donna say this stuff too, because he knows the truth and he doesn't want to face it (another reason he couldn't be the one to fire her. How do you fire a woman you care about who you know loves you and would do anything for you?).
Angry!Harvey's back (dayum he fine) and maybe now he'll punch Louis in the face for what he just did, but then Louis turns it around on him, drops a huge, painful truth bomb on him.
Louis: You think this is about beating you? This whole thing is about saving you. Everyone is trying to help you. Because you screwed up. This is all your fault. What just happened to that beautiful woman in there, THAT'S ON YOU. NOT ME.
Harvey's FACE. Also, Rick Hoffman for all the acting awards. Also, Louis is so madly in love with Donna it's ridiculous.
Mike goes to Donna to apologise for Louis. She calls him on his bullshit and tells him he's as bad as Harvey. But then he has a brainwave right in the middle of his fight with her, grins and says, "people are who they are", jumps on his bike and rides off. Because that's not rude or anything. Jeez, the amount of people in television who bail right in the middle of serious conversations...this does not happen in real life.
Hardman decides to help Mike find something on Travis Tanner. I believe a lot of people think Hardman and Tanner might have been working together? I'm not convinced but I guess it wouldn't surprise me either.
Mike tells Hardman that he admires Harvey. :)
Harvey as a hostile witness! Harvey backstory!!!111!!!
Jessica: An associate missed a filing so he backdated a post-it. You came to me and said if the firm did not declare misconduct you would report us to the DA.
Harvey: I don't like fraud, it's no secret.
Jessica: But what you did want to keep secret was the fact that you told me. Why?
Harvey: I didn't wanna get in trouble.
Jessica: No, you did it, because if we'd won an old woman would have lost her pension.
AHAHAHAHA HARVEY YOU GIANT WOOBIE LET ME LOVE YOU.
Basically this whole scene is about proving to the world that Harvey actually does care. Like we didn't already know that. But it's good for everyone that now the partners know what a softie he really is.
Jessica: You care about the people you work with, you care about the people you work for, and you care about every one of your clients, but you refuse to let people know.
Harvey: Is there a question?
Jessica: I just wanna know why? No answer? Are you embarrassed?
Jessica: Are you afraid?
Harvey: *LOOKS AT MIKE* No.
It's very important that Mike knows Harvey isn't afraid. Apparently Mike's opinion of him is the only one that matters right now.
Harvey thinks caring makes you weak. "They think you care they'll walk all over you." But Jessica has no truck with Harvey's damage.
Jessica: You were a man who believed that to win fairly was more important than to win, and you still are. And I've never seen anyone walk all over you.
Louis admits on the stand that he resents Harvey, but also that he thinks Harvey does deserve to be senior partner, and that he's an excellent attorney, and that he did NOT commit this fraud. Nice work, Jessica. You are one badass lawyer.
Mike gets feisty with Jessica and god their chemistry...shipping it. Shipping it hard. *AHEM* Mike wants to settle but Jessica's all, there's no acceptable offer, and Mike's like, "Yet." *points at self* "Not just a pretty face." Both boys are very happy to be described as pretty. Because it's true.
Harvey boxing: Kate spontaneously combusts. How is this man so fucking hot?
Tanner shoves a new settlement agreement at Harvey that lets Harvey off the hook, and he's not happy about it. We can either take this at face value and believe that Hardman found dirt on Tanner (that we're not told about) and that's why he agreed to settle, or we can buy into the theory that Hardman convinced Tanner to do it his way because he plans to take Harvey down himself once he's back to being managing partner... I dunno... I'm not sold. Because how is Hardman doing whatever it is he's planning on doing going to be as satisfying for Tanner as taking Harvey down himself and getting him disbarred? Am I missing something? Can someone explain to me exactly why people think Hardman and Tanner are in cahoots?
Mike/Harvey scene of beauty. Mike is so frustrated with Harvey's refusal to take the deal because of his mistrust of Daniel that he flips out at him.
Mike: Everybody is paying now! Do you have any idea why Donna showed up to testify? Because I convinced her to.
Mike: Yeah. I made her do what I needed instead of what she wanted. I did what you do. Look where that's gotten us! You, me, Jessica, Louis, everyone. Take the deal, Harvey!
Harvey: What did Hardman find in those files?
Mike: I don't know and I don't care, because he just got every single one of us off the hook.
Harvey: He can't be trusted and you should know that by now.
Mike: What I know is that if you take this thing to trial it's going to cost us all a hell of a lot more than money. And if you don't know that by now, after all this, then I don't think I should be the one learning from you.
Mike's words have a huge impact on Harvey and when the partners vote he votes to settle, and in doing so screws over Jessica. *SOBBING*
Of course Daniel then calls a partners' meeting to get rid of Jessica, because this was his plan all along. But weirdly, I still really like him! Because he's clever, crafty and ruthless, and as we've seen, Jessica is actually no better than him, so. While I'm always going to be on Team Jessica/Harvey, I'm kinda fangirling Hardman as well, because he's such a BAMF.