And it made me cry. Did it make you cry? Gabriel Macht continues to add layers and depth to this character he knows and understands so well, and I'm gonna say it: this is the role of a lifetime for him. I've enjoyed him in the films of his I've seen (even though they are mostly terrible), but it's as Harvey Specter that he really makes me go, 'damn son, you can ACT.' So much love and kudos. ♥
Episode opens, as all episodes should, with some Harvey and Mike banter, albeit at an odd camera angle. An attempt to be artistic, Mr Director? Nice try.
Harvey is dressed in preppy clothes I'm not sure I approve of but that still look good on him, and is taking a day off work. What!
Mike: Oh, is it a Harvey Specter's day off kind of a thing? Should I call Ed Rooney, see if I can get Sloane out of school?
Harvey: Not in the mood today. (Awwwwwww.)
Harvey asks Mike what he thinks about Hardman running for Managing Partner and Mike says he'll win because you don't call for a vote unless you have the vote, so Harvey's all, let's tip the scales in Jessica's favor and Mike is totally up for that because they owe her big time.
Mike: Are we gonna cross the line with this?
Harvey: We've been crossing lines long before we even ever met.
Let's just pause to appreciate this moment (clunky dialogue aside). These two are like two peas in a pod - they understand each other without having to spell things out, Mike is such a perfect little protege with his willingness to get his hands dirty in the name of Team Harvey, and Harvey's trust and faith in him to do exactly as he's told is a thing of beauty.
Of course, as we discover at the end of the episodes, Harvey is totally lying to Mike right now. But we'll get to that.
Harvey is on a train. Where is he going? For this guy to take a personal day, his journey must be for deeply personal reasons. I'm already emotional.
REWIND FIVE YEARS.
Welcome back, Harvey's old hair! 10 out of 10!! His suit isn't quite as swanky and his office is much smaller, but at least he's still got Donna, who is at her snarky best throughout, and I really like her hair. Everyone's hair is looking good five years ago.
We learn that Norma became Louis's secretary at this point and Donna didn't think she'd last five minutes. This would probably be more interesting if we'd ever met Norma.
oh my god baby Mike in his bike messenger gear? Take me the fuck now.
Y HALO THAR TREVOR.
Trevor: Hi, is this the location of the douchebag convention?
Mike: It is now. I thought you went to work?
Trevor: *chucks him a joint* I had to get this.
Mike: Look at that, the world's smallest burrito.
Tevor: Which is why I got more. *unravels a plastic bag full of ready made joints*
Mike: Whoa. Breakfast of champions. Trevor, I can't, I'm a bike messenger - I deliver packages or people die.
I love stoner!courier!Mike. LOVE HIM. He's beautiful and funny and fun. He and Trevor trade insults but it's obvious they love each other and it's exchanges like this that make me feel sad their friendship is over, because Trevor might be trouble but there's no doubt in my mind that he's devoted to Mike in his own special way.
Jessica goes to Harvey, who is still a lowly associate at this point, and recruits him to investigate the theft of client money from the firm. We already know it was Daniel, but that's not the point of this story. It's not a whodunnit, it's a 'look how loyal Jessica used to be to Hardman' as well as a 'here's why Hardman has it in for Harvey' story. Harvey agrees to quietly look into what's going on, in exchange for a seat at the partner's table. Ambitious!Harvey ftw.
Donna: So many partners, it could be any one of them. Watson scares the kids but I don't make him for the embezzler.
Harvey: The Embezzler - he's not a Batman villain.
Donna: And it's just that kind of thinking that has led you to not catching him.
Harvey: I was just assigned this fifteen minutes ago.
♥ ♥ ♥
I feel like this episode showcases Harvey and Donna's partnership better than any other has. They are awesome together and isn't it such a welcome relief to see the old sparkly fun Donna back in action? With her uncanny ability to disarm Harvey even while he's totally comfortable with her.
Mike goes to Rachel and asks her to get him a meet with Monica Eaton, a woman who hates everyone at Pearson Hardman but with whom Rachel is still friends. Rachel isn't up for helping Mike out again, after what happened last time she lent him a hand (Donna got fired) but Mike will talk her round.
Louis has braces. And is hitting on Monica, who is not interested. Harvey turns up and Louis calls him H-Dog. hahaha.
Harvey: Are you wearing braces?
Harvey: Walk me through that.
Zoe's back and Harvey is incapable of telling her how he really feels: "We miss you. I need you." Which is hard for Zoe to hear (she's nearing the end of her tether with him) because she's clearly crazy about him and wants/needs him to step up and just let her love him already. Yet again the spouses bounce off each other beautifully and I get the distinct impression that they do in fact have the perfect marriage. Smug bastards.
Zoe: Let me just get this straight. You're asking me to risk my job to help you solve a mysterious problem for an unknown person based on nothing but your word?
Harvey: That's exactly what I'm asking.
Of course she gives him what he wants.
Mike and Trevor are at a bar playing a game where they point out strangers and make up dumb facts about them. This is a game that only people in television and movies play, and it's been done better elsewhere. When Mike and Trevor play it they don't even psychoanalyze their marks, they make observations like, 'his favorite film is Greece 2' or 'he shaves his chest' which apparently Mike thinks is something real men do nowadays (ugh, some of the dialogue in this episode is horrible). Basically they're just being bitches. Which is cute.
They attract the attention of...wait for it...JENNY! And her evil friend. Jenny and Mike have instant chemistry and all the fics that posit Jenny as a childhood friend of Mike and Trevor's just got jossed. DOH. Honestly, though, this backstory is way better anyway and it *hurts me in my soul*. I've always loved PJA and Vanessa Ray together and they are as sparkling and sexy as ever here; you can see, you can FEEL how much they like each other, and I find it heartbreaking that they never got a chance to be together when it would have worked, and that she ended up dating Trevor for five years even though she had feelings for Mike the entire time. I'd argue, based on the evidence, that Mike was the one she fell in love with and Trevor was her consolation prize. Which is just incredibly sad for everyone involved.
Everyone is getting on great by talking about all the lies Trevor and Mike have told women to get into their pants. I think Korsh (or whoever wrote this episode) has watched too many episodes of How I Met Your Mother. Trevor plays the 'Mike's a genius' card in an attempt to impress the girls but Mike is uncomfortable being a performing monkey and is only convinced to recite passages from books when Jenny asks him to. Because he can't resist her. Because he likes her so much. (oh my heart)
Harvey tells Jessica Louis is the one stealing from the firm and even though we know he's wrong it is worth it because Jessica's reaction is priceless: "I'm gonna break him down, I'm gonna crack him open."
Her efforts to do so are pretty much the most hilarious shit ever, and I love how she figures out that Louis is innocent simply from his ridiculous series of confessions, but even though she knows he didn't do it she still takes the time to scold him--"You will replace every one of those goddamn bran bars"--because it's what he needs and she's a caring Domme.
Oh the comedy.
Jessica returns to Harvey and tells him he failed her, but the real purpose of this scene is to show us when Harvey learned that Donna listens to his private conversations because apparently the intercom on his telephone is always on and he is too stupid to realize this. Harvey hates being wrong, hates letting Jessica down, so decides that he will enlist Louis's help in solving the case without Louis even knowing it.
Ugh, more Bike Messenger Mike in his gloves and shorts and t-shirt and with his sunglasses on his head and I wish I knew how to screencap so I could include visuals in these recaps but I don't so sorry about that. Point is, Mike is brutally hot in this episode. He has never looked hotter. This scene is about how Trevor snaked Jenny from Mike even though Mike loves her, but because they're bros he forgives him and decides that the other chick is okay enough to date (WRONG!), he'll go out with her even though it was Jenny he connected with (HONESTLY REALLY SAD ABOUT THIS), but even more importantly, this is the moment Mike catches his first glimpse of Harvey.
Trevor: Look at this clown.
Mike: *gazing after him* he walks like he's got a rod up his ass.
Trevor: Nice haircut, guy.
Mike: Man if I ever look like that, shoot me.
Comic irony! But really, the only thing that matters here is that Mike doesn't take his eyes off Harvey for the rest of the scene. HE IS STARING INTO THE FUTURE.
Rachel is wearing a wig with bangs and is having lunch with Monica who is being stalked by Louis. Apparently present day Rachel is only 27! This surprises me, I had put her at 30. Harvey turns up to trick Louis into helping him track down the culprit. Harvey is very adorable and funny and perfect and loveable and hot. GM's line delivery, as always, is flawless.
Harvey: I'm sorry, did you just say 'what a smuck'?
Louis: No, I said what a smuck.
Harvey: You mean 'shmuck'.
Harvey: You know it's shmuck right?
Mike meets up with Monica and tries to convince her to file a lawsuit against PH for 10 mil worth of damages. She resists at first but he talks her into taking the papers with her when she leaves. Also, she accuses him of being the 'new attack dog'. I guess our widdle puppy's all gwown up!
"If you call me, I'll come fetch." D'awwwwww.
Fascinating how much Jessica doesn't want to believe what Daniel did, and instead of going to the DA like Harvey advises, goes straight to Daniel for an explanation.
Harvey: Who's not doing their job like a man now?
Jessica: I'm giving him the courtesy of explaining himself.
Harvey: You shouldn't.
Harvey obvs couldn't stand Daniel well before his fraud came to light - he's such a good judge of character he could just sense the guy was shady as fuck.
Harvey goes to a local liquor store and the guy working there knows who he is and what he wants: two bottles of cheap-looking whiskey. These present day Harvey scenes are captivating in their quiet ambiguity, aren't they?
Mike goes to pick up Jenny's Evil Friend for their date and gets a few moments alone with Jenny to flirt and fall more in love. They quote A Few Good Men at each other and he mouths I LOVE YOU about her the way he did when he first met Rachel and this is KILLING ME DEAD. Seriously. This storyline is tragic *sobs*
Hardman pulls the whole 'it's my dying wife' excuse for his heinous fraud, but we know the truth.
Mike's date is a disaster.
Jenny's Evil Friend: You really are a genius.
Mike: Sexy right?
RIGHT. But then she reveals her true colors and we find out what she's really there for is to pay Mike to take the LSATS for her. BOOM. This is where it all started. I love with the fire of a thousand suns that Mike told her to go fuck herself but then changed his mind because he needed the money to pay for full-time care for Grammy. Some things never change.
Mike's grandmother's name is Edith. Is this new information? I feel like this is new information.
Harvey and Jessica fight over what to do about Hardman. Jessica wants to go easy on him because his wife is dying, Harvey wants to nail him to the wall. But mostly he wants what's owed: partnership. Ha.
Mike agrees to do the LSATS for Jenny's Evil Friend but he wants five grand because he's not a total sucker.
Rachel and Donna meet! Rachel doesn't actually suit bangs, it's good that she realized this.
Donna: You're weird. We'll be friends.
Donna puts together that Monica is having an affair with Daniel, information she passes gleefully on to Harvey. Who then catches Daniel in the act.
Daniel acts like he's untouchable and is outraged about being blackmailed by Harvey even though he is guilty of both fraud (which could put him in prison should Jessica choose to report him) and adultery. Harvey's play is super devious and he gets what he wants, because even though Daniel is a lying, stealing, cheating piece of shit, he does love his dying wife and he'd rather resign than have her find out about Monica. And now we understand why he wants his revenge on Harvey (although seriously, Hardman, you *got off lightly and should be THANKING Harvey and Jessica for fuck's sake*)
Louis tells Hardman about Mike's meeting with Monica because he resents Jessica so much. Was this part of Jessica and Harvey's plan? Because how could they predict that would happen?
Mike takes the LSATS for Jenny's friend and he's high. Because he's that awesome.
Donna tells Harvey that his father is dead and Harvey's reaction (and Gabriel's marvelous acting) made me sob my face off.
Donna: Harvey I'm so sorry.
Harvey: It's okay *under his breath* oh my god
my poor BABY. I can't deal with how much Harvey loves his dad. His heart is broken but he's so emotionally repressed he won't let himself express it in a healthy manner, he won't let himself cry even though you can tell he NEEDS to *uncontrollable sobbing*
Jessica fires Monica.
Hardman yells at Jessica for playing dirty, and Jessica acts like she had nothing to do with it. She says that Harvey might play dirty, but she doesn't, and then she loudly scolds Mike for his actions in front of everyone to make herself look innocent, and Mike has played into her and Harvey's hands and I feel OUTRAGED on his behalf.
Rachel: *appalled* Wow. Harvey has really rubbed off on you.
LOL I'M SORRY WHAT NOW? First of all, that just sounds dirty. Secondly, Rachel doesn't even KNOW Harvey - she admitted as much last week - so why is she being so judgey? I don't get why her opinion of Harvey is so low I really don't. But on the bright side, it gives them somewhere to go. When the show finally catches up to me and my needs, Harvey and Rachel will start getting to know each other and she will realize that she misjudged him and that he is as decent as he is extremely attractive.
Trevor is moving out of his apartment with Mike to be a big time drug dealer. He is really funny! I love seeing this happy-go-lucky side of Mike and Trevor - they're great together.
Jessica makes Harvey partner, and he's not as happy about it as he should be because of his dad, but he does thank her and he is pleased with his new office.
Donna: Finally an office big enough for your balls.
Harvey: Okay I am not touching that one.
Donna: You would if you had bigger balls.
Donna: You just made partner.
Harvey: WE just made partner.
THEN THEY DO THE CAN OPENER RITUAL TO CELEBRATE AND OMFG THEY ARE SO CUTE.
Zoe leaves Pearson Hardman because she cares about Harvey but he is too repressed, and has 'lost his way' and she can't take it any more. Which is actually really heartbreaking when you think about it. They weren't even sleeping together but she must have fallen in love with him because you don't leave a job over a guy you feel casual about. :( Bye, Zoe. Come back any time!
Harvey shares a drink with his old man's grave, and it is moving. His dad's name was Gordon.
Jessica: How did it go yesterday? (does she know where he was then?)
Harvey: Fine. Did Mike pull it off?
Harvey: He suspect you were in on it?
Which. Okay, I both hate that Harvey lied to Mike and played him like a fiddle, and love that Harvey knows Mike well enough to play him like a fiddle. And besides, Mike can't get too annoyed by it right? He lied to Rachel to get his way and then insisted that sometimes lines need to be crossed to do the right thing, so maybe he'll understand if he ever figures it out.
Harvey and Jessica are still planning to get rid of Hardman but are feeling much more cheerful and optimistic about it now, and the episode ends with Harvey vowing to get Donna back. Not remotely a surprise, but welcome nonetheless.