tl;dr I watched suits before work and I have no regrets.
I was expecting the current Louis storyline to result eventually in him finding out the truth about Mike - and by eventually I mean like at some point relatively soon, after which he’d be in on the secret - but after this episode I can’t see that happening in a way that would be true to the character, because Louis has been established so indelibly as a passionate man of law who would never be able to forgive or turn a blind eye to a fraud this huge (Mike embodying the “spirit of the law” is quite beside the point when related to the actual truth of the situation). The loud and clear message here was essentially: once Louis knows, it’s all over for Mike. Which is brilliant, because my god does it generate suspense. I was on the edge of my seat throughout, wondering how the hell our heroes were going to survive. That in the end it was Harvey who succeeded in manipulating Louis out of going after Mike, with a surprisingly heartfelt appeal to friendship, was just. fucking. perfect.
The lengths Harvey will go to to protect and keep Mike by his side are beyond romantic - he tries to blackmail the “wronged” professor (played by Gabriel’s dad Stephen Macht) into not coming to Pearson Specter, and when he fails at that he’s devastated because he thinks he’s going to lose Mike and it’s basically the worst thing that’s ever happened to him and he forgets that he’s Harvey Specter and there’s always another way. Even when Mike throws Harvey’s own words back at him ("There's a gun pointed at our heads. There's a hundred and forty six things that we can do, we just have to put our heads together and figure it out") Harvey can’t handle it, he’s done, it’s over, he’s about to lose his bb ("And I don't know what to do"), and THEN OMG when Mike faces up to the fact that Harvey’s right and it really is all over, because "we were always playing on borrowed time", Harvey immediately says he’ll resign too.
which honestly, he fucking well should, this is basically all his fault.
But Mike explains the reason he won’t allow this to happen:
“When Trevor went to Jessica with my secret I felt betrayed. I lost my closest friend in the world.” (subtext: you’re my best friend now)
~HARVEY LIGHTBULB MOMENT~
Naturally this is what snaps Harvey out of his slump. He’s so touched by Mike’s declaration of love - and for once doesn’t even consider denying the depth of his feelings - that he comes up with a perfect plan: he will do to Louis what Mike just did to him.
And how on earth could Louis possibly resist? He’s as vulnerable to emotional blackmail as the next cat-loving mudder. A man like Harvey doesn’t hand out affection very often, if at all (not unlike a cat), and Louis is only human and also worships Harvey, but what was so beautiful about it was that Harvey meant it. And Louis knew Harvey was being sincere. Whether you want to read their relationship as a true friendship (it’s certainly not what I recognise friendship to be) there’s no denying there is genuine regard between them. And the fact is, Harvey is terrible at relationships and doesn’t have friends in the traditional sense so it doesn’t strike me as unbelievable that he would grudgingly consider Louis his friend. Do I believe his promise that he wouldn’t hold it against Louis were he to throw Mike under the bus? Nope. Because deep down Harvey would never be able to forgive that (it’s my head canon and I’m sticking to it).
I don’t have much to say about Rachel or Donna other than I love them both and Rachel is the prettiest crier in the world.
I find it hilarious that the show drew a parallel between Jessica’s not-quite-legal appointment as the executor of her ex husband’s will and Mike’s fraud, her testimony playing in voiceover to the action back at Pearson Specter: “Truth is subjective [...] Just because someone can't check off everything on the list that's required to be competent doesn't mean they aren't better at whatever they do than the rest of us, and Quentin Sands was an amazing man with an amazing mind. [...] Have you never met someone who by the letter of the law shouldn't be able to do what they do? Who beat the odds? We are talking about a man's life. We are talking about his legacy and I dispute that those things are less important than the letter of the law. [...] This is about justice. [...] This man dedicated his life to one thing, and the circumstances surrounding how he decided to protect that thing is not the question. [...] It is a question of doing what is right.”
Like. Okay, Mike is fab and he has an amazing mind but is he actually the best lawyer the world has ever seen? And even if he is, does that make the fraud even remotely acceptable??? Because I still kind of feel that Jessica's firm would probably be better off without him - Harvey was the city's best closer before Mike came along know what I mean.
I'll tell you what's amazing: the relationship between Jessica and Harvey.
I loved the role reversal here, with Jessica acting irrationally/emotionally and Harvey acting as the grownup whose job it is to talk sense into her - which he does flawlessly throughout. Harvey’s unwavering commitment to his team makes me so horny. Like, he’ll berate Jessica in private but when he’s talking to Lisa he’s all “Jessica and I are a team and asking to see me alone doesn't change that.” nnnggghhh
Louis: it's over Mike. I'm on to you. And I'm going to expose you for the lying piece of filth that you are.
See it's lines like this that makes me love the Suits creative team. It's exactly right for Louis to have this attitude but it also means the continuation of this storyline (and I know it's not over, it'll never be over) poses numerous seemingly unsolvable problems, and I'm forever excited by how brave the writers are that they'll go to places I'm not expecting. How do Mike and Harvey coexist with a man whose hackles are now up? Louis might be temporarily off the scent but any wrong move from our boys and Louis will pounce.
Patrick's performance in this episode is fantastic. That moment when he sweeps the papers off the desk in frustration, which would normally be cliched as fuck, made my heart pound. He's just so damn good.
Harvey pretends he's going to see Marcus in Boston because "he's in trouble" and he looks at Mike when he says his brother's name. *sobs*
Stephen Macht has just the right amount of gravitas for a professor of Gerard's stature. And so fun that Harvey gets to call his RL dad pompous to his face. I also really love that not only does Gerard call Harvey's bluff (he's an ethical man who practices what he preaches), and although I'm curious about what Harvey has on him, I love that Harvey would never actually use it. Threats are something he's happy to make, ruining a good man's career is unthinkable.
The interaction between Jessica and Lisa is fascinating. There's resentment but there's also understanding and grudging respect.
oh goddddd Harvey and Mike love each other so much. *kills self*
"I forgave him because I don't care what some stupid piece of paper says."
Pretty much Harvey's attitude in a nutshell. He thinks Mike's ability/talent/awesomeness is all that matters.
"A friend just won't hold it against you if you don't."
Best. Closer. In New York.
Mike's face when he realises he's off the hook. HARVEY'S face.
Rachel's so happy that Mike's gonna be okay - I love it when Rachel's happy.
Harvey and Donna's friendship is wonderful and shippers creep me out.
WHAT IS SCOTTIE'S MIDDLE NAME. I'm gonna guess Jane because it's my middle name.
I do feel like Jessica and Harvey would have the hottest sex ever though jfc.
Did you love it as much as I did?????
*all gifs found on tumblr as per usual