After a brief break, this week’s episode features the return of an adversary of Harvey’s from last season, the blossoming and demise of a bromance, and what may be a turning point for one of my favorite characters. Unfortunately as a whole, this episode was light on giving viewers time with the awesome women of the show, but it did set the stage for what is hopefully a nice character arc for Harvey’s right hand woman.
Louis is visiting Daniel Hardman’s office to update him on a new client. While Louis is hoping to get some kissing up time with the boss, playing into the underlying power struggle at the firm, Daniel sees the ploy and summarily dismisses Louis, asking him to send in Mike Ross. Being the schemer that he is, Louis realizes that Mike is the new golden boy and tells Hardman that Mike is unavailable since he’s working with Louis on a lawsuit.
This is a falsehood and as soon as Louis leaves Daniel’s office, he rushes over to Harvey and calls in a bet he made with Harvey last season wherein he gets Mike for a certain time period. Harvey refuses, seemingly not wanting to subject Mike to Louis for any length of time. Well, that’s fine except that Louis will tell everyone that Harvey is a welsher (apparently this is worse than being called a bad lawyer). After reminding Louis he passed on taking Mike earlier, Louis is reduced to begging. Fine, but Louis has to say, out loud, that Harvey is the best closer in New York – in front of Donna. Louis turns tail and runs.
Mike’s in Harvey’s office fondling his extensive vinyl collection as Harvey is opening his mail. He’s received a draft of complaint threatening to reopen a case he closed several years ago. Mike rattles off the details to a slightly stunned Harvey (their client was sued after a man died in a fatal car crash, accusing Coastal Motors of making crappy cars, and how is Harvey still surprised at Mike’s abilities?). It has all the hallmarks of a shakedown, which Harvey will quash. After a few choice comments on Harvey’s musical tastes (he seems offended that Harvey likes The Spinners, one of the defining pop bands of their time), Harvey hands Mike over to Louis. The guy knows this is punishment for Mike, but accepts anyway. Duration: one case; jurisdiction: exclusive, and labor laws can be violated, but not the Geneva Convention.
Turns out that Harvey’s old case is now being handled by Travis Tanner, a lawyer that Harvey humiliated last season. Apparently, new evidence has surfaced in the case, an internal memo saying that CM knew they had faulty hoods. Harvey denies ever seeing the memo, but Tanner is coming after Harvey and the firm for fraud. It looks damning, though in a meeting with Jessica later, Harvey swears it never crossed his desk. Donna also swears she never saw it and is insulted by the implication that she missed something so important. Harvey tells Donna to go through every file in the original case and do it on the down low. To complicate matters, Jessica doesn’t want Daniel finding out about the accusation in the event that he eventually uses it against her.
Mike is now under Louis’ rule, who likes to use mixed metaphors about being at war and giving orders about working hours and Mike’s sex life. Mike begs Harvey to take him back, apologizing for besmirching the good name of The Spinners, but Harvey refuses, informing Mike that he’s being sued for fraud and it’s too risky to have Mike helping Harvey while working for the paranoid Louis.
Harvey meets with Lawrence Kemp, CM’s CEO, to reassure him that Harvey’s got everything under control. The meeting is also attended by CM’s new general counsel, who is concerned that Tanner really has it in for Harvey and that CM will suffer collateral damage. A bunch of accusations get bandied about and after much posturing, Kemp fires Harvey, which doesn’t seem to upset the man too much. Turns out, now that Harvey no longer works for them, whatever he finds out in investigating what happened four years ago is no longer under attorney/client privilege. He phones Mike, telling him to figure out what’s not in the case files; they’ll take the risk with Louis.
Later on, Mike and Donna are in the file room, not finding what they both are not looking for when there is a knock on the door with the sign, “Do Not Enter.” It’s Harold, looking for the good staplers so he can give one to Rachel (who he seems to have developed a bit of a crush on). In order to cover up the fact that there are files every where and to keep Harold from asking questions, Donna rumples them both up a bit, giving the impression they were in the closet for a secret shag. Harold seems to buy it and scurries away, but most anyone with common sense would know that Mike couldn’t handle Donna.
Mike has to rush back upstairs for a settlement conference with Louis, using the excuse that he was in the bathroom. Mike gets the chance to see a style different from Harvey’s. Where Harvey is all smooth swagger, Louis is a tenacious bulldog, slowly grinding down his opponent. Louis is also meticulous and he and Mike work well together; Mike is duly impressed. Mike tries to slip away, using the bathroom excuse again, but he triggers Louis’s paranoid instincts.
Daniel visits Harvey’s office, apologizing for railroading Harvey’s case and offering him the chance to work on a case together. Harvey demurs, citing that he’s too busy. Daniel leaves as Mike comes in having not found something in regards to the old case. Turns out a quality control manager named Sara Layton wrote reports on many other of CM’s cars, but not the model involved in the lawsuit. She disappeared when production started and was given permanent unpaid leave, effectively erasing any legal trace of her. She’s the one who likely wrote the original memo.
Harvey visits Ms. Layton, who recognizes him from the trial. He asks her if she wrote the memo, which she denies, but she
told Harvey she brought her concerns about the car to Kemp. Harvey asks her to testify that she never told anyone about the defects and she refuses, saying Kemp promised he’d fix the problem if she kept quiet. He fixed the problems for newer cars, but didn’t correct the defects on the cars already made. As Harvey leaves, he finds Tanner waiting for him. The man mocks Harvey for defending a murderer. Harvey may not have known that his client knew of the flaws in the product then, but he knows now and is obligated to come forward and it makes Harvey look suspicious. Later, Jessica dresses down Harvey, telling him he forgot Law 101; you don’t ask if your client committed murder, but you do look for a smoking gun. Jessica wants to come clean to Daniel, but Harvey objects, saying he’ll fix it. Since CM is no longer their client, he is allowed to strong arm them.
Louis and Mike are in the deposition, Louis using his bulldog technique and playing into the insecurities of a vice president who has been passed over for a promotion one too many times and empathizing with the man. Louis is someone who gives 110 percent, but also gets overlooked. The man gives them the info they need out of spite. Louis and Mike leave the conference room, riding high, strategizing on how they’ll win the case in court. Louis, in his euphoria, tosses out a line from Chariots of Fire, trying to imitate one of the hallmarks of Mike and Harvey’s relationship. Doesn’t work as well. To compensate, Louis gives Mike an extended deadline for subpoenas.
Harvey confronts Kemp in CM’s parking garage, away from his lawyer. After literally strong arming Kemp onto the hood of his car, Harvey tells him to pay what the victim’s family deserves and make it go away or Harvey will come forward.
Mike’s got Louis’s subpoenas first thing in the morning, saying war doesn’t wait for the afternoon, when Daniel informs them that the company they’re suing is declaring bankruptcy and there’s no way the firm is getting any money from them. He apologizes to the pair, still assuming that Mike’s been working with Louis for weeks. Mike covers for Louis and supports the fabrication and the pair come up with some strategies to get the money out of the company. When asked why he covered for Louis with Daniel, Mike begins to say it’s because Louis is continually overlooked, but settles for the fact that he’s enjoyed working with him. Louis had thought Harvey had poisoned the well as far as any relationship between them and Mike points out, Louis poisoned the well pretty good on his own, citing Louis’s previous attempts to discredit Mike and in turn, Harvey. He can’t behave like that and expect people to forget about it. Louis says he’ll take Mike’s observations under advisement, but he still feels that something is up. He knows Harvey is up to something and he wants to know what.
Louis questions what Harvey is up to, citing the ease which he gave up Mike and the fact Donna is no longer the sphinx to the metaphorical Thebes. He’s aware of the power struggle at the firm and despite his behavior in the past, offers his help to Harvey, but he’s summarily dismissed by Harvey. Mike admonishes him for being so harsh, saying all Louis wants is to be like him. The phone rings and it’s Kemp, telling Harvey to give the families what they want and saying he never saw the infamous memo that Donna’s still looking for. Harvey remembers who he’s dealing with and that there is no memo. Unbeknownst to them, Louis has left his dictaphone on and is recording everything.
Harvey delivers the settlement offer to Tanner’s firm. Harvey’s glad the families got the money, but he accuses Tanner of using the lawsuit to come after him and of writing the memo himself. Given Tanner’s track record, it isn’t a stretch. Tanner points out that Harvey had dirty dealings in the DA’s office. He still wants his revenge and he plans on using all the ammo he’s got on Harvey.
Replaying Mike and Harvey’s conversation in his office, Louis is visited by Daniel, who praises him on finding a way to get the money from the now bankrupt company. Louis gives Mike all the credit, but still informs Daniel about what he knows about the cover up Jessica and Harvey are running. Daniel rages at the pair in Jessica’s office later, citing that they have to work together if they’re going to keep the firm’s reputation intact. Jessica sees no choice but to work with him.
Mike meets Louis in the library,thanking Louis for giving him credit and trying to continue their budding bromance, but Louis shuts him down. It’s back to the old Louis once again.
We end with Harvey determined to defeat Tanner and Donna still diligently going through the old case files when she stumbles upon the infamous memo. It did slip through the cracks, but on her watch; the document was stamped received with her initials. The unflappable Donna is fallible after all.
Louis: Here’s the most important thing; no sex of any kind. Weakens the legs and clouds your judgment.
Mike: Isn’t that like the pot accusing the kettle of… fraud?
Donna: Yes, Harvey, I saw the smoking gun in a multi-million dollar lawsuit and I hid it from you. I also know where Amelia Earhart’s living and I have the missing 18 minutes of the Watergate tapes.