New Show Recap: Suits, Episode 2.10, “High Noon”

So it’s the summer finale and I feel bereft at the thought of going months without knowing what’s going on with my favorite lawyers, fake lawyers, paralegals and legal assistants. This episode ties up many of the story lines running throughout the first part of the season, though we’re left with an emotional cliffhanger involving a pair who have been dancing around each other all season.

No time is wasted in revealing who comes out on top of the power struggle that has been the catalyst of the action all season. Jessica and Hardman stand outside the conference room as the senior partners vote on who will control the firm as managing partner. There’s a shot of a blank ballot in front of Louis as he contemplates who he wants to back in the new era.

Turns out, it’s Hardman by one vote, effective immediately. Hardman extends an olive branch towards Harvey, but the man suspects it’s just plastic and urges Jessica to pack up and set up shop someplace else. She reminds Harvey of the non-compete clause and she’s not going to travel or teach because that looks too much like defeat. They’re staying.

Harvey and Jessica
Harvey and Jessica are in the fight for their professional lives.

Rachel finds Mike in the file room and rightly wonders what he’s doing at the office when he should be grieving for his grandmother. He’s dealing the only way he knows how, by working (since that’s what he was doing when he should have been having dinner with her) and by heading to the drug dealer around the corner and scoring some pot. When you grieve, it’s back to the old habits for some.

There are movers packing up Harvey’s office. Turns out, that olive branch was fake; Harvey is moving to the 46th floor and switching offices with Paul Porter. Confronting Hardman in his office, Harvey tells gives him a warning, “I’m coming for you.” Louis is being his smug self with a shit-eating grin on his face. Louis and Hardman plan how to ultimately get rid of Harvey. It starts by tightening the screws. Louis finds Mike in the bathroom (why are all confrontations taking place in the facilities?). He tells him that he can no longer prioritize Harvey’s work. He’s Louis’ now and if he has a problem with that to quit since he won’t last much longer anyway. Louis’ next visit is to Harvey’s office under the guise of “redistributing the workload.” He gives Harvey a minor, tedious case and informs him to also not pawn the work off on Mike.

Of course, Harvey hands Mike the case, telling him to get it done. When Harvey ignores Mike’s protests, the younger man explodes at Harvey, telling him that he lives in his own deluded world. Harvey sends Mike home like a parent sending a sulky child to his room and Mike does just that, taking solace in the drugs he bought earlier that day.

Mike took so much solace in fact that he almost slept through his grandma’s funeral and is only saved by Rachel knocking on his door with the ultimate cure-all: coffee. She finds the pot Mike had been smoking and though she’s disappointed in him, she understands. She’s relieved when Mike seemingly flushes the drugs down the toilet, but he really just hides it behind the bathroom mirror. We get the obligatory shot of him staring at himself, possibly contemplating how high he looks.

Donna and Harvey are having a hard time getting adjusted to their new, smaller space. Donna’s struggling to complete the work that Mike can do in an hour because she doesn’t have a photographic memory. The other associates can’t help because they’re under Louis’ rule. They’re on their own on this one.

Donna: My brain is already too busy being awesome.

At the service, Mike is on the edge of a breakdown at the thought of having to give the eulogy. As Rachel is trying to convince him to suck it up and do it, a young woman approaches. It’s Tess, Mike’s childhood sweetheart and the girl who shared many of their firsts together. With Tess’ encouragement, Mike delivers a beautiful eulogy, telling the story of the night his parents died and how his grandmother helped him deal with his grief. He’ll never forget that night or what she did for him for the rest of his life. After the service as Rachel heads back to the firm, Mike and Tess stay behind to pack up his grandmother’s room. He tells her about his guilt of not saying goodbye and they embrace and then kiss. It’s then that Tess drops a bombshell, telling Mike she’s married. It’s all too much for Mike, who promptly throws her out.

Louis is still stirring up trouble and determined to make Harvey’s life hell. He tells him he’s going to be second chair to Louis in court. Harvey’s had enough and heads over to Mike’s apartment to check on him where he finds him in the middle of getting high. Instead of chastising the kid, Harvey lights one up himself. At the same time, Louis finds Donna in Harvey’s old office and tries to reconcile their differences, telling her she always has a place with him if anything should happen with Harvey. Donna’s having none of it, saying that Louis betrayed his team. The accusation affects Louis more than anything, given that he’s shown how much he cares for Donna in past episodes.

Harvey and Mike lighting one up.
Harvey is both a funny and depressing stoner.

Back at Mike’s apartment, in what is one of my favorite scenes of the season, as the two get high, giggle like children and watch Harvey eat all of Mike’s pretzels. The mood turns serious when Harvey finds out about the apartment Mike bought for his grandmother and how Mike now feels like an orphan. Harvey tells Mike about his dad, a saxophone player who believed in love at first sight. Unfortunately, he chose poorly and Harvey caught his mom cheating on his father when he was 16. He chose not to tell his dad and forever lived with the knowledge. So even though Harvey had family, he knew what it was like to be alone. After declaring that a stoned Harvey was a depressing Harvey, the pair hatch a plan to cause mischief at the firm (in the form of peeing in Daniel’s office).

Harvey Specter doesn’t get cotton mouth!

As they stumble around trying to be stealth and failing hilariously, they decide on a second plan involving the famous can opener (the elevator doors close on the two as Harvey begins to explain what it’s all about. Damn it). The two catch Louis in Harvey’s office as the man snoops around. Louis leaves after he and Harvey almost come to blows, but with the suspicion that Harvey is stoned. Harvey begins searching his office to see if Louis planted anything and Mike has the kind of revelation you seem to only get while high. The Coastal Motors memo that started this whole mess could have been planted. It makes sense; Donna would have never missed something that important and it’s easy to fake someone’s signature stamp and plant the memo in the old case files. They suspect Hardman planted the memo and since he couldn’t bring a suit against the firm and Harvey himself, he enlists Tanner to be his point man.

In order to get confirmation, Harvey challenges Tanner to a boxing match, if Harvey wins, Tanner has to tell him the truth. One sweaty round later, Tanner admits that the memo was a fraud. Back at the firm, Mike finds proof of the fraud and kisses Rachel who just so happens to appear while he is in celebration mode. Rachel rebuffs him given their history and the fact that Mike is doing this to assuage his grief. Mike leaves pissed, but prepared to confront CM’s CEO about the memo.

Louis gets Hardman to sign a new policy enforcing mandatory drug testing for all partners and confronts Harvey about his state the night before, saying he must submit to a drug test. Harvey invokes a bylaw saying he gets a hearing in front of the partners, buying him and Mike some time. Mike is busy confronting the CEO of CM about the fake memo and urging him to sign an affidavit to that effect. The man, of course, will do no such thing, leaving Mike in a bind.

At the hearing, Harvey fully admits to being high, but shifts focus from himself to Hardman and accuses him of planting the fake memo and endangering the entire firm. Mike shows up and makes a show of throwing the supposedly signed affidavit down on the desk and claiming that Coastal Motor’s CEO signed it, implicating Hardman. In an effort to try and wrestle back control, Hardman calls for a vote to fire Harvey. It doesn’t pass. Jessica takes the opportunity to call for a vote dismissing Hardman and it passes with even Louis casting a vote against the man and Hardman is officially ousted from the firm.

The team celebrates the victory with champagne in Harvey’s reclaimed office. Mike admits that he signed his own name to the document because, how often do you look at a man’s shoes? Jessica, Donna and Harvey reaffirm their commitment to each other, exclaiming, “You go, I go.” Louis is passing by in the background, his actions once again keeping him from the inner circle, but he seems to gain satisfaction in the fact that he is still a senior partner. Jessica finds Hardman in his soon to be vacated office. Hardman’s leaving, but he warns Jessica that one day, she may be facing Harvey as he comes after her.

Tess
Tess (played by Elisabeth Hower) is an old flame that apparently hasn’t quite gone out yet.

Mike’s back at his apartment that evening when Tess knocks on his door. She’s still married, but Mike still called her and the two end up spending the night together. There’s another knock at the door later and it’s Rachel standing there with a hopeful expression, telling Mike she’s ready to give their relationship another try. That look is shattered when she sees Tess walking behind Mike in a bed sheet and we’re left with Mike calling after Rachel as it goes to black.

So, that’s it till January when we’ll find out what happened after Rachel caught Mike with another woman. We’ll see if Hardman makes good on his promise to come back and hopefully, we’ll continue to see Jessica kicking ass and taking names. I personally hope we get more insight into Harvey’s past and the beginnings of his friendship with Donna. Until then, make sure to keep up with your pop-culture references and read all contracts before you sign.

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Stephens

Florida girl, would-be world traveler and semi-permanent expat. Her main strategy of life is to throw out the nets and hope something useful comes back, but many times it's just an old shoe. She also really, really hates winter and people who are consistently late.

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