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New Show Recap: Suits, Episode 2.01, “She Knows”

Ah Suits. How I’ve missed you. You have everything I like in a show: clever writing, sass, some strong female characters and men in well-tailored suits.

Season One left off with Mike’s no-good friend Trevor about to inform Jessica that Mike, who is brilliant and has a photographic memory, also never went to law school. Trevor is pissed when he finds out Mike is dating his ex-girlfriend after he listens to a voicemail on Mike’s phone. The voice mail was left by Rachel Zane, a paralegal at the law firm and someone Mike has grown close to and has kissed.

The cast of Suits
The major players.

We open as Mike is walking into a fancy restaurant as he has been summoned by Jessica. When asked if he was nervous, Mike responds with, “I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t. ” “Well we wouldn’t want you to lie,” responds Jessica.

Flashback to earlier with Mike freaking out, telling Harvey (the guy who hired him despite having no law degree), “She knows.” Harvey ignores his freak out and asks what is holding up his Swinton merger. Mike points out the head of the firm barely know his name and he’s been summoned to dinner. At this, Harvey rattles off the list of senior partners at the law firm, pointing out that all were taken to dinner by Jessica as first year associates. As Mike now freaks out about what to wear, Harvey is only worried about his merger. Mike tells him a nuisance lawsuit is holding up escrow and Harvey wonders why he didn’t mention that in the first place. Mike points out that he thought he was getting made. Harvey counters that Jessica would not ask him to dinner just to fire him.

Gina Torres
HBIC

Back at the restaurant, Jessica is regaling Mike with tales from her school days. With a good dose of plagiarism, Mike points out that if she graduated from college back then that would make her, “Old enough to run her own law firm,” Jessica interrupts. Mike throws out the line that most women love to hear about how young she looks. Jessica takes the compliment while saying, “True beauty…” as Mike simultaneously says, “Black don’t crack.” (Really!) Jessica asks him what Harvard was like. Considering that Mike never went to Harvard, he has to fudge on the details, but he inserts just enough truth to make it sound convincing. Mike has always been different; he was never challenged at school.  Jessica points out, “You don’t think of yourself as smart. You’ve always had your mind; it is what it is.” It doesn’t sound cocky to her.

Jessica then asks, “Why the law?” Here, we get the truth about Mike’s ambitions, outside of the long con he’s pulling with Harvey. He tells Jessica that his parents died in a car accident when he was 11. It wasn’t until he was older that he realized they could have had a case against the bar who kept feeding the driver who killed his parents drinks, long after he should have been cut off. Mike had felt helpless and he never wanted to feel helpless again. As Jessica gets up to leave, she says, “Harvey was right,” without revealing exactly what he was right about.

Back at the firm, Jessica visits Harvey’s office. Harvey knows the sudden interest in Mike isn’t coincidence and Jessica reveals that an allegation was made that Mike hadn’t attended Harvard Law, but Mike had come back squeaky clean. Harvey, of course thinks that he’s in the clear, but Jessica’s demeanor changes in two seconds flat. She knows Mike is full of shit because while records say he attended Harvard Law, there is no record of him graduating from any other college. Jessica gives Harvey the benefit of a doubt that he didn’t know, but she tells him that he must fire Mike.

Donna
Because everyone needs an assistant who is probably smarter than you.

Fast forward to the next day with Harvey telling Donna to get a client on the phone and uses “please,” “can you,” and “thank you” in the same sentence. Since common courtesy almost never happens with Harvey, this instantly alerts Donna that something is wrong and she then proceeds to deduce exactly what is going on (Harvey’s tie isn’t perfect so he’s distracted, he’s feeling guilty so calling a client he’s been avoiding, he’s wearing lavender, so he’s feeling vulnerable), eventually nailing that Jessica has found out about Mike and Harvey has to fire him.

An ecstatic Mike runs into Rachel, whose drunk dial started this whole mess. Mike tells her about his dinner with Jessica and makes an inappropriate remark about cougars before Rachel reminds him he’s talking about the managing partner of the firm.

As Harvey tells Donna he has to fire Mike or Jessica will, Mike saunters into the office on top of the world, He’s gonna steamroll the plaintiff in the lawsuit holding up the Swinton merger; a former employee who says the publisher stole her idea, because that’s what Harvey would do. Mike, supposedly fired, walks out of Harvey’s office in a daze. Donna runs in only to realize that Harvey couldn’t fire Mike. She accuses Harvey of actually having feelings to which Harvey counters, he didn’t want to go through the trouble of finding a new associate. As Donna asks if Harvey needs a tissue, water, tampon (because, you know, emotions are for women and wimpy), Harvey points out that Donna usually listens to all his conversations, but she didn’t this time, probably because she also was too overwhelmed with emotion. Harvey says he needs to buy time before Jessica fires Mike. When asked why Mike walked out the office in a daze, Harvey had said he was proud of Mike.

Mike arrived at a bookstore to confront an ex-employee of the publishing company, Mira Harrison, whose lawsuit is holding up the merger. After steamrolling the woman, he’s stopped when she throws out, “I bet your mother’s proud of you.” She asks Mike to have some compassion and tells him that she went to her boss with an idea for her own book, which her boss promptly stole and offered to a prominent author. All she wants is to get paid for her idea.

In a bid to buy more time, Harvey goes to Louis, who is in charge of the associates and asks him to lay off Mike for a bit, knowing Louis will do the exact opposite. If Louis’ attention is on Mike and Mike suddenly disappears, he’ll start asking questions, possibly revealing Mike’s subterfuge and endangering the law firm’s reputation.

Mike Ross
Mike just can’t seem to catch a break.

At the same time, Mike arrives back at the office and is confronted by Jenny. Wanting to know what is really going on with Mike and Rachel, she reveals she knows about the kiss. After Mike lets it slip that he may have feelings for Rachel, Jenny tells him Trevor had intended to tell Jessica Pearson about Mike’s true background.

While in the bathroom Rachel is telling Donna how she drunk dialed Mike and revealed how she and Mike kissed. After asking what it meant that Mike hadn’t said anything after three days, Donna said it either meant 1) Mike got the message and didn’t feel the same way or 2) Mike got the message, but who doesn’t get their messages. Rachel faces the likely possibility that Mike did not choose her. Donna then gets a text message that freaks her out, but before she leaves, she asks Rachel if the kiss was any good. “Good enough for me to drunk dial him.”

Mike confronts Harvey about their arrangement being exposed. After delivering the deadpan suggestion that he and Mike flee the country together and refocusing Mike’s attention on his job, Donna barges in with the news that the wife of the other managing partner, Daniel Hardman, has died and he’s coming back. Apparently, Hardman was forced out by Jessica and Harvey after they threatened to reveal that he was unfaithful to his wife.

Louis, at his ass kissing best, tells Jessica that he assigned Mike the redundancy reports for the big merger, revealing that Harvey had not fired Mike. She confronts Harvey in a scene the resembles an Old West stand-off. Harvey delivers the news that Daniel Hardman may be returning and she accuses him of using the issue to get Mike out of the cross hairs. Harvey then points out they should be worried about being forced out by the absent partner seeking revenge on them both.

Harvey and Jessica
If I had to bet on who would win in a fight, I’d pick Jessica every time.

At the funeral for Hardman’s wife, the pair discuss Hardman while Jessica points out that Harvey and Daniel are cut from the same cloth. Harvey agrees, pulling a Highlander reference (There can be only one.) There is no room for two Harvey’s at the firm. After the service, Daniel tells them that he is a changed man and that caring for his wife while she was dying of cancer, changed him. Neither buy his saint’s act for a second and Harvey wants to bury him. Once again pointing out that Daniel and Harvey are the same, she tells him to do whatever it takes to keep him out, revealing that Jessica is just as ruthless as the men. Later at Hardman’s home, he tells Daniel to stay away from the firm or he will tell Daniel’s daughter about his extra-marital affairs.

On the lawsuit front, Mike gets the publishing company to offer a settlement to Mira; however, she now realizes she holds all the cards and continues to stonewall. Mike is just having a really bad day. Later, he confronts Harvey about his lack of caring about his situation and being told he needs to trust Harvey, but it’s hard to trust a man who plays everything close to the vest and (supposedly) looks out for his own interests.

While visiting his grandmother for some cookies and milk therapy, the two reminisce about the time Mike ran away because his parents wouldn’t let him watch The Cosby Show and the story his grandma used to tell him. Turns out, she made up the story; it was simply a retelling of Hansel and Gretel. Realizing that there is nothing new under the sun, Mike figured out a way to solve the lawsuit problem. He gets Mira’s boss to admit she stole the idea. When Mira wants to continue the lawsuit, Mike pulls out several novels that also contain her basic idea because there is really nothing new under the sun. Realizing she is backed into a corner, the woman takes the settlement and signs a confidentiality agreement.

Daniel Hardman
In Harvey’s words, “A lying snake in the grass.”

With Mike still riding high from solving the lawsuit debacle and Harvey thinking Hardman is gone for good, they find the second partner holding a meeting with all the employees. He comes clean about all his past indiscretions, including stealing from the law firm, seemingly garnering a decent amount of goodwill from the employees. Harvey tells Mike to leave and not come back, knowing Jessica will fire him the moment she sees him. After the meeting, Hardman tells Jessica and Harvey that he hopes they can all work together.

Later that night, Jessica confronts Harvey about Mike and Harvey goes to bat for Mike saying that if Mike leaves, he will too. Jessica calls his bluff telling him to pack his things, but Harvey points out that if the truth about Mike comes to light, Hardman would be in a position to take over. Jessica needs Harvey and she knows it.

After confronting Trevor about blowing his cover at the firm and threatening him with the information he has on Trevor, Mike finds the missing voice mail from Rachel. Before he can do anything about it, he is summoned back to the office where Jessica says she is willing to give him another chance but he must prove himself. Telling Jessica to fire up the laptop because he can tell everything he needs to know about the law, she smirks, closes the laptop and says she doesn’t need it. Apparently she and Mike have something in common.

 

By 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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