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New Show Recap: Suits, Episode 2.3, “Meet the New Boss”

Last week’s episode was notable for the absence of this season’s main antagonist, but Daniel Hardman reappears this week and the power struggle in the firm goes into full swing. This week is all about cutting through the bullshit.

Mike arrives home to his apartment after a late night in the office to find his door open. After a rather lame threat of shooting said intruder, Mike flicks on the light to find his grandmother dozing on the couch. After mocking him for his lame threat, Mike realizes he had forgotten that they supposed to have dinner because he has been working so hard he forgot what day it was. Mike comments that his father used to forget plans, while his grandma points out that people often do that when they love their job (and don’t give a rat’s ass about their grandmother).

Not the best working partnership there ever was.

Next day at Pearson Hardman, Jessica welcomes Daniel back at the senior associates meeting. After taking a moment to reiterate that he is number two in the firm now, Bill to Jessica’s Hilary if she had won the election. Then he promptly interrupts her again as she describes how their client, Prescott Hospitals, are negotiating with their nurses’ union and hopefully preventing a strike. He brought Prescott on so he’s the best man for the job. Jessica points out she had brought Harvey up to speed last night and Harvey confirms he’s been prepping all morning. Daniel offers to help and they agree to meet in Harvey’s office later. Turns out, Jessica improvised that to try and keep Daniel away from a major case. He’s seemingly picking up right where he left off and trying to cut Jessica out. Harvey’s just happy that there is now someone that pisses Jessica off more than him. When asked if he knew why Jessica had picked him, Harvey replies, “Because you know I’d roll with the lie.” No, it’s because he’s still in the doghouse (apparently bringing Jessica her tea service wasn’t enough). She needs Harvey to put Daniel in his place.

Harvey finds Mike asleep at his desk and tells him he needs the summary of the Prescott case; from Rachel. Awkward. Harvey also needs four bullshit pro-bono cases he knows Mike has been working on even though Mike is supposed to be a heartless corporate lawyer. Donna ends up getting the case files from Rachel and confirms that Mike was a baby and wouldn’t come get them himself. When asked if she was ok, Rachel replied, no, but she was too damn busy to do anything else but work. Donna and women everywhere applaud your life choices honey.

In Harvey’s office, Daniel is handed one of the bullshit pro-bono cases Mike had lying around. If Daniel wants to prove he’s changed, here’s his chance; oh and he should stay out of Harvey’s way. Daniel counters that he doesn’t have to prove anything to Harvey; it’s his name on the door after all. Only as he said before, he’s number two and Harvey answers to number one. Either way Harvey will learn to respect him.

Nell, played by Margo Martindale, who I love. I wish we got to see more of her.

Harvey goes into meet the head of the nurse’s union, Nell Sawyer (played by Emmy winner Margo Martindale.) Harvey makes her an offer, pointing out Prescott Hospitals cannot afford to give the nurses more or they’ll go under. (name of character) counters that the hospitals have received a sizable amount of money, apparently to be used for surgical robotics. So the hospital is willing to spend money on robots, but not their nurses. Nell leaves the table, reminding Mike and Harvey that the union has a fully funded strike fund and they will use it unless the union can get access to that money.

Meanwhile Jessica meets with Louis to tell him that an industry magazine has rated the firm second to last in quality of life for attorney’s and Harvard is threatening to rescind the firm’s recruiting privileges. Louis later confronts the associates, saying he’s invited a Harvard rep to interview the associates and basically tells the associates to lie.

Mike is arguing that Harvey should go with a temporary restraining order (TRO) instead of an injunction to stop the strike; it’s a safer bet. Harvey points out that a TRO is temporary and an injunction is permanent. Also Mike should never use the words “safer bet” around Harvey. When Mike cheekily mumbles, “Safer bet,” Harvey bans him from coming with him to the courthouse. Mike will just have to miss out on his greatness. Turns out, that was a good thing as Harvey arrives in the courtroom and finds Daniel has moved up the hearing and the judge has issued a TRO against the union. Outside, the two men square off with Daniel reiterating that his name is on the door of the firm and it didn’t get there by taking shit from the likes of Harvey. He can either work with Daniel on the case or this was how it was going to be.

To try and undercut Daniel, Harvey meets with Nell and rips up the TRO, challenging her to start the strike. He’s playing hardball when he tells her the last offer is off the table and the new offer is the one they originally offered. For every day the union strikes, the offer gets worse. Daniel confronts Harvey about the TRO. Harvey argues that the TRO gives the union time to negotiate with a threat hovering over the hospitals head and he took out their one bullet; an injunction would have been the better option. Furthermore, Harvey points out that Daniel’s genius idea was the same as Mike’s and the Daniel should stop thinking like a rookie.Louis introduces Sheila, the rep from Harvard. Watching them interact we realize that she is a female version of Louis, which promptly freaks the associates out. Later, Sheila levels with Louis (because they are kindred spirits,) She will allow the firm to keep their recruiting privileges, but she gives him the scoop that his associates do not respect him because they believe Louis dumps all their work on them.

Louis and Sheila
Louis and his personality doppleganger Sheila.

After learning that Rachel visited an online dating website, Donna takes Rachel out for drinks on Harvey’s corporate card. Rachel admits that she hasn’t taken the plunge with the dating site is that she only sees herself as a lonely paralegal. She and Donna then pretend to be the female versions of Mike and Harvey, (Sidenote: Ladies, you are fabulous all on your own. There is no need to pretend to be anyone else) and drink the night away.

Mike is called to Daniel’s office. Daniel and Harvey are backed into a corner. Neither of them can negotiate with the nurse’s union as it would be seen as weakness, but there is no such restriction on Mike. Daniel needed to know that their back channel negotiator was up to the task. Mike has Nell meet him at his grandmother’s nursing home to show her how much this case means to him. Turns out, she’s staying in a Prescott facility. Nell points out that Mike’s grandmother is taking a number of complex drugs that need close monitoring. Because they are understaffed, nurses are constantly staying on the job without pay to make sure their patients are taken care of. If a nurse’s name appears on a chart, they stayed. Mike gives Harvey the info the next day and tells him they only need ten percent of the new equipment fund to make sure the nurses never work more than a 15 hour shift. Harvey is not pleased that Daniel used Mike to negotiate as he believes it puts the firm in a weak position.

That night, Mike finds Daniel in his office smoking a cigarette and he reminisces about his wife as they both stay to figure out a way to get at the donor money. At the same time, Harvey finds Louis in the bullpen Louis confesses what the associates think he doesn’t work as hard as they do. Harvey, who is no great fan of Louis’, calls bullshit, saying Louis is the hardest working lawyer at the firm. They recount their days as junior associates with Louis bemoaning that the associates now think it’s against the law to work more than 20 hours. A light bulb goes off in Harvey’s head and he declares Louis “the man.” Unbeknownst to him, Louis recorded that statement on his dictaphone and replays it as he prances around the bullpen.

Mike goes to find a file on Rachel’s desk and stumbles across her online dating profile on her computer. Rachel catches him and the two work on the description together with Mike using some very flattering adjectives for Rachel and she realizes Mike still cares.

The next day Louis delivers the associates work that he completed. He gives them work that helps them grow as attorneys and points out they will not get opportunities like that at other law firms though they are welcome to go and find out. Jessica overhears the speech and later compliments him on his motivation techniques. Louis says he wants to give the associates a chance to rise to the occasion; he wishes Jessica would give him the same opportunity.

At a meeting with Nell, Harvey uses the information she gave Mike against her and hands her fifty pink slips. They’re for nurses who have worked overtime without signing a time card, which releases them from protection under federal labor law. He forces Nell to sign the contract to save the nurses’ jobs. She looks at Mike and says, “Your grandmother would be proud.” Mike is furious at Harvey, though Mike points out that this is part of the job, but they’ve won. Mike, however, sees this for what it is; it’s a win because Harvey beat Daniel and he refuses to get caught in the middle.

Mike is sitting in his apartment later when Rachel shows up. She confronts Mike about the things he said about her and wonders how if he so obviously cares for her, why they can’t be together. Rachel figures out that Mike is keeping something from her, but Mike still cannot bring himself to tell Rachel the truth.

Rachel Zane
Rachel taking the LSATs. Get it.

Daniel visits Jessica’s office the next day and apologizes for trying to undercut her authority at the meeting earlier. Jessica points out that Daniel had been acting aggressive even before he showed up in the office, going so far as to commandeer her tea set. Daniel points out that his late wife gave Jessica that tea set and he  took it because it reminded him of her. This casts Harvey and Jessica as petty. However, as Harvey tells Mike later, Daniel is a master at manipulation. He originally told Jessica that he was embezzling funds to pay for his sick wife’s care, but really he was using the money to support his mistress.

Finally, as we see Rachel leaving for the evening, Donna comments that she’s looking nice. Does she possibly have a date? Nope, Rachel has decided to take her future into her own hands an she’s seen taking the LSATS. Mikw visits his grandmother, concerned over the medicine she’s taking because it’s for her heart.

After pointing out to Mike that getting older sucks, the two talk about Mike’s lack of a love life. Grandmother’s ususlly give the best advice.

Best lines (Donna and Rachel edition)

Rachel: It’s like my computer is accusing me of being single.

Donna: You know why it’s doing that?

Rachel: My mother’s in there?

At the bar:

Donna: So the reason you haven’t signed up for the dating site is that you want me to take some sexy pictures for your profile. You’re hoping one thing leads to another and bow chicka wow wow.

Rachel: I have a photographic memory. I’m like a legal super hero.

 

 

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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