If you haven’t watched this week’s Suits, stop reading now. Spoilers ahead.
While the battle lines were drawn at Pearson Hardman — Hardman won Louis over with a Dictaphone, while Harvey lost the chauvinist head of bankruptcy whose support Jessica had told him to secure — Mike was busy waging his own internal war. Now that he and Rachel had rocked each other’s worlds with a second kiss in the office (that
I you probably rewound), and a third kiss after their dinner date (pictured, but trimmed from the episode), he wanted to tell her the truth about him being a fraud. Mike went to Harvey’s place to give him a heads-up about his plan to come clean, and Harvey told him not to do it.
In Harvey’s mind, Mike had two options: He dates Rachel and lies to her, or he stops the relationship before it goes any further. I wonder if Mike still would have ended it if Donna hadn’t told Mike that Harvey had threatened to walk if Jessica fired him? Or if Donna hadn’t told him that two people can work together after a false start? How great was Sarah Rafferty in that scene? She’d spent all episode playing with Louis — love that those two know exactly how to bribe one another — and then suddenly, there she was, explaining “The feelings just go away… eventually” with just the right amount of tears in her eyes. To me, her expression wasn’t saying she wanted to be with Harvey now. It said she was remembering the moment he’d aborted them starting something and how she’d felt then. I loved Mike’s reaction, too. This is a guy who made a “got wind” joke this hour — he could have acted childishly shocked and been like, “You and Harvey?!” and made her say it. But he didn’t because these are adult feelings and decisions they’re dealing with, and he respected the weight of what she was sharing.
I was actually on set in New York the day they filmed the scene when Mike tells Rachel they can’t keep seeing each other because he doesn’t want to end up like the last first-year associate she dated. (When she broke up with him, his work tanked and he was fired. Did Donna give Mike that ammo?) I remember thinking how funny — yet realistic — it was that a coffee vendor would be witness to this major moment in their personal lives. Had I seen the scene when Mike asked her out on the date, and known how fun it’d be to watch Mike and Rachel drift back and forth between flirty banter and sexy straight talk, I may have thrown myself in front of the camera. “Rachel, Mike is trying to do the right thing here. He wants to tell you he’s not a real lawyer, but Harvey told him you’ll use that info. against him when he inevitably ruins this relationship. And the thing is, it’s not just his career that would be destroyed. It’d also be Harvey’s and Jessica’s. Can you please just agree to never do that, no matter how much he pisses you off, because you’ll remember and appreciate that he was honest with you in this moment? Yes? Great…. God, it’s so humid today. My hair looks awful, right?”
I think we all anticipated that Louis would side with Hardman, so the way I see it, there are only five real questions to debate after this episode:
1. Did Mike handle the Rachel situation correctly? On the one hand, he’s still lying to her. Whether she’s his friend or his lover when she finds out the truth, she’ll feel betrayed. (Though I guess she may appreciate him not dragging her into the lie.) On the other hand, it was too soon to get them together. This way, the sexual tension has not only been reset, it’s been increased. Now he’s always going to notice how her clothes this season are showing off her curves, and she’s always going to know how he could turn her on with the words he won’t allow himself to say.
2. How did Rachel jump to the conclusion that Mike thinks she’s not good enough for him? I don’t follow. She doesn’t really think he won’t date her because she’s only a paralegal, right? Perhaps she meant it more like he doesn’t think she’s worth the risk. But again, that wouldn’t be because he doesn’t think she’s good enough for him, it would be because he’s just not that into her (probably her penchant for listening to audio books instead of music). Update: Suits creator Aaron Korsh explains that to him, “I’m not good enough for you” is what twentysomethings with low self-esteem immediately jump to when rejected. Okay, that makes sense. If it was on her mind — and I guess she had just brought up the LSAT to Mike — I can see her making that leap in the moment.
3. How do we feel about Jessica now? I was excited to see how she’d use Harvey and Mike in the war against Hardman, but if she’s going to sell out clients’ dreams for votes, I’m not going to like it. You can argue she didn’t look at it that way — her bankruptcy experts told her calling it quits was the client’s best move — but it still bothered me. If Harvey had lied to the client and told him he hadn’t worked out a deal with the bank, I would have been crushed. I choose to believe Harvey insisted upon telling him the truth not because of his ego and need to always be right, but because it was right (and okay, Harvey likes to make miracles happen).
4. Is there any chance that Donna is the one who put the brakes on a relationship? I only suggest it as an option because it seems so clear that it was the other way around, maybe they’ll want to surprise us. But it really does make the most sense that Harvey, who presumably doesn’t believe in longterm romantic relationships because his mother cheated on his father, would have valued Donna’s friendship and loyalty so much he didn’t want to risk losing it.
5. Where was Harvey going at midnight in a tux, and who was that woman? I have no clue, but it felt like a bit out of a Cary Grant film, so I approve.
Bonus question: Did the guitar-based music during both kisses make anyone else think of Friday Night Lights?
P.S. Wait, what was Rachel arrested for? If Mike guessed everything up to prostitution and murder, I assume it’s not shoplifting or streaking in her youth. It’s another can opener.