Since the second or third season, Suits stopped being about the cases and started concerning itself with office politics. Which was a good thing because he case-of-the-week schtick on lawyer shows can quickly grow old. After last week’s Harvey-centric episode, Suits returned tonight with an episode that introduced what is ostensibly one of this season’s main office power struggle—Harvey vs. an ambitious senior partner—and brought Mike back into the spotlight after being on the fringe of the premiere.
Tonight’s episode opens in a New York restaurant, that’s clearly fancy because there’s jazz music playing, where Robert and Rachel Zane are having dinner together. Once Robert has finished complaining about there not being any chicken nuggets at this restaurant—classic Robert Zane—he gets right down to business and presents Rachel with a pre-nup for Mike. Naturally, Rachel objects, but agrees to look it over. Meanwhile, Mike is at a bar with his boys—Jimmy and Harold, the latter who is crushing on Rachel so hard that he checks Rachel’s FB 10 times a day—about his engagement. The news shakes Harold so much that he just needs a Mai-Tai.
The next day at work, we meet Jack Soloff, the senior partner who has it out for Harvey (played by the BIG BAD from Alphas, John Pyper-Ferguson). (Sidebar: Still not over Alphas‘ cancelation.) Louis finds Jack waiting for him outside of his office with a proposal to change the firm’s compensation formula. The specifics aren’t really important; all that matters is that Jack’s proposal would screw over Harvey. Louis catches on really quickly and tells Jack to bring it up at the partner meeting tomorrow. Little does Jack know, Louis plans on shutting him down to show Harvey, who he knows is jealous, that he has his back. Donna warns him this is a mistake, but Louis doesn’t listen.
Speaking of Harvey, he has a big day ahead of him. Not only is he interviewing new applicants, but he also has to deal with a client and friend who wants to sell his lucrative sneaker company to Adidas for less than it’s worth. First, the secretaries. Most of the applicants are young, pretty and likely very qualified, and that’s what worries Harvey because he doesn’t want another Donna-situation. So, he hires Gretchen Bodinski (Aloma Wright), an older black woman who we know right off the bat won’t tolerate Harvey’s b.s. and is exactly what he’ll end up needing. Also, she knows exactly why Harvey hired her and is fine with it.
Jimmy from the night before stops by Pearson Specter Litt to give Mike an engagement present. And by present, he means a case involving an insurance company screwing over poor clients that he knows Mike’s do-gooder heart won’t be able to resist. He’s right and Mike accepts it knowing full well that Jessica will not allow him to take the case. Can we talk about how if this were Game of Thrones, Mike would be killed off by now because he’s too nice and compassionate? Anyway, the specifics of this aren’t important either because it ultimately turns into a plot device that will be used later in the episode.
Time for the partner meeting! And, it goes about as well as you thought it would… meaning terribly. Jack brings up his proposal, Harvey, who was getting ready to leave because he was so over the Louis-led meeting, objects. Eventually, Louis puts Jack in his place, but Harvey says he doesn’t need Louis on his side and leaves because he’s got “shit to do.” Skipping over Mike’s meeting with one of the plaintiffs, we then arrive in the bathroom, where Louis and Harvey break into an argument, which leads to Harvey, out of jealousy, revealing to Louis that he’s been personally paying Donna’s salary since they’ve been at the firm.
Because “you can’t put a price tag on a woman like that,” Louis confidently agrees to start paying Donna’s salary… until Jessica tells him how much she’s being paid, which elicits a “Holy Goddamn shit!” from Louis. Jessica gives him three options: pay the salary (Louis says no because he’s cheap), tell Donna he can’t pay her what she was making before (he says no because he’s scared), or to send Donna back to Harvey (again, no). Unfortunately, Louis digs himself into a bigger hole when Donna misinterprets his attempts at discussing her salary as his way of offering her a 2 percent raise, and, because he’s Louis, he’s too scared to clear things up.
(Sidebar: After last week’s Hannibal, seeing Gina Torres as Jessica “The Definition of Fierce” Pearson was necessary for my emotional health.)
Mike finds the pre-nup, and after a calm chat with Rachel about it, decides to meet with Robert to show him the kind of man he is: the kind that wouldn’t come after
Robert’s Rachel’s money. Mike uses his case to do just that. And, Robert respects that and the fact that Mike, like him, started from the bottom. However, he’s still worried that Mike, having worked with and learned Harvey and Jessica, will one day create an enemy who will come after Mike for everything. Basically, Robert’s just looking out for his lil’ girl and that moves Mike to sign the document.
NEXT: Mike moonlights as a chicken nugget deliveryman