The first half of Suits‘ fifth season was very Harvey-centric. With its winter premiere, Suits ties up a couple dangling threads in order to pivot to the focus of the back six episodes: fighting Mike’s arrest. “Blowback” wastes no time in setting up that it’ll be all hands on deck to help Mike and Harvey fight this case, which, as Patrick J. Adams previewed, will push everyone to the limit.
“Blowback” opens with Mike waiting in an interrogation room after he’s been processed. When ADA Anita Gibbs (24‘s Leslie Hope) enters, she makes it clear she’s not messing around and will make sure he goes to prison for fraud. Playing it cool, Mike says he’ll confess, but he’ll only do it on videotape — except, he lied. He wanted a camera so that he could go on record that he has asked to speak to his lawyer several times but Anita hasn’t complied.
Anita has one surprise for Michael: His lawyer has arrived, but it isn’t Harvey Specter. It’s Robert Zane, who came down there because Rachel asked him to help when she thought Jessica wouldn’t let Harvey represent Mike. At this point, we start to see that Mike has very little idea how to fight this, even though he maintained his innocence to Anita. Robert says he has to turn on Harvey, but Mike refuses. Frustrated, Robert storms out of there, allowing Harvey to go in and represent Mike.
Harvey is determined to fight this, but when he gets in there to see Mike, he finds out that Mike isn’t. “I don’t care about winning this — I did this,” Mike says. But, Harvey reminds him that they’ve done a lot to make him look legitimate and that they don’t need to prove he’s a lawyer. The prosecution needs to prove he isn’t. Until his bail hearing, however, Mike has to stay in jail.
The news of Mike’s arrest starts to spread quickly. Jack sees it as an opportunity to threaten Jessica once more. Louis tries to keep Donna away from Harvey and Mike because he can’t bear for her to be put on the prosecution’s suspect list, but she ignores him. When Harvey calls in sick, Donna doesn’t buy that for a second and goes to visit him. Remember, in the summer finale, Harvey resigned to stop Charles Forstman from going after the firm; however, Anita Gibbs can’t find that out because resigning the night Mike was arrested makes him look guilty. So, he’s working from home.
WANT MORE? Keep up with all the latest from last night’s television by subscribing to our newsletter. Head here for more details.
Harvey manages to make a deal with Anita Gibbs. In return for the copy of Mike’s resignation letter, Anita agrees to waive his bail. During the bail hearing, Anita betrays the deal and submits a motion to have Harvey removed as Mike’s lawyer because she believes they forged the letter and that Harvey is a co-conspirator (which he is). However, Mike’s photographic memory comes to the rescue: He tells the judge that there is videotaped evidence that Anita violated his rights, which he can prove via the memorized camera serial number. So, the judge gives Anita a choice: Either she drops her motion, or the judge will subpoena the video tape. Anita backs down, but Harvey — and the audience — learns that she’s willing to do almost anything to win.
NEXT: Mike and Rachel’s relationship receives its first test
Fearing another attack from Jack, Jessica orders Louis to find a way to stop Jack from being able to call another partners’ vote to dethrone her. Louis suggests she name him managing partner so she’ll have someone she can trust in power for the time being. Why Louis thought Jessica would even consider this is beyond me. But, yeah, she is pissed off and accuses Louis of being out for himself. To be fair, she does have reason to suspect Louis’ loyalty because, well, it’s Louis. She’s also on edge because she just received a threatening visit from Robert Zane.
In one of the best scenes of the night, he in so many words, tells Jessica that he’s disappointed in her. When Rachel said she was going to work for Jessica, he was okay with that because Jessica was “a brilliant black woman” who could mentor his “baby girl” and “teach her what the world does to people like us and how to get down in the mud and to keep her dignity.” Before Robert leaves, he warns Jessica that enemies she didn’t even know she had will start coming after her to take her down and he won’t do anything to help her.
Jessica’s questioning of Louis’ loyalty leads to him firing Donna. He realizes that Harvey needs her more than he does. Everyone is impressed by this move, including Jessica, who pays Louis a visit during a mudding session to apologize.
Meanwhile, Mike and Harvey start putting together a list of people who could’ve turned him in because they need to find out what the prosecution has on him. Harvey goes to see Scottie (Abigail Spencer), which goes as well as you’d expect (not well). By the end of their tense chat, Scottie is established as a wildcard because she doesn’t say what she’ll do when the prosecution eventually questions her. Mike meets with Trevor, who reluctantly agrees to ask for his lawyer when the prosecution questions him.
Needing to blow off steam, Harvey goes to the boxing gym. Unfortunately, his sweaty zen is interrupted by Anita, who shows up and asks if he still works at Pearson Specter Litt. If he doesn’t, then she can use that as evidence that he is a co-conspirator because he resigned the night Mike was arrested. If there’s one thing about the episode, it reveals how convoluted and stupid the whole Charles Forstman thing is. Like, the only thing stopping Harvey from explaining his resignation is that no one would believe him because it’s ridiculous. But, I digress. Anita offers Harvey a deal: If he flips on Jessica, she’ll drop the charges and won’t go after him ether.
Meanwhile, Rachel’s been consumed with worry since Mike was arrested, and her father’s repeated attempts to get her to leave Mike alone aren’t helping things. Throughout this entire process, she has remained loyal to Mike. But after a federal marshal plants a seed of doubt in Mike’s head, he starts to wonder how long she will stick around. This comes to the surface when Rachel tells him that her father received an offer to drop the charges if Mike flips on Harvey. Their argument, however, is interrupted by Harvey, who informs them of his meeting with Anita. Mike says he’ll handle their Forstman/Hardman/Jack problem. The next day he goes to see Daniel Hardman and Jack. He threatens them that if they tell Forstman that Harvey’s returning to work, he’ll tell the prosecution they were in on his secret.
The other dangling thread from the first half of the season that gets resolved: Donna and Harvey. Donna tells Harvey that she’s coming back to him.