Mike delivers his closing argument, and now it's time to wait for the jury's verdict

By Chancellor Agard
February 25, 2016 at 01:23 AM EST
Credit: Shane Mahood/USA Network
S5 E15
  • TV Show
  • USA Network

Time is running out for Mike Ross. As Mike’s trial speeds along, it’s time for him and Harvey to pull out all the stops. In these final moments before the clock runs out and the jury returns with a verdict, all of our favorite characters basically act as you would expect — sometimes, to their detriment.

After convincing the judge to let Mike represent himself, which involves agreeing to not move for a mistrial because of it, Mike calls Clifford Danner’s mother to stand. It’s okay if you don’t remember who Clifford Danner is because I didn’t either. In the first season, Clifford was serving time for a murder he didn’t commit because of buried evidence; however, Mike and Harvey came through and helped free him. Unfortunately, he was shot and killed a few weeks ago, and that’s why his mother is testifying in his stead. She tells the court she wishes Mike had been her son’s lawyer from day one and wouldn’t have cared if he was a fraud because Mike was “the only lawyer I ran into who gave a damn about my son.”

With that tear-filled testimony, Mike rests, and now it’s time for him to start working on his closing arguments. This is where I got confused about the timing of this trial. It’s not clear in the episode’s opening scene — which picks up with Mike and Harvey discussing implementing their plan for Mike to represent himself — if it’s picking up where last week’s episode left off or if time has passed. If the former, then this trial definitely feels kind of rushed.

At this point, Jessica has accepted that Mike is defending himself. If only the same could be said of Louis, who is freaking out about it and believes it’s a sign that Harvey doesn’t think he can win, and if Harvey thinks they’ll lose, then they will lose. “It’s him growing up and realizing he is not the one to bring this home,” Jessica argues. While Louis doesn’t buy that, it seems to be confirmed in the next scene when Harvey tells Donna that Mike doesn’t need his help with his closing because it’s his story and he’s got it handled.

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When it comes time to present his closer, Mike decides to go off script in order to deliver what he believes/hopes is a more sincere argument. “The truth is I am guilty of being a fraud,” he says, explaining he wanted to be a lawyer to help people. “But instead, all I’ve done as a lawyer is work night and day to put money into the hands of rich people.” Which is an internal conflict that’s been raging inside of Mike for most of the series, especially in recent seasons.

As Gibbs delivers her closing statement, Mike starts zoning out, and her voice fades into the background as he imagines the jury saying guilty. Part of him clearly believes he doesn’t deserve to be found guilty. Once she’s done talking and the jury heads off to deliberate, he melodramatically decides that he’s not going to leave the courtroom until they return with a verdict.

Jessica isn’t comfortable leaving her firm’s fate up to a jury, so she orders Harvey to go and get a mistrial by any means necessary. First, Harvey asks Donna if her friend in the U.S. Attorney’s Office would give him the jury names, but she refuses because she doesn’t want anyone breaking the law for this. So Harvey decides to blackmail David Green into buying one of the jurors a coffee. “This is atonement,” Harvey tells David. “This is the day you face the music.” (The hypocrisy!) Thankfully, David doesn’t fall for that nonsense and doesn’t come through.

NEXT: Louis pulls some “shady s—” again

While Mike’s awaiting the verdict in the empty courtroom, he overhears a prosecutor trying to railroad a defendant. So, Mike steps in to defend the man whose own lawyer didn’t show up for his petty theft trial. Even while his life is on the line, Mike can’t not help someone out in need. It’s an admirable characteristic, but it’s also frustrating for Rachel, who rightfully gets angry when she finds out what he’s doing. Instead of spending time with her in what might he last few hours of freedom, he’s doing this.

Scared for his life and dreading prison, Louis visits Gibbs to make a deal, but she says she can’t help him without any hard proof that Harvey did something. So, Louis decides to go get that proof. He confronts Harvey in the lobby of the firm’s building and secretly records Harvey admitting that he hired a fraud. Classic Louis move. Thankfully, Louis ends up deleting the audio when Jessica refuses to consider turning on Harvey.

Later that night, Gibbs shows up at Mike’s apartment with two deals: Deal No. 1: If he pleads guilty and does two years, she won’t go after his friends; and Deal No. 2, he pleads guilty, gets no jail time, but has to give her some kind of evidence to prosecute his friends. Rachel overhears the offers, and the look on her face clearly says she wants Mike to take the second option. However, her real problem is that she thinks Mike doesn’t have enough faith in himself that he could win on the strength of his performance in court, even though she does.

At this point, Harvey is kind of freaking out because he hasn’t been able to get a mistrial and doesn’t know what to do, so he finds himself back at Donna’s apartment late at night, contemplating falling on his sword for Mike. Thankfully, Donna talks him down and tells him that he needs to believe that he and Mike are worthy of being found innocent. What’s interesting, but not particularly effective, is how Mike and Harvey are working through the same feelings as the viewers. At this point in Suits‘ run and after having seen everything they’ve done to keep this secret, it’s hard to not at least think, yeah, Harvey and Mike should face some kind of consequence for doing what they’ve done. At the same time, though, they are the protagonists, and there’s that implicit desire to see them win. It’ll be interesting to see how the writers untangle this web in next week’s finale.

As you might’ve expected, the case Mike is working on turns into a very obvious allegory. The prosecutor offers his client a deal: No jail if he turns on his accomplices. Despite Mike pleading with him to not betray his friends, his client agrees to the deal because, as he puts it, his friends are going to jail either way.

Harvey shows up at the courthouse to sit with Mike and because the jury has finally returned with a verdict, but, Mike isn’t anywhere to be found. Harvey knows where he is and takes off running to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, where Mike is in Gibbs’ office and says he’s ready to take the deal. That’s where the episode ends.

As I mentioned before, everyone has acted pretty much as you would expect them to, especially Harvey and Mike, up to this point in the season. These two can be self-destructively independent at times and the reason the episode ends where it does is because both men spent the entire episode not communicating. For a case that depends on everyone coming together, there is very little teamwork in this instance, which is probably when they need it the most. We’ll see how things wrap up next week.

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