Harvey rushes to save Mike from going to prison, and Robert Zane goes after Jessica's firm

By Chancellor Agard
March 03, 2016 at 02:51 AM EST
Shane Mahood/USA Network
S5 E16
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  • TV Show
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Harvey sprints up the stairs of the U.S. Attorney’s office, rushing to Anita Gibbs’ office. But he’s too late because Mike has already made a deal to save Harvey, Jessica, and the rest of the firm. In return for Anita Gibbs agreeing to not go after his friends, Mike will plead guilty and serve two years in prison. He has 72 hours before he has to report to prison.

The first half of the season ended with Harvey jumping on the grenade for his firm. This half ends with Mike taking the bullet — a plea deal — to save his friends. It’s an interesting bit of parallelism that ties the season together along one theme: the things we do for family. As the episode title (an allusion to Spike Lee’s 25th Hour) suggests, this entire episode is about what Mike and Harvey do before Mike heads to prison.

Naturally, Harvey isn’t going to take Mike’s decision lying down. So, he returns to the office furious and demands that Donna get him the jury foreman’s information. She thinks Harvey is going to do something illegal to reverse the deal, but that’s not the case. Harvey just wants to find out what the verdict would’ve been. The foreman tells him the verdict was not guilty. No, they knew he definitely wasn’t a lawyer, but they didn’t think Anita Gibbs proved her case.

Later, Mike comes to Harvey and asks if he thinks he made the right decision. In a moment of benevolence, Harvey tells Mike yes because the jury actually found him guilty. This soothes Mike’s anxiety and allows him to return home to Rachel, who was rightfully upset about the deal and told him she needed to take one of his last three days to herself. Finding out that he was found guilty eases the tension between them and leads one of the cheesiest lines ever.

“I don’t want us to just be good. I want us to be one,” Rachel says, as she mounts Mike on the couch. That line may be the most cringeworthy thing I’ve heard this week. They also decide to get married before he goes to prison.

While Mike and Rachel are “becoming one,” Harvey is back at the office trying to find a way to invalidate Mike’s deal.  Donna reminds him that the key to beating this isn’t finding some clever legal procedure maneuver, but to offer Gibbs something she would want more than this: Liberty Rail and the deaths they caused. So, Harvey goes to see Liberty Rails’ lawyer Evan Smith (Tricia Helfer) and offers her a deal: Pearson Specter Litt’s top five clients in exchange for evidence that implicates Liberty Rail. That’s not enough for her to break attorney-client privilege, so Evan asks that she be allowed to poach anyone from the firm: lawyers, paralegals, clients.

In light of Mike’s plea deal, Robert Zane declares open season on Pearson Specter Litt and decides to go after Jessica’s lawyers. Katrina, using a bit of underhanded trickery she learned from Louis, figures out she can void all of the firm’s non-competes by using the morality clause, which allows any lawyer to leave if a named partner is found to have committed a crime. Unfortunately, Katrina recorded Louis admitting he used Mike’s secret to get his name on the door, and Jack decides to be the first person to resign from Pearson Specter Litt and jump to Robert’s firm.

When Jessica confronts him about going after her lawyers, he explains he’s angry because she didn’t tell him about Mike’s secret when Mike and Rachel started dating. Robert and Laura make the point that Jessica should’ve trusted Robert wouldn’t have come after her firm because of their daughter. All of this gets back to Jessica’s trust issues and not being able to see beyond her firm and power. My favorite part about Robert and Jessica’s scenes together is that they hint at a deep history, and I wish the show would dive into that more. Jessica returns to Robert’s office later — after Louis handles the Katrina situation by threatening to reveal she forged a government document if she uses the recording — and urges him to attend Mike and Rachel’s wedding because he’ll regret it if he doesn’t.

NEXT: Mike and Rachel’s big day 

Harvey takes Evan Smith’s offer to Jessica, and she reluctantly agrees to waive the non-competes after Louis tells her it’s the right thing to do because they’re family and have to do everything they can to save Mike. So, Harvey approaches Anita Gibbs with the deal — evidence to prosecute Liberty Rail for murder in exchange for dropping charges against Mike — but she turns him down because she doesn’t want Harvey to think that it’s okay to sit on damning evidence like this in case of a rainy day instead of doing the right thing and turning these murderers in.

Back at the office, the show finally slows down the plot for a nice beat between Louis and Jessica as they watch the first-year associates toil away on the lower floor. Jessica likes to come down there and watch them because it doesn’t just remind her of where she started but of how much she has accomplished. Throughout this entire process, Jessica’s fears about Mike’s trial — how it will bring down everything she has built — have felt the most real.

When Harvey returns home, he finds Mike waiting for him in his living room. (ASIDE: Harvey needs to find out how people are getting into his apartment and put a stop to it. END ASIDE). Mike asks Harvey to be his best man, but Harvey isn’t in the mood to talk and tells him the truth about the verdict. Their conversation turns into a fight as Harvey goads Mike into hitting him to prove he actually blames Harvey for this entire situation, and in an emotionally charged exchange, it comes out that he does.

“I’m going to lose everything because of you,” says Mike as he wails on Harvey. Nevertheless, Mike refuses to let Harvey take his place. Then, he returns home to Rachel and tells her truth, vindicating her belief that Mike just needed to have faith in himself and his abilities.

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The next day the wedding arrives, and Rachel’s parents decide to show up even though they don’t support the marriage because they’re worried it will ruin Rachel’s chance of joining the bar. When Mike sees them, he starts to feel guilty and decides to call off the wedding until he’s out of prison. He doesn’t want his choices to hold her back.

Harvey is waiting for Mike outside of the church with a car, and they head off to prison. Before Mike turns himself in, they share a moment where they realize that they’re both to blame for what’s about to happen and would probably do the same thing over again. It’s quite possibly the best scene of the episode because it brings the episode back to what works about this show: Mike and Harvey’s friendship. Suits became such a fun show because of their relationship, but in the past, this season has felt like that’s been missing because the show has been so focused on Harvey and Donna or Mike and Rachel. The finale would’ve hit much harder if the episode had spent a bit more time in scenes like this where we realize why Mike is doing what he’s doing, why Harvey means so much to him. Put another way, I wish this episode had been more reflective in quality instead of consumed with plot shenanigans to save Mike. 

This ending sets Suits up for an already-ordered sixth season that could possibly break the show out of its rut. Hopefully, there will be a time jump, allowing the show to shake out of its status quo and try some new things. The world will definitely be different in the next season since all of the firm’s lawyers have left, which Jessica, Louis, and Donna find out when they return to an empty office.

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seasons
  • 8
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  • 06/23/11
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