Harvey and Rachel fight for Mike's dream while Donna and Benjamin pursue their dream for The Donna
If there’s one thing that hasn’t made total sense in the latest batch of episodes, it’s been Donna’s story line with Ben. In case you missed it, awkward IT guy Ben made a personal assistant based on Donna’s personality and called it The Donna. For most of the season, this story has served as comedic relief, but that changed tonight when the show surprised me by finding a way to thematically link it to what’s going on with Mike — and even, to some extent, Louis.
The thematic link between the plot threads in “Quid Pro Quo,” season 6’s penultimate episode, is dreams: How far are you willing to go achieve them? When is the risk not worth it to make your dream a reality? What would if you do if doing the right thing could shatter them? The episode raises all of these questions as we watch Harvey and Rachel fight for Mike’s dream while Donna and Benjamin go after their new dream for The Donna.
Let’s start with Harvey and Mike because, well, they’re our leads.
Following his meeting with Craig at the end of last week’s episode, Harvey shows up at Mike’s apartment to tell him that they don’t need to pursue the case because of the dirt he has on Harvey. In fact, they can’t pursue it because of what Palmer has on them. However, Mike refuses to drop it because he can’t stomach letting those miners down. Harvey tries to reason with him, suggesting they blackmail the woman who stole Craig’s information in the first place to get some leverage on Palmer, but Mike doesn’t want to take the risk. He decides he’d rather cancel his bar hearing and help the miners.
We know Harvey, and we know that he’s not going to drop this. After apologizing to Louis for failing him last week, Harvey asks Louis for help in finding which Velocity employee Craig had the affair with. This requires Louis to do something he’d rather no to do: reach out to some contact named Jerry. Who is Jerry? Why is Louis reluctant to reach out to him? What is Jerry’s actual job title? None of those of questions are answered. However, we do know Jerry is in the know because he knows whom they’re looking for without even having to hack into the company. They pay up, and Harvey decides to recruit Rachel for the next stage of the plan.
After Mike cancels his bar interview, he pays Palmer a visit to tell him, so he’ll know this case isn’t over yet. Mike expects Palmer’s $100 million settlement offer to still be on the table, but alas, it isn’t. In fact, the offer is now $10 million (split between 150 people, mind you) because Palmer knows Mike doesn’t have the manpower to fight all 150 cases. Palmer put pressure on PSL to drop the suit by convincing their 10 clients to threaten to leave them. Is this the first time Mike has been rendered speechless? Definitely maybe.
That night, Harvey and Rachel confront Ms. Cromwell, the corporate headhunter who mainly looks for clients who can be manipulated into selling their employers’ products. She did that to Craig, and she’s done it to many other men. Rachel and Harvey threaten to out her shady business and send her to prison unless she complies with their wishes.
At first, Mike is pissed that Harvey and Rachel went behind his back to do something illegal, and he tells them to drop it. In a particularly powerful scene, Mike curses at Rachel, and she tells him not to talk to her like that before she explains why she did it: She doesn’t want to spend the rest of her life with a man who gave up on his dreams. This convinces Mike not to give up. So, here’s to the ones who dream, indeed.
NEXT: Louis has to make a tough decision regarding his relationship with Tara
Like any good dreamer, Mike is causing quite a mess with his foolish dream — especially for Louis, who is wracked with guilt because he has to lie to Tara about what he’s doing. Ever since they started opening up to each other, Tara has been pushing to hear about Louis’ day, but Louis hasn’t been able to tell her what he’s up to; telling her he was trying to get Mike into the bar would mean revealing that he knew Mike was a fraud and used it to get his name on the door. Louis turns to Rachel for advice on the situation, and she suggests that Louis come clean to Tara before she finds out from someone else and hope that she accepts it.
Mike and Harvey confront Palmer and threaten to expose the fact that he’s been using Ms. Cromwell to engage in corporate espionage. Not wanting to go to jail, Palmer agrees to increase his settlement offer from $10 million to $200 million. Furthermore, Harvey and Mike make him promise to honor his original deal with Craig. With that handled, Mike pays Craig a visit and tells him he’s going to reschedule his bar hearing because they just got him what he wanted, and Craig is going to make sure Mike passes. It’s clear Mike is pretty confident in this arrangement because he doesn’t even bother wearing a hoodie when he shows up at Craig’s front door.
While all of this is going on, Donna and Benjamin start looking for investors for The Donna. First, Donna decides to ask Stu, but she’s disappointed by his offer; he’s demanding 90 percent ownership of the project since he’ll be investing his own money. So, Donna and Benjamin meet with another investing duo. They think the meeting went well, but when Donna goes back to eavesdrop on the duo’s conversation, she hears them saying that they only took the meeting because of Harvey, and they aren’t even thinking about going into business with a career legal secretary. Donna’s ears were definitely burning.
And, this is where this story arc takes more character-focused turn. Now, it’s no longer just about milking some laughs out of The Donna giving advice to people or being entertained by Donna and Benjamin’s Odd Couple friendship. This is about what The Donna represents to Donna: her chance to become more than just Harvey’s secretary. At first, she’s a little discouraged by the douchey investors’ words and wants to give up, but Benjamin won’t let her give up on their dream. One pep talk later, Donna has decided to accept the terms of Stu’s deal.
The episode ends in a pretty great place for everyone, except for Louis. That night, he goes home to Tara and decides to come clean about how he got his name on the door. Tara reacts the way Louis feared, and she starts questioning whether or not she actually knows what kind of man he is. “Maybe you should hide some things from me,” she says, hurting Louis’ feelings. The acting in this scene is incredible, especially from Rick Hoffman, who is downright heartbreaking as Louis is forced to watch Tara, his dream wife, walk out the door.
The season 6 finale airs next week, and I’m curious to see how everything shakes out. Can Louis and Tara survive their latest hurdle? Is Harvey right when he warns Mike that there’s probably going to be a hitch in the hearing? How will Nathan and Oliver react if Mike actually becomes a lawyer? And what will happen with The Donna?