Suits finale recap: 'Character and Fitness'
Going into tonight’s finale, the fates of several characters hung in the balance: Would Mike pass the “character and fitness” portion of the bar? Can Louis and Tara’s relationship survive their latest obstacle? What the hell is going to happen to Donna and The Donna? “Character and Fitness” not only answers all of these questions (well, one of them ends on a bit of cliffhanger), but it also brings with it some pleasant and unpleasant surprises. Let’s dive in.
Remember how Harvey warned Mike that there would be a hitch in his character and fitness hearing? Well, it doesn’t take long for said complication to reveal itself: Walter Sampson, one of the panelists, took a leave of absence and gave up his seat to none other than Anita Gibbs. Anita drops that bomb on Harvey and Mike the day before his hearing and promises that Mike has no shot of becoming a lawyer — the vote needs to be unanimous, and he isn’t getting hers.
Harvey and Mike immediately suspect that Gibbs did something shady to get that seat on the panel, so while Harvey gets to work figuring out how to get her kicked off, Mike and Rachel hit the books to find any precedent for someone getting into the bar without a unanimous vote. While they aren’t able to find that, they do find precedent for a convicted felon being admitted to the bar, which comes in handy when Anita brings up Mike’s prison stay in the trial the next day. Anita uses the deal Mike struck to get out of prison early to call his character into question. Thankfully, Rachel is there to back him up with a 30-year-old rule that allows Mike to call a character witness.
Louis is still reeling from his fight with Tara, who is questioning whether or not she wants to be with him because of how he lashed out at her the night before, when she needed a moment to process the big bomb that he’d dropped. Louis needs a distraction. Luckily, Donna provides one: She’s having trouble patenting The Donna because it’s way too similar to a preexisting patent, and she needs Louis to make a deal with said patent owners. She makes him promise that he won’t ruin her business by losing his cool.
Louis heads to the meeting with the patent owners expecting them to reach some kind of deal, but that doesn’t happen. They only invited him there to threaten Donna and the rest with a $90 million lawsuit if they try to go forward with the patent. Surprising everyone, Louis actually manages to keep his cool in the situation despite how humiliated he must feel.
The firm’s other named partner has also encountered a roadblock on his quest to get Anita kicked off the panel. Neither Harvey nor Donna can find any dirt they can use on Walter Sampson to get Anita kicked off, and you can tell Harvey’s actually worried about losing this one because he’s even reluctant to pull a bluff on Water. Donna gives him a pep talk, but in the end, that doesn’t do much; Walter doesn’t fall for any kind of bluff when Harvey confronts him later on.
Mike decides to ask his old prison counselor Julius to be his character witness. At first, Julius says no — he doesn’t think Mike has changed, since he obviously did something sketchy to book this hearing. But Mike recaps the whole Sofia Price/Oliver fail thing for him to convince him of his good intentions, so Julius shows up at the hearing the next day and goes to bat for Mike. I’m honestly surprised at how well Julius stands up to Gibbs, who just seems determined to stop Mike from becoming a lawyer. My other favorite part of the hearing is how Craig basically spends his time doing his “Law & Order judge who allows everything” impression. Whenever Mike or anyone else tries to break protocol, Gibbs points it out, but Craig is just like, “No, I want to see where this goes.” He helps Mike by treating the hearing like a spectator sport.
NEXT: The waiting game
Riding high off of this latest triumph, Mike goes to see Harvey with the good news. Unfortunately, Harvey’s failure to find something to take down Gibbs kills Mike’s vibe — it means Mike won’t become a lawyer. Resigning to his fate, Mike follows through on his promise to Oliver and tells Nathan the truth about the case. Obviously, Nathan is pissed and wants to fire Mike, but Oliver actually stands up for Mike, who revealed earlier how Oliver’s failure in court pushed him to take the deal. Nathan backs down and says that Mike had better come into work the next day and find him another $50,000 case.
Harvey decides to throw a Hail Mary and offer Gibbs the Liberty Rail case (I don’t know her, but actually. Like, I don’t remember what this case is) without any strings attached. He hopes that will show her that he’s changed, which will make her believe it’s possible Mike has changed. Gibbs is all, LOL, and reveals what it’ll actually take for her vote in Mike’s favor: Mike has to admit that Harvey knew about him being a fraud, which would lead to Harvey’s disbarment. Harvey is totally down to do it, but Mike and Louis say no.
Donna meets with Stu, Benjamin, and Louis, and Louis shares some bad news: They can’t patent The Donna. Louis did get her a major buyout and a deal that will allow the firm to use The Donna, but that’s not enough for her, because this was never about the money. She decides to turn to Harvey for help, but he says there’s nothing he can do. “I don’t want the money. I want something more, and I’ve never said that out loud, but I can’t pretend that I don’t anymore,” she says before tearfully leaving his office. What does she mean by more? We’ll have to wait for season 7 to find out the answer to that one.
The next day, Mike goes before the panel one last time, and Anita asks him the exact question she said she would — but before Mike can answer, someone from the back of the room says that yes, she did know he was fraud while he was at Pearson Specter Litt. IT’S QUEEN JESSICA PEARSON, HERE TO SAVE THE DAY LIKE SHE NORMALLY DOES! Sure, Mike already had someone speak on his behalf, but Craig is like, “Go for it, Jessica.” So Jessica appeals to Gibbs’ compassionate side by reminding her of a time she showed someone else compassion. Realizing he couldn’t do better than that, Mike just says he’ll await the decision.
Everyone retires to Jessica’s office to wait for the phone call to come in. While there, Jessica reveals that she knows how Gibbs got on the panel. Harvey wants to use that information to get her kicked off, but Jessica says no because they’ve done the best they can. Eventually, Craig calls Harvey with the news: MIKE WILL BECOME A LAWYER. Not only that, but he agrees to return to the firm on a few conditions: (1) Harvey, who offered a “one case for you/ one case for me” deal, has to double his salary advance so he can fund the clinic for two years. (2) Mike must be allowed to bring the clinic on to any case he wants, and (3) Mike gets Harvey’s office, because it’s time for Harvey to accept Jessica’s office and assume he seat on the throne. Look, Mike becoming a lawyer is completely ridiculous, but I don’t care because it’s about damn time there was some good news on this show, and putting him and Harvey back together means there’s more humor on the way. Also, I totally didn’t think it was going to happen
But, alas, Aaron Korsh giveth and Aaron Korsh taketh away. (Read our chat with the executive producer here.) Mike may have gotten his dream, but Louis doesn’t — Tara decided to break up with him via voicemail, which shocked me! After listening to the voicemail, Louis breaks down into Rachel’s arms. If I had to declare an MVP of the season, it would be Rick Hoffman, who did some of his best work this year. Personally, I still wish they had allowed Louis to get some happiness, but alas, that’s not how Suits rolls.
So tonight’s episode gets an A- because why the hell not! Mike’s a lawyer and Jessica returned for an all-too-brief cameo!