SUITS Recap: Gift Horse, Meet Mike Ross. He Wants To Look In Your Mouth.


The seventh episode of SUITS season six brought each of Pearson Specter Litt’s lawyers (and one lawyer-in-training) within reach of their goals, only to dash all hope by the time everything was all said and done. Rachel Zane and Jessica Pearson relied on favors to find a key witness in proving Leonard Bailey’s innocence, but what they found was a dead end. Continuing to work with Sean Cahill, Harvey Specter was certain he’d done enough to secure Mike Ross’ freedom, only to learn that he hadn’t. And with his head in the clouds, Louis Litt thought he’d finally met his one true love, right up until Tara came clean about the current state of her affairs. Check out our SUITS recap to see how it all went down.

Still the best part of SUITS season 6. “Shake The Trees” opened with the Rachel Zane facing the incredibly difficult task of telling her Innocence Project client, Leonard Bailey, that his execution date had been set. Because this is season 6 and not anything from the past couple of years, Rachel handled herself very well, even in spite of her struggle with emotions. Just as Leonard’s pain and anger seemed like it might become too much for SUITS’ favorite law student to handle, Jessica Pearson stepped in and brought the conversation back to actual case strategy by vowing to track down missing witness Maria Gomez.

The rest of the episode was spent with Jessica guiding Rachel in all the best possible ways, as the two women worked to do exactly what Jessica had promised. First, they needed to get Leonard’s execution delayed. Mission easily accomplished, thanks to Jessica’s appeal to the judge’s better nature. Next — and this was the trickier part — Jessica and Rachel needed to actually make good on their vow to find Maria. So, as any good mentor would do, Jessica gave Rachel the right tools to get the job done.

Rachel received just enough information from Jessica’s “guy” to know that Maria had changed her name, but there was no way to receive any information beyond that because her records were sealed. Well, there was no way receive any additional information without Rachel’s own “guy,” who happened to be her father. Robert Zane had connections to someone in the DA’s office, which meant he’d be able to pull some strings; but Rachel didn’t want him to see her as “a little girl who’s always asking for something.”

To be honest, that’s what the old Rachel would have looked like in this situation: a little girl going to whine to her daddy. After receiving Jedi Master Jessica’s advice on showing that she wasn’t afraid to ask for a favor, though, Rachel visited Robert Zane as a grown woman (and lawyer) who wasn’t afraid to ask for a favor and promised she’d owe him one in return. When Daddy Zane tried to say his own daughter didn’t have to feel indebted to him, Rachel reminded him that she wasn’t coming to him as his daughter.

And then there may have been tears shed over our little Rachel growing up under Queen Jessica’s tutelage. Most dramas fail at female relationships. They’re always just about two women cat fighting over men, status, or something even more petty. But SUITS isn’t most shows. This new dynamic between Rachel and Jessica continues to be a gift from the television gods.

We already knew Jessica Pearson was a wonderful mentor — otherwise, Harvey Specter would never have become anywhere near the success that he is today — but getting to watch that side of Jessica in action, all while she’s now mentoring a young woman, is something I never knew was missing in my life until it filled all of the girl power holes.

Unfortunately, this episode wasn’t all good news for Rachel’s progress and Jessica’s role in it. After seeing them in court, Rachel was confronted by the father of Leonard’s victim. Of course, she handled herself very well (and even had help from a very not-to-be-messed-with Gretchen!), but the moment was still a very upsetting reminder of what was at stake in the case. If Rachel and Jessica are successful, this other family’s sense of closure will be stolen.

While on their way to a dive bar (please tell me they were going to pick up Donna on the way) to relax after the confrontation, Rachel and Jessica were approached by Robert Zane. He’d managed to find Maria Gomez (great!); but she had been dead for three years (…oy). Somehow, I don’t think that’s the kind of news that anyone wants to trade a future favor for. I guess it’s back to the drawing board for the ladies.

Speaking of bad news. Last week’s episode of SUITS ended with Cahill coming to Harvey and asking him for William Sutter’s trading program. Tonight, as the two enemies-turned-colluders went to court over Harvey’s motion to dismiss, it became obvious that Harvey had done exactly that. It wasn’t obvious based on anything that Harvey did — he was still, by all appearances, defending Sutter — but because of the fact that Cahill’s possession of the program became a key point in front of the judge.

With finding the person who “leaked” the program as an excuse, Harvey was able to intimidate a number of Sutter’s employees, even to the point where one of them went to Sean Cahill in search of a deal. Because Mike and Harvey had led Sean to his key witness, Mike would still be released from prison, as promised. Great news, right? Wrong.

Bleeding Heart Ross decided he needed Harvey to go back to Cahill and convince him to do something that would protect Kevin’s wife. When attempting to get the necessary information out of Kevin, Mike’s entire angle had been pleading with Kevin to turn himself in, but that meant Jill had to do the same. When Kevin refused and even admitted that he and his wife were going to use some of Sutter’s hush money for a vacation after his release, Mike called Kevin’s wife from prison and tricked her into coming to see him. That conversation didn’t go remotely well — probably because Jill’s clearly not a good person — and even caused a big fight between the two cellmates.

Gift horse, meet Mike Ross. He wants to look in your mouth.

Oddly enough, it wasn’t Mike’s less-than-enthusiastic response Harvey’s news that meant he’d potentially be serving out his full sentence after all. It was simply the justice system, which decided to take his deal off the table when this other person came forward. After hearing the bad news, Harvey went through the full range of Specter emotions — from rage and making orders, right on down to “Sean, please” — in his argument with Cahill; but nothing made any difference.

SUITS ended with things looking worse for Mike Ross than they have since the day he sacrificed himself in order to save the firm.

Do I even bother? Donna Paulsen finally told Louis Litt that she’s worth more than wasting her precious time on his stupid dating schemes. She then proved it (in case anyone could ever forget) when she Donna-ed the crap out of Stu the Jerky Tenant. After having zero recent chances to work her magic, the ever-resourceful secretary went above and beyond, to the point where Stu not only gave Louis the access he needed but also delivered a redesigned Litt Up mug. (I won’t be buying that one any time soon.)

…but then Donna went ahead and found Louis the perfect place to take Tara anyway. She only told Louis she had better things to do with her time because she was upset over her breakup with Mitchell. Mitchell, the boyfriend who’s never even made an appearance on SUITS and who most viewers probably only care about in the context of him being a roadblock for certain other relationships.

Sure, sure. A woman can’t stand up for herself in a completely bogus situation, which shouldn’t even exist in the first place, unless she’s being overly emotional about boy trouble, right?

Adding insult to injury, Donna gave Louis the location of the perfect place to go on a first date, just for him to find out that Tara was already in another relationship. Evidently, Louis’ perfect woman has a boyfriend who lives in Los Angeles for six months out of the year. There’s an “arrangement” for Tara to be able to see other people, but she’s never cared to do so until Louis, so he’s special or whatever. 

Maybe Louis and Tara are perfect for one another. There have certainly been enough lies and games to start this whole “relationship” off, anyway.

More thoughts:

  • Rachel, not Jessica, was the one to deliver the news to Leonard Bailey. I can’t stress the importance of that enough. As far as character growth goes, this woman has gone from infant to grown woman in the blink of an eye. There’s no way she would have been able to handle that kind of burden in the past — not even during her “strong” moments, which, by the end of SUITS’ fifth season, had become about as rare as unicorn sightings.
  • After being given just 30 days to potentially save an innocent man from being put to death, SUITS’ new dream team (move over, Harvey and Mike) is going to have to really step up their game. I can’t decide if I wish Rachel success or a chance for Jessica to teach her how to handle failure. For the sake of innocent inmates everywhere, I suppose it’s best to root for Pearson and Zane. It would be nice to be able to believe in justice, after all.
  • Rachel and Jessica were given thirty days to find Maria Gomez, while Harvey and Mike had five to find evidence against William Sutter. Ok. So, does that mean women need six times as much time to get things done, or…?
  • Harvey Specter is a good actor because Gabriel Macht is a great actor. Seriously, if I didn’t know the other side of the plot, I’d have exactly zero clues that Harvey was doing anything other than defending his client.
  • “Walk yourself out of here before I have security remove you.” Praise be to Gretchen.
  • I can think of only one good reason to spend time on discussing Donna dumping Mitchell.
  • “This is for Mike.” A short, sweet line that’s enough to crush souls — and even make Louis Litt stop worrying about his stupid romance long enough to help.
  • “Donna Paulsen’s office. How can I help you?” Please help me by helping yourself and finding better friends. If you’d asked me any time before SUITS season 6 if I’d say that Louis and Donna’s friendship was anything other than a highlight of this show, I would’ve laughed in your face for even considering it. After these recent shenanigans, though, it’s time to move on. The “I love you” bit was sweet enough, I suppose, if you ignored everything else that’s happened between these characters lately. I, however, cannot.
  • “And with the exception of my friendship, those are the two most important things in his entire life.” I believed that once. I don’t anymore.
  • “Because you called my line, not Harvey’s, and I know when my friend needs me.” Ok, but when are your friends going to be there for you?
  • “I’m Donna. And I’m awesome.” Yes. This. It was nice getting to see her do her thing again, if nothing else.
  • The final scene between Gabriel Macht and Neil McDonough was a killer. A Harvey Specter that fights until he’s eventually given up, needing a minute to turn away to steel himself, will never not result in pain.
  • Gallo’s figured out what Mike and Harvey are up to because Mike is sloppy and can’t come up with a better story than “working on my case,” when he has no case. That’s not alarming at all.

Make sure to tune in to the next episode of SUITS on Wednesday, August 31 at 9/8c on USA Network.



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  • John

    I like the Rachel and Jessica story line except for the fact that it has no basis in reality. NY hasn’t executed anyone since 1963 and really no longer has a death penalty.

    The Mike story line shows plot lines all over it. Mike got a great deal, two years for multiple fraud charges (and that doesn’t cover his former drug dealing). But the producers don’t want him in prison too long. How to make the audience sympathetic to Mike spending almost no time in prison? Why have a psychopath threat to kill him. Now Mike is in a minimum security prison where getting murdered is less likely than in his apartment. So finagle a psycho with a grudge and the ability to find henchmen and corrupt guards and stir briskly.

    I realize Sutter has committed insider trading, but to save Mike you have three lawyers (the name partners) and a US Attorney completely corrupting the legal process, just to get a criminal out of prison. I can’t cheer for that.