SUITS is quickly moving toward its summer finale, but there’s still plenty of character development left to be revealed. In the series’ latest episode, Harvey and Mike made real progress in terms of solving the problem of getting Mike out of prison; but it was the progress that Mike made in terms of growth that was most remarkable. Similarly, as Jessica and Rachel’s attempt to save an innocent man was given new life following a major setback at the end of last week’s episode, the case gave Jessica the chance to take a good look at her own life.
Innocence Project? More like two-way female mentoring project. If for no other reason, SUITS season 6 has been a winner thanks to Jessica and Rachel’s team-up. In “Borrowed Time,” the two ladies had the unenviable task of telling Leonard Bailey that Maria Gomez, his one and only life-saving witness, was dead. So, even with all of their combined efforts to date, it was back to square one.
Death, however, didn’t stop Paulsen and Zane.
Jessica had the brilliant idea to gain them 30 more days by using Leonard’s right to a family member at his execution; and Rachel perfectly executed it. Aunt Harriet wasn’t willing to accept that her nephew might be innocent, saying she wasn’t going to be “suckered” like Rachel was; and she had no desire to actually be present at the execution, either. In spite of all of that, Rachel was able to get Harriet to sign the paperwork delaying Leonard’s execution, based purely on an emotional plea for the chance to prove Harriet wrong.
Arguably, Harriet only agreed to help delay the execution because Rachel showed how much she cared about Leonard. Unfortunately, simply gaining more time wasn’t all Leonard wanted. He needed the woman who had raised him to believe in his innocence and actually want to be around him; and he knew that, had Jessica cared enough to join Rachel when she visited his aunt, this might have happened. Jessica, however, was too busy worrying about her firm.
As Leonard Bailey sat across the table from Jessica Pearson and called her “Lady” instead of using her first name — notice he always used Rachel’s — it was obvious that she was taking the message to heart, whether she wanted to show it or not. This idea of Jessica being too cold or too focused on work has come up before, including during her relationship with Jeff Malone. What better time to bring Jeff back into Jessica’s life, then, than in the context of this case? Yep. SUITS did that.
Even if things don’t seem as if they’ll be working out, thanks to Jeff’s probable move to Chicago, there was still plenty of progress for Jessica here. Jeff finally accepted her for who she was when it came to dedicating herself to her firm before all else, all while giving her confidence in knowing that she wasn’t cold and didn’t have to be. Any time viewers are treated to a chance for Gina Torres to play something other than the usually calm and collected queen bee is a win; but actually letting a case affect Jessica Pearson to the point where she starts to do some soul searching? That’s priceless.
Jessica may officially be Rachel’s mentor, but this case is actually an opportunity for her to learn from the younger woman, as well. That, Suitors, is a sign of great storytelling.
Honesty is Mike Ross’ best policy. With Mike’s deal off the table because Cahill had found a witness against William Sutter without Mike’s help, it didn’t take long for Harvey to get himself into full “best closer in the city” mode to get said witness discredited. In the process, though, the danger to Kevin Miller’s wife became more apparent than ever. Cahill’s star witness hadn’t had any direct dealings with Sutter himself — even if he claimed to have had an “understanding” with the man — but had instead been passing information to Jill all along.
This, coupled with the latest threats from Gallo, put more pressure than ever on Mike. It was so much pressure, in fact, that Mike did the unthinkable: He started facing the consequences of his own actions. In the middle of yet another argument with Kevin about getting Jill to make a deal, Mike finally came clean to his roommate about his own deal and the betrayal that he’d been willing to commit in order to get out of prison. After taking verbal and physical beatings from Kevin, though, Mike finally said what we’ve been needing to hear from him all along: “It’s my fault.”
I’d like to think that Mike’s decision to use Gallo’s parole hearing as leverage to get Kevin out of solitary confinement was at least part of what brought the two friends back together; but by that time, there were more pressing matters. Jill Miller had been indicted. Everything Mike had said all along about her needing to turn herself in and ask for a deal (since Cahill’s real target was her father) was more truthful than ever. With that knowledge and a little help from Harvey and Donna, Jill finally saw the light. Either that, or she didn’t want to have to wait five years to play tennis and go to pilates again. (William Sutter, you are scum. Harvey Specter, you are the best for throwing that back in his face).
With Jill willing to testify against her father, Mike was able to represent her in an agreement with Cahill that not only guaranteed her immunity but (finally?) bought Mike his freedom. Rest easy, Harvey. Your guy’s coming home.
- “Whether it’s 30 days or 60 days, it doesn’t matter because I’m going to die in here, lady. The one thing I asked you to do, you didn’t. You didn’t even care enough to try.” I haven’t given Leonard Bailey enough credit. Everything about this character is so raw, and Glenn Plummer brings such life to this character week after week. I kind of don’t ever want his story to end.
- Louis has his weird thing with Tara. Donna dumped her imaginary friend. Mike is coming home to Rachel…and Harvey is currently not dealing with his feelings. Can we fix this?
- Rachel Zane has always worn her heart on her sleeve, and I continue to love seeing that actually be a strength, rather than an obnoxious weakness.
- Louis’ relationship with Tara continues to be the worst thing about SUITS. That’s all I’m going to say about that.
- “I did know what I was doing when I agreed to inform on you. I’m sorry. You didn’t deserve any of that.” Mike Ross, finally taking responsibility for his actions and stopping with all of the demands.
- The hug between Donna and Rachel was everything. It was like watching a proud older sister congratulating the baby of the family.
- Had Mike learned nothing from his time in prison, this whole storyline would have been a waste. But much like Jessica, I think this character really took a look at himself in “Borrowed Time” and (hopefully) learned enough to become a better person for it. Refusing to take the easy way out when Kevin made light of his apology by bringing up his own wrongdoing was a good start.
- Can we stop breaking Jessica’s heart? Can she not have both the throne AND a personal life?
- I’d hate to think that Donna’s whole discussion about realizing that Imaginary Mitch wasn’t the “one” for her was only there as a means for her to encourage Louis to continue with whatever this disaster with Tara is. It was so nice getting to actually have a moment where we learned about her feelings on something — anything — but the context, as of right now, was a thing that I could do without. If all of this discussion means movement elsewhere, though? I’m still going to be disappointed that this was how it happened, but I’ll deal.
- Speaking of Donna — yes, there’s a lot of her in this section because, apparently, that’s the only place where SUITS will allow her to reside — it was wonderful getting to hear her open up about what happened with her father. More of this, please.
- “For what it’s worth, I didn’t try to weasel out of your deal. I did everything I could to keep it in place.” Sean Cahill, I love you.
- Harvey chose the young couple (and Mike — let’s be real) over William Sutter. He turned down a big win and the business of a wealthy client in order to do the right thing. Let that sink in.
Make sure to tune in to the next episode of SUITS on Wednesday, September 7 at 9/8c on USA Network.