With only one episode left before the SUITS mid-season finale, a number of plot points needed to be wrapped up. Mike Ross was supposed to get out of prison, but there was still the whole issue of neutralizing Frank Gallo to deal with. Harvey Specter had promised to represent the criminal in his parole hearing as a way of protecting Mike, and time was running out on making good on that promise. As Mike was scheduled to be released from prison and Harvey was acting against his own conscience to try to do the same for Gallo, Jessica and Rachel were still working for an innocent client in search of his own freedom. Check out our SUITS recap to find out how Mike nearly lost it all in order to have it all, while Jessica and Rachel made the difficult decision to possibly do the same.
Mike always gets his way. After cementing his deal and securing his eventual release from prison in the previous episode of SUITS, Mike Ross still wasn’t finished with making demands. Some (unexplained, unclear, and probably unimportant) delay kept Mike behind bars; and rather than staying out of trouble, he went looking for it. Jill Miller already owed her distinct lack of a prison wardrobe to Mike; but after hearing from Kevin that the family’s assets were being seized on account of Jill’s involvement in her father’s crimes, Mike decided he needed to save Jill’s designer clothes and damn the consequences, as well.
Did Mike really think anyone would know or care which assets had been gained honestly, rather than through Jill’s crimes? Does any of it matter? Mike Ross was, in his valiant effort to make sure the Miller family kept all of their worldly possessions, yet again the poster boy for someone with his heart in the right place but absolutely zero common sense. Nobody wants to see a friend’s family lose everything, but when that “everything” involves illy gotten gains and saving it means risking your own freedom? It’s time to sit down and shut up.
Case in point: Mike upset Sean Cahill so much that he almost found himself serving a longer sentence. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves here.
What do you do when someone strikes a deal with you that means you get to be a free man? You threaten him with an abuse of power case, even though the whole reason you’re in prison in the first place is for fraudulently practicing law. Or at least, that’s the way it works in the land of Mike Ross. Rightfully, Sean Cahill didn’t stand for any of this nonsense. Instead, he threatened to yank Mike’s deal to show him what abuse of power really looked like. Cahill even went so far as to say that if Mike didn’t drop his crusade, he’d even get his current two-year sentence pulled into question (read as: lengthened) by informing the prosecutor that Mike was, once again, practicing law without a license. Whether Kevin and Jill Miller were aware with Mike’s lack of law degree or not, this was still in violation of his original agreement. (Finally, some logic regarding the whole Mike Ross representing Jill Miller situation.)
Mike being Mike, he didn’t take Cahill’s threats seriously enough to stop what he was doing. Instead, he just found another way. The whole time Mike was gnawing on the hand that fed him, Harvey was sacrificing his own soul by representing Frank Gallo at his parole hearing — all to keep Mike safe until his guaranteed, yet delayed, release. As difficult as working to obtain Gallo’s freedom was going to be on its own, Harvey was now faced with Cameron Dennis, of all people, throwing Harvey’s own words from Gallo’s original trial back at him. When it was evident that he’d have to either lose or perjure himself on Gallo’s behalf, Harvey tried to smooth things over with Cameron by promising him that a private investigator would follow Gallo around to make sure he didn’t do anything wrong…But Cameron wasn’t having it. And he shouldn’t have been.
In perhaps the only meaningful exchange during this entire convoluted mess, Harvey begged Cameron to help him keep Mike safe “because Mike is to me what I used to be to you.” When Cameron walked away from that heartfelt plea, it seemed like all hope was lost; but as it turned out, everything was set to work out in Mike and Harvey’s favor, as things do on SUITS.
Mike showed up at Gallo’s trial as a witness for the prosecution, told the whole truth, and even admitted that Harvey had known about Gallo’s behavior when he took on the scum’s case. “Why else do you think he’s been trying to get Gallo paroled?” Too bad Mike didn’t testify to his own ever-increasing list of demands.
So, because Mike made his third deal — this time with Cameron Dennis in an attempt to keep an actual criminal behind bars, where he belonged — he was, once again, looking forward to going home. He also had his five millionth demand, this time for Kevin Miller’s release, met. Even better yet, Mike pulled some strings to keep himself in prison (alone) overnight, so he could catch Gallo in the act of attempted murder. Bonus: Gallo also bragged about having certain guards under his control, so those guys had to face the consequences — something Mike will, apparently, never really have to do — too. The next day, Harvey visited Gallo to threaten him with a trip back to the maximum security prison where he belonged if anything ever happened to Mike.
…and they all lived happily ever after with absolutely no character growth and no lessons learned.
The thing keeping SUITS alive. If the whole Mike saga was, yet again, a lesson in how to sacrifice character development and alienate viewers, Rachel Zane and Jessica Pearson’s efforts to free Leonard Bailey was, as always, the perfect opposite. Rachel had found the key to defending her client in the form of the Turner vs. Michigan ruling, the one exception to the hearsay rule that might allow the deceased Maria Gomez’s testimony to be used in reopening the case. The loophole was so obscure that Jessica was impressed enough to ask Rachel how she’d even come across it. The answer? “Because nobody is better at research than me.”
I am here for this.
Once the case was officially reopened, Jessica received a visit from the prosecutor, who offered her a deal: Leonard Bailey could stay in prison for seven more years but then walk away a free man. The problem was that neither Rachel nor Leonard wanted to take that deal. Jessica tried to explain that the bargain was much better than risking Leonard’s life by putting it in the hands of a jury, but she wasn’t able to convince them. Rachel thought that Jessica was only trying to close the case as quickly as possible to make herself look good, while Leonard’s reasoning was far more personal: “I’m not doing this just to stay alive. I’m doing this so one day, I can knock on my kids’ door, and they’ll know their father is an innocent man.”
Using the help Mike had given her regarding following her gut, Rachel told Leonard that she thought he should keep fighting. This caused some tension between Jessica and Rachel, which resulted in Jessica revealing that she had once been in this exact same situation…and lost. It was a reminder that not only does Jessica Pearson really have far more experience than Rachel Zane, but Jessica also has far more heart than anyone ever gives her credit for. She’s just learned not to let it cloud her judgment — something she’s still working on teaching her young protégé.
And then Jessica proved to her client that she had a heart by finding his daughter, telling her that her father was going back to trial, and bringing her to come visit him. Although she’d been accused of being too cold to help convince Leonard’s aunt to give him a chance, Jessica surprised everybody — possibly even herself — by reaching out to his daughter. This character is capable of learning from her mistakes, breaking down her walls, and revealing just a little bit more of herself in each new episode of SUITS. If only other major characters would have that same development.
- “So, if you want me to drop this, you get Cahill to do the right thing and get Kevin out.” Harvey Specter risks everything for Mike Ross for years, even offers to go to prison in his place. Once Mike Ross is in prison, Harvey Specter meets every demand made, finds a way to get him out, and even lowers himself to the point of defending a monster like Frank Gallo in order to keep Mike safe. Harvey Specter’s thanks is to be ordered to do more, even as he’s constantly on the verge of vomiting when representing his “client” for parole. Mike Ross thinks this is completely appropriate.
- I get what the aim was in having Rachel contact Mike for help with her case. She needed to talk to someone after butting heads with Jessica, and Mike also needed a bit of a reminder about what was really important. But it was kind of unsettling to see this girl power driven storyline interrupted by Rachel calling her boyfriend for help. I just wish there was another way. Hey! Here’s an idea: Despite not being a lawyer — or even a former fake lawyer — herself, Donna Paulsen has been around the law for quite the number of years. She’s also in the unique position to know the hearts of both Rachel and Jessica. Why not ask her for help?
- “And now that ungrateful son of a bitch wants to bite the hand that feeds him? I’m going to take away his dinner and show him who his master is.” Sean Cahill is the true hero of this story.
- So much for Julius teaching Mike how to be a better version of himself by the time his full sentence was served. He barely stayed in prison for five minutes.
- Donna did her conscience thing with Harvey. Good stuff. I could’ve used more of that and less of Louis’ relationship saga.
- Jessica Pearson is queen of the universe. Between her dealings with the prosecutor, her interaction with Leonard’s original defender, and her constantly too-good-for-this-world wardrobe, SUITS really doesn’t even deserve her. And that little moment where she watched Leonard Bailey’s reunion with his daughter for just a brief second before walking away? That was absolutely everything.
- Cameron Dennis couldn’t believe Harvey Specter was working on Frank Gallo’s behalf because his “sidekick wants to fight the man.” Same, Cameron. Same.
- “When you care about someone, you have their back either way.” Jessica cares about Rachel, so she has her back in this case. Either way. This is beautiful…But is there a limit to having someone’s back? See also: Harvey, running around town meeting all of Mike’s demands like a trained puppy.
- Donna and Louis went mudding because Donna’s still just Louis’ sidekick and relationship advice expert. Donna is, somehow, the second most important woman in Louis’ life (behind Tara, the woman he fell in love with after five seconds of knowing her). But that doesn’t mean he can’t make an egregious error in judging her character by calling her “the most selfish woman I’ve ever met.” Was that supposed to be an attempt at humor through irony? Because it was just sad.
- No, really. He called Donna selfish. That is the exact opposite of 99% of everything this character has ever done. The one time Donna ever did anything “selfish” was when she left Harvey…and that didn’t even last.
- Despite the problematic path to get to that point, I’d be lying if I said the end scene with Mike walking out of Danbury didn’t get to me. There was something about the music, the slow motion opening of the gate, and Harvey standing on the other side that just affected me as a viewer. Oh, and the bit with Rachel was sweet, too.
Make sure to tune in to the SUITS summer finale on Wednesday, September 14 at 9/8c on USA Network.