Episode Title: 'All In'
Writer: Karla Nappi
Director: John Scott
Harvey (Gabriel Macht) takes Mike (Patrick J. Adams) to Atlantic City to help him bail out energy company owner and compulsive gambler, Keith Hoyt (Peter Outerbridge). The pair arrives just in time to see Keith lose his company and three million dollars in a high-stakes poker game. Harvey tasks Mike with keeping an eye on Keith while he tries to rectify the situation.
Back in New York, Louis (Rick Hoffman) runs into Rachel (Meghan Markle) at the ballet and invites her to sit with him. Afterwards, the two meet famed ballet dancer, Sergei Baskov (Michael Des Barres), who tells them that two of his ballerinas were injured due to an unsafe rehearsal space. Louis offers to take on the case.
In AC, Harvey meets with Tommy Walsh (Scott Grimes), the man who won Keith's company, and his lawyer. Harvey tries to convince the men that the napkin Keith signed won't hold up and offers to settle, but Tommy's lawyer proves it's valid.
Jessica (Gina Torres) learns that a motion in the firm's fraud case was denied and meets with Judge Follson, an old college rival who is handling the case. Follson makes it clear she wants revenge on Jessica for a nasty prank she played back in their school days.
Louis enlists Rachel to work on the ballet case with him while Harvey has Mike look over security footage from the casino to prove Keith was too drunk to be held accountable for his actions. The pair appear before the judge in hopes of getting the contract thrown out, but Harvey's offer to Tommy suggests he would honor the contract and the case goes to trial.
Jessica attends a fundraiser for Judge Follson and informs her that the firm has just made a donation to her campaign, creating a conflict of interest with the firm's case. Meanwhile, Rachel tells Louis about lead paint at the rehearsal space, but when they confront the owner, they're told that Baskov has not made payments to a repair fund and will be evicted. Louis realizes that Baskov lied to him and has been pocketing the money meant for the fund. At first he refuses to go after Baskov out of respect, but Rachel gives him a pep talk and Louis changes his mind. Louis tells Baskov he knows the truth and that he'd better resign before his firing goes public.
Realizing she has no choice, Judge Follson recuses herself form the firm's case on the condition that Jessica owns up to playing the college prank in order to get a job. Jessica admits to it and says she's not sorry.
Rachel tells Mike she's actually starting to like Louis, but Mike tells her it won't last long. He spots Louis' dictaphone on her desk and starts listening to it for a laugh when he hears his conversation with Harvey about the fraud case.
With no options left, Harvey tells Mike he plans to challenge Tommy to a poker game and Mike tells Harvey about the recording. After beating Tommy in a heads-up game, Jessica reprimands Harvey for his reckless tactics. Afterwards, an irate Harvey tells Louis he knows what he did and won't say anything, but he owes him one.
It's no coincidence that the only truly likable characters on "Suits" aren't the lawyers. Sure, there are times where Jessica, Harvey and Louis fight the good fight or let their guards down long enough to prove they're actual human beings. But at the end of the day, they're the reason the show is called "Suits." And a good show at that.
Rachel was charmed by Louis' appreciation of ballet, in particular his vehement defense of dance to the clueless Harold. But as Mike predicted, it wouldn't last long, as just about every lawyer at Pearson Hardman checks their soul at the door. Rachel and Mike discover that Louis "bugged" Harvey's office and moments later, we watch the tough-as-nails attorney with a soft side for ballet squirm like a cornered rat when Harvey confronts him.
Louis Litt doesn't exactly fit the mold of the "tragic villain," but he's definitely misunderstood and constantly misunderstanding those around him. Jessica Pearson, on the other hand, is a much easier read. She's ruthless, cunning and unapologetic about any damage as a result. Except when it comes to Harvey, something next week's episode apparently explores.
Half the fun of watching "Suits" is how my feelings change about the characters from scene to scene. The other half is Harvey and Mike's legal wheeling and dealing, which Jessica is concerned about. Harvey told Jessica he's plays the man, not the game. He's also big on leverage. He helped Keith because he "owned him one" and now Louis is in Harvey's debt. But just as he was able to use Tommy's emotions against him, Harvey's is susceptible to acting on his own feelings, particularly when his ego is involved.
Aside from a deeper appreciation of Pearson Hardman's eccentric personalities and some swift legal maneuvering, "All In" also featured a couple of notable guest stars; actor, rock musician and groupie muse, Michael Des Barres as Sergei Baskov and "ER" and "Party of Five's" Scott Grimes as Tommy. Ok, maybe only notable to me.
"All In" was another competent episode in "Suit's" second season, with plenty of character moments, an interesting case and some movement on the larger story front. "Suits" certainly makes a good case for shows about lawyers.