Episode Title: "Sucker Punch"
Writer: Genavieve Sparling
Director: Adam Davidson
Previously on "Suits":
Harvey's deposition with Travis (Eric Close) gets heated when he starts making insinuating remarks about Harvey (Gabriel Macht) and Jessica's relationship. As a result, Harvey punches Tanner in the face. Afterwards, Hardman (David Costabile) warns Harvey about letting Tanner get under his skin. Harvey decides to have a mock trial and asks Louis (Rick Hoffman) to stand in as Tanner, since he hates him just as much as Tanner does.
Louis tells Mike (Patrick J. Adams) that he's been drafted to help him prepare for the mock trial. Mike protests, but Harvey tells him he wants him to help Louis strategize. That night, Harvey plays pool with Zoe Lawford (Jacinda Barrett), a former colleague. He wants her to act as a consultant for the firm on his case.
The next day, Harvey waits for Donna (Sarah Rafferty) outside her apartment. He asks her to testify on his behalf but she refuses, telling Harvey she hired a lawyer and intends to plead the fifth.
Zoe and Harvey talk with Jessica (Gina Torres) about Zoe consulting on the case. She tells Jessica that the partners at the firm need to believe he is innocent and Jessica agrees to hiring her.
As the mock trial begins, Louis cross-examines Harvey and tries to establish a pattern of deception. Meanwhile, Mike has Rachel (Meghan Markle) sit in for Donna and practices his line of questioning on her.
After Louis has Mike answer questions about Harvey while hooked up to a lie detector, Louis is determined to get Donna to testify. He approaches her on the street and tells her that if she doesn't testify, Harvey will no longer be able to practice law and she'll regret it for the rest of her life.
As the trial resumes, Louis questions Jessica and gets her to admit to paying Harvey millions thanks to his winning record. That night over dinner, Zoe tells Harvey he needs to show vulnerability to the jury so that they'll protect him.
The next day, Donna shows up to testify at the trial. Louis questions her, but she pleads the fifth. Frustrated, Louis abandons his original questions and starts interrogating Donna about her feelings for Harvey. Donna rushes out of the room and Harvey confronts Louis in the men's room, telling him he crossed the line. Louis says what he did sickened him, but it's Harvey's fault he had to.
Mike talks to Donna outside her apartment and she tells him he shouldn't have trusted Louis, as he is who he is. This inspires Mike to look into Tanner's history at the firm, in hopes of finding some dirt on him. Hardman pitches in and helps Mike go through the files.
At the trial, Jessica takes the stand and tells an endearing story from Harvey's early days at the firm, demonstrating he does care about others. Harvey takes the stand and sheepish;y says that caring makes him look weak. Louis follows up and admits that he doesn't think Harvey committed fraud.
Tanner finds Harvey working out a boxing gym and brings him a settlement, to Harvey's surprise. Back at the office, Hardman tells Jessica and Harvey he found dirt on Tanner and got him to agree to settle. Harvey questions Mike about his role in the settlement and tells him he wants to go trial. Mike responds by saying it will only hurt the firm.
Jessica calls a partners' meeting to take a vote on the settlement. With the group split, Harvey votes to settle. Afterwards, Hardman tells the partners that in light of recent events, he wants to vote on whether he or Jessica should head the firm.
Caring is for the weak. That's what Harvey Spector would have his fellow partners at Pearson Hardman believe and it almost cost him his career. Harvey may be the firm's top dog, but if he'll do anything to win, it's hard to believe fraud is beneath him.
"Sucker Punch" gave us all sorts of insight into the people who work at Pearson Hardman, via a dramatic mock trial that felt more like a group therapy session than a legal proceeding.
If we didn't know it already, Donna has feelings for Harvey and they're possibly of the romantic variety. Louis also has feelings for the firm's youngest senior partner – he hates him. Or at least resents him. As for Hardman and Jessica, they're too caught up in a power struggle for control of the firm to care too much about Harvey. Of course, Jessica is on Harvey's side, but it's as much about protecting herself as it is him. And it looks like the shootout at high noon between Jessica and Hardman is about to go down in an upcoming partners meeting.
There were tons of great character moments in this hour, in particular Louis and Harvey's confrontation about Donna in, where else, the men's room. Louis continues to vacillate back forth from extremely likable to borderline despicable; which only makes him that much more engaging to watch. As for Harvey, he proved he'll fight for Donna, but would rather have his new assistant do it for him. Like Louis, Harvey is a delightfully complex character.
Jacinda Barrett, actress, 'Real World: London' castmember and wife of Gabriel Macht guest starred in this episode as Zoe Lawford, a former firm employee hired to consult on Harvey's case. The fact that her romantic past with Harvey actually proved relevant in his defense made their flirtatious banter a little less boring than these kinds of scene usually are.
"Suits" certainly deserves all the buzz it's been getting since it's return. It's a great transition point as USA experiments with heavier dramas. Though it sometimes goes too far in its attempts at comic relief (bumbling associate Harold), "Suits" is near-perfect when it comes to drama.