Episode Title: "He's Back"
Writer: Daniel Arkin
Director: Kevin Bray
Previously on "Suits:"
Daniel Hardman (David Costabile) is back and everyone wants a piece of him. After Rachel’s father, Robert Zane (Wendell Pierce) dropped the bombshell that Hardman will be taking over the Folsom Food’s gender discrimination case, Hardman shows up for plaintiff, Shane Mosley’s deposition with a bomb of his own to drop; Monica Eaton is suing Pearson Hardman for wrongful termination.
What is Hardman thinking, handling a suit for the woman he had an affair with? Well thanks to the confidentiality agreement he got Jessica (Gina Torres) to sign, Hardman and his affair with Monica is not up for discussion, leaving Harvey (Gabriel Macht) and Jessica’s hands tied in their own defense.
It’s a brilliant move that’s got Harvey pushing Jessica to settle. But not one to go down without a fight, we know Harvey’s reasoning has more to do with the fact that Hardman’s name is still in the hallway, and not his.
It also has to do with the fact that Hardman’s managed to weasel his way into everyone’s heads by playing people against each other. He tells Harvey that Jessica will never trust him while warning Jessica that Harvey will come after her, just like he went after Hardman.
Meanwhile, Louis (Rick Hoffman) is itching to take a crack at his former boss, who makes him out to be a creepy stalker in his deposition of Monica. To be sure, Louis can be creepy, but he was well meaning when it came to Monica. But before Louis can have his elevator showdown with Hardman, Donna (Sarah Rafferty) gets to bitch slap him, twice for "memogate."
As well crafted as it is, it’s almost not even about the story with "Suits," but rather the way the characters handle themselves. Sometimes it feels like we’re watching a bunch of smartass, mean-spirited kids, dressed up like big city lawyers, trade barbs on the playground. And it’s so much fun to see who gets the better of who.
But plot-wise, "Suits" brings a lot to the table. In an interesting conflict of interest, Monica Eaton’s lawsuit suggesting gender bias weakens the firm’s position in their suit alleging Folsom Foods' blanket refusal to promote women to executive positions. It’s all by Hardman’s design of course, but the plan backfires on him when Mike (Patrick J. Adams) tells Monica what’s at stake. She decides to settle and Jessica approaches Robert Zane about a merger. But convinced Pearson Hardman is down for the count, especially considering Hardman’s plans to tie up the firm’s resources, he’s not interested.
This brings us back to Rachel (Meghan Markle), who tells Mike she’s applying to Harvard to become a lawyer at Pearson Hardman, specifically. If her father helps engineer the firm’s demise, well then last week’s reconciliation could go cold, very quickly.
In other matters of the heart, we see a brief flash of the Harvey/Donna/Jessica non-existent love triangle at the end of the hour. I say "non-existent" because though Donna obviously has a thing for Harvey, it’s still unclear what exactly is going on between Harvey and Jessica. There’s definitely some sort of sibling-esque, or possibly parental dynamic here, but I’m not sure about a romantic element. However, why exactly Jessica gets all gussied up to drop by Robert’s home, unannounced, who knows? Yes she wants to pitch the merger, but did she really need to wear a fur stole for that?
Regardless of Jessica’s true intentions, the "Pearson Hardman vs. Everyone" war is still on. The firm stands united for the time being; even Harvey and Louis are getting along. And once again, the one non-Harvard educated non-lawyer in the firm, Mike saves the day. However, it’s not about a single case anymore, but rather the solidarity of the firm. And we know how much the folks at Pearson Hardman love their co-workers.