Mike’s home, everyone! Bring out the cleaning supplies because he’s going to leave a mess.
If you were expecting anything less of Suits’ resident fake attorney (turned real one after season seven), then you’ve forgotten about Suits’ messes when it came to Mike (Patrick J. Adams) and Harvey (Gabriel Macht). Predictably chaotic and disastrous, the fifth episode of the ninth season is a reminder of what Suits was like before Mike left for Seattle: absolute madness.
Despite the mess, the episode opens up with a heartwarming phone call between Donna (Sarah Rafferty) and Harvey, where the lawyer discusses his passion for TV and their pizza dinner. Unfortunately, Donna decides not to come over because she’s busy, but in reality, it’s because she knows Mike is paying Harvey a visit.
When Harvey enters the kitchen, he is greeted by his old friend and fans are reminded of the past seven years of Suits. The two immediately banter, but settle down after a while to discuss business. We learn that Mike is back in town to work on a case against Harvey, ready to duke it out against his mentor. Excited, Harvey prepares for the friendly battle.
The next day comes and Samantha (Katherine Heigl) approaches Harvey, confused by his business discussion the night before. Unbeknownst to Mike, Harvey’s supposed client actually belongs to Sam. After his mistakes earlier in season eight, Harvey gave Sam the client for repentance; however, it’s clear that Harvey wants the client back so he can duel with Mike. Unfortunately, Samantha won’t give them up, so they somewhat agree to work together.
Despite their agreement, when the two enter Harvey’s office, Mike is infuriated because he expected the battle to be against Harvey, not him and Samantha. Sam and Mike meet for the first time and exchange witty remarks. Here we see Mike act cocky despite not knowing Samantha, suggesting that he has become more confident in his skills since leaving the firm. Luckily, these skills have not extended into the legal gray area, as he and Harvey agree to do nothing shady that will land either of them in prison or leave them disbarred.
On the other side of the workplace, Katrina (Amanda Schull) and Donna discuss Katrina’s past with her former associate, Brian. The viewers learn that Katrina is, in fact, not over her former coworker in a hilarious voicemail trial and error scene. She stumbles on her words, screams various curses, and eventually falls back to a script in order to leave a message. Realizing she is not over Brian, Katrina confronts Donna and they go on a girls’ trip in order to help her get her mind off of things.
The next day, Mike gets slammed by a creative move done by the two lawyers at the firm. He seems helpless and frustrated, but ultimately comes out on top when he reveals that he planned this all along. It turns out he had manufactured this battle against Harvey, having planned it over six months ago. Harvey accepts his defeat, knowing there is no way that Mike did such a thing without covering his tracks, and tells Samantha to back off. However, Samantha knows she can win this battle by manufacturing evidence, and so she bribes a witness. This causes Mike to become infuriated when he finds out, and he tries to force Harvey to turn on his partner.
Of course, Harvey is loyal to his firm, which is also his family. He refuses to turn in Samantha, and Mike accuses Harvey having “changed” and losing himself. The old Harvey never went back on his word, no matter how bad the situation got. Mike storms out, and Harvey is forced to fix what Samantha did, trying to protect her and save his friendship. Unfortunately, this leads to an argument inside the workplace which Faye (Denise Crosby) overhears. Confronting Samantha, who doesn’t let Harvey take the blame for the forgery, Special Master Richardson fires the woman and tells her to get out of the office immediately.
Overall, I believe this was one of the better episodes of season nine. It was very reminiscent of older seasons which is the exact vibe I’ve gotten from the prior episodes. Of course, this was a real blast to the past with guest star Patrick J. Adams, having once been the star of the show. I welcome this new plot line, and even though some fans have said that they don’t find it interesting, I love it!
Truth be told, I may be in the minority that began watching Suits for the legal drama, not the buddy duo dynamic or the office romances. Although I love Darvey and the Marvey bromance, the shady things the firm did back before Mike left were one of the reasons why I watched the show. The struggle with power, authority, and victory were very clear in this episode—something all the old episodes always tackled. The newer seasons mostly dealt with trust and loyalty, and although this episode does deal with that, the emphasis on the other values is very clear.
I’m really happy with this episode, and even though I feel like a lot of my friends and fellow fans disagree, I think the future episodes with this plot line will excite them. I’ve seen some fans became angry with Mike and his fight with Harvey, and with Mike falling back into his old ways of blaming Harvey for everything. Despite their protests, I believe this new Mike and his fight with Harvey were great.
For one, Mike is no longer the same “puppy” that Suitors love. He has risen to power in his Seattle firm, just like Harvey has risen to power at his firm in New York. Although his journey does not exactly parallel Harvey’s, his behavior does. Save for his glaring superiority complex, Mike acts the same as a younger Harvey. Not only is Mike just as obsessed with his work as Harvey was in the earlier seasons, he is also just as passionate. While Harvey loves the victory and chase, Mike loves helping people. Mike acts as a clear foil for viewers in showing us how much Harvey has changed. Now, Harvey has evolved into a mature lawyer who, in his later stages of his career, has recognized that there is more to life than work. There are friendships and family, which he has neglected for a majority of his career. On the other hand, Mike is just getting started, and he wants to make his mark by showing his mentor that he can defeat him.
I welcome this new arc in Suits—it’s exciting and holds a lot of promise. There were a lot of missed opportunities—I would’ve appreciated a scene between Donna and Mike, because Donna played a pivotal role in Mike’s career, but I think I’ll settle this time around. I have faith that we will see a lot more of Mike in the future, not wiping Harvey’s firm across the ground, but in happier situations with his old family, hopefully doing the final season of Suits justice.