Last week, Mike finally learned the message Rachel left for him, pouring out her paralegal soul to his joy. Jessica and Harvey began their battle against this season’s big bad, Hardman. All the pieces were put together for the course of this season already.

Well, that was fast. Too fast, really…

The Brief Wondrous Life of Mikel/Rake

“Shippers,” the rabid fans that prefer and advocate for certain couples more rabidly than other couples, have a really tragic purpose when it comes to TV shows; they always get their hearts lifted and then broken. It’s inevitable.

So when you put two attractive people in the same room together, shippers smile. If they have an ounce of chemistry, angst, unrequited love or crossed signals, shippers go crazy. If the couple gets together and then breaks up? Absolutely bonkers. I can’t imagine what the Mike and Rachel shippers are going to do after this episode.

It starts off warm and fuzzy as Mike listens over and over again (or so I imagine) to that awkward voicemail Rachel left for him. He’s crushing on her; she’s crushing on him. They inappropriately smooch secretly at work. Mike has fallen for the girl, asks the girl out on a date, gets to have the girl for a short while … but he doesn’t get to keep her.

Because Mike’s biggest baggage is that he is not a real lawyer, he wants to come clean so he can ride off on his bike into the sunset with Rachel (she, of course, would be standing on his bike pegs). There are greater things than Mike’s love life, like Harvey and Jessica’s position in the firm.

Harvey flat out refuses to let Mike tell Rachel the truth; he doesn’t trust her. Good. The mentor and mentee have a nice spat, ending with an ultimatum and bitterness. Awe, are they breaking up?

Nope. Just Mike and Rachel before they even start. Earlier in the episode, the two were so newly into dating one another and now it is kaput. What makes it absolutely terrible but understandable is that Mike must do this; he has to break up with her, otherwise their relationship will be founded on lies. But to make the breakup plausible? Mike has to become the biggest [expletive] to do so; he has to become Harvey for a moment. Mike cites her sour history of dating another co-worker as the reason for the split; he can’t afford not to work here. He loves his job.

Mike meets girl. Mike sort of gets girl. Mike kisses girl. Mike dates girl. Mike loses girl. I said Mikel was brief.

Loser Louis

I actually really like Louis because he is a man who is such a capable lawyer that speaks funny, but I can’t believe how often and easily he is played. Yet, he isn’t stupid: he knows Mom and Dad are fighting. Cutely, Louis bribes Donna with tickets for information (which will never be spoken of) in exchange for information. For a lawyer, he is so easily played.

Louis is a good lawyer, though, one worthy of being poached. Louis meets with another guy. He shops around for another firm. But the entire scene is played as if Louis is looking for a homosexual partner. Ah, subtext. I miss the days when you were subtextual.

After a nerdy tape recorder gift, Louis keeps his options open about leaving Jessica and the firm behind.

This Means War

Construction in the office? It’s like declaring war at a law firm. The biggest and best office determines who has the most power. It’s an ego trip, something that is quietly acknowledged this episode.

While Hardman is off grieving his wife (I assume), he’s renovating the offices to get a bigger monstrosity of an office. Honestly, is that design necessary? No, but Hardman needs to make his presence known even when he isn’t there.

To Jessica, this means war or at least the beginning stages of it. What a one-track mind. Always the opportunist, she uses Hardman’s absence to her advantage — rally the troops.

I’m not particularly sure why she would assign Harvey, her number two, to gather allies since everyone hates him but, alas, she does. Every department hates Harvey except Bankruptcy, according to Donna (forever being awesome). So Harvey must seduce the head of Bankruptcy, Paul Porter.

See, Paul’s having trouble convincing a proud client to declare bankruptcy. The client is building another site, Madison 25, and does not want to lay off the construction people. He asks for a miracle, and he gets Harvey’s good heart instead. That’s one miracle right there!

Mike and Harvey, the big bromance of all USA shows, meet with the client’s loan officers to cut a deal. No dice. This isn’t 2007 anymore, the lady says. Uh, duh. It’s 2012. Because of our insecure economy right now, Mike and Harvey discover that the bank is also funding construction projects on that entire block; but the loan officer has her own agenda. What is important is that, essentially, they use lawyer logic to cut another deal with the bank.

That seems too fast, right? There’s another 20 minutes at least of this plot line. Well, it’s not really about the client; it’s about Harvey trying to sway the head of Bankruptcy on Jessica’s side, which is not going to work if he just offended the man’s pride. So what does he do? He helps the client out, offends the man’s pride and betrays Jessica (her words). Nice going, Harvey.

For someone so clever, Harvey isn’t grasping the gravity of the situation. He’s not playing the long game here. Hardman is out to destroy Jessica and Harvey; they need every man they can get. It also does not help at how vulnerable they are because both of them know and hired a lawyer who isn’t a lawyer. If gathering the troops is any indication of how the war will go, Jessica and Harvey should just clean out their outrageously large offices now.

Emily E. Steck
Contributing Writer

(Image courtesy of USA)

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Emily E. Steck

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV