On this episode of Suits, “Toe to Toe,” Harvey and Mike go up against Travis Tanner, Louis struggles to make good on a promise he made to Harvey and Harvey’s personal issues continue to affect his work.
Harvey has a naughty sex dream about Donna that takes a dark turn when Travis Tanner makes an unwanted appearance, Harvey, now going to therapy, discusses the dream with his doctor but denies that Donna was the woman. Since Harvey refuses to explore that side of his subconscious, his shrink wants to discuss Harvey’s issues with Travis.
Throughout the episode, Harvey’s actions are intertwined with a therapy session, during which, his shrink, tries to get Harvey to examine the series of events we see unfolding. And it looks like it’s going to circle back around to that dream and his refusal to admit that Donna had a starring role.
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An Old Foe Returns
Harvey is facing his rival again, and enlists Mike to help him kick Tanner’s ass. Mike is concerned about Harvey going to battle against Tanner because it always gets brutal, and Harvey did just experience a panic attack. He questions if this is what Harvey needs right now, and Harvey assures him it’s exactly what he needs. So, Butch and Sundance are together again. It’s about damn time.
Louis Goes to the Mat
Louis is busy making good on his promise to Harvey to put a stop to the implementation of the new compensation structure, the one where Harvey gets screwed over royally. He tells Jessica he found out the change would be in violation of some bylaw, making the upcoming vote moot. Jessica points out that she knows the subsection Louis is citing didn’t exist 24 hours ago.
Jessica wants to know what Louis is up to, and he tells her he’s trying to make things right with Harvey. Jessica is on board with that plan, but makes it clear to Louis he needs to make things right with her as well. She points out the vote was an assault on her power. If Louis sneaks this by, Jessica doesn’t get her power back.
Louis is not going to be able to clean up his mess using the same shady tactics he used to get it passed in the first place. Louis still swears that Harvey’s income statements being left in the copier was an accident, but Jessica knows he’s full of shit. Jessica tells Louis that he’s going to have to convince the partners some other way.
Louis turns to Donna for advice. He suggests maybe he can find another way to pacify Harvey, but Donna nixes that idea. Louis says the only way he can get this done is with Soloff’s help, and there’s no way the guy is going to reverse the same proposal that put him on the map. Donna suggests that Louis channel his inner Harvey. The problem is, there’s only one Harvey.
Louis recruits Rachel in his battle with Jack Soloff. The only way to get Soloff to overturn the compensation vote, and the only way to do that is to bring in a big contingent client and share the money with Soloff.
No Such Thing as a Changed Man
Mike and Harvey are going up against Tanner in an Intellectual Property (IP) case. Tanner’s client tried to launch a company with stolen IP. Tanner asserts the IP wasn’t stolen, his client, Alyssa Lang, created it. Mike argues Alyssa signed a contract saying her former employer, and their client, own it, and it was on their laptop that she took home on her last day.
Tanner’s client is offering a 15 percent stake if Harvey and Mike drop the case. Harvey says they aren’t going to settle. Tanner says Harvey doesn’t have to settle, but he does have to present the offer to his client.
Harvey is convinced Tanner isn’t shooting straight, and he’s trying to stay one step ahead. He and Mike found out Tanner’s client has outstanding debts, which they bought up and then put a lien on her property and padlock her offices. Tanner warns Harvey not to pursue this course of action, or he’ll be sorry. Harvey has no intention of backing down and plans to file a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) the following morning.
Tanner says he’s not the man he used to be, but if Harvey hit him, he will strike back.
Harvey’s therapist says it sounds to her like he attacked a man waving a white flag. Harvey says that Tanner wasn’t surrendering, he’s setting them up. She questions how Harvey can be so sure, and Harvey responds because he knows what Tanner is capable of. She wants to know why Harvey is determined to pick a fight with Tanner, and Harvey tells her it’s because it’s what he does. She suggests Harvey might want to reconsider what he does.
Harvey, Mike and Tanner go before the judge. Mike and Harvey argue that Lang signed a contract that states any product Lang developed during her employment is the property of their client. Tanner argues that the contract is null and void because when Lang signed it, she was only 16, and therefore isn’t bonding.
The hits keep coming for Mike and Harvey. Tanner has a draft of Alyssa Lang’s sexual harassment complaint against Mike and Harvey’s client. Tanner says he hasn’t filed it yet, but it is very good incentive for Mike and Harvey to advise their client to take the offer that’s on the table.
Harvey and Mike return to the office to find their client, Tim Petroff, incredibly pissed off. The man swears this is a bullshit character assassination, and he wants Lang destroyed. Mike points out it’s not Lang, but Tanner, who’s the problem. Petroff doesn’t care. He’s got a wife and kids, and he wants this all to go away. Mike says there is a settlement on the table. Petroff isn’t interested.
Mike is concerned that if Tanner is willing to make Lang file a bogus sexual harassment claim, what’s stopping the guy from making her do worse. Mike thinks the answer to their problem is getting Tanner fired. It may be illegal for Harvey and Mike to speak to Lang, but Mike points out he could run into Lang by accident.
Louis Decides to Play Dirty
Louis can’t find a juicy merger, so he’s going to pretend to sign one with John Dellmore. Rachel questions what happens when Soloff finds out Louis lied. Louis says he’ll make up some feasible lie about why the deal fell through. Rachel doesn’t think Jack will buy it, and he’ll wind up hating Louis forever, but Louis says that when it comes down to making Soloff as an enemy or keeping a promise to Harvey. Louis will go with Harvey every time.
Louis executes his plan, and gets Jack on board. They call a meeting with the partners to put it to a vote. But Rachel was right, Jack never believed Louis, and he suggests that there should be no new policy changes for the next year, locking in the new compensation structure. To make matters worse, Louis had Harvey and Jessica’s proxies, and not knowing that Jack was going to pull a fast one, through the three name partners support behind the proposal.
Mike approaches Alyssa Lang, and she’s no shrinking violet. He tries to scare her off by telling her that filing a false complaint is a criminal offense, but Jessica says her complaint is legit. And Tanner didn’t talk her into it, it was the other way around. In fact, she threatened to fire Tanner if he didn’t play ball by her rules.
Mike tells Harvey about his conversation with Alyssa Lang, and advises that Harvey get Petroff to take the deal, but Harvey has a major hard on against Tanner and refuses to bend. Harvey escalates the situation by filing criminal charges against Lang for forging a fake license and attaching it to her W2. That’s tax fraud. Tanner accuses Harvey of crossing the line, but Harvey strikes back saying all Tanner has done since Harvey met him is cross lines, starting with ripping off cancer victims.
Tanner continues to assert that he’s a changed man. Harvey says everything he’s done is in preparation for Tanner eviscerating someone Harvey cares about. We all know Harvey is dealing with serious trust issues right now, and Donna’s departure has been coloring his judgement inside and outside the office.
Tanner goes for Harvey’s jugular and talks about Donna’s departure. How Harvey must have gotten tired of banging her, so she moved on. Tanner sinks even lower when he brings up Harvey’s mother and her infidelity. Harvey, who has been hanging on by a very thin thread, punches Tanner.
Mike gets a call from Tanner asking for a meeting. Mike tells Rachel, and she says he can’t go behind Harvey’s back, but Mike believes, by doing so, he’ll be watching Harvey’s back. Mike tells Rachel that Harvey is ready to send Lang to prison for forging a fake ID ten years ago, and the only reason Harvey is doing it is because of Tanner. Mike worries that if Harvey makes that call in his current state of mind, he’ll regret it for the rest of his life. This leads Mike to tell Rachel about Harvey’s panic attack.
Mike meets with Tanner. Tanner still wants Mike to get Harvey to consider taking the deal. Mike is dubious, but Tanner admits he got tired of playing the goon. He woke up one morning and decided enough was enough and hasn’t taken a case he doesn’t believe in since. (Sounds like Tanner had a Jerry-Maguire moment.) Mike urges Tanner to find a way to prove himself to Harvey.
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Louis Comes Clean
Jessica is on the war path. When she can’t find Louis, she asks Donna if Louis pulled some underhanded shit that wound up backfiring, and Donna admits he did. Jessica orders Donna to find Louis and send him to her.
Donna finds Louis and urges him to come clean with Jessica. Yes, he might lose his job, but he’s lost Jessica’s trust, and the only way to earn it back is to do the right thing. Not only does Louis admit he lied about not doing anything else underhanded, he tells Jessica he did leave Harvey’s income statement in the copier on purpose. This episode definitely has a retribution and redemption theme.
Jessica tells Jack he will stand by the bogus bylaw or he’s fired. Soloff’s back is against the wall because he knows Louis did it, so that makes him culpable. Jessica doesn’t want to fire Louis and have another shake-up, and Soloff doesn’t want to lose his job, and if Louis goes, so does Jack. At least she got her power back.
Louis gets rewarded for all his efforts, misguided as they might have been. The entire episode he’s been trying to get Donna, Rachel or Jessica to go mudding with him (laying naked, side by side in mud). And after being shot down time after time, Rachel and Donna relent, causing Louis to faint on the spot.
Mike goes to Harvey, but Harvey will not back down. Mike saw this coming, so he got Tanner to quit, and now the case is being hired by Katrina Bennett. Now there’s no reason for Harvey not to convince their client to take the deal. Mike says Harvey can finally do what’s best for everyone and stop being the bad guy. Harvey relents.
An Unwanted Breakthrough
With the Tanner situation behind, him, Harvey admits to his therapist that the woman in his dream was Donna. But she thinks the woman was really Harvey’s mother. Harvey sees her interpretation of his dream as some sort of betrayal. The doctor points out the dream is a manifestation of unresolved feelings, but mommy is very much off limits.
The psychiatrist isn’t about to let Harvey to storm out. She points out that Harvey has issues in his life that will keep him from having real relationships, and he can tell himself it has nothing to do with his mother, but it’s a lie. Harvey fights getting too introspective every time he sits down with the therapist, and it’s evident that what drives Harvey are some very scary things. This look into his psyche has been fascinating, and though Harvey leaves in a huff, he’ll be back. This season is all about Harvey’s journey of self-discovery and things are just getting started.
Suits airs Wednesdays at 9pm on USA.
(Image courtesy of USA)