On this episode of Suits, “Full Disclosure,” Mike searches for a way to take down Reform Corp. with some help from Anita Gibbs, Alex and Harvey’s complicated history is revealed and Mike finally learns Harvey’s motive for protecting Alex.
Apparently, in order to understand what shady dealings Alex is mixed up in, we have to endure some flashbacks. I’m no fan of flashbacks, and one TV writer explained aptly why — it’s lazy storytelling. And don’t get me started on the bad wigs and makeup. Anyway, Alex’s story goes back seven years and he and Harvey are playing poker. Harvey confesses to Alex that he failed to make partner after being screwed over by Louis. Alex tells Harvey that he could bring him on at Bratton as a partner. Harvey wants to know what’s in it for Alex. Alex heard that Tommy Bratton is looking to bring in a big earner from another firm. He suggests he and Harvey go in and tell Bratton that two junior partners are better than one senior.
The Origin of a Rivalry
Harvey isn’t interested because that’s exactly how he got screwed over at his own firm — stabbed in the back by Louis. They went to Hardman with the hopes of being promoted from senior associates to junior partners. Hardman said that whoever landed McKernon Motors would be considered for the partnership. Harvey got the client but was then told by Hardman to drop them because an automotive company, triple the size of McKernon, wanted the firm to represent them. Harvey refused and wound up losing a court case involving McKernon because, as he later learned, Louis fed the opposing counsel inside information. Louis got the promotion, and the two have been rivals ever since.
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One Way or Another
Back in the present, Mike tells Rachel that he plans to get the Reyes’ case reopened in criminal court. Mike doesn’t plan to volunteer this information to Harvey, but he won’t lie if Harvey asks. Mike wants to know if Rachel is okay with his decision. He reminds her that the prison is extending sentences and wants to know how she would feel if it had happened to him. Rachel wants to know what to say if Harvey asks, and Mike says she should tell the truth, so Rachel is onboard.
Mike goes to Anita Gibbs for help, but she makes it clear that nobody wants to see her spend her time getting bad guys out of prison. Mike sweetens the deal by telling her it’s a criminal conspiracy between two Fortune 500 companies. Anita wants proof, and if Mike can provide some, she’ll pursue it.
A few more stories are introduced via flashback: Jessica suggests Louis might want to consider therapy, and she informs Harvey that Daniel Hardman wants Harvey to work with newly-promoted Louis who is now a junior partner. Harvey is pissed Jessica didn’t have his back when Hardman screwed him over, but Jessica wants Harvey to put his ego aside and start thinking more “big picture.” She recounts how she sucked it up and endured a whole lot of demeaning, racist, sexist B.S. before she got to where she is, and now it’s his turn. If he can’t even pretend to bend a knee to his rivals, it doesn’t matter what he does to get ahead of them in the future, they’re going to see him coming a mile away.
Harvey sits down with Louis, but Louis refuses to play nice. He’s not interested in Harvey’s strategy. Louis continues to remind Harvey that he isn’t in charge. He can either get on board and do what Louis wants or go cry to Jessica.
Harvey can’t reason with Louis, and he’s got an ax to grind, so he asks Donna to get the trial date pushed up and not to tell Louis. Donna questions if Harvey is putting his own ego above the good of the firm, but Harvey is convinced he can win and prove to Jessica that he’s still her guy.
The Quarterback Goes Free Agent
Jessica shows up at court and demands to know why Louis is sitting in his office, clueless to the fact that his case has gone to trial. Harvey insists he’s playing the long game. Jessica says the case is hers now. She gave Harvey a direct order, and he spat in her face. Harvey calls B.S., insisting that he tried with Louis and ate shit, but he’s not willing to lose out of spite. And they will lose if Jessica takes over because she knows nothing about the case. Jessica tells Harvey that sometimes you have to bench the quarterback to show who’s running the team, even if it means taking a loss. Harvey pleads with Jessica to change her mind, but she doesn’t budge.
Harvey goes to Alex wanting to know if his offer is still on the table. Harvey has a lot of demands, and Alex isn’t sure Bratton will go for them. Harvey tells Alex that if he wants to make partner on Harvey’s coattails, Alex will make Bratton say yes. Alex has no intention of riding Harvey’s anything. This is supposed to be a mutually beneficial arrangement. Harvey wants Alex to deliver because he’s not going somewhere he isn’t respected. Alex says if Harvey wants respect, he’s got to show some. If Alex is going to stick his neck out, then it’s a done deal. Harvey has to follow through. Harvey gives Alex his word that if he gets him everything he wants, he’s done with Pearson Hardman.
Three’s a Crowd
Harvey shares his plan with Donna, and she can’t believe that he wouldn’t consult her. She’s happy at the firm and believes Harvey is acting rashly. Harvey is immune to reason at this point and gives Donna the option of packing up or staying behind. He’s not interested in her advice.
In another sub-plot, Donna is celebrating her six month anniversary with her boyfriend, Mark. She recalls her argument with Harvey, and Mark confesses that he would hope that Donna would stay at Pearson Hardman. It seems Harvey is constantly making their twosome a threesome, and he can’t wait to get Donna’s boss out of the picture. If she’s willing to leave a job she loves, maybe it’s not just the job she has affection for. Mark wants Donna to say she won’t follow Harvey for the rest of her life, but she can’t which leads to the end of their romance.
Harvey informs Jessica that he’s expecting a job offer from Bratton Gould. He doesn’t feel respected, and they’re willing to make him a partner now. Jessica is fed up with Harvey accusing her of not having his back. She picked him up out of the mailroom and given him every opportunity he’s ever had. Harvey was hoping Jessica would try to talk him out of leaving, but things aren’t going how he’d hoped. Jessica believes in Harvey’s talent, but he’ll get a promotion when he’s ready, not based on a threat. If that’s not good enough, she wishes him luck at Bratton. Harvey gives her his official notice.
Alex pitches his idea to Bratton, and the man agrees just as long as Alex can guarantee Harvey will say “yes.” Alex says Harvey gave him his word. Bratton makes it clear if the deal goes south, it’s Alex’s ass on the line.
Louis learns from Donna that Harvey is planning to leave the firm. He goes to Jessica and admits he put Harvey in this position. He doesn’t respect the way he made junior partner, and he’s projecting onto everyone around him. Louis pleads with Jessica not to let Harvey go because his pride got in the way. Jessica throws Louis a bone for his breakthrough by giving him the associates.
Jessica tells Harvey that she threw down the gauntlet with Hardman. If Harvey isn’t the next associate to be promoted to junior partner, she’s leaving. She hopes she isn’t too late, but if she is, Jessica wishes him luck at Bratton Gould. So, Harvey screws over Alex.
Harvey knows this is a horrible thing to do but promises that one day Alex will need something from him, and Harvey will make good. Alex promises one day, he will come calling.
Mental Health Day
Jessica chastises Louis for his attitude towards Harvey and demands that he start undergoing therapy to deal with the giant chip he has on his shoulder. Louis argues he’s perfectly stable, but Jessica isn’t negotiating — either Louis gets professional help, or he’s unemployed.
Louis goes to see the shrink — the same one he’s with today — with the complaint that nobody respects him. The doc wants to know whose respect Louis craves the most, and Louis answers “Harvey.” Louis claims that Harvey is his best friend, and when the doctor asks if Harvey would say the same, Louis throws a hissy fit about being tired of not being good enough. This is well-worn territory and a waste of space. So, walking-wounded Louis finds a shrink who understands his issues and can deal with his mood swings. End of story.
Mike’s Smoking Gun
Harvey goes to see Pat Krueger, head of the construction firm Alex represents. Harvey offers up a check as an apology for Mike breaking his word. Krueger accuses Harvey of trying to pay him off, but Harvey says he’s just trying to make things right so Krueger can move on. Krueger says the best way to get someone’s best effort is to make sure their interests are aligned with yours, and Alex wants this case to go away as much as Krueger does. Harvey says Krueger doesn’t need his interests aligned anymore because the case is over. Krueger isn’t convinced since it was Harvey’s associate who opened the case again. This means his interests are aligned with Krueger’s as well, and he plans to keep it that way.
Mike goes to see Gallo to find out if he knows anything about a conspiracy outside of Reform Corp. Frank wants to know what’s going on, and Mike has to admit they got thrown off the case. Frank is pissed that his daughter won’t get the money he was promised, but Mike swears he can get the case reopened. All he needs is something Masterson Construction — proof of conspiracy.
Gallo doesn’t know anything about a conspiracy, but he does tell Mike that Masterson put the prisoners to work. The prisoners work on the prisons, allowing for more room for more inmates. But it’s all done out in the open under the guise of “rehabilitation.”
Alex questions why Harvey would go to Masterson Construction behind his back. All this does is put Harvey in their crosshairs. Harvey argues he’s already in the company’s crosshairs, and now that he knows what happened, he might as well have been a part of it himself. Alex suggests that they tell Mike the truth, knowing Mike is not going to let this go until he gets to the bottom of whatever the hell is going on. Harvey doesn’t want Alex to go to Mike and urges him to let it go.
Harvey goes to Rachel to find out if Mike is still working on the case. She reveals that Mike is trying to build a criminal case to take to Anita Gibbs. Harvey wonders how far along Mike is, and Rachel bets her fiancÃ© is a whole lot closer than he was a few hours ago.
Mike goes to Ben and asks him to do some hacking and to keep it from Harvey. He’s able to get a smoking gun which he shares with Rachel. Masterson uses Reform Corp.’s inmates to build more prisons. Rachel points out that it’s illegal to use inmates for private companies. Mike reveals that it would be except that five years ago, Alex Williams got a waiver from the State Corrections Board, allowing Reform Corp. to supplement their workforce with inmates. But after Ben’s handiwork, Mike learned that Reform Corp. wasn’t just using inmates to supplement the workforce — they were the workforce, reducing Reform Corp.’s labor costs. The company isn’t only extending sentences, they’re defrauding the government and splitting the profits with Masterson.
Rachel wants to know where Mike got his information, and Mike says it doesn’t matter. Rachel responds that it does because if it came from Masterson, Harvey can stop Gibbs from using it. Mike assures Rachel it didn’t. He admits Ben got it from Reform Corp.’s server. Mike can redact any mention of Masterson, give it to Gibbs and she can put the pieces together. There’s nothing Harvey can do. Rachel points out Harvey can fire him. Mike is tired of being torn between pro bono and corporate law, so if Harvey lets him go, so be it.
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Harvey calls a meeting with Donna and Louis. He warns them Alex has a gun to his head, and if Harvey doesn’t do something about it, Alex will be in deep shit. He’s got a way out of it, but there’s going to be consequences, primarily for Mike.
Mike goes to see Gibbs, and he learns that PSL doesn’t just represent Masterson, they represent Reform Corp., so anything he brings her is tainted because he broke privilege. Mike realizes this is Harvey’s doing. He tries to convince Gibbs to take the evidence anonymously, but she’s not about to take that chance (A dumb suggestion to make to the woman who tried him for fraud.)
Alex’s Secret is Revealed
Mike confronts Harvey, and the two argue. Mike is David, and Harvey is Goliath, and Goliath doesn’t give a shit what Reform Corp. or Masterson Construction are doing. Mike figures out somebody must have something on Alex, and he’s going to figure it out. Harvey tells Mike that if he’s ever valued the times they’ve had each other’s backs, Mike will have his now because he needs it. Harvey won’t tell Mike why because he doesn’t trust him. Harvey swears if Mike makes another move, he’ll fire him.
Donna wants to know if helping Alex is worth losing Mike and wants to know what Alex did and why Harvey owes him. Harvey tells Donna that after the deal fell through, Alex was nothing at Bratton. They worked him long hours and gave him unwinnable cases. Then Bratton came to Alex saying there was a way back. All he had to do was take on Masterson Construction as a client.
Alex shows up at Mike’s to come clean. He’s tired of having this huge secret hanging over his head. Alex received a letter from a guard, stating an inmate had died on the job, and it was being covered up. Alex took the letter to Krueger, and two weeks later, the guard was murdered. That’s when Alex figured out Masterson and Reform Corp. were colluding. Alex went to Bratton who revealed that they had set Alex up to make it look like he was in on it too. He didn’t do anything because of his wife and daughter. If Mike pursues this, there’s no way Alex gets off.
Should Mike let the case go? Will he come up with a way to save Alex? Should Harvey have fired Mike by now? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.
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