On this episode of Suits, “Mea Culpa,” Mike’s secret threatens to be exposed by someone from his past, Louis seeks revenge against Harvey, Jack Soloff comes to Harvey’s defense and Rachel covers for Mike.

Once again, Harvey proved he’s more than a pretty face. This guy is all show and go when it comes to making good on his threats to kick someone’s ass. Harvey lit Louis Litt up. The guy looks like a newbie member of an underground fight club. He’s jacked up and pissed off, and most of all, humiliated.

Soothing the Savage Beast

Things pick up right where they left off at the end of the previous episode, and Louis, after tending to his wounds in the bathroom, comes storming out and tells Donna that he’s going to sue Harvey. What other course of action is there for someone litigious by nature?

Donna tries to put out the fire, but not even she can derail Louis. In fact, he turns on her. Louis accuses her of wanting to protect Harvey, just like she did when she lied to him about Harvey sleeping with his sister. Donna tells Harvey, she lied because she thought it would be better if Harvey told him. She worried something like this would happen if the news didn’t come straight from the womanizer’s mouth.

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Stuck on the Corporate Ladder

Mike breaks the news to Rachel that he can’t accept the junior partnership because Jessica is afraid it will draw too much attention to himself. Rachel argues that turning down the opportunity will shine an even brighter spotlight on Mike. Mike isn’t going to bother to try to prove Jessica wrong, he’s going to come up with some kind of plausible excuse for as to why he can’t accept the promotion.

Jessica Puts Out Fires

Jessica goes to Harvey’s apartment to chew him out, and is even more incensed by the fact that Harvey isn’t the least bit sorry for what he did. Jessica puts Harvey in a two-week time out. Harvey says that taking a vacation isn’t going to stop Louis for coming after him, but Jessica is convinced that if Harvey sets foot in the office, Louis will call for a three month suspension.

Jessica can’t protect her boy wonder though. There are bylaws in place, and the only way to circumnavigate them is if Harvey takes time off. Jessica also expects Harvey to give Louis a heartfelt apology admitting he was 100% wrong.

Jessica has another fire to put out. She questions Jack Soloff as to why he nominated Mike for junior partner without consulting her first. Jack doesn’t understand why Jessica has an issue with it as she was the one who encouraged him to work with Mike in the first place. Jessica believes this is just another way for Soloff to try and stick it to Harvey.

Soloff says Jessica gave him a chance to make peace, and he took it, and he still hasn’t heard one good reason why Mike shouldn’t be made a partner. Jack offers to retract his memo and let Harvey nominate Mike instead, unless there’s some reason why Jessica doesn’t want that either.

Jessica’s Change of Heart

As Mike sits in his office racking his brain trying to come up with a reason for rejecting the partner offer, Jessica comes in and presents him with a case. It is tradition for managing partner to give all new junior partners their first case. Jessica says it may not have been what he wanted, but Mike deserves it. Yeah, Jessica’s got a plan up her sleeve, and my guess is she realizes that with Soloff sniffing around, she’s playing the hand she’s been dealt with until her more diabolical plan is revealed. Or, maybe she’s figured out Mike was right, denying the partnership is more risky than letting it happen.

Louis Gets Derailed

It looks as if Donna made some progress with Louis after all. She told him that the firm is a family and it should handle the matter as such. Never go against the family, Louis. This is a lesson he fails to grasp too often. So, Louis goes to Jessica threatening to sue Harvey for assault and battery unless Harvey is suspended for three months, without pay, and Harvey gets no access to new clients. Jessica says that would punish the entire firm, not just Harvey.

Louis says he’ll carry out Harvey’s punishment if Jessica won’t, and that’s when she pulls the vacation card. Jessica says Louis wanted Harvey gone and now he is, but Louis doesn’t want Harvey lying on a beach in Turks and Caicos, he wants Harvey humiliated in front of the entire firm, but it looks as if he’ll have to cool his heels for at least two weeks.

Mike’s Past Comes Back to Haunt Him

Mike gets a look at the opposing council on his case and recognizes her from his days as a bike messenger. The two briefly dated, and she knows he didn’t go to law school. A frantic Mike tells Rachel, who he took on as his associate, that she’ll have to handle the meeting and scurries off to hide somewhere.

Rachel is rattled, and it doesn’t help when the attorney, Claire (Troian Bellisario) throws an unexpected curve ball her way. Claire figures out the case was dropped in Rachel’s lap at the last minute and gives her a stay of execution, but Rachel has bigger problems. Claire remembers the name “Mike Ross” and questions Rachel how old he is because the Mike Ross she knew, and dated, would have had to drastically turn his life around to be where he is now. Rachel covers for Mike saying he’s 45, and Claire takes Rachel at her word. After all, the world is full of men named Mike Ross, right?

Rachel then confronts Mike. She wants to know how this woman knows Mike’s secret. He confesses that he lied to her to get a date, and Claire found out the truth. Rachel is irate because now she’s had to put herself in the line of fire to keep Claire off his scent.

Louis Double Crosses Harvey

After a heart-to-heart with Dr. Agard, Harvey goes to Louis to apologize. Harvey admits to Louis that he’s been seeing a psychiatrist to get help for panic attacks. Louis wants to know when and where these panic attacks have been occurring, and Harvey tells him they started happening in the office. Louis puts together that this had to be about the time Donna left, but Harvey says that while Donna leaving may have been a trigger, his problems go far deeper.

Louis realizes that some of the things he said struck a nerve, and Harvey says Louis did more than strike a nerve, Louis hurt him. Harvey wants Louis to know why he did what he did and where it came from. Louis accepts Harvey’s apology and tells him he should come back to work the following day. Louis looks sincere, but why do I have a sneaking suspicion this is far from over?

The time arrives for the partners to vote on Mike’s nomination, which is really just a formality.
Harvey is pleased as punch to cast his vote for his boy wonder. The vote is unanimous and just as Jessica is about to call it a day, Louis makes his move.

He tells all the partners that Harvey attacked him, and that he’s calling for Harvey’s suspension. What Louis didn’t count on was Jack Soloff coming to Harvey’s rescue. The suspension in only enforceable if all of the partners vote to determine if what Louis claimed even happened. Jack calls for a vote in a few days, after everyone has had a chance to review the matter.

Harvey confronts Louis about his double cross, but Louis is convinced Harvey is full of shit. Louis believed Harvey until he asked about the suspension. This made Louis think the whole thing was a giant manipulation. Harvey cannot catch a break. He never really gets rewarded for letting his walls down.

Louis admits he wanted Harvey to know what it felt like to have someone say something to his face and go behind his back and do the opposite. This was all payback for Harvey sleeping with Esther.

Before Harvey can kick the shit out of Louis again, Jessica interrupts and orders Harvey to stay away from Louis until the vote. But after Harvey leaves, Jessica verbally castrates Louis, calling him despicable, underhanded, vindictive and harmful to the firm. Jessica makes it clear she doesn’t stand with Louis, and she doesn’t care who knows it.

Rachel’s In Over Her Head

Rachel’s second meeting with Claire goes worse with the first. The case involves a buyout, and since the real issue at hand is Mike’s connection to Claire, I’m not getting into the mundane details. Let’s just say that Rachel makes an offer that Claire finds easy to refuse. Claire also decides she’s tired of dealing with a “newbie” and wants to speak to Mike. Rachel’s answer is to offer to sue Claire’s client which winds up botching the whole deal.

Mike is pissed and thinks Rachel is letting her personal feelings affect her work, but Rachel defends her actions, stating she had no other choice. Mike says if he had been there he would have figured something out. This gives Rachel the perfect segue to remind Mike of why he wasn’t present and able to save the day. He apologizes but says he’s treating her just like Harvey would come down of him if he had screwed up. But Rachel points out that if Harvey spoke to Mike the way he was talking to her, Mike would be in her office in a shot calling Harvey a dick.

Stuck in the Middle

Donna chastises Louis for his behavior. He defends himself by stating that he kept it in the family just like Donna told him to. She meant to let Jessica handle it, but Louis replies that Jessica’s answer was to send Harvey to the Caribbean. Donna can’t believe Louis couldn’t come up with a better solution than blindsiding Harvey, and using Mike as the bait no less.

Donna wonders how it is that Louis is the one who went into Harvey’s office angry, and Harvey was the one who attacked him. Louis refuses to explain himself to Donna. She lets Louis know that it is his prerogative, but she’s starting to question how much sympathy she should have for Louis since he won’t tell her what he said to set Harvey off.

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A Piece of Advice

Harvey thanks Jack for helping him out, and Jack says he hopes this proves he’s ready to be a team player. Jack also tells Harvey that he may have delayed Louis from suspending him, but the vote isn’t likely to go Harvey’s way. Jack isn’t the only partner who thinks things have come easily for Harvey. Soloff encourages Harvey to find a way to change the partners’ perception of him.

Rachel Gets in Deeper

Rachel and Mike make nice, and Rachel admits that she was jealous of Claire. She goes to see Claire and apologizes. Rachel didn’t like being called inexperienced, and she went overboard to prove she was better, blowing the deal for both of them. But Rachel has done some research and has come up with a way for them to turn things around.

Just when Rachel thinks she’s helped Mike win his first case, she learns that the deal she helped to broker is going to involve extensive background checks on everyone involved. Oops, she did it again.

Mike’s big plan is to take his name off all of the paperwork. Rachel comes up with some story about conflict of interest, but Claire knows the truth. What she doesn’t know is that Rachel is in on it. Claire believes Rachel is just a patsy. That is until Rachel starts fumbling and bumbling, desperately hoping to convince Claire she’s wrong. Claire figures out Rachel is in the know and says she’s going to call the DA if Rachel doesn’t come clean.

Rachel admits she’s Mike’s fiance, and she begs Claire not to turn him in. Claire can’t understand how Rachel can be with him after finding out the truth, but Rachel says she was already in love with him.

Claire must have taken pity on Rachel because when Rachel sees Mike, she lets him believe their plan worked. Mike isn’t fooled and goes to see Claire and thank her. He’s also curious as to why she let it go. Claire says it’s because Rachel loves him and believes he’s turned his life around. Claire, on the other hand, doesn’t believe Mike has changed, or that he really loves Rachel. Claire doesn’t believe that Rachel and Mike are going to live happily ever after because this lie will send everything crashing down eventually. Claire advises Mike the best thing he can do for Rachel is not marry her.

Donna Gives Louis an Ultimatum

That damn dictaphone has caused Louis a lot of heartache, and once again, his attachment to it has cost him. Donna hears the whole conversation that occurred between Louis and Harvey after Louis’ stunt at the meeting. Donna warns Louis that if he uses Harvey’s weaknesses to publicly humiliate him, she’s done working for him.

Louis goes to Jessica and tells her he wants to stop the vote, but that ship has sailed. The only way it would be possible is if Louis said he lied about Harvey hitting him. Jessica tells Louis she knew he would change his mind which is exactly why she wanted to give him two weeks to cool off. But now that Louis has started the ball rolling, he’s got no choice but to see it through.

Someone else regretting his actions is Jack Soloff. Getting out of bed with Daniel Hardman is proving to be more difficult than he anticipated.

Suits airs Wednesdays at 9pm on USA.

(Image courtesy of USA)

Jennifer Lind-Westbrook

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV

Jennifer has worked as a freelance writer in the entertainment field since 2012. In addition to currently writing feature articles for Screen Rant, Jennifer has contributed content ranging from recaps to listicles to reviews for BuddyTV, PopMatters, TVRage, TVOvermind, and Tell-Tale TV. Links to some of Jennifer’s reviews can be found on Rotten Tomatoes.