After almost a year off our televisions, Suits has returned with its season 2 premiere. And the show is better than ever! With Mike’s secret on the line and a new foe threatening the status quo at Pearson Hardman, “She Knows” gives us the promise of another excellent season. Keep reading for all of the episode’s details.

The Greatest or the Worst Dinner Ever

Suits begins its second season with a dinner date — Jessica Pearson has invited Mike out for an evening at a high-end restaurant. Although Mike initially sees this as a bad sign (thus the “she knows” of the episode title), Harvey assures his protege that this is actually an honor. All of the most successful Pearson Hardman partners got the same treatment as first years.

Judging by the dinner, Harvey is right. A little understated menace from Jessica seems well-tempered by cheerful and endearing stories from the past. As Jessica learns about Mike’s super-brain and his parents’ untimely deaths, we almost thinks she buys that Mike is above-board.

Not so much.

Harvey’s Heart

You didn’t think one pleasant dinner would be enough to satisfy the formidable Jessica Pearson, did you?

Harvey being Harvey, he knows something is wrong the minute Jessica walks in the office. And he’s right — Jessica didn’t stop checking out Mike at Harvard (where he has all sorts of fake credentials), she kept going back to college. Mike doesn’t have a college degree from anywhere in the known universe, so Jessica knows he is, in her words, “full of shit.” The kid has to go.

It’s not like Harvey can do this, of course. No matter how much the man claims not to care about anyone who isn’t Harvey Specter, emotions tend to sneak on in.

But emotions remain understated when applied to Harvey, so it’s fortunate we have Donna to interpret. Thanks to an imperfect tie and a lavender shirt, Donna figures out everything (because she’s brilliant and all). Suddenly, we see clearly just how important Mike has become to both of these outwardly jaded individuals.

Would Harvey have fired Mike, even if the former’s swelling pride for Mike’s legal strategies hadn’t intervened? Probably not. Harvey grasps too quickly at the faint hope that more time will solve the problem — the man is committed to protecting Mike at this point.

Not that Mike believes it initially. After the double whammy of Jenny leaving and learning that Trevor had told Jessica the truth, you can hardly blame him. Still, Harvey is convincing. Gun analogies and firm promises do that.

Too bad the bonding moment between mentor and mentee is interrupted by the news of Alicia Hardman’s death.

Meet the Man Who Scares Jessica Pearson

Daniel Hardman.

Five years earlier, Jessica and Harvey had forced the firm’s other founding partner out after he embezzled funds. A threat to tell the Hardman’s cancer-stricken wife about her husband’s indiscretions kept him gone.

Both Jessica and Harvey like it this way.

Now that Alicia Hardman has died, the leverage has died with her. There’s nothing to stop Daniel Hardman from returning to work.

This is, of course, the only thing that Harvey and Jessica care about. Because this is Suits and therefore awesome, we actually get the believable and true-to-character sight of the two lawyers using a woman’s funeral to scheme, complain and quote Highlander.

On first glance, poor Daniel Hardman doesn’t even seem to deserve such treatment. A calm, “adorable” man with a Santa Claus demeanor, Hardman only cares about his grief. At least, that’s how it seems until you notice the undercurrents of malice and treachery.

It’s no wonder that Hardman can scare even Jessica.

Harvey Specter’s Own Kobayashi Maru

An ultimatum from Jessica and the looming threat of Hardman’s return do nothing to slow Harvey’s quest to win the unwinnable Mike situation. Fortunately, no one can out-maneuver Harvey.

The plan begins with the manipulation of Louis. Harvey goads everyone’s favorite seal-hater into drafting Mike into the firm’s biggest, dullest project. Thus, firing Mike will immediately arouse Louis’ considerable suspicions.

This alone probably wouldn’t be enough to stop Jessica. That’s OK. Harvey is willing to use a woman’s death and Jessica’s Hardman fear to negotiate a deal to keep Mike around. In a move that is cold even by Harvey standards, the lawyer stops by Mrs. Hardman’s wake to blackmail his old boss into not returning. Should Hardman come back to the firm, all of the secrets — including Hardman’s infidelity — get shared with his daughter and the world.

But sometimes even Harvey Specter can miscalculate.

The New Deal

Harvey thinks he’s won. It’s too bad that Hardman may finally be a worthy foe for our show’s hero.

Instead of being bullied into staying silent and away, Hardman returns to his law firm with a bang. He tells the assembled partners and associates the details of his past wrongdoings, making it clear that Daniel Hardman himself will lead the firm into an honest, wonderful future.

Needless to say, Harvey and Jessica are not among those who applaud Hardman’s speech. We may not know yet what the presence of Hardman will mean for these two, but their reactions indicate that it won’t be good.

Jessica, in her disappointment, immediately returns to her insistence that Mike Ross be fired. In response, Harvey delivers the most telling ultimatum we could ever have from this character: If Mike goes, Harvey goes. And Jessica cannot survive Hardman without Harvey’s support.

However, dark and costly the victory, Harvey has won again.

All that’s left is to convince Jessica of Mike’s worth. The Mike vs. Computer challenge is again issued, but this time there is a twist. Jessica is not Harvey. And Mike has to beat her, not the computer.

Legal Stuff

It’s not all job maneuvering and evil ex-bosses in “She Knows.” These are hardworking attorneys, and the cases don’t stop for little things like deception and death!

Unusually, it is Mike who bears the brunt of the legal action in this episode. The firm is trying to close a billion-dollar merger with a major publishing house, and the only thing stopping the deal is a minor lawsuit. Mike has to make it go away.

If only it were so easy! The plaintiff is Myra Harrison, a sympathetic and pretty bookstore clerk who alleges that her former boss stole her book treatment and published it without giving credit. While Myra clearly doesn’t have a legal leg to stand on, Mike’s soft heart wants to make everything better.

A series of escalating negotiations between Myra and her former employer begin. Counter-suit threats and five-figure payoffs yield nothing, but eventually Mike finds a way to Harvey-Specter the lot of them. He forces the publisher to acknowledge that she stole the book treatment, and he gets Myra to back down by pointing out that treatments are a dime a dozen. If she keeps up the lawsuit, Mike will sue her back for plagiarism.

The documents are signed, leaving Mike to be the only smiling face in the room.

Mike the Lawyer

While otherwise unimportant to the overall story of “She Knows,” this legal dispute does spotlight some changes in Mike Ross. Once sympathetic to a fault, Mike has started to temper that sensitivity with a burning desire to argue and out-maneuver his way to a win. The end of the lawsuit finds Mike explicitly emulating Harvey — Mike warns the tearful, sweet Myra never to threaten him or his firm ever again.

The change in Mike doesn’t stop there. At the dinner with Jessica, Mike smoothly deflects Harvard questions with a heartfelt story of his childhood. Later, when talking to Jenny, Mike’s “I didn’t really lie” arguments are probably more of a relationship-ender than that kiss with Rachel.

Our little boy is growing up to be a lawyer!

Bits and Pieces

  • It’s kind of awesome to watch a show that expects its audience to find jokes about The Fall of the Roman Empire and redundancy funny.
  • Everyone needs a bathroom buddy like Donna. Even if she’s not quite right about Mike’s response to Rachel’s drunk dialing…
  • This week’s random movie references are brought to you courtesy of Goodfellas and Highlander (totally appropriate at a funeral).
  • Although not part of this week’s story, the fact that Donna heard Mike admit he knew nothing about any message from Rachel will probably become important in the future.
  • When in doubt, visit Grammy. The cookies may be cardboard, but the stunning realizations are priceless.

Did you enjoy the Suits season 2 premiere? Will anyone else find out about Mike’s secret? What will the return of Hardman mean to the firm? Leave your comments below!

(Images courtesy of USA)

Laurel Brown

Senior Writer, BuddyTV

Laurel grew up in Mamaroneck, NY, Grosse Pointe, MI and Bellevue WA. She then went on to live in places like Boston, Tucson, Houston, Wales, Tanzania, Prince Edward Island and New York City before heading back to Seattle. Ever since early childhood, when she became addicted to The Muppet Show, Laurel has watched far too much TV. Current favorites include ChuckModern FamilySupernaturalMad Men and Community. Laurel received a BA in Astrophysics (yes, that is possible) from Colgate University and a PhD in Middle Eastern Studies and History of Science from Columbia University before she realized that television is much better than studying.