On the season 5 finale of Suits, “25th Hour,” Mike cuts a deal that leaves Rachel devastated, Jessica and Louis deal with the fallout of Mike pleading guilty and what it means for the future of the firm and Harvey scrambles to save Mike.

When Mike is late to court, Harvey figures out his young protege has decided to strike a deal with Gibbs and races to her office before Mike can shoot himself in the foot.

Mike Pleads Guilty

Mike tells Gibbs he’ll serve the two years in jail just as long as she doesn’t go after his friends, and once they sign, Gibbs can’t renegotiate with Harvey, knowing full well Gibbs would use the plea to get Harvey to take the bullet for Mike.

Gabriel Macht looks incredibly hot running in slow motion, which is about the only purpose him racing to stop Mike serves, because once he gets to his destination, the deal is done. It’s Mike’s crime, and he insists he do the time.

Suits Recap: Mike Makes a Monumental Decision >>>

Harvey insists that until the judge ratifies the deal, nothing is done, and if Mike thinks Harvey’s going to let him do this, he’s out of his mind.

Enter the devoted fiance. This is the first Rachel is hearing of Mike’s decision. Mike is convinced it’s the only way out, but Rachel thought they had agreed he would have a little faith in himself and wait for the verdict.

Harvey charges into the courtroom before Gibbs can present the plea deal to the judge, and she calls him and Gibbs back into her chambers. Harvey argues Mike was coerced. Gibbs argues it was negotiated by a competent attorney, and there’s no basis to stop it. Mike arrives, and Harvey begs him not to go through with it and go to verdict. Mike knows damn well that Harvey wasn’t rushing to Gibbs office to tell her the jury had reached a verdict, Harvey was going to throw himself on the grenade, and Mike just beat him to it. (Truthfully, I believe Harvey was racing to Gibbs’ office, because he had a good idea of what Mike was up to, having let Donna talk him out of being the fall guy.)

The judge tells Mike that he has 72 hours to report to Danbury Federal Prison. As Mike grabs a cab outside, Gloria Danner intercepts him. She came down to hear the verdict and is truly distressed to hear Mike has chosen to go to jail. The woman isn’t stupid, she knows Mike didn’t go to law school, but she believes he’s innocent in his heart, and now he’s going somewhere filled with men who aren’t.

Mike thinks by telling her that he’s going to white-collar prison, he’s bringing Gloria some peace of mind, but she is the one opening his eyes. Once those doors close behind him, there is no difference, jail is jail. Mike remains steadfast that he did the right thing and rushes off to find Rachel.

Harvey and Jessica Try to Rebound

Donna brings Jessica up to speed on the events of the morning, but Jessica isn’t pleased. She may not be going to jail, but now that Mike has pled guilty, every case he worked on has lawsuit written all over it. Jessica decides to start restructuring the firm, before the lawsuits can even begin.

Harvey gets Donna to help him track down the foreman of the jury. He goes to see the guy and asks to know what the verdict was. The man tells Harvey the deliberation was straight out of 12 Angry Men, and he was the one. He worked to get the rest on his side, and they did the right thing. Gibbs didn’t make her case, and the foreman wasn’t going to let the justice system go to shit on his watch, so Mike would have been found not guilty. The man tells Harvey he should have had more faith in the system.

Jessica and Louis are trying to find a way to do damage control, but things aren’t looking good. The sharks are circling, in particular, Robert Zane. He informs Louis that lawyers are going to start exit Pearson, Specter and Litt in droves. Louis argues there’s a non-compete clause in place, but apparently Zane has found a way around it, thanks to Katrina. Louis goes to her to find out what he can, but Katrina is still holding a grudge about how Louis sacrificed her for his own benefit.

Jessica’s idea to split the firm as a way to insulate their clients and hold on to their lawyers doesn’t matter if Zane can bust the non-compete, and if one lawyer jumps ship, it will be a stampede. Jessica abandons her plan and order Louis to figure out what Zane is up to.

Mike, unable to comfort Rachel or convince her he did the right thing, turns to Harvey for reassurance that he made the right call. Even though Harvey knows the truth, he tells Mike he made the right call. When Mike questions how Harvey can be sure, he tells Mike he went to see the foreman, and they had found Mike guilty. No good could come from telling Mike the truth, and by lying, Harvey saves Mike the agony of second guessing his decision.

Harvey encourages Mike to go home and spend time with Rachel, choosing to keep him out of the loop. Once Mike leaves, Harvey tells Donna the truth and tells her to get everything they have on the trial. Harvey is determined to find a way to invalidate the deal.

Suits Finale Exclusive Interview and Sneak Peek: EP Aaron Korsh Teases Someone is Going to Prison >>>

And the Hits Keep Coming

Jack Soloff hands Jessica his letter of resignation. Jessica knows Robert Zane made him an offer, and Soloff says as much as he doesn’t want to take it, he has no choice. Jessica reminds Jack of all the times he begged her to keep his job, and he’s repaying her by helping Robert Zane destroy the firm. Soloff argues the firm is already destroyed, she just doesn’t want to accept it.

Jessica threatens Soloff with the information Daniel Hardman was holding over him, but Jack knows she can’t use it. He committed “legal indiscretion”, and if Jessica discloses that fact, she’ll be announcing yet another crime was committed under her watch, and she did nothing about it. Whatever clients were willing to stay before, won’t be anymore.

Jessica goes to see Robert Zane herself. She’s not about to sit idly by while he poaches her attorneys. She plans to sue him for inducing Soloff into breaking his non-compete. Zane explains that if a named partner commits a crime, any partner is free to go.

Jessica says Zane can’t prove that she knew about Mike Ross. Zane suggests she ask Louis about his conversation with Katrina, during which, Louis admitted he used the information about Mike to get his name on the wall.

Jessica questions why Robert is so hell bent on destroying her firm, and it all boils down to Rachel. Zane doesn’t care that Jessica hired a fraud, but he does care that Jessica didn’t come to him when Mike started dating Rachel.

One Last Deal

Harvey is pouring over legal documents when Donna reminds him that’s not his specialty. He gets people to do things they don’t want to by giving them something they want. She suggests Harvey give Gibbs Liberty Rail. If they’re willing to let Donna get prosecuted for what she did, they can give Gibbs people who committed murderĀ  and get Mike off the hook. Harvey isn’t willing to sacrifice Donna, but he thinks there’s a way he won’t have to.

He goes to see the attorney handling the Liberty Rail case. He offers up five of his best clients in return for Liberty Rail. She declines. Harvey asks what it will take, and she says she wants to be able to have exclusive access to hire anyone she wants from lawyers to paralegals at Pearson, Specter and Litt. Harvey says she’ll effectively be gutting the firm, but she doesn’t care. Harvey says Jessica will never agree, but she says people will do anything when they’re desperate, and if Harvey’s asking for Liberty Rail, he’s desperate to save Mike Ross.

Jessica confronts Louis, telling him Katrina recorded their conversation, and if that tape ever sees the light of day, any partner who wants to walk out the door can and take their clients with them. Louis tells Jessica that Katrina may know his dirty laundry, but he knows hers as well.

Louis goes to see Katrina and tells her if she doesn’t destroy the tape, he’ll hand over a document she forged for him to the SEC. These guys are putting out so many fires they need a really big hose and a truck.

Louis and Harvey convince Jessica to let Harvey move forward with his deal. Harvey offers Gibbs murderers for fraud. She’s not interested, even after Harvey tells her that compared to Liberty Rail, what Mike did is the equivalent of spitting on a sidewalk.

Gibbs problem is with Harvey. He’s been bending rules since the day he was born, and she’s not letting him get away with it anymore. Harvey says Gibbs isn’t above bending the rules herself, but she says the difference is she bends them to get justice. Harvey says nailing the people at Liberty Rail is justice, and Gibbs tells him to give her the case anyway. He’s been holding this case in his back pocket, waiting for a rainy day. Maybe next time he has a chance to put away murderers, he’ll do it.

The only way Harvey can get Mike out of his deal, is for Harvey to convince him to let him take his place.

Suits Finale Postmortem: EP Aaron Korsh on What’s Next for [Spoiler] in Prison >>>

Zane vs Zane

After Mike tells Rachel the jury had found him guilty, she forgives him for making the deal, and they decide to get married before he goes to jail. Robert does his best to convince his daughter she’ll be making a huge mistake. How can she ever become a lawyer with a felon as a husband? Rachel accuses Richard of simply being pissed because Mike puled one over on him. He argues that Mike isn’t trustworthy. Rachel points out that Mike didn’t lie to her. Robert can’t get past the lack of trust between himself and his daughter, and she advises him perhaps it’s best if he doesn’t attend the wedding.

A Brutal Confrontation

Mike asks Harvey to be his best man, and the two get into a fight over Mike’s determination to not let Harvey take the blame. Harvey admits Mike would have been found innocent. Harvey didn’t tell him because he knew it would break him.

Harvey antagonizes Mike, telling him he’s too weak to handle prison. He pushes Mike until he physically attacks Harvey, admitting he hates Harvey, and he’s going to lose everything because of him. After his outburst, Mike begins to sob, and Harvey pleads with him to call Gibbs but Mike refuses.

Mike Says His Goodbyes

Mike and Rachel’s wedding day arrives. Jessica convinced Robert to attend, telling him he’d regret it for the rest of his life if he didn’t.

Mike decides at the last minute he can’t do it. He tells Rachel he knows her parents are there because they have to be and not because they want to be. Mike understands their concerns that he’s taking away her future. He wants her to finish law school, pass the bar, and in two years, when he gets out, if she still wants to marry him…

Harvey drives Mike to Danbury. They say their goodbyes, and it’s only fitting Mike sneaks it a movie quote from The Shawshank Redemption, “Get busy living, or get busy dying.”

Speaking of dead, Jessica and Louis arrive at the firm to find it empty.

What will happen in the wake of Mike’s departure? New episodes of Suits return this summer to 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.