Suits' Mid-season Premiere: That Time Mike Ross Got His Sh*t Together

By MaryAnn Sleasman

Jan 18, 2013

Suits S02E11: “Blind-Sided”

One week after Daniel Hardman was chased away with pitchforks or, you know, staplers, Mike was out of pizza and almost out of pot (OH NOES), Harvey was making dates with Zoe behind Donna’s back (kind-of-but-not-really), and everyone hated Louis except for Lady Louis, though her affections were clearly shallow and yucky. Coconut oil is so greasy!

Sometimes, the Suits case-of-the-week has little bearing on the plot of an episode outside of being an excuse to make the Pearson-Hardman gang show up at the office. That wasn't the case in “Blind-Sided” when Mike, still reeling from his grandmother’s death at the end of “High Noon,” insisted on being included in a case that hit a little too close to home. The son of a client was involved in a hit-and-run accident, claimed that he wasn't drunk, and even called 911 for the poor schmuck he clipped as he sped away. Unfortunately, super-tagger Al Chung died anyway, but poor little rich boy Liam felt really bad about it, like, REALLY bad about it. He avoided jail time due to his cooperation and the fact that the dude he hit ran into the street as he tried to distance himself from his OWN crime. Mike negotiated a settlement with Chung’s family that actually had them coming out on top, in contrast to what sounded like a pretty crappy deal received by his grandmother and himself in the wake of his parents’ death. Yay for coming full circle! Maybe this is the motivation Mikey needs to “get his shit together”—a running theme in this episode, but generally, a running theme for the series as a whole too.

Everything was coming up Mike Ross until Liam confided in his shiny new lawyer-buddy that he was totally high when he hit Al Chung because “high” and “drunk” are two totally different questions, man. Totally. You could smear Mike’s self-righteous indignation on a bagel and call it lunch, it was so thick—a little too thick, actually. I mean, we get it Mike, PRINCIPLES and stuff, right? But Mike’s battle of who had the better morals was doomed from the start by the simple matter of Mike not being nearly as perfect as he was putting on. He was banging a married woman while wooing his co-worker. His entire career is built on a lie, one that, were it ever made public, would compromise the livelihood of every single person at Pearson-Hardman. He expects Harvey, Jessica, and the others to protect him, but balks at the idea of extending that protection to anyone else, least of all a fellow young adult who made a really bad decision, felt terrible about it, and understood that he would have to live with what he did. Granted, there’s a big difference between faking your way to a career in law and accidentally turning your car into a harbinger of death, but Suits worked hard to turn Liam’s experience into the most unfortunate accident it possibly could—with the exception of his drug usage—and turn Liam himself into the most sympathetic lucky bastard it could manage. Your mileage most certainly may vary regarding the success of this approach. If you thought he was a scumbag, I understand why; I just don’t think we were necessarily meant to, is all. Liam’s confession to Mike diminished what was otherwise an admirable outcome to a tragic event, but even Liam himself realized that. Right now, I think even Liam isn’t a big Liam fan.

And yet, despite Mike’s efforts to sabotage his client, his mentor, and even the firm as a whole in the name of proving once and for all that he is the most moral of the bunch, Mike was AGAIN protected by the influence of Harvey and Jessica’s reach. WHO’S A LUCKY BASTARD NOW, MIKE ROSS?

Everyone may currently hate Louis but the fact is, regardless of the circumstances of his promotion, Mr. Litt was made a senior partner and with that title comes certain perks—and a certain sexual appeal, according to Lady Louis. Among those perks is the right to hire one’s very own associate and while in search of a Mike to call his own, Louis found Maria the Machine. However, Maria was the secretary of her class at Harvard and claimed to know the name of EVERYONE—and nowhere in that population of EVERYONE had she ever heard of a Mike Ross. Ruh-roh. It’s time for our obligatory “Mike isn’t a real lawyer” reminder. Thanks, Suits!

It didn’t even take that much convincing to get Jessica to tackle Louis in mid-play by claiming that a hiring freeze meant he couldn’t hire Maria the Machine after all. Poor Louis. Not only did he not get his shiny new associate, but Lady Louis—armed with the knowledge that Harvey immediately turned around and hired five-year associate Katrina in return for her willingness to cockblock Mike’s raging boner of righteousness—insinuated that she no longer found Louis as sexy as she once did. Sorry, bro. But you know what? It was probably only a matter of time before someone lost the key to the kinky cuffs and do you really want a rumor like that getting around the office? Yeah, I didn’t think so. Think of the damage Donna could do with that kind of knowledge. Or Harvey.

No, Donna—definitely be more scared of Donna. Definitely.

Speaking of Donna, in my recent interview with Sarah Rafferty, the actress said that the last six episodes of Suits’ sophomore season will get us more involved with the personal lives of Pearson-Hardman’s workforce and, for better or for worse, that shift in focus was apparent in this mid-season premiere. I give Mike a hard time, but I also see his point. I may or may not have once incredulously asked an ex-boss how he lived with himself (I was 16 and I really hated working drive-thru, okay?), and there’s certainly something stomach-turning about the realization that one may just work in and for a system that one doesn’t find particularly admirable. Part of growing up is coming to terms with that—you can suck it up and play the game, you can leave, and if you’re feeling particularly heroic you can destroy it... or at least you can try to. When his grandmother was alive, Mike had every reason to suck it up, bite his tongue, and do things the Harvey way for the sake of paying for Granny’s healthcare. Without that responsibility influencing his every decision, Mike is adrift and he doesn’t necessarily have to shut up and do what’s asked of him if he doesn’t want to. However, to be fair to Harvey, he DID tell Mike to sit this one out. So. Sorry, Mike. :(

It’s cool, though. Mike Ross, Harvey Specter, and the colorful characters that fill their lives all have room to grow in their own respective rights and that’s a good thing. When your characters can’t grow anymore, you run out of stories to tell, and that’s a sad day, one that I like to think is far off in the future for Suits.

Mike, in particular, has room to grow both personally and professionally, and with that growth comes the required spurts and pains. I had the thought, while watching Mike rail against the foundation that Harvey laid for Liam’s case and the similar work of other lawyers before him, that maybe Mike simply isn’t cut out to be a lawyer. It’s a job that demands an understanding of the gray area in every situation and in “Blind-Sided,” Mike simply wasn’t capable of accepting it.

But Mike HAS accepted it in the past and he continues to operate within it, whether he likes it or not, as so many of his peers do. The gray area has no set designation as right or wrong, and it’s whatever those who use it choose to call it. Rachel, sick of being Mike’s romantic ideal up on a pedestal, relayed her experience with a questionable relationship in order to smudge that pristine image of her. I’m sure Jessica would argue that her lie to Louis about the hiring freeze was required for the good of the firm, given what a blow to their credibility and reputation that the news of Mike’s non-existent degree would be, but it was still a dick move. Likewise, Harvey and the others were quick to condemn Louis for the path he took to his promotion, while simultaneously seeking their own upward mobility (Katrina) in exchange for questionable acts of loyalty (toward Harvey, in her specific case.)

There are rules in the workplace—courtroom procedures, privileges, “right” and “wrong” ways to do something—but outside of the office, it’s a different game altogether. You can make up the rules as you go and change them as often as you like because the whole freaking board is a gray area. It’s deep and unpredictable and most of all, it’s fun, like Harvey freaking Specter bringing flowers to Zoe’s young niece. Are you TRYING to kill me with cute, Suits?


What'd you think of Suits' return?



CASE NOTES


– Donna Paulsen Sass Alert: Pretty much everything involving Harvey calling Zoe after Donna left for the day and Donna calling him out on it while lounging behind his desk like the HBIC that she is.

– Fifty Shades of Louis: “Safewords are for pussies.” You know, the fact that Louis didn’t get all freaked out and scared away by his adventures with Lady Louis says quite a lot about him.

– “Your emotions get the better of you on a MERGER.” Preach it, Harvey!

– That Time Mike Got His Shit Together: The confrontation with the lawyer that screwed over Sassy Grandma (R.I.P.), while possibly the questionable act of a man in the midst of a nervous breakdown, was also a possible indication of the kind of big-boy lawyer Mike will be someday. By the end of “Blind-Sided,” he attained a more mature insight into the less-pleasant aspects of the job, and seemed to accept that while they couldn’t always be avoided, they could be controlled. He gave the Chung family what dignity he could. He confronted the lawyer who couldn’t remember his own parents’ names, horrified that something that so fundamentally changed his life was just another day at the office for that dude. Mike won’t be forgetting Al Chung’s name, and not just because he has a crazy awesome memory.

– That Time Mike Got His Shit Together, Part 2: BYE TESS. Miss you neverrr.

– Poll time!

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  • ms4r Jan 23, 2013

    The longer I watch his show, the more I begin to like Louis. He's like the uncool kid in kindergarten who has to take shit from everyone. How Jessica handles him... nice people skills there (not). You would suspect that she, having built the business, would know better than to treat one of her executives like dirt. What goes around, comes around. Anyway, looking forward to the next one!

  • MariolaTyutyund Jan 22, 2013

    im addicted to this show, god i love it. love harvy and mike. there`s nothing that bothers me in the story.

  • olafweyer Jan 21, 2013

    Yeah, ones own values and conscience can be pretty selfrigtheous and do more harm than good, that was portrayed very well in Mikes decisions this episode.
    But to "realities", lets see: The company had to hire someone they didn't want to really, because of Mike and another partner could'nt hire someone he/the company DID want.
    Mike is becoming a liability and i would like to see Specter stoping to be a protective shield and Mike having to deal with Jessica Pearson DIRECTLY. She's a strong woman, the boss for christs sake, imagine the two of them confronting each other. Great drama.

  • SoLiOZuZ Jan 21, 2013

    I hope Mike gets kicked out of Pearson/Hardman and ends up finding his own firm and etc. They need to shake things up a great deal, I hate this remedial same thing bullshit.

  • J_Pip Jan 21, 2013

    I love this show except for Mike. If he's so intelligent, then he knows exactly what goes into the law and the gray areas you have to maneuver around yet he hates to do so? It makes no sense. Maybe he should have chosen a different more ethical profession for himself.

  • AkiraHideyo Jan 21, 2013

    This Mike character is beginning to BORE me to pieces. If this loser keeps dragging everyone down with his me me me storyline, I'm giving this season a miss.

  • Mcarson09 Jan 21, 2013

    It's getting to the point where it's beyond ridiculous.

  • bleumystique Jan 20, 2013

    SUITS IS BACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    -I love Mike to pieces. But thank the good lord somebody FINALLY told him to get his shizz together!! He can come across as such a colossal self-righteous hypocritical jackass sometimes that I have the urge to throttle him. He constantly bags on Harvey and Jessica's actions regularly. It's already bad that he's like that with his bosses for the mere fact that they're his bosses, but to be that way when both of them are constantly saving and covering his ass, and their own,and the firm's in the process. I mean everyone is compromised because of him. For God knows what reason, he constantly forgets that. I think I understood Jessica most of all because she got blindsided with this, has been covering it up ever since, it's jeopardizing her position in the firm and the view her colleagues have of her, and she doesn't even have the relationship with this kid that Harvey does. At what point is it really worth it to keep this kid around, when he causes more grief than he does payoff? I'm looking forward to seeing them interact more. I mean how can Mike continually question whether or not Harvey gives a damn about him, or Harvey or Jessica's loyalty or principles/morals when they're constantly protecting his ass, only because his own sketchy morals have him lying about the fact that he graduated from Harvard. Hell, he could have earned a damn degree himself in all this time.
    - I liked seeing Harvey outside of work. It was not shocking at all that he could be romantic or that he could be great with children, people like him probably get along with kids best. You can't buy that kind of candidness and innocence.You could tell Gabriel Macht is a father just in his interaction with the young actress. Speaking of the actual actor, I don't know how it's possible that he could have such weird chemistry with his real wife playing Zoe. Maybe it's just that it feels awkward because you know they're really married. I don't know, but as much as I like Zoe, and as much as I like seeing Harvey's personal life and dating life, I'm not going to miss seeing them interact...it seemed oddly forced or awkward or something.
    - I also liked seeing Louis outside of work. Love Sheila's ass. LOL!Rachel Harris kills it with that role. I was happy for Louis, finally landing a girl. Even if it did involve some hinky kink, and that "safewords are for pussies" line was hilarious. I liked his associate Maria the Machine. So much better than Katrina actually. Maria had potential to be a wicked awesome character and I was pissed when they had to get rid of her. At this point, I would have taken the risk. I'm also torn with Louis. I actually like Louis. Rick Hoffman makes it near impossible not to. And while I'm always Team Harvey and Team Jessica, and I'll defend them to the end, I will admit that it's frustrating that Louis is constantly on the outs. It doesn't always have to be this way. In fact it's getting a bit old. Give him the respect as Sr partner, which he rightfully deserves. Stop screwing with him in that regards, and they'd have less issues out of him in the long run. I get the frustration, with the loyalty thing, because in their minds Louis was like the pesky little bro that they ignored and screwed with but was still their little bro regardless. They didn't dole out copious amounts of praise to Louis' liking because I suspect Louis likes repeated pats on the back. He doesn't understand to contrary to popular belief even Harvey doesn't have parades thrown in his honor for his work, and they have in fact complimented Louis before. It just is never enough for him. In their minds Louis was one of their people even if he was the butt of their jokes. To Louis he's always outcasted, so he made a boneheaded move and went towards the first person who exploited him by winking in his direction. But still. It's bordering on childish on all of their parts, this crap with Louis.
    -Rachel still bugs me. Megan Markle is gorgeous and sweet and awesome but Rachel irritates me. But I'd take her over Jenny or Tess any day. Kick rocks to them both.

  • LarissaPeixot Jan 19, 2013

    That poll is so wrong. No Donna with Harvey, ever! I don't care about Zoe, but that it's just 'cause I'm jealous.

  • bleumystique Jan 20, 2013

    LOL! Yeah, I'm not into the shipping Donna and Harvey thing either. It would totally ruin them! I was kinda pissed when they started playing up that whole unrequited love angle where Donna was crushing on him at some point. From the beginning they bickered and bantered like close siblings, or cousins, or besties or something. This may or may not be to my personal experiences in my own family though. Crazy. I was all excited because it finally seemed like a great portrayal of a platonic friendship.

  • Mcarson09 Jan 19, 2013

    I like the drunk driver analogies because Mike was all over the road. I was shocked by Rachel lecturing Mike about getting involved with a married woman. I was disappointed Rachel didn't slap him out of anger, even though it was her fault she was slow to pull the trigger. Next time Mike falls off the wagon... it needs to be with Jenny. :wink; :wink:

  • safibwana Jan 19, 2013

    Lady Louis turns me on. Nothing to do with 50 shades of whatever, I think, just Rachael Harris.

  • FlorBlyth Jan 20, 2013

    "Lady Louis turns me on", I felt dirty reading this, I guess my brain can't compute the words "Louis" and "turns me on" put together, lol...

    That being said, I thought their scenes were hillarious, I love seeing Louis enjoying himself, no pun intended :D

  • FlorBlyth Jan 20, 2013

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