I hate to say it, but I was skeptical when I saw the promo for “Rewind.” Mostly, it was that bit from Mike at the end, in full pothead bike messenger regalia, eying up his future mentor and quipping, “If I ever look like that, shoot me.”
There’s only so much “look how clever we are” winking at current continuity that I can take. Plus I was annoyed by the fact that Hardman finally made his play last week, moving to throw Jessica out of power, and it looked like we would be spending an hour screwing around in the flashback funhouse instead of, you know, addressing the coup.
Good thing the flashback funhouse turned out to be FUN.
In the present, Harvey sent Mike on a special mission to initiate contact with an ex-Pearson-Hardman lawyer, Monica, who just so happened to leave the firm around the time Harvey and Jessica gave Hardman the boot. Harvey, meanwhile, hopped a train and stared pensively out the window for most of the episode. Cue flashbacks.
Where were you in 2007? I was a grumpy undergrad picking fights with professors over whether or not stilettos are a form of oppression. (Their argument: YES. My argument: Only if you LET them be! I happen to think they make my legs look FABULOUS.) Mike Ross was a loveable stoner with a photographic memory that made for a neato trick in picking up chicks. Harvey was a successful senior associate frustrated with his little office and seemingly fixed position on the corporate ladder. BUT HEY, AT LEAST HE HAD DONNA BACK THEN.
The Donna/Harvey love hurt, man. She was sassy and brilliant and happy. They busted out the mysterious can opener ritual, she bugged Harvey’s office just because and bonded with then-new girl Rachel, “You’re weird. We’ll be friends.” Oh god, I miss Donna. This episode could have been awful and I still would have appreciated it for the copious amounts of Donna during a time in the main storyline where such an abundance of Donna sightings wouldn’t have made a lot of sense.
When Jessica went to Harvey with paperwork indicating that someone at the firm was embezzling money from clients’ escrow accounts, asking that he “follow the money,” the reason for our trek to the past suddenly became clear. Harvey agreed to help Jessica with the condition that he be offered a partnership when all was said and done.
When we weren’t tagging along during Harvey’s investigation, we were picking up chicks with Sucky Friend Trevor (before he was a truly sucky friend) and Mike. Honestly, I spent most of their screen time waiting for the chance to head back to the happenings at Pearson-Hardman. We saw him meet Jenny, but I never cared much for her and she’s gone, so... who cares? I enjoyed seeing Trevor be awesome, though. It was so frustrating, during the first season, listening to Mike protest Harvey’s insistence that Trevor was bad news, that Trevor was ruining his life, and then watching Trevor actively do just that, just to have Mike turn around and defend him. We only ever heard that they were great friends going way back, so it was hard to sympathize with Mike’s reluctance not to ditch him. It was nice to see what they used to be.
But overall, it was just hard to get excited about Mike’s backstory. We know how Mike Ross ended up at Pearson-Hardman. We know why he used to take LSATs for cash. We know all about his sick grandma.
Harvey's past, however, has largely been a mystery for most of the series and, despite everything we learned in “Rewind” a lot of it is STILL a big unknown. Maybe I got caught up in the internet hive mind, but I've always adhered to the theory that Harvey’s dad was a dick. Harvey’s dad was a dick and that’s why Harvey is the emotionally repressed headcase that he is today.
In truth, Papa Specter appeared to be a rather swell guy, proud of his lawyer son and supportive of his career aspirations. When Donna broke the news that he’d died of a heart attack while Harvey was out busting Hardman for embezzling funds and cheating on his cancer-ridden wife, she was devastated and Harvey wasn’t doing so hot himself. Finally, we learned that Harvey’s train adventure had little to do with Mike’s mission to contact Monica, or even the effort to thwart Hardman at all—he was just visiting his father’s grave. And while Daddy’s stone was, admittedly, a little on the modest side, the scotch Harvey toasted him with in the cemetery was anything but. Macallan 18: NICE, dude.
None of this, to me, says deadbeat, abusive, sucky dad. So there goes that theory.
Furthermore, we learned that Zoe, the jury expert we met last week, resigned from her position at Pearson-Hardman immediately after Harvey’s promotion. She was disappointed that he was working, rather than mourning his father, and wasn’t particularly impressed when he pulled out the standard Harvey Specter Emotional Repression that we know so well. She claimed that the firm ruins men. She didn’t want to watch it do the same thing to Harvey.
So, Harvey lost Zoe to the job and if you think about it, Mike lost Jenny in the flashbacks AND lost Rachel earlier this season to “the job.” Rachel, still harboring some resentment toward Mike for his usage of her to contact Donna last week, which led to that painful questioning by Louis, was further dismayed by Mike’s treatment of Monica. She accused him of becoming more like Harvey and warned him that the evolution wasn’t necessarily a good thing. Do you think, in the long run, that Suits will ultimately boil down to Mike being forced to decide whether or not he really wants the life that Harvey has?
Mike claimed, however, that there were some things he knew before he even met Harvey—in particular, he said he understood the notion of the greater good, of occasionally screwing the little guy, making questionable decisions and sometimes even taking actions that her personally didn’t approve of... simply because he HAD to.
The parallels between Mike and Harvey were particularly pronounced this week with vaguely negative connotations on Mike’s part. Following his trip to the cemetery, Harvey returned to the office with a sort of energy we haven’t seen from him in a while. He told Jessica, firmly but not sternly, “I’m getting Donna back.” THAT’s the Harvey I like to see in the mentoring spot. Welcome back, bro. I missed you.
– Mike and Jessica’s “argument” over Monica was pretty sneaky, sis. I still don’t know what to make of Louis’ betrayal though. Legit?
– “Finally, an office big enough for your balls.” Donna, I love you. Don’t ever change.
– Did anyone else think that Jessica’s initial defense of Hardman was a little naive? I mean, sure, he brought her through the ranks, put her name on the door, but c’mon. He’s the founding partner of a highly successful law firm but he needs to embezzle money to pay for his wife’s cancer treatments? I understand insurance, even super awesome one-percenter health insurance might not cover everything, but for God’s sake, Jessica, just THINK for a minute.