This episode starts off well, with the vote being cast and Louis, now a senior partner, ultimately voting for Daniel Hardman, dethroning Jessica as Managing Partner. Daniel extends Harvey a friendly hand, to which Harvey angrily rejects, and so Hardman plays hardball by first dropping Harvey's office to the 46th floor, then having Louis assign him boring financial cases rather than high profile cases. Meanwhile, Mike, not in his right mind due to the loss of Grammy, starts going back to his old habits of pot smoking, toking up all night. Rachel stops by the next morning to pick Mike up for the funeral.
And here is when the episode goes downhill.
First, we're introduced to Tess, a woman from Mike's past who was romantically involved with him since childhood. A woman who was NEVER mentioned before and is obviously a stand in for Jenny as a third of the Mike/Rachel/insert-name-here triangle. Mike cries on her shoulder and attempts to hook up with her, but she tells him she's married and he kicks her out.
Meanwhile, Harvey is faring no better. Louis has cranked his douchiness to 11 and is making Harvey's life miserable, gleefully enjoying it. When Mike doesn't answer his calls, Harvey shows up at his door, finding him stoned off his ass. To the audience's surprise, Harvey gets stoned as well, and decide to prank Louis.
Louis, meanwhile, is ordered by Hardman to find a way to get Harvey fired. Harvey and Mike find him in Harvey's office and Harvey almost beats him up, but Mike stops him. Harvey and Mike then realize that Daniel Hardman had been playing them all along and has been the source of ALL their misery in the past 7 episodes, and easily connect the dots thanks to some subtle help from Travis Tanner, who, in one of the two only good scenes in episode, actually physically fights Harvey in a boxing match.
Louis, meanwhile, sensing that Harvey was high during his confrontation the night before, redoes the drug rules to get Harvey to take a blood test. Harvey refuses, causing Louis to fire him, but Harvey immediately cites the appeal clause in the rulebook, allowing him to hold a senior partner meeting to determine his fate. What happens next is both the most awesome yet STUPIDEST scene in the episode: Harvey admits to doing drugs, but turns the situation around and provides "proof" that Hardman constructed the memo that led to Tanner's lawsuit against Pearson-Hardman, costing Donna her job and the Senior Partners a total of $3 million. The partners vote, keeping Harvey and booting out Hardman out of the firm once and for all. The episode ends with Hardman vowing revenge, and Mike sleeping with Tess just as Rachel, deciding to give Mike his 10,000th chance, shows up at his door and sees the two together.
This episode doesn't have plot holes... it has plot vortexes. First off, Tess. Oh GOD Tess. She was never, ever mentioned in the first or second season leading up to this episode, and yet she appears and sleeps with him. Where the hell is Jenny?Jenny knew Grammy, and still cared about Mike the last time we saw her. Franted, I didn't really like Jenny that much, but she had a whole season to develop as Mike's love interest and it would make sense for her to be there when he lost someone as important as Grammy. Or, even better, Trevor! The two of them did have a major falling out, but again, Trevor had a season to develop, he was firmly established as Mike's best friend and also his greatest temptation, so it would make a lot more sense for Trevor to be there to give Mike support in his time of need as well as steer him back toward his old bad habits. But instead we're given Tess, a woman whose backstory is so paper thin you could poke a hole in it with a pencil.
Next we have Louis. Louis has evolved from being a mustache twirling villain with an inferiority complex to a respectable character with layers behind his douchebag exterior. He's shown TWICE that he is actually pretty cool to work with if you don't show fear around him like Harold does. But after Hardman wins the vote, all that character development is gone and he becomes his season 1 self on steroids, making Harvey's life miserable and gleefully enjoying it, even though Harvey earnestly reached out to Louis last episode, offering to even give him his office if he voted for Jessica. I have no problem with what Louis did this episode, but rather HOW he did it. Louis only shows two signs where he seems conflicted in his actions. (when Hardman tells him he wants to find a way to fire Harvey and when he speaks to Donna) If the writer's kept his character deveopment, Louis should've done his job, but not be happy about doing it. Instead, Louis is smiling like an idiot so much that even I wanted to punch him... and he's my favorite character on the show.
Third on my gripes is Hardman. Up till now, Daniel didn't really seem that bad of a guy. He was shown to be a misunderstood character who genuinely wanted redemption for his actions and treated his underlings with respect. He even spent the night working alongside Mike on TWO occasions, something Jessica never did. Harvey and Jessica, meanwhile, questioned everything Hardman did, positive that he had an ulterior motive and the nice guy act was just a front. And, as it turns out, THEY WERE RIGHT! But really, the memo appeared in the 4th episode, and Hardman did try several times before in the previous episode to work alongside Harvey as a partner, but was rebuffed every single time. You really have to wonder if Hardman planned to screw Harvey and Jessica all along or if their actions and paranoia pushed him over the edge.
Lastly, and my second biggest gripe (next to Tess) is Harvey's come-from-behind victory over Hardman and suffering no consequences whatsoever. Harvey flat out loses his cool over losing and completely violates the drug policy, and yet SOMEHOW turns it around so he stays and Hardman is fired. In the real world Harvey would've been fired alongside Hardman, or at least severely he, say, lost his senior partner status, that would've solidified that Harvey is in fact just a man and not Lawyer-Jesus. And the fact that Mike's "proof" against Daniel could've been completely nullified if Hardman JUST OPENED THE DAMN FOLDER just aggrevates the hell out of me. It's the same trick Harvey pulled on the bully client in the first 5 minutes of the pilot episode. Is everyone in Suits carrying the idiot ball?
Honestly, this had the potential of being a great episode if they just showed that the war with Hardman had real consequences. But no, Hardman's out, Jessica reigns supreme, Donna's back as Harvey's assistant and acts like she never left, Harvey's still Lawyer-Jesus, perfect in every way, and Mike Ross is still an idiot in the romance department. Everyone is happy except the bad guys. Booo.