'Suits' Recap and Review: 'Meet the New Boss' (2.03)
Meanwhile, trying to get Rachel out of her post-breakup with Mike funk, Donna takes her to a bar and the two of them basically pretend to be female versions of Harvey and Mike. It's the episode's stroke of comic relief, and it's good for a few laughs. Meanwhile, Sheila starts to interview all the Pearson Hardman associates, and bonds with Louis - which is why she tells him that the associates don't respect him. This visibly affects him, which is a nice reminder that Louis is not a one-dimensional villain.
When Mike tells Harvey that he knows what Nell wants to end the strike thanks to said back-channel negotiations, Harvey has another confrontation with Hardman, this one in the bathroom. He's infuriated for a variety of reasons, including that he believes the quoted $10 million won't really solve the problem. Hardman's response to Harvey's tirade is to call Mike into his office for another chat, while Louis wanders around dictating stuff to his assistant in the empty bullpen. Harvey overhears him and wants to know what's happening; when Louis tells him what Rachel said, Harvey has a moment of compassion and gives him a pep talk. "I'm only going to say this once, so you better enjoy it: you're the man," he says, before walking out. Typical Harvey, and yet, oddly sweet at the same time. Too bad Louis was recording that conversation and can now play that soundbite back to his heart's content.
Meanwhile, Mike discovers Rachel's new Match.com profile and she catches him looking at it, but is surprised when he starts giving her advice on what to write in it. It's clear from what he says that he's still got feelings for her and plenty of guilt over dumping her. You didn't really expect the show to drop that subplot, did you?
The next morning, Louis puts all the associates in their place, reminding them that their grunt work is how they learn to be good lawyers, and if they don't like it they can all go elsewhere. Mike is surprised to find that Hardman is walking him into a meeting with both Harvey and Nell. Harvey's got a handful of pink slips in his hand, and is prepared to fire all the nurses who are working past their scheduled times if Nell doesn't sign the new contract. She knows he got that information from Mike and that, in turn, makes both her and Mike upset. When Mike confronts Harvey, Harvey pushes right back. "I know you don't like this part of a job, but it's part of he job," he says, but Mike retorts that all Harvey wants is really to beat Hardman, and that he doesn't want to be caught in the middle of their feud ever again.
As if Mike hasn't had a bad enough day, Rachel shows up at his apartment and demands to know why she broke up with him. She doesn't buy the excuse he gave her the last episode, and has sussed out that he's keeping something from her. He insists that he can't tell her because "once I tell you, I can never take it back. This is my everything." She isn't placated and tearfully leaves him standing on the street, frustrated.
While Harvey and Jessica are content with the nurses' strike being settled, Hardman shows up to apologize and Jessica reminds him that he's been starting trouble before he even walked back in the door. He goes awkward again and after he leaves, Harvey gives Jessica a look that clearly reads as "You don't believe that, do you?" Jessica then goes to visit Louis and tell him how impressed she was with his speech to the associates. She asks him if there's something wrong, and he tells her that he'd like the chance to rise to the occasion once in awhile.
That evening, Harvey calls Mike into his office for story time. He explains that when he and Jessica found out about what Hardman had done, Hardman broke down during the resulting confrontation, saying he needed the money for his wife rather than his mistress. As a result, Harvey can't trust him - but he trusts Mike enough to give him that information. While Mike ponders that and visits his grandmother one more time, Rachel has gotten the confidence to pursue her law degree again.