Everyone at the firm realizes that the key to moving forward is for Mike and Louis to get back on the same page. To that end, the show and Harvey take us on a trip down memory lane.
This episode exists in three parts, two of which are flashbacks. One flashback shows us what Mike was doing back when he was working as a bike messenger. The other shows us Harvey and Lois being pitted against each other for a promotion to junior partner six years ago at the firm. In the present day, we see Donna and Rachel have a dinner meeting while Jessica and Harvey share drinks. The topic of both conversations is getting Louis to move on from his bitterness and to have peaceful relationships at the firm. Everyone agrees that the key to making that happen is to get Louis to forgive Mike. However, no one thinks it has a great chance of happening. In order to speed the process along, Harvey arranges for Mike and Louis to go with him to McKernon motors. The company is a huge deal to Harvey and was the first case that Mike and Harvey worked together. As a peace offering, Harvey offers to give Lois half of McKernon, but the real motive is to trap him and Mike in the car together and force them to talk things out.
In Mike’s flashback we see him flirting with a girl named Claire who interns at a legal clinic. We also see the return of Mike’s former best friend turned bitter enemy Trevor. Trevor’s just asked Mike to move in with him as repayment for taking the fall for him in law school. Mike moves in with Trevor and starts dating Claire but things get complicated pretty quickly. Claire wants to be with somebody who wants to do something with their life, not just a bike messenger. In order to keep the girl Mike pretends to be a law student at Columbia. He even goes so far as to offer to help her with the case involving visas at her job. His work turns out to be good, as you’d expect, but Claire’s coworker figures out that Mike is a fraud and threatens him to stay away from her. At the same time Mike’s grandmother gets on his case about hanging out with Trevor and encourages him to do something with his life. All of this is set up to show Mike’s motivation to actually do something constructive with with his life even if it means being a fraud. Still, the let down of losing the girl and his grandmother laying in to him, continues Mike along the self destructive path he was on with Trevor.
And Harvey and Louis is flashback, we see the start of their rivalry. We also get to see Donna with bangs, but that’s just an added bonus. Things start when there’s an opening created by a partner leaving. Louis comes up with the idea that he and Harvey should apply to fill the position as two junior partners. They present the idea to Daniel Hardman, who’s still the managing partner of the firm at the time. Instead of accepting their offer, he throws them a curve ball. He tells Louis and Harvey that he’ll promote whichever one of them lands McKernon motors. Harvey ends up landing the client and Louis feels betrayed. Harvey ends up getting betrayed by Hardman, when he realizes that McKernon was just being used as bait to get another client, Fletcher Engines. Harvey tries to fight for McKernon in court but gets blindsided by the opposing council. It turns out that Louis is the one who betrayed him in favor of the bigger client and winning Hardman’s favor. Harvey tells Louis that he’s a disloyal rat and Louis doubles down on the idea of promoting himself. The flashback shows the pattern of Louis and Harvey working together that has persisted to this day.
In the present, Harvey takes Mike and Louis on the long road trip to McKernon. He forces them to talk, which is just fodder for them to fire insults at each other. We even find out that Mike doesn’t actually know how to drive. However, things take a serious turn when Louis starts to talk about Mike’s grandmother, which prompts Mike to tell Harvey to pull the car over so he and Louis can fight. When Harvey pulls over at a gas station, he gives them one more push and Louis attacks Mike. Harvey gets outside before it goes to far and Louis breaks down into tears. That gives them the opportunity to actually talk to each other. Eventually, Mike apologizes and Louis tells him that he doesn’t view him as a fraud. When they get to McKernon, Harvey reveals that he’s stepping out of handling them completely and giving half of the account to Mike and the other half to Louis. To further cement them being on good terms, Louis even offers to teach Mike to drive on the way back.
- Harvey represented Michael Jordan and the flashback starts with Donna breaking the news to him that he landed “His Airness” as a client.
- Donna and Rachel compare Rachel’s looks to the Khaleesi’s interpreter.
- “You’re not a fraud, Mike. You just never went to law school”
- We got to see Trevor, Hardman and Mike’s grandmother back on screen again.
Normally, I’m not a fan of flashbacks, but I think they work in this episode. Especially because they allowed for the return of three really strong characters as well as the introduction of another pretty good one in Claire. The flashbacks don’t really give us much new information, but they fill in some details in the characters’ pasts, which is always fun. I thought the stuff with Mike flirting with Claire was the most fun thing the episode, with Louis and Mike fighting being a close 2nd. I also liked that they threw Rachel into the flashback at the very end, just so we could see where everyone was. Aside from the flashbacks, I also liked that this episode seems to mark a return to some kind of normalcy after what’s been going on in this half of the season. Louis has finally forgiven Mike, along with doing an extensive background check on him, and the two are actually working together. Of course, now that Louis seems to be back on the team, that means that there’s gonna be some other problem facing the firm on the horizon.