On "Suits" "He's Back," which aired Feb. 7 on the USA Network, Daniel Hardman (David Costabile) is starting yet another fight with Jessica Pearson (Gina Torres). While that might seem like a familiar storyline, it's not. Hardman may have always been a jerk and a "piece of filth," but he's going to all new lows. He smells blood, and he's ready to take his old firm down.
He plans to do that by instigating a lawsuit against Jessica, claiming that Monica Eaton was wrongly terminated. Fans will remember that Monica was the lawyer sleeping with Daniel; she's also the gal who Louis Litt (Rick Hoffman) repeatedly asked out.
Every scene of "Suits" "He's Back" takes place in either the Pearson Hardman offices or out on the streets of New York, and that's because all the drama unfolds through wonderful conversation. Even more than usual, this particular episode was tightly written, heightening the pressure all of them are under, especially Harvey (Gabriel Macht) and Jessica.
Mike (Patrick J. Adams) is floating around too, hoping to help because he was the one who drafted the original complaint. But Mike is also, once again, helping Rachel (Meghan Markle), who is finally applying to Harvard.
So what new lows does Hardman reach? He knows Jessica can't violate the confidentiality agreement she signed when Hardman "resigned," otherwise she owes him $15 million. She can't talk about Monica's affair with Daniel, nor can she talk about his embezzlement.
But Hardman does more than taunt Jessica with his confidentiality agreement. He attempts to pit Harvey against Jessica. He talks to the judge, squashing one of Harvey's moves. In perhaps the most disgusting move, he blasts Jessica, basically claiming she's "bitter and barren" and "hates other women." And then to top it off, Monica claims she was being harassed at work by Louis Litt, and Jessica didn't care.
As Robert Zane (Wendell Pierce) tells Jessica, "I'm in bed with a guy who's got you by the balls." And Hardman agrees, telling Harvey, "It doesn’t matter how you slice it. I'm going to bleed you dry."
Jessica never backs down, and in this particular "Suits" episode, it's to a fault. "I trusted you to beat him before, and I'm trusting you to beat him now," she tells Harvey. But there's only so much Harvey can do.
There's also only so much Mike can do too; Monica doesn't care about Daniel's embezzlement. But does she care that if she wins, then over 100 women lose in the Folsom Food trials? "Do these women deserve to be treated the same way you were?" Mike tells Monica. After all, Jessica's case is becoming one of gender, and the Folsom Food cases are all about gender discrimination too.
Through all this on "He's Back," Harvey and Jessica aren't the only ones to share some words with their enemy. Louis threatens to kill Hardman in the elevator, saying, "I will rip that smug smile off your fat neck, and I will kill you," and it's impossible not have some sympathy for Louis with everything he's been put through.
And then there's Donna's (Sarah Rafferty) wonderful confrontation. "I;m nothing if not prompt," he tells Donna. To that, she says, "You're nothing if not an asshole." In retribution for the whole planted memo, Donna slaps him, not once, but twice, with an open palm.
In the end, Monica agrees to settle, only to protect the other women’s cases. But this war is far from over.
Jessica offers to merge with Zane’s firm, but he no longer likes the offer, not after all these gender discrimination cases.
The drama was high with Daniel and Jessica once again fighting, but Rachel and Mike shared some interesting -- and sweet -- moments too. She's finally finished her Harvard essay after some encouragement from Mike, who shared the story of his interview with Harvey, well at least some of it. She realized that she loves the life of the corporate lawyer, and when she's no longer a paralegal, she’ll be "unleashed."
But that wasn't the best realization of the night. Rather, that belonged to Mike realizing that when Rachel leaves for law school, she won't be around anymore. "I guess I'll just have to get used to that," he says. "I guess I'll have to get used to it too," she replies.
"Suits" airs on USA Network Thursdays at 10 p.m. EST.
© Elizabeth SanFilippo 2013