" I'll help you school-bag those Harvard douches, and I'll be the best god-damn lawyer you've ever seen"
|Michael James Ross|
|Portrayed by Patrick J. Adams|
|Institution:|| Pearson Darby Specter|
Pearson Darby (formerly)
Pearson Hardman (formerly)
|Significant Others:|| Jenny Griffith (ex-girlfriend)|
Tess (ex-girlfriend; affair)
Rachel Zane (girlfriend)
|Parents:|| Nina Ross † (mother)|
James Ross † (father)
|Relatives:||Edith Ross † (grandmother)|
|Appearance Count:||35 (all)|
Mike Ross uses his eidetic memory to take the LSATs for other people to make a living. After a drug transaction gone wrong, Mike ends up getting hired as an associate for Harvey Specter at the law firm Pearson Hardman by Harvey Specter, despite his lack of a law degree.
While struggling to keep his secret from his other coworkers, Mike continues to work hard to prove himself as a lawyer. Now, he also has to deal with the death of his grandmother, the only family he had left.
When Mike was 11, his parents died in a car crash. He was then taken in by his paternal grandmother, Edith Ross.
Mike found school incredibly easy due to his photographic memory, and rarely put any effort into studying. He got a scholarship into college and had planned to take up law, until he was expelled after Trevor convinced him to memorize a math test, as a way to make money, and unknowingly sold the answers to the Dean's daughter. The dean was forced to resign and his last act was to expel Mike and tell Harvard what he did so he would never get in.
Some time after his expulsion, Mike started smoking pot with Trevor. He eventually took a job as a bike messenger. Whilst at a bar with Trevor, he met two girls, Jenny and Nikki, and immediately hit it off with Jenny. However, it was Nikki who asked Trevor to set her up with Mike, so Trevor ended up asking Jenny out, and Mike with Nikki. After agreeing to go out with her, Mike discovered it was actually a ruse, as Nikki wanted Mike to take the LSATs for her. Although Mike was initially reluctant, he agreed to do so in exchange for money after he found out his grandmother would need full-time care.
Mike began taking the LSATs for other people as a living, after he was recommended to others by Nikki. At one point, Mike also took the bar exam for a bet and passed.
Season 1 Edit
Mike realized that he had been taking one too many LSATs when a proctor recognized him. After constantly declining Trevor's invitation to get into the business of selling pot with him, he discovered that his grandmother's medical bills were piling up, and agreed to a one-off job for Trevor, delivering a briefcase full of drugs.
Whilst making the delivery, Mike realized that it was actually a set up and took off with the briefcase in hand. Attempting to hide from the cops, he stumbled into the room where the interviews for Harvey Specter's associate was being held. Although Harvey was impressed by his tactics, he expressed reluctance at hiring Mike as his associate, given that Mike hadn't attended any law school. However, Mike managed to convince Harvey to hire him anyway with his expansive knowledge of the law, and received a signing bonus that would cover his grandmother's medical bills.
After Trevor constantly badgered Mike about the briefcase full of marijuana, he eventually returned the briefcase to Trevor, revealing his business to Jenny in doing so, and took several of Trevor's suits along the way.
Whilst working at Pearson Hardman, Mike fell in love with his co-worker Rachel Zane, though he was unable to pursue a full relationship with her since he was dating Jenny, who had left Trevor after discovering his drug dealing affairs. Mike's job at Pearson Hardman was then put under threat when Trevor, who had discovered that Mike was dating Jenny, revealed to Jessica Pearson the truth about Mike's history.
Season 2 Edit
Although Mike's identity was revealed to Jessica, his position at Pearson Hardman was secured after Harvey threatened to leave Pearson Hardman if Mike was fired. The return of Daniel Hardman, however, put pressure on Mike's secret, as Daniel was searching for something to hold against both Jessica and Harvey, who together had blackmailed him into leaving five years prior for stealing from the company.
As he became more and more busy with his work at Pearson Hardman, Mike was unable to visit his grandmother Edith. After two months of not seeing each other, Edith decided to visit Mike herself at the firm. Feeling guilty for neglecting her, Mike decided to buy Edith an apartment in Manhattan, with some assistance from Rachel. However, just as he was about to take his grandmother to see her new apartment, Rachel informed him that Edith had passed away. Mike broke down in front of her and was unable to focus on work the following days.
Before Edith's funeral, Mike started smoking pot again. At her wake, Mike's childhood sweetheart, Tess, came to see Mike again, and, after sharing an intimate moment with him, revealed that she was married. Mike initially turned her away, but after being rejected by Rachel, he later called her and slept with her.
Mike ends things with Tess after Harvey tells him to "get his shit together." A man revealed to be Tess's husband beats him outside after finding about the affair. Mike did not file paperwork for Harvey about the merger he didn't want after Jessica threatened him with a letter revealing his secret. Harvey got horribly mad at Mike. Mike is later seen in the filing room, when Rachel walks in, locks the door, and demands to know why Mike wouldn't send a letter to Harvard for Rachel after Rachel was told by Louis that she didn't get in because of his relationship with Sheala Hass. He told Rachel he couldn't sign it because he never went to Harvard. Rachel then slaps him twice, and he grabs her arm and they have sex in the filing room.
Mike is Harvey's own associate. Despite Mike's lack of a law degree, Harvey hires him, impressed by his wit and knowledge. Harvey mentors Mike, similar to how Jessica had mentored him. Mike, who never had any responsible paternal figures in his life, except his grandmother, after his parents' deaths, comes to regard Harvey as an older brother and a best friend. While he, inherently, is forced to put his trust in Harvey since the revealing of Mike's secret could get him fired, he grows to do so willingly as Harvey proves to be an excellent mentor.
Mike is fiercely loyal to Harvey and often goes to great lengths to achieve the impossible on Harvey's behalf. This loyalty also comes with an element of dependency, both in a professional and emotional manner -- when Mike makes mistakes, Harvey unfailingly comes to his aid, as Harvey feels responsible for his associate. In "Shelf Life," Harvey bails Mike out when Mike is caught looking through files of a rival firm, and in "Bail Out," he protects Mike from the threat of Trevor's moneylenders. Harvey is protective of Mike in an older-brotherly way; when Jessica learns of Mike's fraud and demands that he be fired, Harvey refuses to do so. In "Blood In The Water," when Mike comes into work with a black eye after being beaten by Tess's husband, Harvey demands to know who did it so that he can "kick his ass."
Mike is devoted to Harvey like no one else in the office, and their playful banter and teasing becomes a trademark aspect of their relationship. They have similar taste in movies and often challenge each other to quote-offs. At times, Harvey becomes less of a father-figure or older brother and more of a friend. In "High Noon", he joins Mike in an evening of drinking and smoking, and the two even try to sabotage the office to get back at Louis.
Though Harvey and Mike's relationship is tested by obstacles, their unbeatable teamwork and unspoken bond with one another proves to triumph again and again.
Rachel Zane Edit
Rachel and Mike's relationship started off as rocky. Rachel showed disdain for Mike for being a show off and also for, according to her, trying to hit on her. But throughout the course of the first season, their relationship grew to trusted working partners. When Rachel was suspended after being wrongfully accused of leaking a confidential document, Mike went out of his way to help Rachel get back her job. When Mike and Jenny started dating, it put a hidden strain on their growing relationship.
After working together on a case, Rachel kissed Mike in the library, an act witnessed by Louis. Later on, Rachel accused Mike of toying with her when he kept on flirting with her even though he was officially with Jenny. This argument led them to breaking off their friendship and partnership, causing Mike to have much difficulty with some of his cases.
When Mike finally received Rachel's message about their kiss, he kissed her and told her that he wanted them to happen. Because of this, Mike wanted to tell Rachel of his secret of not officially being an attorney but Harvey objected on it. After a talk with Donna about Harvey, Mike decided to not tell Rachel and ended their relationship before it got too complicated and before he hurt her. Later that day, Mike went to Harvey's place to inform him that he didn't want to keep any secrets from Rachel if they started a relationship, but Harvey discouraged him from doing so, stating that after what just happened (Jessica finding out and Harvey saving his job by threatening to "go if he goes"), Mike should know better than to let another person know the truth. Mike came to the conclusion that both Harvey and Donna's opinions were plausible, so by the end of the episode, he told Rachel that he could no longer continue their relationship.
Mike later managed to mend his friendship with Rachel, and she helped Mike pick out an apartment for his grandmother. She was also the one to inform him that his grandmother had died. Rachel helped him through everything that needed to be done in accordance to his grandmother's death. In his grief, Mike kissed an old flame that was present during his grandmother's wake but left after finding out that she was married. Once Mike managed to find a way to take down Hardman, he kissed Rachel, but she insisted that they shouldn't do it since his grandmother had just died, and she didn't think that people make smart choices when something like that happens. Mike stormed away stating that "being smart [hadn't] made either one of [them] very happy." The last scene of the episode showed Mike opening his door for Tess, and after they have sex, there is someone at the door; Mike hurried to open the door thinking that it was the pizza boy. It turned out to be Rachel who says that he was right but is crestfallen when she sees Tess.
At the end of season 2, Mike finally tells Rachel he never went to Harvard. She slaps him, and they have sex in the filing room.
Jenny Griffith Edit
Mike was in love with Jenny when she was still dating Trevor. When Mike revealed to Jenny that Trevor dealt drugs, she became angry at Mike and broke up with Trevor. Trevor then lied to Jenny that he had stopped, but Mike wanted Jenny to know the truth. Mike later kissed Jenny but realized that it was not a good idea, considering Trevor was his best friend. but while in the progress of asking jenny for help in turned into a full on sex affair. Eventually, they start dating anyway, but Jenny becomes very suspicious of Mike's relationship with Rachel when Louis tips her off.
After Trevor discovered that Mike was dating Jenny, he told Jenny about Mike's kiss with Rachel, and Jenny promptly left Mike.
Trevor was Mike's best and oldest friend who is considered an "anchor" by Edith and Harvey, and they advise Mike to cut him off.
He started dealing drugs around the time Mike began being paid to take the LSATs for other people. Mike agrees to do the same when it becomes clear he needed money to let his grandmother stay in a private home. Trevor later attempts to start anew after Mike saves his life with Harvey's help.
Their friendship is strained when Trevor learns that Mike had been dating Trevor's ex-girlfriend Jenny during Trevor's absence. As a result, he tells Jenny that Mike and Rachel had kissed and informs Jessica of Mike's lack of a degree.
When Trevor threatens to ruin Mike's life more than he already has, Mike reveals that he knows Trevor's social security number and will use the information against Trevor if the need arises.
Edith Ross was Mike's grandmother who took him in after his parents died in an accident. She passed away during the Season 2 episode "Asterisk." By then, Mike had purchased an apartment for her which, unfortunately, she had never seen. Her death obviously saddened Mike, who returns to using marijuana in order to ease his misery.
According to Mike, she was happy that he finally found a job that fully engages him.
The relationship between Mike and Louis Litt has always been a strained one. In Season 1, Louis tricked Mike into taking marijuana, which could have cost him his job. But, in Season 2, when Louis is about to leave Pearson Hardman, he and Mike work over a case together and bond.