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Harvey: But this doesn't change the fact that this is what he does. He's coming back, and people are going to have to choose sides.
Mike: Can I choose his side?
Harvey: Sure. Support a man you've never met over a partner who knows you never went to Harvard, knows you're not really a lawyer, and is keeping you on anyway.
Mike: Jessica it is.

Harvey Specter and Mike Ross

The Choice is the second episode of the second season of Suits and the 14th overall. It first aired on June 21, 2012.

Overview

As Hardman makes it clear he's back to stay, Jessica tasks Harvey with helping shore up support for her within the firm - but Harvey's penchant for winning may create more enemies than friends.

Plot

Things aren't looking good for Mike after he is almost fired after Trevor spilled the beans to Jessica in the final episode of season 1. Mike is also well delighted to know that Rachel still harbors romantic feelings for him after finally hearing the message he missed because of Trevor.

Jessica is surprised to see construction going around at the law firm without her permission and assumes it is all Daniel Hardman. Even her beloved tea set is being taken away from her office into the supposed new office. Louis walks in and wonders why the walls aren't taupe as this was Hardman's request. He wonders who he should now report to now that the founding partner is back and because Hardman asked him to summarize all the cases the law firm handled while he was gone. Jessica tells him it's still she who Louis answers to and that they work closely together when in the truth Jessica and Daniel will not be on the same page. Harvey asks why she hid the truth and tells him that "you don't let the children know that mommy and daddy are fighting".

Mike is excited to see Rachel and tell her that he finally got her message, but before Mike can tell her how he feels for her, Louis gets in the middle and demands that he needs Rachel. Just as she leaves Mike plants a long kiss on her.

Jessica walks into Harvey's office to talk about how different departments feel about Harvey. Donna interrupts from her desk just as Jessica is about to ask about real estate saying that Harvey is horrible to the real estate people, as well as contracts, taxes, mergers and summarizes that all these people don't like Harvey because he thinks he is right all the time. She thinks they're barely known at bankruptcy though, as Jessica is assigning Harvey to a case of bankruptcy to Paul Porter's client. Mike is having a good time eating a pineapple flower from an omelet bar which Hardman brought for the associates. Harvey tells him to not trust Daniel because he doesn't know who he is yet: Hardman had embezzled funds from clients to support his mistress, while lying the money was for his wife's cancer treatments. Mike wants to side with Daniel instead of Jessica at first but when Harvey tells him his job will be in jeopardy if he goes to Daniel's side and that Jessica choose to keep him despite him being a fraud, he switches side. Harvey assigns something about Paul Porter to Mike.

Louis asks Donna what is really going on between Daniel and Jessica and even tries bribing her with tickets to a show she desperately wants to watch starring Meryl Streep and Glen Close if she tells him. Feeling used by Louis, Donna keeps her mouth shut but Louis lets her know if she's ready to talk, he'll give her a ticket. Mike flirts with Rachel and lets her know that he broke up with Jenny for her. They almost kiss when an executive walks by and Mike playfully switches to work. He asks her why she went out with Kyle during their double date when she doesn't even like him, then tells her to tell him about it on a date.

Harvey meets with Paul on a golf course and they talk about the changes happening around the office. Harvey then promises to handle Tom, Paul's client to foreclose Madison 25 to save Paul's reputation. In exchange Harvey asks to support Jessica at the firm.

Harvey and Mike meet up with Tom Clapper and talk about foreclosing Madison 25. Tom doesn't want to declare bankruptcy, then Harvey throws out a football analogy that if Peyton Manning goes down and the team loses games, the team must move on and let go of some things in order to protect assets (that being letting go of Manning). Harvey tells Tom that he owes a quarter billion already and needs to let go to protect his own assets. Tom lets them know that is not about him or his future but is about his family name. Tom then comes up with his own football analogy that when team is about to lose, a quarterback throws a Hail Mary pass. Harvey counters that with the fact that a team does that if the team has nothing to lose; though in this case, Tom does. When almost all else fails and Tom makes his case, Mike comes up with an idea. 

Donna goes to Louis's office to ask if it is possible to have the 250 million loan debt extended for Tom, but when Donna tells him that the bank is National Metropolitan, Louis becomes doubtful. Louis asks for a detail in Daniel and Jessica's rift in exchange for the debt extension and Donna asks for the show tickets. Deal is done.

Harvey and Mike talk to a bank representative about the foreclosure hold on Madison 25; that Tom will have the assets to make the bank a lot of money. But the bank tells them that what matters is the current assets the property has and that they will not be able to liquidate any of the property's assets as of now. 

Mike and Rachel try to set up some dating ground rules in the library when Louis walks in and remind Rachel about her assignment. Mike is not too pleased with it and reminds Louis that if he wants Rachel to summarize all the firm's cases, then he is going to have to wait. Mike then tries to make Louis jealous by telling him that Hardman invited all the associates to a Bruce Springsteen concert. Louis claims he doesn't care about it because he doesn't want to spend his evening with a bunch of associates.

Harvey finds Paul in his office and tells him why they did what they did with Madison 25 case, which Paul is not happy about because he is trying to protect Tom's future. Harvey tells him to trust him on this one; but Paul is not happy and forces Harvey to have Tom sign the bankruptcy papers. Harvey sees Mike deep in his research about the Madison 25 case and comes up with a new plan since Paul is not biting with their original plan. Mike informs Harvey that there are 8 projects in the 2-block radius of Madison 25 and were all built after Madison 25. He tells Harvey that this means that Madison 25 is the centerpiece of all this new properties. 6 of these properties are even backed by National metropolitan. This means that if Madison 25 closes then most of these new properties wont be doing good and that they need madison 25 to build up their own properties. 

Mike and Harvey go to the bank again to see the rep and inform her that they would be pursuing maintaining Madison 25. They inform her that they found out the reason the bank is pursuing in leveraging the foreclosure of Madison 25; is to sell prime real estate cheaply in the other properties. They inform her that three of the properties surrounding Madison 25 are represented by Pearson Hardman and that if the bank forecloses Madison 25, they'll take their business elsewhere and even support the remaining properties. The bank rep then gives up on both men and approves a new loan.

Louis is seen on a meeting with a Arnie Berenson, a headhunter at Berenson-O'Neill. Arnie tells Louis that there are plenty of other firms that would be happy to have him. Arnie gives Louis a choice and hands him his card.

While out on their first date, Rachel tells Mike that honesty is what he likes in a man after Mike confesses that Donna helped him in picking a good restaurant for their date. This doesn't go well with Mike as he is still conflicted about keeping the fact that he didn't graduate from Harvard from Rachel. They kiss and Mike waits for Rachel to leave in a cab.

Mike goes to Harvey's luxurious apartment to tell him that he needs to tell Rachel the complete truth. He tells Harvey that all the lies come back to haunt him and that he thinks telling Rachel will finally close the door on his past. Harvey doesn't approve and just as Mike is walking out the door Harvey tells him that if if Mike tells Rachel and it goes to Hardman -  he, Mike and even Jessica will be in big trouble. Harvey reminds him of what he had to go through to protect Mike and if he throws it all away, Harvey threatens him that he will be fired.

The next morning Jessica pays Harvey a visit at his apartment and is not thrilled at what Harvey did to threaten the bank. She says that she specifically told Harvey to do what Paul asks him to do and that Tom is not even Harvey's client. Harvey still sees the light at the end of the tunnel with his plan but Jessica orders him not to pitch his idea to the client and just do what Paul asks him to do.

Rachel tells Donna about her date with Mike and boasts that the are very comfortable with each other. She tells her that they found a way to not let the firm know about their relationship. Donna advises Mike about his recent run-in with Harvey in his apartment. Mike thinks that Harvey doesn't care about Mike's happiness. Donna drags Mike into Harvey's office and tells him that Harvey had to fight tooth and nail to keep Mike on and even threatened Jessica that if Mike goes, he would go as well. Mike can't believe it. Donna tells him that if he cares so much about Rachel then he doesn't have a choice but to break up with her. A moment of emotion is seen as Donna tells Mike that the feelings go away after a break up and that it is still possible that they can work with each other because of Donna's experience with Harvey when they were still working at the DA office.

Louis is waiting to speak with Jessica about something important when Paul Porter interrupts them. Jessica gives Louis a stern look, to which he replies begrudgingly "it can wait". Louis goes into his office and looks at the card he received from Arnie Berenson, when a messenger arrives and gives him a package. The package contains a gift from Daniel Hardman and when Louis opens it, he is delighted to see it is an audio recorder that Louis wanted. He then hides Arnie Berenson's card as if now he knows he can side with Daniel Hardman and stay with the firm.

Harvey tells Mike that Jessica rejected their deal with Tom and that bankruptcy should be the answer. Harvey is not pleased that he has to follow orders from Jessica and even Paul when there is a solution to the problem. Harvey tells Mike that he should also do the right thing in his conflict with Rachel. Harvey and Mike meet with Paul and Tom in the conference room to tell Tom about the deal. Harvey tells Tom that they were able to renegotiate the terms of the loan, and his payments would be further delayed. Harvey makes it clear that the decision means no bankruptcy nor foreclosure. Paul is not pleased and after Tom says that he will never forget what Harvey has done, he echos the same phrase, with much darker sentiment.

Harvey meets with Jessica at the building's rooftop, and she explains that she feels betrayed by Harvey's actions. Harvey says that despite the situation he has created with the bankruptcy department, it will be great for her and the real estate department. She clarifies that she doesn't have a problem with real estate but it was Harvey they hated. She can't believe that Harvey would put himself in front of her and that Harvey just doesn't care. Jessica now feels betrayed and alone in her power struggle with Hardman.

Mike meets up with Rachel at a hotdog stand to break up with her. Rachel is confused. Mike reveals that he knows about Colin McCarthy, a first year associate Rachel used to date but when they broke up Colin's career went down the drain and he eventually got fired. Mike says that he will somehow screw up their relationship and have the same fate as Colin. Rachel believes that Mike thinks she's not good enough for him and storms off.  

Jessica finds Louis in Hardman's office, and he makes several comments to the effect that he has been trying to make sure Harman's office is perfect for his return. She apologizes to him for blowing him off earlier, saying it was urgent, and offers to hear him out now giving him her full attention. After already choosing to side with Hardman, he tells Jessica curtly that he no longer needed to speak with her.

Harvey finds Mike deep in research and checks in on him. Mike lets Harvey know that he did what he wanted him to do, it is obvious that he is upset with Harvey about it. Harvey lets Mike know that he knows he is right about dumping Rachel but Mike tells him that it doesn't make him a better man. As he leaves, Mike sees an unhappy Rachel heading into the elevator, salt in his open wound.

In the last scene of the episode, Harvey brings Jessica's tea set back into her office and lets her know that she is not alone with her endeavor with Daniel.

Cast

Main Cast

Guest Cast

  • Michael Cristofer as Paul Porter
  • Ian Kahn as Tom Klapperich
  • Nadia Dajani as Elaine Cohen
  • Gordon S. Miller as Arnie Berenson
  • Michal Grzejszczak as Messenger
  • Karen Malina White as Doris Miller

Major/Highlighted Events

  • Daniel Hardman begins renovation within the firm to create an office for himself, despite him needing Jessica's signature as she is the current managing partner. Knowing that Hardman is trying to usurp that title from her by calling for a vote in the near future, Jessica tells Harvey to settle a case from the firm's bankruptcy division, headed by Paul Porter.
    • Porter wishes to have his client, Tom Klapperich, file for bankruptcy rather than struggle against a quarter billion dollar loan on his Madison 25 project. When Harvey and Mike go to the bank, they are told by Elaine Cohen that Tom's assets do not match up against the loan and that they will have to foreclose. Mike, however, realizes that the bank has recently undergone a merger and is looking for new corporate headquarters, and that they are trying to foreclose on Tom so that they can acquire his building for an extremely low price. Mike also points out that three of the six nearby buildings, which require Madison 25 to be the centerpiece, are represented by Pearson Hardman and that their value will drop if Madison 25 remains incomplete. Using this information, Harvey and Mike successfully strong-arm the bank into dropping the balloon payment and granting Tom the loan he requires.
    • Paul invites himself into Harvey's office, berating him for trying to get Tom the money he needs now when as a specialist in bankruptcy, he believes Tom needs to declare it in order to secure a long term gain for a short term loss. Paul threatens to back Hardman for managing partner if Harvey doesn't get Tom to sign the bankruptcy papers. The next morning, Jessica visits Harvey's condo and commands him to lie to Tom and notify him that the bank didn't come through, as she needs Paul to be happy so that he can back her. However, Harvey reveals to Tom that the bank has approved the loan, and Paul drops any support he had for Harvey and Jessica.
  • Louis recalls the "Litt, Nothing & Nobody" remark that Jessica made in "Dog Fight" and contacts Arnie Berenson, a head hunter, in order to secure employment at another law firm. However, when Hardman gifts him with a dictophone he wanted in reward for his work at the firm, Louis decides to stay at Pearson Hardman and facilitate Hardman's return.
  • Mike and Rachel officially began a relationship, which the two of them are content with. Rachel gushes to Donna about how she feels like she can share anything with Mike, even revealing to him that she had been arrested before. However, during their dinner the night before, Rachel admitted that she liked honesty in a man, which caused Mike to feel guilty. Mike notifies Harvey that he wants to share the truth with Rachel, much to Harvey's refusal. Harvey tells Mike that if he and Rachel don't work out, Rachel may not keep the secret to herself and that if it reaches Hardman, both of them, along with Jessica, would be in trouble. Harvey then instructs Mike that he may continue dating Rachel, but that he cannot tell her the truth.
    • At the firm, Mike complains about Harvey's response to Donna, who reveals to him that Harvey was willing to give up his beloved office in order to keep Mike employed. Realizing that Harvey does care for him, and that he cannot have a relationship based on a lie, Mike decides to break up with Rachel. He asks Donna how they can even work together afterwards, and Donna explains that it is difficult yet possible. Mike realizes that Donna must have gone through a similar situation in the past with Harvey, and asks Donna for advice. Donna explains that the feelings will gradually fade away. Mike then notifies Rachel that he wishes to break up, citing that her last firm boyfriend got fired after their relationship affected his firm work and that he does not want to lose his job. Rachel storms off in response, thus souring the relationship between the two yet again.
  • Jessica and Harvey have a meeting on the rooftop, where Jessica states that while she has been irritated, angry and exasperated with him many times, she had never felt betrayed by him until now. She explains that she had officially lost Paul Porter's backing, to the extent where he wouldn't support her even if she saved his mother from cancer. She notifies Harvey that he used to be her biggest asset, and now she wonders if he has become her biggest liability. Harvey realizes that she is talking about Mike and not the bankruptcy situation, and Jessica explains that by hiring Mike for his own amusement, he has made Jessica liable for Mike's fraud and thus endangered her livelihood; she adds that while she will eventually move on, Harvey used to be the only person in the firm she trusted and will now accept that she is alone.
    • Harvey goes to see Mike at the firm's archives room, where he attempts to console Mike by telling him that he will find the right girl in time. Mike lashes out at Harvey for giving him dating advice, stating that Harvey most likely told himself the same thing when he was 20, 25 and 35 and would probably say it again at age 50. Harvey calmly replies that Mike knows that notifying Rachel was not the right thing to do, and Mike responds that while that may be so, it still doesn't make him feel better. As Mike leaves, Harvey goes to Jessica's office, returning her tea set that Hardman had stolen earlier, and informs her that she is not alone.

Cultural References

Trivia

  • When Mike heads to Harvey's apartment after his date with Rachel, Harvey asks Mike how he got his address. However, this is not Mike's first visit to Harvey's apartment; in "Tricks of the Trade", he heads to Harvey's apartment after a night out of drinking to deliver the napkin containing illegal trade tips.
  • Donna hints at a past relationship with Harvey, telling Mike that it is possible to work together after having had a relationship and that the mutual feelings eventually come to pass.

Gallery

Mike Ross Gallery Icon

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