Harvey goes head to head against Robert Zane, Rachel's father, on a gender discrimination case that forces Rachel to confront her complicated relationship with her dad.
Harvey and Mike are messing around in Harvey's office, throwing balls of paper into a bin. Mike is one shot away from losing, but just as he throws, Jessica walks in and catches his shot. The two of them protest her interrupting their game, but Jessica is unconcerned, and promptly requests that Mike leave. She proceeds to inform Harvey of the death of Derek Portis, to which Harvey shows little sympathy, asking "what took him so long?". However, Jessica reminds Harvey that Derek had convinced Folsom Foods to settle in their case with Pearson Hardman, to the tune of $10 million. Harvey states that the deal only needs signing, but Jessica replies that it will not be so simple, and Harvey asks who is to replace him?
Rachel is having a birthday lunch with her father, Robert Zane, and he informs her that he is due to represent Folsom Foods in a case against Pearson Hardman. Rachel responds that she is aware of the case, and Robert states that he is telling her to give her a chance to get off of the case if she so wishes. He remarks that he knows she tries to keep a low profile at the firm, and states that he wished she didn't keep secret that he is her father. Rachel responds that she doesn't broadcast the fact since people tend to treat her differently when they find out. Robert asks whether she feels people judge her for being a paralegal, but Rachel becomes defensive, replying that only he judges her in that way, and that she doesn't intend to be a paralegal forever. When Robert states that he knows, Rachel questions his sincerity, and whether he truly believes she has what it takes. He replies that she could do whatever she wanted, and that after five years as a paralegal, she might consider doing something else. Rachel angrily scolds her father for telling her that she "won't amount to anything", and abruptly leaves.
Katrina enters her new office at Pearson Hardman, only to find Louis Litt waiting for her there, cutting his nails. She points out to him that he is in the wrong office, but he states otherwise, and reveals he is aware of her position as Harvey's new associate. Katrina responds by asking who he is, to which Louis cryptically replies that "that's [their] problem right there", before clarifying by asking why she hadn't yet come to see him. Louis informs Katrina that he oversees all first and second year associates, but Katrina counters by asking why, if that is the case, he is in a fifth year associate's office. Louis is undeterred, and turns to use Katrina's computer. Katrina points out that it is password protected, but Louis reveals he has already guessed her password, and is unconcerned when Katrina states it to be a violation of her privacy. After briefly reading over her current case, he suggests her defence to be weak, despite Katrina's objections, and states that he "will be forced to supervise [her]". Katrina again objects, saying that she doesn't "need a babysitter", but Louis remains unsympathetic, and sarcastically welcomes her to Pearson Hardman, before leaving.
Rachel goes to see Mike in his cubicle, and requests that he put her as the paralegal on the Folsom Foods case. Mike refuses, saying that he doesn't believe it would be a good idea, but Rachel replies that the new opposing counsel is her father. Mike is surprised to find out that Robert Zane is her father, but is still reluctant to put her on the case. He asks Rachel whether she considers them working together a good idea, but after Rachel questions whether Mike is in a position to ask her what constitutes a good idea, Mike agrees.
Harvey and Mike are in a meeting with Robert Zane in Harvey's office. Harvey offers Robert his condolences regarding Derek Portis, but Robert agrees with Harvey's earlier assertion that "Derek was a dick". Harvey informs Robert that their deal only needs signing, and Mike courteously offers him the deal, but Robert counters by saying that "[he] didn't come over … to sign, [he] came to negotiate". Harvey states that his attempt to renegotiate is bad faith, but Robert replies that the settlement Derek negotiated was too much, and offers them $2 million in return. Harvey refuses Robert's offer, to which Robert asks when they wish to arrange the deposition of Sloan Moseley. Mike states that she had already been deposed, but Harvey interrupts his associate and states that Robert is within his right to do so, and Robert informs them that "when [he gets] done with her, she is going to jump at the $2 million". As Robert leaves, Harvey confronts Mike regarding his overly respectful attitude towards Robert, and reveals that he is aware of Mike putting Rachel on the Folsom Foods case. Mike replies that Rachel requested to be put on the case, but Harvey again warns Mike about telling Rachel his secret.
Katrina confronts Donna as she exits the elevator, and is surprised to discover that Donna already knows who she is, to which Donna replies that she "know[s] who everybody is". Katrina asks Donna for a minute of her time, attempting to bribe her with home-made butterscotch cookies, and after some initial hesitation, Donna relents. Katrina immediately asks her "who the hell is Louis Litt?", to which Donna responds that it "might take more than a minute". Katrina voices her frustration with Louis, and asks whether Harvey would stand in her way in getting even, to which Donna replies that he would not, but warns her that if she is going up against Louis, she'd "better be prepared to go the distance".
Robert visits Jessica in her office, and requests that she settle the Folsom Foods case. Jessica responds that she thought they were already settling in the case, but Robert informs her that he changed the settlement offer from the one Derek proposed. Jessica in turn informs Robert that she already knows Harvey rejected the offer Robert made, but Robert counters by saying that with Pearson Hardman losing employees and clients, she needs a high profile win, no matter "how ugly".
Jessica finds Harvey, and informs him of her meeting with Robert. She relays to him how Robert feels they are weak after what happened with Alison, and is attempting to force her to settle at his lower offer. Harvey berates Robert's actions, calling them "below the belt", and when Jessica asks what she does to people like that, Harvey replies "cut them off at the knees", before leaving.
In the break room, Katrina approaches Louis as he is making a smoothie. She attempts to start a conversation, but he quickly interrupts her, and forces her to wait until he is done. When he is finally finished, Katrina apologises for her previous attitude, and informs Louis that after looking up his record, she realised he is a "white collar genius", and begs for his help with her case. Louis encourages her to continue, and Katrina relays to him that her motion to dismiss is on Wednesday, but that she is hesitant since she has never been able to connect with Judge McIntyre, who is residing over her case. Louis tells her that the judge is a stickler for the rules, and provided she abide by them, she should be fine. Katrina requests that Louis sign onto her case as first chair, to which he agrees.
Rachel enters Harvey's office, and confirms whether Harvey wished to see her. Harvey replies that he did, but informs her that the usual protocol is to let Donna know first. Rachel points out that Donna is not at her desk, but Harvey responds that that is not by accident, and asks Rachel whether she knows why he wished to see her, and why Donna is not at her desk. Rachel replies that he wished to see her "because [her] last name is Zane", and Donna isn't there because Harvey wishes to ask her to do something Donna would advise her against doing. Harvey enquires whether she knows what that is, to which Rachel replies that he wants to know if she wishes to be on the Folsom Foods deposition, to which Rachel adds that she does. Harvey asks her whether she feels her presence will rattle her father, to which she replies that she feels he wouldn't care, which Harvey states to be good. Rachel enquires why that would be the case, and Harvey informs her that if that is how she feels, then her relationship with her father is worse than she thinks, and that her father cares about her more than she believes. Rachel is left surprised by Harvey's statement, and leaves.
The next day, Robert walks with Harvey to the deposition room, only to find his daughter in there preparing files. He asks Harvey whether what he is doing is supposed to be a joke, telling him that Rachel doesn't need to be there. He informs Harvey that her being there won't stop him from doing his job, but Harvey counters by asking Robert what his daughter will think of him after he has attacked their client. Robert accuses Harvey of being cruel, but Harvey states that it is his own fault after he pulled their deal. As Robert enters the room, Mike arrives, and seeing Rachel, asks Harvey what he did, to which Harvey replies "my job".
Robert begins his deposition of Sloan Moseley, and questions her on why she chose to work in the food industry. She replies that she has a love of food, but Robert counters by asking whether such a thing is necessary in an executive position. Sloan responds that she felt her love of food was a perfect fit with the company, to which Robert asks why she was looking for employment elsewhere if Folsom Foods was such a good fit. She states that she had worked at Folsom Foods for nine years, but had been passed over multiple times for promotion "in favour of less qualified men". Robert suggests that she is blaming his client because she is unwilling to work out what it takes to succeed in her industry, to which Mike asks whether Robert has a question for Sloan. In response, Robert asks Sloan why she didn't simply focus on one particular job rather than several, but Sloan replies that doing so would have required a step backward. Robert however, suggests that such employment was the only thing she was capable of finding, as "no-one thought [she was] any good at the job [she] had". Sloan denies his accusation, but Robert states he has sworn testimony from a head-hunter that "no-one wanted [her]". Mike confronts Robert over his badgering, but Robert continues, calling Sloan "untalented" and "pathetic" and that she was "blaming other people because [she doesn't] have the skills or the fortitude or anything else to make it in [her] chosen field", a statement that leaves Rachel taken aback. Robert states he has several more questions to ask, but Mike interrupts him, stating that the deposition is over.
Rachel confronts Mike in the men's room, and berates him for trying to protect her during the deposition. Mike, however, states that he wasn't even watching Rachel during the deposition, and that he ended the deposition to protect the client. He suggests that she wanted to be put on the case to make it about herself versus her father, which Rachel denies, but Mike continues, reminding her that the case is about Folsom Foods and their client.
Louis bursts into Katrina's office, and angrily informs her that he received a fine from Judge McIntyre for missing his court date, as she lied to him about when the hearing was. She denies his accusation, stating that the correct court date was in the documents she gave him. Walking up to her, Louis states to Katrina that she doesn't want to pick a fight with him, but Katrina replies that she wasn't the one that picked the fight. Louis suggests otherwise, and tells him that she will pay his fine, in addition to writing a letter to the judge to apologise. Katrina bluntly refuses, and asks him who he is going to tell that she lied about the date.
Mike finds Harvey, and suggests that he made things personal with Robert Zane by putting Rachel on the Folsom Foods case. Harvey states that Robert was the one that made things personal when he threatened the firm and attacked Sloan Moseley during the deposition. Mike states that it didn't appear to have any effect on Robert, and questions whether Harvey thought about the effect his actions would have on Sloan Moseley, or on Rachel. Jessica interrupts their conversation, and berates Harvey for not going far enough in his actions against Robert, stating that Sloan called to accept Robert's $2 million offer.
Harvey goes to see Robert on the golf course, but Robert rejects Harvey's assertion that he is there to negotiate. He reveals to Harvey that he is aware Sloan wishes to accept his offer, but informs Harvey that his offer has dropped to $1 million. Harvey attempts to discuss the issue, but Robert drops his offer again, and then twice more, finally offering Harvey a $100 dollar note. He criticizes Harvey for putting Rachel in the deposition so she could see him attack Sloan Moseley, adding that he did so because it is his job. Harvey counters that he was attempting to protect his client, because that is his job, but Robert states that his client is "scared shitless", suggesting that he "did [his] job a lot better than [Harvey] did [his]". He informs Harvey that the settlement offer is gone, and that he will have to take what he wants at trial.
Rachel approaches Harvey as he is buying a bagel, and asks him what he needs to take down her father. Harvey rejects the necessity of such a drastic action, but Rachel responds that Mike informed her that her father pulled the settlement, and that "[they] can't let that happen". Harvey questions her including herself in the case, but Rachel responds that she works at Pearson Hardman as well. Harvey states that he now understands, making Rachel think he is talking about her wanting to get her own back on her father, but Harvey corrects her, saying that he realises why Donna likes her so much, leaving Rachel somewhat stunned as her unnecessary outburst. She begins to apologise, but Harvey interrupts her, stating that he was intending to give in and drop the case, but now she has "accosted [him] during [his] me time", he has changed his mind. Rachel realises that he is joking, and intended to continue fighting anyway. Harvey sarcastically asks Rachel if she wants to eat his bagel as well, but Rachel thanks him and takes it from him, before realising again that he was joking,. She apologises profusely, before leaving.
At the hearing for Katrina's client, Louis enters the courtroom holding a folder containing a large number of files. He approaches Katrina, who questions his appearance at her hearing, but Louis apologises for his previous actions, saying that it is her case, and he is no longer first chair. She quickly thanks him, but requests that he leave. However, Louis informs her that he cam to give her back her files; Katrina refuses the files, saying that she "wasn't born yesterday", and she already has her files in front of her. Louis tries again to give her the files, but she rejects them again. The judge begins the hearing, asking whether Katrina has something she wishes to give him. Katrina confirms she does, and opens the folder in front of her, only to find it filled with pictures of Louis photoshopped as former American presidents. Louis offers a hollow apology, and states that the files she is looking for are in the folder he brought with him. Katrina goes to grab them, but Louis refuses, stating that per her request, he will keep hold of them, before leaving. The judge questions what is going on, and requests Katrina bring the documents she brought with her to him, adding that if they are not legitimate court documents, she will be fined. Katrina tentatively approaches the judge with the offending documents in her hand.
Donna enters Louis' office, and requests that he let go of his feud with Katrina. Louis refuses, stating that won't "let anything go until that women kneels before Zod". Donna asks him what he wants from Katrina, but Louis refuses to answer. Donna realises that Louis is really angry at Harvey for hiring Katrina when he wasn't allowed to hire Maria Monroe. Louis denies it is about Maria, stating that it is about him getting respect from a new employee. Donna acknowledges that Louis beat Katrina, but informs him that the best way to earn her respect would be to make up with her and leave her alone. Louis questions her statement, asking her whether she and Harvey leaving him alone after what happened with Daniel was them showing him respect. Donna reminds him that Harvey welcomed him back, but Louis questions whether it was truly meant given that Harvey never said a word. He informs Donna that he always considered the practical jokes they played on him to be a mark of respect, but that she has barely spoken to him since he backed Hardman, and instructs her to inform Katrina that he isn't "in a forgiving mood".
Mike approaches Harvey as he is buying lunch, and tells him that he has an idea regarding Folsom Foods. He informs Harvey that he checked a review of every promotion over the past five years, and that the company uses similar phrasing every time they do not promote a woman, something which is not evident for the men. He indicates that Folsom Foods deliberately shielded themselves from any one woman being able to claim discrimination, treating each woman in the same way. Harvey takes this information to Robert, revealing to him that 113 women in total were denied promotions because of their gender, not because they were "untalented or pathetic, or lack the fortitude to excel in their chosen field". Robert calls their evidence "a crock of shit", but Harvey states that with the vast number of clients, they will "be lucky to settle for $200 million".
Louis arrives at the court house in a good mood, but his mood is somewhat reduced when he is pulled over by a security guard after passing through the metal detector. Louis informs the guard that he merely forgot to remove his belt, but the guard proceeds to sweep him with a hand held detector, and discovers Louis' nail clippers in his breast pocket. The guard states that the clippers could be used as a weapon, but Louis defends himself, saying that he doesn't know how the clippers came to be in his pocket. He goes to take them back, but the guard grabs him and pins him against a table, arresting him for carrying a concealed weapon and assault. Katrina appears, and refers to the security guard by name. The guard in turn states that it is "nice to see [her] again", and Louis proclaims that it was Katrina. The guard, however, informs Louis that he is aware Katrina set him up.
Rachel is waiting for her father in his office, looking at a picture of herself framed on his desk. Robert enters, and noticing the picture in her hand, states that he always loved that picture of her. Rachel asks to talk about the deposition, but Robert replies that they cannot talk about the case. Rachel states again that she only wishes to talk about the deposition, as she doesn't "give a shit about the case", prompting Robert to ask why she wished to be put on the case in the first place. Rachel replies that she did so because, during her birthday lunch, he suggested she sit the case out because she couldn't handle it. Pointing to the picture Rachel had in her hand, depicting Rachel at the auditions for a school play, Robert asks her whether she knows why he likes that picture so much. Rachel replies "because [she was] still [his] little girl", but Robert informs her it is because she was happy then, reminding her that it killed her to not get the part she auditioned for. Rachel defends herself by saying that she was just a child, but Robert states that most children would have let it go, but Rachel never did. Rachel responds that she did other things, to which Robert asks why she isn't doing other things now. Rachel informs her father that she took the LSATs, and scored a 172. Robert asks his daughter why she has taken so long to tell him, and Rachel replies that she "didn’t want to hear some joke about [his] 177". She adds that, even though he was talking to Sloan Moseley during the deposition, it felt like he was aiming his attacks at her, and tells her father that he needs to "toughen up, as [she isn't] that little girl anymore", before leaving.
Katrina visits Louis in jail, and mockingly asks him "who's going to kneel before Zod now". Louis, looking somewhat dishevelled, states he won't kneel before anyone, particularly after Katrina framed him. Katrina counters that Louis humiliated her with Judge McIntyre, and considers what he did to her far greater than what she did to him. She informs him that she put away all sorts of people during her time in the DA's office, and those people will spend "the rest of their lives realising [she] wasn't just a pretty face". Louis responds that their feud has nothing to do with her being a woman, but because she took a job from someone that deserved it more, namely Maria Monroe. Katrina informs Louis that she went to resubmit her motion to dismiss, but that the judge had already received it from Louis. Katrina asks him if he is ready to call a truce, to which Louis agrees.
Jessica finds Robert waiting for her as she arrives the courthouse, and he compliments Harvey on his tenaciousness. She asks him whether he is there to give her a cheque, but instead he hands her a file, indicating that they intend to split their class of cases, as after his discussion with Rachel, he realised that "not all women are the same". Jessica contests that they will be able to have all one 113 cases tried separately, to which Robert suggests they will be able to split it into at least 45, all of which will bleed dry Pearson Hardman's available resources.
Jessica informs Harvey what Robert told her, which Harvey finds laughable. Jessica cuts him off however, and informs him that Robert has proposed a merger. Harvey refuses to accept such a move, stating that they "didn't fight off Hardman to end up [there]". Jessica counters that it was Harvey's actions that put them in that position, and that if he was going to "cut him off at the knees" he should have made sure he wasn't going to get back up. Harvey tells his superior that they can only take the hits for so long, and after some deliberation, Jessica states that they will fight until the end.
The next day, Jessica meets with Robert, and promptly rejects his merger proposal. She hands him a press release, indicating that she intends to fight every one of the 45 gender discrimination cases. Robert claims it to be rubbish, but Jessica reiterates her seriousness, stating that she would rather lose her firm than "get married staring down the barrel of a shotgun". Robert points out that she won't be able to have attend all 45 depositions, but Jessica simply replies that he will end up paying 45 times the amount he could settle for there and then. She admits that the first case may be difficult, but that after that, the cases will fall like dominoes, and she will be left standing at the end holding "a big, fat cheque".
Louis walks into his office, only to find his police mug shot pasted on every one of his office windows, with unflattering captions underneath each image. He asks who did it, and angrily sits down at his desk. Donna enters, and states that Louis "[does] look kinda hot as a bad boy". Louis asks her whether Katrina was the one who put up the pictures, citing the truce they decided upon, but Donna corrects him, stating that it was Harvey who put up the pictures. As she leaves, Louis stands to ask her to stay, only for his pants to rip as he does so, revealing his underwear.
Robert enters Rachel's office, and informs her that he has decided to drop the Folsom Foods case. Rachel asks why, and he states that he never should have taken it in the first place, and he was wrong to say what he said. Rachel reminds her father that they never finished their lunch, and they agree to do so the next day. After Robert leaves, Mike enters, and asks Rachel whether she has made up with her father; Rachel proclaims that it was a start. He hands her a framed copy of her LSAT score as a belated birthday gift, which she thanks him for.
In Jessica's office, Harvey asks his superior whether she dealt with Robert Zane. Robert interrupts their discussion, and Jessica assumes that his appearance in her office is because he wishes to settle. Robert, however, informs the two of them that, due to a conflict of interest, his firm has decided to farm out their case, to Daniel Hardman.
- Written By : Rick Muirragui
- Directed By : Nicole Kassell
- Creator : Aaron Korsh
- Gabriel Macht - Harvey Specter
- Patrick J Adams - Mike Ross
- Rick Hoffman - Louis Litt
- Meghan Markle - Rachel Zane
- Sarah Rafferty - Donna Paulsen
- Gina Torres - Jessica Pearson
- Robert Verlaque - Judge Gus Benjamin
- Billy Parrott - Vincent Gibbs
- Paul Braunstein - Security guard
- This episode was initially entitled The Strong Survive.