By Radhika Menon, Daily Arts Writer
Published June 21, 2012
“There’s something you need to know about Mike Ross; something Harvey Specter hasn’t told you.”
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These words left “Suits” fans chomping at the bit last summer, as former best friend Trevor (Tom Lipinski, “The Big Fiddle”) threatened to bring down the walls around our drug-dealer-turned-associate-in-a-big-time-law-firm Mike Ross (Patrick J. Adams, “Extreme Movie”).
“Suits” premiered last summer on USA Network following Ross, a brilliant college dropout who had always dreamt of going to law school. But after a run-in with the authorities, his dreams were shattered — until fate dropped him into the same room as Harvey Specter (Gabriel Macht, “Behind Enemy Lines”).
Specter, a powerful New York lawyer at a firm that hires exclusively from Harvard Law School, is impressed by Ross’s sharp wit and intellect. He and Ross embody TV’s newest and greatest mentor/student bromance after Specter offers him the position at Pearson Hardman Law Firm, despite the lack of necessary qualifications, namely a college degree.
Gotye’s somber track “Smoke and Mirrors” sets the scene for the season two premiere, hauntingly reminding Ross “you’re a fraud and you know it.” Jessica Pearson (Gina Torres, “Serenity”) summons him for a one-on-one dinner, which has him understandably worried. But dinner goes smoothly, as Ross easily dances around any question pertaining to Harvard by instead divulging truths surrounding his childhood and his incredible gift of photographic memory. By the end of the meal, he thinks he’s nailed it.
But as Mike saunters into Pearson Hardman, cockier than ever, Pearson is calling his bluff in Harvey’s office. “He might have checked out clean but I know he’s full of shit,” Pearson says. Her threat is clear: Either Specter fires him or she will.
In true Harvey Specter form, he does exactly the opposite and assigns Ross to the episode’s case-of-the-week about intellectual property rights. Attaching him to a client allows Specter to buy time, which almost always ascertains victory for him.
While Ross is preoccupied with matters outside of the office, the next spoke in the wheel appears in the form of noticeably absent partner Daniel Hardman (David Costabile, “Breaking Bad”). His wife has just died, thus undoing the blackmail that Specter and Pearson set into motion to get him out of the company so many years ago.
Hardman claims he is a changed man, but Specter and Pearson remain doubtful about their former colleague. With Specter fighting for Ross’s place at the firm, Pearson plays the only cards she has: If Specter can make Hardman disappear for good, Ross gets to stay. Though Specter fails at this job, he ups the ante — if Ross is out, then so is he.
With so much at stake surrounding his career, Ross’s relationship woes take a bit of a backseat even though things are less than perfect on that front. He’s in the doghouse with paralegal Rachel (Meghan Markle, “Horrible Bosses”) for not returning her call following their much-anticipated kiss last season; with girlfriend Jenny (Vanessa Ray, “As The World Turns”) for kissing Rachel; and with scumbag Trevor for being generally better at life than he is.
What’s interesting to note is that many of Mike Ross’s problems stem from the fateful voicemail that Rachel left on his phone — the one that was unfortunately intercepted by Trevor. We finally see him listen to the voicemail at the end of the episode, but we have no clue yet as to how he will react to what he’s heard aside from hopefully severing ties with Trevor for good.
A lot was jammed into this hour-long premiere, and a lot of details may have been lost over the course of the episode. But the dominoes have been placed strategically — Hardman is here to stay, Ross still doesn’t have a law degree (let alone one from Harvard, or if you really want to get nitpicky, any college degree at all) and most of his relationships are still in limbo.