02x02 - The Choice

Hey, Mike, it's Rachel.

I know I shouldn't be doing this.

I know you're seeing Jenny, but I can't stop thinking about the kiss, and I can't go back.

[Elevator dings]

Morning, Jessica.

Ms. Pearson.

Hey, I just wanna thank you so much for keeping me on despite the--

I guess, I just want to let you know that I'm gonna work hard, and I'm gonna--you know, I'm gonna make you proud.

Not--not like a son... you know--

I mean, we don't really look that much alike, I guess.

That's a--that's a strange thing to say.

Uh, I just--what I meant is that I really appreciate everything that you... okay.

[Construction sounds]


One would assume.

Did he ask you?

No, he did not.

He needs your signature.

And yet there was a wall here yesterday.

Well, at least he didn't ask for his office back.

I wouldn't have given it back.

I wouldn't have given yours back to you.

Unless you asked really nicely.

Isn't that--


Shot across the bow.

No, an act of war.

I love the smell of napalm in the morning.


It's not taupe.

The color, the walls.

Hardman asked for taupe.

I mean, it might be tan, or beige with a hint of mauve.

But it definitely isn't taupe, and don't try to tell me that it is.

Hey, Louis, what color shades would go well with these taupe walls?

Yes, chain of command is everything to me.

If I don't know who to answer to, I might as well be living naked on a kibbutz in the middle of Africa.

An option worth considering, though we'd miss you.

[Mouths silently]

Not really.

Your point?

Who do I work for?

I assume I work for you, but Hardman just asked me to personally summarize every case at this firm.

And I was hoping maybe that you can let him know that I answer to you.

You do answer to me, Louis.

And Daniel and I are on the same page on this.

You're the right man for the job.

Well, thank you, that's all I needed to hear.

Why'd you lie?

Because you don't let the children know that mommy and daddy are fighting.

Uh, Rachel.

Hi. I'm busy.

Oh, okay. How's it going?

Busy, so if you don't mind, I--

I need to talk to you for a second, okay?



So Zane, I need you.

In my office. Now.

You were saying?

I just, um--

What part of "now" wasn't clear?


By the time I'm in my chair.

I should probably go.

No, I--

I got your message.

♪ Suits 2x02 ♪

The Choice

Original Air Date on June 21, 2012



♪ See the money, wanna stay for your meal ♪
♪ get another piece of pie for your wife ♪
♪ everybody wanna know how it feel ♪
♪ everybody wanna see what it's like ♪
♪ living in a beehive of your mind ♪
♪ me and missus so busy, busy making money ♪
♪ all right

♪ all that time imagine this ♪
♪ the greenback boogie

We're taking the offensive.

Good, give me a gun and tell me where to point it.

Hardman has designs on my job.

He's gonna need a power base.

I need to make sure every department is happy.

I can't do that alone.

Well, that's where I come in.

Everybody loves me.

Not real estate.

There was a thing once... with a guy.

With a couple of guys.

But anywhere else--

No, contracts thinks you're a dick.

Their word, not mine.

Why don't you join us?

Oh, thanks. Love to.




Hate him.

But I--

Didn't work.


I am tied in, Harvey.

There are a lot of underbelly things that I can tell you, but trust me, this is not one of them.

Even Norma knows.


People just don't like that he's right all the time.

You think I like it?

What's his standing in bankruptcy?

Excellent. I think.

We don't do a lot of work with bankruptcy.

Remind me to fire you.

Remind me to give you a raise.


I need you to court Paul Porter.

You don't have some hot coals I could walk across instead?

I don't like him either.

He's always been dubious of me.

I don't know if it's because I'm a woman or black or maybe he just doesn't like--

Your overbearing nature?

Your holier-than-thou attitude?

This is not a joke, Harvey.

How this is gonna go down is he's--

I know, he's gonna worm his way in, and then one day, call for a vote.

And when that day comes, every vote will count.

Even Paul's.

Hardman is awesome.

I mean, he, um, brought in this omelet bar for the associates, but it's no...big deal.

Really good.

This pineapple was growing on a plantation on Lanai yesterday.

Do not trust it.

Don't trust the pineapple?


Would you--come on.

I don't want it.

Are you serious?

You're afraid of the pineapple?

I know it's got a rough exterior, but it's all sweet on the inside, I promise. "Come on. I love you, Harvey."

It'll be good for you.



It's spectacular.

But this doesn't change the fact that this is what he does.

He's coming back and people are gonna have to choose sides.

Can I choose his side?


Support a man you 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.

Jessica it is.

Ready to serve.

I need you on Paul Porter.

The bowtie guy?

Every case he has... read, summarize, find weaknesses.

I want to know everything he knows.

What, is he getting fired?


He's getting lunch.

So, Hardman's back.

It's interesting stuff, huh?

Lots to talk about.

Do you have a question, Louis?


I mean, you know Jessica.

That's not a question.

She seems bothered.

Huh. Still not a question.

Hardman was managing partner, now she's managing partner.

Do you even know what a question is?

Donna...look. I need information.

Now I wanna know what the whole story is so I can formulate some sort of strategy.

You mean formulate whose ass to kiss?

I have two house seats to the stage reading of a new Albee play.

Edward Albee?


Meryl Streep...


and Glenn Close.


We can go.

No. No.

I cannot tell you what I do not know, Louis.


Well, you know where they are.

Curtain's at 8:00.

[Clears throat]

[Clears throat again]


Wait a minute, I kiss you like that and all you have to say to me is "hi"?

Come on, admit it.

I kind of rocked your world.

Look, Mike, it was a good kiss, but...



We broke up.

It turns out I kind of have feelings for this other girl.

So...it's over?

Well, um, in that case, then, yes, it was a good kiss.

But just so we're clear, I rocked your world.

You did.

[Whispering] Now tell me what would you say...


to helping me with my work in a professional capacity?


Actually, you know what, you could.

I have to summarize all those cases in bankruptcy over there.

It's funny because I have to summarize all of the cases at the firm.

For Hardman.


So you don't like him. I don't.

You wanna tell me why over dinner?

Are you asking me out--

On a date?

Yeah, I am.

To talk about Hardman?

Hardman who?

No, I wanna talk about our kiss.

And when I say, "talk about," I mean repeat.


And when I say, "kiss," I mean--


Redacting all those phone calls in the Slessinger filing.

Mmhmm. Getting better.

Quick study.

A date it is.

And by "date" I mean--

Okay, no more of this.

Yeah, of course.

So this is what it's like, huh?

This is what what's like?

Being closed by Harvey Specter.

I don't resent it.

It's a great meal, great table.

But let's not pretend it's not self-serving.

Hardman is back.

Jessica doesn't want to go back to the kitchen.

Jessica Pearson was never the "housewife."

You know where my office is, Harvey? 46.

I've been knocked down three floors in five years on Jessica's watch.

We have to look into that.

I don't want a new office.

I want respect.

What you want is for someone to help you with Madison 25.

You've done your homework.

You are about to lose a huge client, Paul.

I don't want to close you.

Let me close him.

The problem is Tom Klapperich. He's like you.

He thinks he knows better than everyone.

Truth is he doesn't know his ass from a hole in the ground.

He needs to declare bankruptcy and he doesn't wanna hear that.

Well, let me keep him in the family in exchange for backing Jessica.

Well, you close him, then we'll talk.

That's not so reassuring.

You came to me.

I didn't come to you.

I'll see you on the first tee.

No, you won't.

Oh, is this where you make your threat?

I've had the carrot, now I get the stick?

That's not my style.

The person you're gonna meet on the tee is Fred Couples.

And just so we're clear, that's being closed by Harvey Specter.

Let's talk football.

Peyton Manning goes down you lose your first 13 games.

You gotta protect your assets and build for the future.

You don't wanna pay 28 million for a guy who may not play next year.

So what do you do?

You move on.

The season isn't over, Harvey.

You're 200 million in the red with 1/4 billion due in two days.

Madison 25

is going to be built.

Madison 25 should be built, but the market's changed.

Vacancies are up, rents are down, and you can't take out a loan against your future if the money's never gonna flow.

It's time to protect your franchise.

Really? I should just skate while the hundreds of contractors and subcontractors that I've made financial commitments to, they should just wait in line with their hands held out, hoping for 50¢

on the dollar?

They know how the business works.

Look, I know that Paul feels I should protect myself.

I should protect my family business, but I want to protect my family name.

There's no shame in declaring bankruptcy, okay?

It's a tool that will allow you to survive.

Wanna know the kind of guy I am, Harvey?

I'm the kind of guy, that when the clock says, "The game's over, take a knee," that's when I throw a hail Mary.

Everybody throws a hail Mary when they got nothing to lose.

You got something to lose.

I like long odds.

Let's just say, I won't declare bankruptcy.

What are my other options?

I have an idea.

You were right... about Hardman and Jessica.

You want something from me.

I do.

Mike needs an extension on a $1/4 billion loan.

And you want me to believe that you're here for Mike?




Harvey needs me.

I know you're amazing at dealing with banks, Louis.


What, do you think I'm gonna fall for that sh1t?

I mean just, like, the best.

What bank?

National Metropolitan.

The gatekeeper?

Elaine Cohen?

[Chuckles] Exactly.

So, you think you can get him in?

Well, you know I can get him in.

But you also know I can keep him out.

Okay, what's it gonna take?

Five details of the Pearson Hardman divide.

No. No.

Three? One?


And I get the Albee tickets.

We get the Albee tickets.

Tell a soul, deal's off.


I love Tom.

I love Madison 25, really.

But I'm afraid if you look at the fine print, the terms of the loan are what they are, and what they aren't is subject to renegotiation. Are you kidding me?

The terms of loans are adjusted all the time.

And you can see he has the assets.

What I see?

Is that I'm gonna have to give you a 50% haircut on that.

That is not liquid.

You're never gonna be able to sell a minority partnership interest, and that... a monkey could tell you could never monetize that.

You know what else a monkey could tell you?

You're about to ruin a property that will make you millions.

I'm so sorry, gentlemen, but this is not 2007.

We don't play that game anymore.

The days of you high-flying people claiming you're richer than God when all you're really doing is moving assets around are over.

Today we're gonna take a look up your skirt and see what you have.

And I'm afraid you don't have much.

She actually said that?


Please don't make me relive it.

As it is, I may drink a lot on our date.

You know, if we're really gonna do this, we should probably be careful talking about it here.

Oh, you're right. Yeah.

We should definitely set some dating ground rules.

You're not taking me home, to my place or yours.

Whoa, okay, I'm not talking about ground rules for s*x.

I'm talking about ground rules for keeping this thing quiet.

Oh. So you think if we went to my place or yours, that means s*x?

Uh, no. I mean... you--



[Clears throat]

What I meant was that I know you didn't want to date anyone in the office, and I assume you have a reason for that.

Oh, okay, there is.

There's a story. I see it right there.

There's no story there. I dated someone here once.

It didn't work out. That's it.

No more questions. Those are my ground rules.

Hmm, note to self:

touchy about dating history.

Wow, I smell pheromones in the air.

Which suggests to me, Ms. Zane, that you failed to grasp the importance of the task that I assigned.

Or unless you're done.

Well, I--


You do realize you asked her to summarize every case in the firm, right?

I'm so sorry, was I talking to you?

Because I already did your job for you.

Actually, the bank didn't budge.

I got you in, Michael.

What, do you expect me to do everything?

Now, do I have to gather every first year and make them stay the night because the paralegal was too busy flirting and couldn't get it done?

Actually, all the associates are leaving early tonight.

Excuse me?

Yeah, Hardman invited everyone to his box at the Garden.


The boss?

Wait, didn't he invite you?

You think I want to spend my evening with a bunch of douche bag associates at a concert given by a goddamn octogenarian?

Get it done.

If I wanted to sink his business to keep his business, I could have done that myself.

Hello, Paul. Make yourself at home.

You made him think he could risk, not just this project, but everything he owns, on a personal guarantee.

Are you crazy? What I am, Paul, is working my ass off to make your client happy.

You think I haven't tried everything to keep his dream alive?

The fact is, the bank is going to foreclose.

Tom needs to be protected, and your plan is too big a risk.

For you, yes, but not for Tom, and as I understand it, we work for him.


No, no, no, no.

I work for him.

You are working for me.

I said he needed to declare bankruptcy, but, oh, you... you played it your way.

Well, Jessica may give you free rein to do that, but I can't imagine Hardman will.

You know, Paul, couples passed on a little tip for you.

He said your game was weak because you were too cautious.

I said, "It's not your game, it's who you are."

Harvey, I may have been knocked down to the 46th floor, but bankruptcy is on the rise.

My influence in this firm is not nothing.

You get Tom to sign those papers.

Is that a threat?

I don't make threats.

I just do what I do.

You find anything?

Oh, I'm gonna make Paul love you.

That's doubtful. He got wind of our little maneuver.



You said "got wind."

[Clears throat] Anyway, I have another maneuver.

A better one.

Paul says we tell Tom there's no other way.

But there is another way.

Oh, wait, you don't even want to hear it?

Of course I want to hear it.

Since when do I take marching orders from a bow tie?

There are eight projects being built in the two blocks around Madison 25.

Every one of them started after it.

Madison 25 is the centerpiece of the whole development.

If it's not finished, they're all worthless.

That's not the bank's problem.

But it is, 'cause guess what six of these buildings have in common.

National's backing them all?

Doesn't make sense for them to foreclose and devalue all their other projects.

Unless they have another agenda.

Huh, I wonder where we could ever find evidence of that?

Think that helps us?

I think we can take this to the bank.

Now, you see, that's funny because we're actually going to a bank.

That's good.

Twice in one day, Mr. Specter.

I understand how your client must feel.

Actually, he's feeling fantastic.

You know why that is? 'Cause I told him the balloon payment's going away.

Okay, I'll bite. Why is it going away?

Because as much as people hate lawyers, you know who they hate more? Bankers.

After all, you were the ones that got us into this recession in the first place, right?

Oh, gentlemen. I do not need a history lesson.

Then let's talk about the future.

What happens to Madison 25 after you force it into bankruptcy?

Maybe someone steps in and finishes it.

Someone whose recent merger leaves them needing a large downtown address?

Oh, now that you mention it, there's a little item in your shareholder letter about the search for a new corporate headquarters.

Yeah, I like to read.

Well, I don't--

You intend to leverage this foreclosure to get a prime piece of real estate at a song.

You see, Elaine, we looked up your skirt.

And the six clients you represent surrounding Madison 25... well, it turns out Pearson Hardman actually reps three of them.

And when the other three find out about what you've done, which will happen right after I leave here, we'll rep all six.

And when we move their business elsewhere, they'll take roughly, mm--

Mm, a shitload of money out of your bank.


Well, give or take.

It's important that nobody knows about this.

I've never... done anything like this before.

Louis, there's nothing to be ashamed of.

Exploring your options is something everybody does these days.

Sometimes you're in a relationship, they take you for granted.

You shouldn't be taken for granted.

I wouldn't take you for granted.

I've never even considered this.

Really? People do it all the time.

Well, not me.

I never even let myself think it, let alone--

Sometimes, Louis, the only way to move on is try something new.


You're trying to seduce me.

I'm merely saying, if Jessica Pearson can't see the quality of the work that you do, I know half a dozen firms who will.

Litt, nothing, and nobody.

I mean, who does she think she is?

So... high and mighty.

The question isn't, "Can I get you an offer?"

It's, "How good an offer can I get you?"

Uh, solicitation.

Drugs and prostitution, that's what you think of me?

I've guessed everything else.

Okay, what were you arrested for?

Uh, jaywalking? Murder?

[Imitates buzzer]

Spill it.

Nope, mm-mm.

I will have to remain a mystery to you.

So, um... it was a nice date. Great restaurant.

I actually picked it myself.

Did you?

I actually asked Donna myself.

See, honesty, I-I love that in a man.

Uh Um--

[Clears throat]

Look, I know that we joked about not going home together--

I think you were right, so... you know, if we're gonna do this, let's... let's do it right.



Yeah. Let's do it right.

Good night.


[Knock at door]

Remind me to move.

No forwarding address. Come to think of it, how did you get my address in the first place?

That's a nice tux. Where were you tonight?

It's not where I was, it's where I'm going.

You're going out now?

Oh, I know, it's already past your bedtime.



So listen, everything became clear tonight, okay?

I was out with Rachel--

Oh, gosh, here it comes.

Days of Our Lives.

I'm serious, okay?

I need to--I need to talk to you about this.

I need to tell you something. Listen--

I need to make sure that you understand that I--

Look, I understand. I think we've covered this.

I'm not interested in your personal life.

I realize that because you don't have one.

Oh, yeah, great, you're an international man of mystery, but I'm not you, all right?

I want a personal life.

And I don't want to be a liar, so...

I'm gonna tell Rachel. Everything.

No, you're not.

All these lies keep coming back to haunt me, Harvey.

All right, I-I can't do it.

I-I can't live my life that way.

I wanted to tell you, now you know.


Have fun in Monte Carlo.

What the hell is wrong with you?

Harvey, please--

After everything I did to keep your job, you're just gonna start spreading it around that you're a fraud? I'm not spreading it around.

I'm telling Rachel. She's on our side.

No, she's not.

Because when you do something stupid, which won't take very long, you don't know what she'll do.

Harvey, I understand--

No, what you fail to understand is our firm is under attack.

And if this gets to Hardman, we're done.

You, me, and Jessica.

You want to take down the firm, Mike?

So you can get laid?

Hey, maybe for you relationships are all about getting laid, but not for me.

I actually care about her.

Weren't you just with that other girl last week?

Isn't that what led to Jessica making me fire you in the first place? What are you saying?

You're saying that I can't date Rachel?

Date Rachel! Or don't, I don't care.

But you're not gonna tell her.

I can't be in a relationship based on a lie.

Then I guess you have your answer.

But being honest with her about this?

That is off the table.

There is no "about this."

I'm either honest with her, or I'm not.

You tell her, and you're done.

[Door closes]

[Knock at door]

I really do need to move.

I'm telling you, you better be here to tell me that I was--

Jessica. Come on in.

I just got a call from the bank.

And you ran right over to tell me I was awesome.

You are decidedly not awesome.

Oh, I beg to differ.

I just strong-armed one of the premier financial institutions in this country into allowing our client to pursue his dreams.

That's almost patriotic.

Did you really miss the point of what I asked you to do, or can you just not help being a dick?

My word this time.


Your job was to make Paul happy, not take over a case and do it your way.

The client's way.

No, it's the client's way because you told the client it could be done.

And I was right!

And yet the experts, the people I pay to know bankruptcy feel that Paul's client... oh, yes, Harvey, Paul's client... stands to put more money at risk when he can get out now and move on.

This is better. This is a win-win.

No, it's lose-lose, and I'm not losing this one.

You are not to pitch this to the client.

I can't keep it from him.

You're not hearing me, Harvey.

This isn't a discussion.

Tell the client it didn't work.

You tried, you failed.

Move on.

I'm sorry if Paul's ego is bruised--

This isn't about his ego. It's about yours.

Make it go away, and then walk away.

I even told him about the time I got arrested.

It's crazy, it's like we can talk about anything.

That's, um... that's great.

I can tell you're nervous. Don't be.

We're gonna find a secret meeting spot somewhere outside of the office.

No one here will have any idea what's going on.

Watch this.

Good morning, Mr. Ross.

Eh... Uh, morning.

You still need some work on that.

Harvey told me.

I know you work for him, but he's wrong about this.

If he really cared about me, he wouldn't be handing out ultimatums.


Do you like this office?


Do you know how much Harvey likes this office?

Harvey loves this office.

But for you, he was willing to give it up.

He's giving me his office?

How do you think he kept your job, fraud man?

Hmm? Because Harvey said it was a package deal.

She fired you, she fired him.

So before you go mouthing off about him not caring about you, you think about that. Wait a minute.

He did that for me?


I just... what--what am I supposed to say to her?

I mean, Rachel and I are both finally in the right place.

I told her that I wanted this, and now--

I'm gonna look like such an asshole.

Just do it gently. Firmly, but...



And--and that's gonna help?

No, probably not.

How are we even supposed to work together after that, huh?

It's possible.

It is?

It is.

And how do you get from here to--

The feelings just go away.


Can I help you, Louis?

Jessica, listen, um, I know you've got a lot going on right now, um, but I just wanted to tell you that I--

Jessica. We need to talk.

Excuse me. Hi, I was--


Never mind, it can wait.

Yes, Paul?

I want to make sure that you and I are on the same page.

I gave you and Harvey an opportunity.

I didn't give you a client.

I am well aware of your position, Paul.

If you'll excuse me? Mm.


[Door opens]


Sorry, um--

Oh, put it right here.

And get out.

Daniel Hardman?


The XJS 5000 dictaphone?

How the hell did he know?


I heard the bank came through.

Jessica told me to tank the deal.

Sucks, doesn't it?

Being told what to do.

What not to do.

What are you gonna do about what we talked about?

I don't know.

I think you do know.

I think you know what's right, whether I had to tell you or not.

So, Tom.

Harvey has something to tell you.

Did you find me my miracle?

The bank agreed to alter the terms of the loan.

No balloon payment.

Madison 25 is safe. No bankruptcy.

Oh, oh, man. Thank you.

Thank you so much.

Well, Paul. Mm.

Looks like you found me the right quarterback for the fourth quarter.


I won't forget this.

No, nor will I.

I have been irritated by you, exasperated with you, and angry at you, but I never thought I'd feel betrayed by you.

I put together a good deal.

It was a safe deal--

I don't care.

You just ensured that a voting partner would never back me.

If his mother were dying of cancer and I saved her, I still wouldn't get his vote.

I know you're angry, but I took the restructured deal to real estate.

That puts them in your pocket.

Real estate has always been in my pocket.

It's only you they hated.

And I'm beginning to understand why.

This isn't me against you.

Hardman is back.

You were the one person I could trust.


I've always known what you are, Harvey, and I thought that was my greatest asset.

Now I'm wondering if you're not my biggest liability.

This isn't about bankruptcy.

You're still pissed off about Mike Ross.

Damn right I am.

I offered to walk away.

That offer was bullshit, and you know it.

You hired that kid to amuse yourself, and now I'm vulnerable.

And after everything that's happened, you still couldn't put me ahead of you.

The client asked me to save his dream.

I did.

You're actually starting to believe your own bullshit.

Jessica, come on.

Just go, Harvey.

I will get past this. I will move on.

And I will accept that at the end of the day, that I am alone in this.



Four blocks from the office, I sort of love this clandestine thing.

Kind of sexy, right?



Oh, thank you.

Look, I was thinking about what you said last night, and you're right, I have been so scared about taking the LSATs, I know I have. Rachel, I, uh-

there's something I need to tell you.

We can't do this anymore.


It's not that I don't want to--

Wait, where's this coming from?

Because last night you--eh... this was all your idea.

I know.


Collin McCarthy?

What about Collin McCarthy?

You dated him.

Yeah, I know.

He was a first-year.

You broke up with him, and his work went off a cliff, and then he was fired two months later.

That's why you don't want to date someone from the office, right? This is ridiculous.

He has nothing to do with you and me.

But he does.

I know that you and I both want this, okay, but... chances are, I'm gonna screw it up.

I love my job, and I love... I love working with you.

And I'm afraid, okay? I'm afraid that... that this will ruin that.


Wow, that was a lot of words, Mike.

Why don't you just say it?

You know what, actually, don't say it.

I can say it for you because it doesn't take me days to hear your message.

I hear your message loud and clear.

I'm just not good enough for you.

Have Norma send up a bouquet of flowers, and make sure that they repolish the cherrywood.

It's walnut.

I just wanted to make sure that the place was ready.

I had them redo the walls.

This is taupe. Mm.

I want it to be perfect for when Daniel gets back.

You wanted something this morning.

I'm sorry, I was rushed.

I'm not now.

Do you still need me?


Checking up on me?

Checking in on you.

Well, don't worry, Harvey.

You were right, as always.

I don't like having to tell you to do something that you don't want to do.

Why is it that I have to do everything that you tell me to, but you can ignore whatever Jessica tells you to do?

You have plenty of time to find the right girl, Mike.


Well, thank you.

Guess I should get my book, take some notes.

Harvey Specter's dating tips. 'Cause I'm sure you told yourself that at 25 and 30

and 35, and I'm sure you'll be telling yourself that when you're 50.

You know I was right.

Doesn't make it any better.


You're not alone in this.

Put it over there.