“Captain Kirk is the man,” declares Harvey on ‘Suits’ when it’s revealed that this snappy dresser and eminent ladies’ man is a closet Trekkie. He even calls his girlfriend “Scotty.” As Spock would say… “Fascinating.”
‘Play the Man’ puts Mike in yet another position of proving how unprepared he really is to be a lawyer. The firm requires all junior associates to participate in a mock trial, with boss lady Jessica (Gina Torres) as the judge. Mike is assigned to represent the defendant in a (fictional) wrongful termination suit. The case involves a woman who got drunk at an office party and made fun of her boss, who fired her for it. Mike represents the company. A douchebag opposing attorney (and mock trial champion) named Kyle represents the woman who was fired.
When Mike seeks advice, Harvey suggests that he pull a Kobayashi Maru and rig the contest to change the parameters into a scenario he can win. In other words, he should do the unexpected and settle out of court without a trial at all. No one has been bold enough to try this before. Mike thinks that he’s on top of the world when he strikes a settlement deal with Kyle that will be to their mutual advantage. Unfortunately, ego-driven Kyle stabs him in the back at court by denying that there was ever a settlement agreement, believing that he’ll catch Mike unawares (which he does) and crush him in the trial. Mike files a counter-suit for defamation to give himself a little time to prepare, but Jessica lets him know that, as ingenious as this stalling tactic is, a good lawyer shouldn’t need to stall at all.
The mock trial turns out to be a lot of fun. Harvey’s secretary Donna overacts awesomely as the CEO who fired the woman. Mike also recruits his long-time crush Jenny to play a witness. He tells her everything about his double-life. She helps him prepare for the case by jumping his bones the night before. He’s pretty happy about that.
Meanwhile, Kyle recruits Mike’s other crush, hot paralegal Rachel, to play the plaintiff. This puts Mike in a position of having to attack Rachel on the stand, which is awkward because she’s still pissed at him about the whole LSAT cheating thing. He says some harsh things that, even in the fictional context, are pretty hurtful. But when he sees how this is affecting her, he pulls back. He can’t deliver the killing blow. This allows Kyle to win the case. Jessica expresses her disappointment with Mike, and calls him “naïve and soft,” two qualities their firm doesn’t need.
Rachel is grateful, however. She thanks him and basically tells him that she forgives him for lying about the LSAT, and also implies that she likes him. Uh oh, love triangle! Honestly, though, this rings a little false for me. By going soft at trial, Mike essentially made Rachel look weak as well. I’d think she should be even more pissed at him.
For his part, Harvey has to negotiate a merger between two hotel chains. The lawyer for the bigger chain (a woman named Dana Scott, nicknamed “Scotty”) is not just a former law school rival of Harvey’s, but also his fuck buddy. They screw like bunnies before getting down to business.
Even Harvey gets blind-sided this week. While pretending to collect data for the merger, Scotty actually arranges a hostile takeover attempt. Harvey is forced to implement a “Crown Jewel Defense,” in which his smaller company will sell off its best assets to make a hostile takeover less desirable or advantageous for the larger company. In the end, Harvey manages to talk both sides into returning to the original merger plans. Scotty is not only upset about being outmaneuvered, her law firm fires her for blowing the deal.
Scotty also reveals that she was engaged the whole time, and was using Harvey because she’s afraid of commitment. Now she’s going back to her fiancé and won’t be playing these games with Harvey anymore. How strange that Mike is having better luck at relationships than Harvey.