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“Endgame” provided nice closure to the murder story line, but I can’t say that I’m sorry to see it go. This dragged on for far too long, and it’s time to move on.
We open in the aftermath of last week’s fight between Stephen and Harvey. Harvey looks pretty beat up and Donna is tending to his wounds. Donna hopes he didn’t pick a fight with Stephen because of her, and Harvey amusingly replies that it was a fight, not a duel. Donna starts berating herself for not seeing Stephen for whom he really was, but Harvey tells her to stop beating herself up, and that he’ll make Stephen pay.
Harvey finds Mike at his cubicle and Mike asks what their game plan is to deal with Stephen. Harvey says that they can’t do anything at the moment because there’s no proof. He does, however, mention that there’s someone who knows the whole story who can help them.
We cut to Jessica’s office the next day, where Harvey and Jessica are confronting Darby. How does he get to the U.S. on such short notice all the time? Perks of being filthy rich, I suppose. Darby admits that he did commission Stephen to take care of the problem, but that he had no idea Stephen would authorize murder. I’m glad, because Darby remains one of my favorites, despite the "endgame" of this episode. Harvey asks how he could do something like this to Ava, but Darby claims he was trying to do something for her. Harvey says something along the lines of “with friends like you who needs enemies,” but Jessica puts an end to their back and forth by demanding Darby to do something at that very moment.
We see Stephen unable to log in on his computer when Donna saunters in and says that she cut him off to get his attention. She asks how he can live with himself, but Stephen says he never meant to hurt her. Donna calls him a murderer, which really gets his attention. He proceeds to give her this speech, which I found quite interesting, so I’m going to transcribe it verbatim: “If you’re so appalled by how business is done, may I suggest you return all your designer clothes that you look so ravishing in, because they’re paid for by the dirty work this firm does.” Donna: “We don’t kill people.” Stephen: “You mean chemical companies that Harvey represents, or car companies that Harvey defends? How about insurance providers whose claims he helps deny?”
Okay, mini sidebar: While I think Stephen is awful and everything he’s done is reprehensible, he makes a very valid point. Obviously Pearson Darby doesn’t outrightly sanction murder, but think about the clients they defend. Harvey was more than ready to defend Ava when he didn’t believe in her innocence, and if she were guilty, he would have been working for a murderer. He did not care. And Jessica was ready to pin it on Ava’s second in command, Nick, even when faced with the truth that he was innocent. I know we’re supposed to root for Harvey et al, but this seems like the show’s subtle reminder that things are not so black and white and our heroes can often be antiheroes of sorts.
Anyway, Donna drops the bomb that he’s fired. Stephen protests that Darby wouldn’t do that, but Donna tells him that Darby signed his pink slip earlier that day (aka what Jessica wanted him to do).
After the credits, Louis yells at his newly reacquired associates for doing a crap job in his absence. He’s being particularly vindictive, so Rachel pulls him aside and asks him what’s wrong. She figures out that he’s projecting his anger over losing Mikado onto the associates, and reminds him that it’s not their fault. Louis agrees, but with a sinister look on his face, so you know he’s thinking of someone else.
Mike and Harvey try to figure out the best strategy to continue, and decide to tackle Colonel Mariga and Cameron Dennis, respectively. Mike changes into street clothes, because the hotel won’t let a lawyer near Mariga, and goes to visit him. The bodyguard won’t let Mike in initially, but Mike hands him the picture of Mariga and Stephen playing rugby together and tells him to show it to Mariga.
In a change of scenery, we cut to Harold’s office! I didn’t expect him to stick around for longer than the mock trial. Louis is waiting in there to yell at him for what he said during the mock trial, but Harold says that Louis fired him and no longer has that right. Louis sits Harold down to tell him the true story of his firing.
After seeing the picture, Mariga relents and lets Mike in. Mike informs him that they know about the connection between him and Steven, but Mariga shrugs it off and says he has a deal to testify against Ava. Mike attempts to convince him to change his testimony, but Mariga points out that if Mike had proof of anything, he wouldn’t be there.
While Mike fails with Mariga, Harvey tries his luck with Cameron. He tells CD that he knows who’s truly behind the murders, and says he’ll tell him if Cameron won’t use it against Ava, but Cameron thinks that it’s ridiculous to agree to that. CD does relent and say that if Harvey finds a way to convince him of Ava’s innocence, he’ll drop the charges, but that he’s not changing his game plan for the moment.
Outside the office, Harold finds Mike and we are reminded of when Mike had the choice to save Harold’s job, but chose not to. I had completely forgotten about that, so it was great to finally see the fallout, if months later. Harold confronts Mike, and Mike admits to what he did, but also defends himself. He reminds Harold that he got him a new job and a fresh start. I wish Mike were a bit more apologetic, considering he did choose himself over Harold, but whatever. I’m just glad to see it addressed. The fact that the continuity actually exists on this show makes it better than 80 percent of television today.
Louis’s Lair: Rachel hands him a lawsuit – one of his clients is being sued, basically due to Harold. Louis is ready to fight.
Courtroom: Harvey finds Donna outside and she tells him about her conversation with Stephen, and his claim that they are no different than he is. She presses her point, saying that he killed people and if they let him get away with it, they are no different than he is. Again, I will remind you that they were READY TO LET AVA GET AWAY WITH IT.
We finally begin the trial, which feels like it has been years in the making. Mariga is on the stand. He asserts that he killed the foreign officials on Ava’s orders. Cameron cunningly mentions that he and Mariga have a deal for Mariga’s testimony in exchange for a more lenient sentence. Cameron questions if this is the case, why Mariga should tell the truth, and Mariga states that he is telling the truth because if it is found he is lying, he will be sent back home where he will die almost immediately.
The judge gives a recess, and Harvey, Jessica and Mike discuss strategy. Harvey is ready to put Stephen up on the stand, when Stephen himself walks in and warns them that if they point a finger at him, he’ll point it back at Ava.
Trial: Harvey calls Stephen to the stand. Stephen basically doesn’t answer anything under his Fifth Amendment rights, but Harvey spells out the real story through questioning him, anyway. Unfortunately, Cameron doesn’t buy it, and ends up revealing to the jury that Ava tried to bribe witnesses who were going to testify against her a few weeks ago.
After the day’s proceedings, Ava demands to know Stephen’s role in everything, and Mike admits that Stephen is the murderer. Ava’s anger is palpable as she expresses disbelief that they didn’t tell her and tells Mike that they took a risk with her life.
Meanwhile, Harvey yells at Cameron that he screwed him over, but CD maintains that Harvey didn’t convince him of Ava’s innocence so he did what he had to do.
Harold’s office: Louis v. Harold, round two. They argue about the lawsuit and a settlement and oh, this is not interesting at all. Can someone please give Louis a real story line that doesn’t revolve around cats or incompetent old associates? Ugh. Although Louis does call Harold a “pasty, Norwegian Carrot Top wannabe,” which, I think, is an apt description. Anyhow, they come to a deal.
Cut to Jessica and Darby. They are discussing Harvey putting Stephen on the stand when Ava storms in and coldly tells Darby that she thought of him as her own blood. She makes Darby admit he hid it from her and slaps him. Darby bullshits that he was trying to protect her, but Ava calls him on it and leaves. Darby then turns to Jessica and addresses the relationship between himself and Ava’s father. He divulges to Jessica that Ava used to pretend to be Darby’s girlfriend so her father and Darby could be together. He calls Ava family and pleads with Jessica to figure out a way to help her.
Harvey’s house: Jessica is at the door and she and Harvey drink wine and discuss what to do, considering they’re losing. Jessica lists the numerous problems they have but, of course, must bring up Harvey’s betrayal and says that it is what’s most bothering her. Really, lady? She truly is extraordinarily self-centered sometimes. She decides to forgive Harvey, rather than continue to feel betrayed. Wasn’t this all implied in last week’s episode? This feels unnecessary. Harvey apologizes, Jessica apologizes; they’re officially on good terms. Jessica didn’t just come over to talk about herself, though – she has an idea on how to win.
Mike’s apartment: Harvey shows up and tells him the new (old) plan - make Cameron Dennis believe in Ava’s innocence. Harvey wants Mike to remind Cameron about the time he was wrong about someone.
This leads to Mike seeking out Clifford, the man Cameron and Harvey wrongfully put in jail and later helped get out. So much continuity from previous seasons in this episode! Mike wants Clifford to talk to CD and remind him of the mistake he made.
Louis’s office: Rachel stops by and lets Louis know that Harold isn’t caving; the settlement included a clause with a loophole which Louis didn’t see. Louis wants to renegotiate and Rachel tells him that Harold is on his way over. Harold appears and quotes The Breakfast Club at Louis, which really makes me consider officially renaming the movie references as the Not-So Obscure Movie Reference of the Week, since everyone is quoting classics at each other now. Harold then proceeds to insult The Sound of Music, which causes Louis to defend Julie Andrews as a “national treasure.” Hee. I agree. Louis threatens Harold so much work on the case that he won’t be able to do his actual, assigned work, jeopardizing his job. Louis warns him to drop the suit.
Trial: Jessica, Harvey, Ava and Darby discuss tactics when Cameron walks in, ready to make a deal. He offers eight years for Ava. Harvey doesn’t even consider it and tells him to get out. Jessica wants to take the deal, but Harvey is adamant that Ava not spend a single second in jail. In the middle of this, Darby offers to testify that Stephen came to him with what he had done. Harvey realizes he needs to make this seem like a win for CD.
Harvey and Darby find Cameron in the bathroom, and off the record, Darby tells Cameron that he told Stephen to take care of the pipeline, and that Stephen admitted to the murders in front of Darby. Harvey tells Cameron that they will take five years probation for Darby and change the murder trial to Stephen’s. Cameron agrees.
Random bar? Donna approaches Stephen and tells him that she realized that he’s not as bad as she thought he was – he’s much worse. We see FBI officers surrounding him from all sides. Donna lets him know that Harvey and Cameron made a deal to take him down. Stephen, with almost no expression, puts his hands behind his back so he can be handcuffed, and makes a last ditch effort to tell Donna he never meant to hurt her. She slowly says he makes her sick and watches him get pulled away.
Back at the office, Darby is officially agreeing to the five-year probation and obstruction of justice charge when he notices something in the paperwork – he’s no longer allowed to practice law in the U.S. CD says he added it in, but Mike points out that they did the paperwork, so they must have put it in in advance. Harvey, with mock surprise, says that this means Darby can no longer be a part of their firm. He, Jessica and Mike look at Darby with barely-concealed glee. Darby quickly realizes his options are limited, and resignedly signs the deal. Man, I’ll miss the Brits, if only for their accents.
In resolution to the Louis/Harold subplot, Harold drops the suit. Louis is happy, but Rachel asks why Louis hates Harold so much. Louis admits that his failure to make Harold a competent associate reminds him of his old failures. Rachel points out that Harold is succeeding in life, but that Louis’s torment of him is only pulling him down. Louis rips up the paperwork Harold sent over dropping the suit, and tells Rachel to inform Harold that he’ll accept his original offer.
We end with Harvey and Donna outside the office. Harvey asks how the Stephen arrest went, and Donna says as well as it could have. She thanks him for letting her do it, and Harvey offers her his car to take home, saying he feels like walking tonight. Is it foreshadowing that the episode titled “Endgame” ended with a Harvey/Donna scene? Sorry, a girl can hope.
This was a solid episode that wrapped up a lot of story lines, so I’m looking forward to what the next major arc for the season will be!
Image: NBC Universal