How did Harvey’s conversation with Paula about sleeping with Donna 12 years ago go? Not great Bob!
“Bad Man” wastes little time in revealing that Harvey and Paula are on a mini-break of sorts. Harvey hoped that Paula would just yell at him for a bit for lying and then they could move past it, but that’s not what Paula needs right now. No, she needs space to process this information and demands that Harvey gives it to her. Which he does. So, when the episode opens, Harvey is boxing his troubles away, but that’s barely getting the job done since he can’t stop thinking about their conversation.
Thankfully, our lord and savior Jessica Pearson appears to Harvey (via a phone call) with a problem that’ll help keep his mind off of his relationship issues. Jessica, who is totally fine with the harsh press about the newly named Specter Litt released, asks Harvey to divert $2 million of the money he’s giving her to an untraceable account. Obviously, Harvey’s first thought is that she’s trying to do something illegal, but she assures him she isn’t yet refuses to tell him why she has such an odd request.
This is a money issue, so Harvey turns to Louis for help, but Louis doesn’t have the “emotional bandwidth” for this problem because he’s dealing with his own issues: Sheila. Earlier that morning, Sheila interrupted Louis’ mudding session and tried to seduce him with some below-the-mudd action. The scene made me feel very uncomfortable. Louis tries to resist her, but Sheila ignores him and simply gives him a burner phone that she will call to set up their next rendezvous in the next few days because she’s certain he’ll change his mind and embrace being a bad boy.
Dr. Lipschitz says what we all want to tell Louis: Being a “bad boy” isn’t his thing and he shouldn’t do this because Sheila, like most of the women he pursues, can’t love him the way he wants/needs to be loved. (In case you forgot, which I did, Louis and Sheila broke up because Louis wants a family but she doesn’t.) But Louis being Louis refuses to get over the idea and continues to pursue Sheila. He tries to convincing her to leave her fiancé, but she rebuffs his sweet declaration of love because he broke her heart once before and she knows neither of them will change their minds about what they want out of life. So for now, Louis’ options are mistress or nothing at all.
As the episode unfolds, the series treats us to flashbacks to Louis’ high school years when he was “dating” a girl, who was only dating him as a cover because her parents wouldn’t approve of her actual boyfriend. Louis eventually learned what was up, but it took him a long time to put an actual end to it. In fact, one day Lil Louis overheard this girl telling her real boyfriend that she can’t actually be with Louis because he’s not a bad boy. Back in the present, Dr. Lipschitz reminds Louis again that it’s true, being a “bad boy” is not in his nature. But Louis decides that a tiger can indeed change its stripes. So, he shows up at Sheila’s office and declares that he’s ready to be a bad boy, because making the right decision is so damn hard for this man. (But hopefully this is the last time I have to use type “bad boy.”)
With Louis and Donna’s guidance, Harvey realizes that the only way to get Jessica her money is to find a client that’s willing to redirect part of their bill payment to an untraceable account. So Harvey turns Vic, a music producer who worked with his father. For the past 10 years, Harvey has been doing off-the-books work for Vic, who hasn’t been able to pay for it because he refuses to sell his entire catalog (including Harvey’s father’s records) to a big record company, which would result in the music never seeing the light of day. However, Harvey needs to get this done for Jessica, so he asks Vic to finally accept the big record company’s offer.
Obviously, the record company low balls Vic, so Harvey has to go in and lay down the pain until they raise the price. Even though he’s doing this for Jessica, it’s still tearing him up inside because he loved hearing his father play and this deal effectively ends his father’s legacy. Donna finds Harvey brooding about it in his office and offers to have a drink with him and chat. At first, Harvey says no because of what’s going on with Paula, but he changes his mind.
Tired of waiting and needing to talk to someone, Harvey heads over to Paula’s office. He admits that yes, Donna has a special place in his life, but at the end of the day, Paula is the one who helped mend fences with his mother and who he wanted to talk about his current inner turmoil about harming his father’s legacy. And thus, Harvey charms his way back into Paula’s good graces.
While all of this is going on, Mike goes up against Oliver and the clinic in another case that ultimately doesn’t matter. Oliver represents a food bank and asks Mike, whose firm represents a supplier called Hudson Foods, to ask Hudson to change its mind about raising the price on some product. This is obviously a conflict of interest, but Mike tries to make it work anyway. Harvey is 100 percent against all of this because the last time Mike worked with Oliver, it almost broke them. But Mike, as he is wont, throws caution to the wind and forges ahead.
Naturally, this creates an even bigger problem because when Mike is unable to get Oliver the price he wants, Oliver initiates depositions. It turns out Oliver is still upset about what went down with the prison case earlier in the season and believes Mike accuses Mike of not being 100 percent devoted to defending the little guy. Look, Oliver may not be the best lawyer, but he knows how to hit Mike where it hurts. But, this plan fails because this only pushes Mike to fight harder for his own client and he absolutely destroys Oliver in this case in order to teach him a lesson, a lesson that Oliver actually learns. After everything’s said and done, Oliver admits that this defeat was worth it because it was the first time he felt like Mike’s equal. Aww…
While I found the Mike/Oliver drama somewhat uninteresting, I did enjoy the fact that it led to a pretty good Mike-and-Harvey scene. After defeating Oliver, Mike pays Harvey admits that Harvey was right and that he knows it must not have been easy having to squash Mike’s bleeding-heart tendencies back in the day. Impressed by Mike’s growth from this case, Harvey, still in his head about his father’s legacy and coming through for Jessica, tells Mike that he and Donna decided not to promote him to senior partner because they thought he wasn’t ready; however, now he thinks they may have been wrong. But Mike tells him not to worry about it because he’s focused on spending time with Rachel now and is fine revisiting the topic in a few months.