Harvey learns the scope of Alex's involvement with the prison case; Mike tries to keep the case alive; Lipschitz forces Louis out of his comfort zone; Donna tries to balance work and life.
This week was all about grappling with the cost of the choices we make, as Mike came to terms with the consequences of his continued pursuit of the prison case, while Harvey weighed the cost of choosing between his duty to Mike and his loyalty to Alex.
Harvey Looks For A Way Out
Now that Harvey knows just what Masterson Construction is holding over Alex's head, he's determined to cut ties with the company, but Masterson's CEO makes it clear that he's quite happy keeping Alex in his pocket. Worried they've poked the bear, Alex wants to tell Mike everything in the hope that coming clean to their determined colleague will get him to back off of the prison case, but Harvey warns Alex against it -- the only thing telling Mike will do is show him exactly where to look.
Mike Looks For A New Angle In The Prison Case
Mike lets Rachel know that he plans to keep pursuing the prison case; the agreement he signed for Harvey only precluded a civil suit, so he's going to Anita Gibbs to see if he can make a criminal case out of it. But Anita needs hard proof of a criminal conspiracy between Reform Corp and Masterson Construction -- and it has to come from Reform Corp, because anything Mike digs up on Masterson will be considered breaking privilege as long as they're a PSL client.
The Origin Of Harvey's Promise
When Rachel admits that Mike is still pursuing the prison case, Harvey becomes torn between his duty to his protege and a promise he made to Alex a long time ago. Flashback to the Pearson Hardman days, after Harvey learned that Louis betrayed him to earn Junior Partnership. Harvey is furious that Jessica didn't have his back, and when tensions rise between them Harvey decides to take Alex up on an offer to go to Bratton Gould. It's only when Louis, armed with new perspective after his very first therapy session (ordered by Jessica), begs Jessica to stop Harvey from leaving that Partner and protege finally come to an understanding, and Harvey decides to stay. Unfortunately, the move leaves Alex high and dry, leading Harvey to promise that he'll owe Alex one in the future, no matter what.
Mike Finds Proof, But Harvey Plays Defense
With some hacking help from Benjamin, Mike finds proof of a conspiracy involving prison labor and falsified expenses that is netting Reform Corp and Masterson Construction a fortune. But when Mike brings the information to Anita she kicks him out -- it turns out Harvey signed Reform Corp as a client to protect Alex, and now Anita won't touch the case with a ten foot pole. Furious, Mike confronts Harvey and demands to know what the hell is going on. But Harvey stays mum -- he can't trust Mike with the truth yet -- and he gives Mike an ultimatum: either drop the case or he's fired.
Mike Learns The Truth
Later, Donna asks Harvey if keeping his word to Alex is worth losing Mike. Meanwhile, Alex shows up at Mike's apartment to finally come clean. Harvey and Alex spin the tale at the same time -- after Harvey went back on his word, Alex became a pariah at Bratton Gould until he was given a chance to get back in Tommy Bratton's good graces by taking Masterson Construction as a client. But something didn't smell right, and Alex soon stumbled onto a story involving collusion, murder, and coverup. However, when Alex went to Tommy Bratton, he learned that he had been set up to take the fall if word ever got out. With a wife and daughter at home, Alex chose to to stay quiet, even though it ate him up inside. The question is, now that Mike knows the stakes are bigger than his job, what will he do?