After finding that damning memo last week with her signature on it, Donna tries to bring herself to shred it, but circumstances (and Mike) conspire to prevent it, for now. Meanwhile, the rest of the firm goes blithely about its business, unaware that there's a memo in Donna's possession that Harvey is insisting he never saw.
That business includes the following: a teenage tennis star wants to be emancipated from his trainer father so he can go pro. Mike doesn't want to break up the family, until he finds evidence that the hot-tempered dad has been abusing the kid, whereupon he pursues the case with a vengeance.
Louis's beloved cat is sick, and he's drafted poor Harold to take care of it despite the nerdy associate's debilitating allergies. And Daniel Hardman has hired Diane Neal from Law & Order: Sex Police to defend the firm against Travis Tanner's fraud allegations. Harvey, however, takes matters into his own hands, visiting the widow of the man whose character he assassinated in court four years ago to get her to drop the suit against him. She is not, to say the least, receptive. Mike realizes that his client was lying about the abuse allegations, and drops the emancipation proceedings as a result, although he still somehow scores a signed tennis ball out of the deal. Louis's cat proves to be terminally ill, and Rachel consoles him in his grief by presenting him with Mike's signed ball, because what else does she have to do these days other than model those short skirts?
As for the memo, Mike finds out about it, and tries to convince Donna to confess to Harvey. She's taking her time, though, and even finds herself taping a practice deposition for Diane Neal that leaves her pretty rattled. Mike manages to clumsily prevent Harvey from signing an affidavit that would have perjured him, and has to tattle on Donna. Harvey gives Donna a good reaming before telling her that her discovery of the document is a good thing, since its existence proves he didn't bury it…but she's shredded it after all. Which is just stupid, especially for Donna.
With this knowledge, Diane Neal brokers a deal between Pearson Hardman and the plaintiffs: the firm has to not only pay five mil, but also demote Harvey and report him to the bar association. Hardman advises Jessica to take the deal, in that mild, friendly way he's had since coming back. But Jessica insists that they can win, because she believes in Harvey…and by the way, she perceived the threat in Hardman's advice, as heavily veiled as it was. But there are still consequences: Donna is fired. I know!
Uh-oh -- previouslies, which on USA is always a dead giveaway that what we're about to watch is going to be heavy. Short version: a wrongful death-case-losing, fraud-case-making document from one of Harvey's old clients turned up, and then, after the client settled, Donna found a copy of that very document in the files with her own damn signature on it, in what is undoubtedly the worst "oops" moment in her entire career. Well, so far.
Harvey's having an early-morning run through Central Park (or a reasonable facsimile thereof) when he's accosted by a red-haired sports agent named Jeffrey, who's about to sign a 16-year-old tennis star named Marco Mendoza and wants Harvey in. Harvey plays hard to get... but he's going to be even harder to get when the two of them meet with the kid in a restaurant and Harvey learns Jeffrey wants to emancipate Marco from his father. It still takes some talking to convince Harvey that Marco needs to be emancipated so he can go pro and beat the best while he's still in his prime. Because in two years he's going to be eighteen and decrepit.
It's also morning at the firm, and Donna's standing over the shredder with that document in her hand that she found late last night. Mike accidentally startles her, to the point where he observes, quite correctly, that he looks like she's burying a corpse. Mike offers to help, but Donna says the moment is ruined, and walks out with the document still intact and in her possession.
Up in Jessica's office, she, Harvey, and Daniel Hardman are playing host to Diane Neal from the teeming ranks of former L&O D.A.s, here playing a lawyer again, though this one is named Alison Holt. She's advising them how to proceed with the fraud case against the firm, claiming that they buried the very document that's causing Donna so much agita. Harvey suggests going to the dead victim's family to have them back up Pearson Hardman, but Diane Neal hates that idea, considering Pearson Hardman (and Harvey in particular) dragged that victim's name through the mud during the trial four years ago. Alison says, "You're not just poking the bear, you're putting a cattle prod up its ass." Harvey bickers with her over some cases she's lost in the past (a total of three in 14 years, it turns out), and Hardman interjects that he thinks Harvey has a problem not with Alison, but with Hardman. He explains that he's asking them to trust him, so he'll trust them, by leaving them alone with Alison. What are they going to do, eat her?