Harvey shows up in his office in the morning to find Jessica already there waiting for him, and she is indeed pretty pissed about Harvey's attempt to settle with Hardman. He in turn tells her she's out of control; "Mike Ross wasn't ready for this." Jessica tries to put Harvey in his place, but he informs her that Mike went to Monica Eaton this time because he doesn't know Jessica sent him after her in the first place to go against Hardman. They argue that until Mike himself comes into apologize to both of them, but Jessica isn't mad at him. It was a good idea, she says; he was just questioning the wrong person.
Cut to Hardman being deposed by Jessica, Harvey, and Mike. "All for a deposition of little old me," he smirks. He reminds them of the confidentiality agreement, which he thinks prohibits most questions, until they point out that it prohibits disclosures, not questions. Hardman notes there's no court reporter, and when they tell him they thought he might want to speak off the record, he quickly leans forward to pause the video camera, warning them that he'll deny any accusations of embezzlement and if they offer any proof they're in breach of the agreement. So they tell him they're not asking about that but about the affair, which they won't need to bring proof of because six hotel employees are ready to provide that. Mike slides a pack of cigarettes across the table, "to remind you of the woman you cheated on." Wow, that seems a little cold. "You really should tip better, Daniel," Jessica adds. Maybe he would have, if he'd embezzled more. Hardman un-pauses the camera and invites them to ask away. "Did you have an affair with Monica Eaton while you were employed at Pearson Hardman?" Jessica asks. "Yes. I did. Any other questions?" Nope. Daniel shuts off the camera and says yes, they got him to embarrass himself, but they already did that, with Jessica and Mike's little scene during the summer finale, when they loudly argued about Hardman's affair with Monica in the middle of the busy hallway. "I know what you told Monica about Jessica not knowing, but take a good look," Hardman says to Mike. "She was behind it." With that, he slides the pack of smokes back across the table and asks, "'Who needs a cigarette now? And as far as my admission goes? You're still the one who fired her 24 hours after you found out. That's what a jury's going to focus on. Nobody's going to care about what I did." Jessica and her underlings don't seem to have thought about this before now.
Hardman is on the elevator to leave, but just as the doors are closing, Louis sticks his hand between them and bulls his way on. Then he hits the emergency stop button and becomes the third person this episode to say to Daniel Hardman, "You piece of shit." "There's the fire I helped nurture," Hardman smugs, not exactly brimming with remorse. Louis says all Hardman does is betray. Hardman points out that things worked out pretty well for Louis, being senior partner and all. Louis brings up his crush on Monica, and how hard he tried to get her to like him, only to find out she was with Hardman the whole time. And he tells Hardman, "I want you to know exactly what it is that you twisted, so you know exactly what it was that put me over the edge." Hardman asks if Louis is threatening him, but Louis says he isn't -- he's telling him, if Hardman ever does anything to him again, "you ever so much as tell me the incorrect time, I will kill you. I will rip your smug face off your fat neck. And I'll kill you." Exit Louis. After pressing the elevator button again, I should add.
Monica once again shows up for work at her retail job to find Mike once again waiting outside to talk to her. He apologizes to her about before, saying she was right about Jessica. "Welcome to the world. Stings, doesn't it?" she condescends, calling him naÃ¯ve. Mike maintains that says Jessica fired Monica because she didn't trust her, which Monica knows and yet still wants to stick it to Jessica. Mike says Jessica isn't the only one getting stuck. Monica is unrepentant about Louis, so Mike tells her about the 113 Folsom Foods plaintiffs, all of whom will be left with nothing if Monica doesn't drop her case. "Do these women deserve to be treated the same way you were?" He leaves her with the files. And when she asks why he thinks she would care, he says, "NaÃ¯ve, remember?"
Jessica comes to Harvey's office and he tells her about Mike's latest visit to Monica Eaton, this one to apologize for lying. "He didn't lie," Jessica points out. "No, we did," Harvey agrees. "Like the two of you lied to me about him being a lawyer?" Harvey offers to call it even. Jessica says it's nowhere close, so Harvey, taking his cue, produces a fresh settlement offer. Jessica's still not happy about giving her a dime, insisting she was right to fire her. "That's not what this is about and you know it,'" Harvey tells her. So she sits down and admits that she's upset about the way Hardman made her look like a fool with Monica Eaton, both then and now. Harvey says nobody cares about the deposition. Jessica doesn't either -- she's pissed about being tricked into signing that agreement. Harvey insists, "We beat him because you kept your cool when I wanted to lose mine. Keep your cool now, sign this agreement, and let's beat him again." At least for now.
Rachel finds Mike in the firm's library, and they're both in a good mood. She realized what the key to her essay was: "I'm a paralegal." Mike thinks she means she's giving up, but she shows him the essay, in which she apparently made a convincing pitch about how she knows what she's getting into career-wise. "You're going to be the best damn lawyer they've ever seen," Mike realizes. They're both pretty happy, at least until they both realize that Rachel's going to be in Boston instead of here.
Harvey steps off the elevator to find Donna looking intently at the sign like a hunting dog on point. She's noticed that the H in Hardman is bent. Harvey denies it, which doesn't fool her; he admits to having done it. "You shouldn't have done that," she tells him. "I know," he admits. "I shouldn't have hit Hardman," she says in the same tone. He's not exactly disappointed, and asks how it felt. "Good enough that I did it again," she laughs. "Look at you, you look beautiful," Harvey grins. Donna look s up eagerly at him after this remark, only to realize he was talking to Jessica, who just walked up looking all fancy for a date. "Oh, and why don't you go ahead and take that damn name down?" she invites Harvey. I almost expected him to pull out a screwdriver on the spot.
Still looking that way, Jessica shows up at Zane's house again. This time she's armed with Daniel's deposition, and although he isn't exactly scandalized to learn of Hardman's affair, Jessica says this is the tip of the iceberg. "He will turn on you if you let him in." Zane shrugs that Hardman's only a contractor, and he isn't worried. So Jessica brings up his previous offer of a merger, which she's now open to if they settle the Folsom Foods cases first. "You hate him that much?" Zane marvels. Jessica presses Zane for an answer, so he gives one: "Merger looked good before, but now we have you on the ropes. So when Pearson Whatever goes under, we'll pick up the pieces for free." So to that end, he informs her that they'll be filing to try seven of the cases at the same time in seven different jurisdictions, a strategy Jessica calls "Rocket docket." Zane says it was Hardman's idea, and that "He'll see you in court." With the finale coming up in only two more episodes, I wouldn't be so sure.
M. Giant is a Minneapolis-based writer with a wife, a son, and a number of cats that seems to have settled at around two. Learn waaaay too much about him at Velcrometer, follow him on Twitter , or just e-mail him at m.giant[at]gmail.com.