You remember how last week, Harvey strong-armed Jessica into keeping Mike by saying she was going to need both of them in the coming battle against the returning Daniel Hardman? Well, Jessica assigns Harvey his first project in drumming up support for her side. While Hardman courts the employees with extravagant perks, Jessica asks Harvey to make nice with the head of the bankruptcy department, Paul Porter. Harvey offers to help Paul "close" a client, by which Paul means "convince him to declare bankruptcy." But as soon as Harvey and Mike get into it, they're looking for other ways out for the client. Which they eventually find. Paul does not appreciate having his wishes flaunted, and even though Harvey and Mike end up with a very happy client, they also end up making Paul into Jessica's sworn enemy. Way to prove your worth there, Harv.
On the romantic front, now that Mike's finally gotten Rachel's message, he responds with one of his own: a steamy kiss, right there in the office. They go out on a date that very night, and everything's going great -- except Mike doesn't want to lie to his girlfriend about not being a lawyer. He tells Harvey that he's going to tell her the truth, but Harvey isn't having that, saying that when Mike screws things up with Rachel and his lies get back to Hardman, that's going to be it for not only himself, but Harvey and Jessica as well.
As for Louis, he's walking a tightrope. He suspects tension between Jessica and Hardman, but doesn't know which side to take. Indeed, he's even having clandestine contacts with a headhunter, so it's more like he's on some trans-dimensional tightrope that can be fallen off of in any one of three ways. It's too early to tell which way he's going to tip, but when Jessica blows him off in favor of managing the doomed Paul Porter situation, it doesn't look like it's going to be in her direction.
In the end, Jessica feels betrayed by Harvey's insistence on doing what he wants, Mike breaks up with Rachel after Donna tells him some home truths, and Harvey assures Jessica that he's on her side. And then he proves it by actually doing something she asks. Baby steps, but Harvey is kind of a baby, after all.
Coming up out of the subway and locking his bike, Mike has his earbuds in while listening to his new favorite track on repeat: the voicemail message from Rachel he belatedly got talking about how she can't go back after their kiss. But then finding himself alone on the elevator with Jessica kind of kills his buzz or at least maims it. He babbles that he'll work hard and make her proud and manages to stumble into yet another racial remark, but all he gets is a withering glance. Anyway, when she disembarks on the executive level (and Mike bails), she's more interested in the fact that there appears to be some heavy construction going on, like an interior wall being removed. Looks like Daniel Hardman is shuffling some offices around unilaterally in order to give himself a nice big space. Harvey has arrived on the scene at the same time and as workmen wheel up with Jessica's silver tea service pilfered from her office, Harvey calls it a "shot across the bow," but Jessica corrects that it's an act of war. Louis comes in to point out that the walls aren't taupe like Daniel asked, like this is some seriously messed-up renovation we're seeing here if paint and serving utensils are being deployed before the structural elements are finishes. Louis's other concern is about the new chain of command with Hardman's impending return. "If I don't know who to answer to, I might as well be living naked on a kibbutz in the middle of Africa," he whines. On a practical level, apparently Hardman asked Louis to summarize all of the firm's current cases. Jessica agrees with that and when Louis snits off, Jessica explains to Harvey, "You don't let the children know that mommy and daddy are fighting." Wait, did Harvey just become a grown-up?
Mike spots Rachel in the hallway and the camera pans up her curves in what could be a film student's senior thesis on the male gaze. She tries to duck away when she spots him back, but he chases her down and starts to talk to her. Louis zooms by, demanding her in his office immediately. Given the time crunch, Mike skips the long-winded speech he was about to make and just kisses her. She's... responsive, to say the least. "I got your message," he says and then leaves her to stumble all sex-drunk and blowzy into the office. "Yes!" Mike fist-pumps. Yay, now Rachel is turned on and alone in a room with Louis!
Jessica walks into Harvey's office to lay out her plan for going on the offensive: she needs Harvey's help keeping every department happy in order to prevent Hardman from building a coalition against her. "Everybody loves me," Harvey says. "Not Real Estate," Donna sings from outside the door in a way that makes it sound like it's a new thing the kids are saying. Harvey tries to downplay it while Donna keeps coming, adding, "Contracts thinks you're a dick." Jessica invites Donna to join them so she can tell them all of the departments who hate Harvey, which is supposedly because he's right all the time and not because he's an arrogant prick. Donna admits that Bankruptcy likes Harvey fine, since they don't work with him much. "Remind me to fire you," he says pleasantly. Jessica wants Harvey to make nice with Bankruptcy department head Paul Porter, because she's going to need everyone on her side when Daniel inevitably calls for a vote. Now that the stakes are laid out, Mike blurts, "Hardman is awesome," his mouth full from the omelet bar Hardman brought in. See, he's already working on winning people over even before showing up. Jessica leaves the room and Harvey tells Mike not to trust Hardman, even after they bond over the pineapple slice, like this is Psych or something. Harvey warns Mike that people will have to choose sides. Mike's leaning Team Hardman right now, but Harvey points out, "Sure, support a man you never met over a partner who knows you never went to Harvard, knows you're not really a lawyer and is keeping you on anyway." That's got Mike firmly on Team Jessica. Harvey puts Mike on the task of looking into everything Paul Porter's working on. "Is he getting fired?" Mike wonders. "Nope. He's getting lunch," Harvey says.