Since the possibility was raised back in episode three, Mike’s release from prison has felt largely inevitable. Story-wise, it’s hardly practical to keep one of two protagonists segregated from the majority of the main cast, but the entire season has been one meandering obstacle after another, designed to stall for as long as possible until we reached what ended up being a rather hollow reunion.
With Mike’s release set for just a few short days, Frank Gallo starts putting pressure on Harvey to deliver on his promise to represent him at his parole hearing. Where Harvey cautions Mike to keep his head down for the brief remainder of his stint in prison, Mike keeps making waves with Sean Cahill, trying to broker a deal that gets Kevin out of prison too, but only serves in risking his own tenuous release. Even after all the self-inflicted crap Mike continues to put himself through (including jail time), the guy still hasn’t figured out when to leave well enough alone. And just when I was really starting to come around to Sean Cahill he throws out a choice line like this one; “Now that ungrateful bastard wants to bite the hand that feeds him, I’m gonna take away his dinner and show him who his master is.” Really hard to be threatening with a metaphor like that one. Good lord, the dialogue has gotten clunky on this show.
Meanwhile, Harvey receives a visit from his former mentor, Cameron Dennis, the always welcome Gary Cole. It was established way back in the glory days of season one that Cameron was a crooked prosecutor and he returns this episode to try and dissuade Harvey from advocating the release of a murderer that they both put away. The fact that it is Cameron who is questioning Harvey’s ethical stance further highlights the murky moral territory Harvey has been treading all season. It’s been mentioned before, but Suits has always excelled in its depiction of the complex dynamic between a mentor and their protÃ©gÃ©e, and Harvey’s backstory with Cameron has always been a fascinating aspect of his character, even more so when used in context to define his current relationship with Mike.
Speaking of mentors and their protÃ©gÃ©es, Jessica actually drops the “P” bomb in reference to Rachel this episode, and just like that we are once inch closer to seeing Pearson Zane on the letterhead. However, the two find themselves at odds when Leonard Bailey is given the decision to either finish out his prison sentence in five years or have his entire case retried and risk the death penalty. Jessica, the more seasoned and pragmatic of the two, doesn’t want to leave his fate in the hands of a jury, while Rachel tends to let passion guide her choices. Rachel’s idealism is the perfect complement to Jessica’s cynicism and season six has truly benefitted from the partnership of these two women.
Again Louis is given the lighter subplot as we further explore his bourgeoning relationship with Tara. Maybe it’s because Sheila seemed so utterly made for Louis, but it’s difficult to embrace this newfound relationship when it appears to have absolutely zero spark. The only good that came from this particular arc was that Donna finally went mudding with Louis. Yep, that’s pretty much all Donna was given this week. Thanks again, writers.
‘The Hand That Feeds You’ is all about victories for our heroes. Mike baits Frank into attacking him after he successfully sabotages his parole hearing. Harvey then threatens to have Frank sent back to maximum security if he ever makes an attempt to go after Mike from the outside. Gabriel Macht gets the chance to be gleefully menacing in his final exchange with Frank and he plays the moment with utter relish. This reviewer sincerely hopes we have seen the last of Frank Gallo, though with Suits that rarely seems be the case with any character. We end with Mike and Rachel’s moment of reconciliation, complete with swelling music and slow motion. This episode could have easily served as the mid-season finale, which leaves one to assume that the final episode of this year will be all about trying to assimilate Mike back into a world that has acknowledged him as a fraud. Let’s just hope he’s learned something.
THE REEL SCORE: 6/10