Suits is an American legal drama television series premiered on June 23, 2011.
Suits is set at a fictional law firm in New York City. The focal point of the show follows talented college dropout Mike Ross, who initially works as a law associate for Harvey Specter despite never actually attending law school.
The show focuses on Harvey and Mike managing to close cases while maintaining Mike’s secret.
Season 1 (2011)
Mike Ross is a genius college dropout, who, with his natural intelligence and eidetic memory, makes a living taking the LSAT for others.
To keep his terminally ill grandmother in a private nursing home, he agrees to deliver a large case of marijuana for his best friend/drug dealer Trevor.
The deal happens to be a sting operation which Mike astutely discovers and narrowly avoids, only to stumble onto a Harvard Law interview with Harvey Specter, a lawyer at Pearson Hardman and arguably the “best closer in New York City.” Recently made senior partner, Harvey must hire a Harvard Law-educated lawyer as an associate, as per firm policy.
Following an interview, Mike proves to Harvey he is undoubtedly the best candidate and Mike is consequently hired, despite neither receiving a college degree nor attending Harvard.
The series focuses on Mike and Harvey as they try cases for the firm while maintaining Mike’s secret.
Season 2 (2012–13)
Following Trevor’s revelation of Mike’s secret to Jessica, she continues to let Mike work at the firm, which also coincides with co-founding partner Daniel Hardman returning to the firm.
Both Jessica and Harvey fear he wishes to return to his former position as managing partner, which will result in Jessica and Harvey being fired.
A lawsuit charging fraud is filed against Pearson Hardman, and Harvey is accused of burying evidence and faces disbarment Despite Harvey maintaining his innocence, Donna finds and destroys the buried evidence.
When she finds out, Jessica fires Donna from the firm.
Hardman and Jessica disagree over how to settle the case, which leads Hardman to challenge Jessica for the position of managing partner.
Hardman battles with the firm, working as a contract lawyer for Rachel’s father, well-known trial attorney Robert Zane, on multiple gender discrimination suits against one of the firm’s clients.
As a way to defeat Hardman, Jessica agrees to a merger with the British firm of Harvey’s competitor and rival, Dana Scott, which is led by Edward Darby. With frequent protests, Harvey tries to stop the merger out of fear that Edward and Scottie would gain complete control over Pearson Hardman.
Mike, following the death of his grandmother, finds himself in a romantic entanglement with his now-married first love, Tess. Rachel sees them together, which leads to a rift in their relationship, until Mike reveals his secret to Rachel.
Season 3 (2013–14)
The merger between Pearson and Darby International is now complete and Harvey, stinging from Jessica’s refusal to make him a name partner, begins plotting with Darby to take her down.
After Harvey manages to settle a case with his old mentor, Cameron Dennis, Harvey’s client, Ava Hessington, is arrested for murder.
Darby sends his “fixer”, Stephen Huntley, to help with the case.
After first accepting Huntley after renegotiating Ava as a client, Harvey realizes Darby wants Huntley to help him completely take the firm from Jessica.
Harvey informs Jessica, who says that if he wins the case, she will add him as name partner.
Ava looks set to be convicted until Mike discovers Huntley was actually responsible for the murders, something of which Darby had no previous knowledge.
Darby eventually agrees to testify against Huntley, only later realizing his own plea bargain will leave him unable to practice law in the United States.
This allows Jessica to begin dissolution of the firm, and she allows Louis to lead on the dissolution talks, which leads to complications.
Darby appoints Scottie to negotiate in the dissolution case, promising her a named partnership if she wins.
After Harvey wins the trial, Ava sues the firm for malpractice and appoints Travis Tanner as her attorney.
Harvey is soon able to get Ava to withdraw the suit.
Jessica learns of Mike and Rachel’s relationship and threatens to fire Mike unless Rachel signs an affidavit saying she knew of Mike’s fraud.
She does so on the condition that Jessica waive the firm’s “Harvard rule”, so she can apply to work there as a lawyer upon graduation from Columbia.
Mike’s secret is nearly discovered by Louis, but he is eventually convinced that Mike only “fixed” a grade in a single class. After Louis almost finds out about Mike’s deception, Mike realizes he will never be able to make a name for himself in law with the threat of his fraud being discovered, and considers a career change after being offered a job as an investment banker by Jonathan Sidwell.
In the season’s finale, Mike is arrested alongside Harold Gunderson for supposedly bribing witnesses in the Ava Hessington trial, which threatens exposure for him.
After Louis and Harvey manage to release them both, Mike realizes the problems that his situation causes for the firm and takes the job offered by Sidwell.
This new job makes Mike a client of the firm, which now makes Harvey, technically, work for Mike.
Season 4 (2014–15)
As Mike begins working as an investment banker for Jonathan Sidwell, he finds himself in an awkward situation when a takeover battle for Gillis Industries pits Mike against Pearson Specter client (and Rachel’s former boyfriend) Logan Sanders.
This leads to a battle between Mike and Harvey, who are accused of colluding by the S.E.C. A team led by Sean Cahill, who is determined to defeat Pearson Specter, investigates the claim under direct orders from Eric Woodall.
Jeff Malone is hired by the firm after revealing the impending investigation against Pearson Specter to Jessica and Harvey.
Following back and forth takeover attempts from both Mike and Logan, Mike turns to Charles Forstman, a shady billionaire investor who agrees to invest to save Gillis Industries, under the condition that Mike cut Sidwell out, giving Sidwell nothing from the Gillis Industries case.
Mike reluctantly agrees to the deal, but Forstman informs Sidwell about the secret condition, and Mike is fired.
Rachel and Logan find themselves working late on the case together, and share a moment of passion.
Rachel informs Donna of their kiss, and Donna advises her to act with caution, so she decides against telling Mike.
When she does tell him, Mike fights with Logan before briefly moving out.
Louis prevents Forstman from investing in Gillis, but is forced to embezzle Forstman’s money through international banks to avoid United States taxes.
Jessica offers Louis a reward, and when she once again refuses his request to be name partner, he asks that Mike be rehired at the firm.
Following the SEC investigation and Jessica finding out about Louis’ wrongdoings, Louis resigns from Pearson Specter. He tries to take clients with him but is stonewalled by his non-compete clause.
Mike gets Louis an interview with Robert Zane, but Zane adds the condition that Louis must poach one of Harvey’s clients, which Mike prevents him from doing.
When Mike visits Louis and doesn’t recognize the Order of the Coif key that the top 10% of graduates receive at Harvard, Louis realizes Mike’s secret and uses it to blackmail Jessica into rehiring him as a name partner.
His pride in this victory leads to severe tension and problems with the firm.
Louis and Mike have a physical altercation, after which Louis forgives Mike and manages to get the SEC to drop the case against Pearson Specter.
Malone learns that Jessica lied to him about why Louis was made name partner, and resigns from the firm.
Rachel hands Mike an ultimatum, and Mike moves back into his apartment with her.
At the end of the season, Mike proposes to Rachel by giving her the ring Mike’s grandmother had when she got married.
When Mike was struggling with a case, Donna illegally obtained evidence for him.
When this is discovered, Harvey, Rachel, and Mike rush to prove the company’s guilt so that the charges against Donna will be dropped.
Harvey tells Donna that he loves her, but remains non-committal, leaving her confused.
She helps Louis get over the death of his abrasive but loyal secretary Norma, and decides to leave Harvey to work for Louis, devastating Harvey.
Season 5 (2015–16)
Harvey hires a new secretary who appears the opposite of Donna, but proves herself capable.
However, he still struggles with losing Donna.
After experiencing a serious panic attack, he seeks therapy, but finds it difficult to open up to a therapist who wants to address his abandonment issues.
She slowly gets him to talk about his mother’s affair throughout the season.
Meanwhile, Louis worries that Donna will leave him and return to Harvey.
When he finds out that Harvey had been paying most of Donna’s extremely high salary, he conspires with partner Jack Soloff to change the firm’s compensation structure and undermine Harvey, which gets him in trouble with Jessica as Soloff makes a power play.
When Louis’s sister Esther comes to the firm seeking legal advice, Louis makes Harvey promise not to sleep with her. Harvey does anyway, and when Louis finds out it leads to a physical altercation; Louis tries to get Harvey suspended. Jessica finds out that Soloff got advice from Daniel Hardman, and gives him one last chance at the firm.
When Soloff tries to break ties with Hardman, though, the former managing partner finds ways to keep manipulating him.
Although jubilant about their engagement, Mike and Rachel keep quiet about it as they work to help Harvey deal with Donna’s departure.
Mike works a case with Robert Zane; Rachel decides not to sign a prenup suggested by her father.
When Soloff proposes working a case with Mike, he initially refuses, not trusting the man who nearly got one of Louis’s clients dropped.
Mike and Soloff come to a mutual respect through the case, but this only causes more problems for Mike when Soloff recommends him for junior partner.
The opposing counsel on Mike’s first case is a former girlfriend who knows his secret, and Rachel is forced to handle the situation. Rachel is hurt by friction with her mother when Mike’s secret forces her to give up her dream of a huge wedding.
Hardman threatens a hostile takeover of Pearson Specter Litt, with Soloff as his involuntary right-hand man.
Louis fails to discover what Hardman is holding over Soloff.
Harvey realizes Charles Forstman, now in jail, is funding Hardman as an act of revenge, and Forstman demands Harvey’s resignation.
When Hardman makes another move, Harvey agrees to resign and reveals the whole situation to the partners, leading them to vote to keep Jessica as managing partner.
Mike also resigns after a difficult decision to protect his new family with Rachel, but is arrested before he can leave the office by two agents who accuse him of conspiracy to commit fraud.
Harvey and Mike find themselves facing the tenacity of Anita Gibbs as they fight to keep Mike out of jail.
Donna returns to Harvey’s desk to support them. Although Harvey decides to represent Mike in court, Mike argues that he needs to prove to the jury that he is a real lawyer by representing himself.
As more and more people involved realize that the allegations are true, the risk of someone turning Mike in for a deal rises. Even though Rachel begs Mike to have faith in himself, he chooses at the final hour to turn himself in for a two-year prison sentence so that no one else will go to jail for his mistake.
Harvey discovers that the jury verdict would have been not guilty, devastating everyone.
Mike decides to marry Rachel before he leaves, but seeing that her parents felt forced to come to the wedding, he leaves the church to start his prison sentence.
With Mike’s confession, Pearson Specter Litt’s non-compete clause is rendered invalid, and Louis, Jessica, and Donna return to the firm to find it completely empty of employees.