Self Defense
S5 episode 14 Aired on February 17, 2016

Warning: Recap Contains Spoilers

MIKE AND HARVEY SQUARE OFF

Harvey gets Mike to agree to a mock trial to determine who will take lead on Mike’s defense against Anita Gibbs, and both men come out swinging. With so much at stake, they bend the rules to gain an advantage, but things get personal when Harvey manages gets Rachel on the stand and asks some questions that cut to the bone. It’s a jerk move, for sure, but it makes Rachel realize one crucial thing -- when it comes time for trial, Harvey can afford to look like an a--hole in court; Mike can’t. So Harvey is taking lead, and that is that. Thank God someone put their foot down, because we hate it when these two are fighting!

 

MIKE TRIES TO CIRCLE THE WAGONS

With the trial imminent, Mike approaches Trevor to ask him not to testify. But Trevor doesn’t really have a choice -- Gibbs has threatened him with prison if he doesn’t play ball, and -- unlike Mike -- there would be no cushy white-collar resort in his future. Desperate to shore up his defense, Mike turns to his old pal Jimmy and asks him to swear that he remembers Mike from Harvard (Harold had already willingly offered himself up as Mike’s Harvard alibi, but we all know Harold would crumble like a Nilla wafer under cross examination). But Jimmy isn’t happy to hear that Mike is the fraud everyone says he is, and he sure as hell isn’t ready to risk destroying his own career by perjuring himself.

 

GIBBS PUTS LOUIS IN HER SIGHTS

Anita Gibbs gets into Louis’ head, first accusing the high-strung attorney of witness tampering, then sending an operative down to Argentina to harass Sheila. Consider Louis’s feathers ruffled! Jessica steps in to protect Louis, but it’s clear that Gibbs’s divide and conquer tactics are working, and that she’s chosen the right calf to cut from the herd. Later, Gibbs pays another visit to Louis, this time at his home, playing into his sense of insecurity to get him to make a deal. Listen, we want to believe Louis will stay strong, but come on -- you know damn well there’s no mudding in prison!

 

JESSICA TAKES THE LEAD

With the firm under assault, Jessica says enough is enough and slaps Gibbs with a restraining order to get her off of Louis’ back. But Gibbs has other ways of shaking things up, and when the unrelenting U.S. Attorney gets the trial moved up, Jessica realizes it will take an act of solidarity to keep things together. Jessica tells Gibbs that if she’s called to the stand, she’ll tell the jury that Mike is the best Harvard-educated attorney she has ever met and take full responsibility for hiring him, and everyone who comes after will say the same thing. It’s a confident move, but will her team back her up?

 

THE TRIAL BEGINS

Gibbs puts Trevor on the stand and cannily uses Mike’s former best friend to make Swiss cheese of Mike’s defense. Of course, Harvey is Harvey for a reason, and he manages to turn the tables on Gibbs by invoking the whole Jenny situation to paint Trevor as the ex-buddy who wouldn’t stop at lying to get a little revenge on the guy who stole his girlfriend. Though Harvey’s courtroom prowess manages to buy them a little leeway, things get shaky again when Donna is called to testify and winds up pleading the Fifth. Mike’s hopes rise when Jimmy makes a surprise appearance to corroborate Mike’s Harvard story, but Harvey isn’t optimistic; their only hope of winning will be to finally let Mike take the lead on his own defense.  The question is, how will they get the judge to grant the request?