On 25 September, the American legal drama series Suits aired its final episode after nine seasons. The series debuted on 23 June 2011 and followed the talented college dropout Mike Ross who managed to get a job as a law associate under the brilliant Harvey Specter, despite never attending law school. The main plot of the show centred around Harvey and Mike closing cases together, all while navigating industry politics and trying to keep Mike’s education – or lack thereof – a secret from the rest of the law firm.
To honour Suits’ triumphant and satisfying end, we look back on nine important moments throughout the show’s nine-season run. Spoilers ahead.
1. Mike stumbles into the interview (Season 1 Episode 1)
Without this scene, there probably wouldn’t have been Suits. On the run from a drug deal gone wrong, Mike Ross somehow wandered into an interview with the brilliant Harvey Specter (thanks to his honesty towards Donna). The whole sequence of events leading up to that point is rather absurd and laughable, but what comes next makes it even better. The back-and-forth banter between the men establishes the character dynamics on which the next six seasons (and then some) are built.
2. Mike’s grandma dies (Season 2 Episode 9)
I had always hoped for Mike’s grandma to hang around long enough to see her grandson becoming a hotshot lawyer. Sadly, these dreams were dashed when she kicked it a bit too soon in the second season. In the episode, Mike finds out about his grandmother’s passing in the very house that he was about to purchase for her. It’s a sad moment for both viewers and Mike, but the setting ensured that we all felt the weight of the loss doubly hard.
3. Mike and Rachel give in to their feelings (Season 2 Episode 16)
From the first time Mike met Rachel, you just knew there was going to be some sort of romantic (and sexual) tension between them. The resolution came a little late, but this scene fulfills the trope that good things come to those who wait, and it was a brilliant way to cap off season two. The typical “I hate you” transitions into a classic make-out scene. It was a tad cliche, but well executed.
4. Mike confronts the demons in his head (Season 3 Episode 11)
When Mike was a kid, his parents were killed in a car accident involving a drunk driver. Before he and his grandma, Edith Ross, even had time to hold a wake for them, Nick Rinaldi, the lawyer representing the drunk driver, showed up to settle the case. The grieving pair sat helpless while Rinaldi informed them on how much the deceased’s lives were worth. When Mike grew up, he found out that they actually had a legal case but Rinaldi had hurried to shut it down. Rinaldi’s unethical conduct spurred Mike’s desire to become a lawyer.
In this episode, Mike takes up a case against Rinaldi in an attempt to set the record straight but things don’t go as planned. Rinaldi has no recollection of the case he took against the Ross’s as he took many cases of such nature. Mike might not have had his desired revenge or outcome, but at least he got the chance to come to terms with how things played out.
5. Louis cracks Mike’s code (Season 4 Episode 10)
Forsaken by the woman he loves, fired from the firm and unable to readily find work, Louis isn’t a happy chappy. His stress and anger were compounded when he discovers Mike’s secret. This process unfolded when Mike’s unfamiliarity with Louis’s Harvard key garnered him questioning from the grumpy and out-of-luck lawyer. Having graduated summa cum laude, Louis was awarded a prestigious key by Harvard, which Mike should have recognised as well. In his own (faked) transcript, Mike claimed to have graduated magna cum laude and would have got the same key. Louis isn’t one of the city’s best lawyers for nothing and caught on to this. He then questioned Donna about Mike’s credibility, to which she confessed the truth. Jilted, lied to and hurt, the nail in the coffin came when Louis realised that Jessica, Donna and Harvey, his closest friends in the firm, had been covering up for Mike.
6. Mike gets arrested (Season 5 Episode 16)
The secret had to catch up to Mike Ross one day. It would have been unrealistic for him to escape detection all the way so this whole sequence of events made plenty of sense. Still, it was painful to see the true result of Mike’s trial, with Harvey finding out that the jury would have deemed Mike to be “not guilty”. As a result, Harvey had to lie to Mike in order to spare him the pain that would have come with the regret of his decision. The overall feel of this episode is depressing, with Harvey pulling out all the stops to save his protege from incarceration. The episode ends with Mike taking his first steps into the prison facility, hence closing a chapter of Suits and allowing viewers to come to terms with Mike’s situation.
7. Harvey buries the hatchet with his mother (Season 6 Episode 12)
The episode opens with a flashback seven years prior to the series, depicting Gordon Specter’s (Harvey’s father) funeral procession. It was also the last time that Harvey had spoken to the rest of his family, courtesy of his mother’s infidelity and his brother’s seeming nonchalance towards the act. The rest of this episode revolves around Harvey trying to reconnect with his brother’s family and attempting to understand why his mother blames him for leaving. The episode takes a heartwarming turn when Harvey makes up with his mother and apologises for hurting her. The icing on the cake comes when Harvey’s mom gifts him a painting to replace the one he had lost earlier in the season to another lawyer. It’s an emotional moment as well for viewers who have been following Harvey for the duration of the show, and those that know of his seeming lack of care for his family.
8. Harvey and Donna get together (Season 8 Episode 16)
Everybody saw it coming. It wasn’t so much a question of if, but rather when. When Robert Zane sacrificed his license to practice law to save Harvey during the latter’s ethics hearing (due to him breaking attorney-client privilege), Harvey was left to reflect on the costly decision. Robert Zane’s disbarment prompts Samantha to grieve for the man that served as a mentor and father-figure to her. This resulted in Harvey spending time with Samantha to clear their heads and the latter turned to Harvey as a confidant. Samantha opened up to Harvey about her own loss of love and something inside Harvey clicked as he finally accepted his feelings for Donna. This prompted him to rush off to Donna’s apartment where the pair were able to embrace…and then some.
9. Faye Richardson is defeated (Season 9 Episode 10)
Season nine saw Harvey and gang (including Mike. Surprise, surprise) face their toughest foe yet in Special Master, Faye Richardson. Following a whole series of events as a result of Robert Zane’s disbarment in the previous season, the firm is placed under direct supervision of the bar in the form of Faye Richardson, one of their representatives.
Throughout the rest of season nine, Faye basically makes life hard for Harvey and co. and even ends up firing Samantha and Katrina. Mike enters the picture for a completely different reason, but predictably (not that anyone’s complaining) ends up helping the gang to get rid of Faye.
The process to kick Faye out of the firm goes on for pretty much the entire season and through it, we see Harvey and co. pitted against each other at many points. However, that very reason allows Mike and Harvey to deceive Faye in order to pull off one last con which enabled Gretchen to do the old switcheroo on an important document that Faye was supposed to sign. Signing the wrong document lead to Faye essentially shooting her own foot and getting booted from the firm. The whole sequence of events leading up to this moment might have seemed drawn out to some, but it’s exactly that which makes her defeat all the more satisfying.