With the senior partners’ vote only four days away from finally determining whether Jessica or Hardman will be managing partner, the numbers are split right down the middle. Or at least they are until Hardman quietly promotes Louis to managing partner. Luckily Donna is back, and she’s the first one to figure out Hardman’s move, whereupon Jessica and Harvey realize they’re going to have to court Louis’s vote. Worse, Harvey is. He sucks up to Louis pretty convincingly, even showing Louis the documentation that proves Hardman set up Louis to take the fall for him in his embezzlement scheme five years ago. But Louis is offended at Harvey’s timing, which demonstrates clearly that he and Jessica aren’t using him any less than Hardman is.
Harvey and Mike also have a case they’re working, defending an obnoxious TV sports commentator from a libel suit. The client’s a ****, but he won’t burn the source who could exonerate him. That means Harvey and Mike have to threaten to burn the guy for him, until he backs down from his insistence on completely humiliating the guy who’s suing him. Whatever, it’s the least interesting part of the episode anyway.
When Harvey fails to close Louis, even by warning him that a vote for Hardman will forever taint his long-awaited promotion in people’s minds, Jessica goes to Louis herself, armed with Harvey’s offer to give Louis his office. That conversation does not go well, to say the least. But afterward, Louis confronts Hardman on his actions back in 2007 that could have destroyed Louis’s life. Hardman admits it, but is continuing to insist that he’s changed. As for the promotion, he claims it was only what Louis deserved, and that he should vote his conscience. Louis accepts the promotion, but as far as what that vote is actually going to be, we’re going to have to wait until next week to find out.