Before leaving town for the day, Harvey puts Mike up to a rather questionable task. To understand it, we need to go back five years, which, fortunately, we do. In those days, Harvey was a lowly senior associate, Louis was still junior partner, and Jessica still looked up to her mentor, Daniel Hardman. Which is why she asked Harvey to quietly find out who was embezzling money from their clients, so she could impress the managing partner with her problem-solving skills. Of course we in 2012 already know damn well who was skimming, but Harvey agreed to do it, if Jessica agreed to make him partner. Harvey’s initial investigation pointed to Louis, but after he turned up innocent, Harvey asked for Louis’s help. And discovered that the embezzler was, as we already know, Hardman. Jessica confronted Hardman, who, as we also know, claimed the money was for his dying wife’s cancer treatments. So Jessica was inclined to let it slide.
As for young Mike Ross, he was a lowly pothead bike messenger and still roommates with then-small-time weed dealer Trevor. The two of them went out one night and met a couple of young women. Mike hit off with the blonde, Jenny, but circumstances conspired to land him a date with her roommate Nikki instead. I say “circumstances” when I mean Trevor and Nikki, because Trevor ended up dating Jenny (as we know) and Nikki only wanted Mike to use his circus-freak brain to take the LSATs for her. Mike rode his high-horse out of there, but went back upon discovering that his aging Grammy wasn’t going to be able to stay alone in her apartment much longer and he was going to need some cash.
It looked like Hardman’s malfeasance was going to blow over, until Donna learned a tidbit of info from a young intern named Rachel Zane: junior associate Monica Eaton had a questionable window blocked off on her weekly schedule. That led Harvey to bust Hardman and Monica at their love nest, at which point Harvey blackmailed Hardman into resigning on the spot. But no sooner did Harvey get back to the firm than he learned that his father had died of a heart attack. Mellow: harshed. But the good news that Jessica not only made him partner, she gave him her office. And then Jacinda (remember her from last week?) leaves, because of what Harvey is turning into. Mellow: harshed again, but not as much.