The formerly undefeated Travis Tanner is back in town, and he wants revenge on Harvey for beating him in a case last season. The weapon Tanner’s using is a product liability suit Harvey won four years ago on behalf of an auto manufacturer, specifically a “newly discovered” internal memo revealing that the car maker knew all about the engineering flaws that resulted in a driver’s death. Tanner is not only reopening the case, he’s suing Harvey for fraud, accusing him of having deliberately concealed the memo at the time. Harvey’s response is threefold: 1) get himself fired by the car company so he can investigate further without being bound by attorney-client privilege; 2) order Donna and Mike to secretly search the old case files for a copy of that memo so they can prove nobody at Pearson Hardman ever saw it (or fire whoever did), and 3) keep Daniel Hardman from finding out about any of it, on Jessica’s instructions.
Complicating fold number three is the fact that Mike’s smart mouth has prompted Harvey to lend him to Louis to work on a case (which Louis already lied to Hardman that Mike had been scalp-deep in for weeks). Mike and Louis actually end up working well together, as Mike discovers not only how impressive Louis’s ****ishness can be when directed at opposing counsel, but also Louis’s ongoing pain at being underappreciated at the firm. They even end up having a heart-to-heart in which it looks like some old hatchets may be buried. But Louis suspects that Harvey’s still hiding something, with Mike’s help. Which of course is exactly what’s happening.
After tracking down the quality control officer at the company who brought her concerns to the CEO’s attention (although she claims not to have written the memo), Harvey goes to the CEO and strong-arms him into settling. He thinks that’ll be the end of the matter, but Tanner is still after him for fraud, even though Harvey figures Tanner wrote that damning memo himself. Back at the firm, Louis approaches Harvey to be let into the loop and offer his help with whatever Harvey’s secretly working on, but Harvey refuses to trust Louis and sends him packing. Louis, still being Louis, leaves his beloved Dictaphone behind to record Harvey’s subsequent conversation with Mike. When Louis later hears what’s said — which, in addition to giving everything away, isn’t terribly flattering to Louis — it’s not too hard for him to tell Hardman what’s going on. Hardman goes ballistic on Harvey and Jessica for hiding the fraud lawsuit from him, but rather than turning on them, he says they’ll have to fight it together, since the case is, after all, against the whole firm. And thus is an uneasy alliance born.