|“|| Harvey: We should hire you. Jesus, I'd give you the 25 grand as a signing bonus.|
Mike: I'll take it.
Harvey: Unfortunately, we only hire from Harvard. And you not only did not go to Harvard Law School, you haven't even gone to any law school.
Mike: What if I told you I consume knowledge like no one you've ever met and I've actually passed the bar?
After Harvey Specter, a closer for one of New York City's top law firms, finally becomes a senior law partner, he must hire an associate from Harvard Law. His choice is Mike Ross, a brilliant but troubled college dropout who stumbled upon the interview during a botched drug deal. Although Mike is initially hesitant about staying at Pearson Hardman, working together, the two of them manage to successfully defend a woman in a sexual harassment case.
Louis Litt walks into an office at Pearson Hardman, and informs Jessica Pearson that one of their clients, Gerald Tate, is unhappy with what is happening with his deal. Jessica tells Louis to get Harvey Specter, their best closer, and after some hesitation from Louis, he leaves. Harvey is at a poker game, which he promptly wins, and receives a text from Jessica saying that she needs him to come in.
Rushing over to the office, he interrupts an argument between Jessica and Gerald, and after Jessica introduces him, Gerald berates Harvey for his absence. Harvey retaliates by saying that when he left, there was no problem with the deal. After Gerald claims that the reason for the problem is the other side, Harvey responds by saying that Gerald is the cause of the hold up with the deal. Despite Gerald's assertions that Harvey should fix the problem, and after threatening to pay someone else to fix it, Harvey informs Gerald that since the deal was already signed by the other side, they have already been paid in full, with Jessica backing his position. Reluctantly, Gerald leaves. Jessica then discovers that Harvey had lied about their fee having already been paid, but lets him off with a smile.
Meanwhile, Mike Ross has just taken another Law School Admission Test (LSAT) when the proctor stops him, saying that he looks familiar. Despite Mike claiming otherwise, the proctor sets aside his test, separating it from the others. However, when the proctor is distracted, Mike buries his test with the others. The proctor realizes, and gives chase, but Mike manages to escape by changing his clothes. He goes to collect his fee from the student he took the LSAT for, but the student is unsatisfied with the score Mike got for him. Mike responds that the score he got was representative of the student's intelligence, only for the student to pay him half of what was agreed. The student responds sarcastically by suggesting that he go to the police.
Later on, Mike reveals to his best friend, Trevor Evans, that he was high when he took the test and almost got caught. Trevor responds by suggesting that Mike join him in his business of selling pot, and tells him about a transaction that he needs Mike to do for him. Mike declines, just before the arrival of Trevor's girlfriend Jenny Griffith, who asks the two friends what they were discussing. Mike uses this as an opportunity to leave.
Elsewhere, Harvey and Jessica are discussing their latest victory over dinner, and Jessica tells him that she has a new, major client for him. When a waitress approaches their table, Jessica gloats about Harvey, saying that he is the best closer in the city. The waitress assumes that he is a baseball player, but when Harvey tells her that he is an attorney, she becomes uninterested and leaves, just as Harvey begins to flirt with her. Jessica then teases him about not being the best closer, at least in that situation. However, the next morning, the waitress awakens in Harvey's bed, and after only a small amount of persuasion, Harvey proceeds to have sex with her again.
Mike visits his grandmother, Edith Ross, in the nursing center, and after some joking between them, gets her to take her pills. Edith then asks Mike to stop doing what he has been doing, telling him that while life hasn't been kind to him, she wants him to start living up to his potential. After a moments pause, Mike promises to do so.
At Pearson Hardman, Louis tells Jessica of his annoyance at her choosing Harvey to deal with Gerald Tate, and that he himself could have dealt with the situation. Jessica responds by saying that she disagrees, but their discussion is interrupted by the arrival of Harvey, and the two men immediately begin to taunt one another. Their discussion is ended by Jessica, who informs Harvey that he must hold interviews for a new associate now that he is a senior partner. Louis responds to the news by saying that he deserves the promotion, but Jessica reaffirms her decision.
At the nursing center, a nurse informs Mike that due to his grandmother's worsening condition, she will need to be moved to full-time care, or else she will be transferred to a state facility. However, Mike responds by saying that he will not allow his grandmother to be moved to a state hospital, and when the nurse says that he will have to come up with $25,000, he calls Trevor to tell him that he will accept his offer, at a price of $25,000. Trevor gives Mike the instructions for the transaction, and tells him to clean himself up for the deal at the hotel. However, after the call is ended, he finds out from the dealers that the transaction might be with undercover cops, and so the dealers decide to keep Trevor with them until the deal is through. At Trevor's apartment, Mike has just finished getting changed when Jenny arrives, and compliments him on his appearance. Mike then leaves, together with a briefcase full of weed.
At the Chilton Hotel, Harvey is interviewing Harvard graduates for the position as his associate. After the first few, Harvey gets tired of the "Harvard clones" and tells Donna, his trusted assistant, to give the candidates a hard time before sending them in and give him a wink if the say something smart, telling her that he is looking for another him. She does so to several prospective interviewees, but none of them stand out.
At the same hotel, Mike is somewhat nervous before making the trade, and goes to the rest room to splash water on his face. When he reaches the room for the transaction, he sees two men picking at the lock and realizes that they could be cops posing as Trevor's buyer for a bust. He distracts them by talking to them directly before leaving, although they become suspicious of the briefcase in his hand, and so one of them follows him while the other remains by the room. Mike, remembering the Harvard Law interviews sign he had passed, proceeds to the room where the interviews are being held.
As Mike runs frantically into the room, Donna calls the name of the next interviewee, Rick Sorkin. When Donna assumes that Mike is Rick, she presses him about being late, to which Mike honestly answers by saying he only wants to get away from the cops chasing him and he does not care for the interview. Thinking this was a smart remark, she winks at Harvey and sends him in. Soon after, the undercover cop following Mike storms into the waiting room, but soon leaves when he does not find him.
Mike decides to go along with the Rick Sorkin persona, but as he approaches Harvey, his briefcase falls open, causing the marijuana packets to fall out in front of him. Mike tells Harvey the story of how he ended up there, and Harvey happily listens. Impressed at his tactics, Harvey offers Mike the associate position, with the $25,000 he needs as a signing bonus, which Mike accepts. Harvey, however, takes it back, saying Pearson Hardman only hires from Harvard Law, and that Mike has never even gone to any law school. Mike reveals that he consumes knowledge like no one else, and that he has actually passed the bar. Harvey quizzes Mike about the law, and Mike is able to give profound answers, to Harvey's amazement. Mike then manages to easily beat Harvey's own knowledge of the law, and although Harvey is initially hesitant about hiring Mike, he decides to do so when he realizes that if he does not, he will have to interview more Harvard clones, and on Mike's assertion that if he is given the opportunity, he will work as hard as he can to prove he is better than the other interviewees.
On Harvey's instruction, Mike disposes of the rest of his pot, but decides to keep the briefcase, storing it in a pizza box in his oven, and flies to Harvard to learn about attending school there. As the tour at Harvard Law is already fully booked, he cons another attendee into giving him his name badge, and then enters the tour in his place.
On his first day at Pearson Hardman, Mike meets Rachel Zane, who is sent to give him his orientation. After he immediately starts flirting with her, Rachel informs Mike that she is not interested, and that she will not be "blown away by his dazzling degree" even though she is "just a paralegal". Rachel then proceeds to give him a tour of Pearson Hardman, but brushes off his question about what she thinks of Louis.
Harvey arrives at Pearson Hardman in a good mood given his recent promotion, but finds that someone is removing the lettering marking his promotion from his door. Initially thinking that someone is messing with him, he is informed by Donna that Jessica wishes to speak with him
At the end of Mike's tour, Rachel admonishes him for not having taken any notes during the tour, and suggests that it is because he was too busy ogling her. However, Mike responds by repeating everything that he had been told and correctly interpreting Rachel's silence regarding his question about Louis, though his answer does not go down well with Rachel, who calls him a show-off.
In Jessica's office, Harvey is informed by his superior that Gerald Tate discovered he lied to him about his deal, and that he has fired Pearson Hardman, which is why Harvey's promotion had been reversed. Harvey attempts to justify his actions, and regain his promotion, but Jessica holds firm in her decision, saying that Gerald Tate might not have fired the firm if Harvey hadn't humiliated him, and that he should accept what has happened.
Harvey returns to office to find Mike there ready to begin, but he informs his new associate that due to him losing his promotion, he has to let Mike go, as he cannot afford anyone finding out that he lied about Mike having attended Harvard, an admission that is overheard by Donna. Mike responds by saying that if he is fired, he could always reveal that Harvey lied anyway, which would definitely lead to Harvey loosing his licence. Harvey realizes that his associate is right, and tells him he is rehired before leaving. He then proceeds to inform Jessica that if he isn't given his promotion back, he will go to another law firm and take his clients with him. When Jessica threatens to put him in front of the ethics board in response, Harvey tells her that if she does, he will do the same to her, as she was obliged to inform them when Harvey lied to Gerald Tate, a tactic similar to what Mike had threatened to do to him. With a slight smile, Jessica agrees to give Harvey his promotion, on the condition that he take a pro-bono case. Harvey is initially reluctant to accept the case, but eventually agrees, though he passes the case on to Mike despite Jessica warning him otherwise.
Mike goes to meet Nancy, the client in the pro bono case, and she relays to him her story, informing him how she had been sexually harassed by her boss, Charles Hunt, and then later fired form Devlin McGregor when she rebuffed his advances, despite relaying her situation to Human Resources. Mike tells Nancy that he will help her with her problem. He goes to see Harvey, telling him that the defense had sent over the investigation files, but Harvey informs his new associate that they had only sent over the files because that is where they wanted them to look. He teaches Mike that law is about "pressing until it hurts", and that since it was likely Hunt had done the same thing before, he should get a former employee to testify against him, and subpoena the persona files of every woman that had left the firm during Hunt's tenure. Mike reveals that he had had the same idea, but doesn't know how to fill out a subpoena. His request for help from Donna is immediately rebuffed, and he is instead told by Harvey to go see his suit guy, and spend some money on a new suit.
At the end of the day, Mike gets ready to leave, but he is stopped by Rachel, who tells him that Louis Litt wishes to see him. At Louis' office, Mike is given his own personal welcome from Louis, who informs Mike that he is considered the disciplinarian of the associates. Their discussion is interrupted by Gary Lipski, who is introduced to Mike as one of the most promising associates from the previous year. Louis questions Gary about one of his current tasks, but when Gary responds that he hadn't completed the task, he is promptly fired, leaving Mike looking flustered.
Mike returns home, only to find Trevor in his apartment. After questioning his appearance there, Mike berates Trevor for setting him up with the undercover cops. Despite Trevor's objections that it wasn't his fault, and that he had been held by the dealers to stop him from warning Mike, Mike requests that Trevor leave, which he does with some resistance. Checking his oven, he finds that the briefcase is still hidden there.
The next day at Pearson Hardman, Mike informs Harvey that Devlin McGregor is fighting the subpoena for their personnel files, and that they had filed a motion to dismiss due to their lack of evidence. Harvey proclaims this as good news, and at Mike's surprise, tells him that the fact they do not wish to hand over the files shows they are looking in the right place.
Mike approaches Rachel and requests her assistance in finding evidence to fight the motion to dismiss. Rachel denies his request as she has several other cases that require her attention, but when Mike informs her that the hearing for his case is the next day, and that he was told by Donna that she is the best researcher at the firm, she agrees to look over the motion. Mike annoys Rachel when he objects to the fact she has her own office, but after explaining his client's position, Rachel consents to assist Mike in finding a precedent to support their case. The two of them go to the Pearson Hardman library and order dinner.
At a bar, Harvey is in discussion with an attractive women. He begins to flirt with the woman, but she rebuffs his advances. After thanking the woman for her assistance with one of his clients, he offers to pay their cheque, despite the woman's objections. She hands him a large brown envelope, before leaving.
Back at Pearson Hardman, Mike and Rachel are eating dinner and joking with one another. Mike enquires as to why she isn't a lawyer, and Rachel replies that despite her intelligence, she has so far been unable to pass the LSATs, and questions whether she would be able to pass the bar if she managed to do so. She jokingly asks whether there is someone that could take the test for her, which leaves Mike somewhat flustered. Harvey approaches the two of them, and asks how far along they are with their research. Mike responds by saying that they have yet to find anything, and Harvey questions his dedication to the clients problem, suggesting that he focus on the task at hand rather than flirting with Rachel, before leaving. Rachel responds to Harvey's statement by saying that their predicament is hopeless, and that they look like the bad guys putting the other side under duress, which sparks an idea in Mike's head. Flicking through one of the books in front of them, he finds something which could be useful.
The next day, Mike shows what he found to Harvey, who concurs that it could be useful, and agrees to allow Mike to accompany him to the hearing, as it would be "cruel not to let [him] witness [Harvey's] greatness". At the hearing, using what Mike had given him, Harvey manages to convince the judge to rule in their favor, and Devlin McGregor is forced to hand over the files as requested.
Mike goes to the suit shop that was recommended by Harvey with the intention of purchasing a new suit. The employees at the shop are initially derisive given his appearance, but after Mike mentions Harvey's name, they become more accommodating. As he leaves the shop, he receives a call from Jenny, who says that she wants things to back to the way they were. Mike replies that he doesn't know if that can happen, before ending the call. Jenny relays what Mike said to Trevor, who is beside her, but he is unsure as to the reason for Mike's attitude.
Back at Pearson Hardman, Mike goes to see Rachel and informs her of the result of the hearing, thanking her for her assistance. Rachel receives a call, and informs Mike that the files from Devlin McGregor have arrived and placed in one of the conference rooms. Mike questions why the files were not instead sent to his cubicle, but after going to the conference room, they find out there are boxes and boxes of files that have been sent over. Rachel tells Mike that they are intending to bury him in paperwork, but Mike replies that "they picked the wrong guy". Harvey, who is behind the two of them, requests that Mike have it done by the end of the week, before leaving to see a new client.
Harvey arrives at a tennis court to meet John Dockery, the new client, before handing him a brown envelope. Dockery opens the envelope, which contains an incriminating photo of himself in bed with a woman. He furiously asks Harvey what it is, to which Harvey responds by saying that it is "a picture of [Mr. Dockery] having sex with a woman who isn't Mrs. Dockery". Harvey states that he was asked to find out where Dockery is vulnerable to corporate takeover, and indicates the contents of the envelope as such. He suggests that Dockery trade shares with his wife so that she cannot vote him out of his own company, which he reluctantly agrees to.
In Harvey's office, Mike informs his superior that he has discovered where Devlin McGregor do not want them to look. He relays to Harvey information regarding an employee that was dismissed from the company many years previously, but that the employee's name is missing, and suggests that the dismissed employee is the woman they are looking for. Harvey calls Devlin McGregor's lawyer, and mentions what Mike had found, threatening sanctions if the missing information is not returned.
Mike goes to see Nancy, and asks whether she knows the woman that was dismissed, Joanna Webster. She states the she does not, and Mike tells her that Devlin McGregor is trying to hide her from them, and that it is likely the same thing that was done to Nancy was done to Joanna. Nancy implores Mike to find her, which he agrees to do.
Mike is sitting on some steps in front of a house, when a woman approaches him carrying some shopping. After asking whether she is Joanna Webster, he informs her that he is a lawyer, and states that he wishes to talk to about her time at Devlin McGregor. She brushes him off and proceeds indoors, but Mike requests that she allow him to tell her about his client, and she agrees. In her house, Joanna tells Mike about what happened to her, but is reluctant to help him with his case. Mike pushes her to help him, but she declines.
Back at Pearson Hardman, Harvey is at his desk when Mike enters looking somewhat forlorn. Harvey inquires as to what happened with Joanna, to which Mike initially replies that he failed, before revealing that he managed to convince her to testify. As Mike leaves, Jessica enters and asks Harvey how everything is going with his pro bono case. Harvey answers that he had managed to convince a witness to testify, but after being questioned as to the witness' name, Jessica reveals that she knows he passed the case on to Mike, and is unsympathetic when Harvey states that he has "higher profile cases" to deal with. Jessica reminds Harvey that he was "a screw-up" when Harvey first started at Pearson Hardman, and that she paid for him to go to Harvard. Harvey replies that he closed the Dockery case, but Jessica berates him for breaking his promise to her and then lying about it, and tells him that he better win the case.
Mike returns home to his apartment, only to find that it has been ransacked. He rushes to the cooker, and finds that the briefcase is still hidden there. He calls Trevor, and angrily asks him why he broke into his apartment. Trevor replies that he needs the briefcase back, and when Mike asks whether he ever cared about repairing their friendship, replies that Mike was the one that doesn't care. Mike lies and says that he got rid of the briefcase when he was being chased by the cops, but Trevor hangs up the phone before he can finish.
The next day, Mike takes the briefcase with him to Pearson Hardman, and becomes increasingly nervous when Louis informs him that it is time for him to take a mandated drug test. Mike attempts to briefly excuse himself so he can deposit the briefcase in his cubicle, but Louis refuses his request, and Mike is forced to go with him, briefcase in hand. On the way to the medical office, Louis informs Mike that his cousin, Mitch Samberg, was in the same year as Mike, but that he does not recall Mike being present. Mike initially states that he does not remember Mitch, but after Louis becomes suspicious, Mike flashes back to when he attended the Harvard tour, and recalls seeing Mitch's name on a list of the top ten students from the previous year. He recants his previous statement, and manages to convince Louis that he does remember Mitch.
At Mike's cubicle, Harvey phones Donna to ask where his associate is, but his assistant is unaware of his location. Back at the medical office, Mike is handed a cup by the doctor, and prepares to enter the restroom, together with his briefcase. However, the doctor requests that he leave the briefcase outside restroom, otherwise he must check its contents to be sure it does not contain another sample. Not wanting to reveal its contents, Mike agrees.
When he is finished, he picks up his briefcase and heads to his cubicle, locking the briefcase in the cabinet. Harvey appears and informs Mike that the deposition for their case is that afternoon, and that he wants Mike to grill Joanna about anything in her background that might use against her.
At the deposition, Joanna speaks about her time at Devlin McGregor, and how after working there for several months, her boss, Charles Hunt, attempted to have sex with her. She relays that she requested a change in assignment, but was fired two months later for "having a bad attitude". Charles Hunt, who is present at the deposition, scoffs at Joanna's statement, proclaiming it to be ridiculous. Joanna berates Charles for his outburst, and questions why he is even at the deposition, to which Hunt's lawyer replies that Charles has every right to be there. He then asks Joanna whether she considers herself a truthful person, which Joanna agrees to, before questioning her regarding her arrest when she was seventeen, which contradicts Joanna's suggestion that she had never been arrested. The revelation leaves Joanna rattled, and after the lawyer suggests that she is also lying about what happened during her time at Devlin McGregor, she storms out.
Harvey and Mike follow Joanna out of the room, and Harvey berates Mike for having not found out about Joanna's arrest. Mike defends himself by saying that he grilled Joanna about her background, but as the record of her arrest was sealed, there was no way he could have known. Outside Pearson Hardman, Mike manages to catch up with Joanna, but she is unwilling to stop, saying that what happened in the deposition was why she didn't want to testify. Mike attempts to calm her down by saying that what happened doesn't matter, and he still needs her to testify, as they do not have enough time to find another witness, but she leaves, telling Mike not to contact her again.
Back at his cubicle, Mike is staring at the briefcase that he locked in his cabinet. After a moment's contemplation, he grabs the briefcase, and drops his key card on his desk. As he leaves Pearson Hardman, Harvey catches up with him, and questions him regarding what happened with Joanna, and Mike replies that he couldn't fix the problem. Harvey, holding Mike's key card, asks his associate if he is going to quit, and Mike replies that if he doesn't, Louis will fire him anyway for screwing up the case, much like he did to Gary Lipski. Harvey tries to encourage Mike to go and see Joanna again, and Mike replies that there is no way to fix the problem, and suggests that Harvey go and see her in his place. After Mike suggests that Harvey hasn't stood up for him, Harvey replies that he "put [his] ass" on the line for Mike, and questions whether Mike has the courage to keep working at Pearson Hardman. When Mike replies that he does, Harvey points to the briefcase he is holding as evidence that he is still undecided on whether he wants out of his old life. He walks away, leaving Mike alone.
In the bathroom at Pearson Hardman, Harvey confronts Louis about threatening to fire Mike. When Louis responds in confusion, Harvey tells him that he knows about Louis firing Gary Lipski in front of Mike. Louis starts smiling, and informs Harvey that Gary works in the mailroom, and that him firing Gary in front of Mike is simply a ploy he uses to let new associates know what is expected of them. Louis' actions make Harvey realise something regarding his sexual harassment case, and he abruptly leaves.
At the medical center, Mike enters his grandmother's room as she is sleeping. She awakens, and Mike informs her that he wishes to quit his job at Pearson Hardman. He receives some reassuring words from his grandmother, who makes him promise not to leave Pearson Hardman unless they "rip [him] out".
Harvey confronts Joanna at her house, and reveals to her that he knows she never worked at Devlin McGregor, and that she will go to jail unless he tells him what happened. After some hesitation, Joanna reveals that her job was to waste their time until after trial, so they would not have enough time to find another witness. After Joanna says that she does not want to go to jail, Harvey informs her of what she needs to do.
Trevor is eating dinner with Jenny when Mike enters holding the briefcase, and hands it to Trevor, saying that he no longer needs it. He walks into Trevor's room and re-appears holding several of his suits, before opening the briefcase to reveal the drugs, to Trevor's annoyance and Jenny's surprise, proclaiming them to be even.
The next day, in Harvey's office, Mike apologizes for his behavior, but Harvey reveals to his associate that when he first started, he "quit once a month", and only told Mike what he needed to hear. He then hands Mike a file, which Mike reads with some amazement, and on Harvey's suggestion, leaves to "press until it hurts".
In a courtroom, Mike hands Hunt's lawyer several files, detailing payments and phone calls from Hunt to Joanna prior to her testimony, and an affidavit from Joanna stating that she was paid by Hunt to falsely testify, as Nancy watches on. Mike informs Charles Hunt that witness tampering is a criminal offence, one that carries a jail sentence. Hunt states that they will never find someone to prosecute such a small charge, only for Harvey to reveal that he went to law school with the current US attorney in New York, and was the best man at his wedding. Hunt suggests he is bluffing, but Harvey pulls out his phone and shows him several pictures confirming his statement. Hunt's lawyer asks what they want, and agrees to all of Mike's terms, which includes Nancy getting her job back, despite Hunt's objections. They leave, and Nancy thanks Mike for his help.
As they leave the courtroom, Mike questions Harvey on why he went to Joanna's house, suggesting that he did so because he cared. Harvey replies that he did so because it was his job, and hands Mike a new case they will be working on.
- Gabriel Macht as Harvey Specter
- Patrick J. Adams as Mike Ross
- Rick Hoffman as Louis Litt
- Meghan Markle as Rachel Zane
- Sarah Rafferty as Donna Paulsen
- Gina Torres as Jessica Pearson
- Victor Garber as Phillip Hardman (international version only)
- Dagmara Dominczyk as Nancy
- Tom Lipinski as Trevor Evans
- Vanessa Ray as Jenny Griffith
- Rebecca Schull as Edith Ross
- Kristen Bush as Joanna Webster
- John Dossett as John Dockery
- Julie Ann Emery as Vanessa
- John Bedford Lloyd as Gerald Tate
- Matt Servito as Mr. Hunt's Attorney
- Herman Chaves as Bellman
- Tyrone Mitchell Henderson as Procter
- Chloe Cmarada as Lisa
- Mark H. Dold as René
- Christopher Durham as Mr. Hunt
- Andrew Pastides as Clifford Watkins
- Marcella Lowery as Dr. Shrager
- Anthony Giaimo as Herman
- Laine Rettmer as Cristina
- Suzan Perry as Old Woman
- Jurgen Hooper as Gary
- Rob Yang as Technician
- Richard M. Hughes as Grey Hair
- Jennifer Ikeda as Young Woman
- Sean Meehan as Suit
- Teddy Coluca as Worker
- Ivan Martin as Dealer # 1
- Jeremy Dash as Dealer # 2
- Aaron Schwartz as Interviewee # 1
- Pressly Coker as Interviewee # 2
- William Goulet Kean as Interviewee # 3
- Patrick Murney as Young Man
- Hunt Block as Rival Attorney
- Elizabeth Wood as Front Desk Receptionist
- Harvey Specter, a junior partner at Pearson Hardman, one of New York City's top-tier law firms, is promoted to senior partner. His superior, name and managing partner Jessica Pearson, reminds him that according to the firm's by-laws, a senior partner must hire an associate for the firm and for themselves, and that the firm has a policy that they only hire students from Harvard Law School. Harvey is initially against it, as he prefers working alone, but is forced to hire an associate anyways. With the help of his executive assistant Donna Paulsen, Harvey sets up interviews at the Chilton Hotel.
- Mike Ross is introduced as a bright young man with an eidetic memory, who makes his living taking LSAT exams for law students who are unable to score as high as he can. After nearly getting caught by a proctor who recognizes him, Mike retreats to his best friend Trevor Evans' apartment, where the pair smoke marijuana. However, Mike is alerted that his grandmother Edith needs to be put into private care or a state facility. Needing $25,000 for the private care, Mike decides to engage in Trevor's drug trafficking business, which involves selling a briefcase with marijuana at the Chilton Hotel. However, the sale is actually a sting, and Trevor is kept within the drug dealers' compound to prevent him from warning Mike.
- Mike realizes in the nick of time that it is a sting and bolts through the hotel as an officer dressed as a bellman attempts to follow him. Mike remembers reading that the Pearson Hardman interviews are happening on a particular floor and runs into Donna, who believes he is Rick Sorkin, the next candidate, and allows him into the room. As Mike enters the room, the briefcase opens and the marijuana spills onto the floor. Mike then explains his whole situation to Harvey, and Harvey is impressed by Mike's wit, as all the other students he interviewed earlier are unable to think on their feet. Harvey wishes he could pay Mike $25,000 as a signing bonus and have him as his associate, but is unable to because Mike never graduated from Harvard or any law school. Mike tells Harvey that he has an eidetic memory and can remember anything once he has read and understood it, and also reveals that it was once his dream to be a lawyer and that he even passed the New York State Bar on a bet from a friend, as well as the fact that he has memorized legal handbooks. After Harvey quizzes him, he decides to take a risk and hires Mike anyways, although he warns Mike to get rid of the briefcase and to never speak with Trevor again.
- Mike starts his first day as a lawyer but finds it challenging, and considers quitting. Harvey alerts Mike that he knows that Mike still has the briefcase and that Mike should either quit and return to drug trafficking or pursue his legal career head on. Harvey also sees Mike's cheap hundred dollar suits and tells him to get new ones, as the company image matters. After Trevor continues to harass Mike for the briefcase, even going as far as breaking into Mike's apartment, Mike goes to Trevor's place and gives him the briefcase in exchange for a few of Trevor's thousand dollar suits; to make them even, he opens the briefcase in front of Trevor's girlfriend Jenny Griffith, who is also a close friend of Mike's, thus exposing Trevor's true living to her.
- Mike, who had been placed by Harvey in charge of a sexual harassment lawsuit, manages to clinch his first legal victory. In response, Harvey hands Mike another case, with Mike cementing his position as Harvey's associate.
- After Mike notifies Harvey that federal agents inside the hotel are looking for them, Harvey tells him that he'll make sure Serpico isn't waiting for him.
- Mike tells Clifford Watkins that Dean Wormer from the admissions office is looking for him; Dean Wormer is a character from the 1978 film Animal House.
- The defendant in Harvey and Mike's case is a company known as Devlin MacGregor, named after a character in The Fugitive.
- After witnessing Harvey in court, Mike tells him that he feels like Michael Corleone from The Godfather when "the fat guy taught him how to use a gun". Mike then asks Harvey if he knows the fat guy's name, to which Harvey replies that it is Clemenza.
- Following Mike's victory in the sexual harassment lawsuit, Harvey tells him not to move his things into Wayne Manor just yet. Mike asks Harvey whether he actually thinks he's Batman, and then admits that Harvey is Val Kilmer (from Batman Forever). Harvey replies that he is more like George Clooney's Batman (from Batman & Robin), only for both Harvey and Mike to simultaneously state that he is actually Michael Keaton's Batman (from Batman and Batman Returns).
- Goddamn Counter: 7
- The pilot was shot and filmed entirely in New York City, in comparison to the rest of the season, which was shot mainly in Toronto, Ontario, Canada with the exception of a few scenes shot in New York, a trend that continued on to the second season as well. As of the third season onwards, the entire show is shot and filmed in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
- The Pearson Hardman shown in this episode is somewhat different than the one seen during the rest of the series. The wall with the firm's name, the offices (namely Harvey's, Jessica's, and Rachel's) as well as both the interior and exterior of the building are different than what we see from episode 2 onwards. The pilot scenes of the exterior and lobby filmed at New York City's Citigroup Center, although from episode 2 onwards, the exterior shots of the firm and the lobby are filmed at Toronto's Bay Adelaide Centre. Additionally, the black wall with the firm's name on it becomes a brown hardwood wall from episode 2 onwards, and flashbacks taking place years prior also show the brown hardwood wall.
- The international pilot of Suits contains some additional scenes that were not included in the US pilot, such an extended poker room scene at the beginning as well as Jessica Pearson talking to Phillip Hardman (Victor Garber; Titanic).