"Mike wants to represent himself."
"Is he crazy? He can't do that. [...] Because if that kid handles his own defense, you and I are going to be the next ones on trial.

Harvey Specter and Jessica Pearson

Self Defense is the fourteenth episode of the fifth season of Suits and the 74th overall. It first aired on February 17, 2016.


As time runs out before the trial, Mike wants to represent himself while Harvey wants to lead the charge. To decide the issue, Harvey challenges Mike to a winner takes all showdown.


To be added


Main Cast

Recurring Cast

Guest Cast

  • Farid Yazdani as David Green
  • Tony Desantis as Jury Foreman
  • Earl 'Bubba' McLean Jr. as Bailiff

Major/Highlighted Events

  • Trevor Evans is subpoenaed to Mike Ross' trial by Anita Gibbs, who offered him immunity from being charged on his drug dealing past. Trevor, not wanting to perjure himself, reveals everything about Mike. However, Harvey Specter manages to make him look bad in front of the jury by making him admit that he lied about being jealous of Mike due to Jenny Griffith choosing Mike over him, thus causing his statement look weaker.
    • Trevor also admits that Mike did approach him three days ago and asked him not to testify.
  • In an effort to get Mike to not represent himself at trial, Harvey and Jessica Pearson decide to throw a mock trial at the firm to prepare Mike, at the expense of airing their dirty laundry in front of the whole firm.
    • Mike manages to convince most of the lawyers at the firm that he is a lawyer, even beating Harvey, but Harvey calls Rachel Zane and brings up the fact that she cheated on him with Logan Sanders. As Mike is emotionally troubled that Harvey would stoop so low, Donna Paulsen points out to Rachel that while she may hate what Harvey did to her, Harvey's ability to do so is what makes him a great lawyer.
      • At Rachel's suggestion, Mike agrees to let Harvey be his lawyer, as the jury would hate Mike if he attempts to destroy Trevor's credibility, whereas Harvey could do so without harm.
  • Mike asks Benjamin to make up fake marriage licenses and documents to use in mock court against Harvey, which Benjamin does. When Mike asks what Benjamin thinks about the accusations swirling against him, Benjamin tells Mike that he knew Mike was guilty when he first heard the rumors, explaining that every single Harvard graduate snubbed their education and superiority to him, which Mike never did.
  • Mike is approached by Harold Gunderson, who offers to testify on trial that he attended Harvard along with Mike. However, knowing that Harold won't be able to hold up the false testimony in court, Mike asks Jimmy Kirkwood instead. Jimmy refuses to perjure himself and risk prison for Mike, even when Mike tells Jimmy that if Mike is convicted, every one of his cases get overturned, including the settlement case he got for Jimmy's aunt. Jimmy, insulted, leaves; however, he shows up to trial as a surprise rebuttal witness and gives an intricate and personal testimony that Mike did indeed go to Harvard, and that the pair attended Henry Gerard's ethics class together.
  • At Mike's trial, Donna ends up admitting that Mike lied about being Rick Sorkin to get an interview with Harvey, and ends up pleading the Fifth Amendment when Anita Gibbs asks her if Mike ever went to Harvard; Donna ends up being ashamed of her actions as her pleading the Fifth makes Mike look guilty in front of the jury, putting a dent in Mike's case.
  • After day one of the trial and seeing Gibbs in action, Harvey agrees to step down and allow Mike to be his own attorney in court, thus preventing Gibbs from calling him to the stand and making him testify against himself.
  • Anita Gibbs finds out about Louis Litt's relationship with Sheila Sazs, and that he flew to meet her three times in the last week. She also accuses Louis for witness tampering as he sent her out of the country, and sends one of her men to Argentina to get to Sheila, who contacts Louis. Louis then reports this to Jessica, who appoints herself as Louis' attorney and files a restraining order against Gibbs to prevent her from contacting Louis without her present.
    • It is also revealed that the idea to get Sheila out of the country was Jessica's idea.
    • However, Anita still gets in contact with Louis, telling him that while she initially believed he had no part of Mike's fraud, she later discovered a key piece of the puzzle – that Louis had resigned from the firm only to immediately return as name partner, correctly deducing that Louis used Mike's secret as blackmail. Gibbs then tells Louis that it must upset him that it took him resorting to blackmail to get to where he is now, and then all the things he enjoys in life such as ballet, mudding, and pets would not be accessible to him in prison.

Cultural References


  • Goddamn Counter: 8
  • This episode is dedicated to Simon Paul Marsh, the uncle of Patrick J. Adams[1].
  • This episode was directed by Patrick J. Adams.
  • The address of Mike's original apartment is revealed to be 5307 Huntington Boulevard in Brooklyn.


Anita: Is it at all possible that Mike Ross ever attended Harvard Law School?
Trevor: Not unless they had a satellite campus at 5307 Huntington Boulevard in Brooklyn.
Mike: You know, you never asked if what they're saying about me is true.
Benjamin: I didn't need to. I knew it was true the second I heard it.
Mike: I don't understand.
Benjamin: All these kids who went to Harvard, they never gave me the time of day. All they cared about was letting me know where they went to school and I didn't. You've never done that to me. Not one time.
Mike: I... I don't know what to say.
Benjamin: Say that when you're done and you've beaten this thing, you won't start acting like some asshole who went to Harvard.
Mike: Well, I mean, can't really promise you that, Benjamin. I'll have gone to Harvard.
Benjamin: That's not funny, Michael.


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