"You plead guilty, do two years in prison, and I won't go after any of your friends. [...] We both know you did this. So if you don't want to pay, then you take me up on my original offer. You do no time, and all I need in return is one name partner at your firm. [...] So it's up to you. You take either one of my deals, or you take your chances with the jury. Just remember, tick tock."
Anita Gibbs to Mike Ross

Tick Tock is the fifteenth episode of the fifth season of Suits and the 75th overall. It first aired on February 24, 2016.


Louis mulls over Anita Gibbs' offer to turn on his compatriots in exchange for immunity. Meanwhile, Harvey and Mike look to a new, last-ditch strategy to win the case.


Time is running out for Mike Ross. As Mike's trial speeds along, it's time for him and Harvey to pull out all the stops. In these final moments before the clock runs out and the jury returns with a verdict.

After convincing the judge to let Mike represent himself, which involves agreeing to not move for a mistrial because of it, Mike calls Clifford Danner's mother to stand. She tells the court she wishes Mike had been her son's lawyer from day one and wouldn’t have cared if he was a fraud because Mike was "the only lawyer I ran into who gave a damn about my son."

With that tear-filled testimony, Mike works on his closing argument. At this point, Jessica has accepted that Mike is defending himself. If only the same could be said of Louis, who is freaking out about it and believes it's a sign that Harvey doesn’t think he can win, and if Harvey thinks they’ll lose, then they will lose. "It’s him growing up and realizing he is not the one to bring this home," Jessica argues. While Louis doesn’t buy that, it seems to be confirmed in the next scene when Harvey tells Donna that Mike doesn’t need his help with his closing because it’s his story and he’s got it handled.

When it comes time to present his closer, Mike decides to go off script in order to deliver what he believes is a more sincere argument. “The truth is I am guilty of being a fraud,” he says, explaining he wanted to be a lawyer to help people. "But instead, all I've done as a lawyer is work night and day to put money into the hands of rich people."

As Gibbs delivers her closing statement, Mike starts zoning out, and her voice fades into the background as he imagines the jury saying guilty. Part of him clearly believes he doesn’t deserve to be found guilty. Once she's done talking and the jury heads off to deliberate, he melodramatically decides that he’s not going to leave the courtroom until they return with a verdict.

Jessica isn’t comfortable leaving her firm's fate up to a jury, so she orders Harvey to go and get a mistrial by any means necessary. First, Harvey asks Donna if her friend in the U.S. Attorney’s Office would give him the jury names, but she refuses because she doesn’t want anyone breaking the law for this. So Harvey decides to blackmail David Green into buying one of the jurors a coffee. "This is atonement," Harvey tells David. "This is the day you face the music.:. But David doesn't fall for that nonsense and doesn't come through.

While Mike’s awaiting the verdict in the empty courtroom, he overhears a prosecutor trying to railroad a defendant. So, Mike steps in to defend the man whose own lawyer didn’t show up for his petty theft trial. Even while his life is on the line, Mike can’t not help someone out in need. It’s an admirable characteristic, but it’s also frustrating for Rachel, who rightfully gets angry when she finds out what he’s doing. Instead of spending time with her in what might he last few hours of freedom, he’s doing this.

Scared for his life and dreading prison, Louis visits Gibbs to make a deal, but she says she can’t help him without any hard proof that Harvey did something. So, Louis decides to go get that proof. He confronts Harvey in the lobby of the firm’s building and secretly records Harvey admitting that he hired a fraud. But Louis ends up deleting the audio when Jessica refuses to consider turning on Harvey.

Later that night, Gibbs shows up at Mike’s apartment with two deals: Deal No. 1:  If he pleads guilty and does two years, she won’t go after his friends; and Deal No. 2, he pleads guilty, gets no jail time, but has to give her some kind of evidence to prosecute his friends. Rachel overhears the offers, and she wants Mike to take the second option. However, her real problem is that she thinks Mike doesn’t have enough faith in himself that he could win on the strength of his performance in court, even though she does.

The case Mike is working on turns into a very obvious allegory. The prosecutor offers his client a deal: No jail if he turns on his accomplices. Despite Mike pleading with him to not betray his friends, his client agrees to the deal because, as he puts it, his friends are going to jail either way.

Harvey shows up at the courthouse to sit with Mike and because the jury has finally returned with a verdict, but, Mike isn’t anywhere to be found. Harvey knows where he is and takes off running to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, where Mike is in Gibbs’ office and says he’s ready to take the deal.


Main Cast

Recurring Cast

Guest Cast

  • Donzaleigh Abernathy as Gloria Danner
  • Ralph Small as Judge Knight
  • Courtney Deelen as Juror #1
  • Alexandrea McGillis as Juror #2
  • Tony Desantis as Jury Foreman

Major/Highlighted Events

  • Mike Ross decides to ask Clifford Danner, the innocent man whom he aided Harvey Specter free from prison back in season one, to testify on his behalf at trial; however, it is revealed that he had been murdered in a restaurant robbery three weeks prior.
  • Mike officially represents himself in trial, swapping places with Harvey, who is now second chair.
  • Mike admits to the entire jury at trial that he indeed a fraud, but that he is still a lawyer. He also admits that while his dream was to be a lawyer to help people like Clifford Danner, he ended up using his gift to help put money in rich people's hands, and tells Gloria (Clifford's mother) that whether the jury finds him innocent or not, he will spend the rest of his life using his gift to help people like Clifford.
    • Anita Gibbs goes on after Mike and tells the jury that Mike is banking on the fact that they sympathize with him and think what he did is a victimless crime, but that if they acquit him of all charges, they are accepting that anyone can pretend to be someone else, using an example of a doctor performing surgery on them who might not actually be a doctor.
  • Harvey and Jessica Pearson realize that Gibbs has a very strong chance of convincing the jury that Mike is indeed a guilty fraud and to have him imprisoned, so they decide to find grounds for a mistrial – meaning that if Gibbs manages to get Mike successfully tried, Harvey can have the judge grant a second trial for Mike, one without Gibbs on the other side.
    • Harvey tries to get Donna Paulsen to use her contact at the U.S Attorney's Office to get a list of jurors, but Donna refuses to ask her friend to break the law for them, angering both Harvey and Louis.
    • Harvey decides to blackmail David Green into getting them a mistrial, but he backs down, telling Harvey that he is nothing but a bully who uses people's fears against them to get what he wants.
  • Louis Litt considers Gibbs' offer of immunity, but she shuts him down she realizes he has no proof that Harvey knowingly hired a fraud other than his word. Scared of going to prison, Louis confronts Harvey about him hiring a fraud and asks Harvey to turn himself in, blaming Harvey for the whole ordeal. Harvey tells Louis that he is in this as well, since he had a chance to turn Mike in but instead used his secret to become name partner. As Harvey leaves, Louis pulls out his Dictaphone, revealing he had recorded the entire conversation. Although the conversation reveals Louis using Mike's secret to become name partner, seeing as Gibbs is already aware of it, Louis decides to use Harvey's confession of hiring a fraud to get himself off the hook.
    • Before visiting Gibbs, Louis goes to Jessica's office and attempts to convince her to join him in going to the U.S Attorney's Office and blaming the whole thing on Harvey, since he was the one who hired a fraud in the first place, without his or Jessica's knowledge. Jessica refuses to betray Harvey, telling Louis that if he does that, he would be no better than Daniel Hardman or Charles Forstman.
    • After his talk with Jessica, Louis plays the conversation on his Dictaphone via earphones. When Gibbs calls his office, asking for the tape, he tells Gretchen Bodinski to tell her that he lost it, and to never call him again asking for it.
  • Harvey, having been affected by David's words, goes to Donna's place. In tears, he tells Donna that he plans to turn himself in, blaming the whole mess they're in on himself since he was the one who hired Mike to begin with. Donna convinces him that he should be with Mike and have faith in him at the verdict, and if it does go down badly, then he can go to Gibbs' office and turn himself in.
  • Mike attempts to make a deal with Gibbs, informing her that he would turn himself in and plead guilty if she doesn't punish him with a prison sentence or go after any of the partners at Pearson Specter Litt. She instantly rejects the offer, but Mike manages to get in her head when he tells her that she hasn't advanced in her career in a long time, and failing to put a man everyone knows is guilty behind bars would ensure that she never be promoted.
    • Gibbs shows up at Mike's apartment to offer him a counter-deal – Mike admits his guilt and serves only two years in prison instead of seven, and she won't go after anybody else. Although Mike refuses the deal, Gibbs tells him to discuss it with Rachel Zane. Rachel is adamant that Mike not go to prison, telling Mike that Harvey, Jessica and Louis are to blame in his fraud as well. When Mike tells her that he would never turn on them, she tells him to have faith in the jury's verdict instead.
  • While waiting for the jury to reassemble, Mike decides to represent a defendant named Diaz whose court-appointed lawyer did not show up. Seeing the opposing prosecutor attempt to convince him into taking a two year jail sentence just for driving a truck of stolen goods, Mike represents Diaz. The prosecutor later calls Mike and Diaz and offers Diaz a deal; if he testifies against his friends, the people who committed the robberies, then he would be spared any punishment. Mike attempts to shut down the deal, telling Diaz that he would regret turning on his friends and sending them to prison, but Diaz tells Mike that if he doesn't take the deal, then his friends would go to prison regardless. Realizing this, Mike leaves the courthouse and heads to the U.S Attorney's Office.
    • When the jury returns, Harvey enters the courtroom, only to see Rachel there. Realizing that Mike is planning on turning himself in, Harvey rushes to the U.S Attorney's Office, but Mike, who has already made his way into Gibbs' office, tells her that regardless of the jury's verdict, he wants to accept her deal, prompting Gibbs to ask him which deal he's referring to.


  • Goddamn Counter: 8
  • Actress Meghan Markle, who plays Rachel Zane, teased a finale which apparently "[did] not make sense" to her. Reportedly, Suits showrunner Aaron Korsh changed something in the end before it was shot, and it upset Markle so much that she called Korsh up and bombarded him with questions, states Yahoo! TV. (source)
    • "I told Aaron, 'It doesn't make sense. Why is it gonna end like that? I don't get it. I don't agree with it'," she said. Markle shared that Korsh was originally on board with her suggestion for the ending, so it was "hard" to see it change. "He's the creator of our show and you don't want to question the choices he's making. But he does sort of give us the opportunity to share things that concern us, and I think both Gabriel (Macht) and I shared that this didn't make sense," she added.
    • The actress, however, saw things differently when they actually shot the episode. But she is also holding out hope that fans would get to see the original ending they had previously planned. "I would love if people could see both endings and then choose which one they would have loved to have had, but I am certainly much happier with the way that it all came to be," she claimed.


  • Mike informs Rachel that if convicted, he would have to serve seven years in prison. However, four episodes ago, Mike stated that he would serve 66 years if found guilty.


Mike: I am bullshit. You see, the truth is... is that I am guilty of being a fraud. My whole life I have wanted to be a lawyer so that I could help people like Clifford Danner. People who have no one else to fight for them. No one who believes in them. But instead, all I've done as a lawyer is work night and day to put money into the hands of rich people.


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