ctress Sarah Rafferty poses during Audi Celebrates Golden Globes Week 2015 event in West Hollywood
IN PHOTO: Actress Sarah Rafferty poses during Audi Celebrates Golden Globes Week 2015 event in West Hollywood, California January 8, 2015. Reuters/Kevork Djansezian

Donna is Donna, and she has been Harvey’s secretary and confidante for more than a decade. The previous season finale saw Donna (Sarah Rafferty) telling Harvey (Gabriel Macht) that she is leaving him to work for Louis (Rick Hoffman). The episode 1 of “Suits” Season 5 revolves around this shocking development, and deals with Harvey’s struggle to accept that Donna is not coming back. Here is what happened in “Suits” Season 5 Episode 1, titled “Denial”:

RECAP Of “Suits” Season 5 Episode 1: “Denial”:

The opening scene confirms what the spoilers have been telling Harvey is reeling from Donna leaving him and is in denial about it. The suave man is rattled and seeks out a therapist (Christina Cole) because he is having panic attacks, though he himself does not tell her that. He complains about having sleeping nights, and according to the therapist, he will stop having them once he accepts that his secretary is not coming back. Harvey, however, believes that Donna will return soon and wants the therapist to write a prescription to help him get sleep in the meantime. The therapist makes it clear she is not writing one until he tells the whole story.

The episode jumps back to six weeks earlier. Mike and Rachel decide to keep the news about their engagement to themselves. Rachel, however, wants to tell Donna about it. She, however, keeps quiet when Donna tells her she has left Harvey and has started working as Louis’ secretary from that day.

Before Donna and Rachel’s meeting, the former informed Louis about her decision to accept his job offer. She, however, planned to begin working for him after a couple of weeks, after wrapping up her duties as Harvey’s secretary. Louis remembered the time when Mike almost became his associate and he had ordered a “Welcome to Team Litt” cake to celebrate that. Louis tells Donna that it took two minutes for Harvey to steal Mike from him and with Donna, he has two weeks to do that. Louis finds it hard to believe that Donna will ever work for him and tells her to forget about that.

Donna visits Harvey and he acts as if she has changed her mind. She tells him that she is going to work for Louis as long as she wants to work for him, and she hands him a list of legal secretaries who can be her replacement. The list was originally meant for Louis. Harvey accuses her of abandoning him, while she tells him that she is doing what is best for her. He asks her to clear her desk and take the list with her. Donna is hurt and tells him that this is not how two adults who care about each other move, and Harvey retorts that two adults who care about each other never move on. Soon after, Donna starts working for Louis.

Meanwhile, Mike, who is unaware about Donna and Harvey’s break up, tells Harvey about his and Rachel’s engagement. Instead of hearing congratulation, Mike gets to hear the job he needs to do pronto. The case of the episode requires Harvey to keep his client Kevin Slattery out of bankruptcy and they have two weeks to do that. He wants Mike to compile a list of creditors, and when Mike points to him the difficulty of the task, Harvey tells him to get the list together instead of asking him for the Brides' Magazine. Rachel walks in while Harvey is telling Mike that. She is surprised to note that Mike told Harvey about their engagement, while Mike is already regretting that he told Harvey. And Harvey says congratulation, adding “there I said it.” He is unable to find his calendar and when Mike says he will go get Donna, Harvey stops him from doing that, saying he will take care of it.

Cut back to the therapist’s office, the therapist wants to know why Harvey did not tell Mike about Donna leaving him. He tells her that Rachel would have told Mike and he would have wasted his time by doing that. Also Harvey is rendered speechless when the therapist tells him that she knows him better than he knows himself, adding that the day when Jessica walked in while he was washing his face in the washroom was the day when he puked because of panic attack. And Harvey came to her because he is scared to death that it may happen again, and not because he is having sleepless nights.

Jump back to the weeks earlier, Rachel updates Mike about Donna’s move to work for Louis, and they both decide to cut Harvey some slack. Rachel starts to get everything in order for Harvey, taking up Donna’s responsibilities. Mike asks her to keep in mind that cutting Harvey some slack and doing Donna’s job are two different things. For Rachel, however, the line blurs and she ends up bunking her exams because she was working late doing Donna’s job for Harvey.

Later, Rachel makes an error and because of that Harvey’s client is starring at bankruptcy. When Harvey goes towards Rachel’s office to blast her off, Mike stops him from doing that and reminds him that she has been doing his job because he did not hire a secretary. He adds that Harvey better wrap his head around the fact that Donna is gone and she is not coming back. Harvey continues to believe that Donna and Louis are not going to last. Mike points out to Harvey that he does not have a secretary while he sees Donna working for Louis. He asks him to better hire a secretary or swallow his pride and ask Donna for help.

And his former secretary Donna is not having the best of time because Louis is treating her like his slave-employee, thinking that she is planning of leaving him. Harvey had handed him the can opener while he was taking some print outs at Donna’s ex-desk. When Louis opened Donna’s present-drawer to keep the can opener, as she was not her desk, he saw the secretaries' list meant for him and the fear that she was going to leave him raised its head.

Harvey comes to Donna, who is already swamped with work, and asks her to help him out. She refuses to help him because one little help will lead to million other things and he will feel that everything is back to normal. She calls herself the new Norma and tells him he is on his own. He has another panic attack after Donna turns down his request to help him. Later Donna assures Louis that she is not leaving him, and later in the episode after they wrap up a case, she gets him team Litt cake, which is exactly like the one Louis had got to welcome Mike as his associate. The cake is their ritual as team Litt.

The therapist tells Harvey that he will continue to get panic attacks until he accepts the fact that Donna might never come back. She does not writes for him the prescription but gives him some pills for a week.

Harvey tells his client that to keep his business and a lucrative contract he will have to give up his name. He admits to the client that he made a mistake, taking the blame on himself and not pointing a finger at Rachel or Mike. Also Harvey adds that change is coming whether they like it or not. Later, he marches towards Donna’s desk and asks her the list of the secretaries, indicating that he has accepted that Donna has moved on. He flushes the pills down the toilet.

Donna gives Rachel two presents, one for her engagement and another for helping Harvey. And Harvey presents Mike the Brides’ Magazine and takes him to the Nets game to celebrate his engagement.

You may write to the writer at a.shrivastava@IBTimes.com.au, with your comments and feedback.