This week's episode of Suits tips its cap to Mike's eventful past while continuing to chart a new course for the series

Wednesday, August 30 at 6 p.m. & 11 p.m., Bravo

Attorney Mike Ross’s (Patrick J. Adams) pro-bono case against a private prison corporation comes to a head as Suits airs its 100th episode this week.

Continuing a storyline that has dominated season seven, the lawsuit in question has sharply divided the team at Pearson Specter Litt.

The company Mike is going after has ties to a major construction-company client of Alex Williams (Dulé Hill), a recent addition to the PSL roster and a close friend of senior partner Harvey Specter (Gabriel Macht), who also happens to be Mike’s mentor.

Among many complicating factors that are coming to light, Mike’s case, if he pursues it, could spell disaster for Alex, who has a major skeleton in his professional closet, in the same way that Mike once hid the fact that he didn’t have a licence to practice law.

“Mike cares about people and empathizes with them, so he can empathize with someone who is caught in a situation that seems to have no way out, after having his own secret burden him for so long,” explains executive producer Rick Muirragui, who wrote the big episode, fittingly titled “100.”

“When we were writing the 100th episode, we wanted something special,” he adds. “There are a lot of emotions, and some of our favourite guest characters are back. There’s also another emotional story going on as we find out how Donna [Sarah Rafferty] is affected by Harvey’s being with Paula [recurring guest star Christina Cole]. And Louis [Rick Hoffman] has a storyline with a character from the long past, and he’s forced to make a decision about what kind of person he is.”

A recent on-set party for cast and crew, many of whom have been with the series since its move to Toronto after the pilot was picked up, comes at a time when Suits is undergoing something of a reboot, after clearing two daunting hurdles in season six: sending Mike to prison to answer for his series-long fraud, and dealing with leading lady Gina Torres’s off-camera decision not to continue as a series regular in her role as senior partner Jessica Pearson.

Last year, the writers very briefly considered just doing a time jump to skip over Mike’s incarceration, but instead found a way to connect it to the firm by having Mike wind up in prison with a bitter inmate whom Harvey had sent away.

“In a way, our characters were reacting in the way we were reacting: Everything is scattered. The world order has been turned upside-down. How do we pull everything back together?” Muirragui explains. “What we’ve tried to do over the past season and a half is sort of earn our way back to the firm being at full strength after being fractured and broken when Mike went to prison and Jessica left.”

No wonder spirits were high at that recent company party.

“There was just this really warm feeling in the air,” Muirragui says. “Everybody was so aware of how fortunate we are to be on a show that’s been going this long, and to be with people that they like.”