Warning: lots of spoilers for the Season 6 premiere of Suits are ahead.
Season 5 of Suits ended on a pretty astonishing twist as fake lawyer Mike Ross finally paid for his fraud when he agreed to a plea deal that would send him to prison for a couple of years. The show has been based on the premise of a big law firm harboring a lawyer who isn't actually a lawyer from the very beginning; it was beginning to feel like Suits would never go through with sending Mike to jail and keeping him there. Sentencing the main character of the series to two years in prison away from the rest of the ensemble was a ballsy move. The Season 6 premiere proved that Mike is still going to have plenty going on even if he can't prowl the halls of Pearson Specter Litt and quote movies at his pal Harvey. Major problems are on the horizon for Mike.
Mike spent most of the premiere adjusting to prison life and eventually bonding with his cellmate Frank, who was surprisingly chatty and helpful after giving Mike a friendly warning not to trust anybody on the inside. They traded life stories late into the night, and Frank let Mike use his contraband cell phone to text Rachel on the outside. It looked like prison might not be so bad for Mike if he had a friend like Frank in his corner...until Frank revealed the real reason for his friendliness. As it turns out, Frank ended up in prison because of Harvey, and he bribed his way into Mike's cell for his first night to glean inside info about Harvey's BFF that could be used against him. Now, Frank has dangerous details about Mike, the names of the people he cares about, and Rachel's phone number.
All in all, Mike hasn't gotten off to a great start in lockup. He went from basically trying to star in his own prison movie to discovering that he is very much on the bottom rung of the hierarchy in his new life. Hopefully, the twist that Frank actually has a vendetta against Harvey that he's going to pursue through Mike will be enough to teach Mike a valuable lesson about trusting people that he meets in prison. It's a pretty big "Oops" for Mike to have put everybody that he cares about at risk for retaliation on his very first night in the clink. Frank now has a very direct line to seek his revenge against Harvey; after thirteen years with little to do aside from stew over what he'd like to do to Harvey, we can bet that Mike is in for some trouble. Honestly, given how intensely Harvey reacts whenever Mike is threatened, Frank's most effective revenge against Harvey might just be to hurt Mike as much as possible in a place where Harvey cannot protect him.
Assuming that Suits is not going to just kill off Mike so Frank can spite Harvey, Rachel is probably in the most danger of any of the characters now in Frank's sights. He has Rachel's cell phone number, and he clearly has some important connections that give him a greater reach than most folks in prison. He has at least one of the guards in his pocket, and the cell phone isn't exactly something that he got in the prison commissary. If Mike doesn't behave, it's entirely possible that he'll be punished via harm done to Rachel. The premiere made the point to establish that Rachel wouldn't be able to see or talk to Mike for at least a month; he wouldn't even be able to warn her.
Personally, I thought the twist that Frank was actually using Mike was the best aspect of the entire Season 6 premiere. Mike's plot wasn't anything special for most of the episode, and I had a hard time not rolling my eyes at how Mike managed to land the most friendly criminal cellmate of all time who happened to have a cell phone that he was happy to lend to the guy he just met. Frank's vendetta has transformed Mike's prison plot from something that felt relatively dull into a way to keep Mike relevant to the rest of the characters while taking Suits in a fresh new direction. Patrick J. Adams has admitted that he's bummed that Mike's imprisonment means that he won't be acting opposite the rest of his pals on the Suits cast as much as he did in seasons past, but the Season 6 premiere proved that he'll still have plenty to do.
Be sure to tune in to USA on Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET to see what's next for Mike, Harvey, and the rest of the crew in Season 6 of Suits. Don't forget to check out our fall TV premiere schedule to see what you'll be able to catch on the small screen in the not-too-distant future.