I was rewatching 5x01 and one thing I will always be grateful to Rachel for is the fact that when she found out that Donna had left Harvey and she saw him struggling with it, she immediately jumped in to help, answering the phone, finding him his calendar… It was such a sweet gesture and he really needed it.
Harvey’s Bar and Grill, Park Row,
Gotham City. April 20th, 2028. 11:34 PM.
years, old friend,” Gordon said, his glass of Scottish whiskey
raised, “and my finally joining you.”
silently back at his old partner, his face blank. Despite the sizable
age difference between them, they both looked about equally as worn
down; their white hair, the lines covering each of their faces, the
seasoned look in their eyes. One might never guess that Jim had
already been a grown man when Bruce was a boy. But living the life
that Bruce Wayne had led comes with a price: being fifty-five years
old and looking eighty-six.
I came across a fanfiction painting Harvey as being completely disgusted by Rachel (meaning that he really doesn’t like her as a person) and it seemed odd to me, so it got me thinking.
I don’t think that in canon Harvey displays hatred towards Rachel? I mean, the guy isn’t that attached to her, I think that his relationship with Rachel is totally in the coworkers territory, not friendship, and that it is strongly tied to Mike, but I don’t think that he doesn’t like her.
We saw them interact more in season 4, when Rachel was basically acting as Harvey’s associate because Mike had left the firm. Harvey surely didn’t treat her like he treated Mike, he didn’t show sympathy or concern when she asked for a couple of days off, and if I’m not mistaken he even took out some of his frustration over the Mike situation on her a couple of times, but overall he didn’t seem to dislike her.
In season 5, Rachel acts as Donna’s substitute in the beginning, supporting Harvey when he needs it the most. This is mostly a show of loyalty and concern from Rachel’s part, but Harvey accepted her help (he also seemed pretty grateful when she found his calendar and answered the phone for him in 5x01, tbh), which I believe is a good sign.
Rachel is smart and ambitious, she isn’t just a “pretty paralegal” and I think that Harvey likes her. He doesn’t have a deep relationship with her (I really think that for him she is basically a coworker + Donna’s friend + Mike’s girlfriend), but she isn’t the kind of person that he would actively dislike.
For Harvey, Rachel has been mostly a substitute of someone that was missing (Mike in season 4 and Donna in season 5) so I’m not gonna pretend that there’s some deep friendship from his part, even if she seems to really respect him and to want to help whenever she can (and he’s one of her emergency contacts. I loved that.), but there are scenes that show some sort of fondness from Harvey’s part, like here: it’s a “bonus scene” on Youtube, and Harvey’s “This… Is gonna work out just fine.” doesn’t speak of hatred.
In season 6, their interactions have been all about Mike, which enforces my belief that an Harvey/Rachel relationship on its own doesn’t really weight much. The most relevant Harvey/Rachel scene I can think of in season 6 is the one at the very beginning: when Mike went to prison, Harvey went to Rachel because he missed him so much already and he didn’t want to be alone in his pain. He basically looked for comfort in Rachel, which you don’t do with people you don’t like.
So. Let’s sum it up.
I don’t think that there’s a deep friendship in there, I think that Harvey likes her and Rachel respects him, but their relationship exists mainly because of and through Mike. Rachel would sell him out in a second to save Mike, and I have no doubt that Harvey would do the same. He does try to protect her a couple of times through the series, but I think mainly because she is important to Mike. They like each other, they acknowledge how much Mike cares about the other, they team-up to help Mike (and they don’t mind doing so), but I wouldn’t exactly call it a friendship.
Completely relevant final note: they look smoking hot together, bye.