Gabriel Macht, Patrick J. Adams

Are Suits' Mike and Rachel going to be in the TV Couples Hall of Fame?

"Somebody told me the other day, 'You guys are my Zack Morris and Kelly Kapowski,'" Meghan Markle tells TVGuide.com with laugh. "I was so flattered. We can only hope. I love that our fans love them so much, and [creator] Aaron Korsh has said that they are the heart of the heart. I think, ultimately, if Mike and Rachel are the Ross and Rachel of the show, then you've got to give them a shot."

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Mike (Patrick J. Adams) and Rachel (Markle) are finally getting their shot after he told her his full, law degree-less story on last week's Season 3 premiere that ended with them under the sheets in her "messy" (aka spotless) apartment. It was yet another 180-degree change of heart for Rachel, who could barely look at Mike after having angry hate sex in the file room in the season finale. But Markle promises that there won't be any more flip-flopping.

"I joked with Aaron, 'She has this pattern. I slap him and yell at him, and the next thing, I'm kissing him or sleeping with him or in the file room with him,'" Markle says. "Season 3 finds her breaking this pattern of love and hate now that they're together. It's so multilayered. ... It won't be quite as volatile as it's been the past two seasons. Now they're on a learning curve of figuring out what a real relationship looks like when you are doing it at the office and they're trying to keep it a secret."

Mike and Rachel 'shippers will be happy to know that it does get serious. In a Guess Who's Coming to Dinner-esque episode, he meets her parents, including her heretofore unseen mom played by Megan Gallagher. But there will still be residual damage from Mike's secret. While his big white lie would be tough for any significant other to handle, it carries an extra sting for Rachel as she continues to pursue law school this season.

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"Mike has everything she wants and he didn't have to work for any of it," Markle says. "One could say that he didn't have to work for her. It's her figuring out how to want him and love him even though he has all she wants, but there is some resentment Rachel feels because of this ambition. I love how ambitious she is. ... She's going to assert herself at work more this year. And even though she has this Achilles' heel of not testing well, I want Rachel to be a lawyer. As an actress, I hope [she goes to school] in New York otherwise there won't be much Rachel Zane! She'll be applying and seeing what that could do to her career and her relationship. What if she goes to Stanford or out of state? Mike, to his end, is very supportive."

While Rachel's relationship with Mike is growing, another one deteriorates. Rachel learns that Donna (Sarah Rafferty) not only knew Mike's secret, but had encouraged Mike not to date Rachel. "When you discover that from a friend, it feels like a tremendous betrayal," Markle says. "The two people she feels this closeness to at work have kept her in the dark on this. When it's one of your girlfriends, who you feel like you can trust, it hurts even more. There's a rift and it really does change the game for their friendship."

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Markle remains mum on when that rift will be repaired — "The writers know we have a lot more fun when we banter and play," she teases — but rest assured that, despite the bumps, Mike and Rachel are still "trying to make it work" by the midseason finale. "We are at [Episode] 10 right now, so I don't know what the next six episodes have in store for them, but they are trying to figure it out," she says. Which means, get ready for an even "messier" House Zane, not to mention a less put-together Rachel herself.

"My gosh, there wasn't even a pillow out of place! She's as Type A as it comes!" Markle jokes. "But the more you find her falling in love with Mike, the more relaxed she becomes. Last season, she wore dark colors, my nail polish was dark. It was more severe. It starts to soften as she fell in love. Just like in real life. You meet someone, your whole energy calms, you're more comfortable with who you are. Beyond the apartment being a bit messier, you finally see Rachel barefoot and in jeans. And if her place is not messy, her sheets will probably be rumpled!"

Suits airs Tuesdays at 10/9c on USA.