[WARNING: The following story contains spoilers about Wednesday's winter premiere of Suits. Read at your own risk.]
It's finally time to meet Mama Specter on Suits.
As expected, Harvey (Gabriel Macht) is having a tough time with Jessica's (Gina Torres) departure from Pearson Specter Litt on Wednesday's winter premiere, exacerbated by the fact that Mike (Patrick J. Adams) is still refusing to return to the firm as a consultant. After reaming out Louis (Rick Hoffman) at the end for trying to poach Robert Zane's (Wendell Pierce) associates via Katrina (Amanda Schull), to prove his managing partner worthiness, Donna (Sarah Rafferty) suggests there is a bigger, underlying factor at play: Harvey's resentment towards his mom — who, of course, left their family after he discovered her cheating when he was a teen. "You need to go make things right with your mother," she tells him.
And indeed he will. One Life to Live alum Brynn Thayer will play Lily Specter in next week's episode, TVGuide.com can reveal. "We combine it with a flashback episode that tells a story we've never seen, the roots of which had been bandied about in prior seasons," creator and showrunner Aaron Korsh tells us.
What can we expect from Harvey's long-awaited reunion with his mom? Korsh gives us the scoop below. Plus: Details on that post-coital Darvey dream scene, and what's next for Mike on his post-prison job hunt after his temp teaching gig at Father Walker's church comes to an abrupt end.
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Let's start with that Harvey and Donna dream sequence. How did that come about? Was that like a "here you go" for all the Darvey shippers?
Aaron Korsh: [Laughs] Well, you know, probably, yes it was. We did not break it into the episode. We sat down [to write it] and it just came out. It was like, "Should we do this?" And it was like, "Why the hell not? Just do it." Sometimes it's like, how do we want to come back? We write the episode and a crazy scene comes out. That's sort of what happened. We thought it would be fun.
Are you going to do more of those?
Korsh: [Laughs] Well, we've done something similar. But this one very well could've been real. After the handholding [in the finale], it was like, what's the next morning? People don't know what happened. Maybe they went home and slept together. Let's give them a taste of it. What we tried to do was make the scene last long enough and not shoot it in a heightened dream sequence. In my mind, people are ready for a dream to happen because they've seen it on Suits before, so we wanted to make it last long enough that even if you were wondering if it was, you'd be like, "Sh--, I don't know if it's a dream or not."
As to whether we'd do it again, [the network] wanted to release that scene to the public and I prefer not to do that. If you're a Darvey fan, you've got to watch. I'm not going to tell you what's coming and I feel like this scene, not knowing it's coming, is very satisfying. What I will say is that I find it hard to believe that in the rest of the seasons of the show we're not going to have something more than just this, but we'll see when we get there.
At the end, she suggests that he go and make amends with his mom. How is that storyline going to unfold?
Korsh: It unfolds quickly in the next episode. Donna gets to him, but also, he knows what he did to Louis was awful. And he knows he's off-kilter from Jessica having left and Mike saying no. Donna points it out to him and is like, "You know, you're off-kilter, but a normal human being wouldn't react like this. You've still got problems and you've got to fix them." It brings up a lot of stuff and he doesn't want to do it, and that's what [Episode 12] is about.
He's obviously still emotionally scarred from her infidelity all those years ago and covering it up, and he's carried that with him. What is their meeting like?
Korsh: If you ask me what he's scarred from — obviously a child made aware of infidelity by his mother is a real scarring thing — but I think the actual scar is from asking a child to keep that secret. It's bad enough for a child to discover that, but I think giving a child the burden of keeping a secret of that nature from [their] other parent is incredibly damaging. The person you're supposed to trust the most is putting you in a terrible position. Obviously it's not going to be an easy reconciliation process. But we combine it with a flashback episode that tells a story we've never seen, the roots of which had been bandied about in prior seasons. It's a "two steps forward, one step back" situation, but I think it's a pretty good story. I like it. It's a different episode. I feel like [Episodes] 11 and 12 are a little different than our standard Suits episodes. The last four start to be a little more like our usual episodes, just in terms of their feel. It's good to do these little more character-focused episodes.
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After meeting his mom, does Harvey come back... I don't want to say "changed," but does he have a different outlook or approach?
Korsh: When you get through that episode, it absolutely has an effect on him and his relationships with the people in the firm and the people in his life. That's why we get more back into the firm [storylines]. But yes, it's evolved for everyone.
What about the power vacuum with him and Louis? He chewed Louis out and Louis was like, "I deserved that," which was self-aware and sad all at once.
Korsh: I think Louis didn't love the way Harvey did it. I think he feels like he deserved the substance of what he got but not the way he got it. I think both of them know they messed up. Because of that, they're going to try to make it work. They don't hate each other and they've always been rivals. But when the person who was the referee between the two of you is gone, you have to self-referee a bit. Harvey was trying to do that, but the Mike thing happened. I feel like Harvey and Louis' relationship evolves in the last six [episodes] in a positive way. They make a lot of strides. It allows for some humor. They have some fun, funny and emotional scenes in [Episode] 13 and moving forward.
Louis makes Rachel a second-year associate and she has to turn down Robert. How does that affect her relationship with him and her passing the character fitness portion of the bar?
Korsh: I don't think it harms her relationship with her father. I think he exhibited some growth when he wasn't his usual angry self. She ends up working with Katrina and finding out something about her dad, which I found to be a very sweet scene that happens later in the season. I think for the most part, Rachel's back at the firm, proving she'll be a capable and just lawyer, working with Katrina and trying to help Mike figure out what he wants to do and deal with the challenges of whatever he wants to do.
I liked the parallel between Mike and Harvey, both rudderless and lost. It seemed like Mike was going to have his Dead Poets Society moment as a teacher, but he lost the job because of his prison stint. How is his job search going to go?
Korsh: It's going to be tough. It's not like he didn't know that working at a clinic was going to be difficult, but seeing that question on the application was like a slap in the face. He gets lucky enough to get the job at the school but just as he's breaking through, he gets the rug pulled out from underneath him. Moving forward, he's going to try to resist the siren song of working at the firm as a consultant. I feel like he still feels remorse and some of it is desire to look back on the end of his life and feel proud of helping others. He really is determined to do that and he's going to try to do it. Some twists and turns happen that give him an opportunity and a person from his past emerges and gives him an unforeseen opportunity and he takes advantage of it.
Are he and Rachel are still going strong?
Korsh: As always, they're going to have their scene where they might have different points of views on things, but they're not in jeopardy.
What's the focus in the final four episodes of the season?
Korsh: Another separate opportunity arises that informs the back four and what the cohesive throughline is from a certain perspective. Our people are working in some degree or another in concert toward this common goal.
Suits airs Wednesdays at 10/9c on USA.