Pearson is indeed out.
Gina Torres is leaving Suits after five and a half seasons. She made her final appearance as a series regular on Wednesday's Season 6 summer finale, but the door is very open for return appearances.
"Playing Jessica Pearson has been one of the greatest rides of my career," Torres said in a statement. "It isn't often that an actress gets the opportunity to embody so rich a character. Thanks to [creator] Aaron Korsh's wonderful writing and his singular vision of Jessica, I believe that together we created a woman who has everything. Real power, wealth, intelligence, intuitive wisdom, humor, unapologetic female sexuality and, arguably, the best wardrobe in all of television.
"Because of all these qualities, I have not only been able to entertain Suits fans but, with much pride and awe, I can say I have also inspired quite a few future Jessicas as well as shined a light on real-life Jessica Pearsons who are out in the world at this very moment, owning their place at the head of the table — not unlike our real Queen at USA/Universal Cable Productions, Bonnie Hammer, a force of nature who has been one of Jessica's biggest fans and supporters, as well as a true blessing in my own life as an example of what grace in power looks like. And that is a glorious thing."
Torres said she made the "difficult decision" to leave in order to spend more time at home. (Suits films in Toronto.) "I can't thank USA enough for being so understanding and supporting me in my choice and so I am incredibly grateful," she continued. "Having said that, I don't believe for one second it's the last we'll see of Jessica Pearson. Not. For. One. Second. And don't you either."
Once she decided to leave, Korsh said they "worked together to come up with a plan to gracefully allow her to move on from the show and be happy."
"Gina Torres brought Jessica Pearson to life for six wonderful seasons with intelligence, strength, tenacity and grace. There is no color of the rainbow she cannot portray, no scene she cannot dominate. She is an amazing actress, a wonderful human being, and an utter pleasure to work with," he said in a statement.
"But no matter where she goes, as far as I'm concerned, Gina is part of the Suit family, and she can come back whenever she wants. As I said to her recently, she is a rare combination of talent and class and I would go to war with her any day of the week and twice on Sunday."
Torres' departure is not a complete surprise, as her contract was up after Season 6. Earlier this year, she joined the ABC pilot The Death of Eva Sofia Valdez in the title role, which was not picked up to series. Had it been ordered to series, Deadline reported at the time that Torres would remain a regular through the sixth season of Suits, with her character Jessica Pearson "likely getting phased out."
Jessica's exit was set up through the season-long storyline of rebuilding her eponymous firm, Pearson Specter Litt, after Mike's (Patrick J. Adams) arrest and her Innocence Project case which saw her defending death-row inmate Leonard Bailey (Glenn Plummer) with Rachel (Meghan Markle). On Wednesday's midseason finale, after getting Bailey exonerated will a killer cross-examination but simultaneously becoming disillusioned with her job, Jessica turned down Robert Zane's (Wendell Pierce) offer to merge her fledgling firm with his. She instead handed PSL over to Harvey (Gabriel Macht) and Louis (Rick Hoffman) so she could move to Chicago with Jeff (D.B. Woodside).
"I forgot why I became a lawyer in the first place and it wasn't just to fight for money and power," she said. "It was to fight for something more. ... I don't want to be a corporate lawyer anymore."
Jessica's stone-cold fierceness will be sorely missed, but at the same time, how many more times can she save the firm? She's always put PSL first, so it's about time she put herself first. And in a nice transition, it was fitting that Harvey and Louis saved the firm this time by securing Jim Reynolds. This development also provides some fertile new ground for the series, with Harvey now as the boss man. Jessica's steely coolness was the perfect foil for his impulsive bluster. What will a post-Jessica
PSL world look like?
Season 6 of Suits resumes in the winter. Will you miss Jessica?