[WARNING: The following story contains spoilers about Wednesday's Season 4 finale of Suits. Read at your own risk.]
Still reeling from Harvey telling her, "you know I love you" last week after fighting off her felony fraud charges, Donna (Sarah Rafferty) pushes for him to admit that he meant it like that. Harvey can't/won't at first after Cahill (Neal McDonough) rears his head again with news that he can't track the dirty cash between Forstman (Eric Roberts) and Woodall (Zeljko Ivanek). But just when it seems like Harvey's finally ready to say something in the final minutes, Donna tells him she's leaving him... to work for Louis (Rick Hoffman), whose own secretary Norma has died.
Going in the complete opposite direction, Mike pops the question to Rachel (Meghan Markle) after they work together to figure out that Forstman and Woodall had been using said money to pay for the healthcare of Woodall's ex-wife, who's suffering from Alzheimer's.
So what's next? Will Donna come back to Harvey? Will Mike and Rachel make it down the aisle? Creator and executive producer Aaron Korsh answers our burning questions. Plus: Find out what could've happened instead.
Donna leaves Harvey for Louis! How did you come to that twist?
Aaron Korsh: I'm trying to remember! [Laughs] We were searching for a finale that was going to be impactful. Every season, we had sort of ended with a big plot twist that often times had to do with Mike, as that has been pointed out to me, about almost being discovered or some huge seismic shift. We wanted something like that, but still have it be impactful. It was two emotional big things as opposed to one big one. Somewhere along the way, we actually talked about Harvey and Donna sleeping together.
After he says, "I love you"?
Korsh: No, this was before we got into the specifics of that scene. There was talk of in the heat of passion before they had gotten her out of the legal jam, does something happen between them? The way the story broke, it didn't pan out that way. We didn't feel like we had built up the jeopardy enough for her to earn that since it was [confined to Episodes] 15 and 16. We were going to do that and then have a similar, "It's not gonna work out thing." In my mind, they have a moment with the "I love you" and they both want something to happen at a certain level, but Harvey just doesn't wanna go there. I think a lot of fans read this differently. Harvey, of course, loves Donna. He's saying, "I love you," but he doesn't want that right now. And that comes back to haunt him. We were just searching for things to be impactful. So we started thinking, what if one couple furthers their relationship and the other one "breaks up" in a manner of speaking. I was laughing about it the other day. You can describe it as one of our characters moving 50 feet down the hall and yet it's going to impact all of our characters, but also all the fans.
Having her work for Louis is good from a logistical point of view since she's still in the same office, but is this almost worse for Harvey than leaving altogether? Is she doing this to punish him?
Korsh: We're probably going to still work that out in Season 5. In my head, it is not to punish Harvey. We have our conscious things we're aware of and things we're not aware of. Maybe she's not fully ready to give up on that relationship or change her life that much. Sometimes you just make a decision in a moment. She knows Louis wants her as a secretary so badly and they have an interesting relationship.
Harvey seemed stunned. Is there a part of him that will regret not doing more for her, romantic or otherwise?
Korsh: If you remember, in Episode 2x12, Harvey says, "People don't leave me." You saw how upset he got when a client was going to leave him. A lot of it has to do with Harvey having issues with people leaving him. He views it as a breach of loyalty. He doesn't have a realistic view of what people's loyalty to him vs. to themselves is. I don't think he quite understands yet the impact of how he treats her. I think he does appreciate her on certain levels. He's very good to her. It's a complicated situation. If you were to look at it like a breakup, when it happens, you go through different phases of getting through it. It's like the five stages of grief ... but those things overlap. I think he'll have moments of understanding and he will have moments of not understanding, and the same with Donna.
Will he get a new secretary or will he try to get Donna back?
Korsh: He's probably gonna do all of the above. As is our usual thing, we're not looking to undo that choice rapidly, if at all. So, he will go through whatever he will go through when you lose your secretary in terms of emotion and practically speaking to replace her and everything.
When Jeff (D.B. Woodside) resigned, he mentioned to Jessica (Gina Torres) that if they were to resume their relationship, they can't work together. Will Harvey pursue Donna now that she doesn't work for him?
Korsh: I just want to make it clear Jeff didn't break up with Jessica because of that — it was way more complicated than that [Laughs] — but yes, he did mention that. We're still working through what's gonna happen between Harvey and Donna. We are not sure if we want to go there yet. I think Harvey is very hurt. I think Donna probably already was hurt. It's gonna make things difficult a lot with her working for Louis.
Is Louis gonna gloat?
Korsh: [Laughs] I would say yes and no. Obviously we see this impacts Harvey. In working for Louis, there's gonna be times Donna's caught between Harvey and Louis, and she's gonna have to choose. And we all know sometimes Louis doesn't always do the right thing. From Louis' point of view, the second he gets what he wants, now he has this fear of when is he gonna lose it. He's never satisfied with what he has, so he either wants more or he's gonna be petrified he's gonna lose what he has.
In happier news, Mike and Rachel got engaged. Was it time?
Korsh: Some of it was from a writing standpoint. In the Norma funeral scene, the idea was that they were working on this case together. Mike sees a lot of Rachel's very positive qualities, how good she is on a case and how much she felt for Woodall's wife suffering from Alzheimer's. When Louis says, "Don't let the moment pass," it behooves Mike. It is a little bit of an impulsive action. So when you say to me, "Is it time?" It's an impulsive action. But Mike is a character that does things impulsively, as we've seen him taking the job with Harvey in the first place, sleeping with Tess, getting high at work. Usually, it's been for very, very destructive things. We thought it might be good to have him do something impulsive that's born out of love. They went through some stuff last season, but we felt like it was true to his character.
Will they have a long engagement or will there be wedding bells next season?
Korsh: We're still figuring that out. I think Patrick's and Meghan's and my initial instincts are not to make every episode "wedding, wedding, wedding."
Will we see Jeff again?
Korsh: That's something else we're working on. Obviously we don't see him in the finale, but we'd love to have him again.
What else do you have planned for Season 5?
Korsh: I think there's two trains running. One is the ramifications of Donna leaving Harvey for Louis, for lack of a better word. That's gonna resonate and gonna cause trouble for every character on the show. Because all these characters care for each other, it's gonna be tough. In addition, because of Mike and Rachel's engagement, we're toying with an idea to bring Robert Zane [Wendell Pierce] into the mix in a legal capacity that will affect obviously Mike, Rachel and Robert moving forward. I love Robert Zane. I notice a lot of fans don't like him, but to me, if this show started from Robert Zane's perspective, you'd hate Harvey and Jessica, but you'd love Robert. He's cut from the same cloth as Harvey and Jessica as far as I'm concerned.
What did you think of the Suits season finale?
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