[WARNING: The following story contains spoilers about Wednesday's midseason premiere of Suits. Read at your own risk.]
Mike's out of jail for now, but for how long?
On Suits' midseason premiere Wednesday, Harvey (Gabriel Macht) gets Mike's (Patrick J. Adams) bail waived, but their battle is just beginning with cutthroat prosecutor Anita Gibbs (Leslie Hope). Determined to prove that the two are co-conspirators in covering up Mike's fake lawyering, she tries to get Mike to turn on Harvey, and Harvey to turn on Jessica (Gina Torres). And she smells more blood when she (correctly) suspects Harvey no longer works at Pearson Spector Litt, but Mike saves the day by threatening Soloff (John Pyper-Ferguson) to back off his firm takeover and let Harvey pretend to work there or else he'd tell Gibbs that Soloff was his co-conspirator.
Meanwhile, after Jessica reads Louis (Rick Hoffman) the riot act about being a team player since he had used Mike's secret to make name partner, he fires Donna (Sarah Rafferty) so she can return to work for Harvey in this time of need. "You're coming back to me?" he asks. You can cut the subtext with a knife.
But who outed Mike? Both Scottie (Abigail Spencer) and Trevor (Tom Lipinski) deny it was them, but that doesn't take them off the table. Executive producer Aaron Korshanswers our burning questions about who the traitor could be and how Mike and Harvey will try to get out of this huge pickle.
Since you knew you wanted to end the midseason finale with Mike's arrest, did you have a specific plan for these six episodes?
Aaron Korsh: Yes and no. It was time [for him to get arrested], but the scary thing was, "OK, now what?" I didn't really know what we would do. I was concerned with the ramifications of this and how it affects our six characters and less about who did it, but I think we found a way to merge both.
Does this mean you figured out a way for him to get out of this?
Korsh: I will say I was very skeptical when we started this. I was like, "How are we gonna get out of this? He didn't do it and it's provable." And one of the writers said, "He's in the bar. He's in the Harvard database." He started listing all the facts that are true. On top of everything, we don't need to prove he is a lawyer; they need to prove that he isn't. We wrote that into the episode. On top of that, he has a better knowledge of the law. And coupled that with the fact that people have gotten out of crimes where there have been eyewitnesses against them. Longer-odds cases people have gotten out of, so he definitely has a chance.
I'm loving Anita Gibbs. She's a ruthless bitch.
Korsh: Yes, she is. [Laughs] I just want to defend Anita Gibbs for a second. She may appear to be ruthless and a bitch from our perspective, but looking at it from the outside in, we did what she's trying to put us away for. If you really think about it, she's really doing her job. Now the way she goes about doing her job is probably more realistic to how prosecutors can be. She may cross lines a little more than you normally would, but that's what they do. They find your pressure points and put pressure on you. She's not going to stop.
Everyone is Team Mike right now. How much of that is because they care about him versus looking out for themselves?
Korsh: I think it's both to varying degrees for everyone. Rachel [Meghan Markle] obviously loves Mike but isn't in a power position like Jessica, who has her career and firm on the line. ... They all care about Mike and themselves, and you'll see some of them do things to protect themselves but not in a way to betray him.
Louis did a selfless act, firing Donna so she can go back to Harvey. How important was that to show that he was all in to help Mike?
Korsh: It was a big deal, and you see that in Donna and Jessica thanking him at the end. People think Louis is a wild card, but he's thoughtful. He can realize when he's not necessarily wrong but when he needs to steps up. And it wasn't like he wanted to expose Mike. That would put them all in jeopardy. He was trying to protect Donna because she almost went to jail last time, but he realizes that Mike and Harvey need her help and it was the best thing to do.
Before that, he told Donna that she always puts Mike and Harvey first and she needs to put herself first eventually. Is she going to take that to heart?
Korsh: That is an excellent question. I have not finished editing the last six, but we do have a moment where that question is answered. I hope I leave it in there. She sort of has to put herself first or them first. It's not like a "turning on them" moment, but it's a subtle way she can choose herself or choose them. So yes, to some degree we do have that coming. ... That scene between [Donna and Harvey] was so layered and beautifully acted by them, and I think kind of answers if she'd ever turn on him.
The six of them view themselves as a family, but they're already being pressured by Gibbs and Robert Zane (Wendell Pierce) to turn on one another and take deals. How long can they keep this united front?
Korsh: That's the big question. [Robert] is concerned with his daughter. Anita will go on the attack on all of them. She tries to find weak spots for all of them that might not even be connected to Mike's case to get them to bend and break. It's only going to get tougher for them to protect him.
You said you didn't have anyone in mind for who ratted out Mike but you had aphilosophy about it, so how did you eventually land on the person?
Korsh: There was a lot of discussion with the writers and me. ... I did have a philosophy that was different from the writers'. There are so many people who would have many reasons for turning him in. It's not someone out of the blue. I just took a step back and looked at what I wanted that reason to be and who would best fit that.
Suits airs Wednesdays at 10/9c on USA.