[WARNING: The following story contains spoilers about Wednesday's midseason premiere of Suits. Read at your own risk.]
Louis got what he wanted — just not the way he wanted.
On Suits' midseason premiere Wednesday, Jessica (Gina Torres) agrees to make Louis (Rick Hoffman) a name partner after he had discovered that Mike (Patrick J. Adams) is a fraud. She just had one request: Louis cannot tell anyone until she comes up with a plan to announce it to the senior partners. Of course, he goes blabbing to Katrina (Amanda Schull), who convinces him that Jessica won't go through with it since she's keeping it on the down-low so he better make it known.
Having forced Jessica's hand, she and Harvey (Gabriel Macht) hastily announce the news to the firm. Drunk with power, Louis makes Mike memorize his case files, insults Rachel (Meghan Markle) and demands a party in his honor. Before the party, Jessica finally gives Louis the partnership agreement that says in fine print that Louis is complicit in employing a fraud, which he begrudgingly signs.
Elsewhere, in an effort to repair their friendship, Donna (Sarah Rafferty) confesses to Louis that she and Harvey slept together once after he asks. Jessica, though, lies to Jeff (D.B. Woodside) when he grills her about making Louis name partner, telling him that Hardman had embezzled money, which she covered up, and Louis found out. And after doing Harvey a favor, getting Rachel's dad Robert (Wendell Pierce) off his back after Louis' loud mouth, Scottie (Abigail Spencer) warns Harvey to never mention Mike to her ever again.
What's next? Will Louis find a way to one-up Jessica? Creator and executive producer Aaron Korsh gives us the scoop.
I was wondering how Jessica would get out of it or at least get the upper hand. Did you have this planned all along?
Aaron Korsh: My first instinct was she would make him sign it right away. Then we thought if she does that, maybe we're losing some story out of it. We thought we'll let him get in so deep and there's the parallel with Forstman [Eric Roberts]. It's like Training Day, once you've dipped your toe in the water doing something bad, you're gonna keep doing it. He did that with Forstman, so we figured Jessica will be smart enough to get out of it.
Is he gonna retaliate? He really brought this on himself. It didn't seem like he had considered this to be a possibility.
Korsh: He really did bring it on himself! It was a bit of a miscalculation on his part. I would say — this is true in life — forgiveness is a process. It's very rare with a deep hurt that you're like, "Hey, I forgive you" right away. Usually these things emerge. They wax and wane. Louis is probably still grieving over hurts from 10 years ago. Episodes 12 and 13 continue his process of acceptance or coming to terms with the situation. It's not finished yet, but there's more to come.
What are his relationships like with everyone now? He was so smug when he thought he had them all on a string.
Korsh: I feel like the end of [Episode] 11, Jessica, though she did what she did, she holds out an olive branch. From a rational person's perspective, or from Jessica's perspective, Louis did get what he wanted. He did win! But once he did get what he wanted, he became kind of like a despotic ruler and they had to slap him down. He was blindsided. It was at his own making, but she took the high road and said it's an olive branch. You tell me if you think Louis will wipe the slate clean! [Laughs]
Of course not.
Korsh: Exactly! I don't think he can, but he's sort of come to a bit of a détente with Harvey and Jessica. He's got his reparations to do with Jessica, like 50-50, and obviously he's got angry feelings toward Mike. And he's gotta deal with stuff with Donna and Rachel, and that plays out in the next couple of episodes.
Donna told him that she and Harvey slept together to prove her loyalty to him. Will he use that against her or Harvey at any point?
Korsh: You never know when something is going to resurface. That's what we try to do on Suits. Sometimes we set things up and we know how they're gonna pay off and sometimes we set them up and we didn't even realize we were setting something up. Then we're like, "Hey, we can really do something with this." That was meant for Donna to prove her loyalty to him and for him to somewhat believe it. It just kind of came out when we were writing it. I would say it does and it doesn't come back. I think it is deepening their bond.
Jessica told Jeff that lie about Hardman. Is he going to look into this or confront Louis about it?
Korsh: Why did she do that? [Laughs] It seemed so stupid for her to do that! Some interesting things happen with regards to that secret. We try to make the various stories connect. Episode 12 deals with some of the consequences of both Jessica lying to Jeff and Jessica sort of tricking Louis. Those things dovetail a little bit.
I liked Scottie's appearance. Will we see her again?
Korsh: I wanted to fit Scottie and Abigail in to the last six [episodes]. It ended up not happening. She's got a tough schedule. She's a great actress and she's in demand, and it's hard to know how long we can have her, so it's difficult to plan arcs. She was really gracious and gave us some time. Unfortunately, once we start down certain story paths, we have to finish them, and her availability did not line up with our episodes, so that scene is what you get of Scottie in the last six. I always lament not having her, but there's also people I wish we saw more of: Tanner, Hardman, Sheila. I just always want to see more.
You have some other people returning: Forstman and Woodall (Zeljko Ivanek). What brings them back?
Korsh: What happens is the Forstman case comes up again in the finale. We use it to some degree as something that has ramifications in the present day. It's also a chance for us to find out the history between Harvey and Forstman. It's a fusion with flashbacks.
Professor Gerard (Stephen Macht) is also coming back. Is that related to Mike's secret? Korsh: No. He comes back in Episode 12 and a little in 14. He was presented previously as an ethics professor and he's also an a--hole. He's always looked down on Harvey for not having his eye on the ethical ball as much as him. He doesn't really live in the real world. But he's got a problem that might need some actions that are not 100 percent ethical.
What can you tease about the finale?
Korsh: The first half of these episodes is somewhat dealing with the emotional fallout, and a little of the logistical fallout, of Louis' ascendancy and betrayal. Gerard reemerges with another case in 14. Mike ends up taking that case. We move past the Louis stuff. We deal with the fact that Mike had left the firm for investment banking ... and now can he retake up his same position with respect to Harvey. He was under Harvey and then he went toe-to-toe with Harvey, so can he be under Harvey again? ... The season finale, Cahill [Neal McDonough] and Forstman re-emerge. It's an unusual season finale in that it's a flashback season finale, telling the story of Harvey and Forstman. I don't know if I would call them cliff-hangers. Would you call it a cliff-hanger when Mike left the firm?
I'd say that was a twist.
Korsh: OK, well, we definitely have a twist. I would call it similar to last year. We have a twist or two that can reshape the dynamics of our characters.
Suits airs Wednesdays at 10/9c on USA.