It's almost the middle of summer which means it's time to put on your suits. No, not your swimming stuff. It's time for Suits.
The USA drama returns for Season 7 on Wednesday with Harvey (Gabriel Macht) and Mike (Patrick J. Adams) fighting corporate evil together once more. For the first time in the show's history though, Mike will be heading into the court room as a legitimate lawyer, legally certified to practice law.
Even though Harvey's protege's legal troubles are behind them, Mike is rejoining Pearson Specter Litt in a vacuum of trouble as Jessica (Gina Torres) remains in Chicago and Harvey must figure out how to step up to the plate. That means keeping Louis (Rick Hoffman) in check and figuring out what Donna (Sarah Rafferty) meant when she said she wanted "more" in the Season 6 finale.
TV Guide got to sit down with showrunner and Suits creator Aaron Korsh ahead of the season to ask what's ahead for our favorite New York lawyers and, of course, whether Harvey and Donna will finally take that plunge into "more."
What does Suits look like if Mike has a legitimate law degree?
Aaron Korsh: Where we ended off was Mike and Harvey made an implicit deal, "one for you, one for me," meaning one pro-bono case for Mike and one corporate case for the firm. I don't think the characters realized it at the time but it set up an inherent tension. Can you really do that? Can you really serve the interests of the common man while also serving the interests of the corporate good. Over time that's going to play out and obviously it's going to result in conflicts there. That's sort of the operating principle of Season 7 of Suits.
Separate from that, you have Donna telling Harvey she wants more and that's going to play out. The back six of last year were a little bit about dealing with the fallout of various things. This is really Harvey stepping up to take over the firm on his own. All of those things are coming together. Rachel is officially becoming a lawyer this year. Jessica is gone. They dealt with that a little bit, but they haven't fully dealt with that. Louis just got kind of dumped by one of the loves of his life and he's going to be reeling from that. That's Suits in the post-Mike-Is-A-Fraud world.
Will Mike still have to deal with the stigma of being a fraud? Everyone now knows what he did.
Korsh: Yes. You can't ever get away. I would imagine in real life that there are people that have had some sort of scandal or the equivalent of Mike being a fraud and once it comes out, and they pay their price — which he did do — some people will forgive them. Some people will be hesitant to forgive them and some people will never, ever forgive them. As he steps up and becomes a "legitimate" lawyer, it's going to come back and haunt him in some form or another. He has a series of hurdles to get over. One is that, one is serving the pro-bono versus the corporate master so to speak, and not to mention all of our personal things that are going on in the firm.
Now that he's a legitimate lawyer, is there any reason for he and Rachel to not get married?
Korsh: Certainly not at the start of the season, but there may be at the end. I'm going to be a little cagey on that one. We've set up the dynamic that they want to get married. They are going to get married. We are still in the process of breaking the full season. We're about halfway through right now. They didn't forget that they are going to get married and we as writers didn't forget it. They are destined to replan their wedding. We have a couple of episodes where they are like, "We know we said we were going to have it at Harvey's place, but do we really want to do that?" Originally the plan was to have a huge open wedding and make a big event of it. They decided not to do that when Mike was a fraud because they were worried that would bring too much attention to them. Now that is no longer a worry so they're going to think about and they're going to have to think about, "Is this the right time?" They'll have to make a decision and we'll see what happens.
When Donna says, "I want more," at the end of the season, there are so many ways to take that sentence. What can you tell us about what that means?
Korsh: First of all, Donna has to figure out what that means. I think Donna wants more on more than one level but she's not sure what more she's going to get, what more she's going to pursue. She's not 100-percent sure what it means to her when she says it. One of the reasons that I don't tend to answer what was in my mind is because it doesn't matter what was in my mind. I can't tell someone who's watching...We do open with Donna having made a decision, at least for her, what that means for her. She's talking to Harvey about it early on and we follow that through throughout the course of the season. Other things emerge as the season goes and I feel like there is a lot that happens over the course of the season in the realm of Donna and Harvey. I never know how the fans are going to react, but I think there's a lot there for the fans.
Donna and Harvey are one of the best "will-they-won't-they" couples on TV and you've managed to sustain that for six seasons. How do you decide how far to go before you have to put them together?
Korsh: Here's the thing, and I think my process can frustrate fans possibly. To me, I honestly say this and people don't necessarily believe it, but the reason I don't commit to something is because my writing process is we always lay out a plan and then at the last minute we decide, "This doesn't feel right," and we change a plan. I don't think, as a writer, if you are not open to seeing what feels right in the moment, the quality of the thing is not as good.
...As we hit the roadblock, for example, to Harvey and Donna getting together, you might decide to go around the roadblock a certain way, but as I'm going around it, I might want to change direction and go another way. Right at this second, because in the last day or two we've made some bold choices of what we're going to do, hopefully we'll go in that direction, but I don't know what those things are going to lead to...There's a lot of debate in the writer's room. There's a lot people that feel passionately one way or another. The actors have opinions on how they feel one way or another. The fans obviously do. When people come at you with their passionate thoughts, you try to pick a path forward that feels right.
Transitioning to Louis: He has a tendency when he goes through something tough in his personal life to lash out and become an atom bomb for everything else. Are we going to see that after his breakup or has he finally learned his lesson in that regard?
Korsh: That is an excellent question. What I like about Louis is that he's very human. Most of us as humans are relatively consistent over time with our patterns. We can have growth, but it's very rare that you know someone who has a particular thing that they do again and again and then just one day they learn their lesson and never do it again. I don't think that happens very often. It's more like two steps forward and one step back and sometimes a two-steps-back-and-one-step-forward process. If you look at the Louis we met in the pilot, he's come a tremendously long way. I think this is going to be part of that process.
I don't think that Louis is not going to take this thing out on other people, but what i hope is that when he does it will result in some growth. To me, we are taking some steps to give Louis some growth, particularly this year. We have a fun storyline that emanates from exactly what you just predicted he will do.
All I want for Louis at the end of this series is for Harvey to say he's his best friend. I want that dream to come true for him so much. How is Louis and Harvey's relationship going to develop in this season now they're co-running this firm?
Korsh: I don't know that the series is going to end with Harvey telling Louis that he's his best friend, but I will say that Louis does have Harvey's respect already. He's had it at various times. He sometimes loses it, but that's sort of Louis...It's hard for me to imagine that he is Harvey's best friend but it is not hard for me to imagine that Harvey loves him like a brother, which is probably the next best thing.
It's always a push-pull between those two guys. They sort of are, in a lot of ways, like brothers. They ended on good terms but Mike also said [to Harvey], "It's time for you to take the reigns. It's time for you to step up. It's time for you to be Jessica." If Harvey decides to do that, imagine how Louis is going to take that. It's going to put some stress and strain on their relationship and again, it's going to be two steps forward and one step backward. I feel like what we've done in the course of the season is have them be, in general, on a closer footing and a more equal footing with some rockiness spread throughout.
We've gotten to know Harvey a lot better on a personal level over the past couple of seasons, with all of his family stuff. Will that continue in Season 7 or will it refocus on him in the firm because he's the new Jessica?
Korsh: I think it's a little bit of both. First of all, I do think that getting to know Harvey on a personal level, even if we do go back to talking about his role in the firm, it's through a different lens because you see him more clearly as a whole person...Because he's going to have some personal challenges, some vulnerabilities in rising [to the top of the firm], it will feel personal. He will maybe reach out to some people from his past who will illuminate him a little bit more personally. On top of that, we delve into some personal stories for Harvey over the course of the season.
Suits premieres Wednesday, July 12 at 9/8c on USA.