[Warning: The following contains spoilers for the Season 8 premiere of Suits. Read at your own risk!]
Samantha Wheeler (Katherine Heigl) has arrived at Specter Litt on Suits and she's making her presence known. After less than a few days on the pay roll, Wheeler made it known to her boss Robert Zane (Wendell Pierce) that she wants her name on the wall by the end of the year. Not only does that mean yet another name change for the firm, but it puts her in direct opposition to Alex (Dule Hill), who has the same deal with Harvey (Gabriel Macht).
Season 8 might feel like a little bit of a civil war as Harvey and Zane tussle over control of the firm and Samantha and Alex go head-to-head for the right to be the top "Right Hand Man." What the Season 8 premiere of Suits showed is that there is plenty of fight left in this show even without Rachel (Meghan Markle) and Mike (Patrick J. Adams).
TV Guide talked to Katherine Heigl about Samantha's powerful entrance, who she's aligning herself with and what we can expect from this turbulent new chapter in the firm's story.
Do you know where Samantha actually grew up? Where is it?
Katherine Heigl: I do not. But I know she doesn't come from where you think she comes from. She has a very complicated history and past and it's really shaped her.
What has Aaron [Korsh, creator] told you about her backstory?
Heigl:: I cannot tell you that. That is definitely not revealed until — I wanna say Episode 5 or 6.
Would you consider Samantha a villain for this season or why should we give her the benefit of the doubt?
Heigl: Oh no, she's not a villain, she's not that black and white. She is a complicated woman, for sure. She is a very smart, ambitious human being and she loves a good cat-and-mouse game. She loves to stir the pot and kinda create trouble with a twinkle in her eye, but she is not a bad person. She's not looking to actively hurt or harm another person or their job or their career or...what they're doing...She feels very strongly about her methods and her way and doesn't like being bossed around.
The premiere really sets up sort of a antagonistic relationship between her and Alex. What can we expect from that showdown since they're both going for this name partner at the firm?
Heigl: It gets pretty dicey and pretty heated and they really go into the ring together. They're very good adversaries?...They each have a real opponent in the other. It's hard to know who's gonna come out on top of this particular fight.
Does Samantha have something over Robert that we should expect to be revealed later this season? Because she almost seems to be threatening him at the end of that final scene in the episode.
Heigl: Yes, she does.
How is she going to be challenging Harvey now that he's is getting quote unquote "getting back in the ring" rather than trying to be the big boss?
Heigl: She just doesn't take his bossing seriously. You know when he tells her to stay out of something or he tells her how to handle something or he tells her he wants to handle it, she just ignores it. And he has a couple of conversations where he says "Hey! There's a pecking order here and you're not at the top of it." She just does not take that seriously at all. She has Robert backing her so she can kinda of get away with bucking the system and pissing Harvey off because she's got the big gun behind her.
Who would you consider to be Samantha's main ally this season?
Heigl: I think it's gonna be Donna and Louis. I think those are gonna be her main allies. And Robert of course, always Robert.
If Samantha gets her name on the wall, what would you like to see the new name of the firm be?
Heigl: Wheeler, Zane, Litt, Specter.
Suits continues Wednesdays at 9/8c on USA.