Suits fans were shocked after the Aug. 13 episode when Louis Litt (Rick Hoffman) resigned from Pearson Specter—seconds before Harvey (Gabriel Macht), accompanied by Donna (Sarah Rafferty), was to deliver the news that Jessica (Gina Torres) was firing him. Creator Aaron Korsh says there were many incarnations of that ending: “When the writers first pitched me that he was gonna get fired, I didn’t like it. If he was gonna help get them out of this jam, I didn’t like Harvey for wanting to fire him, and I didn’t like Jessica for wanting to fire him. I was gonna not have him be fired—I was gonna have him be forgiven. [But] when the writers pitched the scene of Louis reading that resignation letter as two people go to his office to fire him, it broke my heart in the room,” he says, “and I was like, ‘That’s so good. Maybe he can resign.'”
Hoffman originally read the letter and its memorable last line, “Please take care of my home,” without emotion (which sounds heartbreaking in itself for overly emotional Louis). “We had already wrapped for the mini-season, the actors are all on hiatus, but I was like, ‘I really think it would help us to have him read a much more emotional tone into the letter, where he’s like, ‘Please take care of my home,’ crying basically. So I had to track Rick down in Italy and have him do that in some soundstage in Italy,” Korsh says, laughing, “which I think was worth it because it really made a huge difference in the impact of the letter.”
Fans were concerned enough to ask if Hoffman was leaving the show—he’s not. In fact, the Aug. 20 midseason finale revolves around Louis. “We follow Louis into his life,” Korsh says. “We’re going to delve deeply into the aftermath, the consequences of Louis resigning and being gone—both for Louis and for everyone else at the firm. Louis is a part of the family, and when a part of the family leaves in disgrace, the rest of the family is gonna be affected by that. How could they not be on practical levels, emotional levels, all kinds of levels. Mike wouldn’t be back if it hadn’t been for Louis. Jessica had to keep Mike because she couldn’t explain to Louis why she wasn’t going to rehire Mike. Now that Louis is gone, Mike is gonna think, ‘Is that still a factor in Jessica’s thinking?’ That’s the practical level. Mike also cares about Louis, and he’s gonna try to help Louis out. Donna cares about Louis and is gonna try to help him out. Harvey cares about Louis and is gonna try to help him out. Jessica is gonna take a little bit of a harder line; I definitely think she cares about Louis, but she also has a firm to worry about.”
Let’s talk about Jessica. She used the phrase “stupid face” to Louis last episode in the courtroom, which seemed uncharacteristically cruel but also an expression of how frustrated she is by the firm’s never-ending woes.”I was in the edit bay, and that was a line that I very much thought about cutting. I was gonna cut the ‘stupid,’ because in general, she’s very mad at Louis—and rightfully so for all the things that he’s doing—but that’s a personal [insult]. For her to get angry at Louis and say, ‘You want to sit your face in front of Cahill,’ is different than ‘your stupid face,'” Korsh says. “I thought about cutting it, and the editor was like, ‘Come on, let’s leave it,’ and I was like, ‘Okay,'” he continues, laughing. “Because it is good—it is impactful and it’s powerful. We wrestle with these things: There’s entertainment value and there’s impact, and then there’s also how it reflects on the character.”
The latter again goes back to why Korsh was resistant to firing Louis—and why Harvey had his change of heart. “You couldn’t have the resignation without someone deciding to fire him because then they’d just say, ‘Don’t resign, come back.’ Originally, both Harvey and Jessica wanted to fire him,” Korsh says. “I said, ‘Let’s differentiate their points of views and their attitudes,’ and it was a way to soften Harvey and make him come around. When we were discussing it in the room, the point was made—’Hey, Jessica has a legitimate reason for wanting to fire Louis’—and all the things that she says in that last scene were the points that [the writers] said to me. So I thought, ‘Okay, Jessica can sometimes be harsh, but it did make sense for her to do that. When she lays her case out, it’s a strong case,” he says, laughing again. “Though there is some hypocrisy there, which Harvey points out to her. We do shine a little bit of light on her awareness of her hypocrisy in the finale, and that’s all I’ll tease about that.”
The Suits midseason finale airs Aug. 20 at 9 p.m. ET on USA.