Shane Mahood/USA Network
Chancellor Agard
January 25, 2017 at 11:00 PM EST

Warning: This post contains spoilers from Wednesday’s Suits season 6, episode 11. Read at your own risk.

Well, that’s one way to open a winter premiere!

Suits‘ midseason premiere, “She’s Gone,” began with a very surprising (and teasing) scene that showed Harvey (Gabriel Macht) and Donna (Sarah Rafferty) waking up together the next morning. However, it quickly became apparent — around the moment Donna started berating Harvey over Jessica (Gina Torres) leaving — that Harvey was dreaming. Although Harvey and Donna didn’t actually sleep together, it’s still a pretty provocative opening scene, especially for Darvey fans, and one that Patrick J. Adams, who directed tonight’s episode, is rather fond of.

“I think the first scene of the episode happens to be one of my favorites, and it was one of the most fun to shoot,” Adams tells EW. “It had the essence of, ‘Oh, we’re back into this world’; those kinds of scenes that I think audiences love.”

Elsewhere in the episode, Mike (Adams) briefly taught at his old high school; Anita Gibbs (Leslie Hope) paid Mike a visit; and Donna told Harvey it was time to confront his unresolved issues with mother. Below, Adams shares his thoughts on all of the above and teases what’s coming down the road in the remaining five episodes of the season.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: What made that scene so fun to shoot?
PATRICK J. ADAMS: It’s a scene long time in the making. I think the audience and fans of the show have really been waiting for this opening scene for a long time. So, it was really satisfying to get to be the one in the room figuring it out, especially because it’s not something for my character. This isn’t typically a scene that I would be there for on set. But as part of the culture of the show and where it’s headed and where a lot of fans are excited to see it go, it was a pretty monumental moment. It was exciting for me to be a part of it and not be just doing my Mike Ross thing in the background somewhere.

When you first read the script, were you sad that it was just a dream?
No, it was so much so fast. When I read the script, I think I had the same reaction that an audience is going to have to that moment, which is like a rush of blood. This is the thing you’ve been waiting for and all of a sudden it’s happened and you didn’t see it happen and you’re like, “What the hell is going on?” and you’re trying to catch your breath and you realize, in fact, that you’re in Harvey’s head for that moment. But at the same time, it’s no less relevant or important that you saw it because he’s clearly thinking about it. In a fun way, that moves that story forward only in a way that Harvey understands and that Donna might not be totally aware of. I think it does a great job of moving the story forward. It’s a big rush of breath for the audience. It gets your heart rate going at the beginning of the episode, and I think for Harvey’s character, it puts him in that place that he needs to be in for that whole episode: that he’s bottomed out having now to wake up in a world where Jessica Pearson isn’t going to be in her office when he gets to work.

What else did you enjoy about directing this episode?
The great thing about this episode is that my character [has] a whole new world that he’s exploring — going back to Father Walker and spending time at the church. We get to see the school that Mike went to. As a director, that stuff was so fun because it was stuff that has not been established on our show before. We haven’t seen that world before. We haven’t seen that world and we get to see Mike wrestling with this new identity again, which seems to be a common theme on the show now: Mike trying to find out where he’s going to fit in a world post being in prison. For me as a director, that stuff was so much fun to be a part of that. I think it turned out really nicely.

The school stuff we shot was probably the most fun because I got to pick that environment. I got to cast the students. We got to location scout all of the different places in the school. I always love doing scenes with Father Walker. So, yeah, I think that was probably the most rewarding part of it and being back on a bike, again.

Toward the end of the episode, Mike tells Harvey to stop messing with his life. What does their relationship look like going forward? Are they on the outs for a bit?
Yeah, Mike is on his own journey and he’s trying to make it really clear to Harvey that he is not coming back to this place. I think Mike has a hard time believing Harvey is listening to him about that. Obviously, Harvey is in a tough place and he needs to surround himself with people he trusts, and he makes the point pretty constantly that he took a risk on Mike at some point and now he needs him to return the favor. Now, Mike, having just gotten out of prison, is not interested in doing this anymore and he’s sticking by his guns. I think in usual Mike and Harvey form they have a lovers’ quarrel; they scream at each other one minute and are back to being friends again [the next]. I don’t think it’s really about taking a break. I think it’s about taking a break professionally. I think it’s about saying, “I’m not going to come be your partner at this law firm anymore.” I think they’re serious about that, but I think the show always finds new and interesting ways to make sure that they’re in each other’s lives and helping each other in one way or another. So, you can definitely expect that in the next six episodes.

Anita Gibbs (Leslie Hope) also threatened to prevent Mike from working at any kind legal clinic. What does that mean for his job prospects going forward?
It’s all up in the air. I think it’s really important that Mike work somewhere he thinks he’s doing something of value. I think this first episode really indicates that he’s not going to back down from that without a serious fight. He’s not just going to give into Harvey. So, I think it sets up for a really interesting dynamic that Pearson Specter is not necessarily the only part of this world that we get to spend some time in.

This episode ends with Donna telling Harvey he needs to reconcile with his mother. Can we expect Harvey to actually follow through on that in the back six episodes?
Yeah, I’m not sure what I’m supposed to spoil or say here, but I think Suits doesn’t usually say we’re going to head in a direction unless we’re going to head in a direction. It certainly was my intention and the writers’ intention at the end of the episode to indicate that he’s realizing that he really doesn’t have a choice here and that he’s going to have to go and unpack some of his family drama that he’s been avoiding for a long time. So, I would venture a guess that audiences might be taking a trip with Harvey to deal with some of that stuff that he’s been hiding from for a long time.

[Editor’s note: EW has learned that Brynn Thayer (Ray Donovan, How to Get Away With Murder) will play Harvey’s mother Lily Specter in Suits’ Wednesday, Feb. 1 episode.]

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