'Suits' summer finale postmortem interview
SPOILER ALERT! If you haven’t watched tonight’s summer finale of Suits, stop reading now. Creator Aaron Korsh takes us inside the hour — and teases what’s to come when new episodes resume in January.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: When Tess showed up at Mike’s door, I was talking to him through my TV: “No. No. No. No.” You just knew Rachel was gonna show up later. Tell me about the idea for Tess.
AARON KORSH: So you saw Rachel coming?
I definitely knew it wasn’t going to be the pizza guy at the door.
I tweet a lot, and I don’t know if I give enough credit to the writing staff. They come up with so much of the great stuff that we do. I was not in the room when the idea of Tess character was brought up. I was in the room when we thought the funeral was an opportunity for Mike to meet someone from his past. We didn’t know if it was gonna be some relative, some old friend, cousin. They came up with the idea of Tess in the room and pitched it to me. I thought it was a great idea. If you’re ultimately rooting for Mike to be with Rachel, and I think most people are, we don’t want to try to make that happen too soon, otherwise what are you gonna have to root for? The way to do that and still give Mike a satisfying personal life is obviously either give him a love interest, or Rachel, or both.
Why wasn’t Tess wearing a wedding ring?
It didn’t get brought up until production. We had the notion that she was married, and then in production, they’re like, “Is she wearing her ring or not?” We decided it’s probably best to not have her wear the ring, or Mike would notice. But that led to the question, was she just targeting him from the beginning, or are they separated, or does she just think, you know what, she doesn’t want to get into that at his grandmother’s funeral and just took it off?
In your mind, which was it?
It’s complicated. I have had various relationships with women in various times in my life where one of you tells yourself you’re doing something for a noble reason, but really deep down inside, you want to leave the door open incase something’s gonna happen. That’s where I land on it: I don’t think she woke up that morning and said, “I’m gonna go and have sex with Mike.” But I do think, she’s in a bad marriage and told herself, “I’m gonna wear this because I don’t want to throw him for a loop that I’m married now at his grandmother’s funeral,” but that the real reason was, what if there are sparks between is? I don’t know what I would do, but I want that possibility to be there.
Will we see her again when the show returns?
Yes. I don’t call what we did a cliffhanger. But we have to take it on head on. I’m never gonna leave something like that hanging and just dismiss it. We don’t pick up the second where we left off. But we will pick up taking on the aftermath of that run-in and that does involve Tess.
What can you tease about where Mike and Rachel will be?
We will get them back together on some sort of non-angry footing a few episodes into the winter season, based on a case that comes in that has a personal aspect to it for Rachel. That’s as far as we know where we’re going with the two of them.
What about Mike’s state of mind? Will he spiral or keep it together?
When we come back, he hasn’t fully dealt with the aftermath of Grammy’s death. It’s interesting to me, because when it was pitched to me that he continues to spiral, I looked at it a little bit differently. I don’t really feel like he’s spiraling, I feel like he’s living with the choices that he’s made and he’s deciding if he wants to keep making them or not, which is slightly different from spiraling. The first case back in the winter is going to test him, and he’s gonna have to make a decision about what kind of way he wants to go with his life.
Let’s talk about Harvey getting stoned. I wanted him to go there but was surprised when it actually happened.
I can’t remember if we talked about Harvey getting high as a group last year. I feel like we did, but I can’t remember. It was something they pitched to me in the room, and I loved it. Harvey is not a teetotaler. We cut part of that scene where Harvey admits to Mike that he was a big stoner in the ’90s, or at least that he did get stoned in the ’90s. We just cut it for time.
Were there any other notable trims?
One of the controversial deletions (Laughs) was a scene with Donna, Jessica, and Harvey dancing to celebrate their victory. It was cut for a couple of reasons. One, I thought it slowed the episode down. I thought we had multiple endings. And the other reason was, it just felt in my gut not the show. But the writer of the episode was like, “These characters would do that. It’s organic.” She loved it. We talked it through, and I ultimately decided it was best not to have it in there. But it will be on the DVD, and I know that people will love to see it. In and of itself, it is a great scene.
What song were they dancing to?
I don’t think we’d be able to buy the song for the DVD. I think it was Marvin Gaye’s “Got to Give It Up.”
We got another can opener reference. It was great to see how excited that made stoned Mike.
That whole scene came up in the rewrite. I know fans want to know what they do with the can opener. I don’t believe I’ve ever guaranteed that we’ll tell them what they do with the can opener. (Laughs) It’s not gonna be any time soon. When Mike and Harvey are walking down the hallway, they ad-libbed those lines: “I still don’t understand the thumb tack thing.” “It’s surprising, isn’t it?”
Did Rachel tell Donna about Mike’s grandmother dying, and that’s how Harvey knew?
The truth is, I don’t think Rachel told Donna. You know how Donna just knows things. We’ve demonstrated that Donna has the ability to look at someone and deduce things in her half Donna half Sherlock Holmes type of way. I think either Donna just knew and told Harvey, or somehow Harvey figured it out.
Louis was really hard to like this episode. Will he be redeemed in the winter season?
When you become a senior partner, you kinda buy into these firms. So Louis has bought in, he is a senior partner. Louis voted Hardman [the first time], but so did more than half the firm, obviously. It’s interesting to me that Harvey and Jessica feel so personally betrayed by Louis, but I don’t see them tracking down the other senior partners that voted for Hardman and treating them with vindictiveness. That’s something that Louis is going to tap into, and also, by the way, Louis does vote, in the end, to oust Hardman when he’s convinced of the wrongdoing. On the other hand, Louis takes full advantage of trying to stick it to Harvey after the vote goes down, actually fires Harvey, and Jessica had said to Louis there’d be no coming back if he betrays her. So I think we are gonna bite into both sides of that apple, if that’s an expression. They both have a legitimate point, and they will both make that point and have it out. Louis is in the dog house in the beginning of the winter season. You can either like Louis or not like Louis, what I try to do is make him a human being. Sometimes you can be mad at them and hate them, and sometimes you can understand them and have affection for them. That’s what we try to do with Louis. All of our actors are so good at playing the subtleties and seeing the humanity of their characters. Rick Hoffman, because Louis is the most villainous of our regular characters, really does an amazing job of bringing humanity to this character.
Hardman said his story isn’t over. Will we see him again in the winter season, or will you just keep him in your back pocket?
We can go either way. We’re wrestling with that right now. Obviously, I had to call and tell David Costabile that Hardman was going to ultimately lose this battle. He’s such a good actor. He didn’t originally have that scene saying ‘This isn’t the last page of the story” but I was like, he’s so good, we’ve got to put that in there. He says, alright, they’re gonna screw me out of money, I’m gonna at least make them sign this form so that they can never tell anyone what I did and I can save my career. It gives him a future should he ever want to come back and attack this firm in a different way. I do anticipate him coming back, I’m just not sure when.