By Mandi Bierly
Updated January 17, 2013 at 05:26 PM EST
Shane Mahood/USA


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Tonight, Suits returns to USA (10 p.m. ET) with the first of six new episodes. The last we saw of brilliant-but-fake associate Mike Ross (Patrick J. Adams), he was grieving the loss of his beloved Grammy, and he’d rallied to help top closer Harvey Specter (Gabriel Macht) and managing partner Jessica Pearson (Gina Torres) oust Daniel Hardman (David Costabile) from the law firm Pearson Hardman. But he was making a string of bad choices in his personal life including smoking pot again, and sleeping with his married ex Tess (Elisabeth Hower). His will-they-or-won’t-they love interest Rachel (Meghan Markle), the firm’s top paralegal, spotted Tess when she showed up at Mike’s door to be his shoulder to cry on/have sex with. The entire series has been On Demand encouraging new fans to catch up with a marathon, and judging from Adams’ Twitter mentions, it’s been working. “As soon as people get to that last episode, they’re just like, ‘Dude, how can you screw this up so bad, over and over again?'” Adams says, laughing. “People are really frustrated with him and his inability to do what everybody thinks he should be doing.” Where does Mike go from here? Here’s what Adams has to say.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: The first two episodes back establish that Pearson Hardman is still at war, only now the attack is coming from outside the firm, and that Mike needs to get his s— together. There are some really tense scenes between Mike and Harvey. What was that like for you and Gabriel?

We have a lot of fun together, no matter what. So it was fun for us to take it more in that direction. Usually our serious scenes have been with other people, and now we really got to get into some darker stuff together, and we enjoyed that. That’s going to be a continuing theme through these six episodes. Harvey is under a lot of pressure, and Mike is dealing with a lot of pressure, and eventually that sort of snaps. Without saying too much, there are gonna be a couple of situations where they get very, very frustrated with each other. We’ve seen Mike trying to figure out what kind of person he wants to be, and what kind of lawyer he wants to be — a lot of that’s gonna come to a head, especially as Harvey is very stubbornly refusing to accept the reality that Pearson Hardman is in serious trouble. He’s standing in the way of making that better. Toward the end of these six episodes, you’re going to see a different Mike and Harvey. As they mature and become the different people that they are, that mentorship is gonna go from just being a bromance where they get along and have a great time, to where they really have different ways of doing things. I think we really leave the season in an interesting place.

Talking with creator Aaron Korsh, he said that Harvey and Jessica will disagree about the best way to stop the firm’s woes, and that puts Mike in the middle.

It’s fun. I feel like the season kind of bookends itself. Mike and Jessica don’t get a lot of time together, but the season obviously began with us having dinner together, and in a lot of ways, we sort of come full circle. We find ourselves in this situation where Mike is really gonna have to choose between Jessica and Harvey in doing what he thinks is best for the firm, and for Harvey, and for Jessica. We all know that sometimes Harvey’s stubbornness gets in his own way, so Mike is in an interesting position of having to make a call of what he thinks is the right thing to do. That causes a lot friction. The fact is, Jessica is Mike’s boss and he has to listen to her, so we get to the see that power struggle and him choosing sides. Very rarely are Harvey and Jessica on different sides of the fence.

Having originally sided with Hardman, Louis (Rick Hoffman) is also in a tough position as the season resumes. That builds in the second episode, which, without spoiling anything, I’ll just say made me tear up.

Louis is really being ostracized from the community of Pearson Hardman, but at the same time, Pearson Hardman is under such a threat that they need him back in the fold. I think Mike always has this really great relationship with Louis because he feels like the outsider as well. He sees that part of Louis, and he sees how Louis does that to himself. I think Mike’s always trying to bring him back, like, “You don’t need to ostracize yourself. Come be a part of the team.” I think Louis slowly but surely might actually be listening to him.

I love watching Gabriel and Rick go at it. I think you’re gonna have a lot of “tear up” moments in these last few episodes. I think the great thing about Suits is we never sit around and stay the same show. We’re always pushing things forward. We pack a lot of stuff into these six episodes. We can jump between the funny, and the sad, and the heartbreaking, and the lust. We can do it all.

And speaking of lust, Aaron has said that Mike and Rachel are going to come a long way in these six episodes.

They’ve been going back and forth on this a long time. He’s made enough mistakes at this point [Laughs] that he can hardly make any new ones. He obviously cares about her a lot, and she cares about him a lot. So you’re gonna see some major movements forward. It’s never gonna be as simple as them just deciding to be together, obviously, because there’s a lot of extenuating circumstances. But, there are definitely some leaps forward changing up the situation, and heading into season 3, the stakes will be very high for the both of them.

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