In 'Quid Pro Quo,' Donna and Benjamin look for investors in their new product

By Chancellor Agard
February 22, 2017 at 10:03 AM EST
Shane Mahood/USA Network

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When it comes to Donna’s (Sarah Rafferty) role on Suits, the witty legal secretary is usually either tied up in Harvey and Mike’s latest scheme or there to give anyone at Pearson Specter Litt a galvanizing kick in the butt delivered with sternness. However, season 6B has seen Donna branch off into her own storyline with the firm’s IT guy Benjamin as they work on The Donna, a computerized personal assistant based on Donna’s personality. Up until now, that’s mostly been played for laughs, but that’s changing tonight.

In Wednesday’s episode, “Quid Pro Quo,” Donna and Benjamin begin their search for investors, which Donna ends up approaching in a very Donna-like way. “She goes into things with confidence. She’s playing a role. She believes in herself and she can Donna people. She’s got that superpower. She knows what’s up with interpersonal relationships and she knows how to use them to her favor,” Rafferty tells EW. “So that’s really enjoyable, but it’s not obstacle-free, because we’d have no drama there if it was obstacle-free.”

She continues, “It requires some soul searching [on Donna’s part] once it becomes more complicated.”

All of this is ultimately in service of allowing Donna to “explore herself outside of the confines of the definition of being Harvey Specter’s secretary at Pearson Specter Litt,” says Rafferty. “It becomes a dynamic storyline. I think it actually does have some grounding, some gravitas, especially as we move into the last two episodes of the season. It becomes much more about her identity — her personal identity — and what she wants from her future and if doors are opening to her or closing in terms of opportunities.”

Rafferty thinks it’s about time Donna received this kind of exploration. “This is the end of season 6: It’s time to find out more about her as an individual,” she says. “I find it incredibly dynamic when we move outside of those confines of Donna, so that’s why I’m excited about this storyline and I’m excited to see if that opens up doors for her moving into season 7.”

Although Rafferty couldn’t tell us about the fate of this business venture, she did say that this journey is far from over when season 6 ends next week. “This is not going to be something that’s going to be tied up in a perfect little bow,” says Rafferty. “This is part of her journey that is going to redirect her course moving forward, both potentially professionally and certainly emotionally. I’m excited about that.”

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