Warning: This post contains spoilers from Wednesday’s Suits season 6 finale. Read at your own risk!
Well, Suits finally did it! After five seasons as a fraud and six episodes as a legal consultant, Mike (Patrick J. Adams) has finally become a lawyer.
In the USA Network drama’s game-changing season 6 finale, Mike Ross passed the character and fitness portion of the New York Bar, despite Anita Gibbs’ (Leslie Hope) attempts to stop him, thanks to a last-minute save from Jessica Pearson (Gina Torres), who made a welcome and surprising return in tonight’s episode. Mike’s first order of business was to accept a job at Pearson Specter Litt; however, he had a few conditions. Meanwhile, Tara (Carly Pope) dumped Louis (Rick Hoffman), which left him devastated at the end of the hour. (Read our full recap here.)
The finale left us with many questions about what the future has in store for our favorite lawyers, so EW hopped on the phone with executive producer Aaron Korsh for some answers. Below, Korsh teases what to expect from season 7 and, more importantly, confirms that he is indeed in the very early stages of developing a Jessica-centric spin-off.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Was it always the plan to end the season with Mike passing the bar and becoming a lawyer?
AARON KORSH: I don’t remember when that plan was formulated, but I think from the time that we formulated that plan, yes, it was always the plan. I don’t know if we had from the beginning of the season, because it’s funny, the seasons start to blur a little bit as they move on and on. Often by the time we get to the back six [episodes], we’re a little bit under the gun to sort of scramble and put together what we try to make a cohesive back six. But once we got the idea to make Mike a lawyer and have him pass the bar, we were happy with it and move forward with it.
When you first started out with the series, did you ever think you’d get to the point where Mike would actually become a lawyer?
Look, I don’t tend to think far into the future probably in my life and in the writing because I feel like you’re going to discover where it wants to go more than tell it where it wants to go. So, no, I definitely never [did]. When I first wrote this thing, I didn’t even envision ever selling it, so I never thought about an episode, let alone Mike actually going to prison, getting out, becoming a lawyer. It’s so rare to get the opportunity to have a series on for this long that to sort of expect that this would happen, no.
It ends with Mike agreeing to come back to the firm. Was that the natural next step of Mike becoming a lawyer, or did you consider having him go back to the legal clinic?
Well, we definitely thought about all the possible permutations. By the way, in answer to your other question, certainly once we decided that he was going to become a lawyer, there’s no doubt in the room at one point we were like, “But what if he doesn’t?!” But, it just didn’t appeal to us.
In the same way, we definitely thought about [wanting] Mike to stay at the clinic and not bring him back to the firm. I think the feeling amongst most of us — it certainly seemed like that at the time — was that people wanted to get Harvey and Mike back together. We all missed them sort of having some fun and having some banter and working a little bit like the old days but with a twist, obviously now that he’s no longer a fake lawyer and having other things in the background. Their relationship has progressed so much in these years, and we just wanted to get back to them being together and see how their relationship progresses under these new circumstances. Also, just the fun of having Oliver in the office with Mike and [seeing] how far Mike has come from being that guy who didn’t know what was going on, to having Oliver being the green guy. So, it just felt like it was time to get the band together and see what happens from there.
Does this mean Oliver will be working at Pearson Specter Litt when we come back next season?
At the time we were writing that scene in particular, honestly, when we first came up with the story, we weren’t going to have him ask for that stuff. But then in writing the scene, it just felt like he would because he just had the big fight with Nathan. It just felt natural that he would say, “If I want to bring them on, I can.” But in our minds, I don’t think he comes with the idea in that moment, “I’m definitely bringing Oliver over, or Marissa over, or Nathan.” It’s just that he’s a good lawyer and he says, “If I want to, I can,” which is just a smart thing to say. We haven’t broken far enough into season 7 to know if he’s going to bring them over or not, but he’s laid the groundwork if he wants to. I think more importantly than having the ability to bring them over if he wants is having the ability to bring them in on a case if he wants, because he knows that he just went and begged for his job at the clinic and he’s going to be leaving the clinic. Boy, he better at least bring them in on a case or do something for them. So, that’s the idea for season 7.
The other big moment in the episode is Jessica’s return. When you decided Mike was going to become a lawyer, did you know that Jessica would have to come back for that moment? If so, why did you feel it was important to have her there?
When we were breaking the back six and in particular the big episode, the two questions were: Who is gonna speak on his behalf? And, we didn’t want to have a parade of people speaking on his behalf. We were trying, to some degree, to differentiate it from his trial the year before, but there’s obviously some overlap with Gibbs being there and discussing Mike’s character. The first person to bring back, we decided, was Julius [Malcolm-Jamal Warner] because it was a good payoff to his prison time. So, that was the writers pitching that to me. There were some other pitches on the table, but I think we all collectively liked that the best.
But, the second they pitched me that Jessica is sort of the nail in the coffin to save the day, I was like, what better, more triumphant return for Jessica to have for me than that? I just loved it. Then, there was some discussion: Should it be a surprise? Should Mike go to talk to Jessica? I loved this surprise of Jessica showing up out of nowhere to save the day. She’s been our hero for so long. They’ve all had different moments of saving the day, but Mike helped save the day with her, to some degree, with Leonard Bailey — Mike and Rachel, collectively. So, to have her come back and repay the favor and bring full circle her taking responsibility, her admitting that she knew he was a fraud and her getting in the bar, it just seemed really good.
I’ll just add that we have a lot of sad endings on Suits. Obviously, Tara is a sad ending for Louis in this one. So to have a happy ending and have Jessica be a part of that feels good once in a while.
Speaking of Louis, I was surprised by the sad turn the finale took for Louis. Why did you decide to end Louis’ relationship with Tara?
I think there are a lot of factors that goes into it. One of them is, for whatever reason when it comes to breaking Louis’ heart— to my mind, I love that scene where he listens to the voicemail and watching Rachel be with him for that moment and the camera pulling back, I just love it. A lot of it was what’s the most compelling to us. But also, is it true to Louis’ character?
Louis has a certain character and his journey seems to be — and I’m maybe coming up with this on this phone call with you — is, when is he going to learn that when he explodes on someone in the moment it has consequences for his life? Learning that, to me, appears to be a process. We all have flaws. We all have things we want to overcome. It’s not like you reach the epiphany and all of a sudden never do the thing you always did before. That’s just not how life works. You do it and then it has a consequence and then you struggle not to do it again. You’re successful for a while and then you do it again. And, that’s what’s happening with Louis and that’s probably why we ultimately did this, is that we thought this is the natural way for him to go. We want to use it as an opportunity to hopefully further his growth, because when is he going to learn to stop doing these things? Because the truth is, he loved her and he didn’t give her time to process this thing and it’s a flaw in his character, which, by the way, the whole relationship came out of impulsivity. Donna said don’t be impulsive and he did it and then it ended impulsively. So, I think it’s a way of exploring his character. It definitely made me feel very sad for him, but I feel in a satisfying way.
Where will we find Louis next season? Will he have moved on by the premiere or is this hanging over him?
It’s hanging over him and he’s gotta deal with it. We’re going to have him deal with it in a Louis way. We come back, it’s cast a pall on his life.
What can you say about where Donna’s story line goes after tonight’s episode?
First of all, let me say, I have discussions with many of the cast about many of the things. I had a long talk with Sarah [Rafferty] the other night about what she thought was going on in Donna’s mind during that scene [with Harvey]. I would definitely not say that I disagreed with her. I feel like 10 different people could watch that scene and sort of give a thought bubble at each expression on her head and come up with different thought bubbles. Certainly, there are different camps for their [hopes] for Donna’s future.
What I’ll say is this: Obviously we have a backdrop of Donna and Harvey and they have a romantic history and their feelings for each other on a personal level are always hanging in the air, particularly in the heightened interactions that they sometimes have. To some degree, she’s saying, I don’t know if I want more with you, I don’t know if I want more with business, but I want more. That’s all going through her mind. So, we’re going to follow that through next year and I don’t really want to give the specifics, because a) I don’t want to, and b) we’re still formulating them. I feel like Donna’s role on the show is going to change next year and that’s a result of this story line that started as a stretching of the bounds of where we are currently in technology.
So, there are reports that you are working on a Jessica-centric spin-off. Can you confirm that’s in development? Is there anything you can share about it?
I can confirm that basically… First of all, I’ll say I’m still in touch with Gina. She’s a member of the family and always will be. I just love her as a person, as an actress, and she is now sort of becoming a producer. She had an idea for a potential spin-off with Jessica. She sort of pitched it to the studio and the studio came to me, talked to me about it and we talked about it a bit and got excited over the potential. It’s very, very early stages of that, but we are talking about it and pursuing it. But I can’t tell you what it is because it’s so early and we haven’t landed on anything yet. That’s sort of where we are and what’s going with that.