Suits‘ dynamic duo is back — and just in time for the legal drama’s milestone 100th episode.
In the wake of finding out about senior partner Alex Williams’ (Dulé Hill) involvement with a corrupt private prison company, superlawyers Harvey (Gabriel Macht) and Mike (Adams) team up for the first time since the season premiere. Meanwhile, Louis (Rick Hoffman) and Donna (Sarah Rafferty) will finally confront their “real crushing sense of loneliness,” says Adams, who also directed the installment.
Below, Adams teases Harvey and Mike taking on the season’s big bad and previews Wendell Pierce’s best work on the series to date.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: What can we expect from the 100th episode in terms of celebrating this big milestone?
PATRICK J. ADAMS: It’s interesting because you get to the 100th episode, but it wasn’t the last episode of the season or anything. So, I think the writers — [creator] Aaron [Korsh] and Rick Muirragui, who wrote this episode — wanted to figure out a way that it could still feel like a big episode story-wise to help us celebrate this milestone, but at the same time, there’s two episodes to come for this first part of our season. I think they did a really good job. We’ve obviously been dealing with this conflict of interest that Mike brought into the firm that was also wrapped up in Alex Williams and his history at his previous [firm]. What they did is that we treated this episode as the wrap-up for this story that we’ve been building up for the first part of the season. So, it feels like it gives us some really good closure on the case that we’ve been working on, and then it opens up a few more doors for our main characters on a more personal level.
Episode 7 ended with Mike and Harvey finally finding out what Alex has been hiding and how much trouble he’s in. Where do Mike and Harvey go from there? Are they on the same page about what to do with this information, or can we expect them to keep butting heads?
Yeah, I think that’s why Mike and Harvey are such a great team because as soon as they get all of the information, which is hard to get because you always have people hiding things they don’t want to share, things they don’t want to tell people, now they get to do what they do best, which is come up with a solution, put it into play. There are always a few bumps in the road to get there, but now they get to work together because they both have all of the information they need. It’s really an episode of seeing them come up against the big baddie of the season, the guys that have been behind this really despicable behavior at ReformCorp.
So, is it fair to say that Batman and Robin are back together?
It’s funny that you actually mention Batman and Robin because we sort of return to that with little jokes in the episode. As I was shooting it, I definitely aimed to kind of embrace that visually with these two. It’s definitely Batman and Robin together again fighting the good fight and they come up with a game plan, they put it into action, it gets tripped up a little bit. I was lucky enough as a director to have quite a few scenes with Wendell Pierce in this episode, who becomes a very important figure in helping us finally put this case to bed. So, we have a lot of big guns involved and trying to use all of that combined skill to make sure that not only do these guys pay for what they did but, at the same time, try our best to keep Alex from getting caught in the crossfire.
I know you directed Wendell in the last episode you did, but, in general, what is it like to work him as a director?
I was definitely intimidated. I had done it a little bit before, but the scenes that he had done before were a lot with Meghan [Markle]’s character Rachel and they felt a little less intimidating. But in this episode, he had a lot of work to do, and I think he had some of the best scenes that he ever had on the show and I really wanted to be helpful in getting him there and make sure that he felt good about the work. He came in guns blazing. He’s such a professional who knows exactly what he’s doing, but he’s also very open to ideas. If it was something that didn’t occur to him, he was more than grateful for the idea. So, we worked really, really well together. Maybe I’m a little biased being the director, but I think of all the time he has spent on Suits, this is for sure his strongest episode. He had a lot to do and he just knocked it out of the park.
Mike and Harvey seem to turn to Robert for help quite a lot. Does convincing him to join this crusade take some work?
Well, you know, it’s an interesting case. Without saying too much, the way that it’s presented to him is that there’s a settlement in play and that really all Robert needs to do is show up for a meeting and collect the settlement, and then this whole thing can be over and done with. That’s sort of the game plan that these guys begin with, but it being a case that deals directly with prisoner’s rights and that those prisoners’ rights in this country seem to adversely affect members of the African American community, that’s something that gets under Robert Zane’s skin quickly. It appeals to a part of him that we haven’t really had a chance to see too much of on this show — to see what happens when this character actually finds something he’s passionate about. So, the more that he looks at this case, I think the more that he understands where Mike was coming from in the first place, and he’s not really interested in settling for a small amount of money. He’s interested in seeing these people pay for what they did. So, that’s why, for my money, it’s some of the best Wendell Pierce that we’ve ever had on Suits, because it really gets to the marrow of who this guy is and what he cares about and what he’s not willing to look the other way about.
You said this episode would open up some doors for the characters in their personal lives, and I know from the logline that Donna receives a “surprising proposition.” Does that have anything to do with the flashbacks we saw in the episode preceding this one?
Yeah, Mark Meadows [played by Jay Harrington] is back in this episode and they have some great stuff together. It’s a really nice episode for both Donna and Louis in that they both have to face down a real crushing sense of loneliness. Harvey’s had a relationship that’s really started to take off and get a little deeper this season, and I think for Donna, whatever people think her feelings for Harvey might be, it’s still difficult to see other people falling in love and to not have that in your own life. So Mark coming back into her memory and into her life in that last episode, I think, triggers some stuff, which she needs to deal with in this episode and they get reconnected. And, the same goes for Louis. He’s forced to sort of deal with someone he thought was long out of his life but has returned to create some conflict for him.
Suits airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET on USA Network.