July 17 kicks off the end of 'Suits' (9 p.m.) and the start of the spin-off 'Pearson' (10 p.m.). Here, the casts of the USA dramas talk Patrick J. Adams' return and Gina Torres' new series.
Credit: Elizabeth Morris/USA Network/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

It’s mid June and Gabriel Macht is feeling fairly content as Suits reaches the halfway point of its ninth and final season. “Everyone’s got a very positive, upbeat, creative push moving into these last couple months,” says the actor, who plays maverick lawyer Harvey Specter. Not only is he pleased with a cut of the season’s third episode, which he directed, but he’s also just reunited with his former partner-in-winning Patrick J. Adams, which is also invigorating.

Adams — who left at the end of season 7 — is back as brilliant lawyer Mike Ross in the season’s fifth episode (airing Aug. 14). Macht was so excited to see the actor on his first day back on set that he risked ruining his sleek bespoke look when they reunited in the hair and makeup trailer.

“He’d just gotten a haircut. I was worried about getting flakes of hair all over my wardrobe, but it didn’t matter. I gave him a hug anyway,” says Macht. “We haven’t worked together in a year and a half, but it feels like there has been not a second that has passed. There was a moment in the first scene as I walked up to him where I was like, ‘Holy s—, this is the energy. This is what we had for seven years.'” And the feeling is definitely mutual. “It’s been great,” says Adams, whose character rode off into the sunset with Meghan Markle’s Rachel after their season 7 wedding. “To come back now, make each other laugh, and push the buttons I know how to push better than anyone in the world, it’s a gift.”

Suits - Season 9
Credit: USA Network

While Adams’ homecoming was welcomed, the same can’t be said of his character’s. The wunderkind, who moved to Seattle for a non-corporate law job, returns to New York for a case that pits him against both his former mentor Harvey and the formidable Samantha Wheeler (Katherine Heigl), and it has long-lasting consequences for the rest of the series. “Everything in the second half of the season flows from the end of that episode,” says creator Aaron Korsh.

As part of its closing argument, Suits will also hold its characters to task the many ethically questionable decisions they’ve made over the past few years. In the wake of another one of the firm’s named partners (Wendell Pierce’s Robert Zane) being disbarred, the New York Bar Association assigns someone to keep an eye on the firm. ”Faye Richardson, played by Denise Crosby, is going to some degree force these people to have a reckoning with how they’ve behaved ethically over the past seasons,” says Korsh. Similarly, Macht hopes fans also take a critical eye to the characters, too, as they watch the final season and reflect on the show once it’s gone. “I hope that when you watch this show, you could learn from their successes and you can also understand and learn from their mistakes,” he says.

Suits - Season 9
Credit: USA Network

Even though this is the end of the road for Suits, its spirit will live on in Pearson, the spin-off led by Suits alum Gina Torres as regal lawyer Jessica Pearson. The new series follows Jessica’s entrance into the dirty and corrupt world of Chicago politics as Mayor Bobby Novak’s (Morgan Spector) right-hand woman (read: fixer). Like Suits, Pearson boasts snappy dialogue and characters who walk a fine moral line; however, the offshoot also forges its own path where the stakes are higher than just the fate of a law firm.

“On this show, we’re seeing the compromises [the characters make] affect the working men and women of Chicago. That’s something that really hits Jessica,” says executive producer Chris Downey.

As we learned in the backdoor pilot, which aired as Suits‘ season 7 finale, Jessica has family in Chicago with whom she’s trying to reconnect after years of separation. “She wants to invest more emotionally. She wants to invest in the world around her,” says Torres. Showrunner Daniel Arkin adds that Jessica’s family “brings out such a warmth” in her. “We see the things she’s willing and wants to do for family.”

And what about Jessica’s Suits family? Well, the jury’s still out on whether she’ll travel back to New York before the mothership’s final episode. Says Korsh, “We’re figuring it out as we speak.”


Suits returns July 17 at 9 p.m., followed by Pearson at 10 p.m. on USA Network.

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Gina Torres reprises her 'Suits' role as Jessica Pearson in this spin-off, which finds the recently disbarred NYC lawyer navigating the world of Chicago politics as the fixer of Mayor Bobby Novak (Morgan Spector).
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