'Suits' Postmortem: Creator Aaron Korsh on Rachel's Bombshell, Mike's New World (Q&A)
The showrunner of USA's legal drama talks to THR about the aftermath of the season-four premiere: It's a "reset for everyone's dynamics."
[WARNING: Spoilers ahead from Wednesday's season-four premiere of Suits, "One-Two-Three Go..."]
It's a new world on Suits.
USA Network's legal drama kicked off season four with former Pearson Specter colleagues Mike (Patrick J. Adams) and Harvey (Gabriel Macht) adjusting to their new relationship as client and attorney, respectively. Things don't go so well between the two. But Mike has more to worry about than he first thought when Rachel reveals to Mike that that married man she once had an affair with years ago, is Harvey's client Logan Sanders (Brendan Hines).
Creator Aaron Korsh talks to The Hollywood Reporter about the aftermath of Wednesday's season opener, Rachel's bombshell and where the gang goes from here.
Breaking up Mike and Harvey at the end of last season was a big move. How are you viewing season four? Is it a new beginning?
I don't know if I would quite call it a "new beginning" but I view it as a little bit of a reset for everyone's dynamics. And it's the first time we've jumped forward in time. It allows us to explore a different relationship between Mike and Harvey.
Did you find it necessary to introduce this new world for Mike to add a narrative jolt?
I don't know it was to add a narrative jolt moving forward, it was more to add a narrative jolt at the end of last season and then we were afraid of what that meant moving forward. (Laughs.) Our approach, or what it's generally been, is somebody pitches some big huge thing -- for example, Trevor's going to tell Jessica about Mike's secret [in season one] -- and then we worry about how we're going to get around that. Our philosophy has always been let's trust that we're going to be able to get out of it and take a big swing and hopefully it works. The reason I think it has worked is we're doing things that have been unexpected. I don't think people really expected Mike to take that job.
Is there a chance Mike's decision to leave Pearson Specter will come back to haunt him?
We thought it was the right choice for him, especially after getting arrested at the end of last season and realizing what his situation was doing to people. There will certainly be times throughout the course of the season where he will regret that because of the fact that investment banking is a different world that doesn't have necessarily many opportunities to do good and to help people. But Mike's going to have his own struggles this year. The big struggle is he certainly didn't think when he left he'd be in a [tussle] with Harvey and leave emotionally distraught.
Will Mike veer away from his moral lines?
There's no doubt that in coming episodes. When you go into investment banking, it's going to take on a major fight, it's going to put you in a major quandary of what is there to do and that's going to happen over the course of the year. Mike's journey is going to be, do you do a little bad to accomplish a greater good?
How is the dynamic between Mike and Harvey different now that they're on opposite sides? Are the gloves coming off?
We have a line in one of the future episodes where more than one person says "When the gloves have to come off, the gloves have to come off." Over the course of the season, there will be push-pull tension between Harvey and Mike maintaining a personal friendship in the face of this battle. Forces outside of both their control will force them each to do things they don't want to do to each other. They'll have moments of connection and moments of non-connection. It's not dissimilar to Eli and Peyton Manning and they're playing against each other. They're still brothers but they're not having dinner at halftime of the game.
Rachel being Harvey's associate puts her in an awkward position with Mike. How much of a rift does this put between Rachel and Mike?
Rachel working for Harvey is one of several things that have the potential to cause a rift with her relationship with Mike over the season and it remains to be seen how serious that rift becomes. A lot of times, they've had rifts before that they've both overcome; the biggest was the fact that Mike was potentially wanting to continue to be a fraud. The situation Rachel is in is going to cause conflict between the two of them.
Another crack in their relationship is the introduction of Logan as the married man Rachel had an affair with once. How does his presence complicate things on a legal and personal level?
The arc of the season is Harvey going against Mike in a hostile takeover and it just so happens that the guy on the other side of the battle is the guy Rachel had an affair with once. That sums up the spine of the season. If Rachel was just working for Harvey on a hostile takeover against Mike and there was no Logan, that would be bad enough. Now, she's had sex with this guy [Logan] and was so attracted to him that she went after him while he was married. It's going to cause some trouble. This will cause stress with Mike and Harvey, as well as Logan and Mike. We're going to try to take advantage of that strife.
What does Rachel and Logan's reunion look like?
It's going to happen very quickly. These people haven't seen each other in years and she didn't know that he was the client and he doesn't know that she's Harvey's associate. They're going to have to deal with the question of is she going to tell Harvey and is she going to tell Logan about Mike. It gets handled in the next episode.
Will Amy's presence affect Mike's relationships at all?
We went back and forth on whether Amy and Mike were going to have a romantic relationship or not, or chemistry. I will let the viewers decide on what they think about that and tune in and watch to see where we landed. Mike doesn't have Harvey to talk to anymore and he can't talk to Rachel about certain things and Jonathan Sidwell is sometimes in an adversarial position, so we wanted to give him one person he could confide in and Amy is that person for him. I really like their relationship and what we've done with it so far this year.
You're adding Jeff Malone, played by D.B. Woodside, into the Pearson Specter fold. What does he add to that environment?
He adds a tremendous amount. He's coming into a situation where he has the job that Louis thought he was going to get. Right off the bat, you have Louis-Malone tension and in addition to that, you've got a romantic history with Jessica. Though she's laid down ground rules where they're not going to have a relationship now, he's not going to be so willing and able to accept that. Since he's been brought in to take on the SEC, that means Harvey is going to want to get involved. Ironically, him coming in is going to aid the growth of Donna's relationship with Louis.
Now that Scottie's out of the picture, has Harvey reverted to his old ways?
Yeah, he reverted back. He had a heartbreak with Scottie to some degree and when we jump forward in time, he's over it, and the way he got over it was to have fun and enjoy his life. I cut a line that I sometimes regret cutting, where Harvey tells Jessica after she's giving him grief for being late, that she's the one telling them all to relax and enjoy the fruits of their labor.
How long before Mike returns to the law?
That remains to be seen. Right now we're happy to play this out. We haven't 100 percent landed on how or if Mike is going to come back [to the law].
What's the likelihood of another name change at Pearson Specter?
(Laughs.) As of right now, it does not happen. But you never know.