8:00pm PT by Philiana Ng
'Suits' Postmortem: Boss Answers Finale's Biggest Questions
[Warning: Major spoilers from the season finale of Suits.]
The season-two finale of USA's Suits ended with Pearson agreeing to a merger with another law firm, Harvey (Gabriel Macht) firing Mike (Patrick J. Adams), and Rachel (Meghan Markle) finding out about Mike's lack of a Harvard law degree, prompting the duo to have angry sex in the file room. With all these threads left untied, what should we expect from season three?
Creator and executive producer Aaron Korsh talks to The Hollywood Reporter about all the big moments in the closer, what to expect in the new season and if familiar faces will be back.
The Hollywood Reporter: The merger goes through, which causes tension between various associates at the firm, and many of the relationships are broken by the end of the finale. Where is Pearson at now?
Aaron Korsh: We try to think of the consequences of the actions people have taken. At the end of the season, they're entering into a merger with another company. The action the firm has taken will have consequences, both positive and negative. It's like entering into a relationship with someone else, you're going to have good points, bad points, you're going to have to work through things. That will happen in season three. The person who made that decision, Jessica (Gina Torres), will have to deal with the consequences, just from a merger perspective: the power dynamics, power sharing. In order to achieve that merger, she did some heavy-handed and under-handed things between Mike and Harvey. She'll have to deal with the consequences of how she treated Mike and Harvey.
THR: Though Harvey made a bet with Darby, he could have skipped out entirely. When Harvey welcomed his new boss into the fold, it was certainly a pivotal moment for all involved.
Korsh: In that moment, he's going to honor his bet. Jessica might have cheated or she might not have cheated, but I'm going to honor my agreement. He also feels bad about the fact that he didn't mean for Scottie (Abigail Spencer) to get fired, and so he takes the high road to save her job, and also Darby puts it in Harvey's court about what he's going to decide with Scottie. In terms of the merger, you can think you will accept something and are you really going to accept it? It's going to come up again and again. Harvey's accepted it at the moment, but that doesn't mean he's going to permanently accept it.
THR: Mike and Rachel have sex -- but not under the circumstances that either of them envisioned.
Korsh: She ends up finding out Mike's secret, but they end up having sex anyway. Now does that mean that she'll just accept that he's flawed and not have any struggle with that? Rachel's accepted it in the moment, but it doesn't mean she'll permanently accept it.
THR: Obviously, this is another wrinkle in their relationship and will probably be a big problem now that Rachel is another person at the firm -- in addition to Jessica and Harvey -- who knows Mike's deal.
Korsh: The reason we wanted to get them together was because there was enough of the will they, won't they. Let's move on one way or another. We were afraid to do it, though, because once you do it, it reduces a certain tension that you've had on the show, and how do you handle it moving forward? For me, it had to be the way that it went. It wasn't going to be a soft [moment]. When the writers first pitched to me the idea, they put up a card that said, "Mike and Rachel tenderly bang." It was going to be a gentle love scene between the two of them and then afterwards, he was going to tell him about the truth. I thought no, he has to tell her the truth and it leads to a heated fight. I said "change that card to Mike and Rachel angrily bang." It's a culmination of everything that's happened. He's alone, he's lost everything. The consequences now are a) she knows and what is she going to do about that and b) Harvey told Mike not to tell her and he did. In the cold light of day, what is she going to do? He has everything she wants and didn't earn it.
THR: I didn't think about it like that, but it's a good point that Mike represents the position Rachel has wanted.
Korsh: And didn't earn. If you think back to the conversation they had on the roof about his interview with Harvey, he left out the fact that he hadn't gone into law school. He left out particular details.
THR: Harvey's working relationship with Jessica changed dramatically in the finale. What kind of journey will they have to go through to get back to where they were at the start of the series?
Korsh: A long one. Their relationship has been mentor-mentee. For most of season one, it was pretty rock-solid. In season two, their relationship is strained and stressed a little bit more after she discovers what he did with Mike -- and other things -- but it's still good. Eventually, in any relationship the mentee is going to want to move on from the mentor -- not dissimilar from a parent-child dynamic. That, to some degree, happened in the last six episodes, and they're going to have to do some healing. Her goal was to show Harvey that he isn't ready yet to be the leader, but I also believe Jessica was going to do the merger and put his name on the door, but he didn't want it that way. From her perspective, it's a question of "what the f--- is wrong with you?" From his perspective, they've fended off all these attacks, and now you want to jump into bed with these people? They both have a leg to stand on and they don't back down, and it fractures their relationship. The question is, did Jessica go too far and snap their bond or not. We'll find that out in the course of season three.
THR: Harvey and Scottie's past is also explored further, and he's left with a choice of whether to send her back to the U.K. or keep her close in New York. What does this new wrinkle mean for Harvey's romantic life?
Korsh: I'm not going to answer what decision Harvey makes when Darby asks whether she should be sent back to London or in New York, but I will say that we will answer that. If I were a viewer, I would suspect that we haven't seen the last of Scottie. No matter what decisions he makes, the impact of Scottie's emergence, we'll try to use that to explore Harvey more. Through Scottie, we learn more about the impact Harvey's mother had on Harvey's view toward women. Harvey believes that Scottie wouldn't cheat on him, but rather that she made him into the man who cheated on women -- and that's the last thing in the world he'd want to be.
THR: Is Harvey in love with Scottie?
Korsh: If he was ready to say he loved her, he would have said it by the elevators, so I think in that moment, he was not ready to say he loved her. But he hinted, when he stands up for her to Darby, there's a shift. He could have said nothing, he didn't throw her under the bus, so there's a shift in his attitude toward her. That opens up the door for Darby saying, "Listen, do you want to be around her? If you want to be around her, what's that going to do to you?" Is he open to being around her and in love with her? It forces him to re-evaluate that question.
THR: Now that Mike is no longer Harvey's associate, what is that going to look like? What does that mean for them in season three?
Korsh: When you have a fractured relationship, can you heal it or is it permanently broken? If Mike were 100 percent wrong in doing what he did, there would be no chance to heal, and if Harvey were 100 percent wrong in how he treated Mike, there'd be no chance to heal their relationship. They're going to have to find a way to come together, and that's going to take a while. That's their challenge going into season three.
THR: How long will it take for Harvey and Mike to be on the same page again?
Korsh: Most fans want Mike and Rachel to get together as soon as possible and most fans want to know about the can opener in the same episode we are introduced. Most fans don't ever want Mike and Harvey on opposite sides or Harvey and Jessica to be fighting the way they are, but the truth is they don't really want that. They want to want that. Scratching an itch is very satisfying, but if you never put the itch there in the first place, you never get to scratch it. Harvey and Mike having a schism is an itch. I won't tell you when it's over. We're going to continue to provide itches and we're going to scratch them. [Laughs]
THR: Will the Donna (Sarah Rafferty) and Harvey saga continue in season three?
Korsh: We intend to shine more light on Harvey and Donna's, for lack of a better word, relationship. We intend to explore their relationship more in a similar oblique way that we did in season two. We want to further our knowledge and understanding of their feelings toward each other and their history together without necessarily tackling it head-on.
THR: Is there an endgame with them?
Korsh: I don't think in those terms. I don't have it. The whole emergence of any feelings between them has emerged over time. I don't know where things are going to end. Part of why I'm so cagey is I don't know, and I want people to watch it.
THR: On a lighter note, the Downton Abbey jokes were a nice touch.
Korsh: If I had one regret in the season-one finale, it didn't have as many light moments as I would have liked. Putting in Nigel (Adam Godley) with Louis (Rick Hoffman), we thought added some fun, with them arguing over beer and the Downton Abbey stuff.
THR: The Louis vs. Nigel moments were also fun to watch. Louis being Louis, he always finds a way to screw it up in the end.
Korsh: These are two grown men who argue about who goes to fancier mud places. [Laughs] When Louis betrays him, he's betraying him because he honestly believes Nigel is going to betray him. They're destined by their nature, and when he doesn't, it's heartbreaking.
THR: Will we see Katrina Bennett (Amanda Schull) returning in season three?
Korsh: Here and there.
THR: What about Rachel's father?
Korsh: We would like to see Wendell Pierce in the new season. He doesn't play a major role in the new season, but we would like to see him again.
THR: What should we look out for in the third season?
Korsh: We're still concocting it, but we're going to try to further the growth of all of our characters and their relationships, while attempting to remain true to who the characters are. For example, Harvey has accepted the merger, but is he really going to accept it? Mike is becoming more like Harvey as the series progresses, but he's still Mike. A lot of fallout from the finale; new characters to enter the fray; more light to be shined on the Donna-Harvey relationship in the past, present; and perhaps old foes to come back, old friends to come back; and the struggle for power at Pearson ... is never over. Hopefully we'll have some new big surprises that people don't see coming.
Suits will return for a third season later this year.