'Suits' Boss Previews 'Unexpected' Summer Finale, a 'Holy Shit' Moment and Mike's Downward Spiral (Q&A)
Executive producer Aaron Korsh, who revealed to THR that Grammy's death was "always in the cards," also previews a monumental fight, troubles ahead and the return of the can opener mystery.
[Warning: Some spoilers ahead about Thursday's summer finale and beyond.]
The power is up for grabs on Suits -- and things couldn't be worse for Mike Ross.
With a dogfight at Manhattan's prestigious law firm Pearson Hardman, Mike (Patrick J. Adams) finds himself in a downward spiral after the abrupt loss of a family member.
"What would it do to you if you were a kid in that situation? It untethers you and causes you to make some questionable decisions," creator/executive producer Aaron Korsh told The Hollywood Reporter. "It makes him ping-pong from one potentially harmful decision to another."
Korsh spoke to THR about the consequences for Mike following Grammy's death, a tension-filled fight between Harvey (Gabriel Macht) and his biggest rival, and revisiting the can opener. Plus, why he decided to end Thursday's finale on an unexpected "cliffhanger."
The Hollywood Reporter: Was Grammy's (Rebecca Schull) death always in the cards for the show?
Aaron Korsh: Long before we ever sold the pilot, she was definitely going to die. It's just the way life works. The character was based on my grandmother, who I had a close relationship with, and when she died, it was a huge loss. [Grammy's death] doesn't happen at a convenient time [for Mike]. Originally, the idea was for it to happen in the finale of season one. I thought Mike's grandmother would die and that would lead him to get high in the finale. It always was in the cards.
THR: You touched on this a little already, but her death didn't happen at the best time for Mike. She was his foundation and now he has no one. How does this affect him moving forward?
Korsh: We put in the line where it's said that Grammy was "his foundation" but we ended up cutting it for time. That is what she was to him. Mike has no one. His foundation, though sturdy, was not wide. It's clearly going to affect him. What would it do to you if you were a kid in that situation? It untethers you and causes you to make some questionable decisions. It makes him ping-pong from one potentially harmful decision to another.
THR: What troubles lie ahead for Mike, who we'll see reverting back to his pre-Pearson Hardman days and possibly drumming up a new romance?
Korsh: The remaining relationships he has, he's really going to put them to the test, both professionally and personally. In the next six episodes, which aren't completely set, we're going to come back with Mike dealing with the ramifications of the choices he made in the finale. And really come to a decision point and have to decide: Is he going to continue making these choices or is he going to stop with them? Even after he decides, he'll have to deal with the fallout. This is something Louis (Rick Hoffman), Harvey and Jessica (Gina Torres) also discover.
THR: When you spoke earlier this year, you noted that Pearson Hardman was going to go through the ringer, and you weren't kidding. What should viewers expect in terms of the changes at the firm by the end of Thursday's episode?
Korsh: The first 10 episodes have put Pearson Hardman through the ringer, it's put the audience through the ringer, it's put the characters and show through the ringer -- and the summer finale is a culmination of that. The goal was to give a satisfying conclusion to this civil war that hopefully will be surprising for viewers, with the outcome of the vote, the aftermath of the vote and when the vote happens. It will come sooner than you think. There are new dynamics, choices people they never would have made before, revealed things they never could have said.
THR: There is also a big dramatic moment in a boxing ring between Travis Tanner (Eric Close) and Harvey. Why was it important to include?
Korsh: Harvey and Tanner have, for two seasons, been dancing around each other and acting as real foes to each other. When we were coming to the conclusion of the finale, what we thought was: What would happen if the two of these guys could find some begrudging respect for each other? It's a very satisfying scene to their season-long arc.
THR: Without giving too much away, why did you decide to end the summer finale with the moment you did, as it was on a more personal level than professional?
Korsh: I don't think of it as a cliffhanger, it's more of an "uh-oh" moment. I realize now people will think of it as a cliffhanger. It's not like Mike's life and existence is in jeopardy. It's more, "Holy shit!" In every episode, we try to do the unexpected. The reason we ended on this [particular moment], we felt we're all caught up in the battle for the firm, to have something that you hopefully don't expect -- but is natural -- that's why we chose to end it there.
THR: The can opener is back in the finale, but this time, with Harvey and Mike in an elevator.
Korsh: Sometimes, I'll say, "Let's just do something different and unexpected." That's how we came up with the boxing scene [between Tanner and Harvey] instead of them asking questions, and that's how we came up with the can opener scene too. [The can opener scene] was a nod to the fans. I get so many tweets asking: When are you going to tell us what happens with the can opener? The truth is, I really don't know what happens with the can opener. [Laughs]
THR: The biggest question of the series isn't about the future of Pearson Hardman, Mike's future, any of that. The endgame is all about solving the mystery of the can opener.
Korsh: I know!
Suits airs its summer finale 10 p.m. Thursday on USA.
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