'Suits' Boss Talks Season 2's 'Civil War' Theme, Romance and His Big Cameo (Q&A)

Suits Episodic Premiere Episode - H 2012
Christos Kalohoridis/USA

Suits Episodic Premiere Episode - H 2012

Suits returns with several big questions looming: Will Pearson Hardman's law associate Mike Ross (Patrick J. Adams) be outed? How does Hardman's return to the firm affect everyone involved?

Fans have been patient, waiting nearly nine months for season two of the USA Network legal drama to return, and series creator Aaron Korsh is aware of the long wait. "Nine months? Has it been that long?" he asks The Hollywood Reporter.

With Mike's secret -- that he in fact, doesn't have a Harvard law degree -- in danger of becoming public knowledge and new blood coming in, Korsh likens the new season to a Civil War. (Season two, in turn, employs a much darker tone.)

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In previewing the new season, which begins Thursday, Korsh talks to THR about this year's theme, Hardman's anticipated return, spills details on what viewers can expect for Mike and Harvey's romantic lives and reveals how his cameo in the premiere came about.

The Hollywood Reporter: If the first season was all about making sure Mike’s secret was safe, what is the theme of season two?

Aaron Korsh: It really does revolve around Hardman’s return and I felt like the theme of this season was Civil War. He’s coming back and it’s causing divisions within the firm, it tests people’s loyalties to each other. This series is ultimately about loyalty to themselves, to each other, to the firm. When you bring in a new element at a high level, that’s going to shift the dynamics and puts strains on people’s relationships.

THR: Romance has been a nice side dish for viewers who enjoy that element of the show. Now that the Rachel-Mike-Jenny triangle may be in jeopardy, what’s in store?

Korsh: We make a decision regarding that [triangle in the first episode]. Jenny removes herself from the equation. As of right now, Mike is going to struggle with the question of getting together with Rachel or not. His impediment to getting together with Rachel is now gone. In his mind, he’s going to get together with Rachel but we throw up another impediment and we’ll see what happens with that. Episodes 2 and 3 are about Mike realizing that it might not be the right time for him to date Rachel in the office because of his secret and Hardman’s return. We take a little bit of a pause from Mike and Rachel’s romantic life. The challenge is to keep it interesting while not getting them together too soon or permanently because that deflates the tension that makes the show viable. We’ll amp it back up towards the middle and end of the season.

STORY: 'Suits' Star Patrick J. Adams on Season 2

THR: How close does Harvey get to having a legitimate romance?

Korsh: It’s funny that you say that. We’re in the middle of rewriting one of the midpoint episodes [where that’s key]. It’s a tough question to answer because there isn’t a direct answer to it. I’ll say this: He doesn’t have no romantic interest. We touch on the subject of Harvey’s vulnerability and willingness to have a legitimate relationship through a woman that comes into the firm. We have not cast the character yet.

THR: You also make your acting debut in the premiere.

Korsh: [Laughs] I wouldn’t call it an acting debut. There are no words spoken. I’m just an extra for about five seconds. What happened was we were on the set that day, Gabriel [Macht] said this is the first time that all six of the major cast members are going to be in the same scene at the same time. “Come on, you gotta do it.” I let him talk me into it. I asked the director, “How long are you going to need me for this?” He said 15 minutes. I said, “Alright, I’ll do it.” They had to go wardrobe, makeup, hair. They may have only needed me for 15 minutes, but it was like two hours. [Laughs] I almost cut it out in post.

THR: What’s something that you’re privy to that the actors might not be aware of, in regards to what may be happening down the line?

Korsh: It is our intention to do a flashback episode. We’re going to learn a little bit about Harvey’s family in the flashback. It won’t be the subject of the flashback, it’ll involve some learning. And we’re going to learn somewhat Mike’s origin story of how he got on the wrong side of the law. [The flashback] goes back five years.

Check back Thursday evening following the East Coast airing for a post-mortem.

Suits premieres Thursday at 10 p.m. on USA Network.