Spoiler alert! If you haven’t watched the Suits summer finale, “Faith,” stop reading now. Creator Aaron Korsh takes us inside the big twists that mean neither Pearson Specter Litt nor the show will ever be the same again.
Let’s start with the ending. Mike turns in his letter of resignation, and then gets arrested for being a fraud as he’s about to leave the building. Should we know who turned him in at this point?
It’s funny that you say that. The idea that he gets arrested was in the works at the beginning of the year. The reason we wanted it to come out of the blue is, that’s how it’s gonna come out, right? Most likely, they’re just gonna come one day and arrest you. You’re not gonna see it coming, you’re not gonna know who did it. It’s just gonna happen to you.
Much of the writers’ first inclination was to have a big “whodunit,” the characters wondering. And I was surprised by that, because I was thinking how we’re gonna deal with it is more the matter at hand than who did it. But we figured out a way to kind of combine both things. So we’ll ultimately answer how it happened, but it is not the end-all-be-all of the first few episodes back. We tried to come up with a good answer. [Laughs.] I hope people like it.
Where do we pick up when we come back for the final six episodes of the season?
We went around and around with that. We really thought about a time jump, but we ended up landing on our standard practice of moments later. Mike is on the hot seat, so is everybody else in the back six. Episode 511 is called “Blowback” — that would be a good thematic title for the last six. I feel like this is a course-change for Suits. We’d been dancing around this thing forever. There was a woman evidently [late last year] who had been a lawyer for a lot longer than Mike Ross, and it turns out she did not go to law school. She got caught after 10 years. I found it interesting that someone was able to get away with this for longer than Mike was, and now it’s all coming to an end.
The other big development was that Harvey decided to resign from Pearson Specter Litt so Forstman would stop funding Hardman’s takeover. What does Mike’s arrest mean for him?
Harvey and Jessica did not envision Mike getting arrested as they’re speaking. So Mike’s arrest is definitely gonna change the trajectory of what would’ve happened had Mike not been arrested, had they just moved on. We’re still working that out.
Related: ’Suits’ Creator on Hardman’s Return
This episode is almost like an origin story for Mike and Harvey with flashbacks to how young Mike dealt with his parents’ deaths and how Harvey dealt with telling his father that his mother was a cheater. Do you feel like this is an episode five years in the making, one that you could only do now to have this amount of emotional impact? Starting with the young actor (Jacob Buster) who played Mike as a child, I was tearing up.
He was outstanding. He basically did that in his audition. He sent in a tape and he broke my heart. So, so good. I think it’s definitely five years in the making. The more you’re invested in these characters, the more you care about something like this. You have to do episodes like this once in a while to give more meaning, more depth, more everything to your characters. It was just time to do this. The episode Mike gets caught and the episode where Harvey leaves — that’s gotta be a massive episode. [The flashbacks] just felt like a good way to make it feel massive.
I think this episode is very, very important for Mike because it really gives you some insight into the damage that has been done to him. To lose your parents like that, at that age. … And he’s also got this high-powered brain that’s like his weapon against feeling the pain of that loss. It’s a gift, but it’s also, to some degree, a burden because it allows him to put these walls up and not have to feel that. This episode strips that away and examines what led him to do this crazy thing that he’s been doing. It’s just ironic that Trevor, his friend who ultimately got him into this fraudulent situation, is the one who makes the suggestion to get him out. It’s a great way to shed a light on Mike’s backstory, to show us someone who’s still alive, that he still knows, that has known him since he’s a child — it’s just pretty powerful stuff.
And I thought [Patrick J. Adams] did such an amazing job in the episode performing those scenes. When he breaks down and sees those books, I just lost it. Curious George is referred to in a flashback episode of an earlier season, when Mike and Trevor are out and Trevor tries to help Mike impress girls with his memory and says, “He can memorize every book.” Jenny, of all people, says, “Curious George,” and he pretends he doesn’t know Curious George. Trevor asks him why, and he says, “’Cause my mom used to read that to me. I’m not gonna use it to pick up girls.” So that comes full circle in this. That’s what we tried to do in this episode — really bring a lot of things full circle from Mike, Harvey, Jessica, all around.
We also see Jessica lose her cool this episode and throw something in her office after she gives Louis permission to vote however he needs to after Hardman threatened to go after his sister’s company. That felt like a huge moment for her, as well.
We did not envision that moment either in the beginning of the season or in the breaking of the episode. That kinda came during the rewrite. Those are the types of things that hopefully elevate the show. I would use as an example Donna getting fired. That was never in the works in Season 2. It was in the middle of the rewrite of an episode. I was like, “I think she should destroy that piece of evidence,” and [EP] Jon Cowan, was like, “Well, then, she should get fired.” [Laughs.] We all looked at each other and thought, “Can we do that? Are we allowed to do that?” This was not quite that big, but it was in the middle of the episode, and I just said, “I want to see Jessica throw something. This is her firm at stake. This is everything.”
At the time, we also had not had the [flashback] scene in the episode where Harvey asks Jessica if he can live with her or the [flashback] scene with Quentin, her ex-husband, saying he wanted a divorce. Those things all came out in the rewrite, and I was so happy, because it really brings it [full circle]. You go back to Season 1, you find out that Jessica was married while Harvey was in law school and that he never knew, nobody knew. Here, Harvey asks if he can stay with her, and she says no. She doesn’t tell him that she’s got a husband. She goes home that night to that husband that we met in Season 1, and he tells her he wants to leave her. She asks if he’s cheating on her, like we had established in Season 1, and he says, “You care more about work than you do home life.” Then to see how much this firm means to her — you can see what drives her and why she does some of the things she does. And [Gina Torres’s] performance — I called her at midnight from the edit bay just to tell her that me and the editor were talking about how amazing we thought she was in that scene.
Another scene I wanted to talk about was Donna with Harvey’s therapist. Donna goes to her office looking for Harvey, but he’s already left. Donna tells the therapist she knows what she’s thinking: that Donna would make a great therapist and that Harvey doesn’t know what he’s missing. You know some fans are going to read into that…
I got asked over the weekend if there’s gonna be any Harvey/Donna scenes in this episode, and that’s the scene I was referring to when I said, “It depends how you look at it.” I do view that as a Harvey-Donna scene. When they originally broke the episode, Donna was actually going to burst in on the therapy session, Harvey was still gonna be there, and she was gonna say, “You can’t quit.” There was a whole big thing. I just thought if by the time she gets there Harvey’s already gone, it’s a great opportunity for two amazing women who are so impactful in Harvey’s life to have a moment where they come to understand each other and have some respect for each other. As always, the fans will read in or they won’t read in, but I just thought so much of this episode is the women in Harvey’s life, be it the therapist, or Donna, or Jessica — and even Scottie is mentioned.