Suits wrapped up its nine-season run on Wednesday with some big life changes for Harvey, Donna & Co.
After finally getting rid of Faye, the firm’s attention turned to a happier occasion: Louis and Sheila’s wedding, which was interrupted by the arrival of their baby daughter. While waiting for word from the hospital, Harvey decided to give Louis’ friends and family something to celebrate back at the reception and popped the question to Donna. And if that wasn’t a big enough deal, the couple got married right then and there!
But wait, there’s more! After realizing that he likes to play in the grey, but wants to do it for the good guys now, Harvey and Donna announced that they were leaving to work with Mike and Rachel in Seattle. (That’s also how Harvey got rid of Faye.) That news prompted Louis, Samantha and Alex to make one final change to the firm’s masthead: It’s now Litt Wheeler Williams Bennett. (Yay, Katrina!)
Below, showrunner Aaron Korsh and star Gabriel Macht talk about bringing the show full circle with Harvey’s big career decision. Korsh also reveals why Jessica wasn’t in the finale and whether another spinoff is in the works.
TVLINE | Gabriel, how and when did you find out how the series would end? And what was your reaction?
GABRIEL MACHT | I think I had a conversation with Aaron before we started shooting the season. I was definitely into it. I thought there were some great ideas, and I was like, “Oh, OK. That sounds great. Let’s pull it off!” As the episodes started to come along, and I started reading them, and we all knew that we were finishing up and then it was time to move on to other things, the emotional processing sort of became intertwined with what was going on in the show. I’m moved by compassion, and I think some of the beats that we played in these last two or three episodes, I think Harvey was moved by his mother’s death and by her sending the engagement ring, and this idea that Donna has been and would always be there for Harvey, and he wanted to cement that. All of that was very moving in a really beautiful way.
TVLINE | What made this conclusion, with Harvey and Donna getting married and moving away to Seattle, the right one for the characters and for the end of the show?
AARON KORSH | A lot of it stemmed from, “Are we going to bring Mike back or not?” At the beginning of the year, I asked all the writers, “Do we think we should bring Mike back?” and everybody thought we should bring Mike back, and I thought so, too. So once we decided we’re going to bring Mike back, I didn’t want it to just be bringing Mike back for no reason, no purpose, no anything. … Mike has always had an influence on Harvey, getting him to care more than Harvey does. The truth is, in Episode 5, the thing that Samantha does to kind of cheat Mike out of his win, it doesn’t just cheat Mike out of his win. It kind of screws over some factory workers, and it gets in Harvey’s head. In Episode 7, he says he owes it to Mike to think about what’s right and wrong every once in a while. He also says to Cahill in [Episode] 8, “Rules aren’t right and wrong. They’re just rules.” So Harvey is starting to think about right and wrong towards the second half of the season, and it’s because of Mike’s influence. Much of his evolution as a human being is because of Mike’s influence. The truth of the matter is, Mike has influenced him, in my mind, as much as Donna has. They’re the two positive influences in his life — not that Jessica or Louis or anybody else are bad influences on him.
Faye’s influence on him, it doesn’t make him go, “I should stop crossing lines.” He is forced to look in the mirror and see who he is, and when he does, he’s like, “I’m OK having a moral and ethical code that is different from what the world tells me it should be.” But it makes him think, “I’d rather use that code for the good guys instead of the bad guys, and that way I can feel better about myself.” So that’s sort of the sum total of Mike coming back, Samantha betraying him, going on the road trip, his mother dying. It all leads to that, and that’s why it made sense to me. It’s really coming full circle. This guy hired a fraud to be a lawyer, and in the end, it was that same fraud that taught him who he was and what he wants to do and made him decide to work for the side of the good guys a little bit more.
TVLINE | There were a lot of big life changes for Harvey in the series finale: He got married, he decided to move away to Seattle, he took a new job. What does this next chapter represent for him?
MACHT | I think Harvey has always had the best intentions, and his heart has always been in the right place. He’s learned that from Mike and Donna, and I think that it was time. There was so much coming at the firm, always, and he was living on sort of like this precipice, and the firm was so challenging at times. If he didn’t make a change, first off, I think it probably would have given him a heart attack. But second, I think he felt like, “You know what? Louis is in a great place. It’s time for him to really be on his own and manage this firm without another person sort of taking the chances that Harvey does. To let things settle for a bit, even though you never know, Samantha might pull some punches moving forward.” [Laughs] But it was time for him. It was time for a new beginning. It’s a great bookend for Mike to come back, for them to be able to make one last con and to really work for the everyman, to join forces. Because he really did love working with Mike. He trusts him implicitly, even though it doesn’t look like that at times during these last couple of episodes. But I think he wants to work in the way he does, at a very high level, where he takes a lot of risks, but he wants to do it for the right reasons. It’s what makes sense, I think, for him, to fall on the sword, to finally sacrifice himself… It was his turn, and I think it was generous of him, and I think it was meant to be that he needed to start something new.
TVLINE | With Mike and Harvey working together again, did it make it feel like a true ending for you since that’s how the show began? If they hadn’t been able to come back together, would it have felt a little bit incomplete?
MACHT | I think so, yeah. The show really did start as a two-hander, and over the years, I count my many blessings that it became an ensemble and that everybody had sort of equal screen time and equal character development. When we lost Mike and Rachel, I think it was a big loss. Well, also Jessica, but she went on to do her own thing. [With] Mike and Harvey, it was the Butch and Sundance. This duo, where it was almost like he lost his right arm, even though Donna is really his right arm. As far as judiciously, he really felt that Mike was his partner. So for Mike to come back, I think it was full circle. Again, as I said, it was a perfect bookend with Mike offering him the job and them having the conversation that both Harvey and Mike had 10 years ago.
TVLINE | To have Harvey end the series as a married man, and married to Donna, is a pretty big deal, considering where he started. Was there a debate in the writers’ room about how their relationship should end in the finale, whether it would be just an engagement or whether it would be a marriage?
KORSH | I think once we landed on this idea that Louis was going to have the baby, and Harvey was going to ask Donna to marry him, and they were going to get married while waiting to find out whether Louis’ baby was going to make it or not, everybody was in agreement that that was the way to go. I can’t remember if there was debate or not before that, but that was landed on early. Once we sort of solidified that, that was what we were always working toward in the end.
TVLINE | There was someone notably absent among the wedding guests: Jessica. Did you try to get her back for the finale and it just didn’t work out?
KORSH | You definitely hit on my biggest thing I wish we could have pulled off. Here was the situation: At the time we were writing it, I thought Pearson was going to be airing their finale on exactly the same night as the Suits finale. And even though, technically, they’re on different timeframes, because Pearson sort of takes place the weekend after [Episode] 716, from two years ago… To have Jessica going through what she was going through on Pearson and then just show up at a wedding as though it’s no big deal and nothing’s going on in her life other than that I felt like did not honor the show of Pearson. That is why I chose not to bring her to the wedding, because I felt like, in real life, there would be no way she would go to that wedding given what was going on at the time in Chicago. What I did do was, we had written one scene where Harvey calls her because he’s not sure he wants to go through with this plan or not, and they sort of have a phone call, which is while she’s in Chicago going through what she’s going through. But we didn’t write it until late, and [Gina Torres’] schedule was jam-packed. She was doing everything she could to promote Pearson, and we just couldn’t make it happen from a schedule point of view. So it sort of bums me out a little bit, because in that phone call, Harvey was going to acknowledge that he got her flowers regarding his mom so we could cover that she did send flowers, and we could just explain to the audience that she wasn’t there for a purpose, because of what she was going through in Chicago.
TVLINE | The new firm setup with Louis, Katrina, Samantha and Alex almost feels like it could be another spinoff. Was that intentional?
KORSH | It was not intentional. We’re ending the series. You’re not going to see these people’s lives anymore, but you want to imagine, at least for me, what their future holds, what’s happening in their lives, because their world is going to move on. So you want to keep the reality of it should feel like an ending, but it should also feel like a new beginning, because they’re not dying. The nuclear bomb isn’t going off. So in the same sense that you see Louis have to kind of hear from Harvey and Donna that they’re moving on, we wanted to know that he was going to be OK and he was going to have his new team around him. So that just seemed to flow naturally. It was more just so fans could imagine the future being OK, these people being OK.