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SUITS What We Learned on Set Before the Premiere

Suits - Season 5

USA Network’s favorite legal drama SUITS returns Wednesday January 27th for the second half of Season Five. For those keeping score at home, faux attorney Mike was arrested during the mid-season finale, leaving audiences wondering if it was friend or foe who turned him in. The shocking twist left Pearson Specter Litt law offices in an upheaval. Considering the basis for the show (namely, Mike the main protagonist and his pesky missing law degree) has now been knocked on its ear, the back half of season five will be an intriguing ride.

We got a chance to visit the SUITS set in Toronto this winter and ask some of the most burning question from the source: Showrunner Aaron Korsh, Patrick Adams (Mike), Gabriel Macht (Harvey) and the rest of the SUITS cast. It’s easy to guess what the focus of the back six will be. The arrest and pending investigation into Mike has ramifications that shake everyone and we got the details for you.

  • According to showrunner Aaron Korsh, we don’t immediately learn who turned Mike in and it’s not for reasons we’d expect. Aaron told us, “We end up revealing who did it a little bit down the line, not the first episode back. I wanted to take a different approach but I wanted it to be a person who wasn’t doing it for vindictive reasons. Not a person who was trying to take Mike down and get him. It’s just the first person who did it because it was the right thing to do. That comes out and the consequences to that person are…not dire or severe…but they have consequences to both our people and the person that did it. It is someone that we know, I’ll say that. It’s someone we’ve met before.”
  • No one is rolling over and taking Mike’s arrest and what it means for the firm lying down. Korsh explained a little bit about how the writer’s room decided on how they would structure this arc. “It was pitched to me that the back six were, ‘They’re going to come after Mike and we’re going to fight this thing.’ One of the writers that happened to have been a lawyer made the case. Then we thought, ‘There have been many cases in history where you’ve been positive the person did it and they got off.’ We decided to fight it for the back six. That’s how it was initially pitched to me was the back six is fighting and then we have a conclusion of it. I didn’t think it would last all that long. But we gave it a shot.”
  • There are two sides to every fight. The prosecutor on the other side is going to be stirring a lot of things up for anyone who knew about Mike’s secret. Aaron described it to us. “The idea is Anita Gibbs, the prosecutor for Mike, is going to come after us and we’re going to fight her tooth and nail. She’s not dirty but she puts pressure points on like real people do. They go after the people who are most likely to turn on you for whatever reason. She’ll come after Rachel. The back six is about the pressure and the investigation into Mike.”
  • Harvey will be feeling the brunt of Mike’s arrest. Gabriel Macht teased for us, “A large part of what we’re dealing with in the last six episodes is Harvey is confronted by the fact that he is responsible for making this decision of hiring Mike in the first place. The selfish part of him believes he is 100% responsible. There’s a push and pull of that struggle between Mike and Harvey and ultimately we’re leading up to this court and trial. Mike’s life is on the line. The heroic part of Harvey really wants to take the bullet for him.”

Aaron Korsh backed that up. “Harvey is going to feel responsible for doing this to Mike. People are going to be forced to confront the choices they’ve made—good and bad. As the investigation touches on the other members of our cast, that will affect Harvey and all of them and their relationships. It’s going to realign how people are dealing with each other in the back six.”

  • The responsibility Harvey feels won’t deter him from fighting for Mike and their actions. Gabriel told us, “He pretty much tries to cross every line he can. There are people around him, supporting him, that are trying to look out for him and know that this is the way he does things and try to block him from doing some of this stuff. You know, the case against Mike is pretty locked. There are no holes in it, really. It’s a mountain, a huge colossal mountain these guys have to climb up in order to save the day. We’ve seen them save the day at every turn. But are we going to go there and save the day or not? It’s going to be really cool. There will be some good surprises.”
  • Mike and Rachel had been ready to start their lives when this massive bomb dropped on them. Considering the road they’ve been on, we had to ask Meghan Markle about how the news and upcoming battle affects Rachel. Meghan told us, “Rachel is Little Miss Stand-By-Your-Man. She’s tested beyond and she does have a breaking point.” But before you think it’ll be a smooth ride when it comes to Rachel’s support, Meghan pointed out, “It’s terrible. It’s brought them closer and then it rips them apart. For her, what is so frustrating is that he has this immense loyalty in terms of protecting Harvey and his relationship for not wanting to betray Harvey and his trust. By not selling out the firm, he’s making a choice that could put him in jail as opposed to taking a deal and turning them in, which would then free him up for life with Rachel. Those are the questions that are coming up in a huge way. As selfless as she has been for many seasons, she comes to a point where she’s asking him “What’s more important to you: me or Harvey?”

Patrick Adams followed up on that idea. “This will be the thing that defines their relationship over the course of the whole show. I hope they end up happy but what that looks like, I don’t know.”

  • Back at the firm, just where does Donna fall during all of this? Gabriel pointed out to us that Donna will definitely be there for Harvey. “She becomes his go-to again.” Sarah Rafferty explained some interesting, and ultimately unexpected, elements of their relationship that we’ll see. “I think you’re going to be surprised at how the dynamic will shift. There’s one way we would assume it would be and somebody’s going to show a different side of themselves. That’s very fulfilling. Something is going to happen and her faith is going to be tested.”
  • A story shift this huge is generally left to season cliffhangers but SUITS took a daring route by shaking up the show premise mid-season. The fallout of the conclusion of season five will lead into a very different season six. Patrick Adams said, “I think it’s the biggest, boldest thing we’ve done on the show and it was something that needed to happen. The show needed something to kick it in the butt and change the dynamic. We were feeling like we were ready for a big change. We want to deal with this [Mike getting arrested] before the show is over because it’s really rich material for these characters. Rather than save it for season 7 or 8 or 12 or whatever, we do it now and get to see what the ramifications are.”

Aaron Korsh echoed Patrick’s thoughts. “Sometimes, in your gut, it’s just time. It was enough. It had to happen at some point. We’ve done a lot of power struggles in the firm and we wanted to shake things up. We’re going to do some things in the finale that really scare me. Every season at the end of the season we do something that scares me. This is probably the worst since season one maybe and it’s always paid off. We had to just go for it.”

SUITS returns to finish off season 5 on January 27th on USA Network.

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