After getting fired in spectacular fashion, secretary extraordinaire Donna returns to Suits this Thursday (USA Network, 10/9c). But her comeback is a reluctant one as Mike ropes her into helping out with Harvey’s case and Louis asks one very personal question: Is she in love with her former boss?
In a conversation with TVLine, Sarah Rafferty previews her character’s feelings for Harvey — “She feels a little bit betrayed” — Donna’s job status and a very “fun” episode for her and gal pal Rachel.
TVLINE | Donna and Harvey have such a great working relationship. Were you excited to take it to a more antagonistic level?
Yes! It’s really fun. It’s so juicy. When Aaron Korsh, our writer/creator, told me this was going to happen [and that] it’s just going to get really messy between them and their relationship is going to be complicated for a while, I was really excited about the juiciness and digging into that. When I read the scene [between Harvey and Donna in the bathroom two weeks ago], I was really excited about where they were taking it.
TVLINE | What brings her back into the fray at the law firm this week?
She’s not back at her job. But Mike convinces Donna to come back and testify at the trial run for the trial Harvey’s going to have with Travis Tanner. So she has to come back to the firm in her humiliated state to do a huge favor on Harvey’s behalf.
TVLINE | How has the relationship between Donna and Harvey changed now? Are you noticing differences in upcoming episodes?
There’s a lot going on. She’s completely confused that she could have messed up so badly. She feels horrible about it and incredibly concerned about the damage that she’s potentially done to Harvey’s career and his life. And yet, at the same, she’s disappointed in him that he’s not fighting for her… She feels a little bit betrayed that Mike gets to keep his position at the firm, and she’s gotta go. She’s pretty angry about that. She’s had a really long relationship with Harvey.
TVLINE | Donna wouldn’t be Donna if she didn’t open a can of whoop-ass though. Does she lay into Harvey?
[Laughs] Yeah, she does. It’s going to happen in the next couple episodes. She gets to have that fulfilling go-off-on-him moment once or twice.
TVLINE | There’s a scene in the preview of Louis asking Donna if she’s in love with Harvey. What can you tease about how that plays out and what her feelings are for him?
I can say that in that moment, she’s pretty frustrated that she doesn’t have an opportunity to clarify things. That’s such a huge humiliation – on top of the fact that she gets fired, Harvey doesn’t do it himself. And then she’s back there to help him and then that happens! It’s infuriating for her. She will need the opportunity to address that question at a later date with Harvey, and she will have that opportunity.
TVLINE | We’ve certainly gotten hints about Donna’s feelings for Harvey. Do you think she’s in love with him?
My personal take on it is she definitely thinks that she’s not and that she’s not pining for him. She thinks they would be a disastrous match. That’s what I believe she’s telling herself. Now, we tell ourselves all kinds of things. [Laughs] We’ll see.
TVLINE | Donna has to come back to the firm. That’s happening, right?!
[Laughs] I think she has to come back to the firm. But I can’t say whether or not she does this season.
TVLINE | Are there a set of circumstances under which it would be OK for her to come back? Or is this something they can never get past?
That’s a great question. I think in order for her to come back, there would have to be a revelation of some kind probably.
TVLINE | Is there more girl time between Donna and Rachel this season?
There’s a flashback episode coming up, which is so fun. We get a chance to see when Donna and Rachel met. I love that. I love that they’re real girlfriends and that they developed that. That’s really fun for Meghan [Markle] and I.