Suits of armor might be needed for Season 3 of the USA Network drama (debuting this Tuesday at 10/9c).
The Brits, including Game of Thrones‘ Michelle Fairley and Conleth Hillare, are invading Pearson Hardman (and flirting with Donna!). Meanwhile, this season’s theme is “consequences,” says executive producer Aaron Korsh.
And those consequences extend beyond office power plays as Mike and Rachel must deal with the aftermath of their steamy encounter and his confession to her.
Below, get the scoop on what’s ahead from the series’ boss.
TVLINE | Now that Mike and Rachel took this big step in the last season’s finale, what’s next for them?
The analogy I like to use is that Mike has revealed a betrayal to Rachel, of sorts, because he basically told her that the thing that she most wants to do in life professionally – go to Harvard and probably work at Pearson Hardman as a lawyer – and that he’s been doing all this time, has not been legitimate. So that is somewhat of a betrayal to say, “I’m living your dream, and I didn’t earn it.” Even though they got over it in the heat of passion, that is going to come up again and again throughout the course of any relationship that they might have.
TVLINE | How will the fact that Rachel now knows his secret and is living with it affect them as a pair, but also her individually?
It absolutely has impact on them as a couple and for her individually. Basically, imagine you know that the person that you love has this dark secret. They’ve been living with that secret for a while, and you haven’t. It’s a process to get a bombshell dropped like that on you, and the ramifications of that secret hit her in stages. It’s one thing to say you’re going to accept it, but it’s another thing to get hit with what that secret actually means to both Mike and you over time, if you were going to want to have a relationship with him… If Mike is going to meet her parents, that all of sudden is like, “Oh my God, I’m dating a guy that is not legit.”
TVLINE | The upcoming flashback episode has been talked about a lot. What’s the importance of doing this now, and what kind of things are we going to learn about the characters?
We thought it was a good time to take a step back and illuminate a little bit of their past and use that past to inform some decision points that they have in the present. That is true for Harvey, Donna, Mike, Rachel and Jessica — [and to a lesser extent] Louis just because he doesn’t happen to, at this point in the season, have a big decision point. In the present, Harvey is having a case against Cameron Dennis, and we flashback to when he was at Cameron Dennis’ office. That ends up, in turn, revealing some things about issues that he’s having in the present day with Donna and Jessica and Cameron. With Mike, [he] is having a bit of an issue with Rachel, and we flash back to when Mike was in college, which was at the same time that Harvey was in the D.A.’s office. We learn some new things about Mike, and it informs his relationship issue in the current day.
TVLINE | What’s going on with Donna’s story arc this season, outside of Harvey?
This season is about living with the consequences. It’s about the consequences of the choices and actions people took last year. But specifically, when the merger happens, people from Britain are going to start popping up in our world to some degree. They’re going to have effects on the characters in the show, and that includes Michelle Fairley from Game of Thrones, [who] plays a prominent role this year, as does [Conleth Hill as Darby]. And Max Beasley, who is also a big star over there, is going to come over. He’s Edward Darby’s Harvey. He has a flirtation with Donna. It may not lead to something. It may or may not have an effect on Harvey and Donna’s relationship. They certainly have a flirtation, at the minimum, is what I can say about that, and it causes some ramifications within the firm.
TVLINE | What’s the dynamic like between the British Harvey and our Harvey?
It will unfold throughout the season, but as you can imagine, in the beginning, Harvey is wary of him. He turns out to be more than meets the eye and, to some degree, wins Harvey over.
TVLINE | Harvey and Mike had a big falling out at the end of last season. Is the bromance officially over?
[Laughs] I don’t think the bromance is ever going to be officially over… It’s like they’re a family. The difference between family and everyone else in the world is you can get madder at your own family sometimes than you would ever get at someone that you didn’t love and wasn’t your family… So when I talk about the Mike/Harvey relationship – it’s also paralleled with the Jessica/Harvey relationship – it’s mentor/mentee, but it’s more than that. [Mike] behaves differently with Harvey in order to attempt to persuade Harvey to forgive him. It might take a little bit.
TVLINE | Are there any fun Louis storylines coming up? Or maybe something delving more into his background?
There are many fun Louis stories coming up. Louis, like everyone else this year, is going to a little bit, live the consequences of the actions that he took in [Episode] 216. He’s going to have some penance to pay, so to speak. He’s like a triple threat. He’s a comedic character, he can be a villain and he can also be someone that shows tremendous vulnerability and emotion. We try to continue to explore all three of those things throughout the season.