Suits' Patrick J. Adams Talks Mike's Return to Law, Orphan Black Encore

Suits Season 4 Spoilers

Suits‘ lawyer-turned-investment-banker-turned-lawyer Mike Ross has angered some people this season — fans included.

Now that Mike is back at Pearson Specter in Wednesday’s episode (USA Network, 9/8c), he’ll be working his legal magic “on right side of the fence again,” star Patrick J. Adams assures TVLine.

But will the people he hurt, like Louis, grant him forgiveness? How will he handle being in the same office as his ex-girlfriend Rachel? And can he even be Harvey’s associate? (Remember, Rachel currently has that gig.)

Below, Adams weighs in on those burning questions and more, including his hopes for an Orphan Black return (#JesseSavesHelena).

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TVLINE | There’s been a lot of debate in our comments section about Mike’s behavior this season. How do you feel about his arc?
I really loved it because it was doing something different. Mike really got to stretch himself a little bit, get himself out of his comfort zone and try something new. Ultimately, it was all there to service his realization that being an investment banker is not what he was put on this earth to do. He really needs to be a lawyer and that’s what drives him.

But it’s important for characters to grow and change and evolve and even make mistakes, and it’s been fascinating to see how the audience has reacted to some of those changes. It’s always so vehement, but it also makes me laugh because that’s why people tune into television, to see characters they love stretch and try new things and sometimes really make big mistakes and then learn from them. The reaction of people to Mike is, ultimately, really good for the show because it’s representative of the risks that we’re taking and the fact that we don’t want to sit by and do the same thing every week.

TVLINE | Mike did some questionable things, hurting Louis, getting into arguments with Harvey. Were you ever worried that maybe he was crossing the line and that you couldn’t pull him back?
I never had any fear that we couldn’t pull him back. In fact, I kind of ran – especially in my interpretation of the script – I ran to crossing the line because I just think it’s more interesting. I found it really fascinating that so many people took umbrage with the fact that he would do what he did to Louis because what he did to Louis is nothing different than what Harvey has done to Louis almost every episode of Suits. … I think it’s interesting that it’s less about what Mike did to Louis or the arguments that Mike got into with Harvey. It’s more that people are just worried about Mike — which I think is a testament to the show and to the writing and to the character — that they just don’t want him to go somewhere where, like you said, he can’t return from. But what’s going on [right now] is proof that, at the end of the day, Mike made a lot of mistakes and hurt a lot of people and he feels really terrible about that. As soon as people see that he realizes what he’s done and why he’s done it and that it didn’t work out, there’ll be nothing but forgiveness for him.

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TVLINE | Now that he’s back at Pearson Specter, is there forgiveness to be found from Louis and Jessica and all the people he may have alienated?
It’s different for every character. Obviously, Jessica, being the head of the firm, is going to have a vested interest in keeping Mike Ross out of that firm and not wanting to accept him back. So Mike has an uphill battle with her. Harvey, on the other hand, wants him back really badly. He realizes that he’s better at his job when he has Mike around and that he wants him back and he wants him to be OK. Louis and Mike are always going to be going back and forth… Ultimately, no matter what Mike’s done, we know he’s a moral character and he’s really just trying to learn and grow and be the best person that he knows how to be. Sometimes, he’s going to trip up like all of us. That’s what we’ve done this season, but towards the end of this season, you’re already beginning to see Mike come back into focus and be on the right side of the fence again and doing what he does best, which is helping Harvey do what he does and getting the firm back on track.

TVLINE | Is the relationship between Mike and Harvey back to what it was?
Again, Gabriel [Macht] and I are both, really, always trying to drive forward, so rather than thinking of things going back to what was, it’s like, “Well, what happens next?” There’s obviously a comfort in a friendship that’s rekindled. They’re back on the same side, but there’s also been eight episodes of Mike really going toe-to-toe with Harvey. Even though at the end of the day he lost this battle, he’s proven that he can hold his own against Harvey. There were a lot of little battles along the way that he kept winning that Harvey did not expect him to. So that changes their dynamic a little bit and might make Harvey trust Mike a little more, give him more responsibility. [They have] less of a mentorship relationship and more of a real partnership where, slowly, they’re becoming more equal.

Suits Season 4 SpoilersTVLINE | Rachel is Harvey’s associate now, and Mike has proven himself. So has he been promoted?
We kind of sidestep it a little bit. When he does return, it’s made clear that Rachel is still in that power position with Harvey and she’s still doing a lot of that work. Obviously, Mike is going to end up getting the brunt of it because they’re the team and Harvey trusts Mike implicitly. Moving forward, Mike will also be getting cases from other people and his responsibility, in general, is going to be upped a little bit. And of course, he’s always got to be watching his back and making sure he’s not leaving room open for Jessica to get him out of there. That’s the danger he always lives with. You’re going to find that there are larger threats outside the firm that force everybody to come together and work together rather than try and fight between each other.

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TVLINE | Is Mike still living with Harvey?
I don’t want to spoil anything, but there are a couple of really good scenes where we deal directly with that in this next episode and we get to see how Harvey really feels about their relationship. We begin to see what the next steps for Rachel and Mike are going to be. There’s a lot of interesting stuff to be played there in the wake of a betrayal. These are two people that have been really doing nothing but falling in love for the past few years. Now, you’re going to get to see them faced with something that a lot of relationships in the real world are faced with. So I won’t tell you where he’s sleeping at night. You’ll get a lot of interesting stuff in the next couple of episodes.

TVLINE | What’s the workplace dynamic like between Mike and Rachel given everything that happened?
Prickly, at best. Mike has made clear that he just needs his space to think about what happened. After the fight with Logan, he’s trying not to act irrationally. He’s trying to give himself some breathing room to figure out what happens next, which is a slightly more evolved and mature version of Mike. That fight was a moment for him where he realized he just needed to grow up a bit. So obviously, they’re passing each other in the halls and she’s doing his best to make amends. The next episode, specifically, you get to see what a struggle that is for both of them and where they plan to go from that point on. There’s not a lot of working together, there’s more Mike trying to avoid dealing with that.

Orphan Black Season 3 Patrick J. AdamsTVLINE | I was so pleasantly surprised and delighted by your Orphan Black guest spot. The character and interaction was not what I was expecting at all.
Yeah, that’s what we were going for. I told them that I would do anything to be on the show – whatever. I just wanted to work with [Tatiana Maslany] and support the show as best I could. When I saw the part come up, I thought, “This is going to be a really fun, strange thing to do that’s very different from what I get to do the rest of the time.” She’s just such a tremendous actor and to get to play off against what I think is her most extreme clone was a treat. It seems like something that the fans really enjoyed, as well. I had a great time. I tweeted my way onto the show in the first place. Now I’m trying to tweet my way back on the show, start a “Bring Jesse Back” movement.

TVLINE | I was going to ask you if we should start the Twitter campaign now.
Yes. I haven’t figured out the hashtag yet. I’ll let the fans decide. The Internet is far more creative than I am. But I’ve already got a lot of tweets, social media support. People really seem to really want Jesse to come back and help Helena out of her rut, and it would be an honor to do so. Hopefully, that’s something the writers are interested in doing.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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26 Comments
  1. Joni says:

    “And can he even be Harvey’s associate? (Remember, Rachel currently has that gig.)”
    I know the show is doing this but how can a 1st year law school student be treated as if she’s a lawyer. She’s not. She can’t say “I’m a lawyer”. No graduation has happened. No Bar has been taken. And as far as I can tell, other than being told she collapsed at school, we have yet to see her going to school or studying or writing papers or cramming for exams.
    OK, Mike’s not a lawyer but outside of a select few people the world believes he is.

    Question: Why is Rachel continuing to live in the apartment that Mike owns (bought it for his Granny) while Mike (without the hospitality of Harvey) is essentially homeless. Pretty good deal for the “in the wrong” Rachel.

    • M3rc Nate says:

      I’ve always found it hilariously backwards how when a man messes up, the GF/Wife makes him sleep on the couch, but when she messes up he doesn’t make her, and the same with when a man cheats he is kicked out of the house, but when the woman cheats she isnt kicked out of the house. Mike should have stood his ground, told her to take her sh*t and get out of his place, and have her run back to her parents house and live there, giving us scenes with her and her father and her father being very disappointed to find out his daughter cheated on Mike, let alone him potentially finding out about the affair she had (he’d go ballistic).

      I also agree with you regarding Rachel’s job and Mike not getting it back, she isnt a lawyer, she has not passed the bar, shes still in college, she can probably help Harvey but not in any lawyer capacity, which makes her 1/8 the help Mike could bring to the table for Harvey. Overall they had to do it to give Rachel a story line beyond paralegal.

  2. Dj says:

    What is going to happen with Amy? Mike needs his Donna 2.0.

  3. M3rc Nate says:

    Okay now…PJA can say this and its all true IMO, however if you interview Meghan Markle and she says the same…i call BS.

    Everything PJA said i completely agree with. Mike was still a good guy, he was trying to save a mans company, the mans legacy, and all of the employees that guys company has, yes he got his hands a little dirty, but he was shutting down Harvey doing illegal moves he has seen Harvey do before, and he pulled a stunt with Louis that is right down Harvey’s lane. Yes he used Harvey’s fathers music against him but then realized he was wrong and gave it to Harvey. Mike was at his core still a great guy, but he was working a job that required you to be a bad guy. So i agree with PJA 100% in this interview.

    However Rachel is a different story, those flashbacks showed her to be (not at 19 years old, but 25ish, only 1-2 years before Mike showed up in the Pilot) a gross woman, who seduced a married man and had an affair with him, and was a pretty despicable person. Then in the current day she is being very naive about her feelings about Logan, she is lying to Mike by omission, going to Logan’s place/work very naively, and then kisses him, and not for 1 second and just a tiny kiss mind you. IMHO Rachel is irredeemable as a love interest to Mike. I wont ever root for them to get back together, she showed her to be a gross person in the past and a bad naive person in the current. So if Meghan Markle spouts off the same “oh it was just pushing the envelope and i still love Rachel and she was just in a tough spot”…etc , i call BS. Actors/Actresses say that cause what are they gonna do, talk trash about their character/the writing? Good way to have a showrunner/writers room be offended and kill you off, also having fans cry “way to bite the hand that feeds you!” like happened not to long ago when some actor or actress came out and talked some crap about the cast or creator or writers i forget who/why.

    • Coal says:

      You must be TeamMellie too. In terms of not liking the character many actors/actresses have said personally they don’t like the characters they play sometimes, which is great it stimulates debate, but when you start criticising the writing as actor while on the show, I have a problem with that. At the end of the day the character is the writers vision not yours and if your have a problem with that you can graciously leave.

      • M3rc Nate says:

        Had to look up the reference, I dont watch Scandal. Its in fact soapy drama in scandal i try to avoid which Suits seasons 1-3 did, but season 4 has fallen down to. I would not say many, and i would say it almost always happens after the show is finished airing or in the last season. I also think if you are criticizing the characters choices and direction they are going on the show, you are for all intents and purposes criticizing the writing.

        I’ll ask this, if Rachel was real, and you saw video of her being like she was (the flashbacks of her actively seducing a married man, having a long affair, when he tells his wife saying he did so, so it would blow up and he could be with her for real) and she is dating your brother (who you love) or if your a guy, dating you, and then she does what she did on the show (is naive, goes over to the ex affair guys house twice, kisses him passionately for 5+ seconds) to your brother, or you, how would you feel about her? Would you tell your brother (or convince yourself) to forgive her? That shes still a great person with great morals and great decision making? Or was she a gross person, and her present actions show she is still not a good person? Remember home wrecking, having an affair, cheating…you dont get to do those things and still be a good person…its not like your a good person no matter what as long as you dont murder someone…

  4. Sparky says:

    Doesn’t Mikes return to Pearson Specter negate the effect of the S3 finale and Mike telling Harvey he had to leave because he was putting the people he loves in harms way. Is it just me that finds his return to the same office that he was jeopardizing a poorly written story line and a waste of a season. He could have made a success of life as an investment banker with Sidwell and They could have switched things up by making Harvey work for Mike. Now we’re back to Mikes secret is going to be found out again.

    • M3rc Nate says:

      Well….yeah lol. In fact worse, he is the one being investigated (remember the “collusion” threat) and by being suspected of that, then going to work right back at the firm he was “colluding with” he is in BIG trouble. And to your point, Harvey offered to “make some calls” and get Mike a job, and that even though Mike lost, he did so well at almost every turn that had the contract not said “Sidwell would get cut out”, he would have still had his job even though he lost, so he could get more work at a different Investment firm, or just use his brains and go to college with the money hes made as a Lawyer/Banker (along with a college loan) and get a legit job that pays well (like say an accountant,engineer, tech, etc).

      But nooooooo…his “calling” is to be a lawyer, so like you said, he comes back, putting everyone that was at risk of his lies/felonies back at risk, in fact worse cause now hes got the eye of the SEC, and they are after him, which means they are after the Firm and Harvey and anyone they can take down.

      Yes, this season has been written so poorly that i wouldn’t be shocked if they announced that every writer that was staffed in season 1-3 was fired and a entire new writing team was brought in for season 4 (ie like Falling Skies and how horrible it is, cause that is what happened). But shockingly no, all the same writers and same show-runner, which boggles my mind.

      • Sparky says:

        Glad to know it’s not just me. I’ve read comments from other fans of the show saying yay their back together. Okay but it makes no sense that their back together. If he had a law degree yes but he doesn’t. Anyway rant over.

      • sarah says:

        Mike was worried about Louis finding out that he was not a lawyer. That was the main threat he was worried about because if Louis has doubts then he would stop at nothing to find out the truth. If no one else has any doubts then there is no reason for the firm to be worried. So it took Louis wanting to bring Mike back to negate that issue.
        Also Mike left because Jessica told him he would never advance in the law firm.
        The way they are carrying on the storyline actually does work.

        • Sparky says:

          Woodall was after them at the end of last season. They have know since episode 2 or 3 that Cahill was coming after the firm picking up where Woodall left off. And they are a law firm subject to someone digging into their business so if they have the ability to discredit a lawyer at the firm that’s all it will take for clients to jump ship not to mention that they could have all their old cases reopened because Mike doesn’t have a degree. So the threat is always there because of Mike. Louis is a fly in the ointment compared to what Cahill can do to them if he finds out.

    • jane mark says:

      Agreed! The whole story is a waste of time

  5. Coal says:

    Look, to me personally Mike didn’t really leave Pearson/Spector because his story arc this season has involved his interaction with his old firm. I personally would rather him having standalone stories which didn’t have anything to do with Pearson/Spector and see him be successful or fail independently. All this season so far has turned to be is that important business decisions revolve around Mike and Rachel’s relationship. Much like one scandalous show which ended with someone’s son getting assassinated because he was seeing his daughter.

  6. KevyB says:

    It’s going to be difficult to get back into this show. Getting him out of Pearson Specter was necessary but it was so poorly handled. The entire show from that point on was people being jerks to each other, then apologizing for it later. 40 minutes of jerkiness, 4 minutes of forgiveness. EVERY EPISODE. You can go on and on about characters learning from this or that, but the problem is NOBODY learns ANYTHING. They all lecture at each other and still do whatever they want. Will they ever be as charming as they once were?

    • CK says:

      I completely agree with this, my problem with season 4 was not Mike out of Pearson Specter or Harvey and Mike going against each other, it was that this arc was very, very poorly handled. Honestly, apart from Katrina and Louis (only in his scenes with Katrina, Donna or Jessica) I didn’t like any other character that much this season. All the other characters argued with each other, judged each other, and at some point towards the end of the episode apologised and kinda reconsiled. Rinse, lather, repeat.

      And the fact that a godawful relationship (which I want to over for good, I really don’t think after all that they could ever have a good relationship again) was more of a focus made things even worse.

      • KevyB says:

        Well said. Isn’t it possible to have disagreements on this show without everything becoming so personal? Everyone was unprofessional enough before the move that all this extra unprofessionalism just underlined how unrealistic all these business people are.

  7. Mick says:

    This season made me think about the actions of the protagonists. Mike was do in what Harvey taught him to do fight dirty. All of the characters including Louis have done questionable things in the name of protecting the firm and Mike’s actions shined a light on just how shady those actions are. Jessica, Harvey, Rachel have all acted in a way similar to Mike but when they were fighting amongst each other it showed another side to all their actions. In my opinion that is what the season was about. But I agree with the other posters I wanted to see Mike fail or succeed without the conflict of the firm and his office. It would have rounded out the story more.

  8. sarah j says:

    I was never mad a Mike. He was doing what he had to do! Harvey is the exact same as Mike! Maybe now that they are back on the same team people will like the way Mike gets things done again!
    I felt bad for Mike last week! I am not sure if I want to see him get back with Rachel. I always liked them together but now I am not sure! I know the creator of the show never wanted them together so that his why they had the Rachel kissing Logan scene. So we will see what happens in the future with Rachel and Mike.
    I am so excited that he is back at Pearson Spector!

  9. GildedRose says:

    Loving Suits this year (as usual). Hoping they keep Amy around and find a way to bring her on over to work with/for Mike, too. They sort of opened the door when Mike wondered what happened to her after his firing. If she was fired, too, I can see him asking for her to be hired on at the firm.

  10. Valerie Schutt says:

    BRING JESSE BACK!!!
    That was such an awesome episode! You were awesome and it let the OB fans see the softer side of Helena… if only for 5 minutes. I hope the writers listen and act on your willingness to return… you two had such a great connection. And yes… Maslany is so amazing. Best scene… thank you!

  11. Erin says:

    Bring Jesse back and maybe have tatiana have a small part on suits!!!

  12. #BringBackHelenasBoyFren Yessss!

  13. Hayes says:

    I wonder if this was the plan all along. I feel like Mike is back at Pearson Specter because the writers f’ed up on the investment banker thing and realized it wasn’t working. I for one hated it. Maybe that’s just me.

  14. Daniel says:

    Let make Mike & Harvey a gay couple…