Post Mortem: Suits Boss on Louis' Power Play, Mike/Rachel's Future

Suits Season 4 Spoilers

Warning: The following contains spoilers from Wednesday’s midseason finale of Suits. If you have yet to watch, head to a different TVLine story. Everyone else, read on…

The secret is out!

On Wednesday’s midseason finale of Suits, Louis finally caught onto the fact that Mike didn’t go to Harvard and that his colleagues have been covering for the faux lawyer. It was a reveal that even surprised executive producer Aaron Korsh, who admits below that the twist was not always in the books for this episode.

RELATED Suits Renewed for Season 5

With Louis demanding name partnership from Jessica in return for his silence, the drama will return for the back half of Season 4, tackling “head-on” the aftermath at Pearson Specter, previews Korsh. The EP also addresses the state of Donna and Louis’ friendship and Mike and Rachel’s romance.

TVLINE | It was such a difficult season for Louis, both professionally and personally. Going into it, did you set out to test him?
No. Not necessarily. I don’t think that we set out to put Louis through the wringer in the way that we did. It just emerged and happened that way. We set out to explore what happens when Mike leaves the firm, and various events conspired to lead to this conclusion. We have a road map at the beginning of the year, but then we always veer away from that road map and discover interesting and new things.

TVLINE | What were some of the surprises that you discovered along the way this season? What came up that wasn’t initially planned?
We definitely didn’t know that Louis was going to do a dirty deal with Forstman. We didn’t know that Louis was going to hire Mike back at the firm. We didn’t know that Louis was going to discover Mike’s secret. [Laughs] These things all emerged. What was funny was we had a different way in the beginning of the year of getting Mike back to the firm and when we got there, the details of that different way, which I won’t get into, just became… They were not ultimately satisfying to us. A long time ago, I thought the way to get him back would be having Louis hire him back and Jessica would not be able to, obviously, tell Louis why she was banning him from hiring. So that all came together somehow. We re-remembered that idea and used it in the end.

And then when Louis got fired, we definitely were mulling over [the idea that] he leaves the firm for six episodes and he goes and hooks up with Hardman or he hooks up with Forstman. We explored all those things, and we just thought, if we did that, that was going to be a major firm battle in the last six. When Donna left, we kept her gone for a long time. When Mike left, we kept him gone for a long time. Everybody’s going to think Louis is coming back. I thought everyone would think that, but I thought they would all think it would take a long time so we decided, “Hey, let’s do it quickly and try to throw in a surprise there.” I don’t know if it was successful or not, but the idea in the season finale was to explore Louis a little bit and not see it coming that he discovers Mike’s secret in the end and then he’s going to come back.

RELATED Suits‘ Patrick J. Adams Talks Mike’s Return to Law, Orphan Black Encore

Suits Season4  SpoilersTVLINE | But he’s coming back to the firm under pretty tense circumstances. Jessica’s not the type that likes being put into certain positions. He now knows about Mike’s secret, what Harvey and Donna did. How does that change the atmosphere at Pearson Specter?
My initial answer is, I wish I knew, Vlada. [Laughs] Because we’re scrambling to figure it out as we speak. Jessica does not take kindly to being threatened. We’ve definitely established that. On the other hand, if someone’s pointing a gun at her from 10 feet away right at her head, she’s not going to run at them just to get a bullet shot in her brain. So she’s in an interesting position, as is Harvey, Mike, Louis, Donna and Rachel.

I used to work on Everybody Loves Raymond. I was an assistant there. That’s where I learned the craft of writing to a large degree. When I was a PA, just getting people coffee, I was listening to Phil Rosenthal, the creator of that show, answer a question in a panel. Somebody asked why they don’t do B stories in that show. They only ever have just one story, and the answer was that everyone on the show is so connected to each other and so integrated into each other’s lives that any event is going to affect all of them, so they don’t have to have separate story lines. Now, we do because we’re an hour-long show and we’ve got a lot of cast and we need to have separate storylines. [But our characters] are all so intertwined. Think about it – it’s Mike’s secret, which affects Harvey and Jessica and Donna. But it also affects Rachel because, obviously, she’s with him, and Louis cares about Rachel. Louis cares about them all, they all care about Louis, but he’s feeling betrayed. There’s a lot, obviously, to get worked out in the last six [episodes], and we come back tackling the problem head-on.

Suits Season 4 SpoilersTVLINE | The scene between Donna and Louis was so heartbreaking. Is there any hope for that friendship to be mended?
[Laughs] Well, it is Suits, you know. You can almost look at it like they’re a family — maybe a little bit of a dysfunctional family, but a family, and Louis is feeling utterly betrayed and heartbroken and angry. He has a leg to stand on in his feeling that way. He’s justified feeling that way. On the other hand, Donna and he did have a powerful friendship. It wasn’t all based on a lie and she’s going to fight to make him understand that.

TVLINE | When Robert Zane brought up marriage, that seemed like the furthest thing from Mike’s mind at that moment. Is it just that it’s too early in their relationship or is there still tension between Mike and Rachel going forward?
In our mind, it’s more that this was not the purpose of him coming there, so he was just kind of thrown for a loop with Zane asking him that question. It was also a forward thing for Zane to say, though Zane does do things like that. But it’s a good question. I wouldn’t say it’s the furthest thing from his mind, but yeah, there’s no doubt they’ve just gone through a lot of strife and I don’t think it was at the top of his mind.

TVLINE | Would you say Mike and Rachel are in a good place now?
I feel like we’ve tried to make them in a better place and these things can always come up. Part of the reason it came up in [Episode] 9 was some of us writers, and I think maybe even actors, felt like it might have been he forgave her too easily in eight. I think the way forgiveness works is you can make a decision to forgive someone, but it doesn’t mean the thought of what they did isn’t going to pop into your head from time to time and you’re [not] going to take it out on them again. It’s a process. So I like to think that they’re in a better place now, but it remains to be seen. We haven’t really figured that out yet in the back six.

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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  1. Steve says:

    Hopefully this puts an end to the Mike’s secret storyline as its boring & needs to be done

    • Sparky says:

      Yep my thoughts exactly. This has to be the last season that they use it as a cliffhanger. Wait then again we have Jessica’s boyfriend finding out. Ah I wish they would just resolve it once and for all…

      • prish says:

        It might be poising the question of needing law school to become a lawyer, if one can pass the bar from one’s own study. I find it interesting they keep bringing the issue up, I wonder if Louis’ high ethics will lead him to question that as he sorts through Mike’s whole issue.

      • CK says:

        Well, my hope is exactly that, that one time (soon, I hope) Mike will be completely exposed, not just have the main characters know. I want to see him and the firm face serious consequences. It just appeals to me more than having it be the dirty little secret some people know. I know some people think this will be the “end of the show” but I honestly believe it will open up much more interesting storylines than just the repetitive storyline of the firm winning cases with the threat of Mike’s secret being known coming up again and again.

    • Matthew Weber says:

      But that’s the only reason for the show to exist. Otherwise it’s just a bunch of lawyers. It needs a unique premise or it just becomes The Practice.

      • Mike says:

        Exactly my thoughts! It will always come back to Mike being a fraud. Now, will Suits end like Dexter? I wanted Dexter to be in prison, on the lethal injection bed. Will Mike be in prison at the very last minute of Suits?

        • Fido says:

          I wanted Dexter to end with him in some distant land on the beach playing with his son. So maybe Suits finale will see him running his own practice someplace where no-one knows him. – and yes thinking about it now that would be a crappy ending :)

    • Delante says:

      That is why I was so thrilled when Mike left the firm. Finally they could drop this whole his secret will get out thing. But here we are back again using it like a crutch

  2. Cobra says:

    Rick Hoffmam 100% deserves Performer of the Week thua week. His performance waa top notch.

  3. Holy crap…that scene between Donna/Louis and Louis/Jessica…worthy performance. Also liked the banter between Harvey and Mike in the restaurant. LOL

  4. Rachel says:

    Does it alarm anyone else that the show runner doesn’t seem to have a clue what they’re going to do in the rest of the season? I hope he was playing a little coy there…

    • rowan77 says:

      Not at all. Most shows don’t have everything mapped out perfectly because (as we see in this interview) things you never expect can happen organically, which changes where you were planning to go. The fact that they are willing to take that journey (instead of forcing an old idea like HIMYM did for their finale) and look at what the characters would do, tells me they are better writers than you are giving them credit for.

    • Joe says:

      I think it’s better that way. Shonda Rhimes planned every major arcs on Grey’s Anatomy until last season when the actors’ contracts were up for negotiation and there were too many unknowns to plan it all, and it ended up being their strongest season for a while.

  5. Wen says:

    I hope Jessica doesn’t make Louis a named partner via blackmail. That’s wrong and I don’t think he deserves it. Not yet a least. I’m tired of the Mike secret stuff and honestly I am tired of the Louis centric bent of the last few episodes. Rick Hoffman was great but I’m not a huge Louis fan.

    • Sparky says:

      One thing that I really don’t like that has happened is that Harvey and Jessica are slowly but surely up to their eye balls in dirty tricks and as named partners they have nobody else to blame but themselves. They are becoming unlike characters all for the sake of protecting Mike…

  6. david says:

    I call BS. this show is fantastic but has a pattern. every season finale someone finds out his secret it was only a matter of time. however it was still a great episode

  7. Bwhit says:

    I always thought Louis would be the last one to find out so I didn’t see this coming. With all the tension I will say the best part of the episode was Mike and Harvey at dinner! It just reminded me that they have the best relationship on the show hands down.

  8. Patrick says:

    Is it just me, or does Jessica seem to be shaping up to be the big bad of the series? She manipulates everyone except for Harvey. And the only reason she doesn’t manipulate him is that she knows he would be hired by someone else immediately if he left her firm.

    She hems and haws about various problems, but she is quick to dismiss those problems when she can make use of Harvey, Mike, Lewis, Donna, etc. She betrays people at the drop of a hat. And doesn’t feel bad about it.

    I know it seems like she is Harvey’s friend, but she gets a lot out of that relationship. I know she let Mike slide on his secret, but brains like Mike don’t come along very often. And they certainly don’t come gift wrapped in the body of a guy who can’t ever get promoted, or threaten to leave to a competitor, or whatever. But she should have fired him immediately. She holds it over his head to get him to do what she wants, but she ignores his secret when she is benefitting from his once in a lifetime brain.

    Her overreactions, angry outbursts, and grudge holding are becoming problems. Problems she makes others solve while ignoring her part in those problems.

    • jencolefluke says:

      I disagree. Jessica is the voice of the firm, more so than Harvey or any other named partner. She mostly always defaults to what she feels is right for the survival of the firm, even when it conflicts with her feelings with her friends. That’s why the fraudulence of Mike sits so poorly with her, even though she likes him personally and he is a star at the firm. Harvey is the partner who can make risky, brilliant plays on cases, Jessica is the partner that has to be grounded. Don’t forget the many times she has been threatened as Managing partner both inside and outside the firm, including by Harvey.

      Her feelings towards Louis were that he was too emotional and got the firm into legal hot water because of that on several occasions, so it was time to go. Harsh, correct (and maybe she was reacting because of her nervousness of having Mike around). She was in reason to ask him to leave, but in protecting the firm, she went too far in not letting him have the one client to leave with. By not wanting to set a precedent, she opened the door to Louis’ discovery of Mike. She is tough and as she said, hypocritical and a liar, but she is the walking, breathing representation of that law firm.

      If you want to look for a baddie, look towards Rachel’s dad. If he were to find out about Mike, he wouldn’t have any problem ripping the firm to shreds. A serious conflict with him might not come in the back 6 episodes, but it’s coming. That’s why the topic of marriage was brought up – to see how messy things could get if he gets close to Mike.

  9. Matthew Weber says:

    I thought for sure (from the previews) that Mike was going to tell Louis. I didn’t suspect that Louis would just figure it out.

    It was a good episode, but now everyone who matters knows Mikes secret. What happens next? Is it just about a bunch of lawyers? That could be a little boring (and uninspiring). The Secret was what made the show interesting because it was always there in the background. Now it’s still there (it isn’t public), but the main characters know. It’ll be interesting to see how they keep the show interesting without that hanging over Mike’s head.

    It’ll also be interesting, if Louis comes back to PS, how he treats Mike. Mike might be a fraud, but he has still done a lot of great things for Louis that no one else would have done. If Louis treats Mike like crap, I’ll probably stop watching. Jessica treating Mike like crap is enough for me.

    • Katie says:

      Definitely agree re: “The Secret”.
      I think Louis finding out definitely gave that (key) plot point new life. Mike’s had close calls before, but I think Louis may be his biggest threat yet because Louis 1) has been (notwithstanding recent felonious activity with Forstman) arguably the most ethical character thus far and holds himself and his colleagues to high standards, 2) feels personally betrayed by Mike, Harvey, Jessica, and Donna, 3) is incredibly competitive and ambitious and right now has very little to lose. The stakes are still really high for Mike & co.

      As for Jessica and/or Louis treating Mike like crap… well, that hasn’t bothered me too much this season because I kinda feel like Mike deserves a little karmic return for some of the stuff he did. That said, I did like that his “apology” to Walter Gillis – it was self-serving, but I don’t doubt that it was also heartfelt.

      I’m already excited for the winter episodes!

  10. Anandasky says:

    I’m growing weary of Louis – and Mike and Rachel for that matter. Would love to see Harvey and Donna more and having a bit more fun. Like it more when it’s like a Cary Grant/Kate Hepburn script. Louis yelling at Donna and her not turning it back on him didn’t seem true to her character. And, couldn’t Mike just get a degree already?

    • I didn’t like at all Louis yelling at Donna, specially that “Sit down!!”. It was aggressive, and she looked scared.

    • RJ says:

      New York doesn’t even require you to attend law school. You can take the bar after one year of apprenticeship. I think he has over a year. He’s taken the NY Bar and passed, for all legal purposes, he is a qualified Lawyer in NY. But the fact that he lied about College is what would get him “dis-bared”. They have a “Morel code”.

  11. Coal says:

    I don’t understand people who say Suits just being about “a bunch of lawyers” is drivel. The premise of the show is LEGAL DRAMA. Personally when I watch a show I want to be transported into world that I’m not a part of and see how other people (characters) navigate through it.. Now if a show is just about peoples personal B.S., with no greater story telling that’s what I find boring.

  12. Nichole says:

    I loved this weeks episode, it’s the first one in a while that I haven’t been distracted from giving it my full attention. At first I thought it was the story line and Rick Hoffman’s performance, especially those last few minutes, then I realised it was because it’s the first episode for a LONG time that hasn’t had some Mike/Rachael relationship drama in it. Rachael wasn’t in it at all!! Lately every time those two are on screen together going through yet another conflict/issue/drama I tune out.

    It’s four seasons in and already heading for a 5th, I really hope that Aaron Korsh steers the rest of this season and next in a direction that see’s that relationship end and Mike move on. It’s boring, been up and down more then a yoyo and has no where to go that would add something to the show. Plus it’s not a soap show, time to move on!!!

    Also have to ask if it’s close to real life, I haven’t had many close female friends that are in long term relationships (excluding those married that is) and frankly if I was in that relationship I would have walked away a long time ago, love or no love. Why stay in a relationship that seems to have more conflict then some third world countries and makes you unhappy at least half the time!

    • NSG says:

      What if Rachel’s father finds out about Mike’s secret? What would tha do to PS, not to mention Mike and Rachel’s relationship?
      For some reason, I think Mike cannot now get a law degree from Harvard, or anyplace else for that matter.

    • bc323 says:

      Rachel WAS in the 8/20/14 episode. Not a lot, but she was there in at least two different scenes that I remember off the top of my head. You must really dislike her if you didn’t see her at all. LOL!

  13. Joey Padron says:

    Great interview with Aaron about this season and new episode. Last couple minutes of episode was intense. Never seen Louis that angry before. It will be interesting to see what happens in last couple episodes left of season 4 next year.

  14. jouiie says:

    Louis knowing and trading his knowledge for his name on the partners door, means that he can never get back together with Sheila, since keeping such a major secret from her (while knowing her dedication to Harvard) would eat at him if they were together. It will be interesting to see how he handles this realization, what he ultimately gives up for his partner goal.
    Also, I imagine he will have a difficult time being a part of the lie at all.

  15. I’ve been a fan of this show from Day 1. Not so much, this season. It’s always been about the work and the personal stuff tucked around, but this season was just a soap opera. I hope the next season is a little “smarter” than this one

  16. carcar says:

    Read the summary of this episode…have not been watching, however, because of the use of the GD word. Have seen many others’ posts on FB, who also have quit watching because of this. Use of a word that defiles God is totally offensive, sinful, unnecessary, and very distracting. Loved the show, but as a Christian, cannot deal with that. In your suggestion about comment types, you ask people not to curse…how about taking your own suggestions and dropping the GD word, PLEASE?????

    • Rusty says:

      Go back to church and stay in your make believe world.

    • Bwhit says:

      I didn’t see where TVLINE used that word. I understand your stance and respect your beliefs, but if you quit watching why do you feel the need to come here and comment? I doubt that they will stop using it and it’s a shame you quit watching because this is one of the better shows around in the summer.

  17. Niki says:

    Suits is in a class of very few other shows. The writing is phenomenal and the cast’s chemistry and execution is stellar. I definitely think that the Mike and Rachel relationship is very stale. I would personally like to see Jenny come back into the picture. I really enjoyed her relationship with Mike. Also, she already knows his secret, so we wouldn’t have to go through that again.

    I love any scene with Harvey. Gabriel Macht is who drew me to the show in the first place (However, I have stayed because the entire cast has proven to be exceptional). I feel like he has taken a backseat this season (I can understand why), just bring him back in full force.

  18. Rozzie says:

    Great show guys!! I love all the plots,but Louis is my favorite when they need the dirty it’s like Jessica says this Louis area! huh lol..I’m a fan of Donna she keeps everyone in line like a big sister if I will. I never miss this show even if I have to record it. I’ll admit I didn’t know about until reruns but now that I’m aboard.

  19. I thought that Louis was going to kill Jessica and that’s why it was brought up that Louis goes to a gun range when he gets mad.

  20. angel says:

    What about Katrina? If Louis is back with the firm, I want Katrina back too. She’s the only one at the firm that is always in Louis’ corner, the only one who truly recognizes all that Louis has to offer the firm. Harvey spends most of his interactions with Louis yelling at him – half the time it’s for things that Louis has no control over. He only reaches out to Louis when the guilt over his usual treatment of Louis gets to him. Then there’s Jessica – she “handles” him most of the time – she rains false praise over him to get him to do her bidding but then when he’s done, she goes back to looking down her nose at him and barely acknowledging his existence. Donna’s a friend, but for her Harvey always comes first. And Mike – he’s only friendly with Louis when it will get him something he wants.
    On another note, everyone on the show seems to think Jessica is such a legal mastermind. Did she really think Louis would have been able to find a new job without bringing any of his clients with him? After all his loyal years at the firm, the least she could have done was let him have one client. And the one client he did steal, the one client Pearson Spector had to give up anyway, she takes back with the help of Mike. Mike should have just let Louis keep the client, but he was too busy trying to save his own behind from a mess he himself had created when he ran off to his new job.

    • CK says:

      I love Katrina, I really hope she will be back and be a more major character, but this seems kinda unlikely now that Amanda Schull has a new show.

      • HAP says:

        The show 12 Monkeys has a 12 episode order, so I think it quite possible that she can come back to Suits. By the way, did you know that 35 year old Amanda Schull worked as a professional ballerina for the San Francisco Ballet?

        • CK says:

          Yup, that’s why she was in the film Center Stage, right?

          • Mo says:

            Her partner in Center Stage, Sascha Radetsky, retired earlier this summer from American Ballet Theatre. So now what I need to see on Suits is Louis taking Katrina to a ballet fundraiser where they meet Sascha (or his Center Stage character Charlie).

    • bc323 says:

      I agree, Katrina was loyal to Louis until the end. I hope she comes back if he does.

      I worked with attorneys for 22 years. Jessica is more like them than any other attorney on the show (except for the high fashion part, at least in Los Angeles). Their attitude is if they don’t HAVE to give you anything under the law, then they’re not going to give you anything. It’s just business to them, not personal. The only reason Louis hasn’t been let go before is because of his high billables. None of the firms I ever worked for would care about anything else.

  21. agent 86 says:

    Rick Hoffman is the performer of the week.

  22. Amy says:

    Will Sheila, (Rachel Harris), Louis’ love interest be in anymore episodes. She is awesome.

  23. curtlyon19 says:

    i thought it was about perfect. (somewhat) unexpected

  24. Eludium Q36 says:

    Clearly, this and the prior episodes were leading to Louis’ suicide but the writers feinted that and gave us Louis the Machiavellian. Also, given his medical history, the stress of those final moments could drop him down; otherwise, next season starts off with Jessica responding “Oh hell no!” In any case, please, please more legal drama and less Mike-and-Rachel playing house.

  25. Janice Hickerson says:

    I don’t like Louis’ character. I was pleased when he was finally out of the firm. I hope that Jessica is able to call his bluff and refuse to make him a partner. I just started watching the series this season so I do not know if Mike ever tried a cause without Harvey at his side,but he knows the law and has more integrity than Louis ever will.

  26. Luli says:

    I need Katrina to come back… What about her? Is she coming back now that Louis is going after name partner? Also, I want to see more of the Katrina and Mike relationship.

  27. Lynn says:

    Does any one of the writers ever remember what they wrote before? Just because Mike did not go to Harvard, does not divulge the secret that he “never” went to law school. There are many law schools in NY he could have attended, (as Louis says Mike was living and paying bills in NY). How does that not suggest that Mike just fudged the Harvard info to get into that particular law firm. Not going to Harvard in itself does not allude to him not being a lawyer. So now Louis all of a sudden has this grand revelation about all of it???? Seems like somebody rushed to get this storyline to the end without bothering to make any sense of it, insulting any viewers of intelligence. Poor Job.

  28. THUNDERBOLT says:

    The name escapes me,,but i know this actor,he was on ABC’s 2001-02 TV series “PHILY”
    that Steven Bocho did for Paramount Television,,great series!

  29. Maria Fay says:

    Ok louis knows. Love the show but need to mix it up a bit. Love to see scottie come back . See what happens because she knows too.

  30. winstonmak says:

    When will Suits continue?