Post Mortems
Suits Recap

Suits Boss on Harvey's Surprising New Romance and Donna's Career Twist

Warning: The following contains spoilers for Wednesday’s Suits premiere.

Is Harvey Specter’s heart taken?!

Suits‘ Season 7 premiere opened with the lawyer taking a drive to ask out someone — but the lucky lady wasn’t a certain redhead. (Sorry, “Darvey” fans.) Instead, Harvey took his former therapist Dr. Paula Agard (played by Christina Cole) to dinner and then smooched her at the end of the hour.

There was plenty going on in Donna’s life, too. That “more” that she spoke of wanting? Well, she found it by asking Harvey to make her a partner at the firm, which he did.

But will everyone else at Pearson Specter Litt respect Donna’s new title? And is Harvey just deluding himself with his new relationship? Read on as executive producer Aaron Korsh weighs in.

Suits RecapTVLINE | Every interview we’ve done for the past couple of seasons, I’ve asked you if we’re going to see Dr. Paula again. But I have to admit I never imagined her coming back into the show as a love interest.
We do have a philosophy: People come back when we feel that the time is right. Sometimes, they never come back. But oftentimes, people come back into the show in what we feel is a natural rhythm for them. But we, oftentimes, do not know in what capacity they’re going to come back as writers.

I don’t even remember how the idea was posited, but we just thought, “What the hell…! Harvey’s gotten over his mom. He’s open… Maybe that cleared up a little emotional space for a new relationship.” We felt like the fans would be expecting and wanting it to be with Donna, and obviously we understand that. I’m sure some people will feel this way, some people won’t, but maybe deep down inside, the person he should be doing this with is Donna. But for whatever reason, he had this intimate relationship with a beautiful woman that sat there and listened to his problems and helped him get over issues with his mom. Now maybe he also had that relationship with another beautiful woman that did the same thing. But in his mind, he’s associating [Paula] with positivity and support.

We were thinking about it, and we were like, “Listen, he’s just taken over the firm,” and in his brain, she pops into his head, and he’s like, “I want to do something to mark my ascendancy to Jessica’s position in taking over the firm,” and he’s asking her out. Now whether in the long run that will prove to be the right move or not remains to be seen, but that’s what’s going on, and we felt like it would give, like, a good new flavor to the season.

Suits RecapTVLINE | She is sort of the closest thing there is to being Donna without actually being Donna and without the fraught complications that a relationship with Donna would have for Harvey.
Exactly. We were very careful to say there is a mandatory waiting period, and they waited long enough so she’s not violating codified ethics or law. Having said that, my wife is a therapist, and she’s like, “It’s never encouraged to do something like this. It is not considered the best of ideas ever.” Now we can see that she’s a person and has flaws like the rest of us. Anytime you bring a character back, what we try to do is see a different side of them. There will be some other characters coming back this year where we are absolutely going to see some different sides of them as well.

TVLINE | What is the waiting period? You didn’t specifically state it in the premiere.
I don’t like specifically stating things like that because I think, in reality, the actual waiting period is too long and would not have occurred in the length of our show. So that’s why we just say it’s been long enough. First of all, I think it’s a state-by-state thing. It might be two years in California. Also, we’re sort of fuzzy on how long it’s been. We don’t really specify time too much with our characters.

Suits RecapTVLINE | Donna asks for and gets partnership. This is a decision that clearly has a lot of meaning and importance for her. Is it going to be everything that she dreamed of?
First of all, I’m very proud of Donna. If I were Donna’s friend, I’d be very proud of her for stepping up and doing such a bold thing…

What we don’t talk about in this episode is she uses that money that she got [from The Donna] to leverage herself into a new position at Pearson Specter Litt. That’s part of where she gets the money from. And I think it’s impressive that Donna, in spite of being in the job that she is, has that kind of money. We’ve established over the years that Harvey pays her a lot more, but also, she got bought out by this thing.

The downside of it is that it’s a big leap to go from legal secretary to senior partner. It’s going to have consequences for Donna without a doubt. Like, imagine if you were a beat reporter and the next thing you knew, they put you in charge of running a publication. People might not respect you. They might be like, “What the hell are you doing at this position so quickly?” So there’s some of that. Also, Harvey has made this decision very early, and people might be like, “Why are you promoting her so high, so quickly?” That stuff is going to come back and have consequences in both of their lives. So in that sense, it’s not going to be everything that it’s cracked up to be. But she’s going to roll with those changes and, I think, do a really good job fighting for her position in the firm even after she’s been given this position.

Suits fans, what did you think of the season opener? Grade it via the poll below, then hit the comments to back up your pick!

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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51 Comments
  1. MattySi says:

    Is Donna even able to be a partner? Don’t you need a law degree for that? Does Donna have one?

    • Stephanie says:

      So this is kind of sketchy – in Washington DC and the UK (since 2007) – the answer has always been yes. The American Bar Association has been mulling it over to expand that answer for a while – although people are kind of against it because apparently they think bringing in non-legal partners opens you up to ethics violations. (Like lawyers are always ethical lol!)

      The definition of a partner is someone “who are joint owners and business directors of the legal operation,”

      So I think in Suits world, they are just saying it’s New York and everywhere it’s possible, even though it’s only possible in the UK and DC right now.

    • bos4ny3 says:

      This is a show where someone who didn’t go to law school was a lawyer anyway. Doubt that what happens in the real world intrudes all that much on the show.

    • Will says:

      Legally, she can, but it’s frowned upon by actual attorneys. Yes, I Googled it. Haha

  2. Casanova34 says:

    Apart from the Hessington oil season I have loved this show and episode 1 of a whole new season and I’m looking forward to the next episode already!!!! Absolutely love the show. I like that Harvey is Managing partner and he has finally gotten laid. Sorry not a Darvey fan. She feels like Moneypenny to his Bond.

  3. BetsyDB says:

    This show has jumped the shark. The premiere was a circus. I couldn’t recognize the characters at all, except perhaps Donna.
    It should have ended the moment Mike’s secret went out. Too bad. It used to be good.

    • PatriciaLee says:

      I discovered that I watched Suits for Jessica, and I am waiting for her spinoff.

    • Paige says:

      I thought the Mike story went on way too long. I love this show when it’s Mike, Harvey and team against the world vs one inner firm catastrophe after another. Not sure on the whole Donna partner storyline, but will see how it plays out.

  4. As I said on twitter, seeing the portrayal of a therapist-patient relationship make me uncomfortable to the point of sickness. The line about therapists fantasizing about their patients hurt me the most.
    I understand they wanted Harvey to be with someone other than Donna, and I accept that. This, however, was unacceptable. I cannot continue to watch while this storyline is playing out.

    • Anne says:

      Legit.

      • SandraO says:

        It was horrible. I don’t know who thought this would be romantic or acceptable. And it’s not only about being unethical: they turned Agard into another woman Harvey slept with. It’s wrong on so many different levels.

        I won’t be watching anymore. I’ll pretend Suits ended in season 6, when Harvey’s character growth was beautifully portrayed. I can already tell season 7 is going to be a train wreck.

    • Ashley says:

      This. They would never have done this to a male therapist, either. It was utter garbage and probably will be the reason I no longer watch the show.

    • PatriciaLee says:

      OMG, I’m glad I haven’t seen the episode yet…and won’t. (thanks for the heads up, love the comments section)

    • Megz says:

      Amen to that.
      They are so not a good match.
      She will be constantly anylising him.

    • GrumpyMittens says:

      I made me feel pretty disgusted, tbh. It seems to me they’re showing therapy as means to get laid – and that’s just not cool. In the “Oh, you have issues? Don’t worry, this pretty lady will help you get through them and once you’re a functional adult, she’ll sleep with you” way.

    • jeannenoisette says:

      I love that show, but a therapist going out with a patient is NEVER a good idea, it’s unethical. I liked the therapist AS a therapist, but this is not acceptable.

    • Latoya says:

      Yes, you are right on. In a premiere rife with ridiculousness (sorry, I love Donna like a schoolboy loves his math, this move is preposterous I can’t even wrap my head around it. If I wanted fantasy, I would watch GOT), the sleeping with your therapist completely turns my stomach. Mental health awareness these days is just scratching the surface and they set it back 3 decades. This is not sexy. This is not cool. And furthermore, for a show that I feel goes the extra mile to include diversity in its stars and guest stars, something that I deeply respect, why would they think it’s okay to use women as plot devices to further Harvey’s “sex machine” image. Dr. Aagard is a solid character that’s been reduced to snuggle bunny.

      Do better Suits. Do better. And if you can’t do better, maybe it’s time to call the series.

  5. Anne says:

    I really like that Donna is having her own non-romance, non-Harvey plot lines. I’m of course rooting for them, but I’m really enjoying seeing her character explored as an individual

  6. M3rcNate says:

    I don’t say this lightly but having Donna become a partner is jumping the shark. “The Donna’ was bad enough, but this? She has walked around like she is a senior partner for a few seasons but my goodness…she is a secretary and has been paid fantastically to be one. In what world does that mean you earned or deserve a “seat at the table”? I get empowering the female characters and what not, but this is just too much. We got Rachel the lawyer (finally) and that is great, we didn’t need Donna the senior partner.

  7. MMD says:

    Well I thought it was terrific. There is a whole new vibe to the show and they sure as hell aren’t about to let it get stale .Every character is refreshed. Can’t wait to see the next episode.
    The only thing I found a tad jarring were the constant shots of NYC, which I know is where it is supposed to be, but it is filmed in Toronto (which they haven’t tried to hide, previously just showing a couple of night shots of Manhattan). Now that I am used to it I’m ok.
    I think it is going to be a great season.

    • MMD says:

      Forgot to say, that I’m beyond thrilled that Donna got her seat at the table!!! After all, she does keep the firm running on an even keel plus she knows how to get everyone to do the right thing.

    • Ashley says:

      If by refreshed you mean exactly the same, then yes. I wholeheartedly agree. Harvey is just as manipulative, immature and self-centered as he was in S2. Mike hasn’t learned anything from his mistakes and is just as bad as Harvey on the self-centered front. Rachel might as well be a stagnant pond (and I like her) and Donna…I guess she has changed, but I don’t know that I can say that those changes are for the better.

      Needless to say, I tend to disagree with you on this. But hey, I’m glad some of us were able to actually enjoy the episode.

      • Latoya says:

        Your comment x 3 Ashley. Don’t forget Louis. His poor character experiences growth that would satisfy a snail.

  8. Larry says:

    I’m sort of done with the show after dreadful 2nd half of season 6 but I’ll watch the episode in which Esther will come back to romance Donna. I mean I’m all for this.

  9. Joey Padron says:

    Season premiere was good. Happy for Donna getting senior partner at the firm. Glad Mike’s pep talk helped Harvey make things right with his new job at the firm. Can’t wait for the next episode!

  10. Heather says:

    Love Suits but it is disappointing the way Rachael is being portrayed now, her and Mike were a fun couple to watch completely in love with each other, now she doesn’t even kiss him when he goes to a party she cannot go to ?

  11. Gerald says:

    Harvey and Mike forever!!!
    Loved their barbs. “P*ssy” line was priceless. Loved them working together.
    Loved that Mike pushed Harvey to be himself and not try and fill Jessica’s shoes.
    Question; Donna asked to be a partner and have a seat at the table and I kinda thought OK. But then when they made her partner and all of a sudden she was a Senior partner…. That I found a bit odd.

  12. GrumpyMittens says:

    It feels like the writing room not only decided to jump the shark but also to punch the poor thing while they’re at it.

  13. Christian says:

    I hope we’re completely over “The Donna” tech stuff, and that the money doesn’t come from her selling the rights and a new arc appearing where she fights for it. “The Donna” was just lazy writing.

  14. I feel bad for Louis for the most part seasons 3 -4, it’s like when he has a right to be upset about something and getting his fair share of justice when he is wronged it always eludes him. Jessica said that even though he lacks self-awareness he is able to look at himself honestly when a mirror is held up to himself. He was even robbed at the chance to honest with Harvey when he realized that he himself wasn’t ready to be the managing partner based on his mistake but Harvey tore into him before he had a chance to do so. If Jessica is a Lion then Harvey would be a Fox/Wolf….Louis would aHarmless garden snake when emotional but transforms to a deadly Hydra serpent when protecting the firm’s interests. Donna would be a mongoose.

  15. Luis Roman says:

    HIS EX-THERAPIST????????????????????????? Harvey doesn’t have enough issues?

  16. Kate quinn says:

    Not sure how much longer I can wait for Darvey to happen… it’s been 7 years!

  17. Sarah says:

    I hate th idea of Dr. Paula as a love interest. That came out of no where… not a fan

  18. L P says:

    I am concerned that Donna can skip steps to partner, while Rachel worked hard to become lawyer and had to beg for the associates in Louis’ stead. I undderstand Donna has been a soldier for the firm, but don’t down play Rachel. Hope to see Rachel develop.

  19. Kia says:

    I didn’t enjoy this episode in general, but what gets me most (yes, more than the fact that she’s his therapist, it’s all anyone is talking about -) are the lines where Harvey says she’s the one he wanted to share it with. Seriously? Her? Could it be any more random? THIS should have been Donna. Not necessarily romantically though hell at this point I don’t believe it’s ever happening, but as a friend. Donna should be the person he wants to share it with. The things Harvey said that were supposed to make us believe how important his therapist is to him, were so uncomfortable and cringe-worthy to me. So out of nowhere imo.

  20. Linda says:

    What’s with the annoying descriptive voice of every action, emotion in Season 7?? So distracting! Will it continue through the season because it’s a deal killer for me. I’d like to just watch and interpret for myself

  21. Brooke says:

    Things I love about this episodes was Harvey and Mike working together again and not at odds with each other, like in the last episodes of season 6. I also just love Donna and maybe senior partner was a stretch but this is a firm that hired a fraud and got away with it, and Mike only did about a month of his time so it’s not really a stretch that Donna could be senior partner. It’s not like she’s gonna go and get cases or anything, she is just gonna be keeping the form together like she has for the past 7 seasons. So I will see where they go with that.

    The main thing that I hate is the relationship between Harvey and his therapist and not just because I love Darvey, but it also feels wrong on so many levels. I also don’t understand, like when did he gain feelings for his therapist, seriously he had a dream about Donna a month before he asked the therapist out (he said it had been a month since Jessica left at dinner). I also didn’t like how he said he wanted to share it all with her, I was like what about Donna who has been there for you and also who pushed you to go and fix things with his mom. I just can’t get behind this relationship at all.

    I still have some hope for Donna and Harvey because of the interview that Sarah and Gabriel did together.

  22. meso says:

    whats next? the janitor from downstairs becoming a partner? its plain silly.

  23. Justin says:

    Hell no to Donna and Harvey – If these two ever get together in a romantic relationship I will drop the show like a hot potato.

    I do miss Jessica – especially the repartees between her and Louis

  24. Justin says:

    Harvey and Donna together is disgusting. It’s like brother and sister having sex. Absolutely disgusting.
    Please for the love of all that’s clean- let’s have none of that crap.

  25. Sam says:

    All I want is Darvey. Why the hell did they come up with the stupid unethical therapist romance.

  26. SuitUp says:

    I am surprised that so many people are surprised at Harvey and the therapist. This whole show is about super smart Harvey Specter doing totally stupid things.

    I am looking forward to watching him suffer through it all…and learn. ;)

  27. Linda says:

    I loved the show and evidently some of the people commenting do not realize how important the secretary is. They usually know more about what is going on than anyone. I really was hoping that Harvey and Donna would be finally be together. They really make Louis a little sappy for a true law firm but everyone has their place. Hoping Mike and Rachel don’t split because of her now dating a prince.

  28. Bea Fillier says:

    I was very disappointed that I could only view 10 episodes of season 6 on Netflix so I had to start viewing season 7 with this viewing loss of the other 6 episodes! I was so sad and can’t understand why this happened!…loyal fan of Suits….😥

  29. PeaceNHealing says:

    Donna as partner is still completely ridiculous, I’m sorry. First, there’s the lawyer who, for many years, wasn’t an actual lawyer (and that was fun, fine). Now, there’s the secretary who’s also not an actual lawyer, yet is becoming a SENIOR partner at a top law firm? I’m not sure I like where all this is going. They needed a force like Jessica to replace Jessica. Donna is a force, but not a “Jessica” force–no matter how hard we try to force it. I don’t enjoy not having a super-secretary or a true Jessica. It’s not “empowering” to have a woman who’s less qualified than Jessica try to fill Jessica’s shoes in the eyes of viewers. They need a woman with Jessica’s credentials, flair, and presence to do that.