A little therapy can go a long way — and in the case of Suits, Harvey’s sessions made for one of the most compelling seasons of the USA Network series yet.
But executive producer Aaron Korsh admits to TVLine that he wasn’t immediately gung-ho about the idea of the lawyer talking out his emotional traumas. Thankfully, a Donna twist on the pitch got him to change his mind, the EP reveals below.
On Wednesday’s summer finale (9/8c), however, the action won’t be on the couch, but mostly in the past as both Harvey and Mike grapple with a big choice.
“The focus of the episode is very much on the backstories of both Harvey and Mike influencing their decisions and what they’re going to do moving forward,” Korsh previews.
For the newly minted junior partner, that means visiting a priest who played a significant role in his childhood after his parents died, while Harvey tackles his mommy issues. Read on as Korsh teases the trip down memory lane and more.
TVLINE | This season was really interesting in the way it tackled things head-on like Harvey’s personal issues and Mike’s secret. Going into the season, what was the objective?
My objective going into every season is the same. It’s just to get through it without dying. [Laughs] And just to try to do something that we think is interesting and good. We were kind of stuck. We didn’t know what to do. We had to deal with the fallout of Donna [leaving Harvey], and at some point, I think it was [executive producer] Dan Arkin pitched it: Harvey goes to therapy. My initial reaction was, “No way! There’s no way he would ever go to therapy. And what would those scenes be?” I remember coming up with the idea of the scene where the therapist turns into Donna, and I was like, “Oh, that’s a Suits way of doing therapy. I like that!” Then the only way Harvey’s going to therapy is if he absolutely has to. That led to the panic attack idea.
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TVLINE | The finale has a pretty significant amount of flashbacks. What were you hoping to explore with those?
[We wanted] to have Mike and Harvey each grappling with this huge decision of whether they should stay or go. We had been wanting to explore Harvey and his mom stuff from the beginning of the year, once he was in therapy, and this just presented itself as a way to dovetail those two. With Mike, I don’t 100 percent remember how the idea of the priest came out, but it was a way to give him someone that he knew his whole life, who’s still alive, [who] he can go and talk to them about the thing, but the person didn’t know what he’d been doing. It sheds so much light on him. When we were writing it, I thought, “We should see the day he found out [his parents died]. We should see this thing that affected his whole life.”
TVLINE | Is Mike taking Trevor’s words that he should quit to heart?
Ever since Mike got promoted to junior partner, it seems like his secret is looming larger and larger, in his mind. It was a combination of Claire said to him, “If you really love Rachel, you won’t marry her,” and then Trevor, ironically of all people, says to him, “If you really love Rachel, you’ll quit being a fraud.” That’s the thing to do. So yes, that is what’s ringing in Mike’s ear. Trevor is the one person who can say to him, “I know what it’s like to be living a criminal life. It’s not worth it. Give it up.” That’s a huge thing. That’s what drives him to go talk to the priest.
TVLINE | There’s been a lot of power struggles on the show — within the firm, from people outside the firm. How is this one with Hardman different?
That is an excellent question. We have had a lot of power struggles. And I struggle with how many power struggles we want to see. But on the other hand, if we never see any power struggles… In real firms like this, there really is always a power struggle going on. I will say this, we brought in Jack Soloff to shake things up in the beginning of the year and we had no notion that he was going to be in cahoots with Hardman. I think it was around Episode 5 or 6, we had two different rooms going one day and both rooms, literally in the same minute, came up with the idea that he was in cahoots with Hardman. So we thought, “Wow, this must be a good idea or a terrible one,” but we decided to say it was a good one. What’s different about it to some degree is that it came from both inside and outside. Jack Soloff is not a purely trying-to-come-after-us guy. He actually, ultimately, ends up being a reluctant foe. When he brings up that vote in Episode 9, you can see that he doesn’t want to do it. But he has no choice because Hardman has something on him. … In order for Harvey to consider resigning, you really have to think there’s no other choice. And the way to make that be the case is Hardman and Forstman joining forces along with an inside man, Jack Soloff. It’s that triumvirate that makes it feel like Harvey has to lay down or may have to. That is the difference.
Suits fans, make sure to check TVLine after the finale on Wednesday for more scoop.