Warning: The following contains major spoilers from Wednesday’s Suits season finale.
Suits‘ Season 8 finale on Wednesday night saw Harvey and Donna take a big step forward when he rushed to her after realizing she was The One. The heated scene, which concluded with Donna leading Harvey into the bedroom, happened at the perfect moment, as far as star Gabriel Macht is concerned.
“I’m thankful that it’s real in the sense that here are two characters that really need each other in so many ways, as far as the business goes,” Macht tells TVLine, “and I think that they haven’t really been listening to themselves, listening to what they need in their personal lives, and it feels like the timing is right for them to explore what this is all about.”
And with the long-running drama nearing the end of its run, “I think it’ll be more interesting to see [the] last 10 episodes after tonight [and to explore] where [Harvey and Donna’s] relationship goes… and figure out if these two really can work together both at home and in the offices at work,” Macht says. (Get scoop from showrunner Aaron Korsh on what’s in store for the pair next season here.)
Below, Macht breaks down the steamy “Darvey” exchange and shares his feelings about the show’s “bittersweet” swan song.
TVLINE | Both Harvey and Donna have, in the past, tried to move on or have inched up against their feelings for each other without fully going there. What do you think made this time different enough for Harvey that it led him to this breakthrough?
I think we’ve been creating this atmosphere where potentially business success isn’t the end-all, and you can celebrate the wins all you want, but if you can’t celebrate it with somebody you love, then what’s that lacking part of one’s life? Mike and Rachel have gone into the sunset, gotten married, taken off, and Zane’s character, every time Harvey says, “Let’s go get a burger. Let’s go do something,” there are examples of people saying, “Hey, man, I need to go. It’s been a long week. I need to go share it with my wife,” or, “I need to go share it with my partner.” I think he’s seeing that around him, and he’s seeing that coming home late at night alone is not… It’s just not where his focus really, I think, wants to be. I think he’s really listening to his heart and seeing that’s not where he wants to be.
He, in these last few episodes, was trying to do right by Donna and giving her space, allowing her to be in this relationship, because they’ve made this deal over and over. But he’s no dummy. He knows that there’s something there. I think he just doesn’t want to lose her. I think his fear of losing her is so big that he wasn’t ever willing to break that boundary and cross over and see what a relationship with her could look like, personally, and even continuing in the office.
So at this point in his life, he almost lost everything, and he sees the people around him are making this decision to be with the ones they love. I think in that last moment where he’s sitting with Samantha, he just says, “You know what? This is stupid. I’m not really facing what I’m really feeling.” I think he sees that, once [she] opens the door and she takes a step back, that the opening is there to see what will come of that.
TVLINE | If he doesn’t take that chance and try to have a relationship with her, he’s going to lose her anyway, because she’s going to move on.
Yeah. I mean, she was almost going to move on. She was already out the door, and I think he’s just realizing it. It takes some men longer than others to come up with the realization that, “Hey, this woman has been knocking on this door for a while,” and he needs to wake up. The relationship has been so complicated. As far as I’m concerned, it’s been really well written. To be able to stretch that relationship over and over and over, it’s gotten really dynamic — at least to play as an actor.
TVLINE | What kind of conversations, if any, did you have with showrunner Aaron Korsh and co-star Sarah Rafferty about how you should play that final scene?
I just remember saying, “Let’s keep it really clean and graceful and with the utmost respect to the characters.” I didn’t want them to be sort of like really aggressive or chauvinistic in any way. I just wanted it to be equal. It had to be that these two people wanted it equally. I think we got that. It’s very hard. You just want to be sensitive to each other. You want to be sensitive to the actors. You want to be sensitive to the characters and just do it justice, because it’s an effort eight years in the making.
TVLINE | When I talked to Aaron, he mentioned that there was, at one point, a version of the script where they said a couple of lines to each other before they kissed. But then when he saw it on the day of, he said it just seemed better unspoken.
It’s very interesting, because I find that a lot of things would be better unspoken and visual and cinematic. That’s one thing we did talk about. We talked about how this is a very wordy, literate television show, and so [many] things happen in the words, and that’s what gives it its character and its charm. With that said, it becomes less cinematic. So the more that’s unspoken, it becomes more cinematic, and maybe he felt that in this moment, [that] this cinematic version was the best version or the right version. Who knows? That’s sort of what I suspect happened. That’s one of the conversations we had. And who knows, maybe we just weren’t feeling the words on the day. [Laughs]
TVLINE | Do you recall what the words were?
I think [she] opened the door, and Harvey said, “You weren’t there.” There was one time when I said it, it was almost like, “How could you not be there for me?” And Aaron looked at me, and he was like, “What if it was the opposite? Like, ‘You weren’t there like I wanted you to be there. Just like I needed you to be there.'” And I think she said, “I’m here now.”
TVLINE | Next season is the last one. How are you feeling about the show coming to an end?
It’s totally bittersweet. I’m so appreciative of having a steady job for coming up on nine years, for the relationships I’ve made with the writers and directors, the other actors and the whole crew. It’s like a second family. I’ve learned so much about the art, about the business of it. I’ve learned about directing. I’ve really enjoyed myself, directing a few episodes.
I see where it could have gone a little bit longer, but I also see that nine years is, like… how often do any shows make it this far? We have such a solid fanbase. It’s all over the world, and for the fans that have stuck with the show for this long, they want it to go forever. There’s a piece of me that would love to give that to them, and there’s another side of me that says, “This is a long time, and it was a great run, a fantastic run, and it’s time to work out some of the other muscles.” … I’m looking to strengthen some other creative elements in my life. It’s a good thing to go and challenge yourself in other ways and tell some different stories, and try and play some characters that are the complete opposite of Harvey. I think there’s balance. I’ve come to terms with the ending of it, and it’s really bittersweet.
TVLINE | What are your hopes for the final season in terms of what you’d like to see them explore with Harvey, and Harvey and Donna, and the firm?
I’d like to get back to some more of the humor of the show. I always enjoy the humor of the show. I love that it went into some really dark places, and it allowed us to do so many things. For Harvey to have, basically, a panic attack [and] borderline nervous breakdown [and then him] regaining the relationship with his mother and learning all about that and the issues with his brother, those personal issues, those were all terrific [storylines]. I guess I’d like to see a little bit of fun that we had in that first season or first two seasons. I’d like to see some playful stuff with Louis. I’d love to see more of the quirky Donna come back. She’s become so managerial and official. I’d love to see her putting Harvey on and all that kind of stuff, and the two of them going back and forth. I’d love to see an homage to all the past characters that we’ve had. If it was up to me, I’d have everybody come back in some form or fashion, because I’ve just loved all the actors that we worked with. They were such great actors.
TVLINE | Nine seasons is such a long run. Could you see yourself doing another TV series after Suits? Or do you want to take a big break from TV?
Well, there’s definitely going to be a break. I don’t know if that’s from television or what. I’m not looking to do the same thing. I’m looking to do something where I’m going to be stretched as an actor and work with some talented people. I’d love to go do a play. I’d love to potentially do an arc on some television [show] or do like a miniseries. I don’t know if I’m going to be signing onto a five-year commitment any time in the near future. That’s not something that I’m really fired up to do. I’d like to do some movies, and I’d like to direct, and I’d like to spend some time with my kids. I really want to see them grow up and be with them while they’re growing up. If I do another series, that takes me away from them. I want to be there for them.