SPOILER ALERT: The story includes details about the series finale of USA series Suits.
At the time Suits was renewed for a ninth and final season in January, creator Aaron Korsh predicted that the series will “probably end with some happiness and some sadness.” And that is the series finale he delivered.
It was a packed, Two Weddings and a Birth closer, which featured Louis & Sheila and Harvey & Donna tying the not on the same day, plus Louis and Sheila welcoming a baby girl just hours later.
The happy developments in the finale also included Harvey, Louis, Donna and Alex defeating Faye and getting their firm back, with fSamantha and Katrina reinstated. And Harvey and Mike partnering again as Harvey and Donna leave to join Mike and Rachel in Seattle.
The sadness in the finale involved the rough patch Louis had to go through with his wife and child in danger. While Mike and Harvey reuniting is sweet, “the bitter thing is that theyre leaving Louis,” Korsh said. “Its bittersweet for Louis. Its bittersweet for Harvey and Donna. Its bittersweet for everyone, And also just the fact that its ending. Its the end of an era both for the show and within the show.”
In an interview with Deadline, Korsh discussed when and how he decided how Suits will end, did he consider alternate endings, were Harvey and Donna always going to end up together, does he know whats next for the characters, did he make last-minute changes to the closer, and what reaction he expects from fans. Korsh also revealed which Suits alums he wanted to get back for the final season but couldnt make it happen and whether he asked Meghan Markle to make a cameo. He shared a sweet personal story that inspired Harveys red-herring comment to Donna that they were not getting married anytime soon just before he proposed and his thoughts about the Gina Torres-starring Suits spinoff Pearson, which is heavily on the bubble.
DEADLINE: When did you come up with the ending for the series?
KORSH: Sometime around the end of season eight was when I decided if Mike comes back, Harvey and Donna will leave and work with Mike. Then early in Season 9 we decided what was going to happen was Louis was going to be getting married and there was going to be problems with the baby, and they were going to go to the hospital.
DEADLINE: How contingent was this ending? It only works if Patrick J. Adams, who plays Mike, comes back. What if he hadnt come back?
KORSH: Usually when I get something I want to do in my head I just assume its going to work out even though a lot of times there is a lot of pain in the butt or a lot of effort required to make it work out that way, but it was very contingent. Obviously Harveys not going to go and leave and work with Mike if Patrick doesnt come back. It was so early in the season that we talked to him about it and he was onboard that we never really contemplated a backup plan. I dont like to think of backup plans until we about have to, so it was highly contingent on it but Patrick was onboard pretty early.
DEADLINE: So there was no alternate ending you considered?
KORSH: I never just think of something and land on it immediately. So Im sure there were times when I was open to considering it. There was never a different ending that was seriously contemplated, no.
DEADLINE: Did you have an original ending in mind when you first conceived Suits? Obviously there were cast changes you couldnt have anticipated, with the departures of Gina Torres, Patrick J. Adams and Meghan Markle.
KORSH: No. When I wrote the first script I had no intention of even attempting to sell it. I never contemplated even what would happen in episode two let alone episode 134. Then, even if I had, we went so much farther. Mike went to prison. That could have been an ending. I had no idea what the ending was going to be, and there were times when I thought maybe the ending would be Harvey and Donna getting together but we ended up doing that last year.
DEADLINE: But Harvey and Donna ending together was never in question, that it will happen eventually?
KORSH: It was in question. I thought maybe if they ever get together, itll be in the last episode. But no, I never was sure they were going to get together. That evolved over the years and we decided to do it. Starting around season four or five is probably when I thought theyre probably going to get back together but I didnt know how, and I didnt know when. Certainly, Seasons 1 through 4 was not a foregone conclusion that they were going to get together.
DEADLINE: A few days ago you tweeted that you had made some big last-minute changes to the finale. What were they?
KORSH: That was really because our promo department made a mistake and they spoiled both Donna and Harvey getting engaged and Donna and Harvey getting married, and one of our extras to some degree spoiled Harvey leaving the firm with the final name of the firm. So, so many things in my mind had been spoiled that I decided to say, I made some big last-minute changes just to throw some doubts into some fans minds but I didnt make any big last-minute changes.
DEADLINE: Speaking of Harvey and Donna getting engaged, in the last season finale, you had Robert encourage Samantha to get closer with Harvey as a mislead to fans before Harvey and Donna got together at the end of the episode. Was Harveys comment to Donna as they were walking down the aisle at Louis wedding that there was no wedding in the cards for them anytime soon also a way to get fans riled up before he proposed and the two tied the knot shortly thereafter?
KORSH: Yes, it was part of that because that was definitely the idea of it. And then having the voiceover as they walk down the aisle, talking about them was to some degree designed to make fans irate and have them think oh, my God, hes just doing the same thing again. Hes not going to give us a wedding, and theyre not even going to get engaged. And then give them the big surprise that they didnt just get engaged, they also got married. Unfortunately that ending got spoiled for at least some amount of fans but that was the purpose for that.
Part of it was, when I actually asked my wife to marry me, we were going away for the weekend. I had planned a very special weekend to ask her to marry me, and I was worried she was going to see it coming. So I told her the night before we were going away not to expect me to ask her to marry her. It was a stupid thing to do. She got upset, and I ended up asking her to marry me that very night because it upset her. I didnt want to have a terrible weekend with her in a bad mood. So we ended up getting engaged that night instead. It was a little bit of that when Harvey says dont expect it to happen any time soon. I was, in my own mind, making fun of myself a little bit.
DEADLINE: The finale went full circle with Harvey and Mike working together again. Obviously the dynamic is different now. Mike is the boss, and they are in Seattle. In your mind, how long will Harvey last being out of the big leagues?
KORSH: First of all, we say new boss. I think theyre really going to be working side by side. Some fan asked me a couple nights ago on Twitter, Are you going to think about whats going to happen to them afterwards, and Im like, Ive decided they cancelled the show, and Im going to embrace that, and Im kind of enjoying not thinking about that stuff anymore even for the huge amount of money they pay me. Im not going to think about it, and Im like, Im certainly not just going to think about it for free. I have no idea how long Harveys going to last there. I leave that to fans. I think thats for everybody to contemplate in their own brain.
DEADLINE: So you have no idea what happens with the firm next?
KORSH: I have no idea. I could think about it and come up with something but I have not spent one second thinking about it.
DEADLINE: The final season featured a lot of fan favorites. You had said that you had a list of characters you wanted to bring back. Were there any actors whom you wanted but couldnt make it happen?
KORSH: Abigail Spencer and I are always in contact every year. She had a tough scheduling road to hoe but in the end, it wasnt really her scheduling. It was hard to figure out a way to fit Scottie in seamlessly. So that was more from a storytelling standpoint. I would have liked to have gotten her in but I couldnt figure out a way to do it. Gina Torres, Jessica, she was worn out from the shooting of Pearson. We did have a scene for her. With her schedule we couldnt make it work. Thats really probably the one I would have liked to have had.
DEADLINE: Was there any possibility for Meghan to do even a small cameo ?
KORSH: Now that we already did it, I will tell you. I thought about asking, and I thought about even using audio footage that we have to come up with something, and in the end I didnt ask, and I just thought, Im going to respect her new life and not put her in the position of having to ask. We decided not to put her in that position so I never asked.
DEADLINE: Meghans Rachel was still featured prominently in the montage towards the end of the finale. How did that come about? Did you just get a little nostalgic when you were editing the finale?