'Suits' creator Aaron Korsh previews tonight's summer finale (and talks 'the other time')

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Image Credit: Christos Kalohoridis/USA Network

If Suits fans were shocked by the death of Mike’s Grammy in last week’s episode, they won’t want to miss tonight’s summer finale (USA, 10 p.m. ET), which has more than one surprise in store as Mike deals with the loss and the battle for control of the firm comes to a climax. Here, creator Aaron Korsh offers a few teases.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: How long ago did you decide to kill off Grammy?
AARON KORSH: I came up with that when I was writing the pilot. In the first season, what I wanted in the finale was for Mike to get high and for Grammy to die. It turns out we moved up Mike getting high to the second episode (Laughs) and we never got to Grammy dying. The reason I had always wanted to do it was the grandmother character is based on my grandmother to some degree, who died when I was about 30 or 31. It was heartbreaking for me, but it is something that you go through, and it changes you. It’s a moving thing for the audience, but it’s a natural part of life and Mike has to go through it.

What can you tease about how Mike will handle her death in the finale? The promo shows him smoking weed again.
I don’t think he handles it well, I can tell you that. (Laughs) It sends him Ping-Ponging around in his emotions and his decisions. It leads him to make some really bad decisions seemingly in all aspects of his life.

I don’t think it’s spoiling too much to tease that the senior partner vote happens at the start of the hour, not the end of it, which most viewers would expect. So we really have no idea where things are headed from there, which is what makes the episode interesting. Tell me about that decision.
We went back and forth so many times on when the vote should be, and who should win, and what should happen. At the time episode nine [last week's episode] was written, we put the vote at the end of nine. Then I basically thought to myself, they’ve been keeping Louis waiting for all this time, why doesn’t he keep them waiting, which is what he says. And then we were gonna build to it at the end of episode 10, and we were like, well, we just built to it in nine. Let’s just get it out-of-the-way and see what happens. What we try to do is sometimes do things that you don’t expect, either with the result of the vote or the timing of the vote. That’s our attempt.

Let’s talk about Harvey and Donna. The conversation they had last week seemed to be telling us, very clearly, that Donna does not have romantic feelings for Harvey now. Was that you sending a message to fans to not ‘ship them?
It’s fascinating, I don’t actually think to myself, What do I want the fans to think, or ‘ship? I don’t think that way because I can’t guess what they’ll feel. They don’t feel things as a block, certainly, as I see on Twitter. If I ask 10 people the same question, they’ll give me 10 different answers. When I think of things, I more think of it as, What do I want to see happen and what are the most compelling stories we can tell. So it wasn’t a message to send to the fans. I honestly believe that Donna, at this stage of her career and life, isn’t actively in love with Harvey. If Harvey said tomorrow “I want to date you,” I don’t think Donna would. A part of her would want to. But I don’t think she actually feels that it would lead somewhere with him because of who he is at this point in her life. So I don’t think Donna is looking for a relationship with Harvey right now. Having said that, if Harvey all of a sudden dropped everything and declared his love, he might be able to change her mind. My feelings evolve on these characters, and the way sometimes they play things make me think, Oh, that’s different. Certainly Sarah Rafferty [Donna] just brings so much nuance and subtlety to every line she delivers that you really could believe anything.

In that same Harvey and Donna conversation, you built the mystery of their back story by referencing “the other time” Harvey was at her place, besides a dinner party.
The reason “the other time” came up is, we’ve laid in a certain mythology with the two of them. And definitely, I have an answer, that I will not give away right now, that makes it all consistent — everything you’ve seen her say and do and talk about it is consistent in my head for what that time was they’re referring to, what happened, and why she told Rachel in the season 1 finale, “You can never go back.”

Moving on to Mike and Rachel, we saw their sexual tension resurface in last week’s episode, and then from the finale promo, we know Mike kisses her.
You do see in the promo that he kisses her. I guess I can tease that this is part of the Ping-Ponging around of Mike Ross in the finale. Obviously he’s on an emotional rollercoaster. He’s untethered from the thing that most tethered him to making intelligent choices, his grandmother. I can only imagine: I’m not an orphan. I have a mom and a dad, a brother, a sister, an uncle, and cousins, and it still threw me for a loop when my grandmother died. And Mike has nobody, nothing. So he’s so untethered, and it really makes for the potential for some really bad decisions. It’s not that he doesn’t have great feelings for Rachel, and it’s not that the kiss isn’t based in what he wants to do, but I would say it’s an impulsive choice, and this episode is kinda filled with him making impulsive choices based in that experience of loss.

Read more:
‘Suits’: An emotional twist, a rekindling of sexual tension, and Harvey about to punch Louis — must be finale time!
‘Suits’: Meet Louis Litt’s parents, who are also Rick Hoffman’s parents — EXCLUSIVE CLIP
‘Suits’: Mike makes a choice. Agree with it?

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