Suits' Patrick J. Adams Talks Directing That Shocking Midseason Harvey & Donna Premiere Scene

Suits' Patrick J. Adams Talks Directing That Shocking Midseason Harvey & Donna Premiere Scene

There are moments when all long-running shows must face the inevitable and, either because of poor ratings or depleted story, dim the lights and say goodbye. This is not that moment for Suits. At least, not according to star Patrick J. Adams. Especially after tonight's midseason premiere.

"I think the show did something did kind of amazing that starts in the first episode and continues in the next five episodes, which is it kind of goes back to its roots in a way. It seems to be going back…by facing us all with the struggle of having to start anew, by putting Mike in the situation now where he's not under the pressure of this horrible secret, but by having Jessica Pearson suddenly leave, it put the whole firm in this new situation where suddenly there's this void of leadership and people have to figure out how to fix the problem," Adams, who also directed the episode, told E! News. "There's all these really new, dynamic, important problems and people with very different ideas about how to fix them. All these people that we love and they care about each other and they've been working together for so long are shifted into this brand-new place where they have to figure out who they want to be and how they want to continue. I think it certainly makes the show really vibrant and exciting and essential that maybe even for this past season, even though it was doing something new by putting me in prison, it didn't know where it was going to go." 

"And now that it knows, it's suddenly like this great hard reset where we get to see these characters really fighting for something again and to kind of build a new world…And that's hard," he continued. "We've been on for a long time. It's usually the moment where a lot of shows go, 'Thank you very much for having us. That's our show, that's our story.' And they go quietly into the good night. But the direction we seem to be heading in is a complete and sort of beautiful reset of the priorities of these characters and people who have loved these characters for so long get to go, 'Oh yeah, there's the Harvey Specter that I love and miss. There's the Mike Ross I remember.' You get to see these people really coming into their own in a way that I think maybe people might've thought we were done with. And we're not."

In the episode, Harvey (Gabriel Macht) and Louis (Rick Hoffman) struggled with the sudden departure of Pearson Specter Litt den mother Jessica Pearson (Gina Torres, who left the show last year) the only way they know how: By fighting like the most dysfunctional of brothers, rather than banding together. Meanwhile, Mike (Adams) struggled to find a job, any job, that'll hire him now that he's an ex-con and Anita Gibbs (Leslie Hope) intends to make sure he never works in law again, which led to a brief foray into teaching at the school he attended growing up, all while he adamantly refused Harvey's offer to return to the firm. The only person who things were truly looking up for? Rachel (Meghan Markle), who got the offer to work at PSL she's dreamed of for so long—and as a second-year associate, to boot!

"They're put into a new situation where suddenly they have to rise to the occasion because Jessica's been such an important part of the show," Adams said. "She's been the backbone of this place, and she's been the place where Harvey can turn when Harvey can't be the stoic leader that everybody thinks he has. He has this sort of safe space where he can go when he needs that person, and now that person's gone. It put everybody in a situation where they need to step up and they need to grow up and they need to take responsibility they weren't taking before. They need to mature."

That said, Adams was quick to remind that Jessica may be gone, but she's not gone. "While she's out of the show and no longer there, it's not like she died in the last episode," he teased. "So you know Jessica's out there somewhere and there is the possibility that she steps back in to help these guys out.

Speaking of teases, there's no way we can talk about this episode without talking about that whopper of an opening scene with Harvey and Donna (Sarah Rafferty), a bit of fan service that seemed to be the morning after the pair knocking boots that wound up being nothing more than a dream. For Adams, dream or not, getting to direct that long-time-coming moment was a thrill.

"The opening scene of the episode is one of my favorite scenes in Suits history because it's obviously a moment that I think a lot of fans of the show have been waiting to see. Even though it's got a little twist to it, I still think it's a really satisfying and exciting way to come back into the show and throw people right into the deep end," he said. "It's a scene that I typically wouldn't have a lot of experience—if it was a normal episode I wouldn't be there, obviously, shooting it and I wouldn't have anything to do with it because it doesn't have to do with Mike Ross, so getting to be a part of an iconic moment of the show was an exciting moment as a director."

What did you think of the fake-out? Let us know in the comments below!

Suits airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. on USA.

(E! and USA are both part of the NBCUniversal family.)