In our exclusive interview with Suits creator Aaron Korsh, we find out why he picked who he did to drop a dime on Mike Ross. [Warning: Major Spoilers Ahead!]
USA: When Mike was arrested, everyone immediately started to theorize who sold Mike out. Did you anticipate that this would become a phenomenon, almost like “Who Shot J.R.?”
Aaron Korsh: It’s a great question. No, not at all. It’s kind of funny. I think sometimes it’s an advantage to me that I think I think differently from most people. And sometimes, it’s a disadvantage. In this case, left to my devices, it may never have even occurred to me to wonder because, in my mind, if you commit a crime and someone calls in an anonymous tip, you’re never going to know. It’s not going to be relevant.
Since he actually did it, it would be more like, ‘How do we mitigate this damage?’... It didn’t really matter to me who did it because, even if they un-did it, the authorities -- if they’re looking into him -- aren’t going to stop looking into him.
I feel like most of the writers were more in tune with the audience. They were dying to know who did it! I think their original inclination is that there was a much more exhaustive search amongst our people for who did it. But to me, I wasn’t 100 percent sure why that did us any good. So we ended up splitting the difference and raising the question of it… but more with the notion of ‘because we need to know what else they told them and what they have on us.’ So, that’s where we ended up going with it. To me, I barely would have wondered about it at all. I definitely never envisioned it being the phenomenon that it seems to have become.
USA: We polled viewers and the majority of people who voted thought it was Claire Bowden. Does that surprise you?
AK: It’s so difficult for me because I never can guess what the fans are going to think; I never try to. I wouldn’t say I’m surprised or not surprised because I really would have had no idea who they thought. Claire is definitely a prime suspect -- although, to me, I believed Claire when she said she wouldn’t do it.
The writers originally had thought that maybe it was Logan Sanders and that would have made sense because if he had somehow found out that MIke was a fraud, he might want to break up Mike and get back with Rachel -- so I could understand that.
There were certain theories that I could agree or disagree with, but I would understand. But I guess some people thought it was Father Walker. I didn’t understand why he would turn Mike in… he’s breaking the seal of the confession. That’s criminal! Why would he do that and to what end? That’s why you go to confession. And he cares about Mike... that was one that was perplexing to me.
USA: The person that you ended up picking had no motivation that was driven by revenge or personal gain.
AK: Everybody else who has found out about Mike’s secret has not done what you should do. If you find out somebody’s committed a crime, just report it. That’s it. Don’t use it to get something to your advantage, like Louis did or Trevor did. Don’t let him off the hook because he preys on your heartstrings. He did something, it’s wrong, it can’t continue, and you’re going to put a stop to it because it’s the right thing to do. That would be a unique reaction to Mike’s secret that we have not seen yet.
Certain people have forgiven him and looked away like Scottie or Claire or Rachel. Certain people have used it to their advantage. This was finally going to be not revenge, not to [anyone’s] advantage, not turning and looking the other way, but just simply doing the right thing. Sheila, to me, was the perfect person for that.
USA: What’s Sheila’s motivation for coming forward? Is it that she’s personally hurt that Louis hid Mike’s secret from her?
AK: We don’t know that Sheila came forward. We know that Anita Gibbs told us that Sheila came forward. We also know that Anita Gibbs is not under obligation to tell us the truth and certainly willing to not tell us the truth. Louis is going to find out whether Sheila really did come forward or not in the next episode.
USA: It’s amazing that Mike went as long as he did. Do you think that people can actually have big secrets like this anymore? Can anybody get away with anything?
AK: 100 percent. First of all, I’m actually a spy and I’ve been working for the CIA for a long time.
Last year, a woman in Pennsylvania got promoted to partner in a law firm and it gave greater scrutiny into her career. It was revealed that she had never gone to law school and wasn’t really a lawyer. That happened last year.
I’ve heard a lot that Mike would never be able to do this and get away with it and I do understand that we’re stretching the truth in that it’s so small, we only hire from Harvard, and all that -- so that makes it a little bit more difficult to believe. But this thing happened like a year ago…. It happens several times a year that it is revealed that someone is not actually a lawyer that is pretending to be a lawyer.
USA: That is so crazy and also so ballsy that people do this.
AK: I believe somebody went to the SEC and said that they thought Madoff was running a Ponzi scheme 10 years before it came out that he was. That means that the equivalent of Sheila went to the place whose job it is to catch him and said he was doing it and they did nothing about it for 10 years. Finally it came out. So, without a doubt, there are people right now living secret lives. I don’t doubt that for a second.
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This interview has been edited for length and clarity.