[Warning: Contains spoilers for Suits 801!]
After the departure of Jessica Pearson (Gina Torres) from the firm, all eyes were on Harvey Specter (Gabriel Macht) to fill her Jimmy Choos (figuratively, of course). While he performed the role of managing partner admirably, Harvey decided to step down and hand the reins over to Robert Zane (Wendell Pierce), in the Season 8 premiere of Suits.
USA Network chatted with both Macht and Suits showrunner/writer Aaron Korsh about Harvey’s surprising decision (that is, surprising to everyone but Donna…). According to Korsh the choice came up organically, while writing last night’s episode.
“In the course of writing the episode, we got to a certain scene and we started to realize, ‘Wait a second!’” Korsh recalled. “‘Harvey doesn't wanna be managing partner!’ It just occurred to us that Harvey likes being a gunslinger.”
Macht echoed the sentiment that his character prefers to be in the heart of the action, not administrating the firm.
“I think Harvey relates more to the people who are out there -- who are more active in doing what they know -- better than the managerial position of overseeing numbers and overseeing workplace morale and all of that,” Macht told USA. “I think. to a large extent, Harvey likes to take risks and he likes to live life large. He felt a little too responsible being in the number-one position. So, to be able to go back into the number-two guy at Specter Litt, it creates this dynamic where he can push it a little bit.”
Of course, as with most of his major life decisions, it’s Donna (Sarah Rafferty), who helps steer him -- and for Korsh and the other Suits writers, she was the perfect catalyst for Harvey’s choice to step down.
“We were like, ‘Well, who's going to point that out to him?’” the Suits boss remarked. “‘Who better than for it to be Donna?’ I remember when we shot that scene with Sarah, I would say, ‘Donna can recognize it before Harvey recognizes it, but, she can't know it before he's feeling it inside.’ She sort of pieces it together. She's like, ‘Mike left because he figured out who he wanted to be.’” Donna recognizes that Harvey’s been to the mountaintop -- he wanted to become managing partner because he wanted to prove to himself that he could do it -- but that’s not where he belongs.
So, now that Harvey’s back where he belongs and Robert Zane is in the captain’s chair, it should be smooth sailing from here on out, right? Not so fast, according to Macht!
“What's interesting about the next few episodes,” shared the Suits star, “is that even though Harvey isn't the managing partner, there are times where he feels like he is. That creates conflict between him and Robert Zane. You'll see some exploding moments between the two characters… I think ultimately, in the first episode, Harvey believes that Robert Zane has more history or know-how and can take care of the firm in a different way. It’s freed Harvey up, allowing him to follow through on what he does best.”
And we can’t wait to see Harvey back to doing what Harvey does best every Wednesday night on Suits at 9/8c on USA!