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Why Did Patrick J. Adams Leave Suits Before the Final Season?
Series protagonist Mike Ross leaves Suits as a regular in Season 7. Here's why.
Fans old and new are binging the USA Network drama Suits this summer to follow the adventures of Mike Ross, a corporate lawyer who reaches the heights of the legal profession despite having never gone to law school. However, although Mike is the main character of the first seven seasons of the nine-season series, he’s absent from the penultimate season and only appears in a few episodes of the final season.
But, Patrick J. Adams, the actor who played Mike in Suits, had a good reason for stepping away from the show before the end. Two, actually. As Adams explained to The Hollywood Reporter when he announced his departure after Season 7 in 2018 (but before he came back in a guest star capacity for Season 9), it was a combination of his personal life and a feeling that Mike’s story was complete.
What did Patrick J. Adams say was the reason he left Suits?
As Adams told THR in 2018, he was partially motivated by a desire to spend time with his wife, Pretty Little Liars star Troian Bellisario.
The couple met in 2009 and were married in 2016, and had their first child in the fall of 2018.
But, it wasn’t just a desire to spend more time with his family that prompted Adams to step back from his regular role on Suits. Season 5 ends with Mike being sent to prison, and though he gets out midway through Season 6, Adams thought it was a natural place for Mike’s story to end. He would marry Rachel Zane (Meghan Markle), and then leave the big corporate law world.
Here’s Adams, to THR:
“After seven seasons — really, eight years of being away from home and away from my now-wife and there was that pressure. I started thinking about leaving at the end of the first half of season six, after Mike was released from prison. From a story point of view, I was a little unsure of what was left for him to do. Mike had made the pledge during his trial that if he were allowed to continue to practice the law, he would dedicate his time and energy to underrepresented people and not big, corporate interests. I wasn’t sure how we were going to work that version of the character into the fabric of the show. Aaron Korsh and I talked about it and he pitched this idea of Harvey (Gabriel Macht) offering a one-for-one deal that would keep Mike working at the firm so he could gather the resources to go and do more pro-bono cases. That brought up an interesting season seven. And I’m proud of how this season turned out.”
Did Patrick J. Adams return to Suits after he left?
Adams does not appear in Season 8, as Mike married Rachel and they moved to Seattle to run a legal clinic in the Season 7 finale. However, he does return in a few episodes of Season 9, including the finale.
One of Mike’s clients in Seattle has him facing off against Harvey, and he returns to New York to win the case and ultimately reconnect with his former mentor and join forces against (Faye Richardson).
Speaking to Entertainment Tonight about the return in 2019, Adams said, "Ultimately, it was about coming back."
“It was about, 'We'd love to get the band back together,' basically. Do one last trip around the world. It was as simple as that. For me, it was just an excuse to come and see everybody and really be here for the final moment," he continued.
And, despite leaving his role as a regular before the end, Adams was able to be there for the finale.
“When I left the first time, it was just me. I was saying goodbye and I knew this thing would continue after me," he added. "Now I know that every time we'd shoot a last scene in the bullpen or in Harvey's office or in Donna's office or wherever, I'll get to be there for that. Then, when we say 'cut' for the final time and Suits is over and that's it and it's in the past, I know I'll get to be there with everybody when it happens. For me, that's a huge gift."
Suits is streaming on Peacock.