Last summer’s addictive USA hit Suits returns tonight for a second season (Thursdays, 10 p.m. ET), and as Gabriel Macht teases in our season 2 primer, Harvey will need to do some fancy maneuvering to keep Mike (Patrick J. Adams) at the firm after Trevor’s conversation with Jessica (Gina Torres). It’s an hour that sets up a juicy new power play at Pearson Hardman as Daniel Hardman (David Costabile), the name partner Jessica and Harvey ousted five years ago, resurfaces, while continuing to build the anticipation for Mike’s reaction to hearing that whiskey-fueled voice mail Rachel (Meghan Markle) left him about their kiss. (“I will say, by the second episode, we have a sense of where things might be going,” Markle says. The photo pictured is from that June 21 episode, titled “The Choice.”)
The primer offered some scoop for season 2, but here Macht, Adams, and Markle offer more.
• Harvey won’t exactly be rooting for Mike and Rachel: “Harvey believes that if anybody knows who Mike is, we’re done. We have a conversation, and I’m like, ‘Who knows what she’ll do when you mess up, because you mess up all the time,’” Macht says. “There is a big brother-younger brother scene where I’m like, ‘No, you’re not gonna even have that relationship. You can’t do it. Or date her, but you’re gonna lie to her.’” One of the themes the writers will explore is how many lies Mike can live. ”If there’s one place where you can’t do that, that’s when you’re falling in love,” Adams says. “If you lie, it’s just destructive to the thing you’re trying to create. I can lie about being in this job, I can be the con man, Harvey and I can bend the rules to win a case, but that’s not acceptable in the foundation of a new relationship. So there’s a real challenge there as to how I can do this without being fully open and honest with what’s going on.”
• Rachel and Donna (Sarah Rafferty) will bond more this season. ”There are a couple of great scenes of us at a bar pretending to perhaps be Mike Ross and Harvey Specter,” Markle says of episode 3. “It’s pretty great. Something to look forward to for sure. I’m sure for the blooper reel, we will have some pretty spectacular outtakes, too.” One secret to playing drunk? “Walking in heels that are this high makes it easy to wobble,” Markle says. “That’s a good trick that helps for the character.”
• Rachel and Mike will have some fun banter. That’s if this fun exchange we witnessed between Markle and Adams during some downtime on set when they were shooting on location in New York last month is any indication…
Markle: Of course, people want to know if Mike and Rachel are gonna end up together. Vanessa Ray [who plays Mike’s current girlfriend, Jenny], is such a fantastic girl and an amazing actress.
Adams: She’s an amazing actress…
Markle: Oh, he’s gonna do it right now. This is what he does to me.
Adams: My scenes with her… When Vanessa and I work together, there’s a sort of special spiritual connection that we have… You can probably pick up on it watching the show. You see it on camera. It’s like our souls are speaking to each other. Like, there’s words and we’re having a physical connection, but there’s so much more beneath that.
Markle: So charming.
Adams: I’ve never experienced anything like that with anyone else. Ever.
• Harvey will, presumably, not be celibate. “They try to keep Harvey’s personal life as much a mystery as possible. But there is a scene where Mike comes to my apartment to talk about his personal stuff, and I’m all dressed up in a tux. It’s midnight, and he’s like, ‘Where were you tonight?’ And I’m like, ‘It’s not where I was. It’s where I’m going,’” Macht says. “There’s a lady in the back of my apartment, and I’m like, ‘Just give me a couple of minutes.’ Harvey’s got women in his life. We haven’t explored that yet, and I don’t know what’s gonna happen in the future, but I’m hoping that we find someone.”
• Mike will (gulp) have to work for Louis. Remember that bet Harvey and Louis made for Mike’s services last season? Harvey makes good on it in episode 4, Macht says. “Louis wants Mike’s help. At first, I’m like, ‘I’m not giving you him.’ He’s like, ‘So I’m going to tell everyone you’re a welcher.’ ‘No, no, no, I didn’t welch, you passed on him.’ But then Mike pisses me off because he stays something about the music that’s in my office, so I say, ‘You know what, you’re being a little lippy for a Monday, I want to show you something,’ and I give him to Louis,” Macht says. (We’ll see more Harvey-Louis fun in episode 2 that involves a Dictaphone.)
• Harvey won’t get along with Hardman. Okay, this we’ve already established. But the real reason might surprise you. “What Harvey is really sort of unhappy about is that Daniel Hardman has a very cool office,” Macht jokes. “He can look into his desk, and it’s a reflection of himself. If it was in Harvey’s office, he wouldn’t mind.”
• Yes, there will still be cases. Episode 3 features guest star Margo Martindale (Justified) as the head of a nurses union threatening to strike against a hospital the firm represents. Serious story? Yes. But there was comedy on the set, Macht says. “So Margo Martindale comes and Harvey tries to close her. She walks off camera, and her line is like, ‘I’m not taking your deal. The nurses strike at midnight!’ She walks offscreen. ‘The nurses strike at midnight!’ And [Macht reenacts her Dracula-style pose] like she’s a vampire. I started crying with laughter. I couldn’t stop laughing. And then the camera guys, they’re so funny, they took a picture of her smiling like that, and they’ve tried to slip it into some of my briefs. I’m looking at something, and there she is again.”
‘Suits’ Who’s Who: A primer for Season 2 with a look back – and ahead
‘Suits’ season finale: Creator Aaron Korsh talks cliffhangers, chemistry, and of course, that can opener
‘Suits’: Sneak peek at the season 2 premiere – EXCLUSIVE VIDEO