Shane Mahood/USA Network
Chancellor Agard
January 27, 2016 AT 12:00 PM EST

Warning: This story contains major spoilers from the midseason premiere of Suits. Read at your own risk!

It’s finally time for Mike, Harvey, Jessica, Louis, Rachel, and Donna to all pay for the decision that was made in the series’ pilot.

In the winter premiere of Suits, Mike and Harvey found out just how hard it’s going to be to fight the charges against Mike. Meanwhile, Donna finally returned to work for Harvey. (You can read the full episode recap here.) In the final six episodes of the season, they will face assistant U.S. attorney Anita Gibbs, who is determined to prosecute Mike, Harvey, and, if possible, Jessica. This case promises to be the show’s most personal one to date. EW caught up with showrunner Aaron Korsh to find out what to expect from the rest of the season. 

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Let’s start with the episode’s first act, which took place almost entirely in that interrogation room. How did you decide what you wanted to get in early in this episode? 

AARON KORSH: I didn’t think we were going to try to fight this thing in the back six. I thought, how are we going to mitigate the damage because Mike definitely can’t get out of this. Chris Downey, one of the writers, said, “Why can’t he get out of it?” I felt that we can’t fight it because he did it, and Chris said, “Yeah, he did it, but he’s in the bar, he’s in the Harvard database. These are facts. He knows the law better than anyone you’ve ever met.” I sort of added, “We don’t have to prove he’s a lawyer. They have to prove he isn’t.” Then, we just thought about Robert Zane (Wendell Pierce). I don’t remember how the idea came out that it was going to be Robert Zane [who shows up first as Mike’s lawyer] instead of Harvey, but we were just having fun with it all. We just started brainstorming and trying to get a good sequence, and hopefully we did. 

Has the identity of who turned Mike in remained the same throughout the writing process? 

It has. The writers had various options as to who it could be, ways it could’ve come about, and reasonings behind it — and they were all good and all compelling. But I had a different idea — the person and reasoning behind it — and I ended up not changing my mind and going for it.

What was their reasoning versus yours? 

Most of the people they were thinking handed him in ultimately did it for some self-serving purpose. I wanted the person to hand him in because it was the right thing to do. 

Right before his arrest, Mike had made a decision to give up this life. Will his commitment to fighting these charges waiver? 

Look, he’s going to be put into a position many times to just be, “I should just give up and hand myself in.” The problem — and what we’re going to realize in a few episodes — is that Gibbs doesn’t really want Mike. She doesn’t want the dealer; she wants the supplier — Harvey, Jessica, or maybe Louis. Because of that, he can’t just plead guilty for a lesser sentence because she’s going to use that guilty plea to go after them anyway. 

When you started writing this season, did you know Mike’s arrest would bring Donna and Harvey back together? 

Yes. We thought that if Mike gets arrested, Donna was gonna go to Harvey’s side to help him.

Will the issues that drove them apart still be present as they’re fighting this? 

They’ll still be there but somewhat in the background. It’s kind of hard to fight about whether you’re going to be in a relationship or not while trying to defend someone’s life. Issues of survival tend to trump issues of choice.

Jessica is in a vulnerable position. Will Daniel Hardman still remain a threat to her and her firm? 

I think we tried to dispatch with him in 511 based on Mike’s warning to Jack. David Costabile, who plays Daniel Hardman and is an amazing actor, is a series regular on the Showtime show Billions. We had very limited availability for him. They were very gracious and gave us an extra episode with him, but we didn’t have access to him in the back six, so we had to do that. Sometimes you’re glad you were forced into those choices — I like that it’s more about what’s going to happen to Mike as a result of these charges and less about another exterior power struggle and someone trying to take over the firm. 

Shane Mahood/USA Network

How is Anita Gibbs different from other foes Harvey and Mike have faced? 

In one way, she’s different in that we haven’t had a Big Bad or Big Enemy that’s been a woman. We’ve had formidable women who we’ve gone up against but no real foes. Anita’s not going to completely play by the rules, but she’s not corrupt. She won’t completely break the law to win. 

Is she like a female version of Harvey? 

She’s a bit more serious than he is, but she does have a sense of humor. Anita certainly wants to win this case, but we do reveal in later episodes that it’s not solely about winning for her. It’s also about how they did break the law and she’s trying to do the right thing. She says something interesting to Harvey coming down the line: “If you did this thing with him, what have you done over the years to stop yourself from getting caught.”

Scottie and Trevor returned in tonight’s episode. Can you tease who else will return?

I’ll say this: We’re going to see many, many past characters; some you’ll expect, and some you won’t. We’re going to see past love interests, no doubt about it, including Scottie (Abigail Spencer), Jeff Malone (D.B. Woodside), Sheila Sazs (Rachael Harris). We’re going to see past foes, past friends, a surprise or two appearance from some past associates at the firm. 

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

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