After seven seasons, both Patrick J. Adams and Meghan Markle will be hanging up their Suits and moving on to other things (him, to different projects; her to the British royal family).
It’s been a long journey for Mike and Rachel, involving a lot of legal deception, some prison time, and one protracted engagement. But after all of that, the couple seems set to say “I do” onscreen by the end of the season, which resumes March 28.
But aside from their romantic fates, what about Mike and Rachel’s overall arcs? And, let’s not forget, there’s a major new character on the horizon: Samantha Wheeler, played by Katherine Heigl, who’ll join the cast in Season 8. Samantha’s a talented new partner who challenges the status quo and will either become the firm’s greatest ally … or most powerful enemy. Could she be part of the Season 7 finale and somehow tied to Mike and Rachel’s departures?
Here are five ideas for how Suits can button up the couple’s stories and introduce the new partner.
1. They start their own pro bono initiative.
When last we saw the couple, Mike was struggling between his work for the firm’s money-making corporate clients and his commitment to doing pro bono work. In Season 6, Rachel came alive with passion working to exonerate a death row inmate. So, our pitch: After teaming up for another wrongful conviction case (perhaps one of Mike’s former inmates), they decide not just to partner up for life but to found a new justice center, much like the Innocence Project.
That wrongful conviction case also brings them into the orbit of Samantha, whose “toeing the line” techniques impress Mike and Harvey — so much so that when Mike leaves, she takes his spot.
2. They take over Jessica Pearson’s Chicago firm.
The onetime managing partner (played by Gina Torres) left New York City for Chicago to try to make it work with an ex-boyfriend. She kept her name on the firm, though, and saved the day by testifying at Mike’s bar review. But in the midseason finale, Jessica was about to lose her law license. And we know that creator Aaron Korsh is prepping a spinoff for Torres — but set in the world of politics.
Perhaps Jessica was working with a partner in Chicago, Samantha Wheeler, who’s itching to move to the Big Apple. And Mike and Rachel want to strike out on their own so … trading places, y’all!
3. They move to London.
This one’s a bit more far-fetched, but more of a wink to Markle’s real-life situation. Here’s the idea: Rachel’s father, Robert Zane (Wendell Pierce), makes the newlyweds an offer they can’t refuse — the chance to start a new branch of his firm in London. It’s a lot of money, a lot of status, and Mike’s past won’t weigh them down as much. And who knows? Maybe they’ll run into a royal or two (Prince Harry cameo, anybody?).
Meanwhile, Samantha Wheeler is an American lawyer representing a British tabloid accused of smearing Mike and Rachel’s new clients. When Harvey steps in to help them out, sparks fly between him and Sam. And before you know it, she has booked a one-way ticket to NYC.
4. They start teaching.
Mike proved his mentorship skills working with Oliver (Jordan Johnson-Hinds) last season on the wrongful prison-death case. He certainly has a unique background — first being a fake lawyer, then going to prison for it, then passing the bar. He didn’t go to Harvard Law, but that doesn’t mean he can’t teach there, right? Rachel decides to go with him to teach criminal justice reform.
When Louis (Rick Hoffman) learns the couple is leaving, he decides to “get back” at Harvard by stealing one of their professors, Sam Wheeler, notorious for her harsh grading and exacting standards. Of course, Louis wants to become her BFF immediately.
5. They die in a tragic accident.
Look, it’s not that we want Korsh to kill off Mike and Rachel (far from it, we heart them). But it would be the easiest solution. It takes a lot of stretching to find a reason for Mike and Rachel to leave the firm and the city. Her family lives there, and Harvey, Donna, and Louis have become like family to them both.
A double tragedy like that may be too dark for Suits. But it would require fewer narrative gymnastics. And just imagine the emotional scenes it would give the remaining cast in Season 8.
Suits returns with Season 7 on March 28 at 9 p.m. on USA.
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