Meghan Markle, Suits mid-season finale: Rachel Zane bows out with on-screen wedding - review

Ed Power
Meghan Markle and Patrick J Adams in Suits - BACKGRID

Finally, after months of anticipation, Meghan Markle made her fateful walk down the aisle. Her husband-to-be was a charming chap, with a playful smile and a wry, ruffled manner. The decor was sumptuous, the attendees splendidly attired. Markle’s dress was gleaming but understated – a frock fit for a postmodern princess. 

This wasn’t the Royal Wedding – the give-away-being a paucity of archbishops and the light bulbs strung, a bit tattily, from the ceiling. Yet to fans of long-running, ratings-gobbling legal drama Suits (Netflix) it was an event nearly as seismic, as Markle and her character, Rachel Zane, bowed out after seven tumultuous years. 

Rachel was tying the knot with Mike Ross (Patrick J Adams), the suave-yet-principled lawyer whose gadfly career we have followed through the series. 

Introduced as a college drop-out passing himself off as a qualified attorney, Mike was departing a fully-fledged courtroom saint (Adams is leaving Suits along with Markle, though only one of them is likely to pop up on the Buckingham Palace balcony any time soon).

He and Rachel were quitting high powered NYC firm Pearson Specter Litt for a new life in Seattle, to work at a partnership specialising in class-action lawsuits against Fortune 500 companies – a gallop into the sunset which Suits milked ruthlessly in 120 minute season finale. 

Meghan Markle's movies and TV roles, in pictures

Suits is over-the-top at the best of times and this two-parter was full-on even by its standards. In addition to the Rachel and Patrick storyline, the back-to-back episodes had to tie-up a confusing plot concerning an attempted takeover by Person Specter Litt by a hostile former partner – I’ll explain the details as soon as I’ve worked them out for myself – and the launch of a Chicago-set spin off series starring crusading senior lawyer Jessica Pearson (Gina Torres). 

Amid the ceiling-to-floor overacting, Markle stood out as that rare cast member who seemed passingly familiar with understatement. Rachel, to be frank, is a bit of a snooze: a cynicism-deficient font of optimism who often seems to exist merely to provide a sounding board for her fiancé.

Meghan Markle and Patrick J Adams, who is also leaving the show  Credit: USA Network / BACKGRID

But Windsor-in-waiting Markle has impressively breathed life into a mono-dimensional character. There was real, albeit restrained, emotion on her face as she said her farewells, particularly when she and long-time cast member Sarah Rafferty (aka hard nosed chief operations officer Donna Paulsen) hugged goodbye on camera, at which point it looked like one or both might dissolve into tears. 

Megan Markle made her last appearance in Suits   Credit: USA Network / BACKGRID

The wedding, which Rachel had bumped up so that she and Mike could take up their new Seattle positions without delay, was over surprisingly quickly and bunged on at the end of the two hours. It was also, of course, howlingly maudlin, with Rachel arriving to the strains of John Legend gloop-onslaught All of Me. 

Meghan Markle and Patrick J Adams in Suits Credit: NIPI

“You’re the husband I always wanted – I can’t wait to begin our adventure together,” she told Mike in that now familiar soft-velvet voice. But, as ever on Suits, the true flame was that burning between Mike and his mentor Harvey Specter (Gabriel Macht). Their relationship – Mike was introduced as Harvey’s professional associate all the way back in 2011 – has been a bromance for the ages and their sundering will have caused long-time viewers to grow a bit misty eyed. 

They man-hugged manfully at the end and then off Rachel and Mike went to adventures new. Markle will be back presently for another televised wedding – no, we haven’t heard much about it either – but for Suits devotees it was her exit here that rated as the right royal tearjerker.