Looking ahead to a new era – My wish list for Suits Season 8

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It’s only been a few months since the season seven finale of Suits, which, if you read my review, you’ll know left me feeling rather disappointed. I’ll always think that opportunities were missed to truly make the departure of Meghan Markle and Patrick J Adams and indeed their characters, special, especially now that the spin-off show, which used that finale as a springboard and took up so much time, isn’t even reaching our screens until 2019.

Those views aside, this week sees the return of the series, in what is undoubtably a whole new era, with the arrival of new character Samatha Wheeler (played by Katherine Heigl) and the promotion of Dule Hill’s Alex Williams and Amanda Schull’s Katrina Bennett to series regulars. The show won’t be the same without half of the original cast (although I assume Jessica Pearson will be back the closer we get to the start of her show, Second City) and I’ll especially miss the special bond between Harvey and Mike, but I’m also excited to see whether the show really is able to reboot itself which, if successful, could mean it’s around for a bit longer.

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Therefore, before the show returns this week (Wednesday night in the USA and Thursday on Netflix here in the UK), I’ve been considering exactly what I’m hoping for in Suits season eight. I’m realistic in knowing that it’s unlikely I’ll get all of the points on this wishlist, but hopefully my demands aren’t too unreasonable!!

So, diving right in!

1. A narrative that makes sense and doesn’t come out of nowhere!

I won’t ramble on about how much the season seven premiere irritated me (you can read it here, if you haven’t already!), but I still need any show I enjoy and invest in, to have a logical story narrative for its characters. That isn’t to say things will always go the way I want them to, but as long as I can see the logic for the story decisions, I’ll stick with it to the bitter end!

2. Strong female characters supporting each other, not pitted against each other

Suits has always impressed me for its inclusion of strong female characters and although nothing will compare to Donna and Rachel’s friendship, or Jessica’s presence at the top, season eight has the opportunity to again have three main female characters supporting each other. I don’t want to see Samantha and Donna pitted against each other, or threatened by each other and I hope the writers won’t be as stereotypical as other shows have been when portraying women on screen. Having Donna, Katrina and Samantha (and indeed with Gretchen and Sheila too) in the series, I’m excited to see them supporting and respecting each other’s strengths.

3. More Donna backstory please!

Although she’s been here since the beginning, Donna is the character we still know the least about. Season seven showed us Louis’s past and what made him who he is and yes, we’ve seen a glimpse of young Donna, but there’s still so much we don’t know about her and I’d love to dig further in to that. Plus, who doesn’t want to meet her mother and see her talking about Harvey at that dinner party, or Donna during her theatre years?!

4. More Lily and her meeting a certain someone special

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I know many many people hated Paula Agard getting to meet Harvey’s mother before Donna, but I see why, from a story perspective, it made sense, allowing all the events of “Inevitable” to unfold. Darvey fans are forever grateful to you, Lily! Personally, I love seeing the more emotional side of Harvey (and Gabriel Macht getting a chance to channel his emotions more) and there is so much that could be explored through his relatively new connection with his mother, who is surely wondering who exactly that someone special is, if it wasn’t Paula! Stop by the office Lily and pop in to see the COO. Maybe Gordon mentioned her? I can but hope! Plus, if Harvey’s brother is going through a difficult time, then Lily is bound to appear at some point.

5. Mike and Rachel remaining a presence, despite their absence

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Yes, Patrick and Meghan may have left (although I still hope Patrick comes back one day, even if just for the last ever episode), but Mike and Rachel are still only in Seattle and so I hope they’ll continue to be referred to, from time to time. With Robert Zane joining the firm, I imagine this will be much easier to achieve and any little mention will go down very well with longstanding fans.

6. DARVEY PROGRESS! It’s been seven seasons for heaven’s sake!

It’s hard to say exactly how much progress I want to see by the end of season eight without knowing if this will be the final season of the show or not. Plus, I’m realistic when it comes to Donna and Harvey’s relationship. It remains one of the most interesting dynamics on television and chemistry between actors of this kind is rare, but I also understand why the writers have held off, as a slow burn is fun to watch. Plus, there is more to Suits than Darvey. However, I think Suits is at risk of dragging the slow burn out for too long unless clear progress continues to be made, especially as I can’t imagine this couple not being endgame by the time Suits does eventually finish.

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Season six seemed to be heading towards something happening, with both characters more emotionally open, especially after Harvey finally reconciling with his mother and then 7.01 suddenly had Harvey declaring the only person he wanted to share his life with was her ex therapist?! Personally, I didn’t have a problem with Harvey having a relationship with someone else, as I’d hoped that would wake him or Donna up (which is exactly what this did, for Donna at least), but having it be Paula Agard was just nuts (although, full marks to Christina Cole for her work).

Therefore, surely this season needs to push Donna and Harvey’s feelings forwards, whether in the right direction for a ninth season, or to the finish line, if this is the last year of the show. Will Donna admit she did feel lots of things when they kissed? Will that be to Harvey or a third party like Louis? Will Alex or Marcus take on the role of Mike to give his old friend shit for not making a move on a woman he clearly cares for? Is this where Lily or one of Donna’s family play a role? There needs to be steps forward. Before a lot of fans lose their minds!

7. A deepening of the friendship between Harvey and Louis

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With the arrival in the firm of Robert Zane, who it seems is going to take on the managing partner role, Louis and Harvey will once again be on level pegging as named partners and I hope this allows for their friendship to only grow on screen. Over the last season and a half, we’ve seen much less of their in-fighting and much more of these two men being friends as well as colleagues. I loved their chat in 6.13 about Louis’s love life and the moment Harvey called Louis “My friend” in 7.14 was a highlight of 7B. I’m hopeful we see more of this in season eight and not a return to the more juvenile bickering of past years.

8. Samatha Wheeler kicking Harvey’s ass professionally, but staying away from him romantically!

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I know there’s been mixed reactions to Katherine Heigl joining the cast of Suits. What’s important to me is what she and her character bring to the show and that she fit in with the family that the cast and crew have created around the series. Everyone deserves a second chance after all. That being said, I really hope the writing team don’t go down the obvious route of having Samantha Wheeler dating Harvey. PLEASE NO! I think they won’t be that silly, but it’ll remain a concern until I see on screen that she has a partner or shows absolutely no interest in him whatsoever! Plus, it’ll be fun to see a strong woman kick his ass professionally.

9. Lots of Dr Lipschitz! 

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It seems crazy that Ray Proscia’s Dr. Lipschitz only arrived on Suits in 7.02, as it feels as though he’s been around forever! Fingers crossed he continues to help Louis on his emotional journey and if he has a spare slot in his schedule, can he fit Harvey in too? He really needs a therapist who takes their job seriously! Plus, if he’s having to deal with his brother’s marriage falling apart, maybe he’ll need someone to talk him through exactly how that’s affecting his own feelings on relationships.

10. Louis Litt being happy for a whole season (well, fine I’ll take half a season if a full one is too much to ask for)!

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It’s been a rocky road for Louis in the last few seasons, so I’m hoping to see him find a level of personal stability and happiness this year. Sheila has always been the best match for him (thank god Tara didn’t last long) and I’d love to see them both happy with their relationship. Maybe it’ll inspire Harvey and Donna to follow their example! And if a little baby Litt is on the cards, well, if it’s what both Louis and Sheila are happy about, then that’ll certainly add another dynamic to the show. Louis setting up a firm creche with Brian anyone?!

11. A few familiar faces popping up would be fab too!

Suits is a show that has a brilliant set of recurring characters to draw from and there are a few I’m hoping turn up in season 8. Top of the list are Gretchen and Brian, who both have brilliant dynamics with Louis. Then there’s Benjamin, who has a lovely connection with Donna, as well as Stu (but his return in season 7 perhaps rules this out) and I’m pleased we’ll be seeing more of Harvey’s brother too.

…….

So, those are my hopes for this new era of Suits. It has the potential to be an exciting season. I really hope it delivers. All my fingers are crossed.

Suits season 8 begins on Wednesday 18th July in the USA and on Thursday 19th July on Netflix in the UK. Here’s a glimpse at the new credits sequence too: https://youtu.be/HHEzkbnmKRs

 

 

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