This week saw the eighth season finale of USA Network’s Suits, and as the show heads into its ninth and final season, it will see another cast member exit, following Gina Torres, Patrick Adams, and Meghan Markle, which represents half of the original cast. This week’s exit was not a series regular, but a frequently recurring character since 2013 and the father of Meghan Markle’s character.
Wendell Pierce’s Robert Zane was written out of the series in the season finale, but it was entirely for scheduling reasons. Wendell Pierce has commitments to both Amazon’s second season of Jack Ryan and he’s on stage in London for Death of a Salesman during the first two-thirds of next season’s shooting schedule, according to Suits showrunner, Aaron Korsh. However, Korsh did not rule out the possibility that Pierce may make an appearance next year. Patricks Adams and Gina Torres — who will launch her Suits spin-off, Second City (set in Chicago) — may also make a return appearance in the final season, though a return is less likely for Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, for obvious reasons.
How Pierce was written out of the series is a little convoluted (as is often the case with Suits), but basically amounted to Robert Zane taking the blame — and being disbarred — for a mistake that Harvey (Gabriel Macht) made in breaking attorney-client privilege. We’ll ignore the fact that the offense likely did not rise to the level of a lifetime disbarment, particularly on a show where its lead character practiced without a license for several years, served a bit in prison for that offense, and returned to the practice of law even though he’d never attended law school). Narratively speaking, the important thing Zane’s disbarment sets up is that Katherine Heigl’s character will go into her final season without her mentor, mirroring Harvey’s challenge after Jessica Pearson (Torres) left.
The far more interesting development in the episode came in the final minute — in fact, according to Korsh, it was a last-minute addition to the script. After eight seasons of will they/won’t they, Harvey and Donna finally will, which comes as a surprise to exactly no one who has been watching the series since the beginning. We don’t want to get too ahead of ourselves, but it wouldn’t be out of the question to expect Suits to end with another wedding, providing the perfect opportunity to bring back a lot of characters who have appeared on the show over the last eight years.
Suits will return with its final season later this year.