Patrick J. Adams plays Mike Ross in USA’s Suits, a sort-of legal drama, that is far more about the characters than the cases. One of the two real leads of the first season, though season two is moving more towards an ensemble series, Mike is a brilliant young man, who hasn’t caught a break. Until now.
In season one, Mike is chosen to be the mentee of expert attorney Harvey Specter, even though Mike doesn’t have a law degree. This is everything Mike has dreamed of, and he struggles to keep his secret, as well as balance his new romantic life with his professional one. But as season two begins, Jessica, the boss, knows Mike’s secret, which could cost Mike everything.
The series is undergoing a change, moving away from a procedural formula, that wasn’t heavy in season one, but was present. Instead, the focus is morality and relationships, playing with the interactions between several distinct personalities in a particular situation. The plots carry over from week to week, and while the tone is relatively light, there will be times when one really questions the shades of grey characters choose to dwell in.
During a recent visit to the set of Suits, arranged for Internet journalists by USA, we as a group sat down with Adams to chat with him about the role that he plays, and what is in store for Mike in season two.
Similar to his character in attitude and genuine niceness, Patrick ends up staying for more than 30 minutes, just talking, before offering us a tour of the set.
Patrick has plenty of spoilers to offer on Mike’s upcoming storyline. Season two will delve deeper into Mike’s personal life, giving more screen time to his relationship with his grandmother, the only family figure in Mike’s daily life. Might he even bring a girl home to meet her? Who knows, since Patrick promises a clearer romantic story for the character.
Speaking of Mike’s love life, will he be hooking up with Rachel anytime soon? Well, Patrick is adamant that the timing must be right. Both have their careers to worry about, and they don’t want to make any more mistakes. Which sounds like a yes to me, even if the characters start out taking things slow!
The biggest obstacle in their love story is Mike’s secret. Not only will this affect his job as a lawyer, but this is a huge thing that he cannot tell Rachel. Surely, she will find out eventually, and she will be furious to learn he has been lying to her this entire time. But it’s way too dangerous to let her in now, and until Mike is ready to take a chance on really trusting her with it, there will always be a cloud hanging over the pair.
Along those lines, the big question dogging Mike is how he will fit in at the firm now, with the boss clued in on his secret. Lucky for him, Harvey is willing to go out on a limb to keep Mike on board. And with new developments, involving a character from the past, unseen by viewers yet, returning to the fold, Mike will actually be protected not just by Harvey, but by Jessica, too. Jessica isn’t happy to have Mike on board, but at this point, she has to keep him there. Suddenly, it’s integral that both of these people keep his secret. So while he may pay the price on a personal level, he doesn’t need to be out job hunting quite yet.
Since Jessica and Harvey will be distracted with this new issue, Patrick promises we will see more of Mike as an associate. After all, Mike is too new to be involved with the struggle for control of the firm, and with his mentor busy, he will have more time for his peers, as well as cases. Fans will actually get to see Mike growing into a capable lawyer. Too bad there’s an expiration date on this scenario!
This plot will have Mike wrestling with morality, as viewers will see right away in the season premiere. Being a good person and doing a great job as a lawyer don’t always sync up, priority-wise. Look for Mike to try to find his balance, wanting to do both well, and finding it more difficult than he expected.
Mike won’t just be spending time in the bullpen and courtroom, though. He still owes Louis (Rick Hoffman) from the bet that they made in season one. Consequently, look for Mike to be spending more time as Louis’ whipping boy, a delightful turn of events, considering just how entertaining Louis is as a character, even if Mike won’t like it. As Patrick says, “Louis is insanely… insane, and insanely talented.”
One might think, considering that Mike’s old friend Trevor spills his secret to Jessica, Mike and Trevor will be done. Patrick says that this is not the case, and explains why. See, Mike is in a totally new environment now, but Trevor is his friend from his former life. They were very close, and Trevor is a connection to keep Mike grounded, reminding him where he comes from. No matter what has happened between them, there is still some lingering friendship there. Which does not mean that all will be forgiven, or that Trevor won’t continue to be bad news for Mike. It just makes it hard for Mike to let go.
Want more? Patrick says the Mike/Trevor relationship will come to a head in the third episode of the season.
Contrasting with Trevor is Mike’s new friend, Harvey. Yes, Patrick thinks they are friends, or getting to be, anyway. Harvey is still in a position of power, but their relationship will change to one of mutual respect. Harvey is really standing up for Mike, and this will deepen their personal feelings for each other. It is not a strictly professional relationship.
Suits has never been black and white, but season two will bring this more into focus as a theme. No character in the series is right or wrong, and shades of grey rule the day. Even the new guy, who could ruin everything for the main characters, isn’t completely evil or sweet. This kind of thing is incredibly interesting for an audience, with unexpected twists cropping up at any time, and making characters’ decisions hard to predict.
Patrick also says that Suits is no longer a two-man show. For much of season one, Mike and Harvey are at the forefront. In season two, the lead is more divided among the six-performer ensemble. Not that Patrick is complaining about having less to do. After all, he really seems to like his co-stars, and is glad to be part of such a talented cast. These statements come across as very sincere, and unless he’s using his considerable acting charms on us, Patrick is pleased with the new arrangement, happy for his friends.
One more teaser? Patrick ponders if Louis and Jessica might be the show’s next ‘It’ couple. I think he’s joking. Hopefully.
The discussion turns to Patrick. How is he like Mike? Well, the actor freely admits he is terrible at impressions, something played up in Mike for comedic effect. The season two premiere will have a wonderful moment with him mangling a very famous “Karen!” But like Mike, Patrick is a cinema nerd. He gets the references, even if he can’t do them. Patrick dirty secret? Even though Mike berates someone for not having seen Casablanca, Patrick himself has not seen the film.
Patrick feels a kinship with Mike because they are both working very hard, just trying to do their best, surrounded by very talented people. This is where Patrick’s humbleness really shows itself, and he comes across as earnest and likeable, like Mike. There doesn’t seem to be a big gap between the character and the performer. This will come up for Mike on Suits in a dramatic way, but hopefully Patrick won’t face a similar pressure.
Patrick is also a nerd. He references both Lost and Star Trek in the course of the interview. This is the best kind of geek, of course, but it might be surprising to learn that an actor who seems so cool enjoys the dorkier things in life.
Time is up. We need to let a weary Patrick get his rest. He has been candid and conversational, a fountain of knowledge. The very natural ease with which he interacts, even under these conditions, is impressive. He deserves a break.
Thank you Patrick for taking the time to talk with us! Hopefully, it was as enjoyable for you as it was for those of us so excited to be with you on set!
Keep an eye out for a separate article covering Patrick’s set tour, coming soon!