“Suits” fans went on an emotional roller coaster during the Season 6 summer finale Wednesday (Sept. 14). Aside from Harvey (Gabriel Macht) and Donna’s (Sarah Rafferty) quiet hand-holding moment, and Mike (Patrick J. Adams) helping support Rachel (Meghan Markle) to be her most boss self in court, the finale’s big moment came when Jessica Pearson decided to leave the firm she built from the ground up.
Not only did Jessica say goodbye to Pearson Specter Litt, she exited the series entirely — quitting the corporate world, and moving to start a new life with Jeff (D.B. Woodside) in Chicago.
Viewers are still in denial that Jessica might no longer be a part of the USA series, and since her character was not killed off — thanks for that, executive producer Aaron Korsh — we can’t help but wonder if she’ll ever make her return.
But first: Why did she leave in the first place? Who made this decision?
Turns out, it was Torres herself. “Leaving the show was indeed a difficult decision to make,” the 47-year-old actress, who’s married to “Hannibal” and “Matrix” actor Laurence Fishburne, says in a statement. “However at this time, it is necessary to get back to my life [in Los Angeles] and all the very important things that being on location in Toronto made very difficult to manage.”
Producers have been working on her exit strategy for two seasons. Korsh tells The Hollywood Reporter, “Gina expressed that due to personal stuff going on in her life, she needed to be in L.A. more. She said at the time that if ‘Suits’ were shot in L.A. she’d be on it forever, and if I had my way she’d be on it forever.”
“We tried as best we could to require her in Toronto as little as possible during Season 5,” Korsh says. “And in Season 6, we were just going to ratchet her episodes down. She ended up getting a pilot, and part of the requirements of having her be the lead in that was for us to not have her in first [position] for the back six [episodes] of this season. So her exit ended up being in episode 610.”
While in L.A., Torres booked a pilot, which could’ve permanently sealed her goodbye on “Suits.” However, like so many shows in Hollywood each year, it was not picked up to series. So why couldn’t Torres then come back full-time? Korsh explains, “At that point we had the storyline sort of locked,” and there was no turning back. “We were so under the gun with timing.”
So will viewers ever get to see Torres’ embodiment of female power — wearing the fiercest pantsuits, bossing around the boys — back at what might be called simply Specter Litt in the future? The answer is yes.
Even if Jessica had been killed off, “The door was still open for her to come back, because we do flashbacks,” Korsh says, of her irreplaceable presence. “I cannot imagine a better combination of talent and attitude and work ethic and professionalism,” Korsh says. “There’s no person you would want to work with more. She is such a class act, I can’t express that enough.”
On Thursday (Sept. 15), it was announced that Torres will be appearing on our screens sooner than later, over the “Suits” winter hiatus: While details of the role remain top-secret, she will be a recurring guest-star on the Shonda Rhimes’ ABC series “The Catch.”
“Suits” will return for the second half of Season 6 in January 2017 on USA.