It's been a thrilling third season of Suits, with romantic pairings (Mike and Rachel), feline love (Louis and Nigel's beloved Mikado) and plenty of infighting at the firm (including Harvey taking steps to betray Jessica before realizing what a mistake that would be) captivating viewers on a weekly basis.
In last week's Notebook, Gina Torres responded to my asking whether Jessica really trusts Harvey as we move into tonight's summer finale.
And here in the remainder of our chat, the statuesque actress talks about what she loved about the recent flashback episode, adoring Louis Litt and Jessica's flawless wardrobe and what she thinks her character wears at home...
TV Fanatic: At the end of the last episode, we found out that Ava is now suing the firm. What is that going to do in the finale?
Gina Torres: I think now I can say that the firm isn't even in as much danger as it has been in the past. Right now, we're in the black. You know, the mass exodus from last year, we seemed to have survived that, and really now, it's about rebuilding our reputation. And that's what's at stake, because there have been a lot of names on the wall, taken down and put up and taken down. So really, it's about our reputation.
TVF: Is everybody pretty much on the same side at this point, or is there still some kind of dysfunction between Harvey and Jessica or Mike and Harvey?
GT: We are united.
TVF: The flashback episode we had a couple of weeks back was so great for viewers since we saw the origins of the Harvey/Jessica relationship at the firm, or at least an earlier time in their relationship. How was that for you?
GT: Jim, it was lovely...the flashback episodes are always fun, because you get to learn a little bit about everybody. And because I don't get to work that closely with everybody, it was fun for me, too, to sort of watch baby Louis and Mike and all, and see that he actually did get into Harvard. I'm talking about Mike, now, and the circumstances surrounding how his career got sort of cut off before he even got started. Of course, Harvey, Donna, all of that.
As it relates to Harvey and Jessica, it was nice to see that he originally had other plans. Like, he thought that he might be working at the DA's office, but then he ultimately chose me because of my character. So that's nice.
TVF: Last week, there was a great moment where Jessica puts Harvey in his place a little bit regarding Louis and how he should treat him. What does Jessica see in Louis and his value at the firm?
GT: Jessica loves Louis. I don't think it's a manipulation on her part. I think she's known him as long [as Harvey]. She's known both of them pretty much as long. She's put a lot of time and effort into Harvey, you know, because Harvey has that sparkle and that shine but she obviously respects Louis' talents and his gifts. He has them, but they're just all wrapped up in a lot of other stuff.
And they're really not dissimilar, when you think about it. Harvey, all of his pathos and...all his challenges are wrapped up in this pretty little shell, and he's got them inside. You know, he's really not good about expressing or communicating his emotions. Louis, everything is out, on the outside. You know, they're both equally emotional but how they wear it and how they process it, it's completely different and she has to treat them differently.
TVF: Tell me if you think I'm right or wrong with this, but I think Jessica's in between [Harvey and Louis] in terms of how she handles her emotions and her own shell or armor.. Do you agree with that?
GT: I think she has the benefit of some experience and she's also in a position where she can't wear her heart or her emotions on her sleeve. She's been put into situations, now, with Harvey, specifically, with Darby, specifically, with Hardman, where they keep pushing her buttons all over the place. You know, because they want to see a break.
I think there's a part of Jessica that almost invites the challenge of breaking the armor, of finding the chink in the armor, because she is so composed, and it's what's maddening. It's what's most maddening to Harvey or Louis or Darby because they start thinking, 'She is human. She is a force, but she's keeping it all together.' And again, she has this reputation for being a master chess player. So her poker face is on, too. She's always thinking it through to the end and her job is to get to the end, to move before anybody else does. And she can't give that away.
TVF: Do you have a say in Jessica's outfits, or is there a designer you like to use for the show? She always looks impeccable, as do you when I've seen you in real life. You look fantastic all the time.
GT: Thank you. Thank you. There is a designer for the show. Her name is Jolie Andreatta, and she has created these, dare I say it, these iconic looks for all the characters. And what's lovely about going into Season Three is kind of going to a wardrobe fitting and there's just racks of clothes. And you can tell, 'Oh, that's a Donna dress, that's a Rachel outfit, and oh, there's Jessica.'
It's not any one particular designer. It's about a silhouette and her shape and fabric and putting it together. Jessica doesn't wear anything that's long and flowy. Nothing diaphanous. There's nothing diaphanous in her wardrobe.
TVF: I don't think we have but have we ever seen Jessica's home?
GT: We have never seen Jessica at home.
TVF: I can't even imagine her sitting around in sweats at home. I think she would be impeccably dressed at her own home whether she's by herself or if there's somebody around.
GT: Well, yes. She would be wearing something more comfortable, but it would definitely be cashmere.
TVF: I think cashmere, maybe some silk.
TVF: I know when the finale airs, we'll have six more episodes and, I ask you this all the time, but Jessica needs to get a little love in her life. Is that happening yet?
GT: I have no idea. I really don't. That is as big a mystery to me as it is to the fans out there. Does anybody really need to see that? Ask your Twitter followers that. Do they want to see that?
TVF: I think they do. I mean, I know I do. Let's let Jessica get a little happy-happy.
GT: Everybody's getting their happy-happy on the show. Everyone's all paired up like nice little ducklings.
TVF: I was looking over your credits. You've done everything, Gina. Is there a character or a project that you would love to go back to?
GT: Huge. The character that I played on Huge for ABC Family. I did 10 episodes. Winnie Holzman and her daughter Savannah [Dooley] really created it, wrote it. I thought it was so groundbreaking and so beautiful and so important, and we got gypped. We were pulled long before its time. There was still so much to say on that show on all those characters.
The Suits summer finale airs tonight at 10 p.m. on USA. New episodes of Suits Season 3 will air in January 2014.
Jim Halterman is the West Coast Editor of TV Fanatic and the owner of JimHalterman.com. Follow him on Twitter.