SUITS: Patrick J. Adams On Danger for Mike Ross In Prison, Relationships & More

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SUITS returns this week, and with Mike Ross in jail following his decision to take Anita Gibbs’ plea deal at the end of season five, his situation is more serious than ever. In a conference call with journalists, Patrick J. Adams discussed how long we might expect to see the prison arc go on, real physical danger for Mike Ross in SUITS season 6, how Mike’s two biggest relationships were going to be affected by his time as an inmate, and more.

On Resolving The Prison Arc

How much time is Mike Ross actually going to serve? Adams teased that, while the prison storyline is “not resolved quickly,” Mike will be enlisting Harvey’s help to try to get himself released. “I think anyone who’s in prison wants to get out as quickly as possible, and Mike is fortunate that he is a very smart smart guy. And he is fortunate to know Harvey Specter, who is pretty good at what he does. And them together…You know, we’ve spent five seasons watching these guys come up with creative solutions to what seem like impossible problems.”

SUITS season six is going to feature Mike and Harvey working very hard, not only to get Mike out of his cell but to also make sure that he’s safe while he’s in there. Adams doesn’t see this problem as something that will “resolve quickly or easily,” though.

For The First Time On SUITS, There’s Real Physical Danger

Other from being away from the people he cares about, what’s going to be the most difficult thing for Mike to deal with while he’s in prison? “His life is actually being threatened. He’s in real physical danger in this place. At any moment, something could happen to him that…Frankly, he could die. Or he could be really hurt.”

Aside from anything else that may come as the result of Mike’s time in prison, Adams felt the threats on his character’s well-being to be vital to the story: “Dealing with mortality is not something that SUITS has ever really had to face, so…For me, that would be the biggest part of this storyline.”

Related: Read teasers from the season 6 premiere of SUITS

Will The Darker Tone Change The Series?

SUITS has always had a lot of comedy mixed in with the drama, but with Mike Ross’ life in danger, is that even going to be possible? What’s this going to be like for viewers? “What SUITS used to do is we would all have a lot of drama. We would all have drama, and we would all have comedy. And I think people really responded to that.”

In SUITS season 6, though, things are going to change — but not as much as you might think. Adams says that, while Mike’s story is definitely high on the dramatic side, “there’s definitely no lack of levity in the show.”

This season, “there’s less a shift tonally for the whole show. But more, one storyline is a little heavier, and the stakes are really high for Mike. So, there’s a darker tone for him in prison. But they’ve done a really good job of balancing that with a ton of levity with what’s going on with Louis, with the storyline of what’s going on in the office and renting out the offices to some new, interesting, and hilarious characters. Obviously,” Adams teases, “Donna and Louis have a lot of funny stuff going on.”

So, it’s going to be a little bit of business as usual…and then there’s Mike’s story, which isn’t necessarily going to fit that mold.

Mike and Harvey’s Relationship In SUITS Season 6

These two guys have been very close, practically from the start. How, if at all, is their relationship going to change now that Mike is behind bars, and they don’t have their work to bring them together? Fear not, Suitors: While the arena may be a bit different, you’ll still get to see plenty of SUITS’ iconic bromance. Said Adams, “I don’t necessarily know that it changes — that their relationship or the way that they work — necessarily changes too much.”

Because Harvey is Mike’s lawyer, he’s the only visitor that Mike is allowed, which means there will still be chances for these two guys to put their heads together and work on their biggest case yet: the one of keeping Mike safe and (eventually) allowing him to be a free man: “The context of them working together is a little different, and where they’re doing most of their meetings is a little bit different. But the way that they work together, I think, is sort of similar to what people have experienced. The consequences are high. The stakes could not be higher than they’ve ever been, in that Mike’s life is being threatened pretty regularly, and there’s this figure in the prison that is really dangerous for Mike. But the way that they come about in trying to solve those problems, I think, is what people will recognize about other seasons of the show. And we’ll get to see them both working harder than they’ve ever worked to make sure that Mike stays safe and, hopefully, gets out of prison before the two years is up.”

That’s not to say that these two characters are going to agree completely about what the best way to accomplish their shared goal will be, though. So, much like in seasons past, expect Mike and Harvey to have moments of tension caused by their differing opinions on how best to proceed. “I think that’s when Mike and Harvey are kind of at their best. And that’s when the conflict is the most interesting. It’s when you have these two characters, who are both really smart, really good at what they do, but they’re both coming at the same problem from different angles. And what’s great about this plotline is that there’s a world…there’s a side of the problem that Harvey doesn’t necessarily have access to, which is the world of the prison.”

Because Mike’s situation is very serious, though, don’t expect as much of the classic Marvey banter as you may be used to because there’s just not a lot of time for playing around when Mike’s life is on the line. That’s not to say that Mike and Harvey don’t hit each other with a healthy dose of snark from time to time, though. “I think there’s a little less of the playful banter, just given that the stakes are so high this season, but I think there’s definitely the snarky quality.”

Mike and Rachel’s Relationship

Mike left Rachel at the altar at the end of SUITS season five. It might be natural for shippers to wonder whether their relationship is going to suffer because of that decision, which (in case you’ve forgotten) Mike made in an attempt to keep Rachel from being so tied to him that she couldn’t continue to live her own life.

Adams had reassuring words for fans of this pairing, as well. Even though there has definitely been strain on the relationship caused by the couple having to deal with Mike’s incarceration, “in a lot of ways, it’s never been stronger. I think there’s a lot of love there, there’s a lot of trust. There’s a lot of faith that, when the thing was done, they would find their way back to each other.”

Don’t expect to see a lot of Mike and Rachel scenes, though. When SUITS season 6 opens, Rachel isn’t allowed to visit him in prison. That honor lies solely with Harvey, but Mike’s very driven to get out of prison to get back to the love of his life. “While they’re not so much together, the need and the desire to get back to each other is so strong over the course of the season, that it’s the real driving force for Mike.”

It’s Almost Like Being On Another Show

With Mike in prison, Patrick J. Adams is still playing Mike Ross, but he’s in a totally different environment. In some ways, it’s as if this is a spin-off…but not quite. Adams discussed what it was like to be playing his character but in a new setting, working with a mostly different case of characters than he was used to.

“After the first couple of seasons of SUITS, when I went back to work, the story might have changed a little bit or some of the relationships were in a different place. But I always felt like I was going back to the same home…Going back this season, I was forced back into a situation where you get to make brand new choices. You get to figure out, ‘well, how do I react in this environment, and what’s my relationship to these people?’”

Adams was put into situations that he’d never had to play before as Mike Ross — like being in real physical danger — so it opened up different areas to explore as an actor, which he called, “a real awakening” and “energizing.” Going into a sixth season, the last thing anyone wants is for a character’s development or the series at large to feel stagnant, and with Mike Ross’ new life, that wasn’t even a possibility.

“As an actor, I’m always looking for a new way to express something or how a character gets to grow, so this has been such a gift for me as an actor.”

The Best And Worst Part Of The New Dynamic

With Mike in prison, he’s going to be interacting with a lot of new characters, but he’s not necessarily going to get to spend as much time with some of SUITS’ supporting cast as viewers may be used to. When asked about his favorite and least favorite consequences of this change, Adams was incredibly open and honest, saying the best part of this new dynamic was “that feeling of getting to be on a new show;” but the hardest part was, simply put, “I miss my friends and a lot of those interactions.”

Adams elaborated, saying, “I miss the interaction between Mike and Donna. I miss the looks that Mike gives Louis when Louis is doing something weird. I miss an intimate scene with Rachel where we get to see his walls come down a little bit. All of those relationships that I got so used to playing…I’m definitely realizing that being away from them is sad, just like it would be for Mike. And I’m excited to, hopefully, be reunited with them soon.”

Don’t miss the SUITS season premiere on Wednesday, July 13 at 9:00 p.m. ET on USA!

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