‘Suits’ Season 7 Ends With Backroom Deals and Wedding Bells as Major Stars Exit

The season seven finale of “Suits” arrives with a different sort of melancholy. Not only is another season passing for this USA legal thriller, but a whole era. Longtime viewers have been anticipating this particular finale because it signals the departure of two key stars, Meghan Markle and Patrick J. Adams. Markle is of course leaving the world of artificial sets for the pageantry of British royalty, as she is slated to marry Prince Harry. Maybe there is no small hint of irony that the duo’s departing episode itself closes with wedding bells, as well as backroom deals and other major developments. “Suits” has always found a way to keep the story going with twists that are just believable enough without going off the rails. This whole season has kept the suspense going without getting too extreme, focusing instead on Adam’s and Markle’s characters finding firmer footing as their friends still struggle to save the law firm that first brought them all together. It has been big lead up to a specific set of departures.

The episode opens with Harvey (Gabriel Macht) finding himself approached by a bulky, ominous man at the airport who seems to hint at a threat. Harvey is still providing the legal wing for a case pursued in Chicago with an unlicensed Jessica (Gina Torres) against ruthless builder played by Wayne Duvall. Jessica hopes to save a working class apartment from being torn down, but she is also seeking an avenue into meeting with the mayor. Meanwhile things are not looking so bright for the Pearson Specter Litt law firm as Louis (Rick Hoffman) seeks enough partners and staff to come onboard to avoid a vicious takeover by Stanley Gordon (Bruce McGill). Caught in his own courtroom drama is Mike Ross (Adams), who continues pursuing a pro bono lawsuit against a corporation which knowingly built a plant that would cause widespread lead poisoning in a local water supply. Rachel Zane (Markle), Mike’s love, receives a job offer which makes Mike face a serious choice.

The seventh season of “Suits” finds the show at that point where a drama has to shift gears or risk redundancy. Because the storyline depends on legal intrigue (without laying legal jargon too thickly) in a fluid way every major plot development has flowed pretty well. The beginning premise way back in season one was that Mike was a fraud and was able to shield it for multiple seasons until he was found out and went to prison. Now in the seventh season we’ve seen him really fight as a pro bono lawyer for the little guy after passing the bar in the last season (with some shady help from Harvey). Rachel also passed her bar exam and has been developing in a way where he character has been preparing to slowly ease out of the series.

Both Mike and Rachel are eased out in the best way possible to service longtime fans: A wedding. Mike had originally proposed two seasons ago, but his conscience reigned him in and he called it off. This time it’s for real. In one of the most hastily put together weddings in recent TV memory, a job offer Rachel receives prompts Mike to stop tip-toing around this most serious of decisions. However the proceedings are not a dress rehearsal for Markle’s upcoming royal bash, instead the exchange of vows is done in a low-key, rather lovely scene appropriate for the tone this show has always had. Love affairs in “Suit” range from bombastic to sweet, and Mike and Rachel personify the latter. The exchange of vows is done with that kind of TV corn that tugs at the heart strings but doesn’t go overboard with sappiness.

The rest of the episode features some exciting shifts that set the stage for the next season. A running theme in the episode is that Chicago is not the sort of city known for clean players, and so Jessica in particular is forced to go cutthroat to cut deals. She is determined to become a political power player and won’t be going back to the courtroom anytime soon. Louis goes for an option to save the firm that will shake up the roster come season 8. It’s a necessary step considering the two main stars are officially leaving. Now the show will return with a truly refreshed narrative. Interestingly enough, it is Rachel’s father, Robert Zane (Wendell Pierce) who steps in to become a major figure at Pearson Specter Litt. Expect Zane and Louis to develop a quirky, if not tensely respectful relationship. Of course there were some unanswered questions left, and plenty of those late night meetings in cars and under shadowy bridges hint at the fact that no one can be trusted.

Closing curtains on a seventh run, “Suits” still holds much to keep fans engaged. But this finale had the special, added touch of saying goodbye to two major characters. One cast member leaves to make history, while the rest now wait for new twists and turns in the office and the courthouse.

Suits” Season 7 finale airs April 25 at 9 p.m. ET on USA.