When it was announced back on Nov. 27, 2017 that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were engaged to be married, everyone pretty much knew that was the end of her time on Suits. Later, in a joint interview with the prince, Markle confirmed that she would be retiring from acting to focus on her new royal role and duties.
But how will the USA legal drama fair without her? And how much will be changed now that she and another one of the show’s main cast members are leaving? Here’s more on that, as well as the scoop on the veteran actress who will be joining the show in Season 8.
Markle’s statement about leaving Suits
Following her engagement news, Markle had this to say about leaving Suits, which she has starred in since 2011, and retiring from acting overall:
“I see it is a new change, a new chapter. I’ve been working on my show seven years, we were so fortunate to have that longevity on a series. For me, once we hit the 100 episode marker, I thought, I have ticked this box and I feel really proud of the work we’ve done there and now it’s time to work as a team with [Harry].”
Next: This popular cast member won’t be back either.
Her on-screen love will not return either
In January 2018, Markle’s on-screen co-star Patrick J. Adams, who plays Mike Ross, announced that he was leaving Suits as well. Adams said in a statement:
Mike Ross has taught me a lot about commitment, hard work and the power of believing in yourself. I’m excited to now step across the screen and become solely a fan of a show that I know has much more in store in the years to come. I wish everyone involved the best and am excited to see what kind of trouble they’ll get themselves in and out of from here on out.
Next: They knew it was the end for them.
They both knew they were going to leave the show
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Adams explained that he and Markle both knew while shooting Season 7 that they would not be involved in the show’s future.
In his case, Adams said he knew about halfway through the season that Mike’s story needed to conclude as he had taken the character as far as the story would allow. He recalled that things with Markle were left “unsaid,” even though they both knew that their time on the show together was coming to end.
There was this natural sense that we both knew that the time had come for both of us. It went unspoken and we just enjoyed the hell out of the last few episodes that we got to shoot. We both knew that we wouldn’t be coming back. It made every one of our scenes that much more special.
Next: The future of Suits has been determined.
Suits renewed for Season 8
Although Markle and Adams both decided to leave the show, the series is set to move on without them. TV Line noted that Suits was renewed for Season 8.
The last episode featuring Markle and Adams aired on April 25, 2018.
Next: They’re content with how their story ended.
Rachel and Mike’s story had a happy ending
The big questions about Rachel and Mike’s future and whether their characters would go off into the sunset together were answered in the Season 7 finale.
Adams hinted before the episode even aired that it would be a happy ending saying:
A lot of times when actors leave shows, a gun gets pulled out in a courtroom or something … I think Mike and Rachel are two characters that there has never been any question that they’re in love and that they’re meant for each other and that they’re willing to go to great lengths and sacrifice a ton in order to keep their relationship going. It just so happens that the timing of how I was feeling [about leaving Suits] and what was going on in Meghan’s life created an opportunity where there was no need to force some conflict or tear Mike and Rachel apart.
Next: A veteran actress will be joining the show in Season 8.
Katherine Heigl is joining the cast
If you’re feeling blue about the departure of Markle and Adams, what we do have to look forward to in Season 8 is the addition of Katherine Heigl. The actress will be playing the role of a new partner at Pearson Specter Litt named Samantha Wheeler.
“Joining Suits was the perfect organic way to not only collaborate with [exec producer Aaron Korsh, who] I admire deeply, but to also become part of a show and cast that I am an immense fan of,” Heigl said in a statement. “I have watched Suits from the very beginning and feel incredibly lucky to be the newest member of the Pearson Specter Litt family.”
Next: Other familiar faces also returning
Who else will be back?
The original series stars who are signed on to return to Suits include Gabriel Macht, Sarah Rafferty, Rick Hoffman and new show regular Dulé Hill, who plays Alex Williams. Showrunner Aaron Korsh announced that the cast members would be back and gave us a few hints about what to expect in Season 8.
“I am incredibly excited to welcome back our phenomenal crew and cast – Gabriel, Sarah, Rick and Dulé – who will continue the roller coaster ride with all of our amazing fans,” Korsh said in a statement. “Season 8 will have everything from shifting alliances and internal power plays, to secrets, betrayals and fiery relationships.”
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