Why Gina Torres Didn’t Return to ‘Suits’ for the Series Finale

Fans bid farewell to their favorite characters on USA Network’s legal drama, Suits, last night. But as viewers noticed, one major character, Jessica Pearson played by actress Gina Torres, didn’t return for the last episode.

Ahead, learn why Torres didn’t reprise her role as Pearson in the series finale of Suits. Warning: spoiler alerts ahead. Plus, learn how Patrick J. Adams (Mike Ross) said goodbye to series with unseen photos from the set.  

Nearly every original Suits cast member returned for Season 9, Episode 10: “One Last Con,” except Meghan Markle, now the Duchess of Sussex, who played paralegal-turned-lawyer, Rachel Zane, and Torres. 

Rick Hoffman, Patrick J. Adams, Meghan Markle, Sarah Rafferty, Gina Torres and Gabriel Macht
Rick Hoffman, Patrick J. Adams, Meghan Markle, Sarah Rafferty, Gina Torres and Gabriel Macht of Suits | Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for NBCUniversal/USA Network

We understand why Markle didn’t sign on for the last episode of the series, she’s been busy with royal duties and recently became a parent (she and Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, welcomed their son, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor in May of 2019). 

As for Torres, she left Suits where she played the smart and powerful name partner who — spoiler alert — had to leave her New York City law firm and start over in Chicago, Ill.  Torres left Suits and began her own spin-off show, Pearson, shortly thereafter. But why didn’t she come back for the end of the show that started her journey as Jessica?

Why Gina Torres didn’t appear in ‘Suits’ series finale

Aaron Korsh, the creator of Suits, who also directed the series finale, spoke with Entertainment Weekly about the last episode of the show and explained why Jessica and Torres didn’t return. 

Korsh said Pearson played a major role in his decision-making process about whether or not to include Jessica in the series finale.

“It was a very difficult process of deciding how to handle Jessica in the Suits thing. Look, if Pearson didn’t exist, I would’ve had Jessica come in,” Korsh said. 

He continued, saying the fact that Pearson aired immediately after Suits, was part of it too. 

“But because Pearson was on the air and these shows were airing back-to-back on the same night, I felt like if I was a viewer watching TV and one minute I’m seeing Jessica up to her eyeballs in intrigue and back dealings, and fighting for the life of the city on Pearson, and then in the very next show acting like none of that is happening and she’s just in here waltzing in and saving the day and yucking it up at a wedding, it would lose the credibility that Pearson had.” 

Jessica Pearson (Gina Torres) and Harvey Specter (Gabriel Macht) on 'Suits.'
Jessica Pearson (Gina Torres) and Harvey Specter (Gabriel Macht) in Suits | Shane Mahood/USA Network/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

“I just didn’t want to mess with the integrity of Pearson to service Suits. I didn’t think that was right,” he added. 

Korsh also explained a scene had been written between Harvey Specter (Gabriel Macht) and Jessica to have one last mentor-mentee conversation over the phone before Harvey made a big decision. 

“Unfortunately, by the time we wrote that scene, all of the sets of Pearson were gone,” he said, adding that Torres had been on the road promoting the show at the time and schedules just didn’t come together. 

How they honored Gina Torres and her character

Although Torres didn’t come back to Suits as Jessica in the series finale, the actress and her character were honored in the episode. 

Gina Torres as Jessica Pearson on 'Suits.'
Gina Torres as Jessica Pearson on Suits | Ian Watson/USA Network/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

“What we did do: I wanted to hear Jessica in that memory section,” Korsh said referring to one of the final moments of the series finale when Harvey’s at the firm thinking about all the times he spent there with those closest to him.

Markle was also featured in the “memory section.” Plus, there were other nods to her throughout the episode in addition to the joke Mike made earlier in the season

Suits ran for 9 seasons on USA Network from 2011 – 2019.