The new trend: Very dark "Suits."
The crisp shirts and slicked-back hair are still present in the new season of USA's legal drama, which premieres Tuesday, 7/16 at 10 PM. But underneath the shiny facade, politics are being played, backs are being stabbed, and relationships are being tested.
At the end of last season, ace closer Harvey Specter (Gabriel Macht) tried to blow up his firm's impending merger with a powerful British group. But his boss, Jessica Pearson (Gina Torres), stopped him by threatening his protégé, Mike Ross (Patrick J. Adams), with the exposure of Mike's secret — that he never went to Harvard Law School and is not actually a lawyer.
Betrayed on all sides, Harvey vowed to continue fighting the merger. And what Harvey wants, he usually gets.
As Torres told Yahoo! TV and other reporters on the show's Toronto set, "It's the most cutthroat season yet."
Check out what else we learned from the cast about the explosive Season 3.
1. The British are here — and Harvey still hates it.
The merger goes through, but that doesn't mean Harvey falls in line.
"He does not believe in this British invasion; he really feels that there's something that stinks," Macht noted. "And I think his instinct is right. These guys are corrupt; there's something wrong with them. There's some bad stuff going on."
[Related: 6 Best Quotes From the Set of 'Suits']
And knowing Harvey, he'll get to the bottom of it eventually.
2. "Suits" is turning into "Game of Thrones," sort of.
First, Conleth Hill (who plays Varys on the HBO epic) came on board as the proper, but formidable Edward Darby. This season, Michelle Fairley (Catelyn Stark) joins the cast as the firm's big new client, Ava Hessington. The head of a British oil company, Ava is being charged with bribery, and Harvey is assigned to her case.
Several of the "Suits" cast members are big "Game of Thrones" fans, and Fairley was filming when the infamous Red Wedding episode aired. Adams confessed to "fan-girling" his co-star, while Meghan Markle said, "I brought her flowers ... I wrote her a long email after I watched [the Red Wedding], going, 'I am just blown away. You are a force. It's amazing.'"
Watch this "Suits"/"Game of Thrones" crossover clip:
3. Harvey and Jessica are really at odds.
While the two have clashed on issues before, their relationship hasn't ever been this rocky.
"I think it's gonna take many episodes for them to rebound," Macht said. And before that, suffice it to say that Harvey hits new levels of ruthlessness.
"It's got to be the most cutthroat season yet of 'Suits,'" Torres promised. "And maybe that's because all these 'Game of Thrones' people are in the house and it's filtered down."
4. And Mike is still in Harvey's doghouse.
Loyalty is everything to Harvey, so he continues to shut Mike out. Can the protégé ever get back into the master's good graces? Macht believes it's more of a case of Harvey realizing that he needs Mike.
"Harvey has to come to terms with what he has and what he doesn't have," Macht said. "He knows [Mike is] one of the best associates, and he knows he can't work without him, and so it's whether or not he can come to terms with voicing that."
As for Mike, he "needs to get to the point where he just has Harvey's back, no matter what, and realize that Harvey's playing a longer game," added Adams.
Watch this exclusive clip from the "Suits" Season 3 premiere of Louis giving Mike some "winning" advice:
5. Another flashback episode reveals more of Harvey's past — and his relationship with Donna.
Last season's flashback episode showed viewers just how strong of a bond existed between Harvey and Donna. And in Season 3, we'll learn even more about what Sarah Rafferty calls their "symbiotic" relationship.
"We get to understand why Harvey's the moral guy that he is," Raffery said, adding, "I feel like the flashback goes to their roots."
It'll also reveal why loyalty is so important to Harvey. His problem with Jessica and Mike "all stems from something that we'll also learn in the flashback," Macht said. "He has a scene with his father, and we learn a little bit more about his mother."
Another thing we learn more about? The can opener. Yes, you read that right!
"You are gonna learn about the origin of the kitchen utensil," Macht promised. "You're gonna learn a lot more about that."
6. Mike and Rachel are together, but it's not smooth sailing for the new couple.
The Season 2 finale featured a superhot, supersexy tryst between Mike and Rachel (finally!) after she learned his secret. "As Aaron Korsh always says, we ended last season with a bang," Markle joked.
And while Rachel is willing to give things a shot, she's still struggling with the knowledge that Mike never went to law school.
"I like that they're finally connected, but I can't imagine that [the secret is] not going to play a big part into her still trying to become a lawyer, getting into a good law school, all of that," Markle said.
7. Louis asks Mike out … to be his associate.
With Mike and Harvey on the outs, Louis (Rick Hoffman) finally has a chance to swoop in. And he pulls out all the stops in courting his new associate.
There will be mud baths.
"They go mudding together and he takes 'em out to lunch," Macht said. "They start this relationship, and it's really sweet."
Hoffman has one word: "Cheesecake."
8. Other friendships are tested.
Fans love the female friendship between Donna and Rachel, but their bond is tested when Rachel learns that Donna has known Mike's secret all along. It "creates a rift," Markle said.
"When your relationship with a girlfriend is starting to crumble — my god, it's so hard to watch," she added. "It's almost harder than watching a breakup between a couple."
9. The clothes just get better and better.
Naturally, on a show called "Suits," fashion is crucial. The costume department, led by Jolie Andreatta, is continuing to kill it in Season 3. Jessica's gray dress in the premiere? Jaw-dropping.
"It's a dream," Torres said. "She's established such very clear looks for all of us."
Donning a suit every day is something Adams has comes to terms with — and even appreciates now. "I hated it for the first year, I'm not gonna lie," he admitted. But as he grew more comfortable wearing them, Adams realized, "Suits are these incredible things that teach you how to, like, stand properly. … It's about projecting this image of yourself."
"Now I'm taking a much more invested interest in how the suits get worn and what suits we use and how we tailor it."
10. The stars have cameo requests.
With Harvey representing so many top athletes, Macht thinks they should have the king himself appear. "Like I get out of a car and Michael Jordan's getting into a car and he's like, ‘Hey Harvey, what's up?'" Macht laughed. "I would love to see that happen."
Hoffman had a different idea. "Charlie Sheen," he said to laughing reporters. "Just so I can get fired on my own show by him."
"Suits" airs Tuesdays at 10 PM on USA.
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- Gabriel Macht
- Gina Torres