Warning: major spoilers ahead for the Season 7 midseason finale of Suits, called "Donna."
Jessica Pearson was a key member of the Suits cast from the very beginning, all the way up until the Season 6 midseason finale when Gina Torres departed the series as a regular. A Suits spinoff all about Jessica has been in the works for a while, and fans have had to wait and wait to discover just how Suits would send Jessica off to her own legal exploits in Chicago when so much of her life was based in New York City. Well, the midseason finale revealed just why Jessica is going to cut her ties with practicing law in New York City: she's being disbarred in the state of New York.
Here's what happened. The majority of the episode saw Harvey, Mike, and Donna facing off against Deputy Attorney General Andrew Malik in the court room. While it seemed like Malik was guaranteed a win, the folks at Pearson Specter Litt figured out how to take him down. Unfortunately, their win came at a price. Malik retaliated by revealing to Harvey that he was working to disbar Jessica for her actions in defending Mike's fraud, and it was immediately clear that this was going to be one sticky situation Harvey wouldn't be able to talk his way out of. Jessica herself turned up in the end to confirm the disbarment.
Sadly, after confirming the disbarment, Jessica made it clear to Harvey that she intends to make a clean break with her life in New York City. When he protested that there was no way a law firm could bear the name of a disbarred lawyer and Jessica therefore needed to fight the case, Jessica simply responded that she had come to take the Pearson out of Pearson Specter Litt. Harvey and Louis just needed to buy her out, and she would be free of the final legal strings attaching her to New York.
The good news about the disbarment is that Suits is clearly going to a great deal of effort to craft a way to write out Jessica that respects her character and makes it clear that she has a future elsewhere. The bad news is that the disbarment might mean that Gina Torres will be done in the Suits world if her spinoff flops. Jessica won't be able to just return to New York and re-add Pearson to Specter Litt.
The spinoff will star Jessica Pearson as a lawyer exploring the world of dirty politics in Chicago. She hasn't been disbarred in the state of Illinois, so aside from a bit of scandal and gossip, her career may not be too tarnished by how she was forced out of New York. Jessica will face new challenges in Chicago that will require all of her legal brilliance. The spinoff will get off to an official start in the Suits Season 7 finale, which will double as a backdoor pilot for the new series. The backdoor pilot is being written by Suits creator and executive producer Aaron Korsh, who will also executive produce the new show.
"Donna" also featured the resolution of Rachel and Robert's case, a catharsis from Louis, some legal tricks from Alex, and a big kiss between Harvey and Donna. All things considered, Suits should have plenty going for it when it returns for the second half of Season 7 in early 2018 on USA. For what you can watch in the meantime, take a look at our fall TV premiere schedule.