'Suits' stars Gina Torres and Patrick J. Adams spill Season 2 secrets about Hardman's return

suits-season-2-premiere-pearson-hardman.jpgAs you probably could've surmised from the title of the "Suits" Season 2 premiere, "She Knows," Jessica Pearson ( Gina Torres) is finally in the loop about Mike's ( Patrick J. Adams) true qualifications as a lawyer. But now that the episode has aired, we know that Mike's status is the least of Jessica's concerns this season -- Hardman is back, and she's not too happy about it.

"Everything that we come to learn about Hardman's disappearance and his return is [that] it's very layered," explains Torres on Zap2it's visit to the Toronto "Suits" set. "I like to think of Jessica in the first season as being large, in charge, in control and kind of happy-go-lucky. This is her domain -- she just struts down this hallway and she's invulnerable."

But with Hardman back in the picture, "Now we start to see the little chinks in the armor and the scars. Any woman who gets to that office, any person who gets to that office, has some battle scars and has some bodies buried in places. It would be ridiculous not to think so, and so Hardman's reappearance I think speaks to the battles along the way."

In the immediate future, Torres says Jessica's role within the firm won't change too much yet -- she just has to get used to working as a team member again.

"We're not past the first big hump as is established. Now you just saw the first episode -- there's a hump coming. There's a hump and so once we're past -- or it could be a very long hump -- right now she's still in charge. She just has somebody else [present]. She's got to visit another office. Talk things out, be a team player."

Still, there's a reason Jessica and Harvey ( Gabriel Macht) don't like the guy. But as we saw in the premiere, he's trying to convince everyone that he's reformed. Is he, though?

"Without giving away too much you're gonna see this hard man," Adams says. "He's had these problems, and he screwed up royally, but he's really coming back trying to make amends. And so, as an audience member you're supposed to trust him, and believe that he's just trying to be okay. But it is television. I mean, I just don't trust him. In episode 2, you learn why Harvey doesn't really like him or trust him. I don't trust him as far as I can throw him."

Which is where Mike's secret comes in. "I'm like this ticking time bomb. If Hardman, who's a very smart, shrewd, incredible lawyer, if he has the opportunity could blow us all up and take over everything. I'm the key to all that so they have to protect me," explains Adams.

He continues: "At the same time, he's a great lawyer. We haven't had any scenes where I think Hardman is, like, an awful person. He's such a great actor, too. He's not coming in and being the terrible guy. In fact, he seems like the nice guy. He's dealing with some serious life issues. We just kind of skirt that issue where it's never quite one thing or the other. It's not like he's Darth Vader and we all just want to destroy him. I mean he might actually be in the right. Let's face it -- I didn't go to law school, I'm a liar, I'm in this office in a capacity that is not, you know, entirely legal. I think there'll be a lot of interactions there as far as how I'll be used to take him out."

Setting the Hardman issue aside, Jessica is still pretty mad about the whole Mike deception. "I'm of the opinion that she's angry they put the firm in jeopardy. I mean, this is her life's work. This is her baby," Torres says. "All that we know of Jessica is that she's very driven and that she dedicated herself to this firm. Her name is on the letterhead, is on the door, and so it is a direct reflection of her. And this coming from somebody that she trusts is a big blow."

While she'll accept Mike's presence because there are more important things to deal with, Jessica won't forget about it. "This is not something that she would have chosen to do and therefore I can still get into a lot of trouble with her. We're not done dealing with it. Just because she's sort of accepted me for now, it's because Harvey did his Harvey thing and manipulated all the pieces of the board so that I could stick around and not get taken out by the queen. But, you know, eventually if it comes down to it, I get the impression she'd get rid of me if it's gonna be good for the firm."

But that doesn't mean Mike won't be able to win her over eventually. One day, Jessica might be able to care about him the way Harvey and Donna do.

"One of Jessica's strong suits is that it's very clear that her respect has to be earned. She's not just taking on anybody on a whim -- there's too much at stake," says Torres. "The stakes have been established as being very high this season. So if and when that happens, when it moves from amusement to caring and respect, I think it has to be very well written."

"Suits" airs Thursdays at 10 p.m. on USA.
Photo/Video credit: USA