When USA Network announced the departure of Meghan Markle and Patrick J Adams, they were aware they had to bring some heavy weight characters and storylines to keep the season 8 flowing without turbulence.
To fill the gap, they brought Kathrine Heigl on board. The former Grey's Anatomy star plays the role of Samantha Wheeler, a new partner at Pearson Specter Litt. While fans will miss Rachel Zane and Mike Ross, reviewers hint that the show doesn't try to replace them. Instead, they embrace it and move forward.
According to Merrill Barr of Forbes, Suits has found many new opportunities to keep the show going for more seasons. "The big thing to note is she [Katherine Heigl] is no one's replacement, much like Katrina. Rather, her character serves as a mission statement," he clarifies.
"When we meet her, we will come to learn she is Zane's right hand meant to serve as a foil for Harvey, Louis and anyone else at the firm that might get in her or Zane's way. With her character's introduction, we cement the goal of Suits' new direction," he writes.
Dominic Patten of Deadline also confirmed that while Meghan and Patrick have exited the show, they have not been forgotten. "Suits has nicely added Heigl and made a few changes – and it works. In fact, the result is that USA Network's flagship series has had a deep dry cleaning that has given a few more years to the old boy," he writes.
While we wait for more reviews to come in, the two reviews are already giving us a sense that the changes to the show will only bring out the best of the show. Apart from the ones leaving and joining, the returning cast also has a lot in store, especially Sarah Rafferty's Donna.
Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, the Suits regular revealed that a lot will be going in Donna's life – professionally and personally. "When we left season 7, it seemed like Donna and Harvey [Gabriel Macht] had really ironed out their conflict, a conflict that came out of her kissing him. She seems pretty clear about how she felt about it moving forward. When we come back, we see them as solid partners moving into this new dynamic and, [professionally,] she's just trying to figure out how to marry the new guard with the old guard and guide the firm through that," she reveals.
When asked about Donna's relationship with Robert, she said, "I think what's interesting is that they both know each other through Rachel. They have that sort of deep window into the other, but of course, they have to navigate that relationship and it's not always going to go smoothly."
Suits season 8 episode 1 premieres on July 18. You can watch it on USA Network at at 9 p.m. ET.