Suits is coming back for season eight on Wednesday, and there’s a lot to get excited about. But, for longtime viewers, one crucial actor will be gone for good: Meghan Markle. Originating the role of Rachel Zane, a self-assured, confident, capable legal eagle, Markle was a central cast member on Suits from the first season. This was a role she excelled in and one that came after building a career of supporting roles; she’d made it. Then she met Prince Harry.
More: This Is How Katherine Heigl Landed Her Role on Suits
Now, she’s married into the British royal family, has a new title — the Duchess of Sussex — and is officially done with Suits (even though she still misses it a little bit). So, how will the show on which she played such a central role move on without her? Let’s take a look and find out.
Katherine Heigl is joining the team
After a string of television hits and misses, Katherine Heigl is making a big comeback with Suits. She’ll be playing Samantha Wheeler, a tough-as-nails lawyer who joins the firm but will find herself regularly squaring off against Harvey.
Heigl, who sounded very happy to be joining the Suits team, spoke to Us Weekly about her new gig: “I was drawn to the show and am kind of a crazy fangirl, so I reached out to creator Aaron Korsch to talk about possibly collaborating on some of my projects I have in development, not knowing at the time they were going to do an eighth season of Suits. I casually, or not so casually, asked if he needed a tall blonde for season eight. Thankfully he took the bait and here I am, playing one of the most interesting and badass women I’ve had the opportunity to play.”
You’ll be seeing a lot more of Katrina
On July 5, TV Line reported that actor Amanda Schull, who plays Katrina Bennett on the show, will be upped from a supporting role to a series regular. Fans of the show can expect her relationship with Donna — as mentor/mentee and as friends — to grow exponentially in season eight. This will be especially interesting for those who know that Donna and Rachel were thick as thieves. Will Donna be looking to fill that open spot in her life?
Rachel and Mike’s big goodbye takes place on a special day
The Suits season eight premiere will take place at Rachel and Mike’s wedding, and it will serve as the official goodbye for two of the show’s original characters before they move to Seattle. That big move will effectively be the end of Rachel and Mike’s story. However, we don’t know if Rachel or Mike (played by Patrick J. Adams) will actually be seen during the premiere.
Donna and Harvey are going to have a tough time
Losing Mike and Rachel is, as series regular Sarah Rafferty noted in a USA Network teaser video about season eight, going to be very hard for Harvey and Donna. Both Harvey and Donna were friends and mentors to the young couple. Filling that absence is going to be part of each character’s emotional arc during the coming season.
Expect more comedy when Louis is on-screen
In the same USA Network teaser video, actor Rick Hoffman remarks that Louis is going to be delivering a lot of the comic relief. Not gonna lie: We’ll need a little levity with a Rachel Zane-sized hole in our Suits-loving hearts. We’ll also see his relationship to Katrina take some interesting twists and turns — keep an eye on that.
All of this news makes us officially excited for season eight of Suits. Tune in to USA Network on Wednesday at 9/8c to see how it all goes down.