Suits has already started its final season, and yet there seems to be no interest in solving the show's biggest mystery: the can opener and the thumbtacks. Harvey (Gabriel Macht) and Donna's (Sarah Rafferty) pre-trial ritual was a favorite topic of conversation for fans in the early years of the legal drama, but it got lost in the narrative as the years went by. Now that Suits is ending with a shortened 10-episode year, it's only fitting that the writers reveal what's the real deal about the can opener.
Introduced in the first season of Suits, the esoteric running gag involves a can opener and a handful of thumbtacks. We don't know what exactly Harvey and Donna do with such a weird combination of paraphernalia, only that they've had this thing going on way before they moved to the corporate law world. As fans know, the pair started working at the District Attorney's office where Harvey was gaining court experience before joining Jessica's (Gina Torres) firm. They initially used whipped cream, but it was ruined for them after they spent one night together using it - hence having to make up another ritual.
The can opener and thumbtacks ritual has been a no show for quite a while now, perhaps because Suits has tackled more serious narratives as it evolved its storytelling format from procedural to serialized. Considering that Harvey and Donna's initial ritual was scrapped after spending their first night together, the general assumption is that the new one is more likely also tied to a sexual deed. But it doesn't seem likely that they were engaging in a non-committal relationship at that point since they were both involved with different people over the years.
On top of that, it (presumably) can’t be sexual since Harvey also did it with Mike (Patrick J. Adams). Back in season 2, on the heels of Daniel Hardman's (David Costabile) hostile takeover of Pearson Hardman, the mentor and mentee rolled some joints and decided to lay back, only to find themselves back in the office. That's when Harvey offered to show Mike how the can opener and thumbtacks ritual works. Suits didn't show them explicitly doing it, since they had a breakthrough that helped them get out of Hardman's clutches, but whether they did it or not doesn't matter - Harvey won't rope Mike into doing it if it's something that intimate.
There's obviously no serious need to reveal what's the real deal with this enigmatic ritual. It's not tied to any major narrative and as previously mentioned, it hasn't been done in quite a while. If Suits decides to keep it a secret, it won't really diminish people's enjoyment of the show's final season. But in light of the legal drama's upcoming ending, it would make sense to finally reveal this long-standing mystery. Given it's one of the first recurring gags in the show, finally learning about the can opener and thumbtacks ritual be a special treat for fans who have religiously watched the show since it began in 2011 and despite the major cast changes in the last few years.
Suits season 9 airs Wednesday nights on USA.