After totally disregarding Mike (Patrick J. Adams) and Rachel (Meghan Markle) last year, Suits season 9 makes up for it with a direct encounter with the fan-favorite couple in its premiere episode. This effectively brings Mike and Rachel back into the Suits' main story.
Adams and Markle's characters were written out of Suits at the end of season 7 in preparation for the latter's marriage to Prince Harry at that time. Following their much-delayed wedding, the long-time couple tied the knot in a beautiful ceremony, after which Mike broke the news to Harvey (Gabriel Macht) that he and his new wife were leaving New York to start a new life to Seattle. Since then, viewers haven't heard from them despite casual mentions of their names. And while Adams is returning in Suits season 9, any appearance from Markle is highly unlikely. That doesn't mean, however, that the series is shying away from incorporating the now-Duchess of Sussex' character into Suits' season 9 story, evident with the season premiere.
Picking up after the somewhat cliffhanger ending of season 8, Suits' season 9 premiere showed the aftermath of Donna (Sarah Rafferty) and Harvey's night together. Both were still shaken with this giant leap in terms of their relationship, so, obviously, they wanted to tip off those closest to them - including Mike and Rachel. Harvey caught Donna who, apparently, had just finished talking on the phone with Rachel as she revealed herself. And while we didn't hear any significant update with regard to how she's doing across the country, this involves her and Mike directly into their former co-workers and forever friends' romance.
The reference to Rachel didn't stop there. Toward the end of the episode, Harvey asked Donna to meet her at the old apartment she shared with Mike while they were still in New York. Turns out, Harvey didn't sublet the unit and, instead, set-up a fake tenant who has been paying the rent ever since. Like Donna, fans never expected to return to the space considering that there's very slim chance that they will be occupied again by their current owners. And while this changes nothing, we're glad that Suits is trying to actively involve Mike and Rachel into the story. They left the firm on good terms, and it was odd that the show just cut them off, except for meaningless name drops.
Robert Zane (Wendell Pierce), Rachel's father, was forced to retire to save the firm in the Suits season 8 finale, and many thought that it was a creative decision to fully remove any traces of Markle and Rachel from the series as it moves on. Similar to how Gina Torres' Jessica Pearson was written out of the series, Robert took the blame for Harvey supposedly breaking privilege, which would've resulted in him losing his license as well as having his name taken off the wall, as requested by Daniel Hardman (David Costabile). But in Suits' season 9 premiere, it seems like there's a conscious effort to incorporate Rachel more in the story, especially with the series ending soon.
Suits season 9 airs Wednesday nights on USA.