ET breaks down everything you need to know about the bride-to-be's character before the legal series returns to USA Network on Wednesday.
It's a bittersweet week for Suits fans.
On Wednesday, the legal series will return to USA Network for the second half of its seventh season. And while viewers have been waiting for what seems like forever to find out what happens between Harvey Specter (Gabriel Macht) and Donna Paulsen (Sarah Rafferty) -- that kiss!!! -- the next six episodes will mark the last we'll see of Rachel Zane (Meghan Markle) and Mike Ross (Patrick J. Adams).
It was previously announced that Markle and Adams would both be leaving the show at the end of its current season, and therefore, fans will no longer witness the onscreen lovebirds making their mark at Spencer Litt for season eight.
As we patiently gear up for Suits' return, ET's breaking down everything you need to know about Markle's beloved character. So, whether you've been a Suits fan since the beginning, or have never seen an episode in your life, you can still tune in to watch the future royal's final acting stint ahead of her royal wedding to Prince Harry on May 19. (WARNING -- major spoilers ahead!)
Who is Rachel Zane?
Markle's character is introduced during season one as a paralegal who works at Pearson Hardman, one of the most prominent law firms in New York City, headed up by Jessica Pearson (Gina Torres) and Daniel Hardman (David Costabile). She is the daughter of Robert Zane (Wendell Pierce), a skilled, wealthy lawyer and name partner at a competing firm, Rand, Kaldor & Zane. Throughout the series, Rachel proves to her father (and herself) that she has what it takes to make it on her own in this demanding industry, and no longer feels like she's living in his shadow.
After plenty of late nights studying to pass the LSAT examination, a test she's failed before, Rachel eventually gets a score that's high enough to get her into Columbia Law School. She later becomes an attorney and takes a job at the firm, which has rotated its name partners quite a few times since she first started. As of season seven, it's Specter Litt, headed up by Harvey Specter and Louis Litt (Rick Hoffman).
She loves to cook
Like Markle's real-life passion for food (see some of her favorite, easy to make recipes here!), after a long day of work, Rachel loves spending time at her apartment with a home-cooked meal and a glass of red or white wine. And just like us, she usually starts her mornings with a cup of coffee.
Her style is on point
From chic blouses to a never-ending supply of cardigans, camisole tank tops and pencil skirts, Rachel's business attire is sophisticated and stylish at the same time. "The fashion on Suits is gorgeous, so it also became my education of designers and really knowing what fits my body well," Markle said in an interview with Glamour UK. "Rachel's clothes reflect how she's feeling, because that's what happens in real life, right? At the very beginning, she wore a lot of black, because I think that's what happens when you're younger and you want to be taken seriously -- and then you lighten up, and your clothes reflect that."
Who's her love interest?
Mike Ross is also introduced during season one as a brilliant, college dropout who pretends he's a lawyer. We meet him while he's rushing into the firm to catch a job interview with one of the best attorneys in New York City, Harvey Specter. Mike impresses Harvey with his photographic memory, and Harvey hires him on the spot, politely telling the other candidates they could go home as the job had been filled. As the series continues, the big secret Mike and Harvey have been keeping to themselves gets leaked, and it's not too long before all the wrong people (including Rachel's father!) learn that Mike is a "fraud" -- he never went to Harvard, or any law school, for that matter.
When do Rachel and Mike start dating?
The two had instant chemistry from the moment they first locked eyes in the pilot, but after Mike initially expressed interest in Rachel, she told him she didn't want to mix business with pleasure (so you can imagine what happened when he later had to tell her the truth about never going to Harvard). Eventually, she gets over Mike's big secret, breaks her "not dating anyone from the office" rule and goes out with Mike. They develop a relationship early on, keeping it secretive for awhile and engaging in steamy, filing room sex.
But in any setting, news travels fast, and it becomes pretty obvious at the firm that the two are more than just close co-workers. Donna and Harvey are the first to find out, and it's not long before Jessica, Louis and everyone else in the office discovers their not-so-secret love connection.
Exactly how serious is their relationship?
Very. After their ongoing office romance is played out for three seasons, Mike and Rachel finally get engaged by season four, which many fans of the series saw coming from the beginning.
Mike asks Rachel to move in with him and the happy couple go from keeping their romance a secret to leaving the firm together every night.
At one point, Rachel's ex-lover comes into the picture which, naturally, causes some drama.
When all seems to be going perfectly, everything changes briefly when Mike and Harvey take a case and have to work with Logan Sanders, whom Rachel once had an affair with while he was married.
Rachel tries to play it cool at first, until one day, she decides to have a talk with Logan. She shows up to his house and they kiss and it's a cringeworthy moment for Mike and Rachel fans. Rachel then goes back and forth between whether she should tell Mike what happened. Eventually, she does, and while he's angry at first (who wouldn't be?), he eventually forgives her and all is good again. Phew!
Rachel supports Mike through good times and bad.
Remember when we told you that Mike was a "fraud"? Yeah, that doesn't go over too well. In season five, Mike is approached by Anita Gibbs (Leslie Hope), a federal prosecutor and assistant attorney for the United States Attorney's Office, who learns of his unlawful history. Mike pleads guilty to practicing law without a license. Which leads him to a two-year prison sentence that's played out during the series' sixth season. Despite not knowing exactly how long Mike would be behind bars, Rachel remains loyal to him and waits for his release. After playing informer for a separate case, Mike gets out early and he and Rachel are as happier as ever once again. He then passes the bar, legally, thanks to a last-minute save from his former boss, Jessica.
They are preparing for a wedding in season seven, but almost tied the knot earlier.
During season five, Mike and Rachel had plans to tie the knot in a simple ceremony with just a few of their family members. At the time, Rachel's father had just found out that Mike was a fraud and feared that he would ruin his daughter's career and reputation as a lawyer. Rachel and Mike go against Robert's wishes and prepare for the nuptials anyway.
But before the service begins, Mike finds Rachel and tells her that he thinks it's best for them to hold off on marriage... at least for now. Rachel agrees and they leave the chapel, unmarried.
We've already seen Rachel in a wedding dress... and can expect to see her in another!
During the "Cold Feet" episode of season five, Rachel tries on an Anne Barge wedding gown as she prepares for her nuptials to Mike. There have been reports that it's the same dress she'll wear when the two actually tie the knot in Suits' upcoming return.
Where we at?
Suits returns to USA Network on Wednesday at 9 p.m. ET, and creator Aaron Korsh confirmed earlier this month that fans will get to see Mike and Rachel on wedding day! When asked about a potential wedding ceremony, he told Deadline, "I'm going to go ahead and say 'Yes,' how's that?" And with Markle's real-life royal wedding coming up on May 19, we couldn't think of a better possible ending for Mike and Rachel.