"The Other Time" has previously been referenced by Harvey and Donna, so captains of their 'ship will be elated to hear that tonight's episode of Suits is titled The Other Time and takes you to the night in question! But I'm getting ahead of myself.
First off, let me simply say that the currently-airing third season of Suits has taken the series to new heights, both in the personal and professional spheres. And while that's true of all the characters, it's perfectly personified by Donna's storyline, which allows the scene (and heart) stealing Sarah Rafferty to shine like never before.
Whether she's sauntering down the sidewalk in Gucci couture or tossing her perfectly conditioned coif in the break room, the masterful control Donna maintains over every person inside the Pearson Darby offices is expertly echoed by the confident performance Sarah brings to every look, every laugh and every line. But the fine line Donna's walking with Harvey and Stephen is no laughing matter, and tonight's flashback only makes the situation all the stickier!
Check out ETonline's exclusive sneak peek clip from The Other Time above, and then keep reading!
ETonline: What have you enjoyed about Donna's dynamic with Stephen?
Sarah Rafferty: I have always enjoyed that the writers give Donna so much power. And by power, I mean, she has colossal self-esteem [laughs] -- I mean, a truly phenomenal amount of self-esteem. So I enjoyed that, as much as she said in private moments "I am in trouble," she never turned into a giggly mess who gives herself away. She's choosing him but choosing how she wants this relationship to go. It's satisfying to her.
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ETonline: Clearly! She passed up Daniel Day Lewis for sex with Stephen!
Rafferty: [laughs] I know, right? I just think Donna saying "I might have met my match and I'm awesome" is so fun to play. And the Twitter response has been so Girl Power focused. The fans 'ship Donna and Harvey, but they love that she's having some fun. I'm getting lots of "You Go Girl" Tweets.
ETonline: So are the insane outfits Donna has been rocking just the cherry on top?
Rafferty: Oh, yeah! So much of the character really is wrapped up in that stuff because you carry yourself differently -- and when you're playing someone who has the confidence to go to work in one outfit, decide to go on a date and have a guy to call to bring her a new dress ... it's just crazy. She takes good care of herself and values herself.
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ETonline: As does Harvey. What's been your take on his reaction to Donna's dalliance?
Rafferty: One thing I reflected on, and it might seem unrelated, is the bathroom scene last year where they fight when Donna got fired [watch]. They have this thing about not keeping things from each other, so I think she was being professional but also a friend by telling him because she didn't want him to be the last one to know. So, I prepared myself for what Donna might be bracing herself for. I think we've seen over the course of the series that Donna can be surprised by her reaction to things -- I don't necessarily think she was surprised by Harvey's reaction in that moment, but if she was, it would have been confusing.
ETonline: Is it possible for Donna to have a life for herself that doesn't involve Harvey while working for him?
Rafferty: I don't know. I wonder that too. What's interesting about tonight's episode is that she discovers this is actually becoming complicated for her. And more challenging than, perhaps, she thought it would be. We will continue to visit that as the series goes on. I mean, who is going to be the right guy to come along when she's got a boss like that?
ETonline: The preview for tonight's episode showed Harvey at Donna's door while she holds a can of whipped cream. Without revealing what happens, what was your reaction to what happens in the flashback between Harvey and Donna tonight?
Rafferty: I can only say there were a lot of things that I absolutely didn't expect. Like, I was surprised quite a bit and I think the viewers might be too.
Suits airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. on USA.