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'Suits' season 4: Will Mike stay gone from the firm?

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When Mike Ross (Patrick J. Adams) declared his intent to leave Pearson Specter at the end of Suits season 3, a lot of fans thought it was a fake-out. They were caught off guard by the idea that Mike would walk away from his bromance with Harvey Specter (Gabriel Macht) and the legal career he''d worked so hard to build. But Wednesday's season 4 premiere "Three-Two-One Go" proved it was no joke: Mike's an investment banker, and his client is on a collision course with one of Harvey's, setting the stage for a battle between them.

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But is it a battle or a war? While the idea of Mike and Harvey really, definitively at odds is exciting now, many viewers are already counting the episodes until the dream team gets back together. How long will they really have to wait?

While no definitive answer has been revealed, we wouldn't get your hopes up too high just yet. Suits is not the kind of show that dangles a plot twist just for dramatic effect; when Donna (Sarah Rafferty) got fired, she was actually fired for a few episodes. When the merger with Darby International fell apart last season, it really took awhile to separate the two companies. We also know that Michael Gross, the actor who plays Mike's client Walter Gillis, is billed as a recurring guest star; that means he'll be around for more than a few episodes, which in turn suggests that the case keeping Mike and Harvey apart is going to last a while. As it should - why go out on this limb for nothing?

But it's also the smart move for Mike to find a way back home eventually. It was clear from Wednesday's episode that his relationship with new boss Jonathan Sidwell is strained, as Jonathan doesn't see the world the way Mike does. Mike's losing to Harvey - which is plausible, because as talented as Mike is, Harvey is the best there is - might provide cause to fire him. Or maybe Mike will decide working for Jonathan isn't all it's cracked up to be. But everybody (including the rest of the main characters, whether Harvey admits to it or not) wants the band back together.

The more interesting question is what will happen if or when Mike returns to Pearson Specter. If he takes his old job back, that means muscling out Rachel (Meghan Markle), who is also his girlfriend. It'd be a fresh source of tension in a relationship that always seems to be up and down - and is still a major issue in season 4, as Mike learned on Wednesday that Rachel had an affair with Harvey's client Logan Sanders (guest star Brendan Hines) while Logan was married. Rachel doesn't seem the type to step aside quietly, even for Mike. And Suits loves to find reasons for them to fight. How will that all shake out?

Whatever happens and whenever it happens, it's clear already that season four of Suits will be another strong one, continuing the show's run as the best series on television. If you want to read our full recap and review of Wednesday's season premiere, you can click here.

Suits continues next Wednesday at 9 PM ET/PT on USA. What do you think will happen next week?

(c)2014 Brittany Frederick. Appears at Examiner with permission. All rights reserved. No reproduction permitted. Visit my official website and follow me on Twitter at @tvbrittanyf.

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