Wednesday, July 24, 2019

REVIEW: 'Pearson' - Jessica's Role in Mayor Novak's Office Is Questioned Until She Proves Her Worth in 'The Superintendent'

USA's Pearson - Episode 1.02 "The Superintendent"

Jessica's reputation in the press puts the police contract in jeopardy.

In 2018, there were 495 scripted shows airing amongst the linear channels and streaming services. The way people are consuming content now is so different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, there is less necessity to provide ample coverage of each specific episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site is making the move to shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the next episode of USA's Pearson.

"The Superintendent" was written by Jameal Turner and directed by Silver Tree

What exactly are Jessica's professional responsibilities working for the Mayor of Chicago? That is the most prominent question that the press has for the new hire. They want to know how Jessica went from suing the city and defaming the entire police department to working in the Mayor's office. She saw it as a chance to grab power for herself and actively play a role in changing things for the better for her community. Meanwhile, Mayor Novak doesn't really have a good explanation for this hiring decision. He is mostly just stunned that the press would ask about it in the first place. He just wants people to go along with their days and be totally fine with everything that he is doing. He doesn't think anyone should be suspicious or skeptical about the decisions he is making in this office. That may make him a naive politician. In fact, the show is basically presenting a world in which a group of strong individuals are the ones who actually wield the power behind the scenes while Bobby is just the public face of the city. Sure, the mayor still holds some influence. He is the one ultimately held responsible for every single action that is taken. He has to be held accountable for these decisions. His underlings can be fired based on any action they take that may reflect poorly on his office. And yet, they are the ones with the leverage to actually have an impact on policy. Jessica and Keri are the ones making sure that the deals get done. Bobby is told that he should use his personal relationship with the police superintendent in order to push through a new contract between the police and the city. He doesn't really make much of an impression when he does though. Instead, he is fooled by the perception of the situation instead of what the department is actually trying to get through these talks. Jessica and Keri are the smart operators who understand that the police want the pension fund to be fully funded because of this deal. They know that the mayor will probably have reasons to complain about where the financing comes from for such a project as well. But it mostly presents Jessica as a fixer for the city's problems. She exists in this office in order to ensure that things actually get done. It may be a broad term for how to describe the work that she is doing. It's also inevitable that the season will force her to do some compromising things that muck her up significantly in this new city. Right now though, she is full of optimism. Sure, she is the one who orchestrates the press actively asking the questions about her employment in this mayoral administration. But she is also the one who comes in with the solutions and the ability to push her own agenda. She isn't going to be sidelined because of what some politician might say. And yet, she still has a strained relationship with her family. She and her aunt are close and personal. They exchange food and look out for one another knowing the true cost of living in this brutal and ugly world. Meanwhile, Angela asserts her own independence and the need to feel respected. She doesn't want some outsider coming into her life claiming the importance of family. Jessica has to earn that respect and trust. There is every indication that she might get there at some point. At this point in time, she is focusing on making waves at city hall. She is getting things done though. She makes her presence known and is respected for that. She may be creating enemies while highlighting the failings of others. But she remains the commanding force of the show so far. Again, that could become a problem at some point in the future. Some more clarity is certainly needed in other aspects of the show. And yet, Gina Torres is enough to give the show some leeway in the early going.