Wednesday, August 14, 2019

REVIEW: 'Pearson' - Keri Gets Sued for a Scandal From Her Past and Asks Jessica for Help in 'The Former City Attorney'

USA's Pearson - Episode 1.05 "The Former City Attorney"

Keri's past comes back to haunt her. Yoli and Derrick give a CEO the Chicago tour.

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 Former City Attorney" was written by Lauren Herstik and directed by Salli Richardson-Whitfield

Bobby and Keri first gained political fame and momentum thanks to exposing the corruption by the former City Attorney. When Keri was first working in the office, she noticed that her boss was suppressing evidence so that the city wouldn't have to pay out millions of dollars to its injured citizens. This man could explain it all away by saying it was the way things had always been done and that the relationships with the various departments had to be maintained no matter what. All of this is important now because that former City Attorney is now the one suing the city as well as Keri and Bobby personally. Keri handles the burden of the lawsuit herself because she doesn't want to add it to Bobby's ongoing struggles. That allows her to forge a stronger connection with Jessica. Sure, it still gets too personal when Jessica prepares Keri for a deposition. Jessica is doing her job by trying to rattle Keri with some scandalous suggestions. Keri may not have used this scandal in order to blackmail Bobby into giving her this promotion when he became mayor. However, that's how it could all be perceived as. They do have a sexual relationship as well. One that remains just as complicated as the day it started. In the early going, it felt innocent and charming simply because they were both single. Keri didn't want anyone to suspect that she was a rising star in the city simply because she was sleeping with an alderman though. She still fears that people will reduce her down to someone who slept her way to the top. Not a whole lot has changed in the intervening years. Bobby has become mayor and Keri is the City Attorney. But they are still having sex despite how problematic and scandalous it could all become. Keri laments that over and over again. But she also admits that it is an ongoing relationship she is pursuing. It's important for her to be honest to others about what they should expect out of her. That's brave and refreshing. In fact, this hour could be seen as the one in which the truth starts to come out. That should be very beneficial to the overall narrative because those details are necessary to make the audience understand why we should be invested in what's happening to these characters. It's not a shock for anyone who watched Suits when Jessica talks about her ex-husband dying from ALS. That was a story that was important from time to time on the previous show. In fact, her connections to New York still allow her to make certain problems go away. The lawsuit here just disappears after Jessica allows this man to have his shot of redemption elsewhere. That has been so beneficial for her in Chicago. She sees the value in giving people the opportunity to do better. She just has to be open and honest about her life. She hasn't built trust with her new colleagues. She wants them to trust her instincts and abilities as a fixer. But that often comes from spending time with her and knowing what she is capable of doing. Of course, intimacy and vulnerability can be tricky and confusing emotions. Jessica opening up to Nick is also played through the context of Jeff returning to the city to be with Jessica at that precise moment. There is no reason why anyone should be worried about Jessica and Jeff as a couple. And yet, the show certainly seems to be suggesting that something more could happen at one point now that Nick has been ruled out as a murder suspect. Elsewhere, the audience gets the understanding that Pat McGann installed Bobby as mayor as part of an extended favor he owed Bobby's father for helping cover up a murder. That ensures that Bobby's life is full of secrets that could do a whole lot of damage to his career if they got out. As such, all of the main characters will have to decide just how comfortable they are with suppressing some of that information in the hopes of benefiting their own political careers.