Wednesday, August 21, 2019

REVIEW: 'Pearson' - Jessica Helps the Mayor Free Himself From McGann's Influence by Pursuing New Donors in 'The Donor'

USA's Pearson - Episode 1.06 "The Donor"

Construction starts on North Park. Jessica finds new financial backers for Bobby's campaign.

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 Donor" was written by Sylvia L. Jones and directed by Mark Polish

Pat McGann hasn't exactly been a fascinating antagonist for the season. He's fairly one-note as a villain. Plus, it's still hard to muster up much excitement for how he corrupts the various players of the political world. He is hardly the only person in Chicago with a great deal of influence. This hour states perfectly well that Bobby could go to others for financial backing for his re-election. Bobby just needs the right motivation from Jessica first. She sees McGann as someone who will go back on his deals no matter what. That's a man who can't be trusted. Sure, that makes it difficult to completely eliminate him from the mayor's office because the hooks may be in too deep with Bobby. But the ambition is there. It's just not the most exciting thing to currently be happening. It's the plot that keeps everything moving forward. Him starting the North Park construction early does force some crucial character moments to happen. It's the action that sends the overall story here into motion. But it's hard to care about him being deceitful by taking money from Chinese investors when he always operated proudly by not going out of the country for cash. He is corrupt. But it's mostly apparent that the true depths of the central scandal are still being kept from Jessica. She believes that she is operating with the full truth. She knows that Bobby is indebted to McGann and can't escape his influence so easily. She sees McGann in a weakened state and vulnerable to attack. And yet, she doesn't know the extent of which a murder was covered up and how that actually forges this connection between Bobby and McGann. That's crucial for anyone's understanding of what is actually going on. Because the show is choosing to be more cryptic on those details, this continues to feel like a plot spinning its wheels until the end of the season for all to be revealed. It's hard to believe that any of the main characters would help cover up a murder or actually commit one. It should inform some moral complications for all of them. But again, the audience is just waiting for the show to get to that point where the tough decisions have to be made. Right now, it isn't agonizing for people to want to be free of McGann. Sure, he may still exert some influence but he's a horrible person. There's no nuance to the situation whatsoever. It's much more compelling to spend time elsewhere in this world. Angela has been stubborn in refusing to allow Jessica to help pull her family up the socioeconomic ladder. It's odd that Jeff is the one who helps the family see things more clearly. He too hasn't exactly been an important character this season. His relationship with Jessica is still significant. But the creative team is also operating with the understanding that D.B. Woodside has limited availability. That's why he is indefinitely away on this case in Miami. It's a convenient excuse for Jessica to feel isolated in this world once more. She's not alone though. She has her family in her apartment now. This is the connection she was hoping to forge. It just comes from the tragic reality that Angela and her family had to lose their home in order for it to happen. Elsewhere, Yoli gets some character shading with the reveal that she is a DACA recipient whose mother has just been detained by ICE. That is such a painfully relevant story at the moment. Yoli is proud as well and doesn't want to use her connections at city hall to help free her mother. She doesn't know if it would do any good or if it would put her own life in jeopardy. It's also a forced moment when Derrick consoles her. The show obviously keeps pairing the two of them together for a reason. But it's just more fun watching Yoli as Jessica's assistant who is a little too personal. Jessica should be willing to help resolve Yoli's family drama as well. She just needs to know what's going on.