Wednesday, August 7, 2019

REVIEW: 'Pearson' - Jessica Investigates a Murder Which May Have Connections to Keri and Nick in 'The Deputy Mayor'

USA's Pearson - Episode 1.04 "The Deputy Mayor"

With Bobby out, the Deputy Mayor pushes his own agenda. Jessica digs into a murder from North Park.

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 Deputy Mayor" was written by Chris Downey and directed by Alexis Ostrander

Jessica believes that being in Chicago has had a positive influence on her life. She is closer to family now. Angela is getting to know her cousin. Jessica is welcome in their lives. It enriches her soul. It's startling when she tells Jeff that she is in church with her family. This is a new experience for her. She sees the value in it. She wishes to give back to her family. She wants to help lift them out of their current economic situation. Angela remains stubborn because she wants the satisfaction of knowing that she bought a house with her hard-earned money. That doesn't solve the short-term problem though. They are still being evicted. They still have to find a place to live. Jessica is offering to buy her family a home. She wants to spend her money on people other than herself. She is happy to do this. She also understands the pride on Angela's part. It's the same energy she had when she wanted to manage her own firm in New York City. She achieved that goal. Now, she is starting a new chapter in life. Her world is now full of fixing problems for the mayor while also investigating a murder. That too is a story that features Jessica in an unexpected and strange environment. She claims to Angela that she has prosecuted and defended criminals before. She knows how to approach them. And yet, she really doesn't. She doesn't know how things work on the streets of this city. She may get a simple answer to her question of how this young black man died. He was killed simply because he had too many mounting debts to some shady people that he couldn't pay off. But it's also a story wrapped up in possible corruption because this young man was suing the city and was bought off for his silence. Nick was the one who reached out with that offer on behalf of Pat McGann. Jessica understands that there is a deep connection between the mayor's office and this private contractor. Whatever McGann wants, he is quick to bulldoze his way into achieving it. It makes the people working in the mayor's office seem like they are beholden to certain men instead of trying to defend the rights of the citizens of Chicago. That's not how government should work. It may be the painful reality though. Jessica is trying to make sense of this. Of course, the show is struggling to present a reason for the audience to care about any of this. It mostly presents as a story that informs the supporting ensemble in ways that could provide more nuance and context to who they are. Nick does present as a man full of remorse. He may be quick to react. Plus, Jessica is concerned for a moment that he could be guilty of murder. He walks around with the sense that he can do whatever he wants because he works for the mayor. That certainly isn't true. But he feels like he must fall in line with whatever McGann wants. McGann faces similar pressure from his partners in this new building project. That may signal that it's a project that will fall apart and allow Jessica's family to keep their home. That seems too easy a solution though. McGann is too slippery an antagonist to be deterred by that. That's the source of ongoing intrigue. Meanwhile, the introduction of the deputy mayor mostly comes to give Keri and Derrick something to do. That shows just how loyal they are to Mayor Novak. They don't want to listen to what Lloyd has to say while Bobby is out of town. However, Lloyd presents as a genuine and noble guy who doesn't deserve to be disrespected by the people in this office who are simply playing politics with no real consideration for getting things done in a meaningful way. Derrick may be inspired to a certain extent. But Keri remains steadfast in her loyalties despite the numerous warnings that her connection with Bobby could come back to hurt her at some point.