Wednesday, September 4, 2019

REVIEW: 'Pearson' - Keri and Stephanie Attend a Conference and Discuss Their Relationships with Bobby in 'The Political Wife'

USA's Pearson - Episode 1.08 "The Political Wife"

Keri goes on a trip with Stephanie. Angela helps her neighbors. Jessica deals with Yoli's problem.

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 Political Wife" was written by Sonay Hoffman and directed by Kevin Bray

Stephanie Novak hasn't exactly been presented as a multi-dimensional character so far. She is hardly the only one in this world. The priority remains focused on Jessica and whatever her concerns are for the week. The ensemble is still rather hit-or-miss overall. And yet, the strengths brought to the drama by Keri and Yoli are starting to grow. And now, Keri finds herself attending a mayoral conference in Los Angeles with Stephanie. They finally get to have the explosive confrontation about Keri sleeping with Stephanie's husband. They dance around the subject at first. But all of the secrets are fully on display now. Keri may see her relationship with Bobby as purely inevitable and inescapable because they work together. She loves this job. He just also happens to be at the office. Their physical attraction means that this was simply bound to occur and keep occurring for five years. That's how long this has been going on. Stephanie has suspected for all of those years as well. She may have been afraid to confront anyone about it at one point. But now, she is more than willing to do so because she strives to understand how it could happen. She wants to know the human being on the other side of the equation. Stephanie has her own failings as well. She has allowed her MS diagnosis to define so much for her. It shouldn't be the reason why she no longer fights for what she's passionate about. She has moved into being the quiet political spouse in the background who is rarely heard from. She can be just as eloquent and charming as her husband can be. She wants to persuade the attendees at this conference with Chicago's new health care initiative. It is personal to her. It shouldn't have to be in order for politicians to fight for it though. That may inherently make it a more interesting story. Keri doesn't think it's fair that Bobby asks Stephanie to keep her health a secret from the outside world. He doesn't want anyone to know fearing that there could be backlash to how reasonably he could be running the city while also dealing with that at home. That may seem silly. He has a team of people at city hall making sure that he manages this city as well as he can. It's because of their hard work that so much in the government actually works. It's not a perfect system though. Stephanie can speak to that. This is an issue she can fight for without needing to make it all about her. Stephanie and Keri will live in the uncertainty when they return to Chicago. They walk away from this trip with a fuller understanding of each other. In fact, it's a welcome break from all of the drama currently happening between Pat McGann and Bobby. That has been the main source of drama this season. It just hasn't quite had the narrative engine to sustain a full season worth of story. As such, it's welcome to see developments like the ones here that put the characters front and center. They have so much complexities in this world. Yoli wants to believe that she understands everything about her mother. The woman who raised her has integrity and never lies. And yet, she has been keeping a huge secret. She killed two people in order to protect her daughter. That may help her asylum case. It could also condemn her to deportation too. But now, Jessica knows the truth and can help fight for the best outcome. She is passionate about helping Yoli in her time of need. Angela just sees that as Jessica taking time away from her family who also needs that passion right now. Angela sees a community in despair with no one caring whatsoever. She wants to shine a spotlight on this human tragedy. She may just be choosing to do so in a way that further highlights her stubborn nature and how ineffective it can. She will keep pursuing justice though because that's what her community needs right now. They need an advocate who will fight for them.