Everyone has their agendas and crosses to bear, but they’re all in this together.
After some time of being at odds for various reasons and butting heads, the folks at the mayor’s office are starting to feel like a team. They’re not perfect or functional, but they are a team and have come around to accepting it.
Between the flashbacks, mentor/mentee parallels, and personal conversations, Pearson Season 1 Episode 5 laid these characters bare and captured the complexities of being a flawed human.
It was the first hour where it seemed as though Jessica solidified her place on the team.
As a fixer, she needs to know the dark secrets. However, as a person in a strange city with no friends, being able to connect with the people she sees every day is of importance as well.
By the end of the hour, Jessica and Keri didn’t feel like two adversarial colleagues forced to deal with one another. It appeared as though they were on a path towards a genuine friendship.
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It’s far more compelling to have these two powerful women bonding than at each other’s throats. Jessica had a lot to prove to them, but so far, she’s shown her willingness to help.
No matter the task, she puts her all into completing it, and the reservations Keri had about Jessica are melting away. Jessica apologizing didn’t hurt matters. It was one of the best scenes of the hour.
They didn’t have to spell it out this hour, but the flashbacks and Keri’s relationship with her former mentor Sharma put Keri and Jessica’s tension into perspective.
Jessica: I’m sorry.
Keri: For what?
Jessica: I never should have questioned how you got your job. The truth is Bobby is mayor because of you. Nobody knows it, and I wish they did.
Sharma was her mentor and gave her a job right out of law school. She looked up to him, which made it a devastating blow when she discovered he was burying evidence, screwing people out of the lawsuits they were entitled to, and making shady side deals.
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It was contrary to everything he taught her. Sharma’s actions put her in a position where she had to choose between what was ethical and right or not jeopardizing their relationship or her career.
In hindsight, Jessica probably reminded Keri of her experience with Sharma, and it colored her judgment of this disgraced woman who got a second chance.
It makes Keri more complicated than ever, considering she prefers to be highly ethical, but she works for a man who is in bed with the devil. It was touched on during Pearson Season 1 Episode 4, but it was hit home during this hour.
She’s a ball of contradictions, but all of the characters are.
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Keri’s questionable ethics contributed to Sharma coming after her and Bobby with a lawsuit. If he had to go down and pay the price for his mistakes, then he wanted them to do so as well.
That man has it out for you. Your instincts were to come to me for help. Trust your instincts.
He knew better than anyone how capable Keri was since he was the one who mentored her and helped her flourish. He also knew or suspected Bobby showed non-platonic interest in Keri, and he was OK letting that one faction of Keri’s life reflects on her entire career.
Keri is right; the rules are different for women. Bobby could bounce back from their affair, but everything Keri accomplished would be reduced to her sleeping her way to the top.
She wanted the whole thing to go away and for Jessica to handle it. If they went through with the lawsuit, the truth about the affair was going to come out.
It was a pleasant surprise that Keri was fueled more by self-interest. She didn’t want Bobby’s life and political aspirations destroyed, but she didn’t come across as the self-sacrificing mistress.
If this gets out, Bobby will be crushed, but he’ll recover, and me no matter what anyone says I’ll be the woman who slept her way to the top. It’s different for women, and you know that. I will never recover.
We also had insight into what Bobby and Keri were like some time ago before they ended up in all of this mess. It has been hard to figure out Bobby’s role as mayor. An occasional throwaway line would suggest he had pure intentions once upon a time, but other behavior would suggest it’s just another gig.
He did have a passion for the job, and his intentions were pure. He knew Chicago’s reputation and wanted to do something about it. Bobby was a grass-roots type of guy once, but Pat McGann and whatever happened with his father stomped all of Bobby’s goodwill out of him.
His affair with Keri started because of their mutual passion for the job, and he respected her. Why else would he go against Pat and bring her to the fifth floor with him?
Just so you know, I ever make it to that fifth-floor office, I’m taking you with me.
He and his wife were separated when he begins his relationship with Keri.
It’s supposed to make their relationship more palatable. Keri genuinely cares about the declining health of Bobby’s wife, and the implication is that he’s trying to be honorable by taking care of her. It’s not a black and white situation, and this hour served as an effort to round out both characters and make them more likable and relatable.
It does that, but it remains one of the least interesting aspects of the series regardless. Other than an excellent use of Two Feet’s “I’m Drowning” during their sexy scene, caring about their romantic relationship is an arduous task.
If anything, there was confirmation the feelings between them are real for anyone who may have doubted them. Keri tried to move on with Brian, the photographer, but her heart wasn’t in it.
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She admitted that she is in a relationship with someone. She’s off the market, but it’s with a married man with kids and a sick wife. Isn’t it like taking a step forward and then pulling away? She remains stagnant, but at least they’re in it together.
The Bobby, Pat, and Tommy Deale thing is intriguing, and we need to know the story, pronto!
It seems as though Bobby and Nick are both paying for the sins of their father. Bobby’s run as mayor is not his own, and Nick is guiltridden over his role in the disappearance or death of Tommy.
As long as Pat has this over both of them, they’re indebted to him. Essentially, it means they can never be free of him.
Bobby: Are you saying my old man took care of Deale?
Pat: And in exchange, I’d make his son mayor.
Bobby: Jesus Christ!
Tommy was a union boss, and for whatever reason, Daddy Novak wanted him gone. It’s as if Bobby and Nick inherited a life of corruption with politicians and dirty cops, and there is no way of freeing themselves from it.
We cannot find out more about this connection soon enough.
The good news is, maybe with the progress Jessica is making, they’ll let her in on the history. Any help at all is better than nothing.
Bobby felt he was complacent before as alderman, but he has to feel worse than that now as mayor with his hands tied by Pat and his cronies.
Bobby: Pat, listen to me. I know we’ve been talking about this a long time, and I agreed to play the long game, and do your bidding at city council, but the more I’m inside, the more this shit gets to me, and I want to make a mark.
Pat: You are good. Let’s save that for the campaign.
Bobby: I’m not fucking around. This city has a reputation for a reason, and I’m sick of it. If I’m going to do this thing, I want to be a new kind of mayor.
Jessica is learning more about Bobby (and Nick), and the more she learns about them, the easier it is to view them as her people. If Jessica doesn’t do anything else, she takes care of and looks after her people.
It’s too bad Jessica didn’t have a deeper conversation with Bobby. It’s like the tables have turned on him. He used to be the one who had to convince those around him that Jessica is an asset.
Now Keri and Nick have taken Jessica in as one of their own, and there is a wedge between her and Bobby. He doesn’t realize how willing she is to protect and help him. He keeps pushing her away, and he doesn’t see her genuine compassion, empathy, and extended helping hands for what they are.
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The situation with Sharma highlighted how important this second chance is for Jessica. In many ways, she could understand him. He didn’t want money out of the lawsuit.
He wanted Bobby and Keri to suffer, but more than anything he wanted his name back. He spent two decades in a career he was passionate about, and he lost it and himself.
Jessica: You don’t know anything about me.
Nick: Exactly. I don’t know anything.
Jessica understood getting a chance to redeem herself; she’s grateful to Bobby for an opportunity. She could also relate to Sharma watching his mentee succeed, at his expense.
Jessica sacrificed herself for her people on Suits, but she has since watched Harvey thrive in her absence. The only difference is, she knows she can always count on him and vice versa.
Of all the Jessica dynamics during the hour, the two best was her best one on Suits with Harvey, and her best one on Pearson with Nick.
The Harvey cameo was a wonderful addition. The juxtaposition of the mentor/mentee relationship between Jessica and Harvey with the one between Keri and Sharma was well done.
Harvey: Don’t tell me, the mayor fired you and you’re coming back to New York?
Harvey: You took over, and they’re renaming the city Pearson?
Jessica: That’s more like it.
Harvey: How are you, Jessica?
Jessica: I’m just fine, thank you very much, but I do need a favor.
Harvey: I can be on the first plane out
Jessica: Save your miles for Tahiti. You can do this from where you are.
Harvey: Good. I’m not trying to battle airport traffic. What do you need?
The timing was also perfect because of it falling in an hour where Jessica’s guarded disposition was pointed out. Harvey is one of the people who knows Jessica best, and he was her closest person on Suits.
A conversation with him was a reminder of how she could let her guard down and get to know people better. It worked well with Nick being the person to call her out.
Perhaps the mystery behind why Jessica and Nick’s relationship is delightful and fascinating is because of how much he (and his burgeoning relationship with Jessica) is similar to Harvey (and their relationship).
Like Harvey, Nick has a moral code he follows, and he’s nothing if not loyal, almost to a fault. He goes to war for his people, and he’s guarded as well.
As a longtime fan of the “Jarvey” relationship on Suits, it’s no wonder Jessica and Nick are so damn appealing.
Jessica: I’m sorry I doubted you.
Nick: That’s fine, but the fact that you suspected me, that says plenty about what you think of me.
Jessica: I don’t know what to think of you, Nick. But this arrangement isn’t going to work unless you trust me enough to let your wall down.
Nick: Don’t you get bored on that lonely street?
Jessica: What are you talking about?
Nick: You want everyone to open up to you, but you don’t give a thing in return.
Jessica doesn’t know much about Nick. It didn’t stop him from being offended by her implying he had anything to do with Carl’s death. Once again, as was the case with Keri and Jessica, stones were thrown while living in glass houses.
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Nick hasn’t exactly bared his soul to Jessica, so it’s funny how he called her out on being guarded and closed off, but he wasn’t wrong either.
Everything she shared about herself was something anyone could know if they did research. She wants everyone’s secrets, and she reads the hell out of people, but she doesn’t realize how little she gives in return.
Jessica has always been this way. Ironically, as close as she and Harvey were, even he didn’t know things about her.
But what’s so g*ddamn amazing about Nick is he’s a man of few words, but even after he speaks his truth, he still shows up. He’s dependable and loyal like a labrador. I mean that in the best possible way.
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He spoke his mind and let Jessica ponder on what he said, and he carried on with his duty. He seemed surprised when Jessica confided in him.
It was a fantastic scene to end the hour on — the best.
This series is introducing us to the vulnerable side of Jessica, and those are the most heartening moments.
Hopefully, Jessica will speak to Bobby about her late ex-husband, but the moment worked best with her confiding in the person whom she has developed an inexplicable kinship.
Jessica: My husband had ALS.
Nick: I’m sorry?
Jessica: It’s why I told Bobby I understood what he was going through. It tore me apart seeing someone I loved, no matter how complicated it was, suffering. And though I was in control of everything all day, I was powerless to stop it. I had to stand by and watch, and I’m not very good at that.
Nick: Why didn’t you tell Bobby?
Jessica: Because the story ends with a man dying, and I don’t think he’s ready to hear that right now.
Nick: He might appreciate a little empathy.
Jessica: But I don’t really know what it feels like. My ex-husband was diagnosed after we were divorced. I don’t know how I would have handled it if it had happened during our marriage. I’d like to think I’m a better person now but–
Nick: I think you’re a better person than you think you are.
Jessica: I don’t know why I’m telling you this.
Nick: Maybe it’s because I’m here.
Torres killed the scene capturing Jessica’s raw vulnerability. For everything that was said, there was so much beneath the surface that wasn’t.
She’s a woman who is, not so much reinventing herself, but she’s rediscovering herself. She’s in this self-reflective place in her life that has her looking at who she was in the past, and she’s trying to learn from it and become something better now.
And during this hour, it was the first time the others saw how earnest and genuine she was in that. She’s a confident woman, but Nick has seen her rattled, her insecurities, and vulnerabilities.
It may be why he’s catching feelings. He has to be, right?
Whatever you want to call the tension between the two of them, it was so thick it could be cut with a knife.
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Jeff’s arrival broke the spell between them, but boy is it a moment to revisit later. Jeff didn’t miss the unexpected moment of tenderness, and Nick seemed disappointed.
Nick doesn’t have anyone, so maybe, for a moment, he felt he had Jessica. If she ever manages to figure out what’s going on with the brothers and Pat, it’ll probably be due to Nick.
But am I the only one wondering if something terrible will happen to one of the brothers before the season is over?
The mentor/mentee theme also carried over into Jessica’s relationship with Yoli.
The adults put the kids (two non-white kids who grew up in the city) in charge of shmoozing the owner of Ikarus who wants to gentrify the hell out of Chicago.
Yoli: You know what this is, right?
Derrick: Millennials on parade.
Yoli: I just find it so ironic that they’re sending us out to whitewash the city.
Yoli and Derrick’s annoyance was nothing if not understandable, but they had a job to do.
Yoli always means well, and it doesn’t feel right criticizing her for her passion. It’s people like her who change the world for the better.
But it remains frustrating that she’s incapable of reining herself in. She carries herself as if she’s the only one who is passionate about causes and doing right by disenfranchised people and communities, when it isn’t that she’s more enlightened or cares more, it’s that everyone else has to be more realistic.
They know how to choose their battles, but Yoli runs on emotion more than logic.
Derrick: Why do you want to be here?
Yoli: What do you mean?
Derrick: Why do you want to be part of government when you have zero respect for how it works?
Working for everyone isn’t practical. It isn’t possible. It’s our job to do the most good for the greatest number of people.
Derrick asking her why she wanted to work for the government when she refuses to respect how it functions was long overdue.
There’s a fine line between being passionate and unprofessional, and she always gears toward the latter.
It sucks, but gentrification is something that isn’t black and white all the time, literally and figuratively speaking. It can disrupt communities and cultures — destroy small business, and displace poor people. The list goes on, but sometimes it also means more jobs for a community who needs them.
Derrick was trying to be practical in his approach, and he made a proposal that fell in line with his personal views. It’s something he wouldn’t have did before, and he got in trouble for it.
Yoli: I know I can be a lot sometimes, but I’m not stupid. I can learn how to do this job, but you can’t teach passion. Please, just give me another chance.
Jessica: One shot.
Yoli and Derrick balance each other out well. They need what the other has to offer. Hopefully, they’ll get to interact with some of the other characters more.
For one, the relationship between Jessica and Yoli could use more exploration. It tends to be surface level with a once in a blue moon pearl of wisdom dropped on Yoli.
There is so much potential for more.
Over to you, Pearson Fanatics! Did you love the Harvey cameo? What are your thoughts on the arrangement between Pat and Bobby and Nick’s father?
Did this hour endear you to the Bobby and Keri love story? Do you think Nick has developed feelings for Jessica?
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Did any of you guys catch the framed picture of Meghan Markle greeting the Obamas on Jessica’s shelf in her office?
Hit the comments below!
If you’re still missing out on this kickass series, you can watch Pearson online here via TV Fanatic!