'Pearson' episode 3 sees Jessica forced to resort to blackmail to save Angela's family while Nick D'Amato realizes he mirrors her
Torres, as usual, does a stellar job playing a woman who's out to prove a point. The show is yet to tap into its real potential and it's only a matter of time. It's not tense or thrilling; not yet, at least. Nonetheless, 'The Union Leader' is worth a watch if you plan on completing the entire season
This review contains spoilers for 'Pearson' episode 3: 'The Union Leader'
How often have we seen a usually "pretty-confident-about-what-I-do" Jessica Pearson (Gina Torres) break down? 'The Union Leader' is all about fighting dirty and landing below the belt punches, something Jessica is not used to. The episode also delves into the complexity of relationships and ends on a bittersweet note for Jessica.
To begin with, the Alderman post is up for grabs and corrupt real estate developer Pat McGann (Wayne Duvall) makes a recommendation -- a woman named Betsy Sullivan. This doesn't sit too well with Jessica after she realizes Sullivan is not the right one to do the job.
Meanwhile, things aren't too great for Keri Allen (Bethany Joy Lenz) the District Attorney, after it dawns on her that her affair with Mayor Bobby Novak (Morgan Spector) is just pushing her down in life as Novak doesn't contribute much to the relationship. Speaking of Bobby Novak and relationships, the man is currently taking care of his sick wife, Stephanie Novak (Betsy Brandt) and ignoring Keri.
Three episodes down and it is clear Novak is a man with dirty secrets. He's clearly hired Jessica's services just to solve his problems. For him, it’s purely about surviving and keeping Jessica’s nose out of his business with McGann, which we'll find out more about over the course of the series.
Nick D'Amato (Simon Kassianides) has a bit of a tough time adjusting to Jessica as her new driver, but quickly learns her ways of working. Formerly the Mayor's driver and half-brother, Nick is still a bit of a mystery. But going forward, we're pretty sure that he's got a more crucial role to play.
However, what is established about the character is that he's got a strong moral code, relies on his conscious and is a bit troubled. In a way, Nick mirrors Jessica with these traits. These characteristics could see him eventually work a lot better with Jessica. There is also one instance when Nick realizes that he is just like Jessica in many ways.
The public housing development that’s about to be destroyed, which is one of the plot points sees a bizarre twist as well. In a shocking development, the time that's given to vacate the premises comes down from 90 days to seven and this further strains Jessica's relationship with her cousin sister, Angela Cooke (Chantel Riley).
In a bid to get an extension, Jessica is forced to do the unimaginable -- blackmail the man entrusted with the job of razing down the public housing and that sees her breakdown after she's forced to do the task so she could save her sister's family from becoming homeless. The point to be noted here is that McGann and Novak wash their hands off the mess and leave it to be sorted out by Jessica.
Torn between her moral code and saving her sister, Jessica eventually resorts to doing something she would have never pictured herself doing and the only consolation that comes out of it is the relationship with Angela is slowly being rebuilt. But again, it came at a cost. In Jessica's own words from the episode, "Everybody has a price".
'Pearson' has potential and still manages to grip the audience. It may not be a pacy political drama, but it is still a lot grittier. Torres, as usual, does a stellar job in playing a woman who's out to prove a point. The show is yet to tap into its real potential and it's only a matter of time. It's not tense or thrilling; not yet, at least. Nonetheless, 'The Union Leader' is worth a watch if you plan on completing the entire season.
'Pearson' airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. on the USA Network.