Gina Torres' Jessica may have been queen bee in 'Suits', but in 'Pearson' she's got to start from scratch
This article contains spoilers for 'Pearson' Ep 01, 'The Alderman'
Gina Torres made a shocking exit in season 6 of 'Suits' and with 'Pearson', the queen bee gets a chance to tell her story. In our review, we said the spin-off doesn't have the fleeting comedy 'Suits' did and for good reason - Torres' Jessica Pearson has a point to prove and is a woman on a mission.
The series starts with Jessica taking a job at the Mayor's office in Chicago as his fixer. It is clear within the first few minutes that Mayor Bobby Novak (Morgan Spector) is a company man. He hates waves and prefers things to go smoothly, even if it means compromising at certain stages.
But over the course of the series, we realize that the man has a fair bit of trouble and in Jessica, he can ward off some of it as she is his problem solver. Picking up from 'Suits' where Jessica was disbarred, she sets out to start afresh in Chicago and the decision to work with Novak doesn't sit well with her family.
The City Hall doesn't exactly give her a rousing welcome either. Novak makes it crystal clear she is nothing more than the "problem-fixer" who has to look at the assignments he dishes out. Bethany Joy Lenz, who plays City Attorney Keri Allen in the show makes no attempts to hide her displeasure after coming to know Jessica is going to join the ranks.
For Jessica, however, the mission is to grow and get better. She wants to leave behind all memories of New York and be the best she can be. Her drive and ambition results in choosing to work with Novak. This affects her personal relationships, including the one with Jeff Malone (D.B. Woodside).
Prior to 'The Alderman', Jessica had been fighting against Novak to keep a low-income housing project from being mowed down. One of these houses also had her aunt and cousins residing in it.
These family members are estranged and Chantel Riley who plays Jessica's cousin, Angela, is miffed and upset with her and wants little to do with whatever help Jessica offers. To her, Jessica was long gone from their lives. Her new job and the fact that her reputation is tarnished doesn't help either.
For Jessica, this move, she says is the right one as it will give her an opportunity to work better from the inside. But its easier said than done as she realizes she has to build herself back up from scratch.
'The Alderman' makes no attempts to hide that this a Jessica who has to rise again to be the person she used to be in 'Suits'. And with the way things are set up for her, she has to bring her A-game to stay on top. The other challenge she faces is relationships.
With an estranged family, a disgruntled partner in Jeff, Jessica also realizes she has to be human at some stage, even if it means letting her guard down and moving away from being the fixer. Regaining a reputation that is corroded, fighting for what is right, maintaining relationships..., Jessica has a lot on her plate going forward.
'Pearson' airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. on the USA Network.