Pearson Season 1 Episode 2 Review: The Superintendent

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Jessica still knows how to play chess while everyone else is playing checkers. 

Fortunately, on Pearson Season 1 Episode 2, some of these hard-nosed Chicagoans are slowly coming around to accepting her, even if they don't trust her just yet.

They don't have to trust her, but they should at least trust her abilities as an asset.

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Most of her relationships on this series so far are contentious, but one that stood out during this hour was Jessica's interactions with Nick. He was one of the most vocal about her presence in Chicago and Bobby hiring her.

He was the one following her and investigating her, and he was the one who was harassing Harvey on Suits. But he's also the one she called out about his behavior and wants to chauffeur her around.

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We know with Jessica this is strategic, especially after what she saw in that file, but their relationship could be one of interest. She has this incredible sense of discernment. She reads people well, and she knows how to utilize what she knows to get what she wants from them.

Blue Flu - Tall - Pearson Season 1 Episode 2

She's picking up things about Nick who doesn't care for being his half brother's henchman. He's a valuable resource, but she has picked up how Bobby may take that for granted.

They also share a commonality; they're both outsiders and displaced from their family.

Two birds. Instead of telling the public why you brought me in which you should have had an answer for this morning, show them!


Jessica doesn't fit in with her family in Chicago, and Nick is weighed down by his status as the Novak bastard -- something he alluded to when he mentioned how he felt waiting in the car tailing Jessica. It brought back memories.

When he "rescued" her from the press, she got a sense of his character, and he is getting a feel for hers. Nick is someone eager to be valued and from beneath his brother's beck and call; Jessica may give him that.

Put Me In, Coach  - Pearson Season 1 Episode 2

He's considering it. Otherwise, he wouldn't have told Bobby about her proposition. I'm dying to know what else happened with his role in the case involving the young man in the file and to what extent is he tied in with McGann.

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I'm also curious about the brotherhood. No, not the blue -- his relationship with Bobby. There is so much fraught history.

He's a character who piques my curiosity. He's the key to understanding Bobby and the dirty politics with the police.

Jessica: You brought me in to put out your fires Mr. Mayor.
Bobby: Not the ones you goddamn start!

Bobby had to know there would be some pushback or a grandstand against Jessica when the news broke she was working for his administration. She led a lawsuit against their police department, so the boys and girls in blue were not going to respond well to her new position.

A Balancing Act - Tall  - Pearson Season 1 Episode 2

It's why everyone blaming Jessica for the Blue Flu was absurd. How do you blame the person you hired for other people not responding well to her? They keep telling her how this city works, so they knew this decision was going to have some unfavorable effects.

Bobby was pissed off about reporters catching wind of Jessica's position two days after she started working for him, but he had ample time to prep for it and chose not to do so. That's on him, or even Derrick who should've whipped up a statement the second he found out about Jessica.

Chuck: As long as Jessica Pearson is part of your administration, we don't have much to talk about.
Bobby: You need a contract, Chuck.
Chuck: And you need a police force.

In this day and age, it takes all of two hours to get the news out there. The reporters were salivating over the story of a disbarred attorney who sued the city finding herself working for it. Wouldn't you jump at that story?

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Bobby is a confusing character, which I suppose is a sign of his complexity. Sometimes his passion for the job comes through. However, his name is used as a verb whenever he flies off the handle.

His reaction in front of the press was not that of a seasoned politician, and if he's known for doing that often, then poor Derrick's job must be hellish.

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Jessica was right in wanting to get ahead of everything, but she could not foresee Chuck using her as a scapegoat to thwart Keri's negotiations with the police department.

She wasn't the reason the cops unofficially went on strike. As with most things, money talks, and what they wanted was their pensions.

I hear some of your officers missed their flu shots this year.


They're not Jessica fans, but in the end, money talks more than anything else. It sounds like Bobby has been rubbing people the wrong way before Jessica entered the picture.

Everything is a song and dance in Chicago. No matter what Bobby does, he always steps out of place and on someone's toes. And one problem with back alley deals is no one outside of the person you're dealing with knows you were part of one.

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No one can know the full extent of what Bobby does or doesn't do for his city while in his position, so it's easy for anyone to assume he isn't doing anything at all.

Others didn't see Bobby making a deal and hiring Jessica as his way of protecting the city and force, or they didn't know how he took funds out of another department in need to accommodate them. All they see is someone who got into bed with a woman who they believe is pushing an anti-police agenda.

God knows I'm no fan of the police over here, but no police is a whole other set of problems.


Politics and image are so frustrating. The cops who harmed an unarmed citizen are "bad apples." But a sense of blind loyalty by an infrastructure often keeps those bad apples from facing the consequences they should face -- and their misdeeds tarnishes the image of all cops.

Jessica in Thought - Tall - Pearson Season 1 Episode 2

Unfortunately, more time is spent going after the person who wants to hold those specific bad eggs accountable than the cops who did the misdeeds. And when the police department feels disrespected, they make noise, and the innocent civilians pay the price for it.

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The power dynamics are messy and scary. Innocent civilians are pawns in a larger game. Communities, like the one where Jessica's family resides, were used to send Bobby (and Jessica) a message.

I don't know what to make of Keri's role in this. She has brought up more than once how she's the daughter of a police officer. She's an asset to Bobby in that regard, so it's unsurprising she was used for negotiating deals.

Jessica: I need a minute.
Keri: I'm sorry. I'm too busy cleaning up your mess.
Jessica: You know we can keep slinging mud at each other, or we can talk like two grown women.
Keri: Oh, the feminist card. You must be desperate.

She knows this realm well, but why didn't she know the root cause for the "strike?" She also had doubts when Jessica figured it out.

Although, Jessica speaking to Chuck and figuring out what the real issue was within a few moments was another entertaining scene. She's so smooth and so damn good at what she does.

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It's taking me a while to come around to Keri, and I can't figure her out. I want to love this tiny, fierce woman in a power suit. I smile when Bethany Joy Lenz appears onscreen, but there is this disconnect with her character I cannot place.

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At the moment, it feels as though she's all talk and little action. I need to see her in action more instead of complaining about Jessica so much. It has little to do with Lenz; it's how the series has used her so far.

Please, give me a reason to root for this pint-sized badass; I'm a sucker for them! Short girls unite, or whatever.

Unstoppable Force Versus Immovable Object  - Pearson Season 1 Episode 2

The tension between her and Jessica is starting to thaw a bit, and Jessica extended an apology and olive branch. I know the two women could be a formidable team if they could set aside their differences long enough.

Am I the only one who gets the sense Keri is not only threatened by Jessica professionally but also personally?

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She has an edge to her when she speaks about Jessica and Bobby. It makes me wonder how the affair between her and Bobby began. Does he have a weakness for powerful women who could kill him with the heel of their stiletto?

There is a difference between knowing your rights and knowing when to use them. That's part of growing up.


I would hate to reduce Keri's apprehension to just that, but Bobby had a moment of wondering the same. It did not bode well for their partnership that he accused her of leaking Jessica's name to the press.

Keri, so far, appears loyal and devoted to him, so the mere mention of her doing something like that understandably set her off. I did appreciate how she didn't let it interfere with her doing her job. She didn't make much of a stink about it either, and he knew he owed her an apology.

In Over His Head? - Tall  - Pearson Season 1 Episode 2

His apology wasn't a prelude for sex, and he declined her drink offer in favor of going home to spend time with his family and to tuck his kids in, so it felt more genuine than his similar scene during Pearson Season 1 Episode 1.

Speaking of family, Jessica still has her work cut out for her with Lillian and Angela. Lillian has been nothing but kind and inviting, but Angela is the antithesis of both.

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Lillian traveling to Jessica's fancy apartment to make her breakfast was sweet. She wants to get to know Jessica better, and I do think Jessica could use her maternal energy.

Jessica: What would you like me to do?
Angela: That's the thing. You don't have to do anything. Saw you on TV. You want to save the city; it looks good on you, but we were surviving before you got here, and we will be surviving after you move on.
Jessica: I'm trying to get to know you.
Angela: Then try to get to know us. We don't need charity. We don't need expensive steaks, and we definitely don't need to be saved by you so you could feel better about yourself.

In the years we've known Jessica, she has lacked the familial component. Her firm was her family. She cannot get the same vibe from work, and Jeff is gone.

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She's trying to get back in touch with her roots, and it's something she needs. I'm happy Lillian can understand that, but I'm annoyed Angela cannot.

The class difference between the two women is overt, and something Angela keeps harping on, but there is something more there. The circumstances leading to Jessica's estrangement from her relatives are murky. While I can't fault Angela to some degree for being hesitant, she's flat out hostile.

By now, many of you are well aware of my past. It is a past that I own and one that Mayor Novak has been kind enough to give a second chance to. What you may not know is that my father grew up in this city, and it has taken on a special meaning to me. And I am anxious to give something back. Now I know some of you still have many questions. Come at me. I'm an open book.


Even if Jessica is using money or buying things as a way of showing her love, what if it's the best way she knows how to at the moment?

She bought them groceries, not a freaking house! It was a returned favor for Lillian cooking for her. Angela's little speech would carry more weight if she had an alternative way she wanted Jessica to get to know them, but she doesn't want Jessica to be part of their lives at all.

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If that's how she feels, nothing Jessica can do will sit well with her. It's annoying how many assumptions she makes about her cousin when she doesn't know her. She's not even giving Jessica a chance to show her who she is.

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For all of Angela's hangups about superficiality, she's the one who keeps focusing on the superficial by writing Jessica off as some rich, privileged, or "uppity" and "bougie" woman who can't relate to her family or her community.

It's bullcrap.

Having Doubts - Pearson Season 1 Episode 1

If she doesn't want to be bothered with Jessica, it's on her, but it's unfair of her to impose her feelings on her mother. It's a struggle to find Angela sympathetic here, but maybe one day she'll do something about the massive chip on her shoulder.

Jessica is having a difficult time connecting to her cousin, but she saw something in Yoli.

Derrick: You can't publicly criticize the administration when you're a part of it.
Yoli: Well, I don't happen to share that opinion, but I'm sorry, I guess.

Yoli is a breath of fresh air. In our current political climate, it was amusing how she was fired over a tweet. She couldn't criticize the administration she worked for, despite it being her personal account.

The optics weren't the best, and it remains amusing to no end how controversial this is. Have any of these people watched the news? It's a circus out there, Jessica's disbarment is child's play.

Derrick in Action  - Pearson Season 1 Episode 2

Yoli is bright-eyed, passionate, and ready to take on the field. I love her and what she could bring to this series. She already gets points for being the nicest and most likable newbie so far.

She knows the names of all the staff, feeds the homeless, and she's snarky for days. She's my kind of character. I can understand why Jessica took a liking to her.

Yoli: Why are you doing this? For real? Besides the fact that you don't know where anything is.
Jessica: For the oldest reason in the book. You remind me of me. Everyone deserves a second chance, Yoli, and this job that I have now it's mine.

Contrary to the ice queen vibe Jessica gave off to some people during her stint on Suits, she knows the people around her. She pays attention when people think she doesn't.

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The hour drew a nice parallel when she made an ally out of the woman who worked in maintenance and promised her an espresso machine. Jessica has always been that person, and Yoli is similar.

I loved Jessica's advice to Yoli, too. It's not about knowing your rights; it's about knowing when to use them. She wasn't trying to put out Yoli's fire; she wanted her to put it to better use.

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Yoli becoming Jessica's assistant is exciting and promising. It was one of the best developments of the hour, and I look forward to the energy Yoli brings to the mayor's office.

Additional Notes:

  • Gina Torres speaking Spanish gave me heart eyes. 
  • Spanish is the second-most spoken language in the US, so it's always ludicrous when people assume others don't speak it as was the case with Yoli and Jessica. But it also was a nod to the assumptions made when a person doesn't "look" Latinx.
  • You know it's a Suits spinoff when you hear g*ddamn. The wardrobe on the series is just as fab, and so is the music.
  • Jessica's speech laying herself bare to the people of Chicago was well done, but so was leaking her own name to get ahead of the story and place herself in the best light. She's a natural at this!

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What's your impression of Nick? How are you feeling about Keri? Has Jessica proven to be an asset or a liability?

Did you like Yoli? Do you think Angela is being too hard on Jessica? Hit the comments below with all of your thoughts! I'm dying to hear from you. 

If you missed anything, you can watch Pearson online here via TV Fanatic!

The Superintendent Review

Editor Rating: 4.4 / 5.0
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Rating: 5.0 / 5.0 (4 Votes)

Jasmine Blu is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.

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Pearson Season 1 Episode 2 Quotes

Jessica: You brought me in to put out your fires Mr. Mayor.
Bobby: Not the ones you goddamn start!

Two birds. Instead of telling the public why you brought me in which you should have had an answer for this morning, show them!