The women of the series are badass, even if some of them are more aggravating than others.
One would refer to Pearson Season 1 Episode 8 as "the one where Keri needed to have several seats." Despite the Keri-ness of it all, Lenz is phenomenal.
Meanwhile, Stephanie Novak is a Boss Lady and should be mayor, not the first lady. It needed to be said.
Nothing tops a classy read, and Stephanie is all class. Can you imagine being forced to go to a work conference with your husband's mistress?
You wouldn't expect the two women to end up respecting one another, forming a kinship, and accepting their respective roles in Bobby's life.
Keri: So where do we go from here?
Good for them, maybe. It's a surprisingly mature way to handle a messy situation. Infidelity is realistic, human, and complex, but this plot should have been burned with fire.
Keri is enjoyable outside of this, but her scarlet letter plight monopolizes too much of her storyline.
We can conclude that Bobby sucks more often than not, and both women likely deserve better, but also, Keri was so unlikable here. She has a hangup about the assumption that she slept her way to the top.
She hates that anyone can dismiss her or judge her for being a mistress. She gets so defensive about this, but this is her choice, and no matter how pretty she tries to make it, it doesn't make it any less f**ked up.
The problem isn't that people are being sexist and holding her to some higher standard then Bobby.
The problem is that everyone can see that this is beneath her, but she would prefer to get her unmentionables in a twist, shrug her shoulders because "you can't help who you love," and boil everything down to sexism than own her actions.
I love your husband! That's why I put up with this crap.Keri
Maybe others don't care about her degree of culpability in this mess so much as she doesn't seem the least bit contrite or feel she's in the wrong at all.
And no one can point this out without it raising her hackles and her claiming sexism.
If anyone was in a position to judge Keri or call her to the carpet, it was Stephanie. However, Keri brought the negative energy to the conference from the second Stephanie stepped on the plane. Then she got pissy and refused to hear the woman out.
It was the very least she could do given the circumstances. No one is suggesting that Keri should be Stephanie's proverbial punching bag, but ma'am, you will sit down and you will listen.
A lesser woman would have smacked the crap out of Keri around the time she said "I'm not doing this with you," as if her boyfriend's wife was irrelevant.
Keri: Can I ask how long you've known?
Stephanie: You don't get to ask me anything.
Keri: I'm going to go back to my room.
Stephanie: What's wrong with you?
Keri: I'm not doing this with you, Mrs. Novak.
The frustration with Keri is how she claims sexism, but she's a cog in its system. She doesn't play well with others, but she especially doesn't play well with other women.
She hasn't freed herself from the "I'm not like the other girls" narrative most of us grew up combatting.
Related: 27 Damn Fine Cops Who Can Arrest Us Any Day
(Sadly, Nick D'amico did NOT make this list! Unacceptable!)
If we were going by Keri's attitude towards Stephanie agreeing to speak at the conference, you would have thought Stephanie was out of her depth. Keri wrote her off like she was the dutiful political housewife.
But Stephanie is also a lawyer, and she's smart and well-versed in the healthcare initiative she was speaking about. It was mentioned that Stephanie was integral in Bobby's political career.
It was hard to tell if Keri was asserting herself during the mixer because of a need to prove herself or if she intentionally was undercutting Stephanie. Either way, it was petty and childish.
It was the same thing when she abandoned Stephanie and got drunk to avoid her instead. If Stephanie didn't already know about the affair, Keri's behavior would have tipped her off.
Stephanie: I want to thank you.
Keri: For what?
Stephanie: For getting out of the house. For lighting a fire under my ass.
Keri: Is this is the part where you tell me to stay away from your husband?
Stephanie: No. I mean a part of me came here for that.
To Stephanie's credit, she mostly rolled with it and exuded a class others wouldn't be able to muster. Her statements about Keri deserving better than scraps were spot on and not unlike anything anyone else privy to this affair hasn't said multiple times.
Keri says the same about herself. It was ludicrous how Keri professed that she and Stephanie were in the same boat.
Her points about Stephanie sticking with her husband while also knowing she deserved better were valid, but the circumstances were different regardless.
Stephanie and Bobby have been married for years. She's battling MS, and it's no small feat to get through that. She and Bobby have children. Nice try, Keri, but you're still wrong here!
It's screwed up that Bobby doesn't want Stephanie to share with the world that she's sick. She has the extra burden, along with every damn thing else he's putting her through, to keep her condition a secret to make things easier for him.
However, it's a complicated situation, and Keri wasn't in the right position to urge Stephanie to share it at the conference. It wasn't a surprise when Stephanie opted out of it.
Keri and Stephanie make strange bedfellows, and ironically, they made peace with where they are in their relationships with Bobby and each other. I don't have to though.
While both women are above a smackdown and drama, it would have been more satisfying; just a little bit.
Man, Bobby sucks though. He wasn't even in the installment and was loathsome! He's not worth it, ladies!
It was nice to get to know Stephanie outside of Bobby. She could have easily been the one-note, nagging wife who drove her husband away, but she isn't. She's pretty damn awesome.
Yoli's mother is awesome as well. The ladies (and Derrick) were killing it during the hour, and Mrs. Castillo was killing it too.
The truth about what she was hiding was so shocking! She knew she had dark secrets in her past that could interfere with her seeking asylum in the states, but holy crap!
Jessica: You still want to help Yoli?
Derrick: You know I do.
Jessica: Then I need you to find out what her mother is hiding.
Derrick: What are you talking about?
Jessica: I got a good bullshit detector, Derrick; in English and in Spanish, and I know she's keeping something.
She killed two men. It was the most surprising development of the hour. Sometimes, with family, if you're too close, you can't see through the bullcrap.
Yoli's mother was in her blindspot, and like any good daughter, she was protective of her when Jessica asked the hard questions. Jessica figured out there was something Mrs. Castillo was hiding though, and she was right.
No one would have been able to help Mrs. Castillo until she told the truth. It was better to know the full story before a hearing rather than getting blindsided later.
One of the best parts about the Yoli/Jessica dynamic is how their heritage ties into how they interact with one another. We never had the chance to know Jessica was Afro-Latinx before, but via Yoli, we learn more about that now.
It's also the subtle things that highlight what it's like being both black and Latino. Once again, someone (Mrs. Castillo) assumed Jessica wasn't a Latina too. It prompted Jessica to share about how her mother was Cubana, so she understood the issue and its importance.
It's these little nuggets of information that have been wonderful as far as shading in this character some of us have been familiar with for nearly a decade but didn't know.
Jessica: She was willing to leave the country than shatter the image you have of her.
Yoli: This can't guarantee her asylum. This can get her deported.
Jessica: She told the truth. That's all she could do. That's all any of us can do.
Mrs. Castillo's case is a hard one. There are so many stories like hers, and most firms aren't touching them unless there is some gain in it for them.
When Jessica reached out to Louis, it had to be the most delightful moment of the hour. She misses her boys, and any chance she can get to reach out to them, she does. They're her family, and they always have her back.
Louis' giddiness over Jessica telling him she missed him made me smile. While Pearson doesn't need these cameos and shoutouts (it has shown it can stand on its own without the Suits connection) for nostalgia's sake, I love and cherish them anyway.
Louis: I miss you.
Jessica: I miss you too.
Louis: You do? Can you just repeat that so I can play it back to Harvey?
Jessica: Losing you!
The truth may affect Mrs. Castillo's case; it could mean she's more likely to be deported, but it could also be an argument for why she needs asylum.
Yoli's anguish is unbearable. Nevertheless, Pearson's take on the country's new reality, particularly for immigrant families, is fantastic.
Derrick is also fantastic. It's easy to ship the two when his support of Yoli never ends. He didn't want to compromise their relationship, even though it would've helped.
If not for him, Yoli would have still been unraveling and thinking she could handle all of this on her own. It's a good thing she has Jessica and Derrick in her corner.
Jessica may lament the use of her first-name by the others, but it only means she's solidified her place in this work family. She belongs now, and they accept her. In the end, that's all we could have asked.
Yoli: Thanks, Jessica.
Jessica: I guess everyone is calling me Jessica now.
Of course, helping her work family has put her at odds with her blood family again. Angela was back on her bull. The woman is exhausting!
She resents Jessica when she tries to help, but she also wants Jessica to help, but also Jessica's help either isn't good enough or not enough. Angela, please!
She feels guilty about living in Jessica's apartment when her friends and former neighbors are living in tents. It's understandable, but also, what more does she think Jessica can do?
It seems there is no making right with Angela, and there is no making things up either. I'm at a loss here.
Despite the stable environment for her mother and her children, Angela decided to leave Jessica's apartment and go live in a tent outside of City Hall in protest or something.
If you have done anything since being in this country if you have done anything at all that you haven't told me ...Jessica
Make it make sense.
We only caught a couple of glimpses of our boy Nicky, and they were distressing. He purchased an illegal gun, and he sat in his car and looked all broody as though he was plotting to do something reckless and regrettable.
Nick, please go to Jessica! Let her help you, and don't do anything stupid. Nick is stressful, so is loving him.
Over to you, Pearson Fanatics! Did you enjoy the awkward Stephanie and Keri trip? Was I too hard on Keri? Were you shocked by Mrs. Castillo's secret?
Does Angela expect too much from Jessica? What does Nicky have planned? How adorable was the Louis Litt cameo?! Hit the comments below!
You can watch Pearson online to catch up before the last couple of episodes of the season!
Jasmine Blu is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.