Pearson Season 1 Episode 9 Review: The Rival

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Can we fling that angry, horny man Pearson calls a mayor in the sun? Can he take Angela with him? 

Interestingly enough, Pearson Season 1 Episode 9 set Bobby and Angela against one another. It was an inevitability.

What's funny is that both of them make it difficult to determine whose side you're on. It's a wonder Jessica hasn't lost her marbles dealing with both of them as they share a quality of behaving like petulant toddlers.

Marital Woes  - Pearson Season 1 Episode 9

It seems the only person who isn't gunning for Jessica's throat at every turn is Yoli. God bless Yoli and the badass, titleless business cards she gifted Jessica as thanks for helping with her mother.

Everyone else demands that Jessica fix things, but they either refuse her solutions or withheld information that makes it hard for her to find one.

Related: Pearson Season 1 Episode 8 Review: The Political Wife 

Bobby was an angry, hostile man. Imagine being so irate, imperious, and crappy to everyone around you because of bullshit you did!

Badass Bobby - Tall  - Pearson Season 1 Episode 6

He's the source of 90% of his troubles, but he throws temper tantrums when things aren't going his way or others can't find ways to fix things fast enough for his liking.

Jessica was right about having a bullshit detector. She indirectly called Bobby the bullshitter that he is with that statement, and it worked nicely given the entire hour highlighted that.

Stephanie: She's in love with you, did you know that?
Bobby: Yes, Steph.
Stephanie: Are you in love with her?
Bobby: Steph, it's 2 am.
Stephanie: That's not an answer. 

He was annoyed about how things played out in Seattle, but if his sick wife wants to choose 2 a.m to discuss his half a decade long affair with his city attorney, then it's the least he can do.

Typical Bobby deflected and made it about Stephanie's health. He claimed he didn't mean to hurt her, but it didn't seem genuine. Stephanie picked up on it too.

Finding out that she came from money and prestige and he probably did marry her for her status and connections puts their relationship into perspective.

The Family Man - Tall  - Pearson Season 1 Episode 3

Even if he does love her, his political aspirations were integral to his history; Stephanie's assessment carries weight and is convincing.

She made her position clear; when the fallout happens, she's not going to be picking up the pieces.

Bobby: What do you want me to do?
Stephanie: I want you to do whatever you want to do. If you want to be with her, I think you should be with her. If you want to self-destruct, go right ahead. But when everything comes crashing down, please do not expect me to be a prop in your apology tour. 

Stephanie, Keri, Jessica -- Bobby's career, past, present, and maybe in the future all hinges on these women putting in the work and making sure he can play the part. What would Bobby be like if he didn't have the people around him doing his heavy-lifting?

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He always blows into the office like a hurricane getting pissy with others and expecting them to make everything better. He lets his personal life put him in a foul mood, and he unleashes it on those who are working with and beneath him.

He barely sat in what happened with Stephanie before he was moving to manipulate Keri. Bobby probably doesn't realize he's doing it because of "love" or whatever, but Keri was right to point out that if he loved her as he claimed, he would let her go.

Defensive Keri - Tall - Pearson Season 1 Episode 8

He's not going to divorce the sick mother of his children, and everyone knows it. He and Keri are destined to remain in a stagnant relationship where he gets the best of both worlds.

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It was selfish and manipulative of him to use an "I love you" to convince her to stay. She's (supposedly) this brilliant woman with so much to offer both professionally and personally. Why should she remain there pining after a married man?

Bobby: Don't go.
Keri: Bobby, don't.
Bobby: I love you. Did you hear what I said?
Keri: Yes. It doesn't make a difference.
Bobby: How can you say that?
Keri: Because it isn't true.

Her father said something interesting. Why should she have to leave her job if she likes it so much? She had sense enough to refrain from telling her old man her paramour was the mayor.

However, everything is closing in on Bobby, and his ineffectuality in the position is glaring. The series lists Morgan Spector as a guest-star. What if Keri isn't the one to take a cushy job in the private sector?

What if Bobby bites it as mayor once and for all?

Facing His Critics  - Pearson Season 1 Episode 9

We now have an idea of who could be his competition. Yoli mentioned Carlos Salazar at the beginning of the season, but now we've met him.

He's not easy to make sense of yet. It's hard to say if he's genuine about what he wants, or if he's another politician playing the long game.

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Bobby allowed the Tent City situation to get out of control because of how often he neglected the south side. Bobby sitting at the council in front of all those people displaced was the first time we've seen him face-off with these people he claims he wants to help.

Let me tell you something Mr. Mayor, you can take our homes, our rights, but you can't silence our voices! 


It was frustrating when Angela turned to Carlos after everything Jessica was trying to do to fix the situation as best as she could. However, Carlos could have a real shot at winning an election.

Too many people are disillusioned with Bobby and reluctant to deal with him because of his relationship with McGann. The neglected communities are fed up with him. His own staff is sick of him, especially Derrick who went so far as to leak to the press.

Mayor's Council - Pearson Season 1 Episode 9

Carlos is speaking to people, and Yoli was right to want him in the alderman position. Jessica offered it to him, but it might be too late.

Carlos has his eyes on a bigger prize. How Jessica chose to handle it garners mixed feelings. On the one hand, he should get his feet wet before he dives all in, and Jessica's interest is in keeping Bobby in office.

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On the other hand, why should Carlos have to "wait his turn" working beneath Bobby until Bobby completes a second term that could be disastrous? Experience comes in many forms -- life experience and being familiar with the people he's serving counts for something.

The Biggest, Baddest Operator - Tall  - Pearson Season 1 Episode 9

We were led to assume Carlos took Jessica up on her offer, but the meeting just started. He could show up later and raise a little hell, and if he does, I'm not sure I'm #TeamBobby on this.

Bobby makes it hard to be on his team. He can sod off is what he can do.

Despite that, Angela makes it hard to be on her team too. The pride and passion are admirable, but it was still ludicrous that she dragged her senior-aged mother and kids to live in a freaking tent outside City Hall. They had to pee in portapotties and ration food.

Assertive Angela  - Pearson Season 1 Episode 9

Angela was especially intolerable during this installment. One day she's going to push hard enough, and Jessica is going to say "f**k it," and leave her be. It's as if Angela wants that, but it would imply Angela has any inkling of what she wants in the first place.

Jessica is a saint for exuding such patience with Angela. Give her an award. Fortunately, Jessica let Angela have it a bit even though it wasn't enough.

All I have done since I got to Chicago is try to help, and you have fought me at every turn! You won, Angela. This is a win. Take it! Don't you dare try to hurt your neighbors because you are angry with me. Take it. 


Jessica was trying to help resolve the situation. She went to McGann, which was one of the best scenes of the hour. Their verbal sparring was a definite highlight.

She tipped him off that she knew about Nick killing Diehl for him. He was shaken up by her words. Pat views her as a problem, so could be behind the person barreling at her?

Leading a Tent City - Pearson

Nick was on the verge of ending both of them, but it still sounded as though McGann was angling to send him after Jessica to "take care of her."

Nick looks terrible. The guilt of what he has done is eating away at him, and he's looking to make amends however he can. It wasn't surprising when he toyed with the gun in his hand and suggested that the problem could go away if he ended McGann and himself.

McGann: If anything happens to me, that tape goes straight to the FBI.
Nick: Here's the thing. We're the only two on that tape, Pat. What if we're both gone? Case closed.
McGann: Put the gun down.
Nick: Kind of poetic, isn't it? Two of us go down right here where it happened.

He also threatened to go to the FBI with the tape because it will only implicate him and McGann, and he's OK with going down at this point.

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But we already know the FBI is already investigating all of them. It was a nugget dropped however long ago, but since this is the last installment before the finale, does that mean it will come up then?

Oddly, the series didn't explore the angle more after giving us a brief look a the whiteboard. It fell to the background, and now we'll hopefully get some answers in the finale.

Nick VS McGann

Nick going to Keri was unexpected. Jessica has been reaching out to him and wanting to help, and Keri has been in the dark about most of what's happening. He confessed right at her doorstep, but how will she be able to help him?

Keri seems inclined to reach out to Jessica in the end. They have figured out how to bounce things off of one another and seek each other's help when something is within their wheelhouse.

McGann: I didn't tell you to fucking kill him.
Nick: You didn't have to. All you had to do was tell Pete Novak to have his hothead bastard to take care of it.

We know from the premiere that Jessica was on the phone with Keri when the truck came towards her. We also know Jessica was shredding and destroying evidence, so it's safe to assume Keri contacted her and they're working together to protect the boys.

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All the dirty laundry is out in the open for most of the gang.

Poor Derrick remains in the dark, which continues to make his job harder than it needs to be. Bobby is always shrieking at him to control the press, but what good is any of it when he doesn't tell him shit?

Underrated Derrick  - Pearson Season 1 Episode 9

If we're handing out awards, he needs one of his own. It's understandable why Derrick gets so frustrated and also why he feels like a sellout. Some days working in politics hit him harder than others.

Although, he joined the ranks of most of the other men during this installment by being a dick.

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Yoli didn't deserve to be his proverbial punching bag. All she was trying to do was give him a gift to thank him for his help.

Yoli: I have amazing instincts.
Derrick: Amazing instincts? Yoli, you don't have instincts, you have opinions, and you know what they say about opinions, everyone's got one. Now can I please have my space back? Thank you.

She didn't deserve to have him lash out like that on her, but it does seem to be the nature of their relationship where they rub each other the wrong way but know they also make each other better.

It's nice to see them both acknowledge that. Yoli's gift was perfect for him, and the sweet near-kiss between them was enough to make a girl squeal.

Only one episode left of the season, and I have no idea how this can come to an end. McGann needs to be taken down. The South Side needs some justice.

The Biggest, Baddest Operator  - Pearson Season 1 Episode 9

Bobby needs to get his shit together, and Keri needs to look at her life and choices and make a decision that can benefit her. It would be awesome if she pulls something spectacular out in the finale.

It doesn't feel like we got a good look at what she's like in action at the top of her game. I'm still waiting for her to make me a believer out of me!

Derrick: I don't like to have to go out there and spin bullshit based on something you and the mayor are keeping from me. I'm starting to feel like a fucking sellout!
Jessica: You are not a sellout. Keep your head down. Do your job.
Derrick: So we're back to that Jessica? Just when I think you put cause over politics, you remind me who you really are.
Jessica: That's right. The biggest, baddest operator around. Be glad I am.

Where does the FBI come into play? When do we find out what they have on the gang and who they're angling to take down?

Who the heck is coming after Jessica?

It should be a jam-packed finale. Hope you join us for it!

Playing All the Cards - Tall  - Pearson Season 1 Episode 9

What are your thoughts about the season's pacing? What do you think will happen in the finale? Has Bobby lost you for good?

Do you think Carlos will be a better mayor? Are you over Angela always attacking Jessica?

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Let's discuss it all below!

If you need to binge the series before the season finale, you can watch Pearson online here via TV Fanatic. 

The Rival Review

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

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Pearson Season 1 Episode 9 Quotes

Bobby: What do you want me to do?
Stephanie: I want you to do whatever you want to do. If you want to be with her, I think you should be with her. If you want to self-destruct, go right ahead. But when everything comes crashing down, please do not expect me to be a prop in your apology tour. 

Stephanie: She's in love with you, did you know that?
Bobby: Yes, Steph.
Stephanie: Are you in love with her?
Bobby: Steph, it's 2 am.
Stephanie: That's not an answer.