Full disclosure: I stopped watching Suits a couple of episodes into season six. Although I was a huge fan of the show, I found myself losing interest in the legal drama as it endlessly recycled the same emotional and narrative beats over and over again. However, there was one character I always loved: Jessica Pearson, played to perfection by the astounding Gina Torres. You can imagine how excited I was to hear that the actress herself pitched a spinoff based on her character, and thankfully, it’s got quite a bit of potential.
A warning: Pearson assumes that you’re up to date on Suits and all the events that led to Jessica leaving that show. The references can be overwhelming and confusing, but they eventually subside as Pearson lays the foundations for an fascinating new world populated by a host of intriguing characters.
The two primary new additions are Mayor D’amato and Keri Allen. The former (played by Simon Kassianides) is an interesting character with dark undertones, but it’s Bethany Joy Lenz who is most captviating as Keri Allen. She butts heads with Jessica quite a bit, and their dynamic is the undoubted highlight of the show. I remember Lenz from One Tree Hill, and it’s a treat to see her as a series regular again.
But of course the highlight is Gina Torres. The actress finally gets her chance to shine in the spotlight and boy is she terrific. She brings the same gravitas and confidence she’s always had, but the added screen-time allows the writers to imbue her with a whole lot of depth. Her strained relationship with her cousin is wonderfully complex, and I can’t wait to see the show delve into it fully. It definitely feels like it could be one of the show’s most satisfying dynamics (as opposed to some cliched romance).
Thanks to Gina Torres’ talent and commitment, Pearson is a solid debut that’s brimming with potential.