In Pearson’s ‘The Donor,’ we explore family, love, and guilt.
Jessica (Gina Torres) deals with Pat McGann (Wayne Duvall) while Keri (Bethany Joy Lenz) and Bobby (Morgan Spector) continue their affair. Jeff (D.B. Woodside) also comes into town, but it’s a huge mess when Angela (Chantel Riley) and her family interfere with Jeff and Jessica’s night out. To me, these feel like the same old Pearson—it’s not that interesting. On the other hand, even though it’s clearly not the main story this episode, Yoli’s (Isabel Arraiza) arc stole the show.
As she tries to keep her job with Jessica, she ignores a big issue of her own—her mother being detained by ICE. Despite the fact that we do not get to see a lot of the situation play out, the stress that Yoli is under is clear. Being a DACA recipient, Yoli’s parents are aliens and should not be in the United States. She ignores several calls from someone, presumably a lawyer, in order to fulfill her duty as Jessica’s personal assistant, which later causes her to feel guilty. Her final scene of the episode is her sitting on a bench, trying to call the person she was rejecting all day. Derrick (Eli Goree) finds her, and it is clear that she is not in a good mood. She ends up revealing what’s been happening, and when Derrick suggests she go to Jessica, she refuses. He understands why she doesn’t want to tell Jessica, and so he merely ends up comforting her as she cries.
Yoli’s story this episode was phenomenal. The arc alone illustrates Pearson’s contrast with its predecessor, Suits. A comedic legal drama, Suits never addressed any polarizing topics that could potentially divide its audience. On the other hand, Pearson is the gritty cousin that never says no to a fight. It addresses immigration, the struggles of being an underrepresented population, along with dozens of other social issues. Not only that, the show does it in a way that isn’t shoved down your throat. Rather, you see it from the perspective of the people who are affected by it. You learn about immigration issues from Yoli, you learn about the struggles of being ignored by your government by Angela, and you learn about the toxic workplace culture that women face through Keri. Effectively, Pearson tackles these issues with characters that live through the same experiences that real people live through every day. This episode was just another show of Korsh’s and Arkin’s ability to weave in diversity as well as social commentary, and personally, I’m here for more.