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"I spent years doing nothing but making money and fighting to keep my name up on a wall. My life needs to be about more."
— Jessica Pearson to Jeff Malone

Jessica Lourdes Pearson, J.D. is the former managing partner of Pearson Specter Litt and current aide to the mayor of Chicago. She began to her legal career after being hired by Charles Van Dyke, one of the three name partners at Gordon Schmidt Van Dyke, due to the fact that she was black and female and the firm wished to fulfill a diversity quota. She made her way up the firm's ranks and, after becoming a senior partner, conspired with Daniel Hardman to oust the three partners and restructure the firm as Pearson Hardman, with Hardman taking over the reins as managing partner.

However, when Jessica discovered that Hardman was stealing money from the firm and its clients in order to fund an extramarital affair, Jessica and her associate Harvey Specter blackmailed him into resigning from the firm, with the public story being that Hardman stepped down of his volition to take care of his wife, who had cancer. Jessica then became the firm's new managing partner and Harvey was promoted to junior partner, and the firm flourished.

Five years later, Hardman returns after his wife passes away, and successfully regains his former position as managing partner. With the help of Mike Ross, Hardman is ousted for a second time and Jessica is able to regain her title. With their financial funds being depleted after Hardman allies with the firm's enemies, Jessica merges with Darby International to form Pearson Darby, which becomes Pearson Darby Specter when Jessica promotes Harvey to name partner. Mike, Harvey and Jessica eventually evict Darby, and the firm undergoes a name change once more by becoming Pearson Specter, and again to Pearson Specter Litt when Louis Litt discovers Mike Ross' secret and leverages himself to be name partner. After working with Rachel Zane on a case, Jessica realizes she forgot why she became a lawyer in the first place and steps down, leaving the firm to Harvey and Louis, with the former taking over as managing partner.

History

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When she was 16, her parents had split up, due to her father Alan, who was a surgeon, prioritizing saving the lives of patients over his family. She and her father had a falling out as he disapproved of her decision to become a lawyer than a surgeon; her mother Virginia had given her a car as a gift, which Jessica hated. However, that was the car that she used to get to school. Jessica had received a full scholarship to Vassar, and then went on to Harvard for three years, before becoming to the first black woman to work as a judicial clerk at the Third Circuit Court of Appeals. By 2003, Jessica was a senior partner of Gordon Schmidt Van Dyke. Shortly before Harvey joined the firm, Daniel Hardman and Jessica, led a successful coup against the name partners, creating Pearson Hardman. The takeover was supposedly very fast and took the name partners by surprise, as described by Harvey Specter.

In 2007, Jessica notices that someone had been stealing from the firm by looking at the firm's books. She sends Harvey to investigate, promising him partnership if he succeeds. After it was revealed that the thief was Daniel himself, she approached him, asking why was he stealing the firm's money. He said this it was for his wife, who was just diagnosed with cancer. Jessica believed Daniel but not Harvey, who found proof that Daniel was having an affair. Armed with this knowledge, Jessica and Harvey force Daniel out of the firm, and Jessica becomes the leader of the firm.

Season 1

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In 2011, Louis Litt came to her and told her that Gerald Tate had arrived and wanted to know what was happening to his deal. Jessica told him to go get Harvey, causing Louis to look at her before she turned her eyes from her computer to him as he decided to do what she had ordered. While she and Gerald talked, Harvey walked in. Jessica introduced the two and stated that he was their best closer. Harvey managed to tell Gerald off, even telling him that he had his balls. While Gerald asked Jessica if she was going to let him talk to him like that, Jessica related that Harvey spoke for the firm.

After Gerald departed, Jessica got up and took a paper out of Harvey's pocket, telling him that they had been paid before Gerald signed the deal before walking away after Harvey told her that she was the blue team captain and that she would have to wear a fire hat.

Season 2

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After Daniel Hardman returned to Pearson Hardman with the intention of reclaiming his position as managing partner, Jessica had to fight for her firm. After she discovered the truth about Mike Ross, she chose to let Harvey be the one to fire him. However, when it became clear that Harvey would leave the firm before firing Mike, Jessica chose instead to allow Mike to stay, realizing that she would need the support of both Harvey and Mike if she was to win the fight against Daniel.

Season 3

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Season 4

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Season 5

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Season 6

To be added

Season 7

After Jessica moved to Chicago, she took strictly pro bono cases for a while until eventually handling a police brutality case against the mayor's office, exacting a $4 million settlement.[1] She was soon contacted by Thomas Bratton for help taking down Pearson Specter Litt, which she provided as she believed Harvey Specter and Louis Litt would only put their differences aside to unite together if the firm was under attack.[2] After Harvey bested Andrew Malik, Malik had the Ethics Committee of the New York State Bar disbar Jessica's license, preventing her from practicing law in New York. As a result, Pearson Specter Litt was unable to keep their name and Jessica informed Harvey that it was time for her partnership to be bought out and for the firm to be renamed as a result.[3]

The firm is rebranded as Specter Litt after Pearson Specter Litt officially releases a statement denouncing their allegiance and ties to Jessica Pearson, listing her as the sole responsible person for Mike Ross' fraud.[4] Jessica then informed Harvey that she wished to have $2 million of her buy-out transferred to an untraceable account, and shared a phone conversation with Donna Paulsen.[5]

After her father passed away, Jessica reached out to his sister, her paternal aunt Lillian Cook, offering to represent her as her public housing apartment was slated to be demolished so that property developer Pat McGann could construct a new building on the spot. As a result of PSL's announcement and her disbarment from New York, Chicago city attorney Keri Allen had Jessica's Chicago licensed revoked as well, as Keri's lover Bobby Novak, the mayor of Chicago, was involved in McGann's project. Jessica then flew to New York to enlist Harvey's help, with Harvey flying to Chicago shortly after to take over the case.

After Keri exposed Jessica's relation to Lillian, her power of attorney was revoked. As a result, Jessica attempted to buy her way into City Council. While McGann initially accepted, he returned her cashier's check of a million dollars back to her after she attempted to get Keri fired, while also notifying her that Harvey's ability to practice law in Chicago had been suspended. Donna then called Jessica and notified her of Mike and Rachel's wedding; Jessica elected not to attend, although she told Harvey to return to New York, stating that Harvey was the closest thing Mike had to family and that he would regret missing Mike's wedding.

Meanwhile, Jessica's photographer took a photo of the moment, which made it seem like McGann was bribing her to drop the case. Jessica then threatened McGann to cease his building plans, warning him that as a federal housing project, the judge and jury in the trial would not be from Chicago and therefore not in his pocket. On her way back, Jessica was accosted by Nick D'Amato, Novak's personal driver and fixer, who drove her to Novak, whom Jessica had been seeking an audience with for a while. Novak informed her that McGann's building was going up regardless, but offered her the chance to work with him and fix the system from within in exchange for her dropping the house case, which she did. As she returned home to share the news with Jeff Malone, Jeff told her that Novak was a suspect in the murder of the original plaintiff, who had been killed before Jessica took over, although Jessica assured him that she could handle herself.[6]

Pearson Season 1

A few days later, Jessica is kissed awake by Jeff, who suggests they stay at home using their sick days. Jessica replies that she hasn't earned any sick days and leaves the bed to get dressed. Jeff is upset that she is actually going to work for the mayor instead of helping her family, with Jessica replying that doing this would help her family and that she spent years making money and keeping her name on a wall and that she wants more out of life. Jeff attempts to explain that he just wishes to discuss it, although Jessica retorts that he must be looking for a fight since he had the whole weekend to discuss it. Jeff mentions the friend he has at the Justice Department who informed him that a man who went up against the mayor's office turned up dead; additionally, he feels involved in the situation since he lives with Jessica, who has agreed to work for the mayor. Jessica states that Jeff is allowed to look out for his own self-preservation but tells him that he must decide whether or not he wants to have a relationship with her.

Jessica gets dressed and leaves her apartment as her driver asks whether she wishes to go to City Hall, although Jessica tells him to just drive. At the hospital, Angela Cook is checking on a patient, a young woman named Imani. Imani mentions that the lady watching her is creeping her out, and Angela turns out swiftly to see Jessica standing there. Jessica asks to speak to Angela for a minute, and as Angela heads outside, Jessica informs her that she is dropping her mother Lillian's lawsuit since the mayor offered her a job if she did so and that she took the job. Angela is vexed at Jessica selling out her family to further her career and states that she has to find herself and her family a new place to live. Jessica replies that Lillian's lawsuit would've taken months but that the end result was going to be them losing, whereas with her new job, she would be able to save more than just one housing project. Angela refuses to believe her, claiming that Jessica is not even aware of the issues that happen in the street, as she was unaware of a hunger strike that is currently happening, and adds that while she herself did not put any stock in Jessica, Lillian had put her hopes in her niece, only to realize that Jessica hadn't broken the news to Lillian yet, and retorts that she would not do Jessica's dirty work and tell Lillian the truth on Jessica's behalf.

Jessica is in a car driving past a protest for the closing of Franklin, a Chicago public school whose closure has caused the residents to initiate a hunger strike, and tells her driver to let her out. She speaks with a woman, who informs her that twenty schools from other low-income neighborhoods are slated to close. Jessica asks why the local alderman has not fought to save the schools, although the woman replies that the alderman is a sell out who wishes to privatize. Jessica states that her protests will not cause her to get a seat at the table, prompting the woman to wonder who Jessica is, adding that she knows Jessica is not local. Jessica asks her what she would do if she said she worked for the mayor, and she replies that if she did, she would say Jessica and the mayor could both go to hell, stating that the mayor's child has a school to go to whereas if City Council has the low-income schools shut down, her child would not.

Jessica goes to City Hall, where Novak presents her with her own office. Novak tells her that she is late, to which she responds that it was because she was at a school that he was shutting down, only to have Novak respond that City Council is shutting down Franklin due to budgetary concerns. Jessica reveals that she has discovered that the alderman is Deborah Coates, whose allegiance Novak needs as Coats has very wealthy financial donors. Novak replies that Coates is an ally and a friend, and tells Jessica to instead handle the electric buses issues, stating that the lack of buses affects more people than whether Franklin High School remains open. As he leaves, he welcomes Jessica to City Hall, asking her not to be late again.

Despite having agreed to handle the electric buses issue, Jessica waits for Alderman Deborah Coates outside of a restaurant, telling her that she should serve her community, explaining that she works on behalf of those on hunger strike to prevent the closure of the school. Deborah explains that as a child, she grew up down the street from Franklin High School, but that her parents forced her to take a 21-mile bus trip to attend a magnet school, and that while she hated it as a child, it benefited her life, and that she is doing the same for her ward. Deborah then adds that she is aware of every community organizer in the area and once again asks who Jessica is, and Jessica replies that she works for Novak and that Novak would not keep her in office.

Back at the mayor's office, Novak berates Jessica for ignoring her electric bus assignment and alienating one his closest allies. He explains that he wishes he could keep every public school open but that he has to make choices, and informs Jessica that if she can't do that, he'd be willing to sever ties with her instantly. Jessica then returns to her apartment, where she notices luggage. She asks Jeff if he is moving out, although he replies he is attending a RICO trial in Miami, despite the fact that he had initially declined the offer earlier. Jeff admits that he had volunteered and claims that he has to leave as he is cutting it close. As he walks out, Jessica states that she thought Jeff supported her; Jeff replies that he does support her, but that there are two people in a relationship, and that he had to look after himself right now.

At City Hall, Jessica visits Keri at her office, telling her that she drafted a lawsuit for the city to file against the bus manufacturer, although Keri explains that they have a relationship with the CEO lasting over a decade and that suing would bring attention to the fact that Novak's statement to have the buses working is failing. Jessica retorts that the way the office would deal with it would be to have endless lunches on the taxpayer's dime, to which Keri responds that it's a business relationship and that Jessica had much to learn how things worked at the mayor's office, prompting Jessica to wryly reply that Keri had much to learn about being a lawyer.

As Jessica leaves Keri's office, she encounters Derrick, who admires her work with the hunger strikers and offers his support. Jessica inquires as to who Derrick is, and he reveals that is Novak's press secretary. Derrick admits that Novak straddles the line on too many issues and that he is glad Jessica is here to push him in the right direction. Jessica tells Derrick that he shouldn't go behind Novak's back only for Derrick to reply that it would be good for Novak. When Jessica states that Novak would not see it that way, Derrick retorts that Jessica did the exact same thing with Alderman Coates, and that they should fight for the hunger strikers.

Keri attends a charity event with Dennis Nivens, where he admits he was behind the bus mishaps. Keri inquires as to whether he was being petty as Mayor Novak did not get him to the Lansing deal, although Nivens claims that it was due to the supply chains. Jessica mentions a possible settlement, and Keri intercedes that she was merely discussing a possible expedition on the buses. Jessica then serves Nivens with a lawsuit, and while Keri attempts to salvage the situation by claiming that the mayor's office is not suing him, Nivens sees it as a good cop/bad cop deal and informs Keri that he still has many pending deals with her office. Realizing that she is trapped, Keri allies with Jessica's stance and tells Nivens that unless he starts honoring his contract with them, she would reconsider the deals her office has in place with him. As he walks away, Jessica commends Keri on her turn around; Keri asks whether Jessica is trying to humiliate her, although Jessica replies that she made Keri look better as Nivens now sees her as someone with a spine.

As Keri heads to court, Jessica meets up with Nivens. Inside the courtroom, Keri is stunned to discover that she is no longer on the docket; when she inquires into the matter, the judge replies that someone from the mayor's office had settled the matter. Realizing it was Jessica, Keri ambushes her, claiming that her actions made her look incompetent in court and affected her reputation, only for Jessica to reply that she should have thought of that before having Jessica's license to practice law taken away. Keri replies that had Jessica disbarred because Jessica referred to cops as animals, which affected her as her father was a police officer. Jessica replies that she did not refer to cops in general as anything, but rather specific men who had done specific things. Keri tells Jessica that if she wants to come at her, she is more than welcome to, but that if Jessica goes after her department or any of the lawyer she works with, she would make Jessica's disbarment look like jaywalking in comparison to what she would do next.

At the City Council meeting, Coates rescinds her support for the dismantling of Franklin High School and announces her resignation as Alderman of the 54th Ward, much to the joy of those in attendance. Derrick reveals to Novak he was aware of this and gives Novak a statement to read. Returning back to Jessica's office, Novak mentions how Jessica went behind his back, and how Coates is now Vice President at Midwest Portage, the bus company. Jessica explains how Coates would make sure the buses went into production on time, thereby solving both the hunger strike and the electric bus issues, making Novak look good in the public eye. Novak reveals that he was the youngest alderman ever elected, at the age of 26, after having served for one year as a public defender. He explains that in his first month, he had tried to raise minimum wage to $7.25, admitting that it was half of what the minimum wage should be. After succeeding in his endeavor, he was warned by the oldest alderman what would happen if he bit off too much too soon. He adds that while Jessica is a smart woman, her antics affect his name and not hers, to which Jessica replies that this is new to her and that it would take her a little time to acclimate to the fact that she isn't the one calling the shots. She also adds that she believes Novak doesn't want her taking smaller bites, but that he had hired her as he needs problems solved. She asks him what McGann has on her, only for Novak to smile and tell her that she should paint the office walls blue before leaving.

Jessica heads to the Cook apartment, where she discloses to Lillian that she dropped her lawsuit in exchange for a job with the mayor, only for Lillian to inform Jessica that she had thought as much after Angela had lashed out about Jessica. Lillian, who has forgiven Jessica, invites her inside, although Jessica politely declines and leaves. Jessica returns to her apartment, where she smiles as she sees a bouquet of flowers with a message from Jeff that reads "I got your back." As she opens the box next to it thinking it is a present, her smile falters as she sees a folder from the Department of Justice containing the file and photos of Carl Jeffries, the man who had gone up against Novak's office and ended up murdered. As she peruses through the photos, she sees one of Nick.[7]

The next morning, Jessica continues to look through the crime scene photographs depicting the murder of Carl Jeffries when she receives a knock on her door, opening it to none other than Lillian. Lillian walks in and begins making breakfast, despite Jessica's statement that she is running late for work. Lillian tells Jessica to call her boss and tell them she'll be running late, and as Jessica calls to say she'll be fifteen minutes late, Lillian spots the photographs on the counter, wondering what Jessica is doing with photos of Carl, her old neighbor. After breakfast, Jessica heads to City Hall, where she officially introduces herself to Nick, as they both work for Bobby Novak. Nick introduces himself back at her, warning her that Novak does not like people to be late. As Jessica attempts to go through security, she finds the line being held up by Yoli Castillo, a Spanish speaking woman who works for Jeffrey Epstein. Yoli claims that she knows everyone who works in the building, and is flabbergasted when Jessica reveals she works for Novak and can understand and speak Spanish as well.

Jessica heads to Novak's office, where he gives her the day off as he is in a good mood. On his way out the door, Jessica warns him that the building is full of press who wish to exact a statement from him. Jessica goes to her new office, trying to shuffle things around while dealing with her broken desk. She elects to get her own desk, informing the Facilities Coordinator that if she can get her friends to clear out the office soon, she would be rewarded with her own personal Nespresso machine. Elsewhere, Keri attempts to secure a police contract, although union attorney Eric McBride, who represents the cops, refuses to sign the agreement since Jessica had gone up against the department before on a police brutality case, where she called the cops animals, and therefore the department no longer wishes to sign the Mayor's contract as he has employed Jessica. Jessica heads to Derrick's workspace to have him deliver something to Human Resources on her behalf, as she is unaware where it is. Sensing something amiss in Derrick's demeanor, she presses him for information and he reveals the morning's events with the journalists.

Jessica proceeds to the entrance, where she sees Novak, telling him that she isn't sure if she hates the words "disbarred" or "fixer" more, while Novak refers to her as a liability, informing her that the police deal came apartment due to Jessica's targeting of the 13th Precinct. Jessica justifies her actions by stating that they brutalized a man in handcuffs, though Novak says it was just two bad cops whereas Jessica made the entire department look bad and therefore the police despise her, and that without the contract being signed, Chicago would no longer have an active police force. Jessica replies that he should have had an answer this morning to the question of why she was hired but they could now show the press why and suggests taking down Eric McBride, the underpaid union lawyer who went after Novak in the first place; Novak merely replies that it is Keri's case and therefore Jessica must take it up with her.

As Jessica leaves City Hall, she calls her driver to ask where they are, only to be told that they're running late. She is then ambushed by several reporters who ask why she hired Mike Ross before Nick comes to her rescue, escorting her to his vehicle while informing the press that she is late for a meeting. He then drives her to a secluded area nearby, where she thanks him. He offers to let her back into City Hall through the secret mayor's entrance, although she asks if he could drive her to Avalon and 81st Street. Nick is initially hesitant as it is a bad neighborhood, but eventually agrees to do so. Nick drives Jessica to Avalon, although he refuses to leave her alone. Jessica claims that she is surprised he can wait for her, believing that his job was to be available to the mayor 24/7, although he replies that he has some autonomy. She then asks him if he could drive her places, calling her current assigned driver an idiot, but he politely declines and says he would find someone else for her.

Jessica enters the Cook apartment, where she meets her cousins Cory and Mark for the first time. She had brought groceries for Lillian, which Lillian thanks her for, stating that she cannot leave the house as a "blue flu" is impending, meaning that the police would be gone. Jessica states that the police are not allowed to go on strike, although Lillian explains that the officers would merely all call in sick and that while she isn't a fan of the police in her neighborhood, having no police around would make the neighborhoods dangerous. Jessica then leaves the apartment and heads outside, where Nick is waiting for her. She realizes that Nick knew and thus was the reason why he refused to leave Jessica alone in such a bad neighborhood; Jessica asks if Novak knew that the police force would go off duty, and Nick informs her that he does. Nick also adds that the Avalon neighborhood is not a priority for the city during the "blue flu", which angers Jessica as her family lives there.

Back home in her apartment, Jessica watches a news report on television that reveals that the last time the city had a blue flu was in 1993 and that crime had increased by 32%. A woman being interviewed on the news divulges that she and her daughter were mugged on the way home, with the mugger pointing a gun at her daughter's face, and that there were no police nearby. The news ticker displays that neighborhoods in South Chicago would be severely affected by the blue flu as Jessica looks on in discomfort.

Jessica goes to see Superintendent Chuck Hargrove, who tells her that she has some nerve to visit the precinct after exacting a $4 million settlement from them, calling the lawsuit frivolous, although Jessica merely replies that the man who was beaten and left for dead would not have found it so. Jessica attempts to smooth things out with Chuck, only for Chuck to reveal that the biggest issue with not renewing their contract with the city is the police pension fund Novak did not fill. Noting that they are at impasse, Jessica leaves.

Returning to City Hall, Jessica encounters Yoli again, who blames Jessica for the termination of her employment. Jessica convinces Yoli that she played no part in it, while Yoli reveals that she knows everyone in the building, having valued her job, and that she knows her rights and cannot be silenced. Before Yoli leaves, Jessica informs her that there is a difference between knowing her rights and knowing when to use them. Jessica then goes to see Keri, notifying her that what Chuck and the police really want is their pension fund. Jessica explains that there is a loophole that allows developers to avoid paying millions in property taxes, and that if they closed that loophole, they could use that money to fill the pension fund. Keri is hesitant to accept Jessica's help, although Jessica expresses her guilt, as the blue flu which puts her family at harm stemmed from her presence, and asks Keri to trust her.

Keri goes to Chuck with Jessica's plan and it succeeds, with the police contract officially being signed. Novak goes to talk to her and realizes it was Jessica's doing, while Keri suggests that he could use the situation to justify Jessica's employment. Novak then holds a press conference where he announces that the police force is active once again, publicly giving Jessica the credit. Jessica then takes the stand and addresses the audience, informing them that her father was from Chicago and that she wishes to give back to the city, and allows the reporters there to ask her questions.

Back at City Hall, Novak goes to see Jessica in her office, where he reveals that he became aware that she leaked her own name and employment to the press. Jessica explains that she had done so because she knew it would eventually get out and that she wanted to be in front of it, while Novak states that she merely wanted the firestorm so that she could receive the credit for quelling it. He adds that she put his career in a dangerous position before returning to his office. Jessica has her driver take her to Yoli's house, offering Yoli a job as her assistant, which Yoli accepts. As Jessica is driven home, she encounters Angela outside her building. Angela gives her the money for the groceries she had purchased, claiming that she does not need Jessica's charity and that she could afford to feed her own kids, adding that she and her family were fine before Jessica arrived and would continue to be fine once Jessica left. As Angela gives Jessica a wad of cash and walks away, a hidden photographer takes several photos of Jessica holding the money.[8]

The next morning, Jessica exercises at home in the morning before heading out for work. She sees Nick waiting outside, having taken her up on her offer for him to be her driver. In Nick's vehicle, Jessica realizes that Nick is driving away from City Hall, and Nick responds that he is driving her to Pat McGann since Novak wanted her to take a meeting with him. As he drives, Jessica responds that her rules from now on would be that Nick is to check in with her and get her permission before driving her someplace on someone else's orders. Jessica goes to meet McGann in a public area, where he is surprised to see her and not Novak. He informs her that he wants Novak to appoint his friend, Betsy Sullivan, to take the empty alderman seat in the 54th ward, which had been vacated following Deborah Coates' resignation. Jessica replies that she would have to do her due diligence on Betsy before recommending her to Novak, to which McGann replies that she should finish her vetting by the end of the day as he does not want the alderman position to remain vacant.

Nick brings Jessica to a public playground, where Novak is watching his son play. Jessica notifies him about McGann's order to have his friend placed in city council, to which Novak responds that he cannot die on every hill and that it is one alderman out of fifty. Jessica wants permission to say no to McGann, especially after what McGann did to her family, and reminds Novak that the night before, during the press conference, he had informed the public that the 54th ward was important, although Novak merely replies that "yesterday is yesterday." Jessica returns to her office, where Yoli is waiting for her. Jessica asks Yoli to book a lunch reservation for two and to have a dossier ready by lunch regarding information on Betsy Sullivan, whom Yoli explains is a upper-class society woman who holds fundraisers.

At lunch, Jessica asks Betsy why a white woman from Hyde Park would want to become alderman of the 54th ward in Chicago's South Side. Betsy notifies Jessica that growing up, she was made aware of her privilege, learning ballet while lower-income people across the boulevard were being hit with bullets, chalking her decision up to guilt or a desire to perform community service. Jessica asks why she chose to build a factory in Elmhurst rather than the 54th ward, to which Betsy responds that many of the workers they hired were prisoners and ex-convicts, having found a way around the rules that prohibit convicts from being employed in a union. After lunch, Jessica calls McGann and notifies him that Betsy is racist and thus she would not be hired, as she would alienate most of the mayor's base. She instead offers to come up with a list of candidates that she believes they would both find applicable, with McGann claiming that he could simply go straight to Novak himself. As Jessica gets in the vehicle, Nick amusingly reminds her that McGann does like being told "no", to which she replies that McGann would have to get used to it.

Jessica returns to City Hall, where Yoli gives Jessica her preferred coffee, having called Donna Paulsen at Zane Specter Litt, and apologizes if she has crossed a line before doing so. Yoli then offers Carlos Salazar, a Latino man who protested for employees being able to speak Spanish at work, as a candidate for alderman. Jessica is not interested in Carlos as she needs a replacement with big, financial backers, although Yoli admits that she thought Jessica would pick Carlos just because he's Latino, believing Jessica to be Latina. Jessica then gets a phone call from Lillian and heads to the Cook residence.

At Lillian's apartment, Lillian presents a letter to Jessica that states that they must evict the premises in 7 days as opposed to their original 90-day agreement. Jessica realizes it is McGann's doing, but their conversation is cut short by the arrival of Angela, who does not like Jessica's presence, and Jessica leaves.

Jessica goes to dinner with McGann, revealing that she knows that he wants to appoint Betsy because she would slip a loophole that would allow him to use non-unionized labor, which would save him $40-50 million. McGann attempts to rationalize it by stating that a chunk of it would go towards Novak's re-election, although Jessica replies that if Betsy is made alderman, Novak would not win re-election. Jessica then offers to find another way to get McGann non-unionized labor, under the condition that he restore her family's original 90-day agreement, to which he agrees.

Jessica goes to see construction union leader Frank Cramer, offering him a payout to turn a blind eye to McGann's union violations. Cramer, a caring leader with integrity, refuses to sell out his workers and refuses. As Jessica leaves, she is confronted by Tyler, Cramer's son, although Tyler is quickly subdued by Nick. Jessica questions Nick for being extremely physical with Tyler, although Nick responds that he was merely doing what Jessica wanted him to do, electing not to explain why he treated Tyler the way he did, having revealed that Tyler was once incarcerated.

That night, Jessica calls Jeff, although she receives his voicemail. She leaves a message talking about how back in New York, she could get things done much easier and how she is working with McGann to help a family who doesn't even want her; she adds that she feels alone and she misses him before the recording time for the message ends.

Jessica returns to the office the next day, where Yoli asks about Lillian. Yoli then informs her that she has set a meeting with Carlos Salazar, although Jessica tells her to cancel the meeting, reminding her that it is not her position to push her agenda. As Yoli leaves, Keri walks in, notifying her that Angela is protesting and that she fears Angela may file a new lawsuit against the city, adding that Angela is currently at City Council. At City Council, Angela attempts to talk about being evicted although she is ordered to leave. As the guard ushers her out, she encounters Jessica, who asks her to talk. However, as Angela agrees, Jessica gets a phone call from Novak. Jessica tells Angela to wait and steps out to answer the call, where Novak asks her about her attempts to bribe Cramer, citing that he needs union support for re-election. Jessica discloses that Betsy would have turned the unions against him had she done what McGann insisted, and Novak tells her to convince Cramer, adding that Cramer is loyal and that money would not be his weak spot, despite him having three mortgages. Jessica then heads back into the courtroom to discover that Angela is gone. Jessica then calls Yoli and asks for information on Cramer.

That night, Nick pays Jessica a visit at her office. Jessica is indecisive about hurting Cramer to save her family, and Nick tells her that crossing a line is something he would do for family. Jessica then goes to see Cramer, who apologizes for his son's actions earlier. Jessica informs him that since Tyler is out on parole for beating his ex-girlfriend, assaulting her would be a violation of the parole. Cramer retorts that he didn't assault her, as Tyler had just grabbed her arm, although Jessica replies that she has a sworn statement from a Chicago police officer (Nick) that he had indeed assaulted her. Cramer explains that he is financially unstable after sending his son to rehab multiple times, but stops talking after divulging that he is under a mountain of debt. Jessica then tells him to give McGann what he wants, notifying him that he would receive his financial compensation for it. Jessica then heads outside and informs McGann, who agrees to write Cramer a check, reinstate the Cooks' 90-day eviction agreement and adds that this is a start of a new friendship with Jessica, quoting Casablanca. Jessica tells him they can get dinner, which McGann wanted, after he makes good on his deal, and then has an emotional reaction to having done what she did to Cramer.

Jessica heads to Angela's apartment to share the news. However, as she gives the curt notification and prepares to leave, Angela invites her inside. Jessica explains that she is trying to connect with them, which Angela acknowledges. Jessica adds that she wishes to get to know her sons, Mark and Cory; Angela jokingly offers her a chance to babysit, which Jessica seriously accepts, and Angela laughingly replies that she would take Jessica up on the offer someday.[9]

The next morning, Jessica is at her apartment when she receives a phone call from Jeff, discussing the message he had left her. Jessica notifies him that she has hired Nick be her personal driver, which worries Jeff as he believes Nick to be corrupt and a murderer, although Jessica replies that she did so merely to get close to him in order to find out the truth behind Carl Jeffries' murder.

At City Hall, Derrick and Keri have a meeting with the other workers, where they explain that Novak has taken the day off work for personal reasons, with Keri being left in charge of the day-to-day. Deputy Mayor Lloyd Triple wishes to take advantage of Novak's absence by pushing forth his agenda to have a street in Chicago named after Fred Hampton, a member of the Black Panther Party, although his attempts are shut down by Jessica. Jessica then goes to Keri's office, where Keri thanks her for her interference, although Jessica demands to know where Novak is. Keri then reveals to her that Stephanie Novak has MS and that Novak is taking care of her, and Jessica responds that they cannot hide this from the others as they would eventually find out.

Jessica goes to Lillian's apartment, offering buy her, Angela and the boys a house in Evanston. Lillian is initially hesitant but is won over when Jessica reminds her that it would be good for Cory and Mark. though she warns Jessica that Angela may not be on the same page. Lillian adds that she would try to convince Angela, but that she would make no promises. As Jessica leaves the apartment, she encounters Reverend James Thompson outside, who recognizes her as Lillian had notified him of her existence for years. Jessica asks him about Carl, and he discloses that Carl, who did not have much money, suddenly owned a Range Rover after dropping the North Park lawsuit. As they talk, Thompson notices Nick watching them, and bids Jessica farewell.

Back at City Hall, Jessica asks Keri how being mayor for a day is like and asks her about Carl and his murder, stating that his decision to drop the lawsuit benefited only two parties – Pat McGann and the City of Chicago. Jessica adds that she discovered that Carl fell into some money after dropping the lawsuit and asks if she paid him off, to which she replies that she did not and would not do that.

In her office, Jessica is watching a deposition about Carl. Carl talks about not wanting the North Park neighborhood to be torn down unless the residents are given homes, although the woman interviewing him mentions that he had spent four years in prison for writing bad checks, to which Carl responds that his crime shouldn't matter in the housing matter. Jessica cuts the playback short when Yoli walks in with a message from Jeff, revealing she spoke in depth about her relationship with Jeff for 45 minutes. Jessica tells her that she needs to work on establishing and respecting boundaries and Yoli asks whether she would call Jeff back before realizing she has overstepped said boundary.

As Jessica as she is about to leave City Hall for the night, she is confronted by Nick. Nick tells her that if she wants to know stuff about him, she should ask him directly. Nick then admits that he did indeed pay Carl $50,000 to drop the lawsuit but that he had nothing to do with his death, adding that if Jessica thinks him to be capable of murder, she should find another driver.

The next day, Lillian goes to Jessica's office to talk about Angela refusing the house. Lillian mentions that Angela did not want her to get mixed up with "them", fearing they were dangerous; when Jessica presses further, Lillian claims she does not know exactly who. Jessica then goes to see Angela at the laundromat to inquire into who the dangerous crowd was. Angela believes a gang known as the Four Corners Marquette may have information on Carl, and Jessica immediately heads out to locate them. Angela cuts her off, citing the danger, but agrees to tag along with Jessica, even accepting Jessica's offer of buying them a house. However, Angela adds that she shouldn't dress fancy for the meeting, and Jessica replies that she can do that, going home to get changed.

Angela and Jessica head to a convenience store where the Four Corners have their headquarters in the back room. The pair go to see Kevin Dawson, to whom Jessica reveals she works for the mayor. Kevin has no desire to share information with someone who works for the mayor, although Angela discloses that she intentionally lost paperwork while in the ER to avoid the police from locating one of their members and that Kevin owes her; Kevin replies that he does not owe Jessica, although Angela vouches for her. Jessica adds that while the mayor cannot do anything for them, she would remember Kevin's assistance and return the favor some day. Kevin asks Angela how come he has never seen Jessica before, to which Angela states that Jessica is from the "bougie side of the family" that does not visit them. Kevin rushes at Jessica and has her purse snatched to check the contents before revealing to the pair that Carl Jeffries owed a lot of drug dealers, and that they came to collect when they discovered he owned a Range Rover, leading to his death. The two women are then dismissed, and as they leave the convenience store, can't help but laugh when Angela finds out Jessica had pepper spray in her hands and thought that it would be sufficient to protect them from armed thugs.

Jessica returns to City Hall and sees Nick reading a newspaper by himself and approaches him, notifying him that she knows Carl's death had nothing to do with him. To her surprise, Nick admits he feels some responsibility for it, divulging that Carl had been passionate about the suit and refused to accept the money, but that Nick, having discovered his financial worries, convinced him to accept the $50,000 and move someplace far away where local trouble could not reach him, believing he was doing Carl a favor, only for Carl to stay and buy a vehicle.

Jessica goes to the Cook apartment that night, where Angela welcomes her warmly and she, along with Lillian, inform Mark and Cory that their cousin Jessica is coming to church with them tonight. This prompts Cory to hug her, overjoying Jessica, who accepts. As Jessica is about to head into church, she gets a phone call from Jeff. She tells Jeff that Nick is in the clear and had nothing to do with Carl's death, and surprises Jeff when she reveals she is at church. Jessica then walks in and takes her seat, smiling at Reverend Thompson, only to be surprised herself when she finds out that Angela is the lead singer of the choir.[10]

A short while later, Jessica walks into Novak's office one morning, with Novak having returned to work, and sees Nick sitting there. She questions Nick as to why he did not drive her to work that morning, to which he apologizes and claims that Novak needed his coffee and doughnut first thing back. Novak tells Jessica to handle digging into longer-term projects for him. Noting that the files Novak is handing her are for technology and manufacturing, she realizes that he wishes to have Chicago house Ickaris' second headquarters, and asks him if he really wants a headache at the moment. Novak mentions that the headache would be worth it as it would bring half a billion dollars in construction, to which Jessica reveals that she knows the truth regarding Novak's absence and thus reiterates whether he wants this particular headache. Novak looks at Nick to see whether Nick had told her, and he indicates that he did not. Jessica then claims that she understands what he is going through and offers herself as someone he can talk to, although he dismisses her and tells her to start on the project.

Jessica returns to her office, where Keri is waiting for her. Keri discloses that the city is being sued by Ken Sharma, the former city attorney. Jessica replies that it is Keri's job to defend the city from lawsuits, but Keri clarifies that she does not wish to fight the lawsuit in court but merely wants for it to disappear, citing that making things go away is Jessica's specialty. Jessica tells her that if she wants the case dropped, it would either mean she does not want something getting out or she is afraid of the outcome, although Keri responds that Novak is listed on the lawsuit as well and that she wishes to protect him.

After Keri leaves, Jessica calls Yoli into her office to give her an assignment. As she is busy handling the Keri assignment, she tasks Yoli with giving Blake Everett, one of the vice presidents of Ickaris' Corporate Affairs, a tour through Chicago in order to convince him to choose the city as the base of their new headquarters. Yoli is uncharacteristically reluctant, prompting Jessica to ask why since Yoli's desire was to be directly involved in city affairs, to which Yoli explains that she is not a fan of Icakris, asking Jessica why she can't do it. However, as Jessica claims she is busy, Yoli decides to put her personal opinions aside and accepts the job.

Jessica goes to see Sharma and his attorney at their law firm. Jessica claims that Sharma is lucky to still be a member of the State Bar after cheating clients out of liability claims for years, and that he is only suing for the city for wrongful termination because he is out of money after going through a divorce and whose career hadn't recovered after leaving City Hall. However, Sharma claims that the suit isn't about what he did, but about when Keri did, adding that she knows what she did, while his attorney retorts that their deposition would be on Wednesday.

Jessica returns to Keri's office and notifies her that she is being deposed. Keri is frustrated, as she had wanted Jessica to get the case dropped and is now forced to bring in outside counsel, although Jessica claims that she can still get it dropped. Jessica suggests that she prepare Keri for the deposition, adding that she had been through many of them before and that Keri had trusted her instincts to come to her before and therefore should trust her again, adding that whatever Keri does not want coming out would definitely come out otherwise.

As Jessica prepares to go home, she sees Nick waiting outside the mayor's office and asks him how come he hadn't left yet, with Nick replying that he clocks out when Jessica does. Nick is still irritated at Jessica's suspicion of him for the murder of Carl Jeffries, despite Jessica's assertion that he is cleared of any doubt in her mind, as Nick is upset that she believed he could do such a thing. As Jessica tells Nick to lower his walls and let him in, he points out that she has not done the same, and asks her what she meant by her earlier statement to Novak when she claimed she understood what he was going through, also adding that she may as well be someone programmed to write checks and issue sound bites. Jessica then retorts that Nick doesn't know anything about her, to which Nick replies that therein lies the problem; he does not know anything.

The next day, Jessica deposes Keri privately, asking Keri about Sharma. Keri discloses that Sharma was her mentor who hired her straight out of law school, with Sharma as City Attorney and Keri as Deputy City Attorney. However, after nearly two years, Keri discovered Sharma was mishandling evidence, which led to Sharma's departure from City Hall and Keri succeeding him. Jessica asks why Novak's name is on the lawsuit, as Novak was alderman at that time and not mayor, to which Keri divulges that it was Novak who ousted Sharma. Jessica follows up by asking how long she had known Novak, and when Keri responds that it was only a week, Jessica poses the question of why Keri would trust someone she barely knew for a week and risk her career in the process; Keri claims that she was doing what she felt was right, only for Jessica to claim her actions led to Novak making her the youngest city attorney in the history of Chicago; when Keri protests, Jessica further suggests Keri exchanged sexual favors in exchange for professional advancement, causing Keri to storm out.

Jessica goes to Keri's apartment that night to discuss the case, where Keri orders Jessica to pay Sharma whatever he demands. Jessica attempts to tell Keri not to give in to Sharma's demands, although Keri replies that if the issue gets out, the public would find out that not only did Keri sleep with Novak at that time, but still does, adding that while Novak would recover, the rules are different for women and that she would always have a reputation of a woman who slept her way to the top.

That night, Jessica meets Sharma at a pub. Sharma believes Jessica is coming to cut a deal after Jessica admits the jury might find a man who lost his job due to the machinations of an ambitious city attorney and an equally ambitious alderman sympathetic, but that he wouldn't win. Sharma explains that he gave $10,000,000 to public schools rather than use it to pay someone who skipped schools to jump between train cars, calling it a fair deal. Understanding that Sharma wants revenge on Novak and Keri, Jessica offers him $1,000,000, which he refuses. Before he leaves the bar, he tells Jessica that he gave 20 years of his life to the city, and that despite serving two decades, he is nothing to the city anymore. Jessica then calls Harvey Specter and asks him for a favor. While Harvey initially decides to fly to Chicago, Jessica tells him that he can do this particular favor from the comfort of New York, and he asks her what the favor is.

Jessica heads to Keri's office to tell her that the problem has been solved without the city paying a dime. She explains that all Sharma wanted was for his name to mean something again, but that since it wasn't going to happen in Chicago, she called Harvey to arrange for Sharma to have a corporate job in New York City, informing Keri that she still has powerful friends there. Jessica then apologizes to Keri for jumping to conclusions and accusations on how she got her job, adding that the truth is that Novak got his job because of her and that she wishes the world knew it. Jessica then returns to her office, asking Yoli how the matter with Blake went. When Yoli replies that it concluded smoothly, Jessica asks how much ass-kissing Derrick had to do to clean up her mess, revealing that she was aware of Yoli's actions. Jessica threatens to fire Yoli, adding that she is almost never wrong about a person but believes she was wrong about Yoli, although Yoli responds that Jessica is wrong about being wrong about her, claiming that she has passion and is not afraid to push on topics she cares about; additionally, she states that while she can learn do her job, passion cannot be taught and asks for a second chance, which Jessica grants.

Jessica leaves City Hall to see Nick waiting by the vehicle, and as she approaches him, she divulges that the reason she told Novak she could understand what he was going through was because her ex-husband, Quentin Sainz, had ALS, and that despite all her power, she was powerless to help him fight against his affliction. Nick asks her why she didn't tell Novak, and she replies that the story ended with Quentin dying, which she felt Novak wasn't ready to hear that yet; additionally, she tells Nick that she couldn't truly understand what Novak was going through because Quentin was diagnosed after they divorced and that she didn't know how she would have handled it if they were still married. An emotional Jessica tells Nick that she doesn't know why she is telling him this, although Nick commends her for it, stating that she is a better person than she thinks she is.

Suddenly, a car approaches. As Jessica and Nick watch, the car stops at the curb and Jeff gets out. Jessica tells Nick that she won't need a ride home from him tonight and goes to Jeff, kissing him. Jeff tells her that he flew down from Miami to see her, and Jessica enters his car.[11]

Relationships

Harvey Specter

Harvey is Jessica's protégé. She saw his potential when he was working in the mailroom at Gordon Schmidt Van Dyke, and spent her own money to put Harvey through Harvard Law School, and later made him a senior partner. He is the only person she trusts and he fuels her ambition to win at Pearson Hardman. Although Harvey's attitude is slightly more affectionate toward Jessica, she maintains a hardcore business demeanor, although it is clear they are somewhat friends. They understand each other and work well together, even reading each other's minds and thinking ahead, which is one of the reasons why Pearson Specter was such a successful firm.

However, in Season 3, their relationship is somewhat strained as Harvey is bitter towards Jessica regarding the merger. Jessica feels the same way when Harvey tells her the truth of the deal he made with Edward Darby. She eventually goes to Harvey's house to open a bottle of wine Harvey gave to her for "emergencies," as they were in the middle of a murder case. She said she wanted to stop feeling betrayed by him and they started being friends again. Harvey said he was wrong to go after her, and admitted that he did not want to be managing partner even though Jessica admits that Harvey "could be managing partner."

Louis Litt

Jessica does not appear especially close to Louis, and it is clear she does not fully trust him. She initially believed Louis was stealing money from the company, given his financial expertise, only to later discover that he had been set up by Daniel Hardman. Louis is angered by Jessica's favoritism of Harvey, and often questions her decision to promote Harvey to senior partner over him. His anger towards Jessica and his hatred of Harvey initially prompted him to side with Daniel when he returns to the firm, until Louis learns the full extent of Daniel's actions.

Mike Ross

Initially indifferent towards Mike being a rookie associate, Jessica notices his potential in assisting Harvey. During the mock trial, Mike backs down from hurting Rachel, and Jessica takes this as a sign of weakness, that he will not move in for the kill when he is asked to. She soon finds out that Mike never attended Harvard Law, and has no degree from any colleges. She orders Harvey to fire Mike, but when he refuses, she realizes that she will need both Harvey and Mike to keep her firm and get rid of Daniel Hardman.

Though she never quite forgot the bind Harvey put her under because of Mike, over the course of season 2 she had come to respect, and even rely on Mike's work during tough situations. One such situation is when Mike's quick thinking had saved Jessica and Harvey's jobs and got Hardman kicked out of the firm. During the second season finale, after Mike's betrayal of Harvey, Jessica stops Mike from being fired despite Harvey wanting him gone, a complete opposite of the positions they each held at the beginning of the season.

At the beginning of season 3, after Mike gains leverage over Jessica to not expose him, she compares working with Mike as working with a tiger. Over the course of the season, Jessica continues to rely on Mike's work much more than before. Despite not having the type of relationship they maintain with Harvey, they can be seen bantering. This can be seen when both Jessica and Mike blame Harvey for slowing Jessica down when Mike arrived at the conclusion to collect money from Folsom Foods an hour before Jessica.[12]

During season 4, Jessica is seen to be strongly against bringing back Mike to the firm as she does not want to go back to hiding his secret once more. She however is left with no choice when Louis hires Mike back. Shortly after, Katrina reveals to an unemployed Louis that VersaLife (a client) will most likely be dropped by the firm due to a SEC rule, leading to VersaLife being poached by Louis. Jessica blames this on Mike as she thinks Mike did this to return the favor of Louis hiring him back before he himself got fired. After Mike manages to get VersaLife back by beating the rule, Jessica expresses to him how he always manages to come though just as she sees no reason to have him around.

Since discovering Mike's secret, the trio (Jessica, Harvey, Mike) have handled the firm's worst cases, some of which include Folsom foods' gender discrimination lawsuit, Ava Hessington's murder trial, the dissolution of Pearson Specter and Darby International back when they were merged as Pearson Darby and later as Pearson Darby Specter the SEC's charges of collusion against the firm. This has led to comments such as Daniel Hardman calling them "The Three Stooges".[13] For Jessica to trust Mike, an uneducated first year associate, with such responsibilities over countless other actual Harvard educated associates, many partners and several senior partners show just how much she values his work.

Trivia

  • Jessica grows her own marijuana.[14]

Appearances


References

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