Jessica Pearson has reached a crossroads, one that she hasn’t seen coming.
Standing in a courtroom, the high-energy attorney featured on the hit TV series “Suits” must decide if she will stay and defend a man who is on trial for his life, or leave for an emergency meeting to save her New York law firm. In the past, her choice would have been a no-brainer.
Jessica is the founder and managing partner of her firm. She has already shown that she will do anything to maintain its position and her power.
The attorney has aided and abetted the fraud perpetrated by Mike Ross, an employee who has posed as a brilliant attorney for the firm, but in fact did not attend law school. Jessica has also chosen her job over her lover Jeff Malone.
But now she has found her soul. As she defends Leonard Bailey, a man who is to be executed for murder but has been given a new trial, Jessica recalls why she became an attorney. She remembers that she went to law school over the objections of her father in order to help people.
As a result of this epiphany, Jessica tells her other desperate partners, hovering in the courtroom to drag her to the meeting, to take a hike. She goes on to perform an astounding cross examination of a key witness that causes the judge to free Bailey.
When Jessica walks into the hall, a rival lawyer who has witnessed her defense tells her how amazing the cross was. She replies that she believes it is the pinnacle of her career.
Ironically, this admiring attorney had earlier attempted to poach Jessica from her firm, expecting it to crash. Jessica turned him down.
At the end of the episode, she announces to her partners that she is leaving the firm. She knocks on Jeff’s door that night to tell him that she wants to leave with him for Chicago, where he intends to begin a new job.
Walking away from a career with lots of power and money to pursue your true calling and the love of your life is not easy as it might seem. It carries a big risk.
Sonny Weaver learned that being true to yourself and your convictions can put you in jeopardy. In his case, he is under threat of losing his job as general manager of the Cleveland Browns in the 2014 film “Draft Day”.
Like Jessica, he has people hounding him at crucial times as he tries to make decisions about what players to pick during the NFL draft. The biggest problem, though, is that his aging playboy owner wants him to “make a big splash” in order to put buns in the stadium seats. Defying him means obvious curtains for Sonny.
Furthermore, the team’s new coach, a Super Bowl winner for another team, carps at his general manager as Sonny wheels and deals during the draft. They appear to have major philosophical differences as to how construct the team.
In addition, current and aspiring players are lobbying Sonny during the day. Brian Drew, the Browns’ quarterback, trashes his office when he learns that his general manager has paid a king’s ransom to Seattle in order to gain the number 1 draft pick.
It is assumed that the Browns will pick a star college quarterback with the choice. That’s certainly what Sonny’s owner expects him to do. When that happens, Drew figures he is toast.
The coach hates this idea of a rookie quarterback taking over the reigns of the team, too. He believes Drew will run his offense better.
On top of his on-the-job issues, Sonny also must fend off his loved ones who want his time and attention during this critical period. His girlfriend, who is also the financial whiz for the Browns, announces that she is pregnant.
Sonny and her keep meeting in a closet to discuss their relationship during draft day. When he asks his girlfriend what she really wants, she says “I don’t want to be a secret.”
Furthermore Sonny’s mother Barb picks draft day to discuss the provisions of his father’s will. His Dad, a legend for the Browns, decided that he wanted his ashes placed at the 50 yard line of the practice field which is named after him.
Barb wants to do the ceremony then and there. Sonny is adamant that he won’t participate. This doesn’t stop Barb. She leads team personnel onto the field to distribute the ashes without her son.
Clearly it is complete chaos at Browns headquarters. In the midst of it all, Sonny keeps his head.
He does this because it is His dream to pick the players HE wants and to build the team HIS way. As he dickers with other team’s general managers he works toward that goal.
When the first pick is announced, Sonny has picked a linebacker whom he loves. He believes the hyped quarterback will be a bust, but that his choice will be a star.
The angry owner hops a plane from the draft site to go to Cleveland and fire him. Not only does he arrive at headquarters and say to Sonny “you’re a dead man”, but the coach also tells Sonny that he quits.
“I can’t coach a team that has no future,” the coach says. Sonny asks him to hold on.
He also tells his owner to give him five minutes. If he doesn’t like what he sees after that, then he can fire him.
Sonny then amazes everyone. He not only gets back all the picks he traded to move up to number 1, but also gets a star punt returner and drafts a stud running back, which pleases the coach.
The owner tells him, “Congratulations. You have some balls.”
At the end of the day everyone is happy. Sonny and his girlfriend have weathered their storm. His mother is pleased when she hears that she will have a grandchild.
The fictional stories of Jessica and Sonny tell me writer, this real life person, that if he is to imperil himself his confidence had better not be of the false kind. I had better have a clear foundation of beliefs that will help me to withstand the opposition to my choices.
In my next post I will explain what that firm ground is for me.