Sunday, June 23, 2019

REVIEW: 'City on a Hill' - Decourcy Questions His Reaction to a Tragedy in Church in 'What They Saw in Southie High'

Showtime's City on a Hill - Episode 1.02 "What They Saw in Southie High"

Decourcy finds out he has a powerful enemy in town after an eventful Sunday at church - one that puts Siobhan in an uncomfortable position. Jackie is stirring up trouble in his own home and his distrustful mother-in-law is onto him. Investigators Hank Signa and Rachel Behnam look into an unsolved missing persons case that could be connected to the robbery in Revere. This could mean trouble for Frankie Ryan, who's busy laundering his most recent loot and, with the help of Jimmy, getting carried away in the process.

In 2018, there were 495 scripted shows airing amongst the linear channels and streaming services. The way people are consuming content now is so different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, there is less necessity to provide ample coverage of each specific episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site is making the move to shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the next episode of Showtime's City on a Hill.

"What They Saw in Southie High" was written by Chuck MacLean and directed by Ed Bianchi

Decourcy admits here that the stories he shared with Jackie about himself were a complete lie. His father didn't actually march with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Nor did he beat the eye out of his skull. Those are just effective stories that allow him to paint a picture of the life and upbringing he had that could be used to emotionally manipulate people in any given situation. Of course, his true life story may be just as compelling. With Siobhan, he is honest about his distrust of religion and community activists proclaiming that the people themselves need to hold themselves to a higher stand and be more accountable. He also isn't phased by the amount of violence he sees in this particular church service. It's horrifying when gang members interrupt a memorial service just to kill someone else. It presents as a crime that probably won't get any justice. Decourcy also yearns to understand his reactions throughout all of this. He doesn't immediately see himself as someone who helped the people involved with this tragedy. Instead, he was simply the prosecutor on the scene who got right back to work immediately because of all of this. All of his natural instincts came from him doing this job and knowing how to get people to open up to him. Again, it may not be beneficial. In his normal professional atmosphere, it's all about getting people to confess some information that can lead to a break in the case. At the moment, Decourcy and Jackie are plotting a grand jury scheme to catch a potential criminal off guard by mentioning the recent armored truck robbery. The show is adequately setting up the stakes for that story as well. Sure, it also has to confirm that Frankie's crew pulled off an even bigger payday with the heist they did in New Hampshire. That's an investigation Jackie and Decourcy are completely shut out of though. They don't have the jurisdiction to see if there is anything that could connect the two crimes. But Frankie and Jimmy are trying to clean the money and get away with these crimes in Boston. They do so even though Jimmy is essentially working with Jackie. Sure, it's a tenuous relationship. Jimmy is only willing to hand over incriminating evidence against his brother if he knows he is going to get paid. That's his driving motivation. He needs money even though he has always been seen as irresponsible with it. He suspects he knows where his brother hid all of their profits from the lucrative job. In the process though, he's just ensuring that Frankie ultimately gets caught for the job that ended with three murders. Jackie, Decourcy and their team pull the armored truck out of the water where it was sunk and abandoned. It's much more grueling than expected. Plus, it's clear that all of this will be taking a toil on the players involved. It plays as a story that will allow Decourcy to get the respect he has long wanted in this world. He doesn't want to be the guy who has to throw his hands into the air the moment the police arrive. He seeks the validation that comes from being recognized and respected. Jackie has that sense of authority even though he is a monster who is destroying his personal relationships throughout all of this as well. He presents as a guy who genuinely wants to help Decourcy achieve his ultimate goals. In the process though, Decourcy runs the risk of losing something very critical to his identity. But that would also mean he has to stand by his convictions and the belief that he should be proud of where he comes from as well as how to use those experiences to empower him further in this corrupt world.