Sunday, June 30, 2019

REVIEW: 'City on a Hill' - Jackie Is Made a Fool by His Mother-in-Law and Jimmy in 'If Only the Fool Would Persist in His Folly'

Showtime's City on a Hill - Episode 1.03 "If Only the Fool Would Persist in His Folly"

Jackie searches for his absent informant, while Jenny searches for purpose, revisiting her passion to become a teacher. Decourcy works up a plan to overcome the town's infamous "Code of Silence" and get a few suspects to talk. Minogue is assigned a big case, but not the one he actually cares about. Jimmy skips town to visit his kids and finds that, even a thousand miles away, he's not safe from his problems back home.

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.

"If Only the Fool Would Persist in His Folly" was written by Emily Ragsdale and directed by Christoph Schrewe

Jackie doesn't appreciated being fooled. It's difficult for people to do so as well because he is so mean and manipulative at his core. Usually, he is the one forcing people to regret ever knowing him or doing him favors. And yet, both his mother-in-law and Frankie manage to fool him. His mother-in-law makes him believe that he has an STD because of his cheating ways. It means he takes another trip to the free clinic even though it's completely unnecessary. His lashing out at her specifically is very trivial and insignificant. He simply destroys a model airplane made by her husband. But he doesn't take his rage out on Jenny. She gets the emotional brunt of it though. It's enough to make her truly question if this is a marriage that is still healthy. She doesn't give much merit to her mother's concerns about Jackie cheating on her. He absolutely is but she trusts that he isn't. But she also doesn't have anything in her life that makes her excited and passionate. She needs that drive. That's the advice that her friends and priest give to her. Sure, the show points out just how troubling and toxic the advice given by Catholic priests can be from time to time. The man of faith she initially reaches out to focuses entirely on how she is to blame for all of Jackie's problems and that patience is the greatest virtue that God has given to women. That is so sexist and offensive. It doesn't stick fortunately. Jenny does stand her ground in her desire to return to school to become a teacher. She is committed to that path once more. It just disrupts this environment for Jackie even further. He has no problem ruining the lives of people he doesn't care about. He notes that he is mean to everyone. As such, no one can judge him for some kind of inherent bias against a specific group of people. He is that way with Jenny even though he wants to insist that he isn't. That too is a potent image in this narrative. Plus, his advice to Decourcy to assemble a grand jury isn't going according to plan. Everyone was expecting the bodies of the three missing guards to be with the truck pulled out of the marsh. They aren't. That was a promise Jackie was led to believe by Jimmy. As such, it's meaningful that Jimmy has skipped town to finally see his family again. That just further proves that he is a loser who messes up every single opportunity thrown his way. His family essentially sees him as a burden. They are always suspicious of what he is capable of doing because he has caused so much heartbreak in the past. And now, his children get to see him arrested by the FBI. Sure, drugs are planted in his car in order to keep him cooperating for Jackie's investigation. But that's still a terrifying sight for these young children who really just want to escape from the life that Boston had to offer them. But again, there is no sense that justice will ultimately prevail in any of these cases. Jackie has the influence to make cases completely disappear if he wants them to. This is a system that allows that to happen. It means it's easy to get swept up in the moment when Decourcy makes his big speech. He feels attacked in the press because of the comments made by the reverend. He sees the importance of his job. He understands that he is making a difference in his community. And now, he is getting a grand jury of his peers to feel that exact same way. Of course, he is propping them up fully knowing that he's not trying to get to the bottom of this missing persons case. Instead, he's trying to get to the truth about the recent robbery. And yet, answers could be forthcoming in the cold case as well because the show really points out that it has had a lasting impact on several of the people in Frankie's crew and family.