Sunday, July 7, 2019

REVIEW: 'City on a Hill' - Decourcy Gets a Big Reaction From a Witness in 'The Wickedness of the Wicked Shall Be Upon Himself'

Showtime's City on a Hill - Episode 1.04 "The Wickedness of the Wicked Shall Be Upon Himself"

Jackie strong-arms Jimmy to get a step closer to finding the presumably dead armored truck guards. Decourcy rattles a suspect called to testify before the grand jury. Siobhan learns something unsettling about a leader of the Coalition and worries it could jeopardize the future of the group. Kick's nightmares continue as she senses her father might be in harm's way.

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.

"The Wickedness of the Wicked Shall Be Upon Himself" was written by J.M. Holmes and directed by Hagar Ben-Asher

Jackie and Decourcy were hoping for a big reaction during the grand jury. They got exactly that by the conclusion of this hour. Sure, they aren't any closer to finding the bodies of the dead guards or being able to connect the robbery to Frankie and his crew. However, they now have a person in a holding cell who could provide meaningful information to their investigation. There has long been the hope that Jimmy could be a reliable informant for Jackie. He thought the missing bodies were in the armored truck that was pulled out of the marsh. He was wrong. Jackie takes back the payout for that information. Of course, that also highlights how Jimmy isn't actually that stealthy when it comes to trying to get information out of his brother about what exactly happened during that robbery that started the series. That proves that any kind of answers won't be forthcoming any time soon. Jimmy may continually be stringing people along. Various people may threaten him and he'll spend some time in jail. And yet, he will always find some way to survive. The pressure is always on him. But Frankie and Cathy aren't too worried. They know just how dangerous it can be for someone in this crew to start talking. That's the only way that they get caught. It's not the only path the investigators are pursuing though. A bullet fragment is taken from the armored truck. That points back to a major military-style weapon. That is played as a major victory for the investigators because it could help narrow down the search for the truth. This all comes across as a win for the team. But Decourcy continues to lead the grand jury down the road he wants them to pursue. He doesn't actually care about this missing persons case. He just wants to connect these associates to the people responsible for the robbery. He may not know just how close he truly is at the moment. But he is stirring up a whole lot of trouble. He walks around with the confidence of getting something done as well. He feels victorious after arriving in this city as a defeated man struggling to win over public opinion. Jackie has never really cared about any of that. He simply aspires to be controlling of his wife while doing whatever pleases him in this world. It's surprising when he gets mugged. And yet, it's hard to argue against him deserving it. He is just so brunt with his awfulness. Jenny isn't completely blind to it either. She knows exactly when he has meddled in her life. He is completely silent at the dinner table when she takes about taking classes and volunteering at the local Catholic school. But he immediately threatens Dermot to stay away from his wife in exchange for a lucrative donation to the church. It's an effective strategy for Jackie. It has worked for him so many times in the past. And yet, it has caused stagnation to the point where Jenny is forever afraid of what is possible for her to do with her life. That is tragic. But the show is presenting several examples of inappropriate sexual behavior. With Jackie, it's the main drive of his character because he is awful and wicked to everyone. He is so upfront about it. He is proud of it. People are still willing to do him favors because he happens to be right every once in awhile. Meanwhile, Siobhan doesn't know what to think about her reverend potentially being inappropriate until he starts making some comments towards her. In that case, it's about adopting the code of silence. This is something that should never be spoken of because it could derail so much. That is thematically important and helps connect the overall story threads this season. But it also feels like the show may be trying to do too much with characters who are still struggling for development in a meaningful and nuanced way.