'City On A Hill' episode 2 review: Kevin Bacon's Jackie Rohr holds the fort as the crime drama slowly builds up steam
The focus is on the lead characters, Rohr and Decourcy, played by Kevin Bacon and Aldis Hodge, who are different men while on the job, but have trouble sleeping after the job's impact on their personal lives
Contains spoilers for 'City On A Hill, Ep: 2 - What They Saw In Southie High
If the premiere of 'City On a Hill' was all about character introductions, the messy state that Boston was in and demanded your undivided attention, the second episode makes sure that watching the slow burner of a pilot was worth the hour.
'What They Saw In Southie High' picks up where episode 1 left off and gives an insight about the past lives and the emotions that the lead actors go through. Kevin Bacon, playing the foul-mouthed genius detective, Jackie Rohr has his own stuff to sort out, starting off by getting himself tested for STD.
Meanwhile, Decourcy Ward (Aldis Hodge) has to deal with an event in the church that puts his wife in an uncomfortable position. Two gunmen chase a man and kill him in cold-blood during the sermon and that leaves Hodge's wife, Siobhan Quay (Lauren E. Banks) shell-shocked as she questions how he could stay unaffected despite witnessing a cruel murder.
The pairing of Decourcy and Rohr at the start of the series was pretty unconventional, but somehow, it's the unlikeliest of pairs that accomplish most of the tasks successfully. The pairing style has been prominent in Hollywood and this duo bonding, which the second episode sheds light on has assured us that they will go a long way in busting heists and mopping up for a cleaner Boston.
Decourcy's a hardened man. But is still a personality who questions his every motive. Rohr is pretty bada** that way as he's learned the art of working through tough scenarios and perhaps that's where the corrupt streak comes from. It is heartening to watch the duo sit in a bar having smokes and whiskey and discussing how things would have to be done in the city. Rohr, undoubtedly, is the man to watch out for in the series, not just because of his sly demeanor, but also for his wicked wit and street-smarts that he adds as part of his character's persona.
The baddies, meanwhile, have their own motto to their heists. When they realize that they cannot sit on the money for too long, they decide to splurge and brothers, Frankie and Jimmy Ryan (Jonathan Tucker and Mark O'Brien) hit up the local casinos blowing up their money and getting punch drunk. "Don't just steal the money, get away with it," is the instruction that Frankie passes on to his brother. Parallelly, investigators Hank Signa (Jere Shea) and Rachel Benham (Sarah Shahi) investigate a missing person case that could link to an unsolved missing person case that further be connected to the robbery in Revere.
In 'What They Saw In Southie High' the pace of the narrative varies quite a bit. If it sets up anything, it is how Decourcy and Rohr, who are brilliant, meticulous men at their job, have troubled personal lives. 'City On A Hill' is yet to build up some steam, but still maintains the promise to deliver thanks to its seamlessly interwoven subplots. At this juncture, we're still rooting for 'City On A Hill' to build the crescendo and knock the viewers out of their shoes when the time's right.
But again, let's leave you with one question that has probably been baffling the viewers since the start of the second episode.
Why is Jimmy tipping off Rohr? Because they did find that sunk armored van used by the Charlestown armored robbers.
We'll leave you to pick your brains while you recount the final few moments of the episode. If you want a refresher, listen to Fleetwood Mac's 'Don't Stop Thinking About Tomorrow.' That oughta help.
'City On A Hill' airs on Sundays on Showtime at 9 p.m. ET/PT. The crime drama is created and written by Chuck MacLean. Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Jennifer Todd, James Mangold, and Michael Cuesta serve as executive producers.