'City on a Hill' episode 5 review: Ward's moral compass fluctuates while things go a tad south for Rohr
In yet another impressive episode, the series puts the spotlight back on their lead characters and their crackling chemistry.
This review contains spoilers for episode. 5: “From Injustice Came the Way to Describe Justice”
In one word. Gripping. Four episodes of 'City on a Hill' have been stellar so far and the fifth just lives up to the billing that we expected it to. If the fourth episode shed light on the lives of the leading ladies, the latest shifts the focus back on Decourcy Ward (Aldis Hodge) and Jackie Rohr (Kevin Bacon) as they make some inroads in the case they have been tasked.
Ward is busy using the Grand Jury to pressure Frankie Ryan (Jonathan Tucker) and his gang of armed car robbers and that move seems to be paying off. Cathy (Amanda Clayton) and Frankie are feeling the heat while Jimmy Ryan (Mark O’Brien) is still trying to milk his brother for more information so that he can tell all to Rohr.
Parallelly, Michaela Freda (Samantha Soule) is a reporter investigating the shooting and is one spry woman. Such is her approach, "Even the mayor crosses the street when he sees her coming." While digging around for potential clues, she comes across an informant, Clay Roach (Rory Culkin), after a tip from a cop. Roach points the finger at Ward when asked about how a cop shooter made out scot-free. The first time we see a stain on Ward's character.
Sarah Shahi's Rachel Benham gives the viewers some details of her past. She is a daughter of Persian immigrants and is trying her best to get through as Italian. A job with the government means she is able to live a secured life. While tailing a suspect, she identifies herself with the daughter of the suspect as the girl would grow up with the knowledge that her father is a criminal. "I have a little compassion for this douchebag’s daughter who’s going to have to go through life explaining who she is," she says to her partner, Hank.
What stands out in this episode is the crackling relationship that Ward and Rohr share. Ward fast realizes that no one in the city is what they seem they are. How long before he becomes one of the corrupted? How long before he realizes that he's slowly becoming just like Rohr?
Take for instance the conversation between the duo when Ward asks Rohr, "How much of what we’ve been doing in the last 24 hours is illegal?" and pat comes the reply: "Better to let a thousand guilty men go than let one innocent man suffer. From injustice came the way to describe justice. Only when you’ve seen one can you shape the other."
Meanwhile, you can't help but realize that sleazy Rohr is slowly losing it. And with the way things are shaping up, there's something terrible in store for the corrupt FBI agent. He may be doing his job right, but he's got be insanely smug when he jeers and mocks a dying man. While he's up to his corrupt self, something could snap him out of that the smug attitude. The final scenes show his daughter sharing a joint and a beer with Clay Roach. His mistress is pregnant and Junior Minogue (Kevin Chapman) dies while telling Rohr that his bosses are slowly accepting that Rohr is pretty below average at his job.
In no way is 'From Injustice Came the Way to Describe Justice', a slow burner. It lays a solid platform that will show the world Rohr's fate, Decourcy's internal battle to do what is right through the proper channels and also the unrest that has wrapped itself around the Ryan household.
'City On A Hill' airs on Sundays on Showtime at 9 p.m. ET/PT.