Thrilling 'City on a Hill' episode 9 focuses on family, roots and struggling to overcome your parents' sins

Thrilling 'City on a Hill' episode 9 focuses on family, roots and struggling to overcome your parents' sins

Spoiler alert for 'City on a Hill' episode 9 'The Deaf Sage of Pompeii'

As much as 'City on a Hill' is a crime drama, it is also a heartening tale about family and relationships. While it began as a gritty, dark crime drama, in reality, it is a show full of characters who have bonds with one another that run deep. 'The Deaf Sage of Pompeii' establishes that each character has a tragic past — one that has left them scarred. In fact, who they are today is the result of the choices they made in their past. 

To begin with, Jackie Rohr (Kevin Bacon) is gunning for glory but faces an irreparable difference of opinion. The man has been cast aside for his sleazy and harsh ways of doing things, despite managing to steal the limelight at the end of it all. However, this comes at a cost as Decourcy Ward (Aldis Hodge) and Rachel Benham (Sarah Shahi) lose their teammate, Hank Signa (Jere Shea) as a result of Rohr's actions. 

Since we are talking about family here, Hank's a family man too. There is an instance where he talks about his son to Rachel. It's unfortunate that the kid will never see his dad again. Again, the choice to be out on the field combined with Rohr's interference makes Hank a casualty of war. 


Things for the Ryan family have just gone from bad to bleak (we're not saying bad to worse for a reason here). The attempt to rob a store is undone and the Ryan brothers, Frankie Ryan (Jonathan Tucker) and  Jimmy Ryan (Mark O'Brien), are busted. They lose a man in the process, and in what isn't their last straws, Rohr triumphantly raids their house. A visibly shaken-up Cathy Ryan (Amanda Clayton) is at wit's end. It still isn't over for them though. Not with Jackie playing the pantomime villain.

Jimmy is the man who ultimately brings the family down. He has been the whistleblower right from the start and the knowing look Ryan gives Jimmy is an acknowledgment that he's pieced it all together. 

The heist that Rohr foiled. (Francisco Roman/SHOWTIME.)


The second plotline that centers around family is Jenny Rohr's (Jill Hennessy) past.  Her revelation of what happened to her father is heartbreaking. She relives the tragic memory in a single instant and it is evident that the trauma has anchored itself deep within her. Adding to this, her mother shifted the blame onto Jenny for Benny's assault. How's that for reverse psychology now?

We have said this before too, Hennessy has brought her character to life with some powerful performances throughout the series. A woman with a troubled past, an infidel of a husband, a rebellious daughter and finally, it's a pity that she can't share romantic moments with someone who actually cares. In short, the actor has dished out a fascinating performance as Jenny. 

Jackie isn't far away when it comes to family either. He tries to look cool and pacify Frankie's daughter Kick during the house raid. The story of his childhood home burning down starts and ends episode nine and just when you think Kick is listening, she just blankly stares at him and cusses him big time. How's that for a kick, Jackie?


Episode 10 will hopefully bring a fitting end to what has been one of the most intriguing series of the year. The show has seen multiple plotlines drawn since inception and it is clear why these threads seem to exist. The creators have successfully tied up every loose end so far and power-packed performances by the cast have made it a strong drama worth tuning in to every Sunday. 

We don't know what's in store for us in season two, but what we are certain of is that the final episode and the upcoming installment will continue in the same vein — compelling, intense and downright well done. 

The season finale of 'City on a Hill' will air on Showtime on August 18  at 9 pm. 


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