'City on a Hill' Season 2 Episode 1: Where is Rachel Benham? Here's why Sarah Shahi was absent in Showtime premiere
This article contains spoilers for 'City on a Hill' Season 2 Episode 1: 'Bill Russell's Bedsheets'
'City on a Hill' has quite a few developments as it heads into its sophomore year in Season 2. For starters, the most notable absentee is Sarah Shahi's Rachel Benham in Episode 1. Although Deadline reported she will appear in a recurring role, the actor who played an investigator in season 1 was nowhere to be seen.
Instead, we have Matthew Del Negro, who plays detective Chris Caysen, as the familiar face. Del Negro’s character works as a detective in the Boston PD’s Gang Division and appeared in four episodes in the first season.
Shahi was one of the breakout characters in the pilot season. Her character, Rachel Benham, a private investigator, was assigned to assist Decourcy Ward (Aldis Hodge), who was the assistant DA in the armed car robbery case. Benham proves to be instrumental in digging out valuable intel while assisting the team on the case. She was introduced in the third episode and characterized as a skillful operator.
By the end of season 1, there was actually a question mark on how things would pan out for Benham. The PI turned heads in the show for being someone not taking any s**t from male superiors, which was technically, and rather absurdly, how it was supposed to be in the 90s. She is seen as an intelligent investigator who grinds away while Ward takes all the glory.
During her screentime on the show, Benham established the fact that she's capable and definitely better than the men around her. Yet, she was forced to either being the coffee-getter or bear Jackie Rohr's (Kevin Bacon) flirty and sleazy advances. Finally, she zaps him good saying, "Yeah, a saggy-balled whiskey d**k old man is exactly what I need.” And then later: “I’m not gonna be your minor conquest because you’re feeling vulnerable."
It was surprising to not see Benham in the season opener, but considering she has a recurring guest role and it is a ten-episode season, chances are she'll show up towards the middle of Season 2. In an exclusive interview with MEAWW in 2019, Shahi had hinted at what was in store for her character. "There’s a lot of tragedy in store for Rachel," she said, adding, "And she ends up really questioning who she is and what she wants for herself."
She added: "Rachel's story has to deal with not just the case, but a real identity crisis in who she is and what she wants the world to see. It’s a very relatable storyline. One that I myself lived for over 20 years."
'City on a Hill' Season 2 airs Sundays at 10 pm ET on Showtime.