'City on a Hill' Season 1 finale: The Ryans could escape, Jackie could shine and other ways the final episode could set up season 2

'City on a Hill' Season 1 finale: The Ryans could escape, Jackie could shine and other ways the final episode could set up season 2

Ahead of the season one finale of 'City on a Hill', there have been questions galore on how the creators would end the show. The Showtime drama was a slow burner to begin with, but the narrative has been nothing short of audacious and formidable. It may have taken time to set the tone, but the show does it clearly and scrupulously. In our spoiler-free review ahead of the series premiere, we had said that each episode would have some element of surprise and that was precisely the case. 

The events of the show are set in the Boston of the early '90s, where violent criminals, corruption and racism are part of the norm. Hailing from Brooklyn, Assistant District Attorney Decourcey Ward (Aldis Hodge) looks to bring about a change. He forms an alliance with hardened FBI veteran Jackie Rohr (Kevin Bacon).  This unlikely duo then goes on to take down a family of armored car robbers from Charlestown. 

Over the course of the series, we see good men die, bad men struggle with the choice of their decisions and most importantly, the series talks about family and relationships. While at it, it also sheds light on the impact it has on the lead characters. Episode nine saw 'The Deaf Sage of Pompeii' establish 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 make in the past. 

Jackie Rohr, while gunning for glory, faces an irreparable difference of opinion with Ward. His idea to barge in on a meticulous plan to round up the armored robbers ends up getting Hank Signa (Jere Shea) killed.

That means things for the Ryan family have just gone from bad to bleak. Their 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 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.


With the final episode airing on Sunday, August 18, here are our speculations on how the gritty drama may end and set up season two. 

The Ryans are done for

Are the Ryans done for? (Showtime)

It sure does look that way. With the brothers in jail and Rohr raiding their home, it's only a matter of time before he realizes Cathy Ryan (Amanda Clayton) is a criminal too. If he does, then its curtain downs for the Ryans. The end credits may probably give us an idea about the punishment meted out on each of the family members. For starters, Frankie and Amanda would be looking at life behind bars for a really long time. Jimmy, due to his mental condition, may undergo rehab while in jail. Their kids' fate is undetermined at the moment. 

Or maybe not...

Now, this is a man-sized if. What if the Ryans manage to break themselves out from prison? It's highly unlikely, but with a second season looming large, we could probably see them get out in some way and plot revenge on Jackie. Why him? Clearly, he's got on both Cathy and Jimmy's nerves. If this is a possibility, guess Rohr must be on his guard.


Jackie Rohr reigns supreme

Rohr has managed to hog the limelight so far. (Showtime)

The man may be an infidel, a sleazy customer, a crooked, corrupt FBI agent, but when it comes to working, he pulls out all stops. And, he likes to gloat. The final episode may see Rohr continue to hog the limelight and no matter how sad it may seem, we just might have to accept Rohr for who he is. 

Or he might be a kite dancing in a hurricane

The Ryans aren't the first people to be put behind bars by Rohr.  When he's established as a veteran agent, it's safe to assume that he's cracked many cases and made enemies for himself. Season one may see something terrible happen to Rohr and may end on a cliffhanger. If so, that could be the starting point for the new season. 

Season two might have a new plotline

Boston in the '90s had problems aplenty. The opening season dealt with crime, so season two may look at a case involving corruption, a leak within the DA's office or the FBI framing one of the two characters, Ward or Rohr. Despite their rocky relationship, we might see them form an alliance again to clear their names. 


'City on a Hill' episode 10 airs Sunday, August 18, at 9 pm on Showtime.

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