“Don’t wait. The time will never be just right”

- Mark Twain

City on a Hill on Showtime


City on a Hill on Showtime – John Winthrop delivered the following sermon before he and his fellow settlers reached New England. The sermon is famous largely for its use of the phrase “a city on a hill,” used to describe the expectation that the Massachusetts Bay colony would shine like an example to the world.


City on a Hill on Showtime – The Boston Miracle

In the early 1990s, Boston was rife with violence. Police corruption and racism were the norm – and then it all changed in what was called the “Boston Miracle.”

In this fictional account, Assistant District Attorney Decourcy Ward (Aldis Hodge) comes from Brooklyn and forms an unlikely alliance with a corrupt yet venerated FBI veteran, Jackie Rohr (Kevin Bacon).

Together, they take on a family of armored car robbers in a case that grows to involve, and ultimately subvert, the entire criminal justice system of Boston.

City on A Hill is set in Boston in the early 1990s when the city was rife with violent criminals, emboldened by local law enforcement agencies in which corruption, tribalism, and “taking it to the street” were the norm—until it all suddenly changed. This is a fictional account of what was called the “Boston Miracle”. The change agent is District Attorney Decourcy Ward (Aldis Hodge), who comes from Brooklyn and forms an unlikely alliance with Jackie Rohr (Kevin Bacon), a corrupt yet venerated FBI veteran who is deeply invested in maintaining the status quo. Together they take on a family of armored car robbers from Charlestown (Jonathan Tucker, Mark O’Brien, and Jimmy Cummings) in a case that grows to encompass Boston’s citywide criminal justice system.


City on a Hill on Showtime – Overview

After 22 years after Good Will Hunting Ben Affleck and Matt Damon go back to Boston. Their first film in Boston was Good Will Hunting, then Damon did The Departed while Affleck was in Gone Baby Gone and The Town.

City on a Hill takes on the web of cops, corruption, and criminals from 1990s Boston. It stars Kevin Bacon and Aldis Hodge, as two men who are about as far apart on the law enforcement spectrum as two people can be, trying to tackle a string of armored car robberies. Even more, it’s heavy on the Boston accents – exactly what you want from a Ben Affleck and Matt Damon-produced series.

Corrupt FBI agent Jackie Rohr (Kevin Bacon) is back, looking to exploit Boston’s criminal justice system in a desperate attempt to salvage his own career. Unfortunately for Jackie, ADA Decourcy Ward (Aldis Hodge) is onto his adversary’s latest misstep.

Decourcy Ward, an attorney, and Jackie Rohr, form an unlikely bond in order to take down a family of armored car robbers from Charlestown.


City on a Hill on Showtime – The Rub

Heavy tension between the District Attorney and the Cops permeates City on a Hill, with a bog of racial tension weighing down every aspect of the situation. The intertwining storylines of the cops and attorneys, as well as the criminals, tells us this will be a long-form cat-and-mouse tale. We know who the crooks are – we just don’t know how they’ll be caught.

Kevin Bacon’s FBI agent Jackie Rohr is a dirtbag, plain and simple. There’s just about nothing redeeming to find in his character, except that he wants to catch bad guys. He’s running around on his wife (one thing I never realized I didn’t want to see: a Kevin Bacon sex scene – it hurt my soul), he’s deeply racist (he mentions Ward as an “affirmative action hire” half a dozen times in the first 20 minutes of “The Night Flynn Sent the Cops on the Ice”), and he’s corrupt (of course).

By contrast, Aldis Hodge’s clean District Attorney Decourcy Ward makes Harvey Dent look corrupt. He’s deeply idealistic about the justice system, even though he’s perpetually frustrated by its mangled inner workings. He turned down a lucrative job with a private law firm in favor of this job with the District Attorney, but he can’t catch a break active without becoming a dirty attorney.

City on a Hill on Showtime – Season One Summary

The Night Flynn Sent the Cops on the Ice
In early ’90s Boston, Jackie Rohr, a renowned FBI agent, does not mind the culture of corruption or quid-pro-quo politics. But Decourcy Ward, the ambitious new Assistant District Attorney, wants to uproot the system. When an armored truck heist in Revere leaves three guards missing, Jackie and Decourcy struggle to align their moral compasses. However, the two men find themselves in a faux-alliance that may, ultimately, turn into something real.

What They Saw in Southie High
Decourcy discovers that he has a powerful enemy in town. Jackie stirs up trouble in his home.

If Only the Fool Would Persist in His Folly
Jackie looks for his absent informant, while Jenny finds her purpose. Minogue is assigned a case that he does not care about. Jimmy visits his kids.

The Wickedness of the Wicked Shall Be Upon Himself
Jackie strong-arms Jimmy to get a step closer to finding the presumably dead armored truck guards. Decourcy rattles a suspect called to testify before the Grand Jury.

From Injustice Came the Way to Describe Justice
Jackie and Decourcy hunt down the weapon connected to the armored truck robbery in Revere. Michaela Freda, a local reporter, gets a tip about a story that could lead her down a treacherous path. Despite the threat of a Grand Jury, Frankie considers what he must do to provide for his family. Pressure on Siobhan begins to mount. After another allegation is brought to her attention, she questions whether doing what is right is ultimately what is for the best.

It’s Hard to Be a Saint in the City
Decourcy gets closer to connecting the stolen guns to the Revere robbery when an insider agrees to talk. Jenny is no longer able to ignore Jackie’s indiscretions after they show up on her doorstep. An unexpected rush to the hospital worsens money problems for the Ryan family and Reverend Fields discovers that his longstanding influence doesn’t make him invincible.

There Are No F**king Sides
Jackie thinks that he is a step closer to glory after the gang’s arms dealer is taken to custody. Frankie and Jimmy look for a dealer as they look for their next job.

High On The Looming Gallows Tree
Jackie celebrates a win in front of the cameras but, behind closed doors, he reaches a new low. A shining moment from Decourcy promises a potential future in politics, but any pride Siobhan feels for her husband is squandered by an unexpected betrayal. The Grand Jury reconvenes, and this time Sheik doesn’t get off easily. Thanks to Signa’s detective work, the Ryan family is now under the watchful eye of the Suffolk DA.

The Deaf Sage of Pompeii
When an unlikely source confides in Decourcy, the Massachusetts State Police hatch a plan that promises arrests without the help of the FBI.

Mayor Curley and The Last Hurrah
Jackie celebrates another moment in the spotlight, though an unfamiliar pang of guilt leaves him reflecting on his legacy. Decourcy considers the best course of action to finally carry out justice for the murdered guards.

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