460 votes
City on a Hill

City on a Hill

Showtime 2019

In early 90s Boston, an African-American District Attorney comes in from Brooklyn advocating change and forms an unlikely alliance with a corrupt yet venerated FBI veteran invested in maintaining the status quo. Together they take on a family of armored car robbers from Charlestown in a case that grows to encompass and eventually upend Boston’s city-wide criminal justice system.

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The 10 Best Episodes of City on a Hill

City on a Hill - S1E9

#1 - The Deaf Sage of Pompeii


Season 1 - Episode 9

When an unlikely source confides in Decourcy, the Massachusetts State Police hatch a plan that promises arrests without the help of the FBI. However, keeping out of the way is not exactly Jackie’s strong suit. The Genesis Coalition pitches a new strategy to curb Boston’s crime rate. Jenny opens up about her past to a sympathetic ear.

The episode was rated from 464 votes.

City on a Hill - S3E1

#2 - Gods and Monsters


Season 3 - Episode 1

Struggling to make ends meet after leaving the FBI, Jackie Rohr gets a job offer from his old mentor. The perks are enticing, but Jackie has no idea what he’s getting himself into. ADA Decourcy Ward eyes a promotion but is diverted by some bad news which lands him back in Brooklyn. Siobhan Quays, having left her prestigious law firm for a position at the ACLU, takes on a case against a construction colossus. Jenny Rohr begins volunteering at a community center where she runs into a familiar face.

The episode was rated from 153 votes.

City on a Hill - S1E10

#3 - Mayor Curley and The Last Hurrah


Season 1 - Episode 10

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. Jimmy is desperate to weasel his way out of the mess he’s created, even if it means putting his brother’s future into question. Jenny faces what has been haunting her all these years. Season finale

The episode was rated from 459 votes.

City on a Hill - S2E8

#4 - Pax Bostonia


Season 2 - Episode 8

As Boston mourns another loss, Decourcy pursues justice in and out of the courtroom. Despite his maneuvering, Jackie discovers that he can’t escape his past, while Jenny decides to finally confront hers. Cathy says goodbye to the root of her struggles. Siobhan sets her sights on a new dream.

The episode was rated from 255 votes.

City on a Hill - S2E3

#5 - Is the Total Black, Being Spoken


Season 2 - Episode 3

Jackie uncovers one of Decourcy’s informants and hatches a plan to use him as a pawn to discredit the assistant district attorney. Decourcy stops by the Rohr house, hoping to get something out of Jenny that he can use against her husband. Siobhan receives some welcome news, in the midst of plotting her run for City Council. And her client, Kelvin Campbell, is released from custody, though he can’t free himself of what happened on Valentine’s Day. Jimmy Ryan, meanwhile, faces problems far worse than a guilty conscience.

The episode was rated from 279 votes.

City on a Hill - S1E7

#6 - There Are No F**king Sides


Season 1 - Episode 7

With the gang’s arms dealer in custody, Jackie thinks he’s a step closer to glory. But Decourcy is the one in a position to negotiate and he’s considering cutting off the gun supply rather than going after the buyers. Jimmy and Frankie must find a new dealer as they prepare for their next job. Cathy and Jenny struggle to comfort their daughters who’ve undergone trauma. When Michaela falls into some trouble, Rachel decides to take her investigation into her own hands.

The episode was rated from 499 votes.

City on a Hill - S1E6

#7 - It's Hard to Be a Saint in the City


Season 1 - Episode 6

Decourcy is a step 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.

The episode was rated from 508 votes.

City on a Hill - S2E5

#8 - East of Eden


Season 2 - Episode 5

As U.S. Attorney Karen Shimizu tries to get rid of her troublesome agent once and for all, Jackie schemes his way into a new mission. At the Suffolk County Courthouse, Decourcy and Siobhan spar on opposing sides of a legal battle. Meeting dead-ends at every turn in the effort to help her son, Grace does something desperate. With a nudge from Maeve, Jenny surprises Benny with some rebellious fun. On the other side of town, Cathy re-ups her supply by going straight to the source.

The episode was rated from 267 votes.

City on a Hill - S2E7

#9 - Apophasis


Season 2 - Episode 7

Assuming the involvement of the Campbell brothers at the Copeland territory shootout, Jackie confronts Grace, who can no longer sidestep her sons’ criminal activity. She is forced to make a terrible compromise. Resenting the outcome of a negotiation that he could not take part in, Decourcy finds comfort in the strength of Siobhan, who keeps her head even after tragedy strikes. Jenny insists on helping Maeve, whether or not that means defying Jackie.

The episode was rated from 248 votes.

City on a Hill - S2E6

#10 - Don't Go Sayin Last Words


Season 2 - Episode 6

With Anton on the lam, Kelvin struggles to lead the Braxton Boys and Jackie homes in on Grace. He knows she's hiding something. Sidelined from the investigation, Decourcy finds himself at a disconnect with Siobhan, as he seeks vengeance and she focuses on recovery. When Cathy’s arrangement with Isaac falls through, she pays a reluctant visit to old friends for help. Jenny, meanwhile, finally uncovers the truth about her new friend.

The episode was rated from 258 votes.

City on a Hill - S1E8
#11 - High On The Looming Gallows Tree
Season 1 - Episode 8

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 episode was rated from 484 votes.
City on a Hill - S2E4
#12 - Overtime White and Overtime Stupid
Season 2 - Episode 4

After seeing Holly in the ICU, Jackie reckons with the destructive consequences of his actions, as Rickey Townsend prepares to testify against Decourcy. With violence intensifying between the Copeland Crew and the Braxton Boys, Decourcy, Anton and Siobhan face off in the interrogation room. Grace, left reflecting on her role as a mother and leader in the community, makes an unfortunate miscalculation. And back at the Rohr house, Jenny makes fast friends with the mysterious woman from Belfast.

The episode was rated from 274 votes.
City on a Hill - S3E2
#13 - A Program of Complete Disorder
Season 3 - Episode 2

When Victoria Dryden runs away from home, Sinclair sends Jackie to find her. Caysen is after justice for BPD Officer Russ Wallace, who he believes may have been intentionally executed by another member of the Strike Force. The incident sparks a dispute at the Ward home in Brooklyn, where Decourcy is looking after his ailing father. While building a case on behalf of her impaled client, Siobhan experiences an intensifying array of symptoms. Diarmuid Doyle tries to help Jenny remedy what has been bothering her, but his plan backfires. 

The episode was rated from 91 votes.
City on a Hill - S2E1
#14 - Bill Russell's Bedsheets
Season 2 - Episode 1

When an assistant U.S. attorney overdoses and ends up left for dead, Decourcy Ward suspects Jackie Rohr's involvement. Jackie, in turn, goes after the BPD for a questionable drug arrest at Braxton Summit, a federal housing project. Community activist Grace Campbell recruits Siobhan Quays to work on behalf of Braxton and its residents, but their efforts are subverted as tensions flare between rival gangs.

The episode was rated from 302 votes.
City on a Hill - S1E3
#15 - If Only the Fool Would Persist in His Folly
Season 1 - Episode 3

Jackie searches for his absent informant as Jenny searches for purpose, revisiting her passion to become a teacher. Decourcy works up a plan to overcome the town’s infamous “Code of Silence” and get a few suspects to talk. Minogue is assigned a big case, but not the one he actually cares about. Jimmy skips town to visit his kids and finds that, even a thousand miles away, he’s not safe from his problems back home.

The episode was rated from 627 votes.
City on a Hill - S1E4
#16 - The Wickedness of the Wicked Shall Be Upon Himself
Season 1 - Episode 4

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. Siobhan learns something unsettling about a leader of the Coalition and worries it could jeopardize the future of the group. Kick’s nightmares continue as she senses her father might be in harm’s way.

The episode was rated from 557 votes.
City on a Hill - S1E2
#17 - What They Saw in Southie High
Season 1 - Episode 2

After an eventful Sunday at church, Decourcy finds out he has a new powerful enemy in town — one that puts his wife Siobhan in an awkward position. Jackie is stirring up trouble in his own home, and his distrustful mother-in-law Rosa is onto him. Investigators Hank Signa and Rachel Behnam look into an unsolved missing persons case connected to the robbery in Revere. That could mean trouble for Frankie Ryan, who’s busy laundering his most recent loot and, with the help of his brother Jimmy, getting carried away in the process.

The episode was rated from 699 votes.
City on a Hill - S1E5
#18 - From Injustice Came the Way to Describe Justice
Season 1 - Episode 5

Jackie and Decourcy continue to 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.

The episode was rated from 518 votes.
City on a Hill - S1E1
#19 - The Night Flynn Sent the Cops on the Ice
Season 1 - Episode 1

In early ‘90s Boston, racism is endemic and crime is widespread. Jackie Rohr, a renowned FBI agent whose methods are not exactly by the book, does not mind the status quo. But Decourcy Ward, the new Assistant District Attorney in town, wants to uproot the corrupt system. The two form an unlikely, and obligatory, alliance to take down a gang of armored truck robbers from Charlestown.

The episode was rated from 847 votes.
City on a Hill - S2E2
#20 - I Need a Goat
Season 2 - Episode 2

As Decourcy increases pressure on the Justice Department, Jackie counters by looking into his adversary’s romantic past. While Jackie’s digging up dirt, Siobhan is planning ahead, focused on starting a family even as Decourcy remains preoccupied by the escalating conflict. Jenny realizes she can’t keep ignoring her mother after an unsettling phone call. With business at the salon all but dead, Cathy Ryan turns to an unlikely income source.

The episode was rated from 288 votes.

Last updated: aug 10, 2022



Surprisingly boring.... lots of waiting for something climatic to happen. A big let down.


"I'm gonna tell you what my father told me the night our house burned down. Life is all about finding happiness in unhappy endings." "Fuck you." "... you'll be fine."


Why can I not add this to my watchlist?


Maybe it's because I'm more used to watching shows with more action and less dialogue, dialogue that can be tough to follow along with, but this show was tough for me to have a decent-sized paragraph of what I thought of each episode for each episode. It could also be because I'm slowly but surely starting to write decent-sized paragraphs for each episode of a show containing what I thought of it more and more. Because I'm not used it yet. It feels kinda pointless to watch something and not construct thoughts and an opinion on it whether in written form or said aloud. For me, if I don't do either or not manage to do either whether it's due to some sort of mental or awareness issue, I'm just watching something for no apparent reason. Despite that occurring problem of mine, I was still entertained watching the show.


Mark O'Brien is excellent!


Good acting, and although Kevin Bacon gets most of the good lines, there are some great moments in the script all round.


First episodes do tend to try to much to establish characters - this one did to a certain extent but the show has not overly. Kevin Bacon is his usual excellent self. Looking forward to a long life for this one.


Wow. Really disappointing. I was excited for this series for two promised attractions: "The Boston Miracle" of 1990s fame; and Kevin Bacon. There is nothing at all related to the Harvard based research and problem-oriented policing project, also known as Operation Ceasefire or Boston Gun Project, that reduced group youth related gun homicides by as much as 40% in large cities across America in the 1990s—and cleaning up corruption. While I can never completely hate Kevin Bacon, in City on a Hill his wit and talent are wasted, although not completely unwatchable. The Jackie Rohr role has Bacon riding the anti-hero wave of so-called "golden age of television" ushered in by Breaking Bad's Walter White (Bryan Cranston). Yet most characters in City are witless rehashes of old era television stereotypes, making Bacon's charmingly charmless Rohr comes off merely as an SNLish cartoon sketch. Btw, who is Chuck MacLean (creator)—he doesn't even rate a wikipedia page? City on a Hill has all the hallmarks of the worst of Ben Affleck (story/producer).. which is a shame because one out of every ten Affleck projects is really gorgeous for all the right reasons. The other nine come across like they were made on a bender between dry outs. In the end City on a Hill is just a middling crime serial with dumbed down talent.


With storylines familiar to The Wire this show is a complicated web of characters.


Kevin Bacon playing an aspirational character.


Apart from being quite slow, the storyline in the first season was OK but Kevin Bacon's character really began to grate to the point I stopped watching halfway through the first episode of season 2. I'll keep it on my list and will give it another go but only when I'm truly desperate for something to kill the time!

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