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Monday, August 19, 2019

City on a Hill Season 1 Finale: "You Ain't that Good, and I Ain't that Bad"

"You ain't that good, and I ain't that bad," Jackie says in the Season 1 finale of City on a Hill last night.   It was the best line in an excellent hour, and it doesn't matter who the "you" is, because it's actually all of us in the audience, and it captures the essence of the series.  Jackie cuts corners all the time, even murders people.  But, somehow, most of his actions are on the side of the good. And, the murdered - certainly Clay - though they should have been tried and convicted, deserved what they got.  And so while DeCourcy and Benham are right to take umbrage at a lot of what Jackie does, they're not right, certainly not completely right, to want to destroy him.  Because, he ain't that bad and they ain't that good.

And, significantly, Jenny sees this, too.  I knew she wouldn't leave him.  And her staying with Jackie is not an act of weakness.  It's an act of strength and love.   There's a path between leaving Jackie and just accepting what he does.  Jenny has chosen that path.  And it was good to see her finally tell off her mother, who clearly is the worst person in that family.  Jackie ain't that bad.  Jill's mother is.

Speaking of strength, Cathy has become one of my favorite characters, and she was never better than she was last night.  She's the bond that will hold her family together.   Frankie was unable to say no to his rat brother Jimmy.  But Cathy won't be.  And with Jimmy out and about and Frankie behind bars, Cathy will sooner or later come into big conflict with Jimmy, and I'm looking forward to seeing how that plays out next season.

My sense of the series is that it has picked up power and intensity with each episode.  I very glad to see it's been renewed, and I'll be back here next year with more reviews.

See also City on a Hill: Possibilities ... City on a Hill 1.2: Politics in a Cracked Mirror ... City on a Hill 1.3: One Upping The Sopranos ... City on a Hill 1.4: Enjoyable Derivative ... City on a Hill 1.6: Tony's Mother, Mayhem, and Family ... City on a Hill 1.7: The Bodies ... City on a Hill 1.8: Personal Business and Its Accompaniment ... City on a Hill 1.9: Changes


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