Charlie (Wyatt Oleff)
"Charlie (Wyatt Oleff)," City On Fire, "The Family Business," directed by Haifaa Al Mansour, 2023, (Apple TV+)

While briefly addressing how Keith met Sam, we dive into what Nicky and his group are into and a Regan and William reunion.


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While briefly addressing how Keith met Sam, we dive into what Nicky and his group are into and a Regan and William reunion.

Release Date (Apple TV+) May 12, 2023
Director(s) Haifaa Al Mansour
Writer(s) Josh Schwartz, Stephanie Savage
Newly Noted Characters and Cast
Ramona Shawnee Smith
Bruno Felix Solis
Previously Noted Characters and Cast
William Nico Tortorella
Mercer Xavier Clyde
Regan Jemima Kirke
Amory John Cameron Mitchell
Keith Ashley Zukerman
Sam Chase Sui Wonders
Detective Parsa Omid Abtahi
Detective McFadden Kathleen Munroe
Charlie Wyatt Oleff
Solomon Alexander Pineiro
Nicky Max Milner
Sewer Girl Alexandra Doke

Plot Recap

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Who Likes Pressure or Ultimatums? – William, Mercer, Bruno, Regan, Amory

After it becomes clear to Mercer, and William’s gallerist Bruno, that William’s time in the studio has only been about doing drugs, Mercer hosts an intervention and invites Regan to join. This doesn’t go well as William feels like Mercer is putting conditions on his love and Regan? This just stirs up feelings of abandonment regarding her, as she tries to justify not running away with him 15 years ago because of her job, her relationship, and continuing to not reconnect for many reasons.

Bruno (Felix Solis)
“Bruno (Felix Solis),” City On Fire, “The Family Business,” directed by Haifaa Al Mansour, 2023, (Apple TV+)

All of this William has no desire to hear, and it hurts all of those involved. However, it especially hurts Regan, for she sees what Amory is doing. Slowly but surely, he is taking all her father built and positioning himself as the head of the company. He even makes himself the interim CEO of the board, partly due to Regan missing the board meeting to William’s intervention. So not getting William as an ally, a friend, it pains her.

They Say They Always Return To The Scene Of The Crime – Keith, Amory, Sam, Detective Parsa, Detective McFadden, Ramona

For quite some time, Keith was dropping off an envelope, assumingly with money in it, to a location near where Nicky and the rest live. It isn’t made clear why, and at first you’d think it was Sam blackmailing him. However, we learn that isn’t the case. Despite Sam’s association, she seems to be nothing beyond a young woman obsessed with the local indie music scene and working on her zine to highlight and celebrate the acts and some of the people in her life.

As for Keith, she meets him after picking up the money he dropped off, and it isn’t clear what led to their affair. All we know is that Keith thinks Amory is involved in Sam’s death, and as Detective Parsa and Detective McFadden continue their investigation, it seems between Keith, who goes to Sam’s dorm room, and Charlie, who the bouncer notes Sam was with, those are now their primes suspects.

Charlie’s photo is even put out on the news, with the police requesting information –which his mother, Ramona, provides.

The Prophet Has Arisen – Charlie, Solomon, Nicky, Sewer Girl

Nicky (Max Milner)
“Nicky (Max Milner),” City On Fire, “The Family Business,” directed by Haifaa Al Mansour, 2023, (Apple TV+)

When Charlie awakens in Nicky’s basement, he fears the worse. He was just knocked out, and while put on a couch and not tied up, being hit by someone for potentially knowing too much isn’t lost on him. So, he grabs a pipe and goes upstairs where he sees Sewer Girl. She is oddly friendly and even tells her story of coming from Louisiana and bouncing around the Midwest.

As for the rest, while there is a level of mistrust, as Charlie opens up about his relationship with Sam, how his dad died in the north tower during 9/11, and him just coming off like a genuine person, even Solomon lightens up. Add in his love for Sam, which they might be aware of, and it seems he is allowed in more than ever.

Unfortunately, this includes him learning that they are arsonists, for they believe that to create the New York City they envision, they have to destroy bits of the old one. This includes setting abandoned buildings on fire and having Charlie throw one of the fireworks meant for this.

Things To Note

Collected Quote(s)

Love makes people accountable.
— Earl (The Intervention Specialist)

Review

Highlights

Getting To Know Nicky’s Group

From getting Sewer Girl’s backstory, learning Nicky’s interest in Latin likely is linked to his interest in religion and faith, even if he isn’t religious now, it felt like we got a solid idea of what these people are about. Granted, who is this Black guy we’ve suddenly seen, and what is Solomon’s backstory? That’s hard to say. Never mind, as much as Sewer Girl seems to believe in free love, hence her relationships with Solomon and Nicky, how do they feel is an unapproached subject.

Yet, it’s hard to not want more. Why are they burning these specific buildings? What is the result they truly expect? What role did their beliefs maybe play in the original band breaking up? There are so many questions that I’m craving an answer to.

But, questions aside, one thing we really appreciated was Nicky and Charlie’s scene where Nicky absolved Charlie of any responsibility regarding Sam’s attack. Seeing two men share a moment like that feels rare, and it further deepens the complexities of Nicky by showing him as someone with a thirst for destruction yet also for healing.

On The Fence

Interest In William & Regan’s Drama Is Waning

William, a privileged addict, and Regan dealing with her father’s company being taken over isn’t doing much for me. Don’t get me wrong, Amory, with his conniving ways, does bring intrigue, for I wouldn’t put it past him for being the one who got William hooked on drugs. Never mind being involved in some of the secrets Keith has. However, there is a certain clash here that is not being properly bridged.

Compared to Nicky and the others, the life of William and Regan aren’t on the same level, and barely feel like they are part of the same show. Yes, they are loosely connected by Sam, but because Sam’s involvement is currently limited to her affair with Keith, it is like watching two separate shows set in the same city and time period.

Now, could William and Regan bounce back? That’s hard to say. William, in hindsight, I can’t imagine bouncing back, even if he has a really emotional scene depicting what led him to leave his family behind, what led him to drugs, or breaking up his band. As for Regan? Even with Amory being the kind of villain any show would be overjoyed to have, I just don’t find myself rooting for her. Regan isn’t a bad person, but something about her feels reactive. It’s about everyone else and what is happening in their life, and because of how Regan reacts and feels, it is like you are pressured to feel bad for someone you aren’t given a reason to care about.

Feeling Nothing For Sam and Keith

Sam (Chase Sui Wonders)
“Sam (Chase Sui Wonders),” City On Fire, “The Family Business,” directed by Haifaa Al Mansour, 2023, (Apple TV+)

The same can be said about Keith and Sam’s relationship. With them giving nothing to have you like the idea of them together; it’s all about Sam. It’s about seeing her, maybe getting to know something Charlie doesn’t, and as for Keith? He is an afterthought.

Unlike Charlie, he doesn’t even bring a doe-eyed innocence. He is just a man who is cheating on his wife with no notable layers to him to warrant any attention in his direction.

[ninja_tables id=”75622″]

Charlie (Wyatt Oleff)
City On Fire: Season 1/ Episode 3 “The Family Business” – Recap and Review (with Spoilers)
Overall
I would definitely say “City On Fire” is beginning to lose its luster, and it’s hard to say whether this will end its 8 episode season without feeling like it should have been done in 6 or less episodes.
Highlights
Getting To Know Nicky’s Group
Disputable
Interest In William & Regan’s Drama Is Waning
Feeling Nothing For Sam and Keith
77

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