‘City On Fire’ Ending, Explained: Who Shot Samantha? Did Sam Survive The Blackout?


Finally! We have reached the finish line. I don’t know how many people have actually watched City on Fire, let alone how many have joined me on this tiring journey of recapping every single episode of this awful show. But I know for sure that I am incredibly thankful that I don’t have to talk about City on Fire ever again after today. So, let’s do this one last time. In the previous episode, William and Regan spent a whole lot of time talking about her illegitimate child. Bill Senior ran away from a document signing meeting that Gould had arranged for him and randomly came across William, Regan, and Mercer. They went to the police precinct, where Keith and Charlie were conveniently waiting for them. All of them figured out that Gould was behind everything that was going on and that he was using Ex Nihilo and Nicky for terrorist activities. So, Regan, Mercer, William, and Bill went after Gould, and Charlie went for the bomb. It ended with Gould’s bodyguard stabbing William in the stomach and Charlie making a last-ditch attempt to defuse the bomb.

Major Spoilers Ahead

Who Shot Samantha?

Yes, Charlie survives the jump to the gondola lift. With the help of Lorraine/Sewer Girl, he defuses the bomb too. Parsa relays this information to McFadden. Soon after that, Parsa gets a call from his wife, who says that their umpteenth attempt at having a baby has failed. Very random, very unnecessary. But if this is the kind of storytelling that the showrunners vibe with, more power to them. I am kidding. I am glad that it has been proven wrong that the book, as well as this adaptation, are abysmal, and they shouldn’t have seen the light of day. Anyway, moving on. Gould’s car has crashed, and his bodyguard/driver is dead. He is okay, and he walks away into the crowd. The nurse at the hospital continues to keep Sam breathing. Joe realizes that a blackout has happened, and that means his daughter’s ventilator must have switched off. So he makes a run for the hospital.

William, Bill, and Mercer bond while waiting for the ambulance. Regan gets a call from Keith, and she finds out that their kids are missing. The worst terrorist group in the world assumes that the blackout has been caused by them because Nicky considers himself to be a genius. The only person who casts some amount of doubt is Sol. Keith and Regan reunite, and Keith suggests that they should “stick together.” Yes, this means Keith’s redemption arc is almost complete. I mean, their kids are stuck in the subway. But all that Keith can think about is ensuring that he has somebody to come home to after cheating on his wife with a fresher. Only those who have watched this entire show and have some kind of a moral compass inside them will realize how disgusting and repulsive the writers are for peddling such a regressive mindset.

Well, talking about the kids, they manage to make it out of the subway with the help of the co-passengers. McFadden goes for Gould. Sol and Nick have a falling out. Sewer Girl admits that she and Sol went after Samantha when they felt that she was about to leak the fact that they had killed a man to Keith. Sewer Girl took the first shot, and she missed. Sol finished the job, and then they made a run for it. When Nicky learns about this, he almost kills Sol. However, Sol manages to run away into the woods, and Nicky goes after him. We see him shooting in Sol’s general direction, but we don’t see a body drop.

Did Sam Survive The Blackout?

Sewer Girl tries to fix her relationship with Charlie, which seems weird because she blames him for worsening the dynamic amongst the members of the Ex Nihilo with his constant questions about Samantha. Charlie seemingly doesn’t forgive Sewer Girl and the show cuts to documentary footage of the actual blackout that happened in New York. I don’t know if it was the showrunners’ intention to show that, on its own, a compilation of all the footage from the day of the blackout would’ve been better than this fictional narrative set around it, but they accidentally did exactly that. Coming back to the show, all the characters, with the exception of Joe and Samantha, look up at the sky and take in the view of the galaxy. It’s probable that this scene is meant to highlight how minuscule these characters and their drama are. I would’ve appreciated this moment if I liked any of these characters or found their drama to be relatable. But since that’s not the case, it feels like a shoddy way to pad the runtime. 

Talking about Joe, he shows up at the hospital to help with Sam’s manual breathing because the nurse was getting tired of doing it for several hours. Regan and Keith go to Keith’s home to check if the kids are there. The kids call Regan, and after learning that they’re fine, Keith and Regan get freakishly intimate. McFadden arrives at Gould’s place, only to find Mercer, Bill, and an injured William, and takes William to the hospital. The nurse advises Joe to give up because she thinks that Sam isn’t going to come back. However, due to some purgatorial pep talk from William, Sam does make it back. Charlie reunites with his mother, and they go to the hospital to meet Sam. Parsa and Sewer Girl have a weird heart-to-heart over 9/11, and Parsa invites Sewer Girl over to his house to have his wife’s casserole. I don’t have any explanation for this.

Episode 8 of City on Fire ends with Bill reading the letter he had written for William when he had walked away from the family. Keith and Regan do not go forward with their divorce, but she’s apparently ready to learn about her illegitimate child. Well, the kid turns out to be Charlie. It’s meant to be this mind-blowing, earth-shattering reveal. It’s not, though, because it’s a twist with nothing but shock value. And anything that’s there for the sake of shock value is not shocking at all. Now, just to make it clear, the plot threads that have been left open-ended are Regan and Charlie’s relationship, Gould’s whereabouts, Nicky and Sol’s shootout, and Sewer Girl’s ultimate fate. I am pretty sure that City on Fire is not going to get a season 2 because very few people have watched it, and those who have watched it, including me, have said that it’s awful. Therefore, if you are expecting any kind of closure for these plot threads, I’d advise you to stop and watch better shows.

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Pramit Chatterjee
Pramit Chatterjee
Pramit loves to write about movies, television shows, short films, and basically anything that emerges from the world of entertainment. He occasionally talks to people, and judges them on the basis of their love for Edgar Wright, Ryan Gosling, Keanu Reeves, and the best television series ever made, Dark.

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