‘City On Fire’ Episode 6 Recap & Ending, Explained: Why Has Nicky Built A Bomb?


It’s truly surprising that nobody told the showrunners while they were making City on Fire that it wasn’t working. The actors are overacting, the dialogue sounds like garbage, the direction is horrible, the pacing is atrocious, and the costume design and production design don’t give off a strong 2000s New York vibe. All in all, everything should’ve been trashed and not even restarted from scratch because it’s a story that doesn’t need to be adapted. Since that didn’t happen, here we are, suffering through yet another episode. Last week, Charlie found out that Sam was not only having an affair with Nicky, but she had clicked pictures of the moment when Ex Nihilo let a guy die in a burning shop. It became clear that Amory was using Ex Nihilo to do actual gentrification, while the whole protest shtick was a hoax. Self-appointed Detective William announced that he had figured all this out, thereby prompting Amory to send Nicky and Sol after him to kill him. While they partially succeeded, DT killed Bruno and burned down William’s workshop.

Spoilers Alert

Sam Is Probably Going To Die

Although it seemed like the show had finally gotten rid of the epitome of annoyance that is William, they haven’t because he has somehow survived after being choked and thrown into the sea. I think that the show tries to establish, through some laughably amateurish flashbacks, that William is actually a good swimmer or that he can hold his breath underwater for a long time, thereby justifying his survival. If I liked the character, I would’ve loved this bit of information, but since I don’t, this just angered me. Anyway, he conveniently gets a speedboat and uses it to go to his ancestral home in the Hamptons. Mercer learns that Bruno is the one who died in the fire while William is on the run. Nicky is apparently in mourning after “killing” William, and he starts talking nonsense about being a monster and whatnot until Charlie brings the focus to the photos.

In a flashback sequence, we see the two of them (Samantha and Charlie) going their separate ways because they evidently killed a human being as a result of their performative politics. Charlie also leaves Nicky to his apparent suffering as the narrative shifts to Amory’s meeting with Mercer, Regan, and the rest of her family. He talks some stupid stuff about William and helping them find him, only to scream in the backseat of his car as he realizes that Nicky has failed him. By the way, the character who inadvertently initiated all of this (yes, I’m talking about Sam) is finally shown again as Sam’s father learns that she isn’t going to get any better and she’s going to die. As any father would react, Joe Yeung says that he’s not going to give up on Sam because he knows that she’s going to wake up again.

The Day William Walked Away From His Family

Detectives McFadden and Ali get the Captain’s permission to investigate Amory’s involvement in the attack on Samantha. The Captain gives them the green light, but he warns the dynamic duo that since Amory finances law enforcement and municipal departments, putting him on the hot seat is going to lead to trouble. Mercer and Regan head over to the ancestral house in the Hamptons while Keith looks after the kids. I genuinely find it stupid that Regan keeps Keith around while being passive-aggressive with him one moment and then letting him sleep with her the next moment. Just get a damn nanny! Why do the writers have to portray Regan in such a negative light and make it seem like poor Keith is “paying for his sins,” as if being that sinful in the first place wasn’t enough to cut him off entirely? The show goes into flashback mode to essentially talk about the time Amory forced Regan into a non-consensual sexual relationship with the son of a business partner on the night of Bill Senior’s marriage to Felicia.

All this is prompted by self-appointed detective William’s conversation with Jacob (the groundskeeper) about the past as they are going through the files Amory has on everybody because he’s a master at finding dirt on people and manipulating them. By the way, the showrunners do that thing again, where they recap the events of the show because a new character (Jacob) is unaware of what has been going on. They’ve done this consistently throughout six episodes, and it is nauseating. Coming to the flashbacks, Regan reveals that she was sexually assaulted by the guy that Amory introduced to her, and William tries to bring this to Bill Sr.’s attention, thereby revealing that Amory is breaking up the family from the inside. However, Regan’s reluctance towards speaking her truth and Bill Sr.’s lack of interest in hearing out his own son ends up being the reason that sets William on his own path.

Why Has Nicky Built A Bomb?

William finds a file from Amory’s inventory on Nicky Chaos that states that he’s a pyromaniac. So, while William, Mercer, and Regan hug it out, the narrative shifts to McFadden ordering the receptionist at the Hamilton-Sweeney building to bring out the CCTV footage from the night of the shooting. Conveniently enough, McFadden notices Amory coming from the park at the exact moment when Samantha was attacked. Ali talks to Mr. Yeung about the missing explosives from his workshop and finds out that they’re enough to take out an entire city block. This is juxtaposed with Charlie walking in on Nicky and the rest of Ex Nihilo making the bomb. Charlie asks a bunch of dumb and obvious questions, and Nicky says that he wants to cause the explosion to kill Sam’s attacker. He insinuates that it’s Amory. But the real reason that Nicky is doing it, which is something that Charlie points out as well, is because he loves explosions. That’s just how his brain is wired. With that out of the way, Charlie tries to walk out of there but is instead forced to go on the run because he knows too much about Ex Nihilo’s operation. At the end of City on Fire Episode 6, he does manage to get to a payphone and tell the police about Charlie’s terrorist activities.

The only explanation for this episode (as well as the entire show) is that it’s the dumbest thing in existence. It has nothing relevant to say about anything. It comments on issues related to families, businesses, and mental health in the most idiotic fashion imaginable. But the showrunners always pretend like they are doing something groundbreaking. This pretense is palpable in the actors’ performances, where everyone seems to be doing a bit that they are so committed to that they have forgotten to create character. I am not kidding. Every single character is a walking caricature, and that is why it’s so annoying to watch this show. I would’ve settled for boring because I have watched a lot of serialized stories that move incredibly slowly and build up to nothing, and hence, I am used to it. What I am not used to is a show where each episode makes me wonder why no one on the creative team didn’t stop to wonder that they were creating an absolute trainwreck. With two more episodes to go, I can’t wait for City on Fire to end and walk into the future where nobody has to talk about it ever again.

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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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