City on Fire Episode 1, 2, and 3 Recap: Is Amory Behind Attempt to Murder Sam?

Based on the eponymous novel by Garth Risk Hallberg, Apple TV+’s crime drama series ‘City on Fire’ revolves around Samantha “Sam” Yeung, who gets nearly killed in Central Park, New York City. The first three episodes of the series, titled ‘We Have Met the Enemy, and He Is Us,’ ‘Scenes from Private Life,’ and ‘The Family Business’ respectively, depicts the events that lead to the discovery of the nearly dead NYU student. The third episode of the series follows the aftermath of the attempted murder of Sam as her closest acquaintances try their best to find out what really happened to her. If you are intrigued about the same, you are at the right place! SPOILERS AHEAD.

City on Fire Episode 1, 2, and 3 Recap

‘We Have Met the Enemy, and He Is Us’ begins with Mercer Goodman discovering the nearly dead Sam at Central Park. Charlie, her best friend, runs away from the scene when cops arrive at the place. He recollects to his therapist how he got closer to Sam, who was his senior at high school. They became friends after running into each other at a music shop. She introduced him to her zine, which mostly covered the local band named Ex Post Facto and its “main man” Billy Three-Sticks. Mercer meets Regan and talks to her about her brother William AKA Billy Three-Sticks. After discovering that her husband Keith has been having an affair, Regan leaves him and tries to reconnect with her brother.

Sam calls Keith and demands a meeting, only for him to blame her for causing his separation from Regan. On the 4th of July, William is invited to attend a party thrown by his family. When William goes to see his former bandmates perform, Mercer goes to the party instead. After the party, while awaiting a bus, he hears strange noises from the nearby park. When he goes to inspect the same, he finds the nearly dead Sam. While Mercer calls the first responders for help, Charlie arrives at the park and sees his best friend nearly dead. He runs away from the park before the cops see him. Mercer gets arrested by detectives Ali Parsa and PJ McFadden when the latter discovers cocaine in his coat.

‘Scenes from Private Life’ follows Parsa and McFadden’s investigation into the attempted murder of Sam, who gets into a coma after surgery. Charlie goes to see Sam’s friends hoping they will help him deal with the predicament. He sees them trying to start a fire, which alarms them. They hit him, only for the latter to lose his consciousness. Mercer, who gets released from custody, confronts William about his drug addiction. William finds a way to dismiss the questions his partner has been asking. Regan’s father Bill gets arrested by the FBI for fraud. Detective Parsa discovers the pants that belong to Charlie near the crime scene.

William and Mercer meet the former’s art dealer, who complains that the artist is wasting his talents by doing nothing. They all go to William’s studio, only to realize that the artist comes to the place only to get high. Mercer arranges an intervention for William, which results in the latter seemingly breaking up with Mercer and fighting with Regan. Parsa discovers that the pants he discovered at Central Park belonged to Charlie, which makes him issue a lookout notice to capture him. Keith tries to find out what really happened to Sam by talking to her roommate. She calls Parsa and McFadden, who try to find out who showed up at the hostel.

City on Fire Episode 3 Ending: Is Amory Behind Attempt to Murder Sam?

After leaving Sam’s hostel, Keith walks around the crime scene at Central Park, only to unexpectedly meet Regan’s step-uncle, Amory. From Amory’s words, Keith learns that the former knows about his affair with the attempted murder victim, which makes him suspicious that Amory is behind the crime. Amory can be the one who arranged for a killer to murder Sam to make sure that the latter will not cause trouble in Keith’s life. From Keith and Amory’s conversation, it is evident that the former is a valuable asset to the latter’s family. Amory must have wanted to clean the mess Keith caused so that the latter can remain an integral part of the family.

As a banker, Keith must have had a significant presence in Amory and his family’s company. Since the FBI is keeping an eye on their operations, the businessman must have wanted someone from inside the family circle to help him deal with the finances of the company. Amory must have thought that killing Keith’s girlfriend will keep him inside the family. If that’s not the case, Amory must be trying to buy Keith and his services. Ever since Bill’s arrest, Amory becomes one of the most powerful and influential individuals in the company, which explains how he comes the head of the establishment. He must have wanted to kill Sam so that he can blackmail Keith.

As far as the suspects in the case are concerned, Keith has an unignorable motive. Amory can be taking advantage of the same by nearly killing Sam with the help of a hired killer. He may ask Keith to work for him if he doesn’t want to end up in prison. Amory may also ask Keith to spy on Regan so that the former can anticipate his rival’s actions. Having said that, murder mysteries have taught us to never suspect the obvious one. Since Parsa concludes that Sam’s shooter isn’t a professional one, someone else may have shot her even if Amory has arranged for a killer to kill her.

Why Do Sam’s Friends Start Fires?

After encountering a nearly dead Sam, Charlie goes to Nicky, Sol, and Sewer Girl to figure out what he should do about his best friend. They take Charlie under their wings and they set out to start a fire. When Charlie asks Nicky about the motive behind starting fires, the replies that their actions are governed by their wish to regain New York City. As far as Nicky and his friends are concerned, New York City belongs to artists, intellectuals, non-conformists, and racial minorities rather than businessmen who had or have been building their empires in the city.

By starting fires, Nicky and others aim to cause unrest in the city. They want to feed on anarchy and lawlessness so that they can challenge the “order” in the city. Nicky and his fellow gang members are ultimately artists who believe in self-expression. Starting fires in the city is one way to express their anger, anti-establishment notions, and frustration at the system. Nicky and others must be hoping that the fires they start will act as a reminder of their dissatisfaction with the system and hostility towards the privileged who snatched away the city from them.

Read More: Is City on Fire Based on a True Story?