Last Chance U season 4, episode 8, “Hustlers Survive” ties up the year with a wild controversial moment, but also offers some optimism for ICC.
This recap of Last Chance U Season 4, Episode 8, “Hustlers Survive” contains significant spoilers. This is the last episode of season 4 — you can read our full season review by clicking these words
“Hustlers Survive” is a strange episode to end a strange, explosive season 4. Last Chance U never shies away from controversy; it’s part of the show’s formula — but this season was car crash television, drawing what can go wrong when the set-up is completely wrong. Episode 8 highlights the toxicity calming down; everyone, even the teachers trying to pass their students, is absolutely exhausted. Episode 8 is not about winning anymore, it’s all about getting to the finish line.
Before “Hustlers Survive” moves to the final game of the season, we get a glimpse of Bobby Bruce’s life. I harshly commentated on his actions in the previous recaps and rightly so. In episode 8 of Last Chance U season 4 his angle feels different; he’s not interested in trying to achieve a life in football, Bobby wants to hold down a job and raise his newly created family, with a girlfriend that seemingly dotes on him. I’m still unsure on Bobby Bruce, but I genuinely hope that since this series was finished with the camera crews, that he genuinely turned his life around.
At ICC, it’s still depressing. Some of the players have a wave of optimism, but it’s all about getting the grades and having that one last dash to secure a scholarship. Coach Jason Brown has assigned some of the players red t-shirts to indicate that they will be leaving at the end of the season, and he has forcefully requested some of the coaching staff to resign. Episode 8, “Hustlers Survive” is showing everyone in survival mode; some coaches willingly resigning, while others are eager to stay on for their career and the wellbeing of their family.
Final Game Day arrives, and it was wonderfully done by the Netflix series; ICC won, but it was more about the players, and the interviews playing in the background while the game was running than actually winning. There was a sense of relief, togetherness and sealing lasting memories of playing together one last time. It was what season 4 deserved after a hectic season.
Here we go — the elephant in the room. Jason Brown. With the season preparations underway, his way of communicating with students is in the media. Messages of him telling a German player that “he’s his new Hitler” has surfaced. It’s bad. Really bad. The problem is, Jason Brown does not live a politically correct lifestyle; outside of his smartphone, he’s said worse slurs to players that you hear every episode. But context is important — he told a German player that he was the new Hitler to make a point regarding discipline; I repeated that statement to make readers understand how terrible that sounds in typed words. So you can only imagine how the local and national media articulated that moment. “Hustlers Survive” shows the downfall for Jason Brown and the ICC.
I genuinely believe Jason Brown is not a long-term project type of coach. He’s a College Football gangster. And I feel like he planted these controversies so he can resign and head out. He doesn’t show much of his soul, Jason Brown; he drinks a lot, swears, and throws his body about, but underneath it all, we have no idea who he is as a person, and episode 8, “Hustlers Survive” does nothing to give us an opportunity to see what’s underneath that alcohol breath. The locals, some who loved him, some who disliked him heavily, painted that picture for us. In the end, the ICC board had no choice but to force him to resign; there was too much reputational pressure.
As Last Chance U season 4, episode 8, “Hustlers Survive” ends we still get the sense of what Jason Brown did for the ICC. New facilities, a different breed of players and creating history by winning trophies. It’s an era over, and I do wonder if the ICC will ever reach the heights of season 3 ever again. It’s unlikely.
But f*****g hell – don’t tell a German kid that you are their new Hitler – holy s**t. I was not expecting that.