On My Block season 4, episode 2 recap – the backbone of the show

October 4, 2021
Bashirat Oladele 0
Netflix, TV Recaps


A little communication goes a long way.

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A little communication goes a long way.

This recap of Netflix’s On My Block season 4, episode 2 contains spoilers. 

In the first episode, we learned that Jamal and Ruby are more or less rivals because of their senior class presidency. Due to this, Jasmine dropped Ruby’s campaign video (that she made) smearing Jamal’s name and of course, Jamal wasn’t going to back down without a fight. Instead, he did the correct thing — he took the high road with this video, which was what Ruby wanted to do. The annoying thing is that Jasmine constantly gets in the way of Ruby’s choice, even if she wants to be supportive.

On My Block season 4, episode 2 recap

At the presidential debate, Ruby and Jamal have to go head to head to prove why either of them deserves the presidency, and unfortunately for Ruby, it seems like he is losing it after Jamal brings up personal digs. Disappointed and embarrassed, he concedes and says “you took my votes and my dignity. Congrats.” In this scene, you could truly feel the second-hand embarrassment and what looks like the end of a friendship. “What happened to you?”, he asks as he walks away from Jamal and Jasmine throws a folder at Jamal with footage they could have used against him. 

It’s clear that the popular kid persona overtook Jamal, once he started getting girls and joining the football team, he was a goner. In the car with a girl, he’s talking about his lack of relationships and support. “I used to have deep, meaningful relationships. And now I can’t think of one relationship where I feel understood or connected… I feel like everything in my life is shallow and superficial, like I’m not tethered to anything.” In his own words, his life is “just a series of meaningless encounters.” I can’t help but wonder if Monse leaving and Cesar changing has ruined his relationships — not to blame them but Jamal wasn’t exactly the most level-headed friend but he was always there for someone and now feels like he’s in a meaningless relationship.

Jamal comes over to Ruby’s to extend an invitation for his victory party but of course, Jasmine gets in the way and ruins any form of possible dialogue between the two as Jamal leaves. The invitation was a poor gesture on Jamal’s end because he didn’t even apologize. In another scene, the Santos seem to be causing trouble outside Oscar’s house (hence why he wants to relocate to Portland), knowing his fiancee Isabel is pregnant, and I think this was done intentionally to get Oscar’s attention and of course, Cesar was leading it too. He’s trying to prove himself to his brother and prove that he can hold his own, that he can handle himself. “Cesar, this is not who you are,” he says and of course, Cesar responds saying “you don’t know who I am,” and warns Oscar to stay away from him and mind his business. 

Moving on, we arrive at Jamal’s party but he doesn’t seem excited at all. He begins to reminisce on his experiences with his friends about the times and realizes that he needs to apologize to Ruby, only for him to leave and for Ruby to walk past him. Instead, he bumps into Jamal’s father in the house and mentions how he needs to tell him “how much of an a****** he is” and in agreement, his father mentions that he should tell his friends, who he calls “his s*** squad”. It also seems that Jamal’s father misses Ruby, Monse, and Cesar and tells Ruby he misses his weird kid and doesn’t like the popular persona he’s adopted.

Our favorite duo links up again in another scene, Jamal and Abuelita and because of his “crisis of conscience”, he seeks her advice and mentions he needs to apologize. He recalls how they’ve been through so much together “from RollerWorld to money laundering” and Ruby isn’t the only friend that’s disappointed in him. Abuelita cusses him out for forgetting their friendship but he mentions he couldn’t contact her since he was on bad terms with Ruby. In his moment of truth, he confesses to Abuleita that he had to become a jerk, ever since he felt like a third wheel between Ruby and Jasmine on a call to Monse. Unfortunately for him, he accidentally hears Monse talking about how he keeps piling his issues on her and how annoying he can be, which clearly bruised his ego as she compared him to a weird eight-year-old with no emotional development. Now, that was mean. After telling Abuelita, they laugh it off together.

Finally, at the party, Ruby tells Jasmine about herself that he feels smothered around her and it’s so relieving to see him stand up for himself as she tells him “you’re not making any sense” yet he powerfully retaliates saying “yes, I am. To me. I don’t have to make sense to you… I didn’t think I’d lose the ‘me’ in ‘we’.” 

Isabel and Oscar are arguing again over the Santos as Oscar stresses that he broke the gang code but Isabel importantly points out how silly Oscar sounds about the gang code, “there’s no code. You talk about it like there’s some sense of honor or valor.” She continues to tell him about the times Cesar failed to show up for him after being beaten, jumped, and being hospitalized. But for Oscar, it’s clear that he wants to support his younger brother. If not for Isabel reminding him about his future daughter, I can’t help but wonder if Oscar would have still gone out.

The ending

Towards the end of episode 2, Ruby comes home to see Jamal and Abuleita chilling and demands an apology. They both hash it out, with Jamal conveying his true sentiments about being a third wheel and being isolated. “We canceled Cesar, Monse went off to school, you had Jasmine and I had no one.” In response, Ruby mentions that he’s hyperbolic as the most popular person in school but Jamal importantly notes that “you can know everyone and still know no one. I went from being alone to being lonely, cause no one knows me like you do Ruby and the truth is, I miss you.” This is what we are looking for! Jamal and Ruby’s friendship is the backbone of the show and to see their weird selves reunite was so exciting.

What did you think of On My Block season 4, episode 2? Comment below.

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