Coming after Cesar and Spooky’s (Julio Macias) very real setup of the Prophets gang that eventually leads their arrest, the Season 2 ending seems to be just another escalation of unnecessary violence in these teens’ volatile lives. But unlike the end of Season 1, where we know who pulls the trigger, the anonymity of the kidnappers make the seriousness of this scene more difficult to parse. Signs point to the kidnapping being retaliation from the Prophets, but with the entire gang in jail, the scene may be introducing a brand new curveball altogether.
Despite the gravity of its subject matter, On My Block has always played with the line between wackiness and solemnity. After Olivia’s murder, those experiments with genre have become even more pronounced, and harder to reconcile. For example, though Cesar’s homelessness is a central storyline of Season 2, so is Jamal’s infatuation with a buxom lawn gnome. Though the cast of characters includes the endearing Jasmine (Jessica Marie Garcia) and Ruby’s abuela (Peggy Blow), who rarely fall out of comedic stance, there is also Spooky, and Ruby’s shooter Latrelle (Jahking Guillory), who reside firmly on the drama side of the show’s dramedy universe. Meanwhile, the kidnapping scene itself is wrung for a final laugh. As Monse walks away, her friends are hooded and swept into an unmarked van that drives away in the background. All the while, she engages in a frantic monologue trying to convince herself not to turn around and look at their reaction to her moment of triumph. "It’s way more badass once you set off a bomb that you just walk away. You don’t wait for it to explode. It just explodes behind you," she says before giving in to curiosity, turning around, and finding her friends have disappeared before being swept off by the same captors herself.