On My Block: Season 1/ Episode 7 “Chapter 7” – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)

Title Card for episode 7.
100% (1)

Ruben continues to prove he is husband material for Olivia, despite her dating Cesar, as abuelita gets Jamal another clue which could lead to the money.


Network
Netflix
Director(s) Steven Tsuchida
Writer(s) Lauren Iungerich
Air Date 3/16/2018
Characters Introduced
Chivo Emilio Rivera

Julia Whitman & The Boy Fresh Out of Prison: Monse, Cesar, Latrelle

With finding her mom on Facebook, and creating a fake alias, Laura Diaz, Monse is hoping to add her mom and do more fishing. Something she only really confides in with Cesar for, despite him dating Olivia for months, they are still close. Plus, both are just trying to live up to the plan Monse had to keep the squad together.

However, with confiding in Cesar about finding her mom, it reminds both of the feelings they have for each other. Though, throughout the episode, it becomes clear that neither have been happy about the Olivia arrangement. To the point it is asked if they both think about each other and Cesar nearly cheats on Olivia. That is, until Latrelle, fresh out of juvie, comes out of nowhere and starts trying to talk to Monse. With that, Cesar gets protective, starts talking about how Latrelle, as a Prophet, needs to stick to his turf, and with the back and forth, so comes Latrelle bringing out a gun.

Commentary

I find myself wondering how will it be when Monse and Julia meet. Will Julia recognize her at all, will Monse perhaps just play the situation as just being a huge fan and leave it at that? Her mom hasn’t been in her life 11 to 13 years. How does one deal with that? Especially considering she left for reasons that are unknown to us. Much less, started a new family, so it seems, based on us seeing her with two kids when she went to Rosé’s house.

The facebook page of Monse's mom.

And, am I the only one surprised Monse isn’t trying to pick Rosé’s brain at all? She was very open about her business with Jamal, who just wanted money and it seems Rosé liked the company. Why not just talk to her and maybe have her set up a possible chance meeting?

That thought aside, when it comes to gang culture, it has been something acknowledged but the more violent side has been downplayed. With Latrelle pulling a gun on Monse and Cesar, that’s not happening anymore. In fact, it pushes Monse casually saying Cesar isn’t safe to the forefront, even with Rosé talking about how a real Santos man would protect her. For, let’s just say Latrelle wasn’t being his perception of a gentleman. A stray bullet could have easily passed Cesar and hit Monse and it could be all over. If not her being hit and, at best, being left with a reminder by scar or worse, paralysis of a limb or an entire region of her body.

Cesar Is Just My Placeholder: Ruby, Cesar, Monse, Olivia

With her family deported, and having planned for her quince for years, it is a bit bittersweet that now it is a week away and they are far away. In fact, they haven’t even communicated with her in months. But Ruby, he decides to try to make it better. Being a man of initiative, he begins planning the perfect quince and in pursuit of perfection, he drives everyone crazy – especially Olivia.

Yet, in his crazy, you realize it is just because he cares. Even to the point of getting a cutout of Olivia’s parents so even if they can’t physically be there, their presence would exist. Really making you wonder, considering all Ruby has done, could he really one day stand a chance? They joked about being married before but, Ruby hasn’t stopped being that dude who you marry. He has backed up words with actions.

Commentary

Ruby standing in front of large cut outs of Olivia's parents.

It’s kind of weird to want to root for Olivia to be with Ruby, yet also respect that she just may not be into guys who look like Ruby. Yeah, she may recognize he is a good guy any girl would be lucky to have but, as made clear multiple times, physical attraction is important. Hence why Jasmine gets the kill and Cesar gets everyone’s attention.

Though, you have to give props to Ruby for trying and not letting his insecurities keep him from stop being who he is. For even with it being clear there is a long game here, who is to say that, like how he sees Cesar to be a placeholder for him, Olivia isn’t a placeholder for a girl really into Ruby for who he is? She is just someone to practice and understand how he exhibits affection. Much less, get feedback on the type of things which may be his future girl wouldn’t like. Such as his need for perfect moments and doing too much.

The Gnome Holds All The Secrets: Jamal, Abuelita

Despite discovering Lil’ Ricky died in 1982, not too long after the Rollerworld heist, there is hope! For one, there isn’t an obituary and on top of that, someone is placing flowers at his grave. Making it so, as Ruben plans out who does what, Abuelita takes control of the food as Jamal is sent for flowers. Leading him to meet Chivo.

Someone who is probably one of the weirdest characters we met yet. You see, Chivo is someone who loves gnomes and not only collects them, and designs them, but also talks to them. Is main gnome is Julio and he is a partner in Chivo’s nursery. One which Jamal ends up working at for while getting flowers for Olivia’s party is his cover, he legit needs to get flowers and $50 isn’t nothing for something nice. So, he ends up working to pay for what he needs and gets close to Chivo in the process.

Leading to the point Chivo, after seeing Jamal solve a puzzle, says he is the one when it comes to the Rollerworld money and to come back that night, when the gnomes aren’t around, to learn the truth. But, also bring food. Of which, as Chivo gives Jamal another task that night, he eats it all up. Which leads to Jamal getting pissed off and threatening Julio’s fictional life. This leads to Chivo breaking down like a child and when he smashes Julio, Chivo has a panic attack or heart attack.

Jamal holding a key to a lock he doesn't know where it is.

But, Jamal discovers a key and with Monse calling about Cesar needing to be hidden, because of the Latrelle incident, it seems Jamal may find the money to do so.

Commentary

Does anyone else find it kind of weird that Chivo is the weirdest adult we met? That despite living in the area they do, we haven’t met someone homeless, a drug addict, and people like that? Not to imply there is usually a wealth of them just wandering about on a street, but the total absence of their existence seems a bit weird. Though, considering how much the gang element of the culture is presented, maybe they didn’t want to go that deep and display every last issue of an urban environment and try to figure a way to keep things funny but address each type of situation.

Highlights

  1. How Ruby treats Olivia despite there being no guarantees she may ever fall for him.
  2. Jasmine and Ruby’s chemistry when it came to dancing.
  3. Us seeing the softer side of Monse as she deals with learning about her mom and dealing with her suppressed feelings for Cesar.
  4. Jamal surprisingly being consistently able to handle storylines which don’t feature his friends that much yet not seeming like he doesn’t belong on this show and could or should be cut.

On The Fence

  1. The gang element is pushed a bit more towards the forefront but not enough to completely change the tone of the series.

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