In an emotional episode, many confront the memories of their parents and their trauma, and Jamal makes an epic discovery!


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In an emotional episode, many confront the memories of their parents and their trauma, and Jamal makes an epic discovery!


Directed By Ryan Shiraki
Written By Lauren Iungerich
Aired (Netflix) 3/11/2020
Introduced This Episode
Lil’ Ricky TBD

Plot/ Recap

Grieving Over What Could Have Been: Monse, Monty, Ruby

With Selina, aka Julia, dying, it stirs up old feelings. For Monty, it is the feelings of abandonment, since it is pushed Julia may have killed herself by Ruby. But for Monse? Honestly, she is at the point where she is questioning if she is becoming numb to the point her mom’s death is nothing. Which is something she says to Ruby, despite his outburst after her mom’s funeral, and he thinks, because she questions her becoming desensitized, she hasn’t reached that point just yet.

However, with her feeling relieved she doesn’t have to deal with the disappointment of what her mother could have been, unlike her father, she doesn’t have a teared full breakdown.

Daddy Wasn’t There: Oscar, Cesar, Ray

Oscar crying on Ray's shoulder.

But who does over their parent is Oscar. For with Ray seeing all the trouble he caused, he figures it is time to get to Bakersfield as he originally intended, and with that, Oscar goes off on him. First on behalf of Cesar, but then for himself. For there is something about being a father when he never knew what it was like to be a son that sends him to a vulnerable place he is very uncomfortable with.

Mind you, for a moment, with Ray, he allows himself to be in this space. They hug, hold one another, but with it being in public, Oscar recoils. Perhaps due to knowing, when Cesar finds out, he’d need that strength for he and Cesar don’t have that hug and cry together kind of relationship. And as much as Oscar would love for Cesar to see why he hates Ray so much, it is easier to hate the person who is there than the one who left.

I Am No Crutch: Jasmine, Ruby

It’s easier to misinterpret Ruby and Jasmine’s relationship because we’re so used to the girl being the emotional crutch to the guy and the reward being a relationship with him. However, Jasmine doesn’t play that. For as flirty and sexual as we’ve seen her, that doesn’t mean she has low standards. If not, when it comes to sex, it is whatever, but considering what Ruby seems to want, her standards are higher.

For we’ve seen all that Jasmine is. She is bubbly, capable of taking it down and having a real moment with someone, and as open and available as she can be, that’s emotional labor. Which, considering her father’s situation, she doesn’t have it in her to take on someone else who needs her rather than wants her. So as much as she may have pushed up on Ruby and flirted in the past, she dismissed him.

Jasmine listening to Ruby, while he on his BS.

Peace With Outlaws: Oscar, Cuchillos

With the Prophet$ so recently handled, the last thing Oscar wants are these 19th street kids trying to fill that void and cause trouble. However, with Cuchillos underestimating 19th street and undercutting any influence or power Oscar thinks he has, it seems he is subject strictly to her wins. Heck, she even pushes the idea that she owns him. Which, considering his conversation with Ray dealing with getting out while you still can, for the streets won’t love, or fear, you forever, maybe Oscar’s old dreams of culinary school might return?

I Don’t Need You To Be Scared, But I Do Need You To Be Aware: Fran, Jamal, Dwayne, Rose

With gang life hitting Dwayne’s household, having the kind of son he has no longer works for him. He wants the boy to be more aware of his surroundings, what’s out there, and Fran, Jamal’s mom, doesn’t take well to the idea of instilling fear in their child. Mostly due to her thinking no one is looking twice at Jamal, which makes the fact Jamal keeps the shenanigans he gets into to himself a blessing.

But, in terms of the mystery, with Cuchillos making it clear there will be no extensions, that makes it so Jamal has to take advantage of seeing Rose at Julia’s wake and, lo and behold, she reveals/ reminds Jamal that Lil’ Ricky liked music. On top of that, he liked investing in people, and this leads to him discovering Lil’ Ricky may have faked his death, but he is still very visible. Like in some pop tarts music video doing a rap verse.

Collected Quote(s) & .Gifs

A crutch is something that you need, not something that you want.
— Jasmine

Review/ Commentary

Highlights

Adult Men Getting In Their Feelings

Monty and Monse as Monty cries on his daughter's lap.

From Dwayne losing his cool to seeing Monty and Oscar cry, it was beautiful to see the men who are the rocks of their family let go. Especially in terms of Oscar crying on his father’s shoulder, while in his embrace, or Monty crying on Monse’s lap.

But, taking it further, with Oscar, it helps you see a man who usually avoids showing any kind of emotion, beyond a grimace or smirk, in a new light. Also, with Monty, seeing him breakdown like that presents for Monse a depiction of a man in touch with his emotions. Emotions she understands and has dealt with for she too felt abandoned. So to hear him worry not just about her but himself, it presents Monty as human.

And while this isn’t taking away from what Monse has dealt with Cesar, it does push you to understand why Jasmine didn’t want to take on the emotional labor Ruby was proposing.

Jasmine Making It Clear Where She Stands With Ruby

For, look at it this way, the responsibilities of the proverbial ride or die often are on the woman. And really, while Jasmine’s relationship with everyone has evolved, let’s not pretend it doesn’t sometimes veer back to how it used to be. If not, considering Monse and Ruby got to see the real Jasmine, minus the playfulness, both may seek her out. Ruby for when he is losing it and Monse when she no longer has it in her to be the strong or dependable one.

Which pushes the need to ask, who can Jasmine run to when things get to be too much? Especially if something ever happens to her dad beyond what she can handle?

On The Fence

The Potential Gang War

Again, with no real development of the 19th street gang members, beyond Cuchillos downplaying them and noting they are children who could cannibalize each other, what is there to invest in here? For as Oscar said, if they do go to war, while we’ll likely see a similar ending to what happened in season 1, who could they really kill off of the core people? Another person Ruby is close to? Monty, or another parent? Does anyone believe, since Ruby survived, they’d kill off any one of the main 4?

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