While the whole Ramon thing gets kind of blown over, the season ends on what could be considered a high note. For there are drastic things seen with the majority of the characters which warrant some clarification, and a continued story, hopefully sometime in the future.
Episode Focus: A United Kingdom (Ra-Ra, Shaolin Fantastic, Cadillac, and Fat Annie)
With Ra-Ra, through Tanya, getting the Get down Brothers a meeting with Afrika Bambaataa, so begins their fight against Fat Annie and Cadillac. Something which, amazingly, goes over quite well as they unite the three kingdoms against Fat Annie and Cadillac. However, what leads to real change is Shaolin Fantastic breaking down Cadillac. Not through fist, but through shared experience. One which implies that all Fat Annie did to Shao, it was also done to Cadillac.
Now, he doesn’t confirm whether it is true or not, but with Shao saying that he frees the boys from their contract and decides that he isn’t going to be in the drug game no more. He is damn near 30 and wants to focus on his music label and dancing full time. So, from what it seems, he leaves Fat Annie behind without so much as a goodbye.
There is something strangely final about a lot of this episode. As if, just in case a second season isn’t commissioned, the fans can have some sense of closure. But focusing on this Cadillac situation, I’m trying to remember if he, like Shao, isn’t, in fact, Fat Annie’s biological son. For there was something about the way Cadillac was crying made it seem he knew Shao’s plight all too well. So if that was her son, and Fat Annie was pulling a Mary from Precious, then it really explains a lot of Cadillac’s personality.
Though, in general, considering the need to be his own man, having something not handed and financed by Fat Annie, that was probably the driving factor behind his personality. Hence all the “Faggots” and all that since, more than likely, Fat Annie emasculated him many a time so, like many men, he brought himself up by putting other men down the best way he knew how. Which isn’t to excuse his actions but perhaps explain his character a bit more.
Subplot 1: The Fall of Empire (Boo-Boo, Zeke, Fat Annie, Shaolin Fantastic)
Can I just say I love this, psudo-Fat Albert, animation style they used throughotu Part 2?
With the kids being free from Fat Annie’s contract, you’d think things would have been good. Problem is, Fat Annie is a vengeful woman and the Fat Annie we saw in part 1, she makes a comeback. One in which she has Boo-Boo get arrested and with Zeke learning Shao was allowing Boo-Boo to deal, he is done with him. Really, truly, without second or third chances, done. Something which, understandably, hurts Shao, who reveals his real name is Curtis, because he thought they were brothers and Curtis hasn’t had real family before. All he has had was Fat Annie.
The person he ends up returning to for with Books gone, once again, what does he have besides Fat Annie and the drug game? Add in that Cadillac is gone and that means a promotion opportunity. One which, seemingly, Fat Annie will have no problem giving Shao.
You knew The Get Down Brothers weren’t going to be forever. Shaolin was always talked about in the past tense, we didn’t see modern day Zeke looking towards him in the crowd or backstage. But if there is a second season, you have to wonder if Zeke and Shao may cross paths again? Much less, with Zeke no longer being associated with Shao, does that mean he gets cut like Ramon and likely Francisco, who is arrested? It would be sad to see Fat Annie go but it wouldn’t be so bad if this show became a tighter product with less characters to worry about. Especially in terms of making this show less of an ensemble and just focusing on Mylene and Zeke, with their friends and family in firm supporting roles.
Subplot 2: You Cannot Imagine What We’ll Become (Dizzee, Mylene, and Zeke)
When we last see Dizzee, once more he is running from the cops but a train is coming in his direction. Now, whether the train misses him or not, or if he gets caught by the police, we don’t know. What is clear though is that with the bond of The Get Down Brothers lost, it seems even Dizzee and his brothers aren’t what they used to be. Perhaps leading to why, when Zeke learns he is accepted to Yale, there is no phone call to Ra-Ra or anyone else. He goes straight to Mylene who is his only friend now. Someone who is about to go to California for she, while mourning her dad, sings a song with Jackie and his band of misfits and Stiggy just so happens to be the floor below them. Leading to him wanting to invest into her career and, with Mylene setting Roy straight, so comes her getting control of her life.
But, with Mylene going to California comes the question of what will happen between her and Zeke? They love each other but are going to be on different coasts and, though Zeke is generally a good boy, temptation is around him and he has fallen for it once before with Claudia. So what may happen at Yale when he is exposed to so many different minds and ways of thinking? Will his Butterscotch Queen remain enough, or will she be just his first love?
For modern day Zeke we do see three women singing background for him, but it isn’t clear if that is Mylene and The Soul Madonnas or just three random women.
The Get Down will be a strange show in season 2, if it happens. For Mylene is going to be filming a movie, making a soundtrack album, being famous, and Zeke is going to be in a PWI. One in which, as seen previously, is going to test his patience and ability to hold his tongue. Really pushing the idea that there would have to be dramatic changes to this show. For it just doesn’t seem possible, or even a good idea, to split things between Mylene in California, if not traveling the world to promote her movie, assuming it gets made; Zeke in college, dealing with girls like Claudia, maybe guys who either pick with him or appreciate his talent; and then dealing with all that is happening in the Bronx.
For if there is one issue with this show that kept bugging me is that the supporting characters just didn’t have that oomph really. Yeah, Fat Annie, Cadillac, and Shaolin Fantastic were something else, but outside of them? Well, as shown by this finale, they were expendable. Ra-ra and his family, while interesting, could be cut and it wouldn’t be an issue. Considering how Ramon was written off and how the show took a minute to mourn, then moved on, it showed how he wasn’t really a factor in the grand scheme of things.
But in general, I gotta admit, I felt like every character was built up just enough so you could remember their name. However, as for becoming emotionally attached and getting the type of information needed to overanalyze them? That was in short supply. We got that from Zeke, maybe Mylene, Shao, and Cadillac to a point, but everyone else was like a burning building or graffiti design on a wall. They were part of understanding the time period and what it looked like but we were never given enough to understanding their character who grew up in that environment.