The Get Down returns and picks up with the kids becoming local stars but no fame comes without a price. Which, for most of them, is a lack of freedom or access to the ones they care about the most. Thus leaving room for others to make their moves in.
Episode Focus: It’s Not The Dream, It’s The Pursuit (Mylene, Zeke, and Shaolin Fantastic)
Mylene has become a hit and while she may not be touring the states, she is getting on TV and replacing such acts like Misty Halloway. But with this fame and her dreams comes the dreams others trying to get their moment. Ramon sees his daughter’s fame as an opportunity to get validation from other churches and Marrakesh is banking heavily on her so they also are trying to take control. This lack of autonomy is messing with Mylene’s mind and making Zeke’s unavailability at times hard.
Though Zeke got his own thing going. His internship is going well and Mr. Gunns may provide him a pathway to Yale. On top of that, The Get Down Brothers are starting to make money. Granted, it is only $20 a show but considering the lack of opportunity in the Bronx, and they don’t got to sell drugs, it is better than nothing right? [note]Wrong! for Ra, Dizzee, and Boo-Boo feel like they are being underpaid considering how packed the house is. Thus causing some friction between the DJ and his M.C.s[/note]
But for Shaolin Fantastic, the drug game is the name of the game. DJ’ing maybe the dream, but dealing is his life. So with Cadillac’s right-hand man being head of a new club, and Shaolin in charge of the music and drug distribution, that is his focus. For Shaolin is no longer a foot soldier but, in Zeke’s words, on his way to being a general in Fat Annie’s army. Thus making it, like with Zeke, a duality which neither seem to be able to keep going forever. So, eventually, one side has to be chosen.
With the opportunity Zeke is getting thanks to Mr. Gunns, that ladies and gentlemen is the rare thing you don’t see a lot in urban communities. A real, non-sports pathway, of getting yourself out of the hood. Something not often provided to Black and Brown folk even if they can code-switch and be as unthreatening as Zeke. [note]I mean, for god’s sakes, Mr. Gunns leaves his daughter with Zeke, in an empty room, after hours – in 1978. If that doesn’t tell you how much Zeke isn’t taken as a threat to corporate America, I don’t know what to tell you.[/note] Plus, if I recall right, while Zeke is smart, he isn’t in the running for valedictorian. Really pushing the idea that he is more so an exception than a possibility and I’d argue nothing has really changed depending on where you come from.
That aside, I feel the need to continuously praise the way this show handles his relationship to Mylene. In the first season, his love for her showed us a sensitive and romantic Black boy. One who, even when rejected, wasn’t downplaying his feelings or ready to curse her name. Instead, he actually let the emotions go through him and made something out of them. Much less, he remained her friend.
Thus making their growing distance a bit heartbreaking. Especially since Zeke’s future is masked to the point that while we know he is going to be okay, everyone else is a question mark. So with there only being a few episodes left, and no news on whether Netflix may make another heavy investment in the show, it makes for a nail-biting experience.
Subplot 1: Waiting in the Rafters (Claudia [Julia Garner] and Dizzee)
In episode 6 it was clear Claudia wasn’t going to just show up for one episode and disappear. Especially with her being attached to Mr. Gunns and what Zeke seeks to get out of him. Yet, you’d never expect the two to kiss and thus Zeke would cheat on Mylene with her.
But it seems Zeke may not be the only one having romance issues. Thanks to Dizzee, Thor is in jail and while he cares about what is happening to him, sending him comic book panels and what not, he also has a drug habit he is dating. Also, we see him, willingly, have this girl straddle him so who knows if Thor may just end up someone Dizzee experimented with and not much more. Either way, he is still the adorable weirdo he has always been.
Though I’ve never been someone that into the portrayal of interracial romance, I kind of want to see Zeke and Claudia together. For their relationship doesn’t seem like it will turn out like White Girl. I can imagine them learning about each other’s cultures, having real conversations, and truly growing with one another. All the while, there not being this fetishism about dating a white girl or a Black man. Something, I feel, is too ingrained in most interracial relationships on TV and movies, thus making them uncomfortable.
With that said, I wonder what is going to be done with Dizzee? Him being revealed as bi was a highlight of the first part of the season and I’d hate for that to be wasted. Especially since not only is seeing a bi character rare but a Black one? I don’t think it is stated enough how important the representation is. Making me hope his storyline doesn’t just become another case of a Black boy addicted to drugs. One who wasted all his potential.