With the threat of his lyricist maybe leaving The Get Down Brothers, Shaolin screws up a major opportunity for Zeke and seriously sabotages the group’s future.
Episode Focus: Are You Fellow Kings or Runaway Slaves? (Shaolin Fantastic, Zeke, Dizzee, Ra-Ra, and Boo-Boo)
Shaolin Fantastic’s sole way out of the ghetto is through The Get Down. So, naturally, when anything threatens that, he comes to a crossroad. Will he just keep on keeping on with the drug game or take out whatever threat there is to his true dream? In part 1, he put his hands up and rededicated himself to drug dealing. However, he has come too far now to just give up the get down without a fight. So, he makes some decisions.
Ra-Ra and his brothers want more money? Okay, let’s go see Fat Annie and cut a deal. She wants them to pack in her club that night? Bet, Shaolin then goes get Zeke and basically ruins his chance for Yale and a scholarship and uses the way they talk to and around him as an example. One which pushes the idea, no matter how smart you are, even if you were the smartest in the school, you’d never be their equal. You’d just be the smart monkey with the 1500+ SAT score.
Leading to The Get Down Brothers selling out the show, getting $200, each, and it seeming things will all be gravy. That is until Mr. Gunns comes down on Francisco and this leads to everyone’s parents checking their pockets and stuff, finding all this money, some reefer, and curfews being put down. Alongside that, The Get Down Brothers are told there will be no more music.
There can never be glory unless there is a struggle. After all, how else will you appreciate finally getting to the goal and getting to relax? But, when it comes to obstacles, Shaolin Fantastic just made one hell of an obstacle. For never mind him making a deal with Boo-Boo to sell drugs [note]I’m trying to understand Boo-Boo. A part of me thinks, being that his dad and Dizzee redefine masculinity, and Ra-Ra doesn’t have much in the way of edge, he wants to be something traditional. He doesn’t want the Bruce Lee philosophy as much as he wants the body, the girls, and the money. To put it simply, Boo-Boo is more so a product of his environment than his upbringing. A showing of nature triumphing over nurture.[/note], but he pulled a gun out, at some swanky party Zeke was at. Zeke, surely by this Yale people’s eyes, brought the hood to the party and let the hood sweep him out like he was a Disney princess.
But who knows if Shaolin can deal with the consequences? Now, true, he got that big ass house where they can all live, but Shaolin seems like the type who likes his privacy and isn’t trying to make his crib into no frat house. Yeah, it is cool to have friends and sort of business partners, but the distance is what keeps their relationships healthy. It is what helps Zeke ignore Shaolin’s drug trading and keeps the Get Down Brothers, well except Boo-Boo now, from being too closely associated with Shaolin’s troubles.
Yet, knowing where Zeke ends up, you know they ain’t gonna follow this curfew. But, the question is, how will their parents retaliate? For this is the 70s and it’s the Bronx. There won’t be any fears of kicking a child out, especially a boy on the cusp of legal adulthood.
Subplot 1: You’ll Always Be My Lady (Mylene and Zeke)
After that kiss with Claudia, and Mylene smoking up with someone else being confessed between both parties, things sort of go back to normal. The two go on a date, Zeke feels her up, they have sex, and then they have a conversation. He reminds Mylene who she is, who that girl was who stripped down and sang one hell of a song in front of her entire congregation. Thus impressing the man who is in the process of bringing Mylene’s dreams to life. As for Mylene, she does what perhaps any guy Zeke’s age wants to hear. She spreads the good word that her man knows how to put it DOWN!
According to IMDB, Claudia is scheduled for three episodes and we have seen her in two. Now, do I think Zeke will replace Mylene with her? Hell no. However, there will be temptation. If only because, from what it seems, Zeke don’t get much out of his relationship with Mylene. Yes, she does provide him connections and gets up in Shaolin’s face when he tries to hold him back, but she only accepts the academic, college grad, version of Zeke. When it comes to music and all that, as noted in subplot 2, she doesn’t support it or take it seriously. Which, even with these two reconciling, I think will be a real craw in their relationship. Especially if she expects him to be this rock for her when it comes to music, but her not be the same for him.
Subplot 2: You’ll Never Be A Disco Queen (Shaolin Fantastic and Mylene)
Shaolin doesn’t like Mylene and Mylene don’t like Shaolin. Both see one version of Zeke as the best and each has one arm which tries to pull him in their desired direction. But here is the difference between the two, Shaolin has say over his destiny and Mylene doesn’t. So while they may battle it out over Zeke, in life he has won. Yeah, he may not have a family, but also he doesn’t have to deal with a father ready to exploit his daughter for his own gains. [note]That is assuming Mylene is even his kid[/note] [note]Ramon took out a $250,000 loan for a new, opera house looking church. One he expects Mylene to perform at and put before her career. [/note] Much less, Fat Annie, nor Cadillac, dictate what records he can spin or what the Get Down Brothers can spit. Meanwhile, everyone but Mylene got a say on what she is going to sing, what her image will be, and what she can see on anything recorded.
I love their beef. There is something ever so corny about it, like the actors have a hard time saying mean things to one another, but any scene when these two face off tickle me. Be it Mylene questioning Shaolin’s manhood, even his sexuality, or Shaolin’s best comeback being calling Mylene a bitch and saying she won’t be a disco queen. You can tell that, between the actors and characters, there isn’t this strong desire to take it too far. If only because, for the characters, they both are just expressing how they care about Zeke and then for the actors, it is because they are genuinely cool with one another.
With that said, after Zeke’s pep talk, you know she, like the rest of the teen cast, is about to disobey her parents and step out on her own. Leading you to wonder when she breaks out of this church girl image, who will she run to? We know Ramon has 0 problems kicking her out but with Francisco, will he offer refuge again or will he too shut his doors to Mylene?