“On My Block” season 4 finally came out on Netflix in October, and well… It was lousy. The show loses a lot of great elements that made the previous seasons so captivating. Seasons before, we got good music that gave you that chaotic and exciting feeling of being in Freeridge. The writing of the show flowed and the timeline and plots were amazing. The dialogue was a relief because the characters didn’t seem like they were just reading from scripts, and their lines fit who they were. There were also great interactions all around in the show.
Season 4 picked up on everyone going their separate ways after season 3. From starting high school together to being accomplices to the death of a crime boss, the four main characters Monse, (Sierra Capri) Cesar, (Diego Tinoco) Ruby, (Jason Genao), and Jamal (Brett Gray) have been through a lot together throughout the seasons.
For those in need of a recap, Season 1 starts with four teenagers trying to find their way in the world on their restless block. Cesar is going to join The Santos, the gang that runs their block, Jamal is trying to become a football star, and Ruby and Monse are each trying to find who they want to be. Up to season 3, the characters have wild experiences. Their lives get crazier and crazier. Jamal finds hidden treasure. They make an operation to clean dirty money. Monse, Ruby, and Jamal go and find a missing stash of money. And they go on a search for gold. Every time they try to dig themselves out of a hole, it just gets deeper. We always got to see an adventure. The journeys they found themselves going on make you want to follow their stories. Those journeys shaped who they are, it shows you what they are made of.
In season 4, however, there are no bizarre adventures. The episodes were neither funny nor odd. Plus we could not see the characters as close as they were in the previous seasons. Season 4 had them at a distance from each other because of a breakup, which took away amusement. Jamal is on the outs and no longer talking to Monse and Ruby. It is a little awkward for everyone when they reunite, which is not a pleasant sight.
The writers made Jasmine a main character, which I think took up space for a plot. They had to fit her more into the show because she took up time with Ruby, which changed character interactions. By her being a new main character they showed us a lot of her and that is something we did not need. What we needed to see was the original main characters falling back into their close friendships. Because she took more screen time than necessary, that was the writers’ way of filling up space instead of writing a plot. Her scenes were pointless, we had to watch her “focus on herself.” She oversteps Ruby’s boundaries this season and Jessica Garcia’s acting is too over the top. She makes everything more dramatic than it needs to be and that gets annoying. In the previous seasons, it was ok because her character was an over-the-top person, but in season four she tries too hard.
The fourth season does not seem to have a plot at all, and there really isn’t a purpose for this season besides “bringing the gang back together.” Although what we mainly get to see is how everyone was living their lives. We don’t get to see anything as adventurous and reckless as the seasons before. They didn’t have any missions to go on or anything they needed to complete as a team.
The writers do not bring up any important factors from the previous seasons. They planned to kill a crime boss and no one had any feelings about it? They were involved enough in the murder to be worried. They still have people after them, but I guess watching Ruby and Jasmine kiss is more important. I get it–everyone moved on with their lives after they all have broken up but you guys were accomplices to murder. When there was panic about the murder and war coming, nothing happened and everyone forgot about it again.
The fourth season was obviously rushed, and therefore all over the place. We never do find out what happened to the RollerWorld money that Jamal finds in the previous season. There were relevant events that we needed more closure and explanation to.
When Olivia died in season 1, it took a toll on all of the characters and caused Cesar to have no place to stay. When something as big as that happens in season 4, we see a little more about it in the next episode and then they just move on. Olivia’s death was even mentioned in season 3 again, but we couldn’t see how this new occurrence affected anything else.
The show could have ended in season 3. I know that there are a lot of people that did not like that ending but it was more realistic than season 4. By the show ending in season 3, it would show us that not everything can get the happy ending you want it to have. The main characters go their separate ways at the end of season 3. Of course, we would want them all to stay together but it doesn’t work like that all the time.
In season 4 they all came back together and it was amazing to see that, but honestly, there was no purpose if we weren’t going to get a meaningful plot to keep us engaged. The only gang-related thing we saw in season 4 was Cesar leading the Santos. The show was mainly about how it is to live in a gang area, but in season 4 they completely jumped over that.
Don’t get me wrong though. “On My Block” as a whole is still a good show, even if the fourth season was terrible. I would definitely recommend it to those who have not yet watched the first 3 seasons. There are great characters that you would love. The music, cinematography, actors, and writing are great.
It’s just season 4 that went downhill. The season did not hold any importance, we could have gone without it. Some things you might even say were unnecessary. The last episode was when it finally felt like it was getting good. They left us with new and great plots that we won’t get to see. The ending felt meaningful, unlike the entire season. We spent 3 seasons watching these characters grow up and go through terrible, traumatic events, just for the last time we get to see them be a waste of time on our screens. The only good thing that came out of this season was that we got to see our favorite characters back on our screens, though I think many people would just like to forget that season 4 even happened.