Screenshot from On My Block

Season 3 of ‘On My Block’ Concludes With a Few Sad Endings

The Netflix series set in inner-city Los Angeles shows that sometimes promises are meant to be broken, and that nothing lasts forever.

April 11, 2020
14 mins read

Season 3 of “On My Block” premiered on Netflix on March 11 and it wasn’t long before I was in my bed staring and yelling at my screen. Many tragedies occurred leading up to the finale, but before we talk about it, let’s have a quick recap and remember how we got here:

— Olivia died and Ruby is living with survivors guilt, anger, PTSD, etc.

— Monse’s birth mom came back into her life, but she soon learned her mother told people her dad was abusive instead of saying “I abandoned my daughter.”

— At the school dance, Monse tells Cesar that she wanted to live in Brentwood with her mom. In response, Cesar told her that if she left Freeridge then their relationship would be over, so Monse dumped him.

— Cesar stopped Monse from running away with him by telling her he slept with someone else. Which he did. He did it to protect her and ultimately, it did because Monse didn’t go with him.

— After finding the RollerWorld money, they “wash” it and use the money to buy Cesar back into the Santos gang.

— Cesar and Oscar (Spooky) set the Prophet$ (rival gang) up, which sends the entire gang to jail.

Season 2 of “On My Block” ended on the cliffhanger that left me wanting the third season to play immediately. We were left with the Core4 getting kidnapped. Nothing more, nothing less.

Season 3 of “On My Block” begins right where the second season ended. We find out that the Core4 was kidnapped by Cuchillos, head of the Santos, and she wants them to find Lil’ Ricky, who is supposed to be dead.

After being dropped off, Ruby found out his parents were struggling to pay off his medical bills. Cesar’s dad came home from jail and landed a job at Dwayne’s (Jamal’s dad) BBQ restaurant. Jamal was being stalked by a girl no one knew and Monse received an unexpected visit from Cuchillos where she threatened to kill her father if she failed to help find Lil’ Ricky.

To blow off some steam, Monse, Jasmine, Cesar and Oscar walk around the “summer night lights” festival playing games and tried to get along. This is where the 19th Street gang came in. They told Oscar to give them Jefferson Street, or else. Cesar ended up leaving early, leaving a drunk Monse and Jasmine alone with Oscar.

In a heated argument where Monse chooses to tell Oscar how he ruined Cesar’s life, she kissed him — yes, she was drunk, but that’s her boyfriend’s older brother. He’s a grown man. Back at the house of the stressed-out Ruby, Cuchillos plants a phone under his pillow and she threatens his life as well as his family.

It seemed like during the first few episodes of “On My Block” Season 3, Monse, Ruby, Jamal and Cesar forgot they had a target on their back. Jamal was focused on having sex with his “girlfriend” and/or stalker and Ruby couldn’t refrain from fantasizing about Jasmine. Cesar was concerned with making up for lost time with his absent father and Monse was preoccupied with the constant reminder of Cesar sleeping with someone else.

Monse came clean and told Cesar she kissed his brother, but he already knew. Instead of reacting the way I thought he would, Monse revealed he wasn’t mad because he felt like they’d evened the score. He slept with someone else and she kissed his brother. Even. That is nowhere close to being even and that’s not supposed to be something that makes you even with your partner.

Episode 5 in the third season of “On My Block” began with everyone going to the wake to support Monse in the passing of her mother. As bad as it may sound I really enjoyed this episode. This is the first episode where we see an emotional side of nearly everyone, especially Oscar. After Dwayne got jumped, their father, Ray, decided to leave town because everything seemed fine before he arrived.

Oscar saw him packing to leave and got angry because Ray thought Oscar needed to be the one to tell Cesar about Ray leaving. Once again, Oscar is being left with the responsibility of Cesar. He has to be the adult. This is one of the parts where I was yelling at my screen because Oscar was forced to grow up and look after Cesar when their dad left the first time. All Oscar wanted was his dad. That’s it. He had to be a father to Cesar not knowing what it was like to be a son.

I felt it was important to include Oscar’s emotional breakdown between him and his father because the whole time Oscar has been on the show, he was portrayed as an angry and scary person. Since he got out of jail, Oscar always kept his guard up. He always had his fists clenched like he was ready to throw a punch at any given moment.

I partially loved seeing why Oscar was always so angry. He never got the chance to be a kid. He was forced to grow up quickly because he needed to look after Cesar. He was robbed of a childhood and although Cesar was jumped into the Santos gang, Oscar took care of Cesar the best way he knew how.

Everyone seemed a bit emotional in this episode of “On My Block”; granted, a funeral happened earlier that day. Monse vents to Ruby in tears because she feels like she’s becoming desensitized to emotion. She didn’t feel anything toward her mom dying and, in her defense, you can’t have emotion toward someone you don’t truly know.

Monse’s dad breaks down in tears because he feels like Julia didn’t value their relationship. If she had the audacity to paint such a negative picture of this man who only wanted to take care of his family then, yes, she didn’t value that relationship.

Now, in the midst of all this, they came close to figuring out who Lil’ Ricky was, but as soon as they get close to solving another mystery, they run into dead ends. First, it was the exterminator who was scared to come to Freeridge. Then, it was the nursery rhyme rapper “Father Goose,” who was pretty convincing until we found out he didn’t know how to speak Spanish. While sitting at the bar listening to Rosé’s hidden track they finally come to the realization that whether they find Lil’ Ricky or not, they are loose ends and Cuchillos will kill them.

At this point, the Core4 (or Core5 including Jasmine) was on the edge of their seats because they haven’t come close to finding out where Lil’ Ricky was and while all of this is going on Cuchillos had a meeting with Oscar to discuss the 19th street gang and territory. She made the decision to give them Jefferson, which is what Oscar wanted to do in the first place.

Once they agreed on that they set a meeting with the head of the 19th street gang and Cuchillos betrayed him by giving them a seat at the table. The meeting Cuchillos was supposed to die at changed into the meeting Oscar was supposed to die at. The Core4 were sitting ducks and impatiently waiting on a text from Cesar saying everything was handled.

The 19th Street gang pulled up on the Core4 handing Cesar a location and Oscar’s phone. So, as they’re walking through the woods to what they believe is Oscar’s corpse, they can’t stop arguing. Cesar kept telling them to leave because he never asked for anyone’s help. Ruby kept yelling at Cesar because Cesar couldn’t seem to grasp the fact that Ruby lost his one true love while dancing with death and not to mention, he took a bullet for Cesar. Then, Jamal can’t help but mention how being friends with him makes them a liability and when you really think about it, he’s making sense.

Jamal doesn’t say anything that doesn’t have meaning to it. Some would think their problems started when he found the RollerWorld money, but he only went searching for the money to help Cesar. If Cesar didn’t join the Santos then they wouldn’t have been involved with Cuchillos. They could’ve had normal lives.

When they reached what they were looking for in the woods they find Cuchillos dead, and who comes out to meet them? The 19th Street gang.

The final episode of Season 3 of “On My Block” was bittersweet because their outcomes weren’t what I expected. Monse was scared to leave because she felt as if she was the glue holding the group together. She also was scared that they’d move on and forget about her. Before leaving, the Core5 made a promise that nothing was going to change and for a second, I almost believed it.

In the final montage, we see that Jamal joined the football team. Ruby and Jasmine were still together, but with a drastic wardrobe change. Monse was enjoying her friends at school so much that she seemed to forget about her friends back home. Cesar looked like he was now head of the Santos and Oscar left and made his own family.


Cesar and Oscar’s future were foreshadowed after Oscar made a new deal with the 19th Street gang. Cesar was telling Oscar that the gang was playing him and someone was bound to come for his spot. Oscar said “let him” and this was because Oscar seemed tired of the gang life. He already didn’t get to have a childhood, so why can’t he get a future? Oscar told Cesar about his dreams of owning a home and having a wife and kids and it seemed like everything worked out in his favor. Hopefully there’s a Season 4 of “On My Block” and we get to see how everything came about.

Kayla Johnson, Bradley University

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Kayla Johnson

Bradley University

I am currently a junior majoring in journalism with a minor in sociology. I want to be a published author and a sports photographer one day.

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